Monday marked 20 years since first responders in New York City ended search and recovery efforts at Ground Zero following the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
As the country honored members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have given their lives while in service, Gov. Kathy Hochul stopped by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan to honor those who died in the attacks and the countless others who have died from 9/11-related illnesses.
"We will never forget this. Never, ever forget this attack on U.S. soil - unprecedented in its scale," Hochul said. "But there's so many who know the bigger story than for 260 days, people showed up here exposed to toxins and contaminants, so the loss of life that occurred on that day - we did not know it then - but there'd be an effect every single year."
A total of 2,996 people died on 9/11, including 2,763 people who were in the Twin Towers at the time of the attacks. In the 20 years since the attacks, hundreds of others have been affected by 9/11-related illnesses.
The governor went on to honor the city's "incredible resiliency."
"People said we could not come back, close it down, Lower Manhattan is dead now because of that day. But if that had happened, that would have meant the terrorists would have won. And by our strength and determination to bring this city back, we demonstrate, no, they did not win. We want and will continue to win the fight against terrorism, whether it's domestic or foreign terrorism," she said.
Hochul also took a moment to honor those who have worked tirelessly to help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and said, like in the aftermath of 9/11, New York will come back "even stronger."
"I'm proud of New York. I'm proud of what occurred back 20 years ago. I'm also proud of what we're going to do next, that you take the lessons of that strength and resiliency from that time when people said it could not be done. I know we're going to come back after this pandemic and we will come back even stronger than before because we did it 20 years ago," the governor said.