IAFF Remembers 343 Fallen on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11
September 11, 2012 – Eleven years after the September 11 attacks claimed the lives of 343 FDNY members and thousands of Americans, the IAFF continues to serve those affected and heed lessons learned from that horrific day.
“Today we once again remember the 343 FDNY fire fighters who faced down unspeakable horror in defense of their fellow citizens,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “We remember them and we honor their service with an unbending commitment to ensure the safety and security of all of our brothers and sisters.”
Even though 11 years have passed since that cloudless blue morning in September, the IAFF has not forgotten.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, IAFF staff mobilized swiftly to assist members in New York City, providing extra staff, financial support and counseling for the grieving.
“At the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, our members gave everything they had. The best that this union and this nation have to offer was demonstrated in their courageous response,” Schaitberger says.
In the years since, the IAFF has strived in numerous ways to honor the service of members who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11. In addition, the International has fought to ensure safer and healthier working conditions and advocated for benefits and protections for IAFF members and their families.
Some of these efforts paid off quickly and some have taken years of persistence. After eight years of lobbying from the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Local 94 and Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, President Barack Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law in 2010 to provide medical monitoring and treatment to World Trade Center responders and others who have become ill as a result of exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.
The lessons learned from the September 11 terrorist attacks have helped the IAFF better prepare and respond to tragedies, like the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado. The union provided counselors to help members of Aurora, CO Local 1290 cope after 12 citizens were killed and 59 others were wounded at a movie theater.