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Editorial: Care for responders, moments of silence on 9/11

Wednesday is Sept. 11, a day that resonates forever with those of us who remember vividly the terrorist attacks that sent the nation into shock and grief.

The memory is wrenching for New Yorkers who watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, for Washingtonians who saw the Pentagon’s piercing and for Pennsylvanians who witnessed the scarred ground.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists took control of commercial airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Another plane crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside after the brave revolt of its passengers.

Gut-wrenching emotions resonate today as so many brave heroes who rushed into danger still suffer from the fallout. Only recently, after strenuous efforts by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and by the comedian Jon Stewart, did the fund get reauthorized for the next seven decades.

The permanent care of thousands of emergency workers who toiled for months amid toxic fumes in the aftermath in lower Manhattan, as well as some local citizens, should never have been in doubt.

Now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation establishing Sept. 11th Remembrance Day. It honors those whose lives were lost with a brief moment of silence in public schools at the beginning of the school day each Sept. 11.

It is appropriate that this law take effect immediately. Schoolchildren must learn about the tragedy that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, and understand the sacrifice so many made so that they could continue to live and prosper in the United States.

Americans of all backgrounds stood together on Sept. 11. It’s a day for us all to take a moment of silence, paying our respects to those whose sacrifice make it possible for us to keep living free.

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