Our country was forever changed thirteen years ago today, when terrorists bent on destroying our nation hijacked four passenger planes.
It’s unthinkable, even today, that two of those planes would destroy the World Trade Center and that a third would strike the Pentagon. We lost nearly 3,000 innocent lives on September 11, 2001, and scores more were impacted by the tragic events of that horrific day.
First responders risked their own lives as they rushed to the Twin Towers, hoping to save others, while volunteers from across the country helped sift through rubble and debris in the days that followed.
Far too many of these everyday heroes were exposed to toxins that endangered their health. I was pleased to co-sponsor the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, to ensure that we meet their health needs.
Thanks to the Zadroga Act, the 9/11 Compensation Fund was re-opened and those who sustained physical injuries or developed a chronic illness can apply for assistance. Claims can also be filed on behalf of the deceased.
I urge everyone who became sick as a result of working or volunteering at Ground Zero, but has not yet filed a claim, to visit www.vcf.gov or call the helpline at (855) 885-1555 for more information.
America lost its innocence on September 11th, but we can never forget the sacrifices that have been made following that tragic day. We must continue to be vigilant, and to protect our country from the threat of terror.
Eliot L. Engel
MEMBER OF CONGRESS