Reps. Israel & King Announce New Legislation to Create a 9/11 First Responders Oral History Project at the Library of Congress
April 4, 2011
Legislation based on work being done by the 9/11 Oral History Project in Islandia
Hauppauge, NY— On Monday, Reps. Steve Israel (NY-2) and Peter King (NY-3) joined with Dr. Benjamin Luft, principal investigator for the 9/11 Oral History Project and Director of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program SUNY Stony Brook, to announce new legislation to create a 9/11 First Responders Oral History Project at the Library of Congress.
“This September will mark 10 years since the tragedy of 9/11. That day has left us with stories of sadness and suffering, but also stories of heroism and compassion. It’s important to preserve the history of that day and save the stories from the first responders who put their lives on the line,” said Rep. Israel. “Dr. Benjamin Luft has been working with 9/11 first responders in an effort to document their memories for future generations. His work brought Congressman King and I together to introduce a bill that will make Dr. Luft’s effort part of a national program through the Library of Congress.”
“This legislation will ensure that the heroics of our First Responders on September 11th are preserved for generations to come. It will not only honor their courage and sacrifice but will serve as a constant reminder of the evil that was inflicted on our nation,” said Rep. King.
“The power of the responders stories and actions, their motivation, courage and resiliency, their altruism, patriotism and sense of community, are an important part of our common legacy. They are the common heroes who inspire and guide us. Preserving these stories is important for us now as well as for generations to come,” said Dr. Luft.
“As a 9/11 responder, I simply cannot thank Rep. Israel and Rep. King enough for introducing legislation that would make the 9/11 Responder Oral History Project a permanent fixture in the Library of Congress. What Dr. Luft has created, is a healing process for the 9/11 community through this historic project. While we simply cannot change that dark day and the horrific aftermath it has caused, together we can create an historic and intimate detailed oriented view from the responders themselves. This legislation will ensure we are never forgotten, and the sacrifice made by so many amazing men and woman will be etched in history forever,” said John Feal, founder of the Feal Good Foundation and the first person interviewed for the oral history project.
More than 50,000 workers from across the country responded to assist following the attacks of 9/11. Dr. Luft has been able to document more than 125 stories, primarily from those on Long Island and in the New York metro region. Rep. Israel and King’s bill would make the program national, allowing for oral histories to be collected from across the country and preserved at the Library of Congress.
The 9/11 First Responders History Project Act of 2011 is bipartisan legislation being introduced by Reps. Israel and King to authorize the Library of Congress to create a new federally sponsored project that will coordinate at a national level the collection of video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of emergency responders and recovery and cleanup workers who responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The project will build upon and complement previous and ongoing documentary work. It will also assist and encourage local efforts to preserve the memories of 9/11 workers so that Americans of all current and future generations may hear from them directly and better appreciate the sacrifices they made.