Sept 11 Firefighters Health

Firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts which once faced the outer walls of the World Trade Center towers, after a terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York Sept. 11, 2001.

The world was forever changed on Sept. 11, 2001 when terrorists commandeered four jet airliners and used them to murder 3,000 people and injure 6,000 more on American soil. On this anniversary of that terrible day, we encourage people to fly their flags and reflect on the day — and also to make sure that the young people in their lives become educated about this piece of history.

After 18 years, there is now a generation of young adults who were not alive when the attacks were carried out, but Sept. 11 is still very much with us today, because the trauma still lingers. Families continue to mourn the lives lost that day — and the death toll continues to climb.

An example of that sad reality came to light locally less than two weeks ago with the passing of 59-year-old Stephen B. McLoud, a longtime member of the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office who was fatally sickened while helping with the search and recovery efforts in the toxic dust and smoke of the collapsed World Trade Center towers in New York City. Only time will tell how many more police officers, firefighters and others will succumb to cancer and other illnesses tied to the recovery and cleanup.

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As memories of Sept. 11 fade with time, we're pleased that Auburn continues to recognize the significance of what has since become Patriot Day with a public wreath-laying ceremony at the city's permanent 9/11 memorial outside city hall. We encourage everyone to attend the 8:35 a.m. Wednesday event as a means of paying tribute to the losses America suffered that day — and continues to suffer. And we hope that children are made aware of the importance of this chapter of world history that affected so many right here in New York state.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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