Sick first responders snubbed by 9/11 Museum

By Susan Edelman and Danika Fears New York Post

The 9/11 Museum has been drawing criticism from first responders upset with the way its exhibits portray those who suffered in the aftermath of the terror attacks.

One of the most moving complaints came from an NYPD officer who became ill with cancer after working at Ground Zero.

In a letter addressed to 9/11 Museum President Joe Daniels, Reginald Hilaire expressed his dismay that the exhibit did not properly acknowledge the serious illnesses and deaths among responders.

“There are no listing of names or even a sentence that people died from 9/11 related illnesses,” he wrote. “The federal government has recognized a link with illnesses and work at the WTC and Staten Island landfill, but the 9/11 Museum mentioned very little.”

“The museum rightly showed Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and even the hijackers but very little on the dead responders. Why?” he asked.

Hilaire went on to explain how he worked at both sites as a New York City cop and was later diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 and melanoma in 2006.

“I know many cops with cancer who worked there and a few who have died as result of 9/11 illnesses,” Hilaire wrote, adding, “Our department has now lost more members from those illnesses than from those who died that day.”

A total of 71 police officers have died due to Ground Zero-related illnesses, outnumbering the 60 who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

Among the wording that upset some observers is a panel about the Zadroga Act, that says the illnesses suffered by recovery workers were “claimed” to have been cause by “the World Trade Center Disaster.” There is also no mention of major suits over the illnesses or use of the word cancer.

Another panel puts the word “hazardous” in quotes in a sentence describing the “omnipresent dust” found in the air after the attacks.

Museum officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

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