Commemorations for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks began in New York late last week as they have for multiple years, with twin beams of light piercing the night sky, a tribute to those lost in the World Trade Center that could be seen across the region.
Yet even 16 years after the 2001 attacks, the list of the fallen continues to grow as police officers, firefighters, first responders and recovery workers succumb to illnesses linked to their work in the aftermath of the attacks.
Researchers estimate that the choking dust that coated the ground zero recovery site — and persisted in the air for days afterward — contained a hazardous mix of airborne particles, including aluminum, asbestos, glass and the remnants of burned jet fuel. Similar hazards affected workers at the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pa., crash site where the hijacked United Flight 93 was brought down.
On Monday, a memorial on Long Island will be dedicated to both the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, and those who died of illnesses stemming from the attacks and their aftermath.
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