Liz Erk (lizerk) wrote,
Liz Erk

5 Years Later...

I can't believe it's already been 5 years. And looking at recent photos of Ground Zero you wouldn't know it either.

Today there are parades, speeches and remembrances. At the end of the day things will go back to normal. Business as usual.

But it hasn't been "business as usual" for most of the people who were near the site when the towers fell, or the first responders who worked tirelessly to save lives and recover the ones that were lost. Over the last 4 years I have been reading article after article, describing the horrible toll these people's health have taken.

This summer I noticed that there's been a shift in the coverage. Alongside reports of 9/11-related illness are numerous accounts of deaths.

For example, Felicia Jones: Like for so many New Yorkers, Sept. 11 was an ordinary day for Felicia. By 8:45 that morning, she was having coffee with a co-worker in her office building, which was a block north of the trade center... In the weeks that followed, Felicia was scarred the way most of us were: invisibly, inside. She had nightmares and flashbacks. With the exception of some coughing, fatigue and nasal congestion, her physical health seemed ordinary... In January, that started to change. Coughing fits grew worse. Feb. 10, 2002, a Sunday, we were home with the kids - and things really got bad. I got up to make her a cup of tea. By the time I returned, she had stopped breathing.

Or how about James Zadroga: Doctors have already attributed one death -- that of 34-year-old NYC police detective James Zadroga -- to respiratory problems caused by Ground Zero exposures. Last Friday, Zadroga's father, Joseph, told a House subcommittee hearing that the government has spent too much time studying the health issues and not enough time treating those who were sickened or still at risk.

Google "9/11 health effects" and you'll find countless articles describing similar accounts. Yet NYC's Mayor Bloomberg's reaction to a Mount Sinai report linking 9/11 debris to serious health problems? At a noontime news conference, Tuesday, the mayor insisted there is no scientific test that can make such a direct connection between 9/11 exposure and health problems. City health experts said at the news conference that such direct cause and effect relationships must be established in a clinical setting and cannot be made with a single test.

So... it's just a coincidence that hundreds of rescuers who responded to the disaster in downtown NYC and people who were swallowed up in the dust cloud while running away from the collapse are all sick with serious respiratory diseases? (or are already dead as a result) Who is he kidding?

"They" say that we should "never forget." Yeah, we'll never forget what happened. But it feels as though the people who are funneling billions of dollars into the war in Iraq are forgetting about our own people at home. Who's paying to take care of them?

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