ILLINOIS - Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Local politicians took to social media to express their sorrow for the 2,977 victims and their gratitude to the first responders who were on the scene.
“Twenty-two years ago today, our lives were forever changed,” State Representative Amy Elik wrote on social media. “Today we remember the heroes who emerged that day, from first responders who ran toward danger, to the everyday Americans who risked their own safety to help any way that they could. Today we remember the thousands of innocent lives lost in the terror attacks and rededicate ourselves to always standing against hate and evil in this world.”
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The 9/11 casualties included 343 firefighters. At Edwardsville Middle School, the Edwardsville Fire and Police Departments were invited to a morning flag-lowering ceremony. Students took turns lowering the American flag to half-mast as the firefighters and police officers looked on.
“America will always remember those who we lost, the heroes who ran into danger, and the pain that we turned into strength,” Representative Mary Miller wrote. “May we never forget. God Bless our great nation.”
While the tragedy cost 2,977 Americans their lives that day, the number of deaths that can be attributed to 9/11 is actually much higher. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 71,000 people have been diagnosed with physical and mental health conditions as a result of 9/11, some of which have been fatal. Exposure to dust, smoke, toxic debris and trauma account for many of these health issues.
“On this solemn day of remembrance, we honor the thousands of lives lost at the hands of violent extremism,” Governor J.B. Pritzker wrote. “[T]here are still no words to accurately capture the suffering that was endured.”
The effects of 9/11 are far-reaching and won’t be fully understood for several decades. Surveys have shown that over half of Americans believe 9/11 permanently changed life in the United States.
“Today, we pause to honor the memory of those we lost on September 11, 2001,” State Senator Erica Harriss wrote. “On this day, our nation showed immense strength, unity, and resilience in the face of tragedy. Let's never forget the heroes who rushed to help, the lives that were forever changed, and the enduring spirit of the American people.”
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