The Forgotten 9/11 Ground Zero Heroes
Marie Cocco of the Washington Post has a great column today profiling one of our clients, Jeanmarie DeBiase, the widow of 9/11 hero Mark DeBiase. While sick police officers and firefighters have received much deserved attention, workers in a variety of occupations, without whom the Ground Zero clean-up could not have been possible, have not received the same level of press. Mark was a wireless phone technician who set up emergency communications for other 9/11 rescue and first responders and volunteers. He died on April 9, 2006 due to interstitial lung disease caused by exposure to dust and toxins at the Fresh Kills landfill, where the World Trade Center debris was trucked.
More importantly, they have not received the same level of medical and monetary support as the police and firefighters. Many have lost their health insurance for both themselves and their families. Many ill workers continue to struggle as they fight workers’ compensation claims being vigorously fought by employers who have forgotten the meaning of the word "compassion". On this sixth anniversary of the collapse of the Twin Towers, may we all re-dedicate ourselves to helping families who cannot "move on" from September 11, 2001.