September 11, 2009

Gillibrand Statement on September 11: A National Day of Service and Remembrance

Restates Call for Passage of James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act

Washington, D.C. - On the eighth anniversary of September 11, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement recognizing the day as a national day of service and urging Democrats and Republicans to come together to pass the 9/11 health care bill, known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

"September 11 will always live in the hearts and minds of all Americans as a day of national tragedy and heart wrenching loss.  Following the tragedy, we've seen those closest to the victims and other Americans take action on behalf of others - choosing acts of kindness and respect in response to something so incomprehensibly evil.

"Earlier this year, we passed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which names September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance. On this day, Americans around the world will come together to improve the lives of their neighbors.

"The nation coming together with selflessness and resolve is solid proof of the human spirit. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Darkness cannot drive darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.' I applaud the loved ones of the victims of September 11, 2001 and all Americans who have chosen community service as a means of honoring the heroes we lost.

"As we come together in the name of service, we must also remember the thousands of first responders and others who performed the ultimate service, rushing to Ground Zero on 9/11 and in the days and weeks that followed.  Many now suffer life-threatening, long-term health problems stemming from dangerous toxins released in the area.  I remain hopeful that Democrats and Republicans will come together to pass the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act, to provide ongoing medical care for 55,000 World Trade Center responders and 17,500 community members.  We have an undeniable moral obligation to provide the treatment and economic assistance to the rescue workers and innocent people who lived and worked near Ground Zero.  9/11 was an attack on our nation, and we must heal all of those who were harmed."