PHILADELPHIA, July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky. It was just after 9:00 a.m. I was waiting on the runway at LaGuardia to fly back to Washington. Then I got the news. Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center.
I raced out of the terminal. I tried calling my two cousins, both members of the New York City Fire Department. We had grown up together in working class Queens, New York. They were supposed to be off duty. But, then the call came in. Both brothers responded. Only one came home.
On September 12th, I stood at what had been the World Trade Center. All that remained was ash and smoke. My cousin, Battalion Chief John Moran, was listed among the missing, but deep down I knew he wasn't coming back. Neither were the other 342 missing firefighters. The weight of his loss felt heavy. But there beside me that day was Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton, the New York Senator. Hillary Clinton, my friend. She understood the pain my family, our city, our nation were under. She fought to help our city rebuild. And she delivered.
People forget, but the assistance package that was first proposed didn't have a dime for New York. Hillary helped turn that around — securing $20 billion we needed to get New York going again. But, she didn't stop there.
Hundreds worked on the Pile in the days after 9/11. They came first to find survivors, but eventually searched for remains.
They didn't worry about their own health. They were told the air was fine. But, it wasn't. And when health issues emerged years later, Hillary Clinton was still by their side.
She brought families and first responders to Washington. She took them door to door, never letting her colleagues forget the consequences of that terrible day. For almost a decade, Hillary never gave up, and she was there with us when the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was finally passed.
But let me ask you something. Where was Donald Trump in the days, and months, and years after 9/11? He didn't stand at the Pile. He didn't lobby Congress for help. He didn't fight for the first responders. Nope. He cashed in. Collecting $150,000 in federal funds intended to help small businesses recover — even though days after the attack Trump said his properties were not affected.
Hillary sought these funds to help local mom and pop shops get back on their feet. Donald Trump sought a payday for his empire. It was one of our nation's darkest days, but to Trump, it was just another chance to make a quick buck.
Hillary has never and will never forget the reality of that day. And that's why she will never give up on making us a better and stronger nation. My cousin John carried with him a quote from Teddy Roosevelt. It reads, in part:
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
My friends, this is the Hillary Clinton I know. The doer of deeds — who I've stood and worked and fought alongside. This is the Hillary Clinton I believe in. The proven fighter, who has devoted herself to helping American families, American workers, and cops, and firefighters, and first responders. Helping all Americans.
And this is the Hillary Clinton I support. The one who has been in the arena, demonstrating the leadership and determination we need in our next president.
My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans — I'm with Her. I'm with Hillary. Because, Hillary has always, always been with us.