WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today issued the following statement commemorating 18 years since the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks:
“Eighteen years ago, countless New Jerseyans watched in horror as the New York skyline was pierced by terror and the course of our nation’s history was forever changed. On this solemn anniversary, we once again take pause to remember the 2,974 victims – including more than 700 New Jerseyans – who perished on September 11th, 2001. It is our responsibility to keep their memories alive, and to stand by the families whose loved ones were so cruelly taken from them.
“Today we also pay tribute to the heroic firefighters, police officers, and emergency personnel who rushed to Ground Zero that day, returned to those toxic embers for weeks on end, and now suffer from life-threatening cancers and other 9/11-related illnesses that have already claimed the lives of more than 2,000 first responders. It should not have taken 18 years to permanently extend the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, but as the original author of the Zadroga Act that made our first responders eligible for benefits, I was glad to cast that vote this year.
“Finally, we can never forget the courage and sacrifice of the Americans who stepped up to defend our nation in the aftermath of 9/11. As Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I know the American people are anxious for every last soldier to come home, and I will continue to push for a strategy that both honors the sacrifices made by our troops, protects the democratic gains of the Afghan people, and ensures that Afghanistan never again becomes a harbor for terrorists bent on killing innocent Americans.
“As we mark the eighteenth anniversary of September 11th, I join all Americans in remembering those we lost that day, those who sacrificed in the days that followed, and those who continue to serve and protect our nation, day in and day out, here at home and around the world.”