ROSEBUD COMMENTARY: A 9/11 Promise Fulfilled
A Manager's Note: Larry Mendte was working with me in a New York City television newsroom when the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 was put before Congress. At 34 years old, James, an NYPD police officer with a young family, would be part of the first wave of First Responders to die of cancer. To their ever-lasting shame, some in Congress, and the head of the Obama Administration's Health Department, dismissed the obvious link to Ground Zero and cancer and blocked the measure. These were the same people who'd otherwise campaign for re-election draped in the flag, talking tough about the War on Terror, and protecting the Homeland and the brave men and women who were the First Responders that murderous day. Larry used his reporting skills, highlighted the need for the bill, crusaded for the right thing to get done, and along with the frequent yet unlikely pairing of Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly, pushed hard for the measure. When Congress passed the Bill, President Obama did the right thing and signed it. Thereafter, the ongoing tireless work of John Feal, (a First Responder you should follow and support), kept the Bill's renewals and re-funding in the public eye. Larry never stopped championing the cause, and we find ourselves working together again as we had in New York City. You won't hear Larry gloat or boast about his tireless effort to see the right thing get done. He was awarded an Emmy, and numerous awards in New York City media circles though. But his powerful voice throughout, and hear again in this Commentary, represents the very best in journalism. As Larry and I go forward with Rosebud, we will add more voices to our Rosebud videos. We enjoy the comments we receive and the arguments you make when you disagree. But this Commentary will be an exception, for it is the rightful and just conclusion of a crusade that should never have been fought, a coming together of the two parties, putting the political bickering aside, and a sober reminder of the pain and suffering still to come for so many 9/11 First Responders. We will have an ugly day in our country's future when more 9/11 First Responders die of this cancer nightmare than the 3,000 souls killed almost 18 years ago. Think about that. Many of you -- and Larry and I -- meant it when we said "never forget." Now, finally, on this day with President Trump's signature, Congress can say they've joined the rest of us.
- Bill Carey, Rosebud.