The tragedies of 9/11 and COVID-19 gave me a new appreciation for freedom

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“After the tragedy, New Yorkers are more united than ever in their vision, as well as in appreciation what living in freedom means — and that if we stand together, we can accomplish anything.”

-Governor George E. Pataki

On Sunday, the twenty-first anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, I was invited to attend a memorial reception with George Pataki, New York’s fifty-third governor. 

I was honored to be one of five people chosen to receive his annual Freedom Award for the advocacy I’ve done over the last several years on behalf of the families whose loved ones died after contracting COVID-19 in nursing homes. 

Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean receives the Freedom Award from former New York Gov. George Pataki (Courtesy The Governor George E. Pataki Leadership Center)

My husband Sean Newman, a Battalion Chief with the New York City Fire Department, came with me, on a day that was already filled with grief and sorrow for him.  

On 9/11, he lost all 12 of the men in his firehouse who were working that day as they ran into the World Trade Center before they fell to the ground. And now, over two years

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