New legislation (S.4166) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. to create an annual September 11, 2001 day of remembrance and brief moment of silence in New York’s public schools took a positive step forward after being approved by the Senate Education Committee.
“It’s hard to imagine that almost 18 years have passed since the horrific 9-11 terrorist attacks that stole the lives of thousands of innocent people in New York that day and even today, as the illnesses and related deaths continue in the lingering aftermath of this devastating assault on our country,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “While it may seem to many of us like the attacks only happened yesterday, it’s important to realize that the vast majority of the children in our schools today weren’t even born when this tragedy occurred.”
Addabbo believes an official observance of September 11th in New York’s public schools will help to ensure that the events of that day are never forgotten, and that the state’s young people are fully educated about the terrorist attacks. Under the legislation, a brief period of silence – which would not be of a religious nature – would be observed at the opening of the school day to encourage dialogue in the classroom about the history of 9-11 and how it affected New York City, New York State and the rest of the country.
“There is a great deal of sadness and grief associated with the September 11th attacks, but that period in our country’s history was also marked by extraordinary displays of heroism and humanity, especially by our first responders, who joined in a groundswell of national unity, and the beginning of determined efforts to prevent similar devastating tragedies from repeating themselves,” said Addabbo. “Even while our children are being taught about the almost 3,000 lives lost, and the more than 6,000 people injured on September 11th, they will also have the opportunity to learn how people of diverse backgrounds immediately came together following the attacks to begin efforts aimed at healing our country.”
Addabbo’s Queens Senate District was particularly hard hit by the September 11th attacks, with hundreds of residents, including many first responders from Rockaway and other areas, among those who perished.
“Establishing a September 11th Remembrance Day in our public schools will also honor the memories of the many brave men and women who ran towards the Twin Towers, instead of away from them, to help save lives at their own peril,” said Addabbo. “This is just one more way to make sure that we never forget 9-11, and that we continue to work together – in our neighborhoods, in our state, and across our country – to build a safer and more peaceful future for all of us.”
Now that the Senate bill has been approved by the Senate Education Committee, it will be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. In the Assembly, the legislation (A.1801) is under review by the Assembly Education Committee.