Rex D. Cain
(NATIONAL) – Those of us who were alive to watch
the event unfold live
on national television will never forget those haunting images. Shock
and freaking awe. Jetliners crashing into New York buildings that
touched the sky. Explosions. Fire. People jumping to their deaths
from those high rises to avoid burning alive. Those huge buildings
burning and collapsing into rubble that no one assumed in their
wildest dreams could ever burn and collapse like that.
of it unfolding in living color in real time in living rooms
everywhere. The “fake news” boys, as Trump now dares to
call them, were out doing their damned jobs and doing it well, all
thing was mind-numbingly surrealistic. Nobody could actually wrap
their minds around the fact that America - the richest, most powerful
bad-ass country on earth, the King of nukes, the home of Winchester
rifles and gunfighters and the Atom bombs that wiped out Nagasaki and
Hiroshima - was under attack.
the attackers were having their way with us. Nobody could stop any of
it. Not our Army, not the Air Force, not the CIA or NSA, not the
cops, not loud mouthed politicians, nobody.
were caught flat-footed, mouths open and in the sharp cross-hairs of
killers who had studied us very well. Figured out our weak spots and
then exploited them. Had they been serial killers instead of mass
spree killers they might still be in business somewhere.
were that good (and lucky) that day.
the 9/11 attacks of 2001, some 2,996 people were killed (including
the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured. These immediate
included 265 people
on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World
Trade Center and in the surrounding area and 125 at the Pentagon.
11, 2011 was the end of innocence for all of us in so many ways. The
end of the childish, woefully mistaken notion that America was not
vulnerable to such an attack. It was one of those days when all the
experts, all the assumptions were proven wrong.
the death tally did not take into account the many fire responders
who died later from illnesses brought about by exposure to toxic
agents present in the rubble of the 9/11 buildings
for first responders still available
the nation marks the 17th anniversary of those
September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the FBI is helping to raise
awareness about compensation that
available to law enforcement personnel and other first responders who
have fallen ill as a result of their selfless acts in the days and
weeks after the attacks.
at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City last Friday, FBI
Director Christopher Wray noted that in the past six months he has
attended memorial services for three FBI special agents who died from
illnesses related to their efforts in the aftermath of the September
are only now beginning to understand and witness the long-term
effects of that work and the full extent of the sacrifices all of our
first responders made,” Wray told a group of nearly 200 federal
law enforcement officers during a public forum to provide information
about federal programs available to those who responded to crash
sites at the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville,
to the World Trade Center Health Program, which participated in
Friday’s event with the September 11th Victim Compensation
Fund, there have been more than 7,500 cancer cases with more than 350
first responders having died from 9/11-related illnesses.
FBI has reported that 15 special agents have died from 9/11-related
9/11 attacks were the most lethal in U.S. history and the FBI’s
ensuing investigation was its largest ever. The crash sites
represented the largest crime scene in FBI history. At the peak of
the case, more than half of all agents were at work to identify the
hijackers and their sponsors and, along with other agencies, to head
off any possible future attacks.
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was created
by an act
of Congress to provide compensation to individuals—or to family
members of those who died—who suffered physical harm or were
killed as a result of the 9/11 attacks or the debris removal efforts
that took place in the immediate aftermath of the airliner crashes.
date, according to the group’s website, nearly 21,000
individuals have become eligible for compensation, and more than
19,000 of them have been awarded funds. The total amount awarded
exceeds $4.2 billion.
here’s the thing: there is no telling when a first
responder might fall ill. Officials at Friday’s event
encouraged law enforcement officers and emergency personnel who
worked at 9/11 sites, and who may still
be at risk
of illness, to register for possible compensation even
are not ill now.
the words of FBI Director Wray, “There
are resources that may be available to you. You fought to make sure
that what happened that day would never ever happen again. So let us
help you now.”