My Friend Al

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This past year I went to the funeral of my friend Al. He passed away from multiple myeloma due to 9/11. He worked at the World Trade Center.

You will never hear his name mentioned on 9/11 or listed at the memorial. In order for Al to be listed at the 9/11 Memorial at the time of his death, the coroners office must list on the death certificate that the multiple myeloma was caused by 9/11. It is not enough that the World Trade Center Health Fund or The World Trade Center Victim’s Fund already certified Al. I hope a politician is reading this and will correct how a person is recognized for the 9/11 Memorial.

Al was one of 10,000 people who are currently living with cancer and numerous diseases due to 9/11. The World Trade Center Health Fund supports victims and first responders of 9/11 who have life-ending and continuous health problems due to 9/11. If you have worked or lived in the area of the World Trade Center on 9/11, you may be eligible for services under the World Trade Center Health Fund.

The effects of 9/11 did not end on that day. Sadly, the 10,000 figure of victims and first responders are increasing daily. 9/11 has become a once a year remembrance day. For those of us who are living with cancer and other diseases due to 9/11, 9/11 is an every day event. We do not forget. Too many Americans and our politicians remember 9/11 only when there is a terrorist attack or politically beneficial. Even then, I think 9/11 is becoming an event tucked away in our history books.

This year on 9/11, remember those beautiful souls that perished at The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. Also remember, there are 10,000 of us who are living with life ending sicknesses due to 9/11. You will not know our names. So remember Al.

—Scott Matty

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