The brave first responders who entered the twin towers on 9/11 are heroes in every sense of the word.
On that day, the worst attack on our homeland since World War II, these first responders put their lives on the line by going into burning buildings to try to save innocent people’s lives after the cowardly attack. Many of them died in doing so.
We should always have the utmost respect for those who perished on that fateful day and for those who were lucky enough to survive. It has been estimated that 2,000-plus victims have since been killed by exposure to toxins during the recovery effort.
This is very sad, indeed. These are the first responders who survived the fiery towers as they fell, only to die later from toxins they inhaled while looking for survivors and clearing the debris.
One of those who was exposed to the toxins and fought hard for reauthorization of the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund for first responders was Luis Alvarez, who became ill as a result of the toxins. He contracted cancer after toiling at Ground Zero and died June 29. Before he died, he testified before Congress in support of the measure. Since his passing, it has been announced that the bill will be named after Alvarez and Ray Pfeifer, another first responder. Pfeifer, of the Fire Department of the City of New York, died in May 2017 after an eight-year battle with cancer. He spent eight months digging through the rubble of the twin towers, including a week camped out in his fire truck immediately after the attacks.
We believe the naming of this legislation after these two heroes is very fitting.
As we mentioned, the utmost respect should be given to all first responders who were in NYC on 9/11 and its aftermath. One might want to tell that, however, to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. They weren’t only no-shows at Alvarez’s funeral last week, they were also no-shows at a solemn ceremony May 30 to dedicate a Ground Zero memorial to the 2,000-plus victims killed by exposure to toxins.
The reasons for missing this brave man’s funeral? De Blasio was in Iowa campaigning for president. This makes no sense, as this is a man who has no shot of becoming president of the United States. Even if he had a shot, he should have cleared his schedule to attend the funeral for this brave man who gave it all on 9/11 and up until his death. Cuomo missed the funeral because he was too busy in Oceanside, Long Island. Cuomo was at Jones Beach State Park to take the first ride on a new zip line attraction there.
Both of these are far less important than actually showing up to a funeral and paying your respects to a American hero from a city and a state they lead.
This is very telling about both men. It really is a sad day when you have a governor and a mayor of a city where the worst attack on our soil in over 60 years took place and they cannot attend the funeral for someone like Alvarez.
We think it’s a slap in the face to all 9/11 victims and their families and especially to Alvarez. Hopefully, the voters of that state will remember this when election season rolls around again.