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Public Statements

Department Of The Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 26, 2007)

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Mr. SIRES. Madam Chair, I move to strike the last word.

I really want to thank Congressman Weiner, this has been an issue that is close to his heart, for offering this amendment.

Let me start my remarks talking a little bit about 9/11. I was the mayor of a small community across from New York, and I was a citizen. I watched as the Towers burned. I will never forget that vision in my mind. It was a symbolic blow to the Nation's spirit. But we have recovered our spirit. Today, America stands strong and proud again. And an important part of the recovery is due to the fact that we were able to get back to work. In short, we got back our lives.

As the Secretary of the Interior, Ms. Norton, said on September 12, 2001 while standing at the Hoover Dam, ``Even though atrocities such as those of September 11 can affect us, they cannot close us down.'' That is why I am cosponsoring this amendment today.

The only national park that remains closed from 9/11 is the crown of the Statue of Liberty. I hope that with this amendment we will open up the crown for visiting once again.

Yes, it is symbolic, but symbols are important. And let me say that there are three sites that most immigrants, when they come to the area, like to look at. One is the Statue of Liberty, the other is going up the Empire State Building, and the other is Niagara Falls. We can go to the other two, but we cannot go all the way up to the Statue of Liberty.

I thank my friend from New York for proposing this amendment and for his time.

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