9/11 Heroes Blast Obama: Forget The Mosque, We’re Dying
Wednesday, Aug 18th, 2010
Hero 9/11 first responders, many of whom are sick and dying, have slammed Obama in an open letter for ignoring their plight while taking the time to outline views on a proposed mosque close to ground zero, the site of the 2001 attacks that felled the twin towers.
The letter, written by Jon Feal, head of the Fealgood Foundation, one of the largest and most vocal 9/11 responders’ groups, asks “Why have you failed us?”
“…your campaign said you supported the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would provide us with the health care we earned through our service to this country. Since that time, though, you’ve said absolutely nothing about the heroes of 9/11. We thought you would be our champion, because the last administration failed us.” Feal’s letter continues.
Feal has worked tirelessly with other 9/11 responders to lobby lawmakers to introduce meaningful legislation to compensate and help care for rescue workers who are still suffering from respiratory problems and serious illnesses caused by toxic dust they were told by the EPA was safe to breathe during the cleanup effort.
He outlines how Obama has had to “be dragged kicking and screaming into providing help for 9/11 responders”, yet has still not fulfilled the campaign promises he made to help the heroes.
“…it is disturbing that you have the time and energy to speak in favor of the mosque, but not on the health crisis caused by the attacks.” the letter to Obama further states, also making clear that media driven controversy over the mosque is simply not an issue for the Fealgood Foundation.
“It is our understanding that you have never personally addressed the issue of 9/11 responders and survivors on your own, and that the only time you have even mentioned the issue was when you were confronted about it.” Feal adds.
“After nine years of speeches and tributes but no action, we’ve heard enough. And sir if you choose not to come to New York on the 9th anniversary, then I implore you to make a public statement saying you support 9/11 responders.” The letter concludes.
As The New York Daily News reports, the responders’ grievances with the president have been supported by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), who has worked closely with them on promoting the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which fell short of a two-thirds vote in the House last month owing to Republican opposition.