by Emily Drooby, Currents News
President Donald Trump signed a bill on July 29 to extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund through 2090.
By signing the act into law, Trump made good on his promise to help those most affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Today we come together as one nation to support our September 11th heroes to care for their families and to renew our eternal vow, never ever forget,” Trump said during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House. “They answered terror with the emotional strength of true American warriors. You inspire all of humanity.”
This signing creates long-awaited financial stability for the victims of 9/11 and their families, something first responder John Feal has been fighting for.
“These men and women, uniformed and non-uniformed, the children of lower Manhattan are sick and dying and their families are being left in financial ruins,” Feal said, according to CNN.
Experts say the number of deaths from 9/11-related cancer and other diseases will outnumber the nearly 3,000 people who died on the day of the attacks. The fund will help pay for claims and medical bills stemming from workers’ extended time at the pile.
The House and Senate had passed the bill authorizing money for the fund earlier in July.
The bill was renamed “The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” to honor three late first responders NYPD detective James Zadroga, FDNY firefighter Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez, an NYPD detective and a parishioner of Immaculate Conception in Astoria.
The men had diseases linked to their time working on clean-up efforts at Ground Zero.
“You all said you would never forget; well, I’m here to see that you don’t,” Alvarez said in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, weeks before his death on June 29, helping pave the way for the extension of a fund he never got a chance to see.
“I thank Congress for recognizing the bravery and sacrifices of the 200 FDNY members who have lost their lives since September 11th, and the thousands more who are battling illnesses still today,” said Commissioner Daniel Nigro in a statement. “By reauthorizing the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund, they have made a lifelong commitment that these men and women have earned, and truly deserve.”
(Allyson Escobar contributed to this report.)