While the 9/11 Memorial & Museum was testing its annual “Tribute in Light” to honor all those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato was reaching out to principals across her district to remind them of a law she passed in 2019 to commemorate the events of that horrific day 22 years ago.
Pheffer Amato succeeded in passing legislation with Senator Joseph Addabbo that would require all public schools across the state to observe a moment of silence and discuss the tragic events of 9/11. Since the signing of their legislation by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, the law has not been implemented due to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic or 9/11 falling on a weekend.
“The terrorist attack had — and still has — a deep impact on our state’s history and was felt by many residents in my district, and across our great state,” Pheffer Amato said. “There are so many of us who suffered personal loss because of the attacks at the World Trade Center, along with the impact it left.”
Her legislation amends the New York State Education law to make a special provision for the observance of a “brief period of silence” each Sept. 11 at the start of the school day. According to the language of the bill, this would provide students with the “opportunity for silent prayer or silent reflection” on the anniversary day.
“As no student currently in K-12 was alive during the attack, it is imperative that our public education system takes the time to educate students on both the loss and heroism experienced on Sept. 11,” Pheffer Amato said. “By mandating a brief moment of silent reflection every year on Sept. 11th, we ensure that future generations will better understand this day and its place in our history.”
Pheffer Amato is known as one of the most successful legislators for 9/11 victims and first responders and is responsible for ensuring the longevity of the September 11th Workers Protection Task Force which created the pension benefits for first responders who participated in the rescue, recovery and cleanup of Ground Zero.
Aditionally, Pheffer Amato was the sponsor and led the legislation that ensured that public employees involved in the rescue and cleanup of the World Trade Center would have unlimited line of duty sick leave for any 9/11-related illnesses.