For many of our friends and neighbors, the pain and tragedy of September 11, 2001, is something they suffer through each and every day.
We should never forget what happened that day – especially the way our brave and dedicated law enforcement officers, firefighters and medical service personnel put their lives on the line to help save the lives of our citizens.
I recently joined my colleagues in the New York State Senate to pass three bills honoring the state’s brave first responders and those who lost their lives from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The first bill would rename the Queens Midtown Tunnel the “New York State First Responders Tunnel” in honor of the sacrifices first responders made on 9/11 and the service they continue to perform every day. By designating the Queens Midtown Tunnel as the New York First Responders Tunnel, the state can pay tribute to the brave men and women who acted to help others that day, as well as the continued work first responders do to protect and serve communities throughout the state.
The second bill designates the month of September as Firefighter, Police Officer, and Emergency Medical Technician Appreciation Month in New York to celebrate their efforts and sacrifices to vigilantly serve their communities, both on 9/11 and every day.
We also approved a measure that would commemorate all the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by creating a distinctive commemorative license plate. Portions of the collected charges would be used for the purpose of providing scholarship money for the families of 9/11 victims.
The bills passed today build upon our ongoing commitment to recognize the sacrifices of those lost on 9/11 and the first responders who have died or continue to experience significant health issues as a result of the recovery efforts that followed.
This year’s budget also included $17.6 million to support 1,000 scholarships for the families and financial dependents of the victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled on 9/11 and the resulting rescue and recovery efforts.
Funding was also included for the New York State Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers. Forty-two scholarships will be funded to help the children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers, and emergency medical service workers who died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty.
The first repsonders from 9/11 deserve special recognition, and I will continue to do all that I can to support those who sacrificed for our State during its hour of need.
- ANDREW J. LANZA, Senator