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Rep. Lightbody, House Dems honor first responders on anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2020
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS –State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today issued a statement on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

“I well remember the surprise and horror I felt when I first learned of devastating attack on the World Trade Towers, which have been such an emblem of US ingenuity and strength.  That there was another plane headed for the Pentagon and a fourth over Pennsylvania compounded our grief. The loss of so many of American citizens that day remains as a heavy load on my heart,” said Rep Lightbody. "I was teaching at a middle school in my district at the time, and remember advising the principal not to broadcast the television reports in every classroom, as had been proposed.  We had no idea which of our students or staff members would have a family member or close friend who worked in the Trade Towers, and I was not prepared to have them learn of a personal family loss that way. The coverage rapidly became scenes of first responders rushing towards the towers while others were rushing away.  The scenes on the TV monitors were vivid and horrifying, not suitable for middle school students, not indeed any of us.  Above all, on this day, I remember, honor, and salute the first responders who heroically answered the call in the service of others.” 

House Democrats have long prioritized bills that would help support first responders. In February 2020, Democrats celebrated the House passage of a measure that would allow first responders diagnosed with work-related PTSD to qualify for BWC compensation and benefits, something Democrats have fought for in recent General Assemblies.

This May, in response to the global pandemic, Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) introduced House Bill (HB) 605 to give front line workers, including peace officers, fire fighters and emergency medical workers, access to workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19 while on the job.