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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #511
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    First Responders From 9/11 Gather For Day Of Remembrance

    http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...=203&aid=82692

    June 15, 2008

    September 11th rescue workers and first responders came together Saturday for a day of remembrance.

    Several non-profit groups organized the first ever World Trade Center Responder Day in Lower Manhattan. The day featured an opportunity for first responders to take the stage and share their stories of 9/11.

    Despite the honors they've received for their work that day, they say many Americans are letting it become a distant memory.

    "I'm proud of what I did, but unfortunately we've been forgotten," said first responder Marvin Bethea. "We went from being heroes to being treated like zeroes. That's very, very unfortunate."

    "It's really sad in the sense that so much more needs to be done," said responder Alex Sanchez. "But we are a government of the people for the people. So this is what gives me the drive to come here today."

    "I would venture to say the majority of the people here are tourists," added responder Jim LePenna. "Not even native New Yorkers come out to support the people who, at a moment's notice, responded to New York."

    An exhibit was also set up at Trinity Church highlighting the work done by rescue crews.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 workers hold first rally at World Trade Center

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008...orld_tr-3.html

    By Robert Erikson
    DAILY NEWS WRITER
    Saturday, June 14th 2008, 11:02 PM

    Donna Michaels wipes away tears after speaking about her husband, Thomas, at World Trade Center Responders Day in Manhattan. Showalter for News

    Donna Michaels wipes away tears after speaking about her husband, Thomas, at World Trade Center Responders Day in Manhattan.

    Dozens of 9/11 responders gathered downtown Saturday to recount their stories of heroism and ask for more help from the government.

    The first World Trade Center Responders Day was designed as a "day of appreciation" for rescuers and laborers who spent months at Ground Zero, said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who is sponsoring a bill that would mandate healthcare funding for sick 9/11 workers.

    One by one, rescuers approached an open microphone at Vesey and Greenwich Sts. to tell their stories before attending an interfaith church service.

    "Politicians are looking to forget about this, but today is to remind them that we are here and we are slowly but surely dying," said Frank Silecchia, 54, a laborer with Local 731 who suffers from sleep apnea, respiratory problems and posttraumatic stress disorder after working at Ground Zero for 10 months.

    "It has become a nightmare every night and a daymare every day," he said. "The pain just doesn't go away."

    Susan Sidel, an attorney, volunteered for three months in supply tents and also lives downtown, so she's doubly concerned about her health.

    "The real tragedy is the betrayal of these heroes by the city we worked to help save," she said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #513
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    Legislation Extends More Aid To 9/11 Workers

    http://www.northcountrygazette.org/2...id_to_workers/

    Posted on Saturday, 14 of June , 2008 at 8:02 am

    ALBANY—Governor David A. Paterson will submit legislation to cover additional public workers who risked their health and safety in the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at the World Trade Center after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The legislation embraces the unanimous recommendations of the bi-partisan September 11th Worker Protection Task Force.

    Under the Governor’s legislation, the “presumptive accidental disability retirement benefit” now available to some 9/11 first responders will be extended to additional first responders. A committee of doctors on the Task Force found that additional workers were exposed to the same toxins and psychological trauma as those originally covered.

    “In the midst of the devastation of September 11th, men and women in public service risked their lives to aid in the search for survivors and victims,” said Governor Paterson. “As the nation grieved these heroes returned to work day and night, selflessly placing their own health at risk. It is our duty to offer them the protections they deserve in their time of illness.”

    Additional first responders covered under this bill include state and county corrections officers and deputy sheriffs ; the non-uniformed first responders who were not required to undergo a pre-employment physical examination; 911 dispatchers; first responders who worked for any period of time within the first 48 hours after the first plane hit the World Trade Center; emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics; vested members of a public pension system who terminated their employment prior to filing a claim; and workers who became disabled more than two years after 9/11 but before an extension was granted in the Workers Compensation Law which would have covered them.

    In addition, the registration deadlines for the accidental disability presumption and the Workers Compensation Law extension will be extended from the current dates of June 14, 2009, and Aug. 14, 2008 to Sept. 11, 2010 and the filing deadline for presumptive accidental disability will be extended from the amended date of June 14, 2009 to Sept. 11, 2010.

    Since many of the non-uniformed NYC and State workers at the site had not been required to undergo a pre-employment physical examination, a prerequisite to receiving benefits under the prior 9/11 legislation, the Governor’s bill extends benefits to those employees if they provide access to medical records and demonstrate the absence of a pre-qualifying condition prior to Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, the geographic boundaries of the 9/11 disability benefits law are being expanded to emergency vehicle garages and emergency call centers, because the Task Force found emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics were exposed to dust and 911 operators experienced psychological trauma that has led to disabilities similar to those suffered by workers at the World Trade Center site.

    Finally, current law requires that claimants participated in the WTC rescue, recovery or cleanup operations for a minimum of 40 hours, but scientific evidence gathered by the Task Force has shown there was a “substantial risk” of developing respiratory, gastrointestinal and / or mental health disability for first responders at the site during the first 48 hours after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center Towers. Therefore, the Governor’s legislation covers any first responder who worked during the first 48 hours after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

    The Task Force includes members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, Majority Leader, the Mayor of the City of New York, the State and City Comptrollers, the State Commissioners of Health, Labor and Civil Service and the Director of the State Division of Budget. It is charged with making recommendations regarding the adequacy of coverage and treatment for disabilities resulting from the rescue, recovery and clean-up after Sept. 11, 2001.

    On March 4, the Task Force released an Interim Report, including a Report of the Doctor’s Committee to the Task Force, which can be found on the Department of Labor’s website: http://www.labor.state.ny.us/pressre...rch_4_2008.pdf 6-14-08
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Paterson wants to expand 9/11 disability benefits

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ne...0,269189.story

    The Associated Press
    June 13, 2008

    Gov. David Paterson wants to expand disability benefits for more workers who helped in the rescue and recovery efforts after Sept. 11.

    Paterson plans to introduce a bill that would extend disability retirement benefits to more first responders who worked at Ground Zero in the months after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    The bill would eliminate a requirement that workers have had a physical before they were hired, as long as they offer some pre-9/11 medical records.

    It would extend the disability benefit to workers such as state and county corrections officers, any first responder who worked in the first 48 hours after Sept. 11, and 911 operators.

    The proposal follows recommendations issued by a state Department of Labor task force.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    EPA whistleblower trial delves into 9/11 pollution coverup, toxic waste in fertilizer and more

    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/e...ves/141267.asp

    6/17/2008

    So far those subscription-only services are the only semi-mainstream media outlets I've found that are covering the whistleblower court case being pursued by gadfly and professional pain-in-the-side Hugh Kaufman of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Apparently there has been discussion of the 9/11 Manhattan pollution coverup, hazardous waste in fertilizer, and more. The trial is before a Department of Labor administrative court, and considers EPA's appeal of a previous Labor board ruling that Kaufman was fired for being "too effective" in his job.

    The P-I was one of the few media outlets to cover former EPA Secretary Christine Todd Whitman's dismantling of the office where Kaufman worked, the EPA Ombudsman's Office, in 2002. Kaufman was the No. 2 man there, answering to Robert Martin, who we consider something of a native son since he's a member of Washington's Makah Indian Tribe. The office specialized in hearing the complaints of citizens living near Superfund sites.

    The acerbic Kaufman has a long history of criticizing the very agency where he was employed. And in 1998, EPA made it official, appointing him to the ombudsman's office. But he was axed, along with Martin, and questions came up immediately about Administrator Whitman's husband's ties to a bank with interests in a Denver Superfund site. She was later cleared by the agency's inspector general.

    Online, the only recounting of the trial I could find was a Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility press release. Forunately, an appeal to the Society of Environmental Journalists listserv turned up a piece by Katie Boyle* of Greenwire. It's subscription-only, but I'll tell you a few tidbits under the fair use doctrine:

    EPA attorney Charlie Starrs, according to Boyle, contended the case was all about Kaufman's aforementioned style, saying he "had a fairly high opinion of himself, to put it gently. It's not a matter of what he did, but how he did it." Kaufman's lawyer, Regina Markey, countered:
    Hugh, one of the founders of the agency, was relegated to library work in a small cubicle. His voice and the voice of the American people were silenced.
    P-I researcher Marsha Milroy also unearthed a story by Inside Washington publications, publishers of Inside EPA, another subscription-only service. It reveals:
    Kaufman's attorney, Regina Markey, attempted to bring Kimberly Flynn -- a member of the Community-Labor Coalition, an organization involved in the environmental impacts of the trade center collapse -- to testify on Kaufman's behalf. But Burke blocked Flynn from testifying, saying that her testimony was irrelevant because the case centers on EPA actions that occurred before the trade center collapse.
    Kaufman is an odd duck, to say the least. His professional work, of course, did not endear him to the agency's professional staff. For example, in Idaho's Silver Valley, where we have documented the effects of decades of mining abuses, Kaufman came down on the side of mine owner and EPA nemesis Bob Hopper.

    I heard from at least one D.C. journalist who spent some time at the labor board's proceeding, but concluded the material in question was all rehash.

    Kaufman's whisteblowing stretches back to the Carter administration. He was active in putting the spotlight on questionable EPA decisions under the Reagan administration's Anne Gorsuch Burford, who was forced to resign. William Ruckelshaus, now of Seattle, stepped in to rebuild the agency.

    *A different reporter was originally credited with this story. Our apologies, Ms. Boyle.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #516
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    'Journey for 9/11' supports rescuers

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/m...-1m20walk.html

    By Michael Stetz
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    June 20, 2008

    SAN DIEGO – His body is no stranger to punishment and grind. George Martin, after all, spent 14 years playing professional football.

    But at age 55, he put it to the test again.

    Because people he considers to be true heroes are hurting.

    The former New York Giants defensive end began walking across America eight months ago to raise money for rescue workers who rushed to ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, and are now suffering myriad illnesses – including lung disease and post traumatic stress disorder.

    One medical study showed that 70 percent of the 40,000 or so responders have suffered lung disease and other problems because of the dust and debris. One in five has lost lung capacity.

    Some don't have adequate health or disability insurance, Martin said. Some were volunteers who took it upon themselves to go through the rubble and pitch in, however they could.

    Online: For more about George Martin's “Journey for 9/11,” go to ajourneyfor911.info

    “These are the real heroes,” Martin said of the workers. “I'm not going into a burning house unless someone is inside with my last name. They do it all the time.”

    Tomorrow, after 3,020 miles that began in New York on Sept. 16, Martin finally ends his walk, “a Journey for 9/11,” here in San Diego at the Embarcadero. He has raised more than $2 million, and three New York-area medical institutions have agreed to match that in health care services.

    He's nearby now and resting in a Little Italy hotel before the big moment, which will be attended by California police and fire personnel and fellow athletes. Ground zero responders will be present, too.

    The ending is bittersweet, Martin said. He saw America up close, raised millions of dollars and even got the added bonus of losing 40 pounds.

    He averaged about 22 miles a day and went through 24 pairs of shoes and 80 pairs of socks.

    He suffered a couple of blisters but they were never bad enough to keep him from walking. He only took off Sundays and when the weather was too bad.

    Throughout his journey, he's been greeted warmly, he said, even though he admits he wondered what kind of reaction he would get in some parts of the nation, given that he's African-American and, at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, rather hard to miss.

    “It makes me proud,” he said of the reaction from everyday folks throughout the country.

    Martin was used to attention when he was with the Giants, playing before 70,000 fans each week. He won a Super Bowl with the team in 1986, electrifying the region.

    And he walked away from the game a winner, his health intact and his future secure. He lived a content life in northern New Jersey with his wife and their four children.

    When the terrorist attack hit, Martin was personally affected. He lost neighbors. One close friend lost a son who worked in the second tower struck at the World Trade Center, right at the point of impact.

    “He suffered unimaginable agony,” Martin said of his friend. “It tore my soul apart.”

    In the New York region, people still struggle because they live and work so close to the scene, he said. They pass by it. They see the empty spaces in the skyline.

    “It's very tangible to us back there,” he said.

    And as reports began surfacing of the plight of the rescue workers, Martin felt called to duty. So he got a leave from his job as vice president of sports marketing at AXA Equitable in New York and started walking.

    “I never wanted the journey to overcome the mission,” he said. “I want the cause to succeed; that's my goal.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Agreement gives more 9/11 workers health benefits

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...pid=sec-health

    The Associated Press
    Friday, June 20, 2008; 6:28 PM

    ALBANY, N.Y. -- Gov. David Paterson said Friday that he has reached an agreement with New York state legislative leaders to extend health benefits to hundreds of workers who toiled at the World Trade Center site after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    More than 8,800 New York City workers applied for a "presumptive accidental disability retirement benefit" for illnesses they developed after working at ground zero after the attacks.

    Paterson says the legislation will benefit more than 1,000 workers who were turned down because they didn't get physical exams before they were hired, which had been a requirement to obtain the benefit.

    The new law gives them benefits if they provide access to medical records and demonstrate they didn't have the health problems beforehand.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #518
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    City Questions 9/11 Workers’ Claims of Illness

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/25/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    When there are masses like this in the mass tort case against the City, there will always be a few that stain the legitimacy of those that are severely sick and ill from their heroic action at ground zero following the horrific events from 9/11/01. Do not believe for one second that many brave souls, men and woman, are not sick because of the toxic cloud they worked under, and do not believe for one second that they are not sick because of the lies told by our City, State and Federal Government about the air quality.

    I have lived 9/11 everyday since 9/11. Seeing first hand healthy men and woman get sicker and sicker, and have sadly seen some die. For those who have lied about their role in history is disappointing, but for thosethat have seen history lie to them, I stand by you all and give you my 100% support. - John Feal, 9/11 First Responder And Founder Of The FealGood Foundation

    By ANTHONY DePALMA
    Published: June 25, 2008

    The first detailed review of the medical records of nearly 10,000 ground zero workers who are suing New York City and its contractors suggests that many are not as sick as their lawyers have claimed, attorneys for the city say.

    The city’s review, based on medical records submitted in federal court by the workers and their lawyers, found that as many as 30 percent of the workers reported nothing more than common symptoms like runny nose or cough. Their records, according to the review, did not indicate that doctors had ever diagnosed a specific disease.

    In fact, more than 300 workers admitted in court documents that they were not ill at all.

    Lawyers for the city, who conducted the review in response to a court order to sort out the seriousness of the claims, also found that many records were contradictory or incomplete, making it difficult to determine when an ailment began or how long it persisted. The documents included few records before Sept. 11, 2001.

    The city, which faces a huge financial liability in the lawsuit, has ample reason to play down the claims of firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others who say they became ill because they were not given proper breathing equipment during the nine-month rescue and recovery operation at ground zero.

    The workers’ lawyers have sharply criticized the city’s review, calling it skewed and largely inaccurate. They have consistently claimed — but have never released a detailed analysis of the claim — that the workers suffer from a broad range of medical problems, mostly respiratory or gastrointestinal sicknesses, but also more serious conditions like cancer, chronic pulmonary disease and sarcoidosis, a lung-scarring disease.

    The city’s findings have no immediate impact on the litigation because the court is not ready to rule on the severity of illnesses or make connections between diseases and exposure to ground zero dust. But the review is important despite its obvious limitations. Until now there has been no attempt to categorize the extent of illnesses in these workers, assumed to be the most badly injured of about 40,000 or more who labored at the World Trade Center site.

    And the conflict over the review findings is a preview of how difficult it could be to prove that trade center dust — a complex mix of materials created by the collapse of the twin towers — sickened workers.

    Much is riding on the result. Hundreds of workers who could not return to jobs after 9/11 have had their lives interrupted until the litigation is settled. The city and its contractors could be forced to pay $1 billion or more in compensation if they are found to have been negligent in not ensuring that the workers received breathing masks and wore them.

    The judge hearing the individual cases, Alvin K. Hellerstein of United States District Court in Manhattan, has criticized the workers’ lawyers for not providing complete medical records back to 1995. He has given them until the end of this month to produce thousands of missing documents so that both sides can come up with a system, known as a severity chart, to classify injuries by type and seriousness.

    “Getting those records is imperative in order for us to get a real understanding of the medical conditions of this population,” James E. Tyrell Jr., a lawyer with the firm Patton Boggs whom the city has hired to lead its defense, said in an interview.

    To help prepare the severity chart, the city’s lawyers did their statistical review based on the records they had: nine-page documents, called short-form complaints, that were prepared for each of the 9,618 workers by their lawyers.

    That review, Mr. Tyrell said, shows that while many workers may be genuinely sick, it appears that many others are not. “A relatively high percentage of the plaintiffs either acknowledge that they are not sick, or refer to medical conditions that are common to the general population, with no indication that those conditions were caused by 9/11,” he said.

    According to a letter the city lawyers sent Judge Hellerstein in May, the short-form complaints listed 387 separate ailments, including some — like deviated septum, multiple sclerosis, high blood sugar and Bell’s palsy — that have no apparent connection to ground zero work.

    William H. Groner, who with Paul J. Napoli and David E. Worby is representing the workers in court, said so many diseases were listed because of the possibility that they could be linked to the dust.

    “We put them in there to protect our clients, because we just didn’t know if they were related,” Mr. Groner said in an interview. He said Bell’s palsy and several other diseases probably could not be linked to the dust at this time, and would be dropped.

    In one of the most startling findings in the city’s review, 2,902 workers have claimed only minor ailments, like cough or congestion, that are common among New Yorkers. In the letter to the court, Mr. Tyrell said he had classified as minor injuries those in which workers alleged only a symptom like a cough, not a diagnosed disease. Others who claimed more serious injuries did not always provide medical records supporting their claims.

    And 306 workers, the letter said, did not claim any past or current physical injury.

    Mr. Groner accused the city of distorting the true medical condition of the workers, saying that many upper respiratory ailments like runny nose can be symptoms of or precursors to debilitating lower respiratory problems and obstructive lung diseases.

    But he conceded that some plaintiffs might not be injured at all. He said their complaints were included because the workers feared that they could develop cancer or some other serious illness in the future. He said New York law allowed them to sue if they had “a rational basis” for their fear.

    In another part of the city’s review, lawyers looked at the medical files of a random sample of 500 workers. The lawyers found that the files of 13 percent did not list a diagnosed illness. The ailments of half of the workers were not diagnosed until after 2004; the illnesses of 18 percent were not diagnosed until 2006. Mr. Tyrell said that raised questions about their connection to 9/11.

    Thirty-seven percent of the sampled workers admitted that they were current or former smokers, an important fact in determining the causes contributing to respiratory problems.

    Mr. Groner acknowledged that workers had not yet produced all the medical records the judge had requested. But he said his team did not start to collect the files until after a federal appeals court ruled this year that the question of the city’s immunity from suits could be answered only case by case.

    Since then, he said, his side has cooperated fully with the city and produced more than 24,000 specific medical records. He said the city had also received permission from many workers to seek additional employment and medical records on its own.

    Although the workers’ lawyers have not released any review of the records, one statistic they have provided turned out to be inaccurate.

    In a recent letter to Judge Hellerstein, they stated that at least 128 workers — not necessarily their clients — had died as a result of ground zero injuries, citing a continuing investigation by the State Department of Health.

    They admitted in an interview, however, that that number was a misinterpretation of the state’s data. The Health Department has registered the deaths of 329 ground zero workers and has identified the cause for 128 of those, but has not yet linked any to ground zero. Some are unlikely to ever be connected to work at the trade center site because they were highway accidents, assaults and homicides.

    “We misread the concept of confirmed causes of death as being ground zero-related,” Mr. Groner said. “We just misread it.”

    Mr. Groner said that medical studies by the Fire Department and the Mount Sinai Medical Center had linked trade center dust to a broad range of respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments. “These studies and others mirror precisely what we have found with our clients,” Mr. Groner wrote to the judge.

    Judge Hellerstein has said he is intent on moving the case forward so that injured workers can be fairly compensated as quickly as possible.

    “Either this case is going to be managed or it will become an albatross that controls all our lives,” Judge Hellerstein told the lawyers in May, directing both sides to overcome their differences. “If you can’t come up with a system, I’ll find a different way of doing it myself.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    New York Legislation To Expand Health Care Benefits For 9/11 Workers

    http://www.emaxhealth.com/38/23273.html

    6/25/2008

    Governor David A. Paterson announced plans to submit legislation to cover additional public workers who risked their health and safety in the rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts at the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The legislation embraces the unanimous recommendations of the bi-partisan September 11th Worker Protection Task Force.

    Under the Governor's legislation, the "presumptive accidental disability retirement benefit" now available to some 9/11 first responders will be extended to additional first responders. A committee of doctors on the Task Force found that additional workers were exposed to the same toxins and psychological trauma as those originally covered.

    "In the midst of the devastation of September 11th, men and women in public service risked their lives to aid in the search for survivors and victims," said Governor Paterson. "As the nation grieved these heroes returned to work day and night, selflessly placing their own health at risk. It is our duty to offer them the protections they deserve in their time of illness."

    Additional first responders covered under this bill include: (i) state and county corrections officers and deputy sheriffs ; (ii) the non-uniformed first responders who were not required to undergo a pre-employment physical examination; (iii) 911 dispatchers; (iv) first responders who worked for any period of time within the first 48 hours after the first plane hit the World Trade Center; (v) emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics; (vi) vested members of a public pension system who terminated their employment prior to filing a claim; and (vii) workers who became disabled more than two years after 9/11 but before an extension was granted in the Workers Compensation Law which would have covered them.

    Since many of the non-uniformed NYC and State workers at the site had not been required to undergo a pre-employment physical examination, a prerequisite to receiving benefits under the prior 9/11 legislation, the Governor's bill extends benefits to those employees if they provide access to medical records and demonstrate the absence of a pre-qualifying condition prior to September 11, 2001. In addition, the geographic boundaries of the 9/11 disability benefits law are being expanded to emergency vehicle garages and emergency call centers, because the Task Force found emergency vehicle radio repair mechanics were exposed to dust and 911 operators experienced psychological trauma that has led to disabilities similar to those suffered by workers at the World Trade Center site.

    Finally, current law requires that claimants participated in the WTC rescue, recovery or cleanup operations for a minimum of 40 hours, but scientific evidence gathered by the Task Force has shown there was a "substantial risk" of developing respiratory, gastrointestinal and / or mental health disability for first responders at the site during the first 48 hours after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center Towers. Therefore, the Governor's legislation covers any first responder who worked during the first 48 hours after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

    U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said: "Governor Paterson is doing the right thing. Every effort to more thoroughly monitor, test and, if necessary, treat the illnesses of the workers at Ground Zero is a welcome step in the right direction."

    U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton said: "I am pleased to welcome legislation that expands benefits to the heroes who responded during our hour of need, and are now suffering adverse health effects because of their selflessness. By extending benefits to these individuals who were critical in our response to the September 11th attacks, New York State is demonstrating that it will not forget the sacrifices made by so many. I commend Governor Paterson for these efforts, and look forward to the swift passage of this legislation."

    Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: "I applaud Governor Paterson for introducing this essential legislation.While the fires were still burning at Ground Zero, brave men and women came to New York to provide help. And during their selfless service, these workers unnecessarily exposed themselves to toxins and containments. As Governor Paterson works with the New York State Legislature to pass this worthy bill, Congress must also act. This is a debt that can never fully be repaid, but we must do right by the living victims of 9/11."

    Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said: "All New Yorkers should be proud that Governor Paterson and the State Assembly and Senate are leading the charge to take care of the heroes of 9/11, and it's high time the federal government did the same by passing the Maloney-Nadler-Fossella-King 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It is a moral imperative for our government to take care of Americans who risked their lives and health to save others in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The contrast between the state and federal responses to this health crisis could not be clearer: New York is finding new ways to help the heroes of 9/11, while the Bush administration is still trying to avoid this responsibility."

    Congressman Peter King said: "The heroes of 9/11 became sick after working in the dust cloud of Ground Zero to save the lives of others. It is our duty to develop a plan to monitor and care for these responders. I fully support the establishment of the World Trade Center Health Program and will do all I can to ensure that the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act becomes law."

    Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said: "This bill will help ensure that first responders, who put their lives on the line in the minutes, days, weeks and months after the September 11th attacks, get the health care treatment and benefits they deserve. I thank the members of the 9/11 Worker Protection Task Force for their work. The Senate advocated for the establishment of the task force in the original legislation that addressed this issue. This bill mirrors the task force's recommendations for ensuring that 9/11 heroes are properly taken care of."

    Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith said: "Legislation to expand health care benefits beyond its initial scope, which left out hundreds of 9/11 workers, was long overdue. People from across the city, state, and country fearlessly risked their lives in an act of patriotism and their efforts should not be forgotten. It is time for the legislators to stand up for those workers the same way they stood up for us in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center--unconditionally. I join my colleagues in commending the Governor on introducing this bill and call on the legislature to pledge full support to expand health care benefits to 9/11 workers."

    Senator George Onorato, Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Labor Committee, said: "I commend Governor Paterson and the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force for their efforts to expand needed health care benefits to additional men and women who aided in search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. We have an obligation to provide care for these brave first responders who risked their own health and safety in service to others on that dreadful day."

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: "This measure is a simple matter of fairness for the men and women whose health has suffered in the aftermath of their work as first responders to the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I am pleased that Governor Paterson has followed the recommendation of the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force and, introduced legislation to extend health and disability benefits to these individuals -- including many who live or work in Lower Manhattan -- who served with such extraordinary dedication on September 11th and in the difficult days that followed the terrorist attack."

    Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco said: "The courageous first-responders who risked their lives to help save fellow New Yorkers in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks are genuine heroes and fully deserving of expanded access to health care benefits. We owe these heroes a profound debt of gratitude on behalf of a grateful nation that was inspired and deeply moved by the selfless heroism and bravery displayed by our first responders. I applaud Governor Paterson for making the expansion of health care benefits to 9/11 workers a priority and I look forward to working with him and my legislative colleagues to ensure these heroes continue to know just how much they are truly appreciated by all New Yorkers."

    Assemblymember Peter Abbate, Chair of the Assembly Government Employees Committee, said: "By extending health and disability benefits to these additional workers, the Governor is acknowledging the vitally important tasks they performed on September 11th and the days following the devastating terrorist attack, as well as the fact that, in performing their duties, these workers were exposed to conditions that put their health at serious risk. It is important to note that the recommendation to provide benefits to these workers was based on the careful work of the bipartisan September 11th Worker Protection Task Force."

    Assemblymember Joseph Saladino, Ranking member of the Assembly Governmental Employees Committee, said: "It is an honor to work with Governor Patterson to provide further protections and assistance to those selfless heroes whose only concern was to rescue the lives of Americans in the hours and days following the 9/11 attacks on our nation. As a lawmaker whose focus is protecting those who protect the public I am eager to pass this legislation and make a difference for so many men and women who now and in the future will be suffering do to their unselfish acts. When we called on them needing their assistance the first responders came running, now is our turn to do the same."

    Lou Matarazzo, Vice Chairman of the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force, said: "The original legislation might have overlooked some of the workers who risked their lives responding to the attack on the World Trade Center, and had conditions that were too stringent for all affected workers to receive benefits. This legislation goes a long way toward correcting those conditions."

    Patrick J. Lynch, President of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said: "Clearly Governor Paterson recognizes the great personal sacrifice made by all those who rallied to save and help the city recover after the attacks of 9/11. The Governor's proposal expands benefits to those responders whose welfare fell between the cracks of the first law. This bill should be supported by all of our legislators and signed into law as quickly as possible. We add our voice to all of those praising Governor Paterson for his proposal."

    Steve Cassidy, President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, said: "We applaud the governor for his proactive support of firefighters and all first responders."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #520
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    America
    Posts
    30,708
    A Message From 9/11 First Responder John Feal

    Friends, Supporters and concerned Americans:

    Many of you have supported the Fealgood Foundation & the 9/11 responders that have become ill from their heroic actions at Ground Zero while working underneath that toxic cloud that has taken away their ability to fend for themselves and their families. Moreso than ever, these brave men and women need our help. I know many of you are feeling the effects of a slumping economy that has no bright future. I know many of you are angered at our current administration, and I know since 9/11/01 we have all fought for truth, justice and that yesterday's heroes will not be forgotten. I implore you all to help out these unfortunate souls who have been denied and neglected by our City, State and Federal Governments. These amazing individuals can not even put food on their tables, put gas in their cars, let alone pay their rents or mortgages. Whether it is a $1, $10, or $100.00, it would help greatly these sickened heroes. In the past I have been humbled by your support and generosity. Now, as Americans that take care of their own while the Government sits idle, I ask for your help one more time in this time of need. You can visit our web site at fealgoodfoundation.com and through paypal, use a credit card or send a check. Together, let's show this government how we treat our heroes.

    Sincerely,

    John Feal
    Founder & President of the FGF
    Injured 9/11 responder
    Kidney donor
    Above And Beyond Citizen Honors recipient from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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