Sweeney: 9/11 moment of silence should be mandatory in NJ
TRENTON — State Senate President Steve Sweeney said he would like to see New Jersey follow New York in adopting a law requiring a moment of silence every Sept. 11 and would draft legislation to make it happen if bills didn't already exist.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Monday requiring the moment of silence in schools and designating every 9/11 as a Day of Remembrance.
When asked by NJ.com if New Jersey lawmakers should enact such a law, Sweeney said "absolutely" but didn't know if any bills existed in the Legislature.
There are two bills that have been in committee since 2018 that could bring both provisions of the New York law to New Jersey, according to the legislative website.
- S1717 would require a one-minute moment of silence at 10 a.m. It was introduced on by state Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex, and co-sponsored by state Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Morris. It was introduced on Feb. 5, 2018 and was referred to the Senate Education Committee where it remains. Codey has introduced the bill every session since Sept. 12, 2002.
- A4345 would establish "September 11 Remembrance Day" to honor those who lost their lives and "serve as an annual reminder and lesson to students that freedom is not free, but can be preserved only at the cost of great personal sacrifice and adherence to duty." It also comes with a moment of silence, and specifies the day would happen on the day closest to 9/11 when the date falls on a weekend. It was introduced Feb. 1, 2018 by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, D-Mercer, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, D-Hudson, and referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
DeAngelo on Wednesday said the legislation is about preserving the legacy of rescuers and victims "for generations to come."
“In the coming years, more and more children who were not yet born before 9/11 will go to school and, hopefully, learn about what happened that day in a history class," he said. "By asking school administrators’ to take a moment each year with their students to remember this historic event, we continue to honor our fallen heroes and all who lost their lives in this tragedy."
Gov. Phil Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy attended a ceremony at the Sept. 11 Memorial in Manhattan on Wednesday. The governor will attend a ceremony in North Brunswick on Wednesday evening while the first lady will be in Old Bridge.
Seven hundred and fifty New Jersey residents lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a plane that crashed in western Pennsylvania.
Michael Symons contributed to this report.
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