We must always remember the men and women we lost that day


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Today marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that forever changed America and New York. As someone who spent my life in law enforcement, I went to work as the Chief of the MTA Police that day — just as every other — prepared for anything. Never did anyone imagine the magnitude of destruction that would befall New York City. The exemplary bravery and action displayed by all of our trained first responders, as well as the hundreds of our extraordinary Americans who sprung into action was nothing short of remarkable and saved an untold number of lives.

As Chief of the MTA Police (1999-2003), my primary responsibility was to safely evacuate New Yorkers and secure our infrastructure. I am enormously proud of the work of the MTAPD on that day, and all the days after. In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans were forced to confront a new reality and diligence about our safety. That included wholesale changes to our law enforcement departments and hardening our infrastructure, including our transit system.

Today, we are a stronger and safer nation, but we must always remember the men and women we lost that day. We can never forget that New York continues to be the number one terrorist target in the world. It is incumbent upon all of us to be united in our shared commitment to protecting the safety of Americans and the freedoms afforded by our exceptional nation. May God bless America.

James O'Donnell

Goshen



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