From The Mayor's Desk

INDEX

JOSEPH SPOR

ATTACK PROCLAMATION

COMING OF DAWN

REFLECTIONS OF THE RIGHT STUFF

UNITED WE STAND

A VETERANS' DAY PRAYER

THANKSGIVING

CELEBRATE!

ACTIONS AND REACTIONS

LEST WE FORGET

ANTHONY, YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE

HOW TO REMEMBER

VETERANS' DAY 2002

THE FUND

FROM NEW YORK, WITH LOVE

HALLOWED GROUND

NEW YORK SAYS, THANKS!

WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN

 

Thanksgiving

 

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving.  As Mayor, one of the things Iím most thankful for is the graciousness and the generosity of the people of Anthony.  Immediately after September 11, I established a Victimís Relief Fund through the city so there would be a local place for people to donate to.  Our banks and several businesses participated and you donated generously to the Fund.  Now I would like to let you know where your money went.

 

When it came time to distribute the money, I felt an obligation to ensure that two criteria were met: 1) the fund should really make a difference in someoneís life; and 2) the people of Anthony deserved to know exactly who received their donations and what they would be used for.  Itís one thing to donate to a huge organization without knowing what impact the donation really has; itís far more gratifying and meaningful to know that the donation is actually making a difference.  So, I spent a couple of hours on the Internet and the telephone to New York and finally ended up talking to a Lieutenant in a fire station in the Bronx.  He told me about one of his men named Joe Spor.  And as he talked and through subsequent e-mails, letters, and pictures, I knew Anthony had found the right hero to honor. 

 

As a kid, Joe always wanted to be a fireman.   His dad was one, and he couldnít think of a more exciting, honorable profession than to save other people and property from danger.  Amazingly, not only did he become a fireman, he even belonged to the same Engine Company that his dad belonged to before retirement.  Joe loved his job and was famous in the station for his practical jokes and singing.  Always looking to better himself and his family, he worked on the side as a carpenter.  Recently he made a career move from Ladder 38 to Rescue 3 (still within the same building and still within the FDNY).  He had just started a major remodeling job on his house. 

 

On September 11, Joe was deployed to the south tower of the World Trade Center to assist in evacuation.  Only 35 years old, he gave his life doing what he loved; saving other people from harm.

 

Joe left behind a wife, Colleen and 4 children: Casey (6 years old), Joseph (4 years old), Shannon (21/2 years old), and Caitlin (9 months). 

 

I sent the fund to the Lieutenant for Joeís family.  The firemen are finishing the remodel job that Joe started and your donations will help complete his house for his family.  I also sent the fire station an afghan that is hanging on their wall, an Anthony coffee mug, several things from the Chamber, and some Anthony Republican newspapers.  And I sent Mrs. Spor a card and letter.

 

Iíve asked the paper to print some pictures, Joeís obituary and a very touching eulogy given by one of his fellow firemen, and the letter I sent to Mrs. Spor.  Mrs. Carrís 3rd grade class at Anthony Elementary has also chosen to ďadoptĒ the firefighters and correspond directly with them. 

 

Itís my sincere hope that you feel like your donations have mattered and that you feel a connection with one of the true heroes of September 11.  I know for a fact that a family who lost a father and husband and a bunch of grieving firemen in the Bronx are grateful for the generosity of the people of a small town in Kansas called Anthony.

 

Last modified:  September 23, 2010  

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