New 9/11 Memo­rial on LI Will Name Sick­ened Re­spon­ders

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Hadassa Kala­ti­zadeh

On Mon­day, Septem­ber 11, the 16th an­niver­sary of the ter­ror at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter, the Town of Hemp­stead has of­fi­cially ded­i­cated a memo­rial that it has built. The mon­u­ment is in Point Look­out, on Long Is­land's south shore, which has a view of the famed Tow­ers and their heart­break­ing dev­as­ta­tion. The $1.3 mil­lion ded­i­ca­tion fea­tures a twisted, 30-foot-tall beam of steel from the Trade Cen­ter planted like a flag. It in­cludes an el­e­vated walk­way and gran­ite plaques en­graved with the names of the al­most 3,000 peo­ple who per­ished in the ter­ror at­tacks.

In ad­di­tion, a sep­a­rate plaque will honor the names of 582 po­lice of­fi­cers, fire­fight­ers, cleanup vol­un­teers, con­struc­tion work­ers, and oth­ers who vol­un­teered at the rub­ble of the World Trade Cen­ter in the af­ter­math of the at­tacks and, years later, died from causes thought to be linked to smoke and toxic dust at the site. Sup­ple­men­tary space will be re­served to add more names. The memo­rial also in­cludes a plaque point­ing in the di­rec­tion of the vis­i­bly re­built Free­dom Tow­ers.

“I think what the town of Hemp­stead is do­ing is noth­ing short of hon­or­able,” said John Feal, a long­time ad­vo­cate for 9/11 re­spon­ders who now suf­fer from health ail­ments. “Peo­ple who lost a loved one to ill­ness suf­fer just like some­one lost on that day. Hope­fully this will of­fer some ease and com­fort to them.”

As re­ported by As­so­ci­ated Press, the memo­rial joins the re­cent ef­fort to rec­og­nize also the peo­ple who fell ill af­ter par­tak­ing in the res­cue and re­cov­ery op­er­a­tion. In May, of­fi­cials at the Na­tional Septem­ber 11 Memo­rial & Mu­seum sim­i­larly an­nounced plans to al­lot com­mem­o­ra­tive space at the WTC to give due honor to res­cue and re­cov­ery work­ers. Staten Is­land has re­cently added a plaque with names of their res­i­dents who died from re­lated ill­nesses. NY's po­lice and fire de­part­ments have also made memo­ri­als.

The long-term health im­pact of the sooty air at the Trade Cen­ter site is an on­go­ing study. Pin­point­ing how many peo­ple's se­ri­ous ill­nesses are di­rectly linked to the ex­po­sure is a chal­lenge. Ap­prox­i­mately 30,000 peo­ple have ap­plied for the gov­ern­ment com­pen­sa­tion fund set up for 9/11 re­lated ill­nesses. So far, $3 bil­lion has been granted. Of­fi­cials are still re­view­ing claims. Roughly 2,700 of the 17,400 peo­ple with ap­proved claims have can­cer. Through the end of Au­gust, 144 of the ap­proved claims were granted to peo­ple who died of a linked ill­ness.

“I truly be­lieve that ev­ery­one there that day was a hero,” said Robert Gies, who was 13 when his fa­ther, NYC Fire De­part­ment Lt. Ron­nie Gies, per­ished in the south tower. “Whether they died on 9/11 or four years later, ev­ery per­son is a hero. Those peo­ple who worked there in the af­ter­math in those haz­ardous con­di­tions, those peo­ple touch my heart. They rushed there to save and find my fa­ther. They found him and he was able to be laid to rest. That's huge clo­sure.”

On Mon­day, Septem­ber 11, the 16th an­niver­sary of the ter­ror at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter, the Town of Hemp­stead has of­fi­cially ded­i­cated a memo­rial that it has built. The mon­u­ment is in Point Look­out, on Long Is­land’s south shore, which has a view of the famed Tow­ers and their heart­break­ing dev­as­ta­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.