01/27/11-by L.S. Carbonell
The last episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before their Christmas/New Year’s hiatus was a sobering, heart-wrenching demand that the Senate stop farting around and pass the “9-11 Responders” bill. The bill would provide additional medical coverage and disability support funds for the 9-11 responders from all over the country who worked at Ground Zero and bore the name of one who died of the toxins they were breathing in the early days after the attack. In various forms, it had languished in Washington for nine years. Stewart’s guests that night were dying men who only wanted to save their families from the economic hardships they would face if they were left to deal with massive medical bills after the men died. 9-11 continues to claim victims as these responders die. It should not be allowed to claim a second generation through bankruptcy and oppressive bills caused by the heroics of these men.
Stewart focused so much attention on this bill that, over Republican protests that it couldn’t be paid for and had too few protections from fraud, it finally passed during the lame duck session.
On Thursday, Jon Stewart was appointed to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation board. Joe Daniels, president of the board, said that Stewart is an important public figure and a New Yorker who saw the world change on 9-11. The board and Stewart should be a perfect fit.
The memorial, two reflecting pools set over the footprints of the World Trade Center towers, is set to open on the tenth anniversary of the attack.