No Firefighters at Ground Zero Memorial?

First responders were not invited to the Ground Zero memorial, making this mom wonder: Do New York City officials remember that day?

I remember waking up on Sept. 11, 2001.

It was 5:30 a.m. My husband was leaving for work, and I was having my coffee. He turned on the TV to see the Monday Night Football highlights. One plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

I remember it as if it were yesterday. The visions have never left my thoughts. I remember that afternoon when my mom called me and said my brother, an LAFD captain, was on a bus to go to March Air Force Base to fly out and be a part of the rescue effort. He was heading to what the firefighters in New York at the time called "The Pile." It wasn’t Ground Zero those first few weeks; it was a pile of buildings, furniture, dust, dirt, walls and bodies.

I always worried when my brother was at work. I love him, he is my family and he sometimes does dangerous work. This event was scary—take-your-breath-away scary—and you could tell when you talked to him on the phone when he was in N.Y. that he was scared and exhausted, and emotional. It could have happened in Los Angeles; it could have been 343 LAFD firefighters who lost their lives because 19 monsters decided to hijack airplanes and kill Americans.

My brother, whose wife was pregnant with their third child when he left, did not die on 9/11 or from terrorism. But he did ingest some kind of toxin from the rubble at The Pile that hurt his heart, and at 34 he suffered a heart attack and now has a pacemaker because his heart does not work properly. It was fine until 9/11. He was in NYC last week for some business and sent pictures from Ground Zero. He said it made him very emotional.

So when CNN ran this atrocious story that Mayor Michael Bloomberg basically excluded the heroes of the greatest tragedy our country has ever known, I was upset.

Bloomberg says he will try to have a ceremony at a different time to accommodate first responders. That's like celebrating New Year's Eve on Jan. 3.

The fact that billionaire Bloomberg got away with excluding first responders is sad and atrocious. He made this National Day of Service a travesty, a political who’s who invitational event. It’s all about them and no longer about the Americans who lost their lives. It's a blatant sign of disrespect to those wonderful service people who volunteered and bravely ran upstairs into the burning buildings. It  makes me wonder, with his putrid choice, are we now going to turn this National Day of Service into another reason for retail outlets to have a white sale?

Shripathi Kamath September 13, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Not so fast, Avery! If you watched grass grow on the Mission Viejo slopes instead of the Tea Party debate with Wolfman Blitzer last night, all accounting is not the same: Rick Santorum asserted that Bush’s Medicare Part D prescription drugs is “40% under budget” which is like saying, “the Iraq War ****under our control**** cost negative two trillion dollars.” So from 2003 to January 21, 2009, it cost us -2,000,000,000,000,000,000 Since then 3,000,000,000,000,000,000 Carry the nine, divide by π (pi), subtract two numbers and Obama's Iraq invasion cost us 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Man, Obama cares nothing about firefighters, old people and our troops.
Bretta September 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM
National Day of Service? When did that happen? Usama Bin Laden has been killed - we should move on. I worked for DOD on that day; I was on a plane doing USAF business that morning; we had to deplane when they told us the Pentagon had been hit and all flights grounded; I had many friends working at there; I went back to my duty station and all of us at the base were in shock and we didn't know what we were to do next. This article is maudlin. Just like Sarah Palin likes to invoke "the troops" when she and her secessionist husband have never served in the military, just so she can "pimp-the-people" to get their money for her new life living off her PAC funds, this article is using the responders' call to duty that day to make us feel emotional and reactionary.
Dan Avery September 13, 2011 at 11:06 PM
That's precisely why I majored in English. Numbers are too darn slippery
Bretta September 13, 2011 at 11:13 PM
@Shri at 2:38pm; yes, the EPA did extensive air testing at the twin towers and there is significant evidence of toxic environment; yes, quite a few diseases and deaths have been connected to responder activities.
Bretta September 13, 2011 at 11:18 PM
I respectfully submit, Shri, that comments such as,"...Obama cares nothing about firefighters, old people and our troops," causes you to lose credibility, not to mention that you bray exactly like the inane $arah Palin when you do.
Rebecca Goddard September 13, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Wow. The claws came out thanks Pete for rescuing me from the lions.
Shripathi Kamath September 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Apologeticum 40: "If the Tiber rises so high it floods the walls, or the Nile so low it doesn't flood the fields, if the earth opens, or the heavens don't, if there is famine, if there is plague, instantly the howl goes up, "The Christians to the lion!" What, all of them? to a single lion?" - Tertullian of Carthrage (modern Tunisia) circa 200 CE
Rebecca Goddard September 13, 2011 at 11:50 PM
http://www.serve.gov/sept11.asp - This is what I found on the National Day of Service from President Obama. Good thing we are all entitled to an opinion Bretta, I'll make sure to tell the first responders that I know they should "move on" from their disabilities they incurred when our country was senselessly and horribly sucker punched by crazy Islamic terrorist.
Julie Flores September 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM
I don't think she meant that first responders need move on. Thats not how I took it anyway.
Rebecca Goddard September 13, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Shri, I didn't judge anyone for not going to church, but I was stating that I went even though it is ridiculed by some posters on this site.
Rebecca Goddard September 14, 2011 at 12:00 AM
"we should move on" is a pretty sweeping statement then.
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:02 AM
I bet she voted in the Tea Party Republican Don Young who along with his party blocked the bill paying for healthcare costs of the first responders at Ground Zero till the commie Obama caved in on the Bush tax cuts; all his sponsoring was for the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act after 9/11. The airlines got billions of dollars to cover losses due to the attacks, gained insurance and the trust of fliers. Clearly they deserved it, because let's face it, ***aircraft*** flew into the towers not firemen. I also bet Bretta does not have a "I support the troops" sticker on her car, either.
Dan Avery September 14, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Once upon a time The Minneapolis Club was restricted. So some Jewish people got together and bought the building directly across the street from the Minneapolis Club so that they could form their own private club. Then they started telling everyone in town that their club had the best view in downtown Minneapolis because they weren't forced to look out at the only Jewish club in town. True story. America. It's a wonderful place.
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Julie, will you stop interfering, and let people interpret however they wish any statement without seeking clarification? Please. Bloom-berg is antisemitic. "Let's move on" is unpatriotic. Schlicht and Reardon have no character. Someone had to feed the lions.
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Perhaps you confused them ridiculing church-goers for church-going. Pretty sure it was church-goers that were being ridiculed for what they do/did, not simply for going to a church. Of course I could be wrong, so we'll go with what you said.
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:10 AM
I liked Archie Bunker's solution. He brought in Sammy Davis Jr., and satisfied the requirements of having a black man and a Jewish man. Did the Jewish place serve challah, teiglach and some Manischewitz to wash it down? If they did, it is silly to complain.
Dan Avery September 14, 2011 at 12:17 AM
I never received an invite to the Jewish Club. My dad did receive an invite to The Minneapolis Club and took me along. By then they were allowing Jews to join but we had to enter by the back door because we had a woman in our party and there were only a few rooms we could enter because there was a woman in our party. I remember our host threw a fit because they didn't have eggplant and they were supposed to keep it on hand in case he stopped in for dinner and wanted it.
Bretta September 14, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Hey - thanks for reminding me that the Republicans don't think the first responders need healthcare for their injuries from 9-11-01. Amazing, wasn't that? No, I don't vote for Tea-Buggers and I don't sport "support the troops" bumpers, yet, I actually have many military family members including a nephew and a stepdaughter (plus her husband) who have both recently served (several times) in Afghanistan and Iraq. For what? To get Dick Cheney more money for Halliburton for all their billion-dollar contracts with the government. As for me, check my record: in 2001 through 2004, I obtained the funding for the base's first responders that did not exist prior. I actually create better situations, instead of publishing platitudes to snark at leadership.
Bretta September 14, 2011 at 12:23 AM
All the maudlin mawk surrounding the "Sept 11th remembrances" wearies. 50,000 Americans die on our highways each year and the firefighters respond. Guess we should have a ceremony for them, too. What about the 5,000 soldiers who have died for Cheney's sexual gratification by war-mongering?
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:24 AM
Bretta, you say "publishing platitudes to snark at leadership" as if that is A Bad Thing. (Applause for your non-platitude work, though)
Rebecca Goddard September 14, 2011 at 12:30 AM
I believe we should all honor our service people fire, police, all branches of armed forces as often as possible. They make discussions like this possible, sorry to weary you so much all the time.
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 12:54 AM
I agree. Every year, and on every highway. And any MV council member not on the 405 this Sunday, is only showing his or her character. Let's also not forget politicians who drive on highways. When should we remember victims of the earthquake disasters, and the rescue workers who rushed into rubble to help them? I want to remember Max Cleland as well, but I cannot. Max Cleland was a decorated Viet Nam vet (silver and bronze stars), and was a distinguished senator from Georgia. Oh wait, he was a Democrat, so may be not a distinguished senator after all. He voted for Bush's tax cuts, he voted for the Iraq war, he had lost three limbs in Viet Nam. Not in that order. But I cannot remember him because he is not a senator anymore. You see, Saxby Chambliss won his seat defeating Cleland with a Rovian ad. An ad that portrayed Cleland as having no courage to fight bin Laden and Saddam, and simply appeasing the crazy Islamic terrorists. Here, see the ad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKFYpd0q9nE People immediately saw through the sham. He is not worth remembering. After all, it isn't as if he did not have one more limb to give. And backing those who caused 9/11? Why that's simply unholy! Unlike him, Chambliss http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxby_Chambliss is a patriot. Look, he is even wearing a flag pin. He is also a Republican.
Bretta September 14, 2011 at 01:25 AM
"Christians to the Lion" - so that was what Dick Cheney was after, sending our young troops to the Middle East - it was an offering, an appeasement to his gods, his gods of money and power.
Dan Avery September 14, 2011 at 01:53 AM
I believe that the moral of my little parable is quite simple. Unless you have enough money to buy a building in a major city just to achieve a punch line for a joke, or unless you have the money it takes for some place to keep fresh eggplant around daily in case you might come by and in case you might want to eat eggplant, you are not in the top 1% of the country that controls the wealth along with everything else. You will never be invited to 911 ceremonies or anything else and it really doesn't matter if you lost both your legs, eyes, and a lung saving a child that day. You are simply invisible to the powerful.
Rebecca Goddard September 14, 2011 at 02:03 AM
@Dan I always have eggplant. It's my fave. You are welcome to have a couple of my awesome eggplant dishes anytime. But I am soooooooo far from that 1/%
Shripathi Kamath September 14, 2011 at 02:08 AM
Yes, but we can do better. If someone is too big to fail, let's not deify them by gifting them eggplants. Let them buy it. Let's not vote in people without taking the time to understand what they have done. Yes, it is easier going by the party symbol next to their names, but then how would we know why Ms. Reardon and Ms. Schlicht voted against redevelopment, why that might have been a good thing (or a bad thing), and why "because both of them have admirable faith in God, bake pies on July 4th, are pro-citizens, and go to my church" is not A Good Reason to vote for them. (Or against them) Hey, I recommend that everyone read your columns on the city council and sundry politicians, Dan. But I also tell them not to trust you without cross-checking other sources, notably the city of Mission Viejo website, where they can actually hear these people, and then evaluate whether you should be trusted. Some middle-Eastern Jews make an excellent Baba ghanouj with eggplant. So if life gives you eggplants instead of lemons, make Baba ghanouj, and just buy some lemonade
Dan Avery September 14, 2011 at 02:27 AM
Me too. Lightyears away from the 1%; if I weren't such a pain in the butt I'd be totally invisible to everyone else as well. :) Thanks for the offer of eggplant. I have always wanted to have an eggplant-colored linen suit.
Rebecca Goddard September 14, 2011 at 02:32 AM
I don't sew but I make a hell of ep parm.
Dan Avery September 14, 2011 at 02:42 AM
When life gives me lemons I use them as twists for my martinis.
Bretta September 14, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Thank you, Shri; 20 years as a responder - when the firefighters call you out of bed at one AM saying, please, we need you now, this is the situation; you go, even if you cannot wake up enough to comprehend the address. You write it down, pull on your pants, show up and at minus four degrees start barking orders. It amazes me still how I knew what to do, had the command, and that people listened and made it happen. Good people. Time after time. Good stuff. But I don't, and most of us didn't, need ceremonies. Y'all can have them - W-H-A-T-E-V-A-H. .


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