On this day 16 years ago our nation changed forever after the devastating events of 9/11. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost, destroying families and communities across the country and shaking New York to its core. It was an attack on our nation's values and everything we hold dear, and we owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who answered the call in the aftermath of these terrible events as we searched for loved ones and undertook a massive recovery effort.
The service of many state and municipal employees who helped in the recovery effort has had lifelong health implications, and we must make sure they are given the care and respect they deserve. Legislation (A.7901A) championed in the Assembly and today signed into law by Governor Cuomo will ensure that these officers and employees who participated in the rescue, recovery or cleanup of the World Trade Center and subsequently developed a qualifying condition receive line of duty sick leave.
Just as we must never forget the terrible tragedies that unfolded on 9/11, we must always honor the brave and selfless sacrifices of so many who helped New York City recover. That is a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid, but we must do all we can to ensure they are cared for should they develop an illness related to their heroic efforts.