NY Daily News - June 01, 2018by LARRY MCSHANE
The 9/11 victims who died in the years after the World Trade Center terror attack are getting their own memorial on the hallowed Lower Manhattan ground. The conceptual design was unveiled Wednesday for the "Memorial Glade" — honoring the first responders who labored for months on the toxic site and remembering the neighborhood residents or workers poisoned by the dirty air.
"As a recovery worker and the wife of a first responder, it gives me a sense of peace to know there will be a place dedicated to honoring our story," said Sonia Agron, who joined in the recovery effort.
Her husband Jose, a retired NYPD officer, developed bladder cancer and pulmonary fibrosis after responding to the site on 9/11.
Lifelong New Yorker Sonia, who has lost a kidney to 9/11-related cancer, worked as a volunteer on the smoldering property after the Twin Towers collapsed. Comedian Jon Stewart, an advocate for health care coverage for post-9/11 victims, will lead a major fund-raising effort — including a stint as chair of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum 5A Run/Walk and Community Day.
All proceeds from the 2019 event will go to the construction costs, with additional funding coming from New York State, the Building Trade Unions and Bombard Philanthropies. "These men and women sacrificed themselves for the rest of us, and have spent years suffering and dying because of it," said the former host of "The Daily Show."
"We have long owed it to them to honor their contributions," continued Stewart. "It is also important for us to recognize the folks who died or are suffering (and) who were exposed to World Trade Center toxins while working in Lower Manhattan or called the community home."
The new portion of the memorial on the WTC property was designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the original visionaries of the 9/11 memorial.
The design of the Memorial Glade will feature a new pathway that mirror the long gone ramp used by rescue and recovery workers for the nine months after 9/11.
And the path will end near the Survivor Tree, an enduring symbol of the city's resilience. The timing of the May 30 announcement marks the 16th anniversary of the formal finish to rescue and recovery efforts on the 16-acre property.
As February 2018, the FDNY list of recovery workers killed by WTC toxins hit 166. The NYPD has lost 24 cops so far in 2018, and another 24 last year to 9/11-related illnesses.
9/11 Memorial and Museum President Alice Greenwald said the project illustrated the facility's commitment to the community created by the horrible events of Sept. 11, 2001. "By integrating this meaningful public space at the Memorial, we see to recognize all those for whom 9/11 has remained an all-too-pleasant reality," she said.