Where were you when you heard that planes had struck the World Trade Center?
September 11th was an Election Day for municipal offices. I was campaigning with Peter Vallone Jr., who was a candidate for the City Council that day. After the attacks, we went to the rooftop of our polling place and saw the Towers burning with our own eyes. It is an experience I will never forget.
What was your initial reaction to the attack?
Like most people, I initially assumed the first plane to strike the Towers was an accident. I realized very quickly, however, that a terrorist attack on the United States was under way and thought of the safety if my family and friends who were in New York City that day.
Ten years later, what are your thoughts and feelings about how far we have come since then?
Much work has been done since 9/11 to increase our preparedness and help prevent another attack. I am particularly proud to have authored our state’s first major anti-terror law after 9/11 – the Energy Security Act – which helps prevent an attack against our energy infrastructure. The approach was subsequently expanded to include other sensitive sites such as chemical storage facilities.
Overall, while our awareness is much higher, the emotional scars of that day will never leave us as we remember those who were lost.