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September 11, 2013

September 11th Remembered: Statement from Jodi Flowers on the memorial of 9/11

Ron Motley devoted the final decade of his life fiercely seeking justice for victims of the 9/11 attacks. Just last year, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Ron Motley wrote that he was “struck by how different this day may seem compared with the 10th anniversary that drew so much national and international attention.” 

9/11 matters. Justice for the 9/11 victims matters. Holding accountable those who bankrolled the 9/11 attacks matters.

While Ron Motley recently died, his unrelenting fight for justice for the 9/11 victims lives on. As Ron said then, and it bears repeating now, this day of remembrance remains vitally important and powerful for 9/11 families and survivors—and it always will.   

The 9/11 families and Motley Rice can never forget that 19 terrorists were given visas to come to the U.S., rented apartments, rented cars, took flight lessons and bought first-class airline tickets to plan and execute their plot.  All this was done by 19 supposed “students” – many of whom spoke little or no English. Clearly, the operation required training, money and extensive material support.  Those who gave that support have never had to answer for it.

To witness the ongoing vitality of Islamic jihadi terrorists, all one need to do is look around. Americans are currently watching the world debate and wrestle with a horrible chemical weapons attack in Syria.  

Here at home, innocent people are trying to put their lives back together after losing a loved one or their limbs at the hands of the Boston Marathon bombers. The players may seem to change, but the flow of material support has not.  And it is precisely that lifeblood of material support for terrorists attacks that Ron Motley fought so hard to choke off through civil litigation in the American justice system.   

The 9/11 families struggle does not begin nor end with civil litigation. Currently, Members of Congress are preparing to re-introduce legislation on the families’ behalf that will make it more difficult to evade liability if you knowingly give material support to terrorists. That bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last year under the sponsorship of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). This year he is joined by Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Jerrold Naddler (D-NY) as the lead sponsor and original cosponsor respectively in the House of Representatives.

Notably, this 12th anniversary comes less than a month before the registration deadline for the re-opened 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund for those sickened by exposure to toxins at the 9/11 crash sites—victims Motley Rice proudly serves.  

The strength of the 9/11 families’ and survivors’ determination, dedication and dignity in the face of tragedy inspired Ron Motley to fight to his last breath on behalf of the 9/11 families. Our thoughts are with all 9/11 families and survivors on this sad day of reflection, service and remembrance.

Jodi Westbrook Flowers