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September 8, 2017

16 years later, the 9/11 families continue the fight for justice

by: Jodi Westbrook Flowers

Here in Charleston, S.C., and throughout much of the southeast, communities are preparing for Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest hurricanes on record. Irma sadly claimed lives as it barreled through the Caribbean this week, and is projected to close in on the U.S. soon. At the same time, South Texas is struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. As we face these natural disasters, we pull together as a nation.

Monday marks the 16th memorial of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Americans of all walks of life will remember and honor the 9/11 families and survivors of the brutal terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The coming days will be a difficult time for countless Americans. But, as 9/11 proved to us 16 years ago, our nation is strong and will recover, despite the challenges ahead.

For the 9/11 survivors and families, the pain and the losses of that day have not waned in the time since, and likely never will. Their collective grief has fueled an unwavering resolve for many of these families as they refuse to let their loved ones die in vain. Their goal is to seek justice in hopes other families will not have to suffer as they suffered and sacrificed due to acts of international terrorism.

In September of 2016 the families and survivors’ work came to fruition as Congress overwhelmingly passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, JASTA. The law allows foreign sponsors of terrorist attacks in the U.S. to be held accountable in U.S. civil courts, abolishing foreign governments’ immunity for their role in supporting terror attacks on U.S. soil. 

On 9/11, we also remember the many first responders and others who now find themselves diagnosed with cancers and debilitating respiratory and other diseases caused by exposure to World Trade Center toxic dust and debris.

Motley Rice will never forget 9/11. And like with the storms we regularly face, we will keep calm and carry on.