I have a real soft spot in my heart for all first responders, having been one myself starting at age 12. During 9/11 and the immediate aftermath I was a partner in a software company, running its Professional Services division. Like many, I remember exactly where I was when I learned about the first plane. And I knew it couldn’t have been an accident.
When in New York, I always do my best to make a trip to the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. It is always a somber and sobering visit, not without tears, and typically about different things.
One of the things I’ve been aware of is the BS that has surrounded first responders who worked the pile at Ground Zero. Truly, some of our “esteemed” politicians should be ashamed of themselves for not moving more quickly to cover 9/11 responders’ healthcare after 9/11. Shameful!
Luckily and thankfully benefits now seem to be locked in. What’s not locked in, though, is the number of first responders who have been sick, are sick, or have died from 9/11-related illnesses. I just saw this article about over 214 NYPD officers who’ve died of 9/11 illnesses. Terrible. Another 200+ families devastated, and after their loved ones gave so selflessly for working to first save, and then recover their teammates.
I know folks who worked the pile. To a person, they all said they would do it again and pray they’d never have to. Fortunately none of them are sick. So far. As far as they know. Unfortunately, 9/11, in addition to being a horrific tragedy then is still a horrific tragedy now.
This other article highlights that over 200 FDNY personnel have also lost their lives to what’s being called “World Trade Center Illnesses”. Absolutely terrible… prayers to all the FDNY members’ families, friends, teammates and the department.
I still feel guilty not having responded to Ground Zero and the pile. But, I tell myself, I wasn’t in a position to. I’ll keep honoring the 343, and everyone who lost their life that fateful morning. I won’t forget. I hope you won’t either.
“No day shall erase you from the memory of time” – Virgil (at the National 9/11 Memorial”.
The Suburban Forager