A special visitor with an intimate perspective on 9/11 helped King Co. mark the 15th anniversary of the attacks, Sunday. He also reminded them that the phrase "never forget" means more than just a moment of silence.
“Many dedicated workers who worked around the clock are suffering from terminal illnesses,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Richard Alles, who spoke during a ceremony at South King Fire and Rescue.
Alles was at ground zero on 9/11 and helped lead recovery efforts during the following months.
He later turned his attention to the fight for first responder health benefits. Thousands were sickened and injured in the months after the attacks, as a result of exposure to dust and other dangerous conditions at ground zero.
“What should have been an easy task took us eight years of battling many of those same representatives that wrapped themselves in the American flag each and every Sept. 11,” Alles said.
Alles says more than 100 first responders from Washington, who rushed to New York 15 years ago, are receiving those benefits.
“Let us strive on to continue the work that we are in to bind up the wounds of fire departments everywhere as we all suffered a great loss on 9/11 and bear the scars on our souls and hearts,” he said.
Copyright 2016 KING