Never Forget — Should 9/11 be NJ and national holiday?
🔺 9/11 is unlikely to become a state or federal holiday
🔺 Monmouth County and Shrewsbury have declared their own holidays
🔺 Some worry an official holiday would take away from solemn remembrances
Efforts to make Sept. 11 a state and national holiday to honor those who died in the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon have failed in recent years.
One New Jersey County and now a local municipality have decided to declare local holidays to honor the victims, first responders, volunteers and all who were affected by that dark day.
In June, Monmouth County Commissioners declared Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, to be a county holiday. County offices will be closed, and no non-essential services will be provided.
Monmouth County had the highest number of 9/11 victims from New Jersey. 147 county residents perished in the twin tower attacks.
“We need to acknowledge a day of rest and remembrance so that everyone is given the opportunity to observe 9/11, whether by attending a ceremony, visiting a local memorial, thanking a first responder or talking to our children about what happened on 9/11,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone.
The Borough of Shrewsbury has now followed with a similar resolution.
"We take great pride in being the first municipality in Monmouth County to formally observe September 11 as a designated holiday," Mayor Erik Anderson said. "We urge all our citizens to take a moment to reflect upon the lives lost on the that fateful day and show our deepest appreciation for the selfless sacrifices made by our brave first responders."
While designated as a local and county holiday, businesses are not required to close nor are they required to give employees paid time off.
Will 9/11 become a Federal Holiday?
That is unlikely.
In 2001, congress declared Sept. 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance and named it Patriot Day, but stopped short of making 9/11 an official federal holiday.
A group of congressmen from New York State have once again launched an effort to make 9/11 the nation's 12th official holiday, but their legislation is unlikely to pass.
It would come with a huge cost
The National Taxpayers Union estimates the current 11 holidays cost taxpayers over $9 billion.
Federal employees get the day off with pay. Those that do work generally receive premium holiday pay.
It's estimated each of the 11 federal holidays cost the government around $850 million.
Would an official holiday devalue 9/11?
September 11 is one of the darkest days in American history. It is typically marked by solemn remembrances and memorial services.
There are concerns that if Congress did make 9/11 the 12th National Holiday, it would turn it into just another day off from work.
Another concern is the commercialization of the solemn holiday, with retailers offering big sales and turning it into a shopping holiday like we have seen for other federal holidays.
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