With the recent yearly passing of the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and my connection to them, I only felt fitting to write a post on the matter.
To start off, I have a very strong connection to the day, as do many others. My dad worked on the 100th floor of the North Tower, the first hit, with the tall spire. Luckily my dad was not up to his office yet, and he survived, many others were not as fortunate.
But, when I reflected on the people who lost their lives due to the attacks, 2,977 to be exact, it occurred to me that the death toll didn’t just end their. We give our prayers and our thanks to the people who gave their lives on that specific day, but in fact the death toll due to 9/11 is still rising today.
If you’re wondering how this is possible, it can happen in many ways. According to USAToday.com, 2,620 people have already been approved for eligibility from the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund for cancer-related issues, probably due to smoke inhalation. Other reasons include respiratory problems due to smoke and debris inhalation, asthma, sarcoidosis, and inhalation of jet fuel, asbestos, cement dust, silica, and glass fibers according to Health24.com.
So far this year, almost 21,000 people have filed for eligibility in the September 11th Victims compensation fund, and over 6,000 have been approved. Most of the approvals are of firemen and first-responders, approx. 5,300 in all. The amount of money given by this fund is now $1.44 billion (USAToday.com).
Another devastating result of the attacks is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. The Journal of Traumatic Stress found that over 30,000 first responders, residents, passersby, and recovery workers had suffered from PTSD or depression due to the attacks (Journal of Traumatic Stress). As most of us know, depression is one of the leading causes of suicide; suffice to say, the amount of suicides committed due to depression from the attacks is untraceable.
One of the most famous pictures from 9/11is the one of three first responders raising the American flag at Ground Zero, shown below.
Sadly, due to results of smoke and debris from the Ground Zero site, only the man on the right, Billy Eisengrein, is still alive today.
It is truly terrible what happened on this tragic day in 2001, and I offer anybody who knew someone who did’t have a family member return that night my condolences. Rest In Peace.