E-newsletter: Remembering 9/11

Sep 11, 2017 Issues: 9/11 Attacks

Remembering 9/11

Dear Friends,

Every September 11, I take a few moments to reflect and remember the events of that Tuesday morning. Like every New Yorker, I remember precisely where I was and what I did when I heard the news that two planes had slammed into the Twin Towers. I still recall the eerie silence as I emerged from Penn Station onto 7th Avenue after rushing home from Washington. Knowing the chaos still gripping the city just 40 blocks below, the silence of midtown was surreal. It is hard to believe it has been sixteen years: it feels both so long ago and so immediate for all New Yorkers. It is my hope you will take a moment today to mourn those we lost, reflect on how our city has changed, and remember those who continue to suffer from 9/11-related illnesses.
It is for those who are sick and their families that I joined my colleagues from New York – Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Congressman King – to introduce and pass the Zadroga Act and to reauthorize the law two years ago. This landmark legislation created the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) to monitor, diagnose, and treat responders and survivors suffering from 9/11-related illnesses and reopened the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide financial support to those who are sick and dying due to a 9/11-related illness or injury.

To date, the WTCHP has enrolled nearly 80,000 people – including 16,000 FDNY firefighters, 42,000 NYC first responders, and 11,000 New York City residents – and 26,000 people have received treatment for a 9/11-related illness. The VCF recently announced they had awarded over $3 billion to over 14,000 people who suffered an illness or injury during the post-9/11 recovery and clean-up. I am proud these programs will continue to support the men, women, and children who have suffered from debilitating, and sometimes deadly, 9/11-related illnesses for years to come.

Through these programs, we are living up to the challenge Abraham Lincoln lay before us after the Battle of Gettysburg 154 years ago: “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and orphan.” We will never forget 9/11, and we will never abandon those who battled that day and still bear the scars.

Jerrold Nadler