Every public school in New York state will be required to take a moment of silence on Wednesday in remembrance of the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, according to new state law.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill into law on Monday establishing September 11th Remembrance Day at all public schools in the state in order to “ensure we never forget ― not just the pain of that moment but of the courage, sacrifice and outpouring of love that defined our response,” the governor said.
The legislation requires schools to take a “brief moment of silence” at the beginning of the school day on Sept. 11 every year. The bill was introduced into the New York Senate by state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo (D) this year as another generation of students born after 2001 enters the school system.
“I am hopeful that this new law will mean that the significance of the tragic events of September 11th, whether it be the loss of loved ones or the largest rescue operation our nation ever witnessed, will be forever acknowledged by school students too young to have witnessed this life-changing day,” Addabbo said in a statement.
On the day of the attacks, nearly 3,000 people in the U.S. were killed when terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes. Two of the jets crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, one was flown into the Pentagon and one crashed in an open field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
An estimated 343 Fire Department of New York firefighters and 71 police officers died while responding to the attack on the World Trade Center. According to CNN, 200 firefighters died in the years afterward from illnesses linked to their search and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
“9/11 was one of the single darkest periods in this state’s and this nation’s history, and we owe it to those we lost and to the countless heroes who ran toward danger that day and the days that followed to do everything we can to keep their memory alive,” Cuomo said in a statement.