With the recent commemoration of the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the nation mourned and honored the numerous lives lost on this tragic date in history. However, this occasion also reminds our country that 9/11 first responders continue to suffer from the life-altering and, in some cases, life-taking health effects of the work they performed on and following September 11, 2001.
In 2005, Congressman Joe Crowley helped secure legislation to create a “9/11 Medal of Valor” for public safety officers who responded to the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and perished on that day. Given the number of police officers who have since succumbed to 9/11-related illnesses, the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers (AAAPO) thanks Congressman Crowley for introducing the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor Act of 2017, which will allow this award to be bestowed on members of law enforcement who have passed away since 9/11.
“The PAPBA thanks Congressman Crowley for expanding the 9/11 Medal of Valor to honor our brothers and sisters who did their jobs and paid the ultimate price for their service,” says Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association and co-founder of AAAPO. “It is important to remember their sacrifices so that we never become complacent in our fight to protect our great country.”
“We appreciate Congressman Crowley for recognizing the 9/11 responders,” says Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association and co-founder of AAAPO. “None of us could have imagined the health repercussions for the police officers who responded the day of 9/11 and continued to help with recovery efforts in the weeks and months afterward. This medal will serve as a permanent thank-you, even when the anniversary cameras go away.”