Today marks 19 years when planes were hijacked and struck into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,977 people. Lives were changed forever. Thousands of survivors were diagnosed with 9/11 related illnesses, people lost their loved ones, and Muslims were attacked and mosques were burned. Nineteen years later, the effects still remain.
At least 42 survivors or first responders from 9/11 have died from COVID-19, THE CITY reported. The number is likely higher. And in the past six months, at least 1,300 people who worked or lived at or near Ground Zero and other 9/11 sites have contracted COVID-19.
To remember and pay tribute to those who died on 9/11, there will be a socially distanced community vigil on the American Veterans Memorial Pier (located at 68th St. & Shore Rd.), hosted by State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Council Member Justin Brannan. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is required to wear a mask. The vigil will be live-streamed on Facebook for those who cannot attend.
“In spite of everything, we fought hard to make sure we could still have our 9/11 memorial ceremony this year,” Brannan wrote. “It is so important that we honor the 9/11 victims and keep their memories alive.”
There will also be a 9/11 vigil at Carmine Carro Center, near the flagpole, today at 5 p.m. This will be hosted by Gounardes, Assemblywoman Jaime Williams, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, and Council Member Alan Maisel. It will be live-streamed on Gounardes’ Facebook page.
“Today marks 19 years when planes were hijacked and struck into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing 2,977 people,” Gounardes said. “Lives were changed forever. Thousands of survivors were diagnosed with 9/11 related illnesses, people lost their loved ones, and Muslims were attacked and mosques were burned. Nineteen years later, the effects still remain.”
“As we mark another year gone since September 11, 2001, we remember all those who lost their lives to hatred — those who perished that fateful day and the survivors and first responders who became sick from the toxins at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and the Shanksville crash site over the last nineteen years,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said.
“As our nation battles COVID-19, I want to encourage every survivor and first responder to sign up for the World Trade Center Health Program so that they can get the care and monitoring they need and deserve. These heroes and their families should also make sure they are signed up for the Victim Compensation Fund. These programs are the least we can provide as a grateful nation who pledged to ‘Never Forget.’”
Congressman Max Rose released this statement: “Today we remember the pain that swept over our nation 19 years ago. Here in New York, it wasn’t just an attack on our country, it was the last time we hugged our loved ones goodbye, or saw our neighbors dropping their kids off at school. And while so many of us wish we could unlearn what that pain, that loss feels like, with each year that passes an entire generation is now learning about September 11th for the first time from a history book, rather than remembering it.”
“And if we’re being honest with ourselves, there are a lot of people outside this city who swore they would never forget and did. I saw it firsthand when politicians had to be shamed into fully funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. But they did it because we made them remember,” he continued. “Those of us who lived through that horrific day carry a heavy burden and responsibility to ensure the memories of those we lost never fade away. To never think—just for a second—that time alone can heal the wounds of loss. And to ensure the Museum—or any institution—charged with protecting the memory of our loved ones never again thinks it’s okay to turn off the lights. We have not forgotten. We will never forget. And together, we’ll make sure the rest of world never will either.”