Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
We forgot the responders. The people who didn’t think about themselves as they rushed into harm’s way to try to save others on and after 9/11 were forgotten. Firefighters. Police. Rescue. Pushed aside. For years, Congress (the people who never forget to wear a flag pin) seemed to forget their debt to these brave, patriotic people. For over 11 years, Congress refused to pay for medical treatment for all the responders and survivors sickened from exposure to the hazardous debris and toxins of Ground Zero. Toxins that these responders didn’t give a second thought about going into to save a life.
But now the 9/11 responders’ lives are in danger due to that exposure. I’ve personally met firefighters who can’t work and can hardly breathe due to the exposure at the World Trade Center after 9/11. Yet the American public is distracted–focused on other things and indifferent at best. Meanwhile, Congress seems to have forgotten these people are heroes and have mistaken them for government assistance cheats. First, adding in legislation, rules for checking each person requesting aid against a terrorist watch list. No Joke. Then seeming to bend over backwards to deny cancer claims of the responders–refusing, against medical reports, to link their cancers to being exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero. Even going so far to specifically deny paying such cancer claims in the debated bill. And, then, the GOP actually filibustered the bill. Yes, even ( I Love America) Paul Ryan.
In 2011, shame got Congress to act (a little bit). Thanks in part to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who brought the issue up a few times on his show, a bill was passed: The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
But soon after Congress pat itself on the back for passing a bill, it forgot again. Many 9/11 responders are still waiting to be compensated. More than 11 years later.
So I say, this 9/11, we forgot. Not only them. But we forgot that one of the things that makes America great: we honor and support those who would give their all to support us beyond lip service.
Apparently that seems too much to ask of such a “patriotic” nation. You know, the one that’s willing to pay $1.95 to put a magnet on their car to say they support the troops. Plus tax!
If you want to watch your jaw drop or do an involuntary face palm, watch this clip of Congress adding the terrorist watch list clause to the 9/11 Responders bill. You know, to stop the terrorist organization known as Ladder Company #4.