NEW YORK – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act; its reauthorization; the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez September 11th Victim Compensation Act; and the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act released the following statement marking 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks.
“It has been twenty years since 9/11/2001 – a horrific day on which we lost nearly 3,000 lives – parents, siblings, children, grandparents, friends. We still feel the pain and sorrow from the lives lost that day, and in all the days that followed.
“Today, as we mark 20 years since that fateful day in 2001, we must remember that 9/11 isn’t just in the past.
“It is something that these responders, survivors, and their families are living with each and every day as they deal with cancers, respiratory disease, and mental health concerns. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to take care of the people who took care of us and those who take care of them.
“We owe the responders and survivors a debt of gratitude first and foremost for what they did on 9/11 and in the days, weeks, and months that followed. And secondly because of the toxic lie our government told them: that it was safe to work on the pile and breathe the air when we sent kids back to school, and employees back to work.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with and to get to know the incredible community of 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families, and I cannot thank them enough for their tireless work over the last two decades to ensure that the World Trade Center Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will be there for all responders, survivors, and families who need them. It should not have been so hard and they should not have had to walk the halls of Congress for so many years demanding action. But that is what they had to do.
“And so, now, I encourage all responders, survivors, and their families to make sure you are enrolled and registered with both the World Trade Center Health Program and September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. None of these heroes should ever need to worry about how they are going to get the care and compensation they need and deserve.
“Our country made a promise after 9/11 to always be there for the firefighters, the police, the EMTs, the workers clearing the pile, survivors, residents, area workers, and students who got sick or injured from the toxins at Ground Zero.
“We kept that promise when we enacted into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, again when we passed the reauthorization in 2015, and two years ago when we passed the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.
“Now, we’ll do so again by passing the 9/11 Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act, which will ensure that the World Trade Center Health Program is there to provide the care every responder and survivor needs and deserves.
“‘Remember 9/11’ must be more than just a bumper sticker.”