100 Rally At Ground Zero In Support Of Health Care Bill For First Responders

NY Daily News - October 25, 2009

by Jake Pearson and Christina Boyle

First responders rallied at Ground Zero on Saturday, urging Congress to pass a health care bill for workers who became sick inhaling toxic dust on 9/11.

At least 100 people waved banners and American flags to show their support for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named after an NYPD detective whose death was attributed to post-9/11 ailments.

"John cared about two things," said Jennifer McNamara, referring to her husband, a city firefighter who died of colon cancer in September.

"He cared about seeing his son grow up, and he cared about other sick 9/11 responders."

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) joined the protestors, demanding the lawmakers push forward with the bill.

"It is time we honor them not just with awards, but with the health care they deserve," Maloney said.

The bill would provide $10 billion for medical care for hundreds of first responders who have become ill since 2001.

Doctors have not directly linked their illnesses to Ground Zero.