9/11 reminds us all of what we lost and how the world changed on that terrible day. It is this generations Pearl Harbor. We lost our sense of invulnerability and our naive sense that the terrorists attacked others and couldn't hurt us at home. While life in America has resumed it normalcy Americans from all parts of our country have gone into harms way to defend our freedom and our way of life. Whether or not one feels the war in Iraq was justified, Americans have answered the call and continue to do so. Those men and women in our armed services serving our nation are not alone, their families and friends, and indeed should all Americans, share in the concern for them.
It only takes a look around any airport to see uniformed men and women traveling to and from bases overseas or within the United States to realize that those young people and some not so young are out there for us. Thousands have died and been wounded in our service and that has been shared by the nation.
The conflict in Iraq is winding down, unfortunately we do not see an end to the current conflict in Afghanistan. Many have challenged George Bush's wisdom and honesty with his invasion of Iraq, but Afghanistan remains a war with a greater justification in the minds of many Americans. It was the location of Al Qaeda and their allies, the Taliban. It remains unresolved and it may come down to a non-military solution to finally resolve the conflict. Our men and women of the military deserve the best that the nation can do for them, most importantly strong honest leadership from our government. To all who go in harms -god speed.
The forgotten victims deserve more than they have received. Let us not forget those first responders to the 9/11 tragedy. Many are now suffering from the effects of exposure to toxic agents and the government help has expired. The effects may take up to twenty years to manifest itself and currently many are already developing debilitating and terminal illnesses. Rep Maloney, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Michael McMahon (D-NY), have introduced a bill before congress H.R. 847, the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to help these victims of 911. "The serious health impacts of the 9/11 disaster were both immediate and long-term, affecting thousands of Ground Zero responders and downtown residents and office workers, as well as children in the City’s school system and significant portions of the region’s population as a whole. The federal response to these health emergencies has been inadequate and disappointing because of significant funding delays, a lack of organization, and failures to respond to the full degree necessary by the administration’s health agencies." For more information, see Rep. C. Maloney
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