Transit workers to receive medals for helping with 9/11 recovery

Dan Rivoli New York Daily News

Feeling that MTA workers’ contributions have gotten the “shaft” on 9/11 retrospectives in the past 14 years, a Transport Workers Union official designed a medal honoring the men and women who hauled debris, cut through steel beams and transported first responders to Ground Zero.

Transport Workers Union Local 100 official Mario Galvet designed a medal for MTA workers who aided in the 9/11 recovery effort. Courtesy TWU Local 100

Transport Workers Union Local 100 official Mario Galvet designed a medal for MTA workers who aided in the 9/11 recovery effort. Courtesy TWU Local 100

About 100 MTA workers Tuesday will get the award—featuring a Latin phrase that translates to, “Above the Call of Duty”—at a ceremony at the TWU’s Brooklyn union hall, where a photo exhibit showing transit employees’ recovery efforts in the days after the devastating terrorist attack.

Seven workers who could verify illness and injury from the recovery effort will get special recognition.

“We could have all raised safety concerns and basically refused to go,” said Mario Galvet, 55, an electronic equipment maintainer by trade. “Nobody did that. They all just went.”

Galvet, who helped repair a communication link between train operators and transit police the day after the attack, designed the medal and organized the event after years of dismay at the lack of recognition for Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees.

There were about 3,000 transit workers who aided in the recovery, including 1,000 first responders, according to the TWU and MTA.

“For years, being a transit worker and having been down there, I couldn’t help but to notice there wasn’t much mention of us down there anywhere,” said Galvet, who has since been diagnosed with an asthma-like illness.

At Ground Zero, MTA workers operated heavy rig cranes and vehicles, cut through steel beams, transported first responders to Ground Zero and hauled out concrete and debris in buckets by hand.

“We do much more than just run the subway and bus system,” Galvet said. “In times of need, we’re there.”

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