ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo today signed legislation (S08129/A10249) reconstituting the September 11 Workers Protection Task Force. Formed in 2005, the Task Force was created to obtain data regarding adverse health effects on workers who participated in rescue, recovery, and response at the World Trade Center, identify limitations of existing programs for disabilities of such workers and make recommendations to improve access and scope of these programs.
“These brave men and women selflessly put their health and safety at risk to help New York recover in the aftermath of 9/11 and they deserve to be taken care of the way they took care of us,” Governor Cuomo said. “This measure will help ensure they continue to receive the care they need and that New York is able to act to meet their evolving needs.”
Locally, solemn remembrances of September 11 were marked with services in Poughkeepsie and Wallkill. In Poughkeepsie, City Administrator Marc Nelson told the professional firefighters, police, and members of the community that “Today we must not simply remember these events by recalling the past – we must recall these events as we imagine the future.”
Career firefighters from Poughkeepsie, Arlington, LaGrange, Fairview, and Beacon gathered at Juan Murphy’s to raise a toast to their fallen brothers that perished on 9/11 as well as the ones that continue to die from Ground Zero related illnesses. The toast was raised at 3:43 pm. State Senator Sue Serino and Dutchess County Executive joined the firefighters to mark the solemn nineteenth anniversary. Serino said “It’s always humbling to join these remembrance events alongside career firefighters, police officers, EMTs—the real heroes who never think twice about putting our safety ahead of their own. At a time when our nation feels more divided than ever, as we pause to honor the lives that were lost, may we also take the time to truly reflect and remember the unity we all felt as Americans in the days and weeks that followed. We must never forget the horrific tragedy of September 11th, 2001, and we must also embrace the spirit of September 12th, when we were all Americans first.”
Molinaro, after spending time with Arlington Chief Bill Steenbergh and retired Arlington Deputy Chief John Richardson, said “It is inconceivable that it has been 19 years since evil rose up and struck down so many innocent lives. Men and women of all backgrounds – heroes – though, rose up, rallied our spirit, and helped us back to our feet. First responders sacrifice every day in service to us – and, they deserve our appreciation, support, and we need to show up for them.”