9/11 first responders to be honored with their own memorial
The heroes who rushed to the World Trade Center on 9/11 as everyone else ran for their lives the other way are finally getting a memorial of their own.
Gov. Cuomo will announce on Sunday plans for a new memorial to honor 9/11 first responders — those killed in the desperate attempt to save others, those who died from 9/11 related illnesses and others who continue to suffer the devastating effects of the terror attack.
Cuomo said it's necessary to have a memorial separate from the National 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan to honor the valor of these men and women.
“Their selflessness and bravery embodies the spirit of America and should never be forgotten," he said.
“This monument will rightly serve as an eternal reminder of the courage, sacrifice and bravery demonstrated by our first responders in the aftermath of 9/11, and ensure that their legacy will never be forgotten."
The state will soon issue request for proposals — the first step towards starting public works projects — and evaluate different bids for the best site. But just where the monument will be erected is unclear.
The announcement — timed with the 15th anniversary of the attacks — comes on the same day Cuomo plans to ride with more than 250 first responders representing fire and police stations across New York State down the West Side Highway to Ground Zero, now a yearly ritual.
For years, advocates have called for a separate memorial honoring first responders, including many still suffering from illnesses they contracted from the dust and debris in the days immediately following the attack.
On Friday, US Congress members Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King wrote a letter to Governors Chris Christie and Cuomo calling on them to erect a permanent memorial for first responders near the 9/11 Museum.
"This new memorial will be another step in our efforts to keep our promise to never forget," said Maloney.
The three teamed up last year to push Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing $8.1 billion to extend the Zadroga Act, which pays for health care for those still confronting 9/11 related diseases.
It is named for James Zadroga, an NYPD officer who died in 2006 from respiratory issues he contracted after his heroic efforts at Ground Zero.