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9/11 Responders: Oil Spill Victims Are Getting Support, Where's Ours?

9/11 Responders: Oil Spill Victims Are Getting Support, Where's Ours?

Firefighters respond to the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. [AP]

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

June 18, 2010

WASHINGTON – The gulf oil catastrophe is striking a raw nerve with 9/11 victims who finally get their first hearing in the U.S. Senate this month.

After watching President Obama declare BP will be held accountable, people whose lives were crushed by the 2001 terror attacks said their government remains unaccountable to them.

“The government told us it was safe, the government told us to go in there,” said Jennifer McNamara, whose firefighter husband listened to then-EPA boss Christie Whitman say the air was safe. John McNamara died last year of cancer.

“Where the hell’s the accountability from our government?” said his widow.

The House is near passing a bill to bring accountability with the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, but the Senate lags. Its first hearing is June 29.

It can’t come soon enough for Sept. 11 victims watching the feds scrambling – rightly, they say – to help people in the gulf while 9/11 responders are dying.

“The time between then and where we are now has really clouded a lot of people’s vision,” said Tom Fay, a cancer survivor .

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wondered whether future heroes will respond to horrors like the gulf spill if 9/11 victims go begging. “We have an undeniable moral obligation to help the heroes of 9/11,” she said. “Failure to do so may have long-lasting implications on future response efforts.”