By Lauren Picciallo and Shannon Breslin
At all the health fairs we attend, we hand out magnets in addition to our pamphlets about the World Trade Center Health Program and other VOICES programs. The magnets are patriotically colored, ribbon shaped, the Twin Towers in the background, and diagonally in the center it states, “We Remember.”
Twelve years after the tragedy, one may wonder if the nation truly still remembers. What are children taught about September 11th in school? Do people care about those responders, survivors, and families whose lives were changed on that day? Some may assume that these responders, survivors, and families who lost a loved one have “moved on.”
On July 19th and 20th, VOICES participated in the News 4 NY and NY Giants Health and Fitness Expo at MetLife Stadium. Amidst the scuba diving, the tours of the Giants locker rooms, Dance Dance Revolution, autograph signatures from ABC New York, Giants players, and Telemundo, the 5K run, and the other vendors, there was VOICES.
Yet even with the multitude of activities to participate in, hundreds of people came to VOICES booth at the Expo. They asked about the different programs: the 9/11 Living Memorial Project, the annual Always Remember Forum, and the World Trade Center Health Program. We handed out dozens of applications for the WTC Health Program to 9/11 survivors and responders. Many people told us that they feel a strong personal connection to those who lost, injured or sickened after the 9/11 attacks. And to show that they still remember- they picked up a “We Remember Magnet.” In that one day, VOICES handed out eight hundred magnets!