17 years ago, ‘New York was changed forever,’ Governor says about 9-11 attack

Staff Reports Posted 11 September 2018 at 9:37 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Brockport erected the “Ground Zero” memorial in August 2002, less than a year after the terrorist attacks.

On the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued this statement:

“Seventeen years ago, New York was changed forever by the attacks of September 11, which killed almost 3,000 people. Life could never be the same as before, and it wasn’t.

“But New York recovered, and our recovery spoke volumes about the indomitable human spirit.  In the aftermath of the tragedy, neighbors helped each other to get through the difficult first days and we healed together. There were no Republicans or Democrats, and the other distinctions melted away too. If the attackers sought to somehow teach America a lesson in humility, they achieved the opposite result. We were never prouder of being New Yorkers.

“We also knew that it was important to build back strong, and that is exactly what we have done. Four new skyscrapers have been added so far, as well as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to honor those who perished and a transportation hub to rival Grand Central. On Saturday, we reopened the Cortlandt Street subway station. Taken together, it is a reflection of New York’s determination to rise up even stronger, undiminished by 9/11.

“Most of all, we will never forget the individuals and selfless heroes who did not make it home that day. We owe the brave law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical professionals and other first responders who saved so many lives an eternal debt of gratitude, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with those who participated in the response and recovery and who are currently battling 9/11-related illnesses. We also honor the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces, including the New York National Guard, who protected our freedom then and continue to do so now at home and abroad.

“In New York, will always strive to carry on the legacy of these heroes and continue to serve as a beacon of freedom for the entire world.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer posted these tweets on Twitter:

“We will always fight to make sure our government fully honors the sacrifices of our brave first responders and the memories of those we have lost.  #NeverForget

“New Yorkers and the rest of the country will #NeverForget the bravery so many showed – especially our first responders – on that terrible day.

“17 years ago, my city and our country changed forever. Today, we remember the sacrifice & loss of those on and after #September11th. #NeverForget”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement:

“Seventeen years ago, as the world witnessed a heinous act of barbaric terrorism, we also saw the best of our nation as thousands of firefighters, police officers, federal and local law enforcement officers, medical workers, construction workers, and other heroes selflessly rushed to Ground Zero to answer the call of duty. 2,977 souls lost their lives that horrific day while thousands more stayed on the pile day after day and month after month, first to recover remains, and then to rebuild.

According to scientists, many cancers can lie dormant for more than 20 years before turning deadly. The number of cancer certifications by the World Trade Center Health Program reached over 10,000 cases in 2018 – more than double the 4,781 certifications just three years ago in 2015. As we reach the 20 year milestone and these latent diseases continue to manifest, new claims will continue to rise as we reach the expiration of the current Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) in 2020. Already, the VCF has approved over 17,000 claims with a mean dollar value of $223,000 for personal injury claims and $717,000 for deceased individuals.

“On the seventeenth commemoration of the attack on September 11, 2001, we must all recognize the devastating fact that the death toll continues to rise due to 9/11 related illnesses obtained from the toxins at Ground Zero. As predicted, the scourge of cancer is ruining the lives of first responders, some of whom have been fighting this disease for years, and others who are newly diagnosed every year. The moral obligation of Congress to stand by every one of these heroes who stood up for this nation continues.

“Twice, Congress has come together to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Bill, the latest in 2015 to make the healthcare program for 9/11 first responders permanent. As we near the expiration of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund in 2020, our job is not done. It would be unconscionable for Congress to once again put cops, firefighters and other first responders through the agony and uncertainty of waiting until the last minute of a deadline to extend this essential and well-managed program. Along with my colleagues in the New York Congressional delegation, I am hopeful we can work across the aisle to do the right thing and get this done now.”

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