Friday, November 2, 2007

Bloomberg Dishonors 9/11 Hero

By Tony Vega for
Thursday, November 01, 2007

James Zadroga and daughter Tylerann

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg decidedly cherry picked medical findings and declared that James Zadroga, a retired NYC police detective, is not a hero. Detective Zadroga responded to Ground Zero after the Twin Towers collapsed because of terror attacks on September 11, 2001. James Zadroga’s story is unique amongst the rest of America’s citizens, in which so many respond in the opposite direction of terror. James Zadroga, with selfless courage, responded to the scene and honorably engaged in rescue/recovery work in a toxic cloud for nearly 500 hours.

Detective Zadroga was not trapped in the buildings on that fateful day, he was not killed because of falling debris, or any other means that claimed the lives of too many of our citizens, fire fighters, and police officers. He was killed, nonetheless, by the murderous acts committed by terrorists on 9/11. Detective Zadroga finished his tours of duty at Ground Zero, and after spending hundreds of hours inhaling toxic dust from the air surrounding the site he became very ill. Detective Zadroga retired with a disability pension due to his impairment contracted in the performance of duty, so ruled a medical board. James lived the remaining years of his life in New Jersey with his loving parents, succumbing to the deadly respiratory ailment in January 2006. According to New Jersey’s medical examiner Dr. Breton, James Zadroga died from inhaling toxic dust from Ground Zero. The Zadroga family wanted to add James’ name to the official list of 9/11 victims, so they contacted the New York City medical examiner’s office to review the case.

New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch, concluded that the lung disease that detective Zadroga had was a result of injecting prescription drugs. The family sought a third opinion from Dr. Michael Baden the New York State Police chief forensic pathologist. Dr. Baden agreed with the original finding of New Jersey’s medical examiner and reported that James Zadroga’s lung disease was a result of inhaling poisons from Ground Zero. Dr. Baden further reports that James suffered from a “black lung” ailment caused by inhaling particulate matter “You can’t get that from injecting drugs.” He also detected the presence of glass fibers via an examination of microscope slides. Dr. Baden further stated, “You can’t make a basis of intravenous injections of ground down pills based on these slides.” Also noted was the absence of needle marks and scarring associated with intravenous drug use. Numerous doctors that treated detective Zadroga concluded his illness was a direct result of inhaling toxic fumes from the site. The United States Social Security Administration also agreed and declared that James Zadroga was disabled.

Can a large American bureaucracy and a host of reputable medical doctors all be wrong? Yes, it‘s possible. If Dr. Hirsch’ sole conclusion emerges as the accurate one, it doesn’t matter in the regard of detective Zadroga‘s character. The medical wrangling are mere semantics. You see there is incontrovertible proof that detective Zadroga served NYC well, risking his life for the citizenry. Detective Zadroga made the ultimate sacrifice, and it was this that mattered, it was how the man lived his life, not how he perished, that made him a hero.

Perhaps it matters to Mayor Bloomberg because of pending litigation. There have been discussions regarding a pending settlement with thousands of sick Ground Zero workers. The Mayor’s medical examiners denial of the 9/11 link will prevent certain inclusions the Zadroga family may have in regard to a 9/11 victim status. The Mayor states, “Science decided” that detective Zadroga is not a hero. No Mayor, YOU decided that. Science, morality, and anyone without an economic agenda have determined that detective Zadroga was a hero. Rep. Caroline Maloney (D- Manhattan, Queens) referring to Dr. Hirsch’s report stated, “Nothing in his report changes the fact that Detective Zadroga would be alive today if not for his heroic service at Ground Zero.”

On September 11, 2001, a group of Islamic terrorists attacked our nation and killed thousands of people in this city. That death toll is still rising as individuals, such as Detective Zadroga, fall to an insidious weapon released during the aftermath of those attacks- the poisonous dust cloud that shrouded the area and permeated into the lungs of so many American heroes. The deaths of these subsequent victims are on the hands of those soulless terrorists. For New York’s Mayor to deny that the results of their actions were not the cause of Detective Zadroga’s death is unconscionable to say the least. All for what Mr. Mayor, to save a few bucks? How dare you? You sir, may have aided and abetted the enemy in this homicide by your deniability, but you will not and cannot tarnish the legacy of Detective Zadroga.


Jaime said...

Just another way that City officials slap the face of some of their most dedicated employees. And another sign we should not have shown him support when he ran for mayor.

TV said...

Absolutely, Jamie! NYC is plagued, yet again, by another turncoat mayor. The last mayor & the one currently in office has no problem riding the coat tails of the 9/11 rescue workers, or touting the drop in crime. But when it comes down to actual support, whether it be in the form of fair contract negotiations, or loyalty during a controversial incident, these turncoat mayors are curiously silent, or are the loudest detractors sharpening the proverbial knives destined for the backs of the men & women in blue.