PoliceOne had a touching letter this week, written by Sgt. Glenn French. In it, he discusses the nation’s forgotten first responders to the 9/11 tragedy: Those brave men and women who are still having severe health problems and other struggles that are being ignored by politicians.
September 11th 2001 galvanized this nation like no other single event in recent history. While some of the sights and sounds of the attacks on our nation horrified us, we watched with great pride as our police and fire responded to these attacks like platoons of soldiers in a battle for their lives.
As days passed, the nation grew closer and patriotism was at an all time high. President George W. Bush stood at ground zero in front of the still smoldering pile of rubble and stated, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
Citizens of this nation cheered the President as we embarked on a mission to bring justice to the terrorists who committed this monstrosity on innocent civilians.
That day the President was surrounded by men and woman whom volunteered to conduct rescue and recovery operations at ground zero. These heroes didn’t hesitate to risk their lives for the countless police, fire and civilian buried under the world trade center. The President, in his speech to the rescuers stated “our country will never forget your sacrifice.”
Despite the former President’s promise, the sad reality is politics have dealt these American heroes a dirty hand. The truth is, this country has forgotten the responder’s sacrifice or at least the politicians have. These men and woman still struggle to get the proper medical care and benefits they need to treat the illnesses contracted by the smoke and pollutants as they searched and recovered our dead and injured Warriors that grim month of September 2001.
Sgt. French dedicated himself to raising awareness and money for first responders who were injured or got sick after 9/11. He believes many have been denied disability money due them. John made 91 trips to Washington D.C. from his home in New York, to push lawmakers to pass the “James Zadroga 9/11 Bill.”
You can read the entire story at PoliceOne.