Our Voices: Message from the Director
On the 16th Anniversary, we gathered once again - in New York City, at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, PA, and in our local communities to remember and reflect. Much like September 11, 2001, the air was crisp, the sky was cloudless and the sun shined brightly. As always, the Anniversary is a time to remember and pay tribute to the 2,977 precious lives lost, our son Brad being one of them.
Although not commonly discussed, mental health challenges are actually very common. Approximately 1 in 5 adults - 43.8 million Americans - experience mental illness in a given year; however, only 41% received mental health services in the past year.
We want to take this opportunity to build awareness about the World Trade Center Health Program and the medical and psychological conditions covered. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified nearly 60 cancers that 9/11 survivors and responders have developed as a result of their exposures to the toxins in Lower Manhattan after the attacks.
It is estimated that over 400,000 people were in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 and in the months afterward. Fifteen years later, many survivors are experiencing symptoms of the same life-threatening medical and psychological conditions as the responders who worked in the recovery effort.
The 15th Anniversary was a milestone, especially for those of us who were impacted on September 11, 2001. As we gathered in New York City, at the Pentagon in Shanksville, PA, or in our local communities, we remembered the 2,977 innocent citizens who lost their lives that day.