By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The tragedy manifests in manners that are beyond the emotional scars that might remain with individuals. The health effects to the body may persist for many more years. Inhaling of and exposure to toxins and carcinogens in their various forms continue to haunt the New York Police Department and other agencies more than a decade later.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website devoted to memorializing the line-of-duty deaths of all law enforcement officers serving in the United States and its territories, 9/11 related illnesses are the second leading cause of death among officers of the New York Police Department. This encompasses over two hundred years of records for each of the various single categories.
The memorials include all the former agencies either merged or formed into the NYPD. The leading cause of death for NYPD and its predecessors is gunfire at 324. 9/11 Related Illnesses were second at 71. The Terror Attack itself caused 24 direct fatalities among NYPD. These statistics do not include other agencies such as ATF which also has 9/11 related illness deaths.
More distressingly, since the first reported 9/11 Related Illness death on May 3rd, 2003 the number of these deaths is over three times the number of all other causes of death combined: 71 compared with 20. From that date forward, 9/11 Related Illnesses is the leading cause of death and likely could be into the near future.
New York’s Finest and Bravest made sacrifices in devoting days, weeks, and months in recovery duties to return loved ones or remains back to their families after the collapse of the twin towers. And for their service some have given their lives and more continue to suffer from their injuries. They should be Honored and remembered.
By Darren Smith
Source: The Officer Down Memorial Page
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