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N.Y. politicians: 9/11 responders deserve plate over Giants

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  • By Associated Press
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- A commemorative license plate for the New York Giants was unveiled hours after their Super Bowl victory.

Now, two New York lawmakers say a similar but delayed tribute to the "real heroes" of the 9/11 attacks is long overdue and shouldn't take a back seat to millionaire athletes.

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"I'm happy that the Giants won the Super Bowl as much as the next New Yorker, but who are the real heroes our state should first be celebrating with distinctive plates, the athletes on the gridiron or the first responders and the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11?" Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco, a former college athlete and high school coach, said Thursday.

The plate for the team that plays in New Jersey was issued despite a moratorium on new commemorative plates in New York. A lawsuit by an advocacy group has sought a "Choose Life" license plate since 2001 and brought a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds. That led in part to a moratorium on new plates in 2004.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration said the Super Bowl plates don't violate the moratorium because they are a reworking of a 1987 Giants Super Bowl commemorative plate with a new date and logo.

The bill, which has languished since 2005, was introduced Thursday with a father of a victim of the terrorist attacks.

"The Giants win of the Super Bowl is potentially a temporary one year reign. The tragedy of 9/11, with respect to our fallen heroes and those who survived, is eternal. Are we more interested in yesterday's game than that ill-fated day we should never forget, or have we forgotten?" said Steven Cafiero, of Glenville. His son, Steven Cafiero Jr., died in the World Trade Center's south tower.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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