WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS: RIOC’S AWKWARD, DELAYED SCRAMBLE FOR A 9/11 TRIBUTE

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It’s almost as if they forgot the value in a 9/11 tribute for Roosevelt Island, and someone prodded them for the 20th Anniversary. It’s scrambled, and it’s late. Little evidence of forethought blew life into their message.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

We Can Do Better Than This 9/11 Tribute on the 20th Anniversary

Reactions were swift.

“Did you get the two announcements from RIOC? They are so poorly written and an embarrassment,” wrote one resident.

For another reader, the first sentence failed grade school grammar.

“Saturday will mark the passing of two decades since New York and the world was forever altered by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,” RIOC’s alleged Communications Team wrote.

“… New York and the world was…” a longtime resident noted the mangled grammar. Was it the best the state agency could do for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11?

We sometimes commit grammatical crimes here at The Daily, but we’re not funded at a quarter mill with a staff of four. And we can’t afford a proofreader. RIOC can.

RIOC’s alleged Communications Team seemed to think we should be commemorating the present on 9/11/21.

“If we really are remembering/commemorating what happened on September 11, 2001,” a disgruntled reader wrote, “there would be a photo of the original buildings.”

Instead, the state agency that never makes a mistake plugged in a contemporary photo with no hint of the Twin Towers. And no credit for wherever they got the image, as is their practice.

No idea why they picked grayscale, depicting a currently healthy skyline.

Are they kidding?

Of the tribute, RIOC’s brain trust says this: “As the concerning Delta variant of COVID-19 remains widespread and accounts for 98% of tested cases in our area, we are not encouraging a gathering.”

Let’s forget, for a moment, that Delta is not “a variant of COVID-19.” It’s a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus spiking the pandemic. COVID-19 is the disease it causes.

Instead, let’s consider the 9/11 Tribute hypocrisy.

First, we now know there is no such thing as coronavirus spread out of doors. And RIOC showed no such caution about “encouraging a gathering” for outdoor movies just two weeks ago. Circumstances are the same.

And the state greatly relaxed restrictions, months ago. Outdoor gatherings, whether for ball games or family celebrations, take place all the time while infection rates remain low for Manhattan and Roosevelt Island.

We can do better than this nebulous 9/11 Tribute

Late Tuesday, RIOC made a promise. “A full schedule of the tribute will be made available this week. We look forward to your participation in this poignant tribute.”

But two days later and two days before the event, RIOC hasn’t offered another word about the 9/11 Tribute.

Come on now. Roosevelt Island can and should do better than this.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster, residents got together, planting a 9/11 tree for permanent remembrance. Beneath the tree, Islanders set a plaque with the names of neighbors lost. Included were firefighters dispatched from the water rescue unit on Main Street.

Roosevelt Islanders cared. Is it too much, asking RIOC to share at least a shadow of that sincerity and commitment?

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