A moment of silence for 9/11 is now the law in New York schools

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(CNN) -

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law which mandates public schools across the state to allow a brief moment of silence each year to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The law is intended to "encourage dialogue and education in the classroom" and to ensure that future generations understand the 2001 terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 3,000 people and its place in history, according to a statement from the governor's office.

"9/11 was one of the single darkest periods in this state's and this nation's history, and we owe it to those we lost and to the countless heroes who ran toward danger that day and the days that followed to do everything we can to keep their memory alive," said Cuomo.

"By establishing this annual day of remembrance and a brief moment of silence in public schools, we will help ensure we never forget -- not just the pain of that moment but of the courage, sacrifice and outpouring of love that defined our response," he added.

    The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato and signed into law Monday.

    "The average school-age citizen in New York may have no personal recollection of these events, having not yet been born in 2001, making it imperative that our public education system take the time to educate students in both the loss and heroism experienced on 9/11," Addabbo said.

    There will soon be no students in the public school system that were born at the time of 9/11, and Addabbo and Amato want to ensure that both the victims and those that gave their lives on 9/11 are not forgotten.

      "By mandating a brief moment of silent reflection every year, we may ensure that future generations will better understand this day and its significance in our history," Amato said.

      The new law goes into effect immediately.

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