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A holiday miracle for the 9/11 heroes

Congress on Wednesday approved the James Zadroga 9/11 Health andCompensation Act, a $4.3 billion package to fund treatment and researchfor those sickened at Ground Zero.

They lost a lot of brave people, but they won the war.



Congress on Wednesday approved the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a $4.3 billion package to fund treatment and research for those sickened at Ground Zero. Nearly a thousand responders have died.



“We lost a lot of battles over the last few years,” 9/11 responder John Feal said Wednesday from Washington, D.C. Basking in the vote, though, he was “elated,” he said, sitting in the Capitol — where for months his FealGood Foundation bussed in hundreds of responders from New York to plead with Senators to pass the bill.



Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand worked late Tuesday night to seal the deal with Republicans, calling it a “Christmas miracle.”



Responder Ken George, whom Metro followed to doctor’s appointments last week, heard the news from his daughter — who traveled to Gillibrand’s D.C. office for the vote.



“I’m so happy, because I don’t have to worry about the medications anymore,” George said. “I was so worried.”



Next, the bill goes before President Obama, who is expected to sign it.



“For eight years, 9/11 responders haven’t been able to enjoy their holiday season,” Feal said. Now, they’ll have peace of mind. “That’s better than opening any gift.”

 
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