On Sept. 11, 2001, our nation—and our union—was forever changed.
Twenty years ago, policemen, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other first responders marched into harm’s way with no thought for their own safety. Sadly, many of them sacrificed their own lives trying to save others.
The Teamster response to the attacks was enormous and encompassed dozens of locals across multiple states. The union’s leadership and rank-and-file members stepped up and assisted with the rescue, recovery, cleanup and rebuilding. Today, the Freedom Tower stands where the World Trade Center once stood, and Teamsters were as essential to building it as they were in the cleanup and recovery efforts immediately after Sept. 11, 2001.
Teamsters from across North America also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those who were affected by the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
“On this solemn anniversary, Teamsters everywhere remember the victims of this tragedy, and as a union, take solace that our members could be of service in a time of great national need,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “While the attack stunned and horrified us, it also showed the world the unity, courage and resolve of America’s working people.”
Teamsters have always shown resilience in the face of tragedy. It took another catastrophe for people to remember that those working on the front lines during times of crisis are indispensable.
“Essential workers” has entered the national lexicon since the beginning of the COVID-19 era. More than a million Teamsters never stopped working on the front lines throughout the worldwide pandemic.
“Teamsters have always shown resilience in the face of tragedy,” Hoffa said. “That will never change.”