TRENTON – Today, Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, issued the following statement on the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 civilian lives were lost when terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth plane was brought down by passengers in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania:
“My heart goes out to the many families around the Garden State who today mourn the loss of loved ones who died during the shocking and tragic September 11 attacks, as well as those families who are dealing with the health consequences due to subsequent exposure to Ground Zero.
“Next to Manhattan, New Jersey communities suffered the biggest loss of life associated with the September 11 attacks. For us, the attacks weren’t horrific images viewed on a television screen – they hit home in a way many of our fellow Americans simply can’t understand. I hope and pray that the rest of the country will never learn firsthand the pain we felt on that awful late summer morning.
“During our greatest American tragedy, there were moments of human greatness, which shone so bright that they couldn’t be eclipsed by the dark thick smoke rising from the fallen towers. There were police officers, firefighters and emergency response personnel who risked their lives to rescue the wounded. Volunteers from around the tri-state area converged on the site, helping to clear rubble and do what they could to save survivors. Even in Mercer County, on the other side of the State, the line to donate blood was out the door.
“Today should be a time for sorrow – a time for mourning — but it should also be a time for triumph. The American spirit was tested in one of the most despicable actions ever to take place on U.S. soil, and it endured. While we appropriately mourn those who died on September 11, we should also honor our heroes. On their shoulders, we weathered the storm, and we survived.”