WOOD-RIDGE – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic, issued the following statement regarding the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in which terrorists hijacked planes and used them to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers rushed the cockpit in order to thwart the terrorists’ plans:
“Seven years ago, the world we knew changed dramatically. The myth of American invulnerability was shattered when our enemies from across the globe launched a deadly assault on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks, with thousands more injured.
“These attacks resonated with the residents of North Jersey. The casualties weren’t just faceless names or nameless statistics in news accounts; they were our neighbors, our family members and our friends. Many of my constituents travelled every day into Manhattan for work. On September 11, some never made it home.
“Today, seven years after the events of September 11, 2001, we are still facing the repercussions of that day. Our world is less safe than it used to be. We’re engaged in a War on Terrorism, and our sons and daughters are fighting valiantly around the globe to secure peace at home. We must be ever-vigilant against our enemies who hate us not for our faults as humans, but for our virtues as Americans – the inalienable rights to freedom and liberty for all which we sometimes take for granted living in the United States.
“Today should always be a day of mourning and remembrance. We must teach our kids that tragedy can be overcome, and we must keep in our hearts the memories of those who were taken away from us too soon, and those who have sacrificed their lives so that the rest of us can live in peace. I urge the families in my district today to talk about what happened seven years ago, and to pay proper respect to those who have passed in what was an unthinkable assault on American freedom.
“To paraphrase President Franklin Roosevelt, September 11 will always be ‘a day which will live in infamy.’ But my sincerest hope for all Americans is that, on this day, we can come together, people of different ethnicities, races, creeds and political beliefs, united in our shared Americanism, and dedicated to the idea that the men and women who died on September 11 and since have not died in vain. In their memory, I look forward to a safer future for my own children, and America’s children as a whole.
“We must never forget the sacrifices, and work to touch the hearts and minds of those who despise us. September 11 may be a reminder of our loss, but it’s also a rallying point for what we can accomplish around the world, in bringing peace, liberty and freedom to those who need it most. It’s for us to ensure that the legacy of September 11, 2001 is not one of death and mourning, but of a brighter, more peaceful future for all mankind.”