America's Unsung Hero for September 11th Survivors Is Comic Jon Stewart

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Once again we arrive at the somber anniversary of September 11th (this time, the 22nd remembrance), and the memory of that horrible day still is painful to recall. Even though the horror is fading for most of the country, as I touched on a couple of years ago in this piece... Today We Say Never Forget But Let's Be Brutally Honest, We Are Forgetting.


From that article.

Most of us will take to Facebook and recount “where we were” when the planes struck and what an awful, tragic day that was. We will accompany those posts with memes that say “Never Forget” and then move on to September 12th and live our lives until next year. Which is of course what those who sacrificed their lives and those who were murdered would have wanted for us.

Let me very blunt here though.

We are forgetting and it is showing.

Here are some examples why…

On June 11th 2019 Luis Alvarez went before Congress to talk about the 9-11 victim compensation fund. Alvarez, a retired New York City Police Detective, and 9/11 first responder was there to plead for reauthorization of funds before a House committee.

Here is why Alvarez had to go to Capitol Hill, when he was deathly ill

A little more than two weeks before his death, Alvarez – who was visibly very ill and thin – traveled to Congress and testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee, urging legislators to extend the fund.

“You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 first responders,” he said. Comedian Jon Stewart testified shortly afterward, chastising Congress for taking years to make the program permanent and condemning the legislators who failed to show up to watch the first responders’ testimony.

At Alvarez’s chemotherapy appointment the following day, medical providers determined that his liver was failing and causing disorientation. Alvarez decided to enter hospice care shortly afterwards.


I still feel sick reading this, four years after this man passed away.

Yet still, the pressing issue we have now in this country is the devasting legacy that the attacks on New York, The Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, have left us with two decades later. How to care for all those who cared enough to rush into burning buildings to save lives and, ultimately, put their own lives at risk.

This is where left-leaning comic Jon Stewart shines.

Let us put aside the fact that I probably disagree with him on a number of important issues that face our society and country today. When someone makes it their personal mission to make sure that Congress cuts out the damn nonsense to make sure that funds are available to those who are suffering from helping during the 9-11 attacks, politics be damned.

Even in today's hyper-polarized America, we need to remember that.

I do mean what I say; I have even given the business to Republicans on this issue when they have goofed up. Like when Sen. Mitch McConnell stepped in it a couple of years back on the funding to keep those men and women taken care of.  "I Don't Know Why He Is All Bent Out Of Shape," Sen. McConnell Says Of John Stewart

Mitch made a misstep. From that article. 

I don’t know why he is all bent out of shape but we will take care of the 9-11 victims compensation fund.

Well, Stewart had a good reason. As I continued. 


Now to be fair to the Senator you have to listen to the whole conversation to make sure you get the whole context. However, this is a bit of a boo boo saying Stewart is all out of shape even if you REALLY think he is.

Congress always tends to slow roll everything important to make it seem that they are actually doing things we might want them to do. Stewarts point on this is dead on though. Why in the hell does it take right up until the last Minute to pass something like this? I understand there are issues of fraud but you people could not have dealt with this earlier this year or last?

We expected these men and women and their colleagues that died, to rush into burning buildings and save lives at the risk of their own. How about just passing this bill, this one bill long before it is due to be renewed and help those that helped all of us.

Sen. McConnell I’m sure meant no disrespect to all those men and women who feel Jon Stewart is representing them. Yet you know how the left will take any lil thing to smash anyone close to Trump into the ground.

Possibly the Senator could invite Stewart up to the Hill on the Senate side and mend some bridges. That would be a good faith effort to show they are just as committed to funding this and taking care of those that took care of us.

Congress always seems to suck at doing common sense things but when it comes to covering their own hides, they can move at light speed. For an issue like this, they drag their feet and it is unacceptable.


Yet, I truly think that it is important to recognize those people who have some amount of influence, currently or in the past, and who are willing for no other reason than to do the right thing, to be acknowledged for it. Everyone will jump on a bandwagon if it is rolling fast and fun, but when it is a heavy somber issue like helping those who helped others 22 years ago, that is not the hip place to be.

Thankfully, Jon Stweart has done the right thing for years supporting these folks, and I have a sneaking hunch that he continues to do so as long as he has air in his lungs. That is something we should appreciate on this solemn anniversary, along with those that passed.


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