Jon Stewart announces new section of 9/11 memorial to honor first responders

Jon Stewart announces new section of 9/11 memorial to honor first responders

Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart announced that the 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center will be modified to honor rescue and recovery workers who have died from related illnesses.

Stewart teamed up with Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the museum, for the announcement in the New York Daily News on Wednesday.

Those who worked on rescue and recovery operations — roughly 400,000 people — for nearly nine months at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks were exposed to life-threatening toxins.

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“The 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center is determined to build greater awareness about this unabating health crisis,” Stewart and Greenwald wrote.

The existing memorial in New York City will be modified to recognize those who are suffering or have died from 9/11-related diseases.

“It will also recognize the tremendous capacity of the human spirit, as exemplified during the rescue, recovery and relief efforts following the 9/11 attacks,” the two wrote.

Six large stone elements will be placed along a new pathway on the southwest side of the existing plaza.

“The stones are worn and broken, but not beaten; they appear to jut up and out of the plaza as if violently displaced, and convey strength and resistance,” according to Michael Arad.

Arad, along with Peter Walker, were the original designers of the 9/11 Memorial and also designed the addition.

The stones will mirror the path of the main ramp used by the rescue and recovery workers.

The announcement coincides with the 16th anniversary of when recovery operations formally ended at the World Trade Center site, according to the post.

Current high school students weren't yet born when the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, took place in New York City, Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon.

“Yet, their world continues to be shaped by the attacks and their aftermath,” Stewart and Greenwald wrote. “There is no better example of the ongoing impacts of that terrible day than the national health crisis affecting those who are sick or dying.”

The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund released new data earlier this month that found victims and first responders are reporting “increasing numbers and types of illnesses” nearly two decades after the attacks.

The organization has so far awarded $3.6 billion to individuals who have filed claims.

Stewart has been a vocal advocate for first responders and lobbied heavily for the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act in 2015.

Named for a New York City police officer who died in 2006 from a disease caused by toxin exposure, the bill essentially guarantees the first responders benefits for life.