It is painful to me, and frankly a national disgrace, that we so mistreat those 9/11 first responders. Hundreds of them rushed into the fray. They followed their human instinct that was stronger in them than in most others to save lives, and it cost many their own lives.
Make the actual date of September 11th a federal holiday. None of this assigning it an "Every Second Monday" or "Every Second Friday" status. It's not like anybody who has any connection to the date, or even basic human compassion, doesn't spend a lot of time on that day thinking about what happened in 2001.
When my husband shared stories about these fateful events, his eyes fill with tears as he remembers the tragedy in 2001. But he is happy to share, and so blessed to be alive, and still believes in the freedoms of the United States of America. He is a hero, especially to my daughter and I.
With the Zadroga bill ending at the end of the month, we can expect the same politicians who get publicly weepy at 9/11 memorial services to go ahead and stiff those who personally responded to the emergency. As a nation, giving benefits to all those who were injured at Ground Zero should be a no-brainer, but this Congress can't even get that right.
Treatment with Nancy was complicated for me. I come from a family of police officers, detectives and first responders. I know how cops think. I was, in a way, kin to Nancy. It was as if I was helping my family or friends from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn. I wish I had accepted her invitation to her award ceremony. I would today.
Before Global Kids, I had a fear about what would happen if I opened my mouth. Would I get myself in trouble? Would I get my family in trouble? Global Kids taught us that what we have to say is important and that it can contribute to the discussions at hand.
As a white person in the U.S., I am conditioned from birth to see whiteness as safety -- white neighborhoods, white people, white authority figures. My lived experience, my conversations with people of color, and my study of history have shown me over and over that this is a wild and cruel perversion of the truth.
As the headlines buzz and our hearts ache with the news of Robin Williams losing his battle to mental illness, several quiet heroes have also lost their own battles in these last few years. Their fight wasn't against depression or drugs or celebrity scrutiny, but it was just as sinister, and just as heartbreaking.
We have taken it upon ourselves to carry the encumbrance of all that should have been done. Even though these thoughts of conjecture bare no fact, they have somehow embedded themselves into the already troubled minds and hearts of the responders.
Every year on September 11, we mourn the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that tragic day. We honor the firefighters, police officers and first responders who risked and gave their lives to save so many others.
Tucking the box in the closet, as if the memories would remain trapped inside, I spoke about the events to no one. At that time, I had no idea I was on a path to self-destruction or how much my life will have changed over the coming year.
This day is also about remembering the heroes who are still here, who touched our lives and held our family up as we struggled to process our enormous loss and rebuild our lives in the years that followed.
While volunteering during the cleanup of 9/11, 8,000 pounds of steel crushed John Feal's foot. He ended up starting the FealGood Foundation, a nonprof...
The day after Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941, every able bodied man and woman joined the war effort... and so it was on September 12, 2001. I came ho...
The U.S. has the hardware. But what about the software? Legacy? Developed before the mobile app era? And what about the brains to make robots do the things that would be required of first responders, do the dirty work of containment and cleanup, while not tire or sacrifice human lives in the process?
FirstNet is going to make sure we minimize any chance for communications failures during emergencies. Sadly, though, we have seen what happens when our first responders can't communicate, most notably on September 11, 2001.