Politicians and labor leaders held a rally at Ground Zero Sept. 8 in support of efforts to get federal funding for first responders, construction workers, volunteers, residents, and students exposed to health risks in the 9-11 attacks and their aftermath. On the sixth anniversary of that day, three New York Congressman––Democrats Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, and Republican Vito Fossella––are to introduce the 9-11 Health and Compensation Act, which would provide healthcare and monitoring to all those exposed to the environment of downtown Manhattan after the attacks.
Sen. Hillary Clinton was at the rally, winning cheers from the crowd and posing for photos with labor leaders. Both Clinton and Rudy Giuliani will be back at Ground Zero on Sept. 11 for the anniversary memorial services. Clinton will not be speaking at that event, but Giuliani will read a number of names of those who were killed. (Gothamist, Sept. 9)
This has created a great deal of controversy. A survey conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene indicates rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero are developing asthma at a rate 12 times greater than average for the adult population. (Occupational Hazards, Aug. 30) Responding to criticism from first-responders last month that Giuliani bore responsibility for the health crisis and is cynically exploiting 9-11 for his political ambitions, Rudy said: “I was there working with them. I faced same health risks as ground zero workers.” When this only further inflamed criticism, he backpedaled, saying “I think I could have said it better… You know, what I was saying was, ‘I’m there with you.'”(AP, Aug 10)
Bloomberg says Giuliani’s only role at the ceremony will be to help read aloud the victims’ names. (Newsday, Aug. 28) But this is too much for many survivors. “Families and first responders are outraged and call for this speaking invitation to be rescinded and insist that politics be kept out of the 9/11 anniversary ceremony,” said a joint statement by four 9-11 survivor groups. “Rudy Giuliani should attend in silence with other invited guests.” (Reuters, Aug. 29)
The city was treated to another political spectacle Sept. 9 as hundreds of Muslims chanted and waved flags from around the globe as they marched through Manhattan in New York’s 22nd annual American Muslim Day Parade—unfortunately, bringing the usual kneejerk Islamophobes out of the woodwork. A handful of protesters jeered and heckled from behind police barricades along Madison Avenue, having failed in an Internet campaign to get the parade canceled. The gaggle of geeks shouting “God bless America!” and “No more 9-11s!” at the peaceful marchers called themselves (apparently without intentional irony) Americans Against Hate.
A member of the parade organizing committee, Dr. Hafiz Ur Rehman, a pediatrician from Bay Shore, Long Island, said the marchers condemned the 9-11 attacks: “We are law-abiding citizens, and we want the people of New York to know that Muslims are part and parcel of the landscape. The motto of this parade is that Islam holds human dignity high. And that is what we want to demonstrate.”
Every speaker at the stage alongside Madison Square Park emphasized that terrorism is antithetical to Islamic values, and praised the USA as a land of tolerance. The stage event opened with a group sing-along of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Bloomberg did not attend the parade, but a statement of support from him was read from the stage. “It would be a terrible mistake for anyone to implicate a whole group of innocent individuals—no matter what their faith — with the terrible acts committed on September 11, 2001,” the mayor wrote. These words were invoked by many of the speakers, who expressed their gratitude to the mayor—despite the obvious snub of his non-attendance. (Newsday, Sept. 9; Newsday, Sept. 8; NY1, Sept. 9; WW4R on the scene)
At least this year, the idiot-left sectarian vampires did not attempt to exploit the parade.
See our special feature, “Health Hazards Rise from Dust of Ground Zero.”