The mayor that America loved.
In the days after September 11, 2001, the Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, became a household name. Dubbed the Mayor of America for his heroism during 9/11, Giuliani rose from a dwindling second term to the pinnacle of his career.
Before the horrific terrorist attack on American soil, I had never heard of Mr. Giuliani. Afterward, this man was all over the news media, magazines, and T.V.
However, eventually, he faded from the limelight. Giuliani returned to private practice until his bid for the Republican 2008 Presidential nomination. He conceded though and endorsed John McCain.
Over the course of the past four years, the world has witnessed Rudi, aka, Trump’s lawyer, in the limelight again. It seems he has become erratic in his speech and behavior. Giuliani grabs the spotlight whenever he can, and spews misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Curious at his decline, I became intrigued and set about to discover the rise and fall of Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani grew up in a middle-class family in Brooklyn, New York. Being a Catholic, at one point, he considered the priesthood but decided on law school. His family’s emphasis on strength and character deeply impacted his life.
Those values influenced Giuliani’s stance on honesty and lawfulness when he was a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York. His tough policies lowered the crime rate and led to the prosecution of New York City crime bosses.
After Giuliani won the 1993 race for mayor, he set about to reform the police department’s policy practices using the broken windows theory targeting minor crimes. This theory suggests that minor crimes such as loitering, public drinking, and jaywalking help to create an atmosphere of lawlessness.
By removing sex clubs and panhandlers, Giuliani promoted a family-friendly environment in Times Square. Businesses, theaters, and the arts returned to attract and strengthen community pride.
I remember the morning of September 11, 2001, while I was watching the breaking news of the Twin Towers right after the terror attack occurred. I sat in horror as the second plane plowed into the South Tower at 9:03.
Then, the North Tower seemed to shimmer against the clear sky. Before I finished my thought, That building is going to fall…. The tower collapsed.
I think the nation took a collective gasp for air.
I was home sick from work, or else I would not have watched the day America changed. The image is burned in my heart forever.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani was two blocks away from the Twin Towers trying to reach the Vice-President when everything went black. The resulting debris from the blast severely damaged or destroyed more than a dozen other adjacent and nearby structures.
Giuliani emerged onto Church Street covered in white ash. He walked north for two miles, comforting people along the way such as a police officer and reporters. Giuliani arrived on the scene only to watch a man leap to his death.
He stopped at a fire station and called a T.V. station, beseeching the city to remain calm. This was the day Giuliani made history. A few hours later, Governor Pataki held a press conference, and Giuliani stepped up to the podium.
In a soft voice, he spoke words affirming the tragedy and the victims. Looking out to the viewers and the families of the victims, he let America know his heart was with them.
Giuliani remained steadfast throughout the ordeal. He made hard decisions, organized command centers, and brought the people of America together. Support poured in for firefighters, police officers, first responders, and family members of victims.
In addition, Mayor Giuliani attended the funerals of victims, sought the advice of experts, and remained transparent about the problems he faced as mayor. He continued to emphasize that Americans must help one another in that collective hour of grief.
Within a short time, Giuliani shot to meteoric fame. Time Magazine named him Person of the Year. Queen Elizabeth II named Giuliani Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his “outstanding help and support to the bereaved British families in New York.”
The Decline of Rudy
Almost 20 years later, however, we see a different man. A long-time ally of Trump, Giuliani threw his support behind the Presidential Nominee at the 2016 Republican National Convention. After the election, Giuliani became Trump’s side-kick, filling a series of roles
From advising on the Muslim ban to becoming an international fixer of global crises, Giuliani was ready to serve. Happy to oblige his boss’s bidding, he trotted all over the world investigating and compiling dossiers of unfounded claims about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
It is still unclear the message Giuliani wanted to convey regarding Hunter’s involvement in Ukraine. I for one am confounded by his theories.
Not operating in any official capacity for the U.S. government, Giuliani inserted himself in foreign relations on behalf of Trump. Then he made a mess of things.
Settling into his role as Trump’s lawyer, he garnered the spotlight again. Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine prompted a whistleblower complaint to be filed that resulted in Trump’s impeachment.
Giuliani’s shenanigans have caused social media, and even his diminishing circle of friends, to question his authenticity and loyalty to the American people. We could trust him two decades ago, but now? Not so much.
In his most recent appearance at a news conference on November 2020, Giuliani attempted to spew more political rhetoric, hoping to overturn the election results. I sadly watched and wondered how he has come to this while the hair dye dripped down the sides of his face.
The Mayor everybody loved and respected, has fallen.
Will he ever realize the error of his ways? I hope so. In these crazy and desperate times, we need another strong calming voice to listen to our troubles and give us hope. Someone to laugh with us, love with us, and grieve with us.
Rudy, please come back to us.