The Year of the Heroes of 9/11
Finally this year, the first responders who died on 9/11 and
in the ensuing years, along with those who died from the effects of living near
Ground Zero, have their own memorial. They are honored in the “Memorial Glade”
a part of New York’s 9/11 Memorial.
Also this year the survivors, not only the individuals
worked the pile but also the Lower Manhattan residents who inhaled the toxic
smoke, had to fight for and finally won the renewing of the Victim’s
The Memorial Glade - A Tribute to courage
This new portion of the monument is heavy with symbolism. It’s near
where the ramp used in the rescue-and-recovery effort once stood at Ground
Zero, and it consists of six massive granite monoliths inlaid with salvaged
steel from the Twin Towers. They point skyward along a path and are intended to
represent strength and determination through adversity.
Hewn by craftsmen in Vermont, the granite monoliths’
shapes call attention to the largely hidden health struggles of those whose
lives were changed — or later ended — by the attacks.
is an area of the 9/11 Memorial that is being created to recognize and honor
everyone who is now,18 years after the attack, are still living with the
consequences of 9/11 -- day in and day out," to quote Alice
Greenwald, president and CEO of the memorial and museum.
Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the two behind the original memorial’s design. In
his design statement, Arad described the stone elements as implying a
“firmness, stability, and faithfulness through adversity, pointing
skyward, referencing how the recovery cleared the way for rebuilding and
renewal.” An inscription on a marker commemorates “those whose actions in our
time of need led to their injury, sickness and death.” And how their
“perseverance and courage renewed the spirit of a grieving city, gave hope to
the nation and inspired the world.”
Victim Compensation Fund – Fight and victory
Many have since become belated victims of the attacks,
facing conditions such as respiratory complaints, rare cancers and
mental-health disorders. Thousands of responders have died of
illnesses related to their work on and after 9/11, and tens of thousands more,
including Lower Manhattan residents, are being treated for illnesses caused by
the toxins they inhaled.
Meanwhile, those affected continue
to fight for compensation for the costs of treatment. One of their champions,
comedian Jon Stewart, helped lead fundraising efforts for the memorial.
workers have been the subject of an enduring political
fight for financial support. There has also been
substantial, and at times bitter, disagreement over just
how strong a role the poisonous cloud of dust and fumes
breathed in by firefighters, police officers and aid workers has played in
their health problems. As of April, more than 22,000 claims to the September
11th Victim Compensation Fund had been deemed credible, most filed by rescue,
recovery and cleanup workers, according to data published by the fund.
This year comedian Jon Stewart testified
before Congress, pleading for the fund to be renewed. He was joined by Luis Alvarez,
a former New York City police detective, who died
just weeks after
his testimony. Fortunately, in July Congress saw it in their hearts to pass the
bill to renew it through 2092.