When the world watched in horror as the twin towers collapsed into dust, I knew that the world had not seen the last victims of the attacks of 9/11. At the time I was a model maker, and I always wore protective masks to protect my lungs from the chemicals I worked with and from the the dust that was released in the air as I sanded models. I was even more careful if I, when casting models in resins, used a filler that was made of microscopic glass balls. Because once inhaled you can never get rid of them, and they can cause tumors in the lungs.
When only days after the attack the EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, responsible for monitoring the air quality during and after disasters such as the 911 attacks told the New Yorkers that the air quality was fine, and told them to all go back to work I knew that there was no way this could be true.
The twin towers collapsed in less than 12 seconds. That is as if there was nothing resisting the fall of the towers. The fell into their own footprints in free fall speed. They did not just collapse one floor onto another, they pulverized, causing a huge pyroclastic flow of infinitely microscopic particles of hundreds of different toxins. From asbestos to highly corrosive pulverized concrete. From mercury, titanium, barium, to those same microscopic glass particles that had me wearing hot uncomfortable heavy face masks for fear of breathing them in.
As I watched the pyroclastic clouds wash over the Hudson river I knew that the number of those initial victims would be dwarfed in the years to come by the hundreds of thousands of New York residents, and the 10 of thousands of first responders that had breathed in those clouds, and would become ill as the toxins set out to do their damaging work.
At this moment (6.5 years after the attacks) approximately 8500 (almost three times the number of the initial victims) first responders are ill to the point of never being able to work again and they are basically waiting to die a horrible painful slow death. Many have died of cancers, tumors, pulmonary lung disease, and many are suffering from the same diseases with many of them depending on oxygen bottles to help them through the day. Thousands of children who were at school during the attacks in the vicinity are suffering from asthma, and other respiratory illnesses, and deteriorating.
There were 40.000 first responders. True heroes who responded the only way they knew how. They went in to those buildings and tried to save as many people as they could. And when the towers collapsed they came to the pile and started to dig for survivors. They came from all over the states. and three quarter of these people are now expected to fall ill of one or more of the same illnesses the first 8500 already have. There are no figures about the civilians that went back to work on wall street, and who lived around the buildings, but New Yorkers all recognize the “911 cough” as a prelude to worse things to come.
You would expect these people to be taken care of by the Government. They started two wars in the wake of these attacks to repay the “perpetrators of these heinous terror attacks” for the fact that they had dared to attack American citizens.
But nothing is further from the truth:
To this date a mere 100 million dollar has been put aside for the medical care of the first responders. They do not receive financial support to keep their families clothed and fed. The medical aid has been cut to 25 million this year.
Compare that to the 3 Trillion that has been spend on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and you will know were the priorities of the US Government lie.