The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S3145 / A3951) by a vote of 63-0 introduced by State Senator James Sanders Jr. This bill designates the month of September as Firefighter, Police Officer, and Emergency Medical Technician Appreciation Month in celebration of their efforts and sacrifices to vigilantly serve their communities.
Senator Sanders said: "Our brave and devoted police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians should not receive our appreciation only as a result of tragic occurrences. Their unwavering commitment to duty, to our State and to our Nation should always be recognized and honored. It is not only appropriate, but also good public policy, to designate a reasonable period dedicated to showing our appreciation. In tribute to and in cherished memory of our heroes who gave their all on September 11, 2001, this bill will designate the month of September as a time to show appreciation and also provides an annual period where we can recognize and celebrate the service of those who now and in the future will fill the places of our heroes who have served."
On September 11, 2001 America experienced the most devastating attack on its homeland since Japanese suicide bombers struck our naval facilities at Pearl-Harbor. This despicable attack by cowardly terrorists resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 ' innocent civilians and public servants of this State and Nation. Among those who lost their lives were 37 police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, 23 police officers from the New York City Police Department, 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics from the NYC Fire Department, and 8 emergency medical technicians from private hospital units who paid the ultimate price while doing a job to which they were extraordinarily dedicated. Their heroic service and sacrifice is indelible in our history of great public service as Americans.
Since that tragic event, New Yorkers and good people from around the world have paid tribute to the heroism of these firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians and established symbols in cherished memory of their lives and sacrifices. While the acts of bravery and service of those who died on September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten, we all know that those who have taken their places as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians may one day be called upon to make similar sacrifices.