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Sept. 11 first responders who became ill should be on memorial, lawmakers say

Sept. 11 first responders who became ill should be on memorial, lawmakers say

The museum planned for the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York should include a memorial to workers who died after becoming ill during recovery and cleanup, two state lawmakers said.
Assemblyman Michael Gianaris and Senator Martin Golden said Sunday they would introduce legislation to ensure those workers are recognized.
"We want to tell the story of the 9/11 workers who rushed here to help put the city back on its feet, who got sick because they did that, and now unfortunately many of them have died," Gianaris said at a news conference attended by ailing first responders and family members.
The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, along with state and local governments, have been criticized for being slow to acknowledge that many people developed debilitating illnesses from exposure to toxic materials at the World Trade Center site.
Golden said a full accounting of the attack on the twin towers, which killed nearly 2,800 people, would have to include the effects on the health of first responders and others who worked in the rubble.
A spokeswoman for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, which is building the memorial and museum, said content for the museum is still in the planning stages but "we know that the story of the recovery effort and those who worked on the cleanup will be included."
"What happened at the site in the aftermath of the attacks will be an important aspect of the museum," spokeswoman Lynn Rasic said.
Sunday's event came a day after the funeral of police officer Cesar Borja, 58, a Filipino immigrant who died of lung disease believed to have resulted from recovery work.
"We were all healthy people before. Now we are all sick. We've been given a very slow death sentence," said paramedic Marvin Bethea, who said he has a range of ailments including asthma, high blood pressure and anxiety.


Updated : 2021-03-03 20:39 GMT+08:00