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NY Firefighters, Police Officers Travel to Madrid to Support Bombing Victims - 2004-04-23

A delegation representing New York City firefighters, police officers and construction workers is on its way to Madrid to show support for the victims of the March 11 bombings.

Father Brian Jordan is leading the Ground Zero 9/11 Delegation to Madrid. The Roman Catholic pries served as chaplain at Ground Zero from September 11, 2001 to the end of the recovery period in June 2002.

Father Jordan says the purpose of the trip is to express solidarity with the people of Madrid, after the deadly train bombings in March which killed nearly 200 people.

"We're going to show empathy with those who were in Madrid. And this particular symbolic visit, small delegation, but we want to show our love and support for the people of Madrid and that's the lone motive of humanitarian concern for the fine people of Madrid," he said.

The six-member delegation consists of representatives of the New York Fire and Police Departments, Port Authority Police, and local construction workers, all of whom lost members in the September eleventh World Trade Center tragedy. The group plans to conduct memorial services at each of the three train stations that were attacked in Madrid, as well as visit some of the injured who are still in hospitals.

During the five-day trip, members of the delegation also plan to meet with their Spanish counterparts to show solidarity with the emergency and rescue crews who responded to the March 11 attacks.

Firefighter Willam Fanos, who lost nine immediate co-workers on September eleventh terrorist attack on New York, says he wants the people of Spain to know they are not alone.

"When we were attacked on 9/11, we looked at it as a small problem that we in New York City were facing, and within a short period of time we realized the whole nation was behind us. I'm looking at this from the point of view that we're going there on an international level and letting the people of Spain know we too are behind you. We are going there to let them know that we have been through it and they will make it," he said.

Individual sponsors are funding the trip, which will end April 27.