September 11th is a day no one will ever forget. Like many tragic events of the past – Pearl Harbor, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the bombing in Oklahoma City – every one of us will always remember where we were when we witnessed one of the darkest days in our state and nation’s history.
On the six-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we remember that tragic day and continue to honor the thousands of heroes who lost their lives.
The attacks of September 11 were a cowardly assault upon our country and upon the sense of freedom, peace and safety we enjoy as American citizens.
Yet just as we witnessed the evil and hate of the terrorists, we saw the spirit, courage and selflessness of extraordinary American citizens.
America’s strength was shown in the courage of the victims who lost family members in the attacks, including many of my constituents who lost loved ones.
America’s strength was shown in the heroic actions of the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel and rescue workers who risked their lives to help the victims.
America’s strength was shown in the compassion of the thousands of people who waited in line in communities all across the country to donate blood for their fellow citizens, and the millions of Americans who gave their hard-earned money to help the victims’ families.
America’s strength was shown in the hard work of thousands of school children who held bake sales, put up lemonade stands, raised money at garage sales, and walked door to door collecting relief funds.
America’s strength was shown in the pride of hundreds of volunteers from our area who traveled to New York City to assist in the relief efforts.
America’s strength was shown in the bravery of the men and women of the military who continue to defend our freedom and our nation.
These individuals represent the very best of America. They are heroes and we are truly proud of them all.
In the face of evil, America’s strength prevailed, and continues to prevail today.
We will never forget what happened on September 11, nor should we. For it is memory that will keep the spirit of the victims alive and continue to remind us to never take a single thing for granted, especially our freedom. It is memory that continues to inspire and remind us of the importance of defending our homeland and ensuring that future generations are able to grow up in a land of peace, freedom and opportunity.
Our world changed on September 11, but New Yorkers and Americans have shown that we will not be defeated. Indeed, we are stronger than ever.
God bless New York State and God bless America.