Congressman Nadler Statement on the Anniversary of September 11th
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following statement on the 18th anniversary of September 11:
"I was in Washington that morning and immediately rushed back to New York by train. I saw the smoking wreckage in Lower Manhattan from my train window and expected chaos in the city. But when I exited Penn Station that evening, I was struck by the silence. It was like a scene from out of the movie "On The Beach." The city seemed empty – no cars, no people, no vehicles, no busses, nothing on the streets. Just a strange odor that hung in the air. Knowing the terror and confusion happening just 40 blocks south, the silence was eerie.
"But as we recall the fear and grief of September 11, we cannot forget the signs of hope we saw that morning and in the days, weeks, and months following the attack. The firefighters who ran into those buildings, the police officers who searched for survivors, the co-workers who carried each other down endless stairs, the strangers on the street who guided each other to safety. The construction workers who spent months clearing debris. The legacy of 9/11 is not just one of tragedy and grief. It is one of courage, self-sacrifice, and community. It is one of the American people, through Congress, appropriating $20 billion to help New York begin to recover from the terrorist attack.
"But history would not be complete if we did not acknowledge that the Federal Government exacerbated the massive environmental disaster caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center by insisting, contrary to ample evidence, that the air in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn was safe to breathe.
"Thousands of responders, from all over the country, worked on the World Trade Center site with minimal or no protective equipment. The federal government did not step in to conduct the necessary comprehensive clean-up of the schools, offices, and residences in Lower Manhattan. Instead, students were sent back to schools caught in the dust cloud before the ventilation systems were cleaned. Residents and office workers were sent back to buildings covered in asbestos.
"Mr. Speaker, I thank Congresswoman Maloney for hosting this Special Order hour with me and for being such a champion for the survivors and responders over the years.
"I thank each of our colleagues who come to the floor this evening to remember those we lost and thank all of our colleagues who joined us in voting for and renewing the 9/11 healthcare act."