US To Commemorate 9/11 As Its Aftermath Extends And Evolves

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FILE- In this May 15, 2015 file photo, visitors gather near the pools at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. As they have done 17 times before, a crowd of victims' relatives is expected at the site on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 to observe the anniversary the deadliest terror attack on American soil. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York – Americans are commemorating 9/11 with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to “never forget” and rising attention to the terror attacks’ extended toll on responders.

A crowd of victims’ relatives is expected at ground zero Wednesday, while President Donald Trump is scheduled to join an observance at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence is to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Former President George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, is due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon.

Eighteen years after the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, the nation is still grappling with the aftermath at ground zero, in Congress and beyond. The attacks’ aftermath is visible from airport security checkpoints to Afghanistan. A rocket exploded at the U.S. embassy as the anniversary began in Afghanistan, where a post-9/11 invasion has become America’s longest war.

“People say, ‘Why do you stand here, year after year?'” Chundera Epps, a sister of Sept. 11 victim Christopher Epps, said at last year’s ceremony at the World Trade Center. “Because soldiers are still dying for our freedom. First responders are still dying and being ill.”

“We can’t forget. Life won’t let us forget,” she added.

The anniversary ceremonies center on remembering the nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked planes rammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001. All those victims’ names are read aloud at the ground zero ceremony, where moments of silence and tolling bells mark the moments when the aircraft crashed and the trade center’s twin towers fell.

But there has been growing awareness in recent years of the suffering of another group of people tied to the tragedy: firefighters, police and others who died or fell ill after exposure to the wreckage and the toxins unleashed in it.

While research continues into whether those illnesses are tied to 9/11 toxins, a victims compensation fund for people with potentially Sept. 11-related health problems has awarded more than $5.5 billion so far. Over 51,000 people have applied.

After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won’t run dry . Trump, a Republican and a New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, signed the measure in July.

The sick gained new recognition this year at the memorial plaza at ground zero, where the new 9/11 Memorial Glade was dedicated this spring.

The tribute features six large stacks of granite inlaid with salvaged trade center steel, with a dedication “to those whose actions in our time of need led to their injury, sickness, and death.” No one is named specifically.

Some 9/11 memorials elsewhere already included sickened rescue, recovery and cleanup workers, and there is a remembrance wall entirely focused on them in Nesconset, on Long Island. But those who fell ill or were injured, and their families, say having a tribute at ground zero carries special significance.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced Monday that its 9/11 memorial will close next week for electrical and lighting work. The project, expected to take until late May, includes repairs to lighting glitches in the shallow reflecting pools under the memorial benches.

Sept. 11 is known not only as a day for remembrance and patriotism, but also as a day of service. People around the country continue to volunteer at food banks, schools, home-building projects, park cleanups and other charitable endeavors on and near the anniversary.

(AP)

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9 COMMENTS

  1. These sick Muslims grew up in a culture and society that taught them to do this horrendous despicable coward act . As frum Jews let’s all daven that the whole society be smitten with yena machla.
    לעשות נקמה בגייום
    נקם נקמת דם עבדך השפוך

  2. It’s been eighteen long years, and to this date, not one bureaucrat in the federal government, whether at the FBI, CIA, Dept. of Defense, FAA, and others, have ever been held accountable for their misfeasance, malfeasance, incompetence, and negligence, which led to that horrendous day. In the armed services, if a poor private doesn’t make his bed correctly, he is ordered to do many pushups. However, these big machers at the top are allowed to retire quietly and collect their pensions, in spite of their incompetence. The 9/11/01 report, as voluminous as it was, not once mentioned who was culpable on the USA side, regarding the attacks of that day. However, some sixty years earlier, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress held extensive hearings, and assigned blame to two individuals. The FBI headquarters was warned more than once, by field agents, about Middle Eastern males taking flying lessons, under suspicious circumstances. Their reports were ignored by headquarters, who refused to authorize search warrants with a judge. Also, although the CIA positively knew that several of the 9/11 hijacking terrorists were in the USA, it failed to inform the FBI. The airlines knew of hijacking attempts being a possibility that summer, but failed to warn the flight crews, as well as the public. The philosophy of the airlines at that time was “to cooperate with the hijackers”. The government bailed the airlines out, and saved them from any legal liability. Everybody passed the buck, and still does the same thing to this day. In 2001, the FAA allowed the public to bring box cutters on board commercial aircraft. Today, if one brings a sandwich on board a plane, they are harassed.

  3. not trying to take the tragedy away from anyone, but…
    how about the 3,000 kedoshim that were killed in one day, every day, for years, in the shoah.
    I can’t stop thinking of my grandma lined up in front of an open grave, with all jews from that shtetl….
    zachor .

  4. I heard Mayor Guilani , America’s mayor on WCBS and it was chilling. people forget how much the mayor supported us in our time of need. He is now considered a devil but to those of us that never forget Rudy is our hero. I hope he runs for president in 2024.

  5. Guiliani had the NYPD arrest the brave NYFD firefighters at Ground Zero, because Guiliani wanted to limit the overtime pay that the firefighters were earning at the site. This is not fake news, as I saw the cops arresting the firefighters at the site, when they wouldn’t leave.

    • Nope it’s fake news . Guilani cut the amount of fire fighters on the scene bec there were way too many people in the way and it was becoming too crowded . It was in nov which was weeks after the building fell and it was time to start moving on as bad as that sounds .
      Rudy was always there when we needed him
      Nice new screen name

      • For your information, Archy, Nachum is in fact my Hebrew name; regarding your name, I don’t know of any Yidden with the name “Archy”. In your case, it is virtually impossible for you to disagree with anyone on this site in a civil manner, without resorting to sarcasm, being abrasive, and in some cases using uncouth language.
        Regarding Guiliani, the arrests of the firefighters took place on November 1, 2001, which was only seven weeks after the attack. There was still plenty of cleaning up at the site, as well as searching to be done. Guiliani used the “safety” issue as an excuse to limit overtime for the brave firefighters. When I visited Ground Zero, a few months later, in March, 2002, there was still clearing of debris being done at that site.

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