Jo looks back on 9-11

This past Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of 9-11.

It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed, and yet it still seems like yesterday. In those first few days when first responders were sifting through noxious, poisonous rubble — hoping against all hope to find someone that had survived — the chemical fumes of burned jet fuel, office furniture, and concrete dust filled the air. As far away as my neighborhood in Gravesend, the air was heavy with the smell of smoke. I can just imagine how bad it was in that pit.

I remember Christine Todd Whitman, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency at the time, telling those that spent hour after hour, day after day, digging and searching that all was safe and that there was nothing to worry about.

All these years gone, Ms. Whitman now says she was sorry she gave that all-clear. How very wrong she was — along with all those experts that said it was “okay” to continue to dig, only to discover that it wasn’t safe at all.

Ms. Whitman apologized right before the anniversary saying, “People have died because I made a mistake.”

So many first responders that volunteered their time and skill have come down with cancers of all manner. Even the rescue dogs were afflicted — some were diagnosed within a short time after 9-11, others lasted a bit longer, and still there are more even today that can attribute ill health to that fateful tragedy.

How very noble of her. Now if we can only convince those members of congress that sit very far away from any danger that she was indeed very wrong and that they need to pass whatever measures are necessary to protect those affected and their families.

Not for Nuthin™, the apology was nice, but it was just a little too little and a lot too late.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail her at jdelb[email protected]cnglocal.com.

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