‘Our Country was United’
TRENTON – Senator Nellie Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic) released the following statement today on the 16th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks and in remembrance of a Paterson native who lost his life that day:
“Today, we reflect on the tragic day that forever changed our country and thousands of lives, but we also remember the love that we saw following that time. What I remember most about the time period immediately following the morning of September 11 was the incredible allegiance of American pride that was shown from coast to coast as well as around the world was inspiring. Our country was united in a way I have never seen before.
“The attacks on American soil really hit home for me. I represent the city of Paterson, and on September 11, we lost Kenneth Lira. Kenneth was working on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower. He was a native of Paterson who was 28 years old when he died. Kenneth was a young man, in the prime of his life who had a lot to offer and a heart of gold. My heart goes out to his family and all those who lost loved ones that day, in Manhattan, in Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“There was no shortage of heroes who emerged that day, from those passengers aboard Flight 93 who rushed the cockpit, too the first responders who ran toward the disaster knowing the danger that was ahead. Many of those responders died that day or years later after facing health issues from breathing in the debris and smoke. This is a day to remember those sacrifices.
“One day made a life-changing difference for thousands of people from coast to coast. September 10 the world ran as normal. Children went to school, parents went to work, lower Manhattan functioned as normal so did the Pentagon. A field in Pennsylvania was just a vacant field. One day later, and a life time of changes took place. Families like the Lira family experienced a pain like never before, the Manhattan skyline was forever changed and a quiet Pennsylvania town is now known as a memorial.
“Sixteen years later, the events of September 11, 2001 are still fresh in our minds. Today is a day to reflect and remember how our country came together and it serves as a reminder that we are a country that is better when we are united.”