Donovan, House Pass Bill Designating Ground Zero a National Memorial
Washington, DC….February 9, 2016—Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) this evening voted in support of legislation to designate the 9/11 Memorial a national memorial. The bill passed the House by a 387-12 margin. Donovan spoke in support of the legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives before it passed (full text and link to video below).
Congressman Donovan said, “When the towers fell, they took Americans from every corner of our country. Heroes came to Lower Manhattan to sift through the rubble and pick up the pieces in an inspiring national effort. It’s a site of national tragedy and national heroism, and it must also be the site of a national memorial.”
If signed into law, the legislation would add the 9/11 Memorial to a list of other places of national significance, including the World War II National Memorial in Washington, DC and the Johnstown Flood National Memorial in Pennsylvania.
The bill would also permit the 9/11 Memorial to compete for federal funds for security and maintenance. The facility spends millions per year on security alone, as it remains a top terror target. Federal resources would allow the memorial to remain free to the public and properly maintained.
Text of Rep. Donovan’s Speech on the House Floor
(Video will be uploaded here when available)
15 years ago this September 11th, our country suffered the most deadly and devastating attack since its birth. Terrorists chose the twin towers because they stood proud, and they stood tall -- they stood as symbols of the raw power of a people free to pursue their dreams, to live their values, and to practice their faith.
When the towers fell, they took Americans from every corner of our country. And when the President stood atop a fire engine, and through a bullhorn consoled a broken nation, he spoke to every man, woman, and child in our United States suffering and saddened by an unimaginable act of hate.
Heroes from all over the country came to Lower Manhattan to sift through the rubble and pick up the pieces. It was a site of national tragedy and national heroism.
It must also be a the site of a national memorial.
It's only fitting that the 9/11 memorial receive proper funding, just like every other national memorial. It's sacred ground, and must be maintained accordingly. Also, annual security costs run into the millions, as the site remains a top terror target.
Mr. Speaker, terrorists may have attacked our country at three locations that day, but they attacked the spirit inside all of us. I encourage every member of this body to vote for this legislation, and to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak, thank you Mr. MacArthur for introducing this legislation, and thank you again and always to the heroes of that fateful day.
I yield the remainder of my time.