Responding. (photo: Andrea Booher/ FEMA)

I cannot believe that Eric Cantor, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, thinks that slashing first-responder money nearly in half is the way to deal with disasters.

September 11 should be called “First Responders Day” as it showed America and the world the heroism and sacrifice of our police, firemen, and and medical people.  It should be a national holiday when we appreciate people who risk their lives to save ours. People who run toward burning buildings, or the sound of gunshots, or contagious patients.

On 9/11 Glen Cove still had a direct ferry service to lower Manhattan. It was well publicized at the time; everyone on Long Island knew about it.

Our emergency response team set up a triage center at the ferry terminal, we had a command center at the Firehouse and a communications center and receiving facility set up at City Hall with a phone bank set up in the City Council Chamber.

I was volunteering at City Hall when all these doctors and nurses just started showing up in scrubs, carrying their black bags, some of them with gym bags full of supplies. They just got in their cars and came to Glen Cove (B/C they could not get into the city by car or train). I went over to the police station and asked them to clip the locks onto a gate to a parking lot of a vacant store.

We had the medicos park their cars there and the cops left someone to guard them. We shuttle bussed the medicos to the ferry terminal and sent them to the World Trade Center by ferry.

Some of those cars stayed in that lot for over a week. The medicos just stayed with the pile until they were sure there would be no one else found alive. At least one of them died when the second tower collapsed. I found that out when there was only one car left in the lot.

And Eric Cantor, for their reward, wants to make it nearly twice as hard for them to do their jobs?

To paraphrase the words of the late Teddy Kennedy, where does the GOP’s greed stop?

[Hat tip to Phoenix Woman who took an email of mine, cleaned up the spelling and turned it into this post.]