State Sen. Joe Griffo, who represents Lewis County and part of St. Lawrence County, released the following statement this morning about the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks (he was in Manhattan that day):
"Ten years ago, on September 11th, 2001, I woke up in New York City little knowing the level of tragedy and heroism that awaited the city and our nation that day.
From the first, as the awareness of a massive accident became a realization that we were under attack in New York City, in Washington and in the skies over Pennsylvania on Flight 93, this nation responded with determination and sacrifice. I can tell you that on the streets of Manhattan that terrible day, and all through that long night, the shock and loss of the attacks was mingled with a resolve to fight back, to rebuild, and to deny the terrorists that attacked our nation the victory they sought. Even as a wounded nation, tested by a terrorist attack on our soil and in our cities, America’s greatness shone through.
On September 11th, 2001, and in its aftermath, we saw the greatness of America in the bravery of victims; in the heroism of first responders who laid down their lives to save others; in the compassion of people who stepped forward to help those they had never met; and in the generosity of millions of Americans who enriched our country with acts of service and kindness. As we remember September 11, 2001, we reaffirm the vows made in the earliest hours of our grief and anger. As liberty's home and defender, America will not tire, will not falter, and will not fail in doing what is right for those we lost, and those we remember.
As someone who was in New York City 10 years ago, I know that this anniversary is an intensely emotional time for those who were impacted by the events of the September 11, 2001 – either through the loss of loved ones, the involvement of friends and families in the disasters, and those whose loved ones are now far from home in America’s armed forces. On this anniversary of the attacks, we continue to look back at the innocent victims of terror and the heroic first responders who carried our nation through its valley of grief by their selfless acts of courage. We also honor the men and women who over the last 10 years have served the nation here and abroad.
We will not forget the faces we recall, the images that seared into our minds from that day, or the sight of the American flag raised at Ground Zero – a symbol that the spirit of America lives not in it buildings, but in its people.
For many of us, this remains an intensely personal day as we recall a day when Americans living out their dreams of a better life were taken from us in New York City, Washington and aboard Flight 93. We have all felt a deep and terrible grief. But we have also been filled with a new sense of the bonds that unite us as Americans. In that spirit of unity, of quiet courage, and of dedication to the cause of freedom, a spirit that has become a part of our national fabric in these 10 years, I ask that we now pause together, honor those we have lost and pray for those in service to our nation and our communities."