Like so many New Yorkers, I clearly remember where I was on that crisp, clear morning of September 11th, 2001.
And while more than a decade has now passed, the memory of that tragic day is still fresh in our minds. The sorrow and the pain that we felt are still with us.
More than 3,000 people died on September 11th, many of whom lived within my Senate district and in the districts of my neighboring Senate colleagues. I attended two to three funerals a day in the weeks following those horrific attacks, and I will never forget the strength and courage of the families of those who perished. Their loss is felt every day, but never more so than on this day.
And as we pause to reflect on those who were lost, we also must remember that in the difficult days after the attacks, millions of New Yorkers -- and indeed all Americans -- cast aside their differences and stood as one, united in grief, compassion and resolve.
I’m often asked how we can best honor the memory of those who died on 9/11, including the firefighters, police officers and EMTs who rushed into the burning World Trade Center in a desperate attempt to save lives. My answer is simple: By volunteering your time and energy to help others in your community. Whether it's joining a volunteer fire department, paying a visit to a local veterans' hospital, or simply by donating blood, you can help make a real difference in the lives of people who are in need.
I also encourage you to attend one of the many September 11th memorial commemorations that are taking place in communities across the state, and to continue your strong support for our nation's armed services -- the courageous, young men and women who are defending our freedom at home and abroad.
I hope you will join me in remembering and honoring the lives of those who were lost on that tragic day, and in continuing to demonstrate that we remain the strongest, most compassionate and most resilient nation in the world.
Thank you, and God Bless America today, tomorrow and always.
Joseph A. Griffo