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September 11, 2001 – September 11, 2021: A tribute to transportation workers

Washington, DC – President Greg Regan and Secretary-Treasurer Shari Semelsberger of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issue this statement on the 20th remembrance of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks:

“This weekend, as our nation marks the 20th remembrance of September 11, 2001, we remember and honor those whose lives were lost or forever altered by the terrorist attacks that took place on American soil.

“We pay special tribute to the crews of American Airlines Flights 77 and 11 and United Airlines Flights 175 and 93 who selflessly and heroically put the wellbeing of their passengers above their own and, tragically, paid the ultimate sacrifice that morning.

“We also recognize and thank the frontline transportation workers and first responders who went above and beyond the call of duty that day to ensure the safety of the American public. Air traffic controllers at towers across the country safely and efficiently cleared our national airspace and secured our country from additional airborne threats. Despite the unimaginable horror, bus, subway, and rail operators in New York and Washington, D.C. collectively helped millions make it home to their families. Ship captains, engineers, and deckhands in New York rescued nearly 500,000 people in the largest sea evacuation in history. And for days, weeks, and months following the attacks, countless transportation workers ferried first responders to the Pentagon, Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania, and Ground Zero in New York City; delivered critical supplies to those in need; worked to rebuild trust in our aviation system; strengthened our national safety and security; and helped heal the wounds of a nation.

“That tragic day showed America what TTD knows to be true about America’s frontline transportation workers: in times of crisis, it is their strength, determination, and resilience that carries us forward.

“Twenty years later, as our nation faces a new crisis, transportation workers have once again risen to the moment to lead relief and recovery efforts. Without question or hesitation, they have put their own health and safety on the line, transporting healthcare and other essential workers to the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring hospitals have the supplies they need, and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to communities throughout our country and around the world. They have ensured that the goods Americans count on every day continue to stock the shelves of our supermarkets, and, as our country gradually reopens, that people returning to their offices have safe and reliable transit options. These dedicated professionals demonstrate tremendous courage and show us the true meaning of the word ‘essential.’

“On this, the 20th remembrance of the September 11 terrorist attacks, we remember those who gave their lives, and recommit to our efforts to enhance the safety and security of our transportation system, protect our frontline workers, and ensure they have the resources needed to keep powering our country forward. Without question, this dedicated workforce is #EssentialAlways.”