Statement of the New York State Nurses Association on the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 Tragedy

For Immediate Release: Sept. 10, 2021
Contact: Carl Ginsburg |

New York City - On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the New York State Nurses Association is honoring the 2,983 lives lost during the attacks on the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania. The 412 first responders who lost their lives at Ground Zero in NYC — firefighters and other emergency workers — go down in history as among our most brave and selfless.

The destruction of the twin towers and adjacent communities exposed hundreds of thousands of survivors to dust and fumes from collapsing buildings, to combustion of jet fuel and its lingering fires, and to extreme psychological trauma. Exposures to environmental hazards and psychological stressors continued during the months of recovery work that followed. Tens of thousands of workers at Ground Zero reported asthma and lung disease linked to their time there. Illnesses still continue to be traced to the collapse of the towers.

No one will forget that day. As courageous nurses battle the COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines today, we honor those nurses whose selflessness and bravery were beacons of hope on 9/11.

“We will never forget the families who lost their loved ones on 9/11 – one of the most tragic and sorrowful days in our nation’s history. As nurses and healers, we recognize the overwhelming challenge this loss represents to the families. We extend ourselves to help in any way possible, to heal these terrible wounds.” - NYSNA President Nancy Hagans, RN

“The nurses of New York City’s public hospitals extend our deepest and most profound sympathies to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. No doubt this day brings back very painful memories. For those still suffering physical harm or psychological trauma, care must be extended or continued, as illness and hardship persist. We are here to help with the healing in any way we can.” - NYSNA Board Member Judith Cutchin, RN and President, NYSNA’s NYC H+H/Mayorals Executive Council

“I’m keenly aware that the 20th anniversary of September 11th is approaching because my son turned 19 in April. I was pregnant when I responded to Ground Zero to offer medical care to our First Responders. I will never forget the devastation I witnessed and so grateful my son was born healthy. I remember those who lost their lives that tragic day and I pray for their families and friends who are still grieving. I hope they are comforted knowing that others share their pain.” - Patricia Tyrrell, Mayoral RN


The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, visit


The New York State Nurses Association is a union of 42,000 frontline nurses united together for strength at work, our practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. We are New York's largest union and professional association for registered nurses.