During last week's Democratic National Convention, one of the many powerful moments was when former New York Police Department detective Joe Sweeney spoke about his experiences on Sept. 11. He described the experience:
At the time, the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] assured us that the air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. That information was dead wrong. Thousands of my friends and brothers and sisters in blue were exposed to harmful toxins that have caused lifelong health problems.
And when we needed someone to speak for us, to stand with us, to fight on our behalf, Hillary Clinton was there, every step of the way. Within 48 hours of the towers falling, Hillary introduced a bill—signed into law—that helped first responders get the benefits they earned easier and faster. Then she pressured the EPA to launch a new task force and led congressional hearings until the EPA admitted the air hadn’t been safe.
Watch his full speech to hear more.
Rep. Joseph Crowley from New York echoed Sweeney's support for Clinton as someone who stood by the 9/11 responders, and Crowley called out Donald Trump for not being there:
This isn't the first time 9/11 responders have spoken out about Clinton being one of their staunchest allies. Paramedic Marvin Bethea is another supporter. Watch his video for Clinton's 2008 campaign, where he said: "She's just been a wonderful person who was true to her word....Sen. Clinton has been with us all along."
Alex Sanchez worked as part of one of the crews that cleaned up Ground Zero. The George W. Bush administration promised workers that the air was safe for them to breath. Sanchez soon found out otherwise. After six months, he was so sick he was no longer able to go back to work. Clinton sponsored legislation to fix the problem and not only thank the first responders for their service, but to help them overcome the health problems their service left them with.
In 2004, first responders held a ceremony to thank then-Sen. Clinton for her support. Former vice president of Uniformed EMS Officers Union/AFSCME Local 3621 Chuck Caple, who is now retired after 35 years of service, specifically thanked Clinton for her work on the legislation to help 9/11 first responders: “Sen. Clinton, thank you very much, if you decide to throw your hat in the ring to run for the other office, you have my support.”
Local 3621's current president, Vincent Variale, also recently spoke out in support of Clinton at the recent AFSCME convention:
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