August 24, 2009
New York’s emergency services were among the first on the scene of the 9/11 disaster but put their personal safety in jeopardy. Those involved in the rescue and clean-up operation quickly became national heroes.
But now 85 per cent of them are suffering from lung diseases which they say were caused by the huge clouds of dust. Those people are now calling on the state for medical support.
So far the US government has refused to help.
ohn McNamara is the most recent ground zero first responder to die from cancer. He battled to save lives that day but lost his own battle aged just 44 – a victim of his own bravery.
His courage was commemorated at St. Patrick’s cathedral, where McNamara’s funeral took place.
Today his son Jack McNamara is still too young to understand his father’s actions that day. All he knows is that dad was a firefighter.
“I and the other families of the victims are so devastated that so many of these valiant firefighters who struggled to find my son and to save others are now paying the price,” says Sally Reigenhardt whose son died in the 9/11 attacks.