Picture Tells More Than a Thousand Words
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, photographer David Monderer set out to capture the grand New York City skyline from the recently opened pedestrian walkway on the Manhattan Bridge.
Former "Daily Show" host and 9/11 Memorial board member Jon Stewart was recognized on Friday among three other honorees at the annual Badge of Courage Gala hosted by the Nassau County Firefighters Museum, according to Newsday. The event awarded Stewart and John Feal, founder and president of the FealGood Foundation, with the Firefighters Humanitarian Award for their efforts to secure health benefits for 9/11 responders.
The event also recognized Ray Pfeifer, a former East Meadow, N.Y. fire captain and retired FDNY firefighter, who received the museum’s Francis X. Pendl award, and Stew Leonard Jr., who received the Firefighters Leadership Award for his charity work on children’s water safety.
Stewart, Pfeifer and Feal lobbied Congress for the James Zadroga Act of 2010 and its reauthorization that ultimately passed in 2015. The law will provide affected first responders with 75 years of health coverage and five years of compensation.
“These are people who are there because they form a foundational aspect of civil society,” Stewart said. “We’re setting an example for the rest of us when the world is falling apart, and the idea that we can’t take care of them when they need something, felt so fundamentally wrong in so many ways it was mind boggling.”
The men have continued their advocacy even after the benefits were secured. Stewart and Feal raised awareness of health resources available to 9/11 responders through the World Trade Center Health Program. And Feal and Pfeifer donated artifacts to the 9/11 Memorial Museum related to recovery operations – Feal donated his red bomber jacket and Pfeifer donated his key to the city. They were recognized at a special tribute that marked the 14th anniversary of the formal end of recovery operations at the World Trade Center.
Feal expressed that the gala was “recognition for the foundation’s work with Stewart and Pfeifer and the 190,000 signatures they presented Congress in favor of health benefits.”
Proceeds raised from the event benefit the Nassau County Firefighters Museum & Education Center.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff