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WTC Health Program9/11 Notice ActVictim Compensation Fund

Reflections on the 22nd Anniversary of 9/11 and Our Commitment

September 15, 2023 | Michael Barasch

The 22nd anniversary of September 11th was a meaningful and somber day. We’d like to take a minute to reflect on the significance of that day and the various ways we honored the 9/11 community.

There were hundreds of memorials across the country, and we attended various events around the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan throughout the day. We started Sunday September 10th, where Michael Barasch appeared on a panel at a Voices of September 11th Symposium with Victim Compensation Fund Special Master Allison Turkel and Deputy Special Master Stefanie Langsam. On the morning of September 11th, our first event was the Bell Ringing Ceremony at Nasdaq with our friends from Tuesday’s Children. We then attended FBI 9/11 Memorial Services, followed by The Calling of the Names Ceremony at St. Paul’s Chapel. The 10 people from our office who were invited were honored to be asked to read the names of 20 responders each who have died this past year from 9/11 illnesses. We then went to The Glade at the World Trade Center site for services for first responder rescue workers. Later, up at the Intrepid Museum, 50 of our attorneys and staff packed meal donations with 9/11 Day. We ended the day across the Hudson River at Liberty State Park to witness a ceremony for New Jersey residents who died on 9/11 led by the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey. Please view the moving ceremony here, and a collection of photos from the day below.

Our firm’s foundation is built on advocacy and justice for the 9/11 community, and a commitment to ensuring access to the compensation and benefits 9/11 victims deserve. These values are not just words, but a guiding principle that has led us through challenges, adapting to the evolving needs of our clients, and championing causes with far-reaching societal consequences.

A historic development for the 9/11 community occurred on 9/11 when Governor Kathy Hochul of New York State signed a bill called The 9/11 Notice Act. Barasch & McGarry was instrumental in advocating for this bill, by introducing state legislators to the problem that hundreds of thousands of people in the 9/11 community may be unaware of the benefits available. While over 80% of responders have enrolled in the WTC Health Program, thanks to their unions who have spread the word, less than 10% of civilians have enrolled. For the most part, they simply don’t realize that they, too, are eligible.

The new law will require that employers alert their current and former employees who were in the Lower Manhattan and northern Brooklyn exposure zones, between 9/11 and May 30, 2002, of their right to free health care and compensation for their 9/11-related illnesses.

Our work touches lives on a daily basis. We are privileged to represent the 9/11 community.

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