NEW YORK, NY — We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001. For so many of our sisters and brothers, the tragic events of that day were just the beginning of a long struggle that continues to this day.
When the towers fell, union members in New York rallied to Ground Zero to search for survivors and clean up the aftermath. There were police officers and firefighters, of course, but it was IATSE members who placed and operated the lighting equipment that allowed the search and rescue operation to continue 24 hours a day for weeks.
The IATSE didn’t just show up at Ground Zero. Members volunteered their time for memorial services across the city, and worked to help rebuild in the aftermath. This is personal to me, because I was one of them.
The dust that we inhaled in those days has led to complicated health issues for many emergency responders, and many of us are still dealing with the aftermath.
When I published this story earlier this year, IATSE members continued to show up, urging their congresspeople in droves to make the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) permanent. And thanks to their efforts, in June congress extended the 9/11 VCF through 2090.
Today we remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day 20 years ago and all those who worked tirelessly to help us recover and rebuild in the aftermath. But I will also remember my union brothers and sisters for standing for what’s right and supporting the 9/11 community in its time of need.
Assistant Department Director, Motion Picture
Member of Local 52