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Monday, September 10, 2007

9/11: Still Killing

TIME Magazine has posted a very powerful pictorial essay about the aftermath of 9/11. Photographer Allan Tannenbaum has taken pictures and written the stories of some of the first responders, recovery workers, and area residents who were there that day, six years ago.

Vincent Forras, a volunteer firefighter who worked on the pile for three weeks, says, "I honestly believe that the number of people who died on 9/11 will be far eclipsed by the number of people who will die directly because of their exposure at Ground Zero."

He may well be right.

As we pray for the victims who died that day, let us also pray for those 9/11 heroes who are still dying.

Tannenbaum's exhibit begins with these words:

"On September 11, 2001, Arab Islamist terrorists hijacked airplanes and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the buildings to collapse. Although almost 3,000 people died on that terrible day, many first responders, recovery workers, and area residents have been getting very sick and even dying because of all of the toxic substances released into the environment. Sadly, quite a few of those once hailed as heroes are finding that government agencies are now ignoring them. They are the hidden victims of 9/11 and this is their story."

NYC Paramedic Marvin Bethea with the medicines he now must take after getting buried in debris twice on 9/11. At home in Queens, NY, 5/30/2006

"What people must remember about 9/11 is that the cops, firemen, EMTs, all had very physical jobs. These were healthy people who had these jobs. We had to pass a physical every year. The question now becomes, if all these people were healthy, why are they all sick now? You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. What is the common denominator? 9/11 - Ground Zero."
Downtown resident Kelly Coangelo suffered amny health effects from the contamination of her Financial District apartment after the collapse of the twin towers. Kelly holds bags containing dust and air conditioner filter material taken from her old apartment. In her new apartment over looking Ground Zero, New York, NY 7/28/2006

"I knew my apartment would be trashed. It was covered with dust and it was hard to breathe. I started feeling that my throat was raw, I started coughing like I had been smoking cigarettes for half my life, and I got a rash on my hands and face. I got excruciating headaches. I felt horrible – walking up and down stairs was painful. I had the dust tested and the results came back with 1.4 to 2.1% asbestos - higher than EPA regulations requiring a cleanup."
NYPD Officer Reggie Hillaire, here in an examination room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has cancer related to post 9/11 toxic exposures. Officer Hillaire had his thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer and now has multiple myeloma.

"I just thought that if it was that bad they would have shut us down. No way our government, which just suffered the worst terrorist attack in the country, would open the first responders up to something like that. If it was that bad, they wouldn’t have sent us there. I wasn’t really thinking about the toxins. One of the reasons I kept going was because Christie Todd Whitman said that the air was safe to breathe."
Former St. Vincent's Paramedic Mary Elizabeth Bishop, who worked wrapping body parts at Ground Zero, and suffering from 9/11-related chronic lung infections, digestive problems, irregular heartbeat, and skin cancer on her face, arrives for the hearing supported by her daughter Natasha and her attorney Jay Mac Burnes.

"On 9/11 I was transporting injured people to the hospital all day. After that, I stayed at Ground Zero and wrapped body parts like heads, torsos, legs, and arms. I didn't realize that I was inhaling all these toxins into my body. They didn't give us respirators and on September 24th I started to get sick but I stayed until October 2nd and went right to the hospital."
Volunteer Fire Chief Thomas Harrigan, in the hospital with heart and other problems, volunteered at Ground Zero. Miami, FL, 5/4/2006

"They're turning their backs on us. They don't want to know us. In the very beginning it was, 'You guys are our heroes', and now they want us swept under the carpet."

Don't miss the entire exhibit.

That link is:


VTcrone said...

Another name was officially added to the list of those who died at the Twin Towers on 9/11. A woman who died 5 months after the event from toxic dust she inhaled on that day. carried the memorial service and the reading of the names live. This year the names were read by family members and responders. At least twice I heard the names of responders who have since died of illness related to their exposure of toxins while working on the site.

Rowan The Dog said...

Another gigantic Bush administration failure.

GW is lucky that Iraq is the only civil war he's dealing with.