Saturday, September 10, 2011
Furthermore, according to the studies reported by Dr. Thomas Farley Commissioner of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, post traumatic stress symptoms are the most common health effect of 9/11. Almost one in five (19%) adults enrolled in the Health Department's World Trade Center Health Registry reported post-traumatic stress symptoms 5 to 6 years after 9/11, roughly 4 times the rate typically found in the general population.
On Saturday September 10th, I attended a back to school Health Fair where I spoke with some firemen who were a part of 9/11. Listening to their recounts of that time was extremely moving. They also shared that they were not invited to attend the ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I found it to be impossible to understand. How could these men and women who responded to a call that risked their lives not be invited to attend the ceremony? Some of these men and women are now fighting to survive. It is my opinion that all first responders should be on the priority list of attending the ceremonies even before the politicians and other invited dignitaries. With all due respect, the ones who made the difference are those who rescued, searched and worked tirelessly at ground zero have more rights to attend than those who watched and were briefed from the safety of their homes/offices.
I salute all of you who responded to the site at ground zero - NYPD, FDNY, Volunteers, Health Care Professionals, etc. I hope that you will receive all the financial support and mental services with your health and wellness concerns. As you reflect on the 9/11 anniversary, what comes to mind?