A View of the Recovered City, and Yet …

Francis X. Clines New York Times

Closure is a clumsy description for the aftermath of 9/11. But there’s a certain sense of completion at ground zero now that the new skyscraper replacing the fallen towers is open to the flow of tourists. They look out, far out, from the observatory that tops 1 World Trade Center and offers 360-degree views of a recovered city and suburbs.

“See Forever” is the upbeat motto of this new perch. It starts 100 stories above the earth, where, far down, there are fewer scars from 9/11 to be seen.

The observation deck at One World Trade Center. CreditSpencer Platt/Getty Images

The observation deck at One World Trade Center. CreditSpencer Platt/Getty Images

The children happily taking selfies were not alive when the twin towers were brought down by terrorists. The awful past recedes fast to the splendid horizon. You have to stand tight against a window and look straight down to spot the memorial pools that outline the fallen towers’ footprints. They are matte gray reference points for the parent trying to catch a youngster up on distant history.

This focus on the future is understandable. But it is also the reason dozens of New York firefighters anxiously packed a congressional hearing last month as witnesses to the very real scars that remain for thousands of 9/11 first responders and volunteers. These were the people who were eventually struck by long-term illnesses from weeks and months of labor in the pile of destruction, including more than 3,200 who are now cancer patients. Read More »

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USS New York homecoming 

USS New York homecoming

MAYPORT, Fla.- Lt. j.g. Chris Boniwell from the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) kisses his wife after arriving into homeport Naval Station Mayport. New York, part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group/24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is returning from a seven-month deployment after supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Hay

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Tunnel to Towers takes on mortgage payments for family of L.I. firefighter killed in blaze

Denis Hamill New York Daily News

Home is where Tunnel to Towers’ heart is.

And so when the leaders of this great charity received a letter about a Long Island volunteer firefighter who died in a ferocious Woodmere blaze a week before Christmas, they did what they have done for 45 other first-responder families across the country who lost a breadwinner in the line of duty.

Jackie Sanford (right), widow of hero Firefighter Joseph Sanford, who lost his life fighting Long Island blaze, and daughter Janisha (left) are grateful for help provided by Tunnel to Towers. Alexander Cohn/for New York Daily News

Jackie Sanford (right), widow of hero Firefighter Joseph Sanford, who lost his life fighting Long Island blaze, and daughter Janisha (left) are grateful for help provided by Tunnel to Towers. Alexander Cohn/for New York Daily News

“We took over the mortgage payments for the Sanford family,” said John Hodge, the chief operating officer. “The same way we paid off the mortgages of the family homes of Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were murdered just before Christmas.”

Hodge said T2T realized that Firefighter Joseph Sanford’s courageous death was overshadowed by the monstrous assassinations of Liu and Ramos in Brooklyn. Read More »

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