Former New York Gov. George Pataki lamented what he said were the lessons already lost from Sept. 11, 2001, saying many in the nation already have forgotten the sacrifice of the first responders — particularly police — who ran into the World Trade Center and Pentagon after they were attacked.
Pataki, who was governor at the time of the terrorist attacks in which Islamic radicals hijacked four commercial airliners and crashed them, recalled the day to Newsmax TV on Friday, its 19th anniversary.
"It's always a tough day," he said on "Greg Kelly Reports." Kelly was a local reporter who covered the attacks. "You have a tremendous sense of loss and anger about the attacks. But you also have a sense of pride about how we responded. And I do worry, that not only after the 20th anniversary next year, but right now we forgot many of the lessons, No. 1, that our police officers and our firefighters and our EMTs are really heroes. They're the ones who rushed into those buildings to save our lives and many of them lost their lives. Years after that, we understood what their sacrifice meant to us.
"Now we see police around the country being demonized unfairly, so I worry not only that people might not pay the appropriate attention to Sept. 11, but more importantly they're going to forget, really, the heroes who got us through those days."
Pataki's remarks referred to the claims of "systemic racism" in law enforcement made by the group Black Lives Matter and its adherents following the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis while in police custody on Memorial Day.
After once being hailed as inspirations, Pataki bemoaned how emergency workers, especially police, are denigrated.
"I'm proud of the leadership we all provided, but it was the people like those firefighters, like those police officers, those are the ones who inspired Americans and got us through," he said.
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