9/11 Heroes and the Zadroga Act
With today being the 14th anniversary of 9/11, I wanted to honor New York City’s first responders by focusing on a current issue at stake – the Zadroga Act.
The Zadroga Act was named after James Zadroga – an NYPD officer who died of respiratory disease caused by his search and rescue service during 9/11. Everyone knows that New York lost several members of our NYPD and FDNY departments, but what many don’t realize is that police officers and firefighters who survived the attacks have since passed away. This is due to exposure to the 9/11 rubble and debris, which has led to respiratory problems and various types of cancers – many, of which, lay dormant for years. I’ll admit, I didn’t even know it was an issue until I saw New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speak about it during an interview with Jon Stewart.
President Obama originally signed the Zadroga Act in January of 2011. As the New York Daily News states:
The law provides compensation and health coverage to firefighters, cops and thousands of other Americans suffering from an array of health ailments tied to air they breathed while working or living near Ground Zero after the attack.
Now that those benefits are set to expire, democrats are lobbying to have the Zadroga Act extended, with people like Jon Stewart, Senator Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney being some of its main supporters. While people are hoping that the Act’s extension will be a main topic during the 2016 presidential election, most republicans have been fighting against it and only two republican candidates (George Pataki and Rick Perry) are in support of continuing to provide 9/11 heroes with healthcare compensation.
For more information about the Zadroga Act and its importance, check out the video below. And keep in mind that this should be an absolute no-brainer. New York’s first responders are the best at what they do, and they all rose to the occasion when the city needed their help most. The least we can do is show our appreciation and support by helping them with the medical aftermath they have been dealing with over the past 14 years.