When others were running from those falling towers on 9/11, they ran to them.
Amidst all the panic, all the smoke, all the dangers, they dropped it all and risked it all.
And now, more than five years after that horrible day, most of them have lost it all.
No insurance. No job. No respect.
It's not fair. It's not right. It's not American.
My heart goes out for those unfortunate to be on the wrong floor in the wrong building on the wrong day. Their families deserve some compensation for their loss.
But no more so than the families of those who tried to prevent that loss. They deserve something too.
But loopholes in workmen's compensation prevent it. Stubborn insurance companies using legalese dodge it and self-promoting politicians give lip service to it.
Tens of billions of dollars have gone to New York since that horrible day. Yet barely any money has made it to the real heroes of that day.
I still don't know where all that money went. I do know where it didn't go: to those who risked it all.
They're not asking for a handout, just a hand.
They are the sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters of the greatest generation. Every bit as great. Every bit as heroic. Every bit as determined to do it all again if they had to.
We owe them our thanks and we owe them our lives.
Surely in the billions we have spent in making New York safe, the results we cannot see.
We can drop some pennies on those who made us safe for the very heroic efforts we cannot miss.
And we cannot forget.
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