Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘medical help

Tenth Anniversary of 9/11; Help the First Responders

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Folks, today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11/01, one of the most shocking and horrific things in United States history.  Due to the attacks on that day, the US “lost our innocence” regarding international terrorism.  Though other, terrible attacks had occurred, most especially to the USS Cole and a previous attack in 1993 against the World Trade Center, most American citizens felt like our country could not and would not be attacked.

We were tragically wrong.

Last year, I wrote a blog about 9/11, which is posted here.   In many ways, I cannot improve upon this; even though a lot has changed in a year, many of the same problems are still with us.

So instead, I’ve decided to focus on the biggest remaining problem from that fateful day: our lack of help for the first responders — the firemen, policemen, military people, and volunteers — who did their best to find surviving victims of the World Trade Center bombing, then did their best again to help clean the place up and restore it, in the process finding many of the dead who did not survive that fateful day.

I’m tired of our current crop of politicians doing nothing about this important issue.  Instead, I wish our politicians would act more like President Barack Obama, and past Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have acted in the past few days.  These men have been statesmen, and have publicly discussed the need for medical and financial help for the first responders  — many of whom still need help and perhaps always will — because what they were doing in trying to rescue people trapped in the wreckage of the Twin Towers was inordinately stressful.  These first responders were exposed to goodness-knows-what toxic substances, and that some of them have not been able to get help for the medical conditions they incurred is plain, flat wrong.

Note that Hillary Clinton, when she was still a United States Senator, urged the Congress to act and they did, but it wasn’t enough.  She now is our Secretary of State, and for the most part cannot take active part in asking for more help to be given to those who gave of their time and effort on 9/11/01 and afterward.  And while she’s been an outstanding Secretary of State, I wish that she was still able to call more attention to this issue as it needs to be done.

Aside from her, Representative Peter King (R-NY) and, of all people, comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart (he of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show fame) have been the most vocal and active people in the public eye who have demanded help for the first responders.  Good for them; they know many of those first responders ended up with chronic medical problems due to their help on and directly after the 9/11 terror attacks, and they know it’s absolutely disgraceful that these people have had to fight for whatever little bit of help they can get since that awful day.

We must help all of those who need it who helped find victims after the Twin Towers were destroyed.  If we do not, the legacy of 9/11/01, which is already distressing enough, will become that much worse.  Refusing to help these people is shameful.