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VIDEO: Rep. Michael Grimm addresses Congress on 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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U.S. Rep. Michael got a close up view of the devastation of Sept. 11.

In a statement delivered on the floor of the House of Representatives, Grimm recalled the horror that took place 13 years ago.

Grimm (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island), who was an FBI agent when the attack on the World Trade Center took place in 2001, was among thousands of first responders frantically searching for survivors in the wreckage.

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“I will never forget what it was like searching for the survivors in the rubble after both towers of the World Trade Center disintegrated into ash. I will never forget the look in the eyes of the firemen, the police, the construction workers as we worked side by side. It was a look of overwhelming despair,” Grimm told his fellow congress members.

He delivered his remarks on Sept. 10, the day before the anniversary.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise alongside my colleagues in the New York delegation also to honor and commemorate the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans whose lives were cut short in the unspeakable attacks on our nation 13 years ago. Like so many of my constituents in Staten Island and in Brooklyn, I have images of the most horrific sight that I have ever seen burned into my memory forever,” Grimm said.

Grimm’s congressional district, which covers the entire borough of Staten Island and includes parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend, has stated in the past that his district lost a large number its citizens in the Sept. 11 tragedy.

“And though our hearts broke at the loss of those taken from us, I am very proud of the fact that Americans soon rallied together. We united around an unshakable truth that the servants of hatred and terror did not strike the greatest nation on earth at random but because we embodied the very freedom and liberty that they so despise,” he said.

The victims deserve to be remembered as heroes, Grimm said. “And may we never, ever forget the sacrifice they bore for our freedom,” he said.

In his House statement, Grimm also called for the reauthorization of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The federal law provides medical treatment for World Trade Center first responders and survivors who suffered serious illnesses as a result of working at the site and breathing toxic air. The statute, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2011, is set to expire next year.

The law is named in memory of Det. James Zadroga, a New York City police detective who was part of the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site. Zadroga died in 2006.

The Zadroga Act has been responsible for the treatment of more than 60,000 first responders and World Trade Center survivors, according to Grimm.

The law also led to the reopening of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), a vehicle for providing economic compensation for losses incurred from the aftermath of the attacks. VCF administrators have deemed over 7,000 individuals eligible for compensation.

 


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