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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #531
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    Congress urged to fund care for 9/11 responders

    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey...550.xml&coll=1

    BY CAROL ANN CAMPBELL
    Star-Ledger Staff
    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    They inhaled finely ground glass, pulverized concrete and hydrochloric acid. Some pulled off their respirators so they could crawl through tunnels of debris, or communicate with their command center.

    Seven years after the attack on the World Trade Center, the men and women who worked at Ground Zero still suffer from serious respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses -- with no end in sight. In some cases, people are getting worse as they age.

    At a gathering yesterday, doctors, politicians and first responders from New Jersey called on the government to continue funding efforts to treat and study the long-term consequences facing those who dug through the rubble of the World Trade Center.

    A clinical center in New Jersey that expected to treat and monitor about 200 people is now caring for 1,300, many of them firefighters and police officers, as well as iron and construction workers. They are being treated for asthma, sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as acid reflux, sinusitis and sleep apnea.

    "We can provide the complicated diagnostic tests, specialist care and expensive medications for these conditions," said Iris G. Udasin, a principal investigator of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program.

    Udasin directs the center in Piscataway, a joint program of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University. It is one of several places created to treat and monitor World Trade Center first responders.

    After the attack, some 90,000 liters of jet fuel created a plume of black smoke containing toxic compounds, such as benzene and metals. Also airborne were microscopic glass, asbestos and lead, according to congressional testimony.

    A bill pending in Congress to continue funding for these centers is named for James Zadroga, a New York City police detective who was at Ground Zero. Zadroga's father, a former police chief of North Arlington, told the story yesterday of his son's heroism at the World Trade Center and his eventual illness and death in January of 2006.

    Joe Zadroga said his son worked 400 hours at Ground Zero, beginning the day of the attack. His wife was eight months pregnant at the time. Zadroga, who was previously healthy, began coughing while still working at the site, and his illness got progressively worse. He began to go blind, suffer memory loss and eventually was bedridden with respiratory illness

    "People kept saying, 'You have to go back to work.' My son could not even drive," the father said. The Ocean County Medical Examiner's Office said in an autopsy that Zadroga, 34, died from breathing toxic particles at Ground Zero.

    U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th Dist.), pushing for the bill yesterday, said the legislation would provide long-term funding to allow the centers to continue to evaluate emerging methods of treatment.

    "We need to screen, treat and put together research to find out what happened and the best way to treat people," Pallone said.

    He did not have an estimate on what the bill would cost, but last year, the effort to monitor and treat WTC responders was $108 million, a Pallone staff member said. According to congressional testimony, more than 51,000 responders from across the country have enrolled in the WTC health program, out of about 91,000 people involved in rescue, recovery and clean-up.

    Detective Thomas McHale, a Port Authority police office at the World Trade Center, said he has scar tissue in his lungs and has been diagnosed with asthma, atrial fibrillation and an esophogeal condition that can cause cancer if not treated.

    "I'm feeling better because I'm being properly treated here," said McHale, who continues to work. He said he does not like to be called a hero.

    "The heroes are no longer with us," he said. "People like me, we just went in and did our jobs and did them well."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    City cops head out for 9/11 motorcycle ride

    http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/417615

    August 13, 2008
    The Hamilton Spectator

    Five Hamilton police officers are heading south on motorcycles to take part in the America's 9/11 Ride to support first responders.

    The group of off-duty officers will ride more than 2,000 kilometres on their way to visit the crash sites of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: Shanksville, Penn., the Pentagon in Washington and the World Trade Center in New York City. The ride starts tomorrow and ends Saturday.

    Hamilton police joined the motorcycle memorial ride in 2003 when Hamilton officer Pat Keller, along with Toronto officers, raised $150,000 for the NYPD Widows and Orphans Fund.

    This year, Hamilton police are providing the riders with two police motorcycles, while the city is sponsoring the officers. The officers will hand over cash donations from area residents.

    Keller said the ride allows Hamilton to honour first responders -- police, firefighters and EMS workers -- who died after the terrorist attacks. This year, money raised in the ride will benefit first responders in smaller communities across the U.S.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    FealGood takes to film
    Local 9/11 advocacy group to spur Congress with documentary

    http://www.timesofsmithtown.com/Arti...s_to_film.html

    By Jennifer Choi
    August 21, 2008 | 12:22 PM

    Nesconset resident John Feal's 9/11 advocacy group has made it their job to fight for sick 9/11 responders. Now they're carrying their mission to the big screen with a documentary titled "Save the Brave."

    Feal, who founded the FealGood Foundation to spread awareness about the catastrophic health effects faced by 9/11 first responders, has produced a documentary to advocate the passage of the federal 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would provide medical coverage and financial compensation for responders who have been exposed to toxins at Ground Zero and their families.

    According to Feal, who lost half his foot after a beam fell on him at Ground Zero, "Save the Brave" features Jim Ritchie, John McNamara, Greg Quibell and Charlie Giles, four responders who are battling illnesses contracted from Ground Zero. The goal of this film is to "show Congress it's important to push for new laws to be passed for these guys so their families are taken care of when they're gone," Feal said, adding that he will not sell DVDs of the film, but instead hand-deliver them to every member of the United States Congress.

    "They're going to see the truth for once," he said. "There are real people who are suffering from their heroic actions on 9/11."

    Feal, who recently met with some elected officials in New Jersey, said information about the aftermath of 9/11 is "not being disseminated" outside New York. "We're an isolated group," he noted. "We're like the Vietnam veterans."

    Having served as president of the FealGood Foundation for several years, Feal said he asked himself what else he could do to further spread his message. The idea for "Save the Brave" dawned on him while he was stuck in traffic with Anne Marie Baumann, the foundation's senior vice president and secretary, he recalled. "I just said, "Let's make a movie.'"

    "It's an adventure working with John," Baumann said, noting that she met him at an American Red Cross group counseling session in 2001.

    "I'm so tired of people saying, 'We had no idea,'" she added. "You have no idea now? You will have an idea [after watching the documentary], so we don't have to hear that anymore."

    Baumann, whose New York City police officer husband was involved in the 9/11 rescue effort, said that as a result, he suffered temporary sight loss and is now disabled.

    "No one understands the impact and what every family has gone through and still goes through every day of their lives," Baumann states on the foundation's website. "It's time to make a difference. It's not something that you can just get over."

    "Save the Brave," which will premiere at the Bellmore Theater on Aug. 28 at 7 pm, will be distributed to members of Congress on Sept. 8 to reiterate this sentiment, Feal said.

    "Although we were attacked in New York, this country was attacked," he said. "The federal government has been avoiding the problem. It's like they have political amnesia.… Now, it's about solutions and problem solving. You have a chance to help them, and you should be helping them."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Documentary dedicated to late 9/11 first responder

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/su...,6854954.story

    BY MICHAEL FRAZIER
    8/29/2008

    Racked by pain and the ravages of leukemia, first responder Gregory Quibell of North Babylon allowed film crews to record poignant moments of his life.

    For weeks, his visits to doctors and his struggles to pay medical bills were captured for a documentary called "Save the Brave," which premiered last night at the Bellmore Theatre in Bellmore.

    The film's opening is dedicated to Quibell, 53, who died Wednesday night at his home, friends said. The film features three other first responders living with Sept. 11-related illnesses.

    "The movie had no actors in it. They were real-life heroes," said John Feal, the film's producer, who is president of the nonprofit FealGood Foundation and advocates for sick Sept. 11 responders. "Greg is proof that heroes are dying, and it's unacceptable."

    The three others featured in "Save the Brave" are former New York City firefighter John McNamara of Shirley, former FDNY chief Jim Riches of Brooklyn and former emergency services worker Charlie Giles of Barnegat, N.J.

    A DVD of the film will be sent to Congress to highlight the need for a national Sept. 11 health bill, Feal said. Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would create federal programs for medical treatment and compensation for ill responders and residents living near Ground Zero.

    Anne Marie Baumann, senior vice president of the FealGood Foundation, said she became involved in the foundation after her husband, Christopher Baumann - an NYPD officer - had multiple health issues after working at Ground Zero.

    She said if one thing comes from the documentary being released, she hopes it's "that the bill is passed. I know the sickness isn't going to stop, but the pain can stop."

    In February, Quibell, a state correction department worker, traveled to Washington and demanded more money for health programs for those who responded to the terrorist attacks.

    Quibell was one of several dozen search-and-rescue workers deputized by federal authorities to assist at Ground Zero. In the aftermath, he suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and then was diagnosed late last year with leukemia.

    He said exposure to toxins at the World Trade Center site led to his health problems.

    Feal said yesterday that he was at Quibell's bedside when he died. The two had a final, full conversation on Friday. The movie, which took two months to make, didn't come up during that talk. They focused on family: Quibell's four children and fiancee, Theresa Galoppe.

    "He knew he was dying," Feal said. "He just said please make sure Theresa and the children are taken care of. He died a hero. He didn't complain. He just wanted to make sure everyone is taken care of when he was gone."

    Kenny Porpora contributed to this story.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Lasting Effects of 9/11

    http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2008...ffects-of-911/

    Jana Simard Legal Reporter
    September 3, 2008

    New York City, New York (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News report) – In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, citizens of New York bonded together and formed huge volunteer cleanup efforts for their beloved city. One dedicated volunteer was a former state correction officer – 54 year-old - Gregory Quibell of North Babylon, Long Island. Quibell devoted 242 hours at the Ground Zero site between September 12 and November 22, 2001, according to state Correction Department records. After the inhumane terror attacks, Quibell worked night and day to shuttle firefighters to and from the World Trade Center, not knowing that toxins in the air continually contaminated his lungs. He was soon diagnosed with leukemia and pulmonary fibrosis and sadly passed away.

    After Quibell’s death, a documentary called “Save the Brave” was filmed, focusing on the stories of service men and women such as ex-FDNY Chief Jim Riches, EMT Charlie Giles and Firefighter John McNamara and their commitment to our nation. The documentary is meant to grab the attention of Congress members who recently opposed legislation providing more comprehensive health care funding for sick 9/11 workers. Those who lead the support of this legislation are Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Congressman Vito Fossella. They introduced the Maloney-Nadler-Fossella 9/11 Health & Compensation Act to the US Congress (H.R. 3543; updated version H.R. 6594). Also known as the ‘James Zadroga bill’, and if passed, this act would ensure:
    • That every person exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero has a right to be medically monitored.
    • That every person who is sick as a result of exposure has a right to treatment.
    • That care is expanded to the entire exposed community, including residents, area workers, students, and the thousands of people who came from across the country in response to the 9/11 attacks.
    • That the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund would be reopened and expanded to provide further compensation for economic loss and damages.
    • Continued funding and support of the ‘Centers of Excellence’ (the FDNY, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Belleview Hospital, Queens College, SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) which currently provide monitoring, support and care to First Responders.
    • The establishment of a Research and Support program by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the diagnosis and treatment of WTC-related conditions and diseases. Maloney and supporters hope that this passes by the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

    The Quibell family is not alone in their sufferings, as many rescue volunteers have contracted chronic bronchial diseases, mesothelioma, leukemia and other cancers and diseases. Hundreds of First Responders and New Yorkers have already died; an estimated 70% of the 40,000-plus First Responders have declared illnesses and it is estimated that a further 300,000 New Yorkers will become seriously ill in the future. “I honestly believe that the number of people who died on 9/11 will be far eclipsed by the number of people who will die directly because of their exposure at Ground Zero.” - Vincent Forras was a volunteer firefighter who worked on the pile for three weeks, and became sick immediately. We must urge our lawmakers to fight for the passing of such bills as the James Zadroga bill, the lives of our loved ones are in their hands.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Local band raises $500 for 9/11 rescue workers at concert

    http://www.bristolpress.com/site/new...d=665528&rfi=6

    By AKINTUNDE SOGUNRO, Special to The Press
    09/19/2008

    FARMINGTON - A benefit at the Zen Bar raised about $500 for 9/11 rescue workers and their families, said members of the band Pyramis, which organized the event.

    The amount "on its face isn't much, but it is something," songwriter and guitarist Matt Pipke said on the band's Web site. "And we were able to rally our community and raise awareness to the plight of the rescue workers."

    The Bristol five-member band - self-described as a "new-school blend of AC/DC and Pink Floyd" - brought together other hard-rocking friends and some acoustic performers to round out the night, asking for a $10 donation for the Ground Zero Rescue Workers Relief Fund.

    "We're focused on the families of those who came to ground zero, the heroes who didn't think of themselves to help strangers," Pipke said. "They are the true superheroes of our time. It's a terrible thing when the very insurance companies you entrusted to be your safety net in such health tragedies such as these turn their back on you, and my heart just goes out for these struggling families."

    Some rescue workers who say they became ill from the time they spent at ground zero are suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's congressionally mandated WTC Captive Insurance Co. fund for refusing to release money for their health care, lost salary and pain and suffering.

    "The mantra of the day was to never forget," Pipke said of Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists struck New York City and the Pentagon. "But I'm sorry to say that times have changed."

    Pipke and longtime friend Gary Bell founded the band Weathered Faces in 1997. Over 11 years, members moved and the group's lineup changed. In 2003, Pipke finally reformed the band as Pyramis. The band specializes in hard rock and political lyrics and among its notable performances have been a 2004 Freedom Of Speech event at the French Club in Bristol and competing in the Emergenza battle of the bands in Hartford this summer. The band took high honors.

    The group has always had a solid vision and purpose behind their music, said Pipke, who has traveled to ground zero several times to pay tribute to the victims and rescue workers.

    In 2003 he decided to transform his sympathy into a database of 9/11 facts linked to from his band's Web site, pyramis.tv. "Lumper's Page" is the Pyramis founder's collection of AP news Reports and Fox News clips on the status of those who thought their 9/11 afflictions would be eased by the government.

    Pyramis members thanked those who helped put on the benefit, starting with Zen Bar, a Farmington Avenue night spot that boasts of its martinis, fine wine and "New York style" atmosphere, as well as its karaoke nights and Salsa Sundays.

    Sir Speedy in Bristol printed tickets and posters, and DragonsWing Entertainment brought in As I Lay Awake in Ruin, a Hartford punk-pop band that "had played Boston the night before and were exhausted, but still put on a heck of a show," Pipke said.

    Earlier in the event were the band Vision and performer Jeff Hart.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Congress Ends 9/11 Workers' Health Care Bill

    http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stori...l/Default.aspx

    Video
    Click Here (GooTube)

    By: NY1 News
    09/29/2008 10:14 AM

    Congress has abandoned legislation to provide billions of dollars in health care for September 11th recovery workers.

    The program would have provided long term care for workers who were at the World Trade Center on or shortly after September 11, 2001 at an estimated cost of at least $5 billion.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly objected to a part of the bill that would have forced the city to pay for 10 percent of the program, saying it would place an undue burden on city taxpayers.

    In addition, the legislation would have reopened the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, adding around $6 billion to the plan.

    The legislation had the backing of several New York congressmen but was overshadowed by negotiations surrounding the financial bailout.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 health bill opposed by NY mayor is shelved

    http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...,5355734.story

    By DEVLIN BARRETT | Associated Press Writer
    September 28, 2008

    WASHINGTON - Congress has shelved a $10.9 billion bill to provide health care for ground zero workers, partly due to opposition from New York City officials.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg objected to a provision in the bill that would have required the city to pay 10 percent of the cost of a long-term program providing health care to those sick from working amid the toxic World Trade Center debris in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The total cost of the 10-year health program was to be $5.1 billion. The city's share was to be $500 million.

    The bill also would have reopened the Sept. 11 victim compensation fund with an estimated $6 billion for those who became sick after working amid the debris.

    New York City lawmakers had hoped to vote on the package over the weekend, but they ran out of time and support amid intense congressional negotiations over a $700 billion financial bailout package and the resistance from city officials.

    Bloomberg spokesman Jason Post said the Sept. 11 health bill that was headed for a vote was "a step backward" from a bill introduced in July because "it put an undue burden on city taxpayers."

    Under the proposed measure, which had been the subject of negotiations as late as Sunday afternoon, the city would have paid $500 million over the first 10 years and additional costs in the following years.

    "That is nearly five times what the city now pays each year" for its Sept. 11 program, Post said.

    Denis Hughes, president of the New York state AFL-CIO, blamed "shortsighted" thinking by City Hall.

    "Part of it was the work on the bailout, but what really sunk this was the mayor's opposition," Hughes said. "I think they miscalculated."

    He said he was "disappointed."

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-Manhattan, one of the authors of the original version of the bill, thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her work in recent days on the bill.

    "I'm only sorry that the city did not agree that a $10.9 billion federal commitment to New York City to help those injured by the toxins at ground zero should have been passed," Maloney said in a statement.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Many New York 9/11 Workers, Residents Still Sick

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/green...till_Sick.html

    9/4/2008

    NEW YORK, New York, September 4, 2008 (ENS) - Nearly seven years after the terrorist attacks that demolished the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, many people exposed to the dust, smoke and chemical fumes released into the environment by the airplane strikes on the twin towers continue to experience illnesses.

    Rescue and recovery workers, residents of Lower Manhattan, and area workers are still suffering physical and mental health problems related to 9/11 exposure, according to the first report of the WTC Medical Working Group, released today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    After reviewing more than 100 scientific articles published since 2001, the group of physicians and researchers found that thousands of people have been treated for physical and mental health problems. But more people still need medical help, so the mayor today launched a citywide publicity campaign to promote awareness of medical and mental health treatment options for those who are still suffering.

    "We have answered the call for help from those who have suffered health problems as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We're helping people heal, both physically and emotionally, and we will continue to reach out to those in need."

    In the aftermath of 9/11, respiratory symptoms were common among people who breathed in the contaminants released by the collapse of the World Trade Center, the WTC Medical Working Group reports.

    Respiratory symptoms have subsided over time for many, but have persisted for some including firefighters, 25 percent of whom had symptoms two to four years after the event. Lung function also has declined among some workers.

    In surveys conducted two to three years after 9/11, rescue and recovery workers, Lower Manhattan residents and area workers developed new cases of asthma at two to three times the expected rate.

    Studies on cancer risk or increased risk of death are underway, but the results are not yet available because of long latency periods of many potentially fatal diseases.

    The new $5 million citywide advertising and grassroots marketing campaign will debut on subways, print, radio, and television next week. The campaign, which will run in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Polish, urges the public to seek care for 9/11-related health problems with its tagline, "Lived There? Worked There? You Deserve Care."

    The campaign directs New Yorkers to the WTC Environmental Health Center or to dial 311 for help.

    "Many New Yorkers are suffering from wheezing, shortness of breath, stomach and other medical or emotional problems related to their 9/11 exposure and its aftermath. Yet too many don't connect their continuing health problems to 9/11 or believe that help is only available to WTC rescue and recovery workers," said Alan Aviles, who heads the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

    "This awareness campaign - devised collaboratively with concerned community organizations - has been designed to get people to the health care they need," Aviles said. "

    "We hope it will resonate deeply with those potentially affected - families who lived and stayed in their downtown homes, young people who went to school in the area, local business owners who kept their shops open, local office workers who commute from many parts of the city and the region, clean-up workers who cleared dust from nearby offices, and those who still struggle with the psychological and emotional trauma of losing a loved one or witnessing the horrific devastation," he said.

    "The World Trade Center Medical Working Group Report represents remarkable consensus among scientists, doctors, and experts on what the research tells us about 9/11 health problems," said Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, who co-chaired the group. "Our objective review will inform the city's ongoing commitment to targeting resources and research where they are needed and ensure that those affected receive the treatment they deserve."

    Mayor Bloomberg is appealing to the federal government for more funding to support the research and treatment already underway."We will keep fighting for the support these critically important programs deserve," he said.

    The city has secured more than $108 million from Congress for fiscal year 2008, including first time funding for community members and area workers suffering from 9/11 health problems.

    "This was gained with crucial support from members of the New York delegation, labor leaders, members of the community, and local health and environmental organizations," the mayor said.

    City actions also prompted the release of $30 million of these funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide services for residents, workers and students.

    "The city has not waited to get treatment to those who are sick because of the 9/11 attacks, but the federal government must make the long-term investments necessary to ensure that we can continue to conduct vital research and treat those who are sick or who could become sick," said Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler. "To accomplish that, Congress must pass the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008."

    The 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008 would provide a consistent funding stream for 9/11-related treatment and the re-opening of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

    The City of New York has committed $100 million in funds over five years for the 9/11-related health agenda.

    The mayor said today that all 15 of the recommendations laid out in the city's 2007 report, "Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11" have been completed or are underway. Among those efforts:

    Treatment services have been expanded at Bellevue Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital Center and Gouverneur Healthcare Services, where more than 2,800 New Yorkers have been treated for 9/11-related problems.

    More than 1,000 New Yorkers have been enrolled in a new financial reimbursement program for people receiving 9/11-related mental health services.

    Medical treatment guidelines for treating people exposed to 9/11 contaminants have been distributed to 40,000 health professionals, and health information has been sent regularly to more than 5,000 residents and city employees.

    A comprehensive website for 9/11 health information and service listings has been established, and the site has had more than 300,000 visits to date.

    "Help is available for people still suffering," said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Frieden, co-chair of the World Trade Center Medical Working Group.

    "Any New Yorker can call 311 or visit the 9/11 health website at www.nyc.gov to find information about treatment for a physical ailment or a mental health problem, he said. "Both post traumatic stress disorder and respiratory conditions are still common among those directly exposed. Treatment can help, so please seek care if you're suffering."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    9/11 First Responders Visit Buckhannon

    http://www.wtrf.com/story.cfm?func=v...&storyid=45971

    BUCKHANNON -- Some 9/11 first responders visited Buckhannon-Upshur High School Friday morning.

    Demolitions expert John Feal was injured while working at Ground Zero.

    Feal has since formed the FealGood foundation to educate people people about the health effects on 9/11 first responders, and to provide financial support to sick 9-11 rescue and recovery workers.

    Students say Feal's presentation was educational and inspiring.

    "I don't know much about 9/11 and I'd like to learn more about what they went through and I think it's kind of cool that they came to our school," says Mariah Stocker, a freshman at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

    Feal and five other 9/11 first responders are also presenting at the First United Methodist Church in Buckhannon Friday at 6:30.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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