Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that he signed into law a piece of legislation designating Sept. 11 as Remembrance Day in New York state. 

The new law allows for a brief moment of silence in public schools across the state at the beginning of the school day every Sept. 11 to encourage dialogue and education in the classroom, and to ensure future generations have an understanding of the terrorist attacks and their place in history.

Those of us who were around as the events of that tragic day unfolded will certainly “never forget” where we were when we first heard the seemingly impossible news that the World Trade Center in New York City was under attack.

Of course, the friends and family members of all the victims who lost their lives at Ground Zero and perished in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania are forever touched by how the events unfolded on that dark day. 

Eighteen years later, there are now children, young adults and even adults among us who have no direct recollection of Sept. 11 and whose only knowledge of it comes from lessons taught in classes or seen through footage aired on television as part of look-back series or documentaries.  

Formally establishing a Remembrance Day for students of all ages across New York is a good way to forever acknowledge the life-changing events of that day, especially for individuals who were too young to have experienced it firsthand. 

“(Sept. 11) was one of the single darkest periods in this state’s and this nation’s history, and we owe it to those we lost and to the countless heroes who ran toward danger that day and the days that followed to do everything we can to keep their memory alive,” Cuomo said in announcement about his signing of the new legislation. “By establishing this annual day of remembrance and a brief moment of silence in public schools, we will help ensure we never forget — not just the pain of that moment but of the courage, sacrifice and outpouring of love that defined our response.”

Sept. 11 remains a somber anniversary for Americans of all ages and today is certainly a day to reflect on the lives of the victims, the bravery of the first responders and the hard work involved in mounting the considerable and admirable recovery effort. 

Requiring young Americans who did not have firsthand experience with the terrorist attacks or the aftermath to take a few minutes to pause in reflection of the events of that day is a logical and acceptable way to ensure that New Yorkers of all ages “never forget.” 

Recommended for you