Terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Thousands of innocent people died in the attacks. Terrorists waited until four commercial airplanes were in flight. The terrorist pilots each took over a plane. They planned to use the airplanes as weapons. Their targets were both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. They flew the first and second planes into the North and South Towers, killing everyone on board the planes and thousands of people in the towers. Many of the firefighters, police and ambulance workers — called “first responders” — were also killed or badly hurt.

The third plane crashed into the United States Pentagon, causing many deaths. Passengers on the fourth plane fought to take the plane controls away from the terrorists. These brave passengers made sure the plane crashed in an open field. Only the people on the plane died. They knowingly sacrificed their lives to make the plane crash in a safe area before it reached another big target.

Over 3,000 people died that day

Eighteen years later, in 2019, survivors and people who were first responders died. They breathed in air filled with toxic chemicals from the dust covering every surface. Many people died years later from illnesses such as cancer or lung disease. People from all over America went to New York City to help with the rescue after the terrorist attacks. They brought search dogs to help find survivors and identify those who died in the attack. Many dogs also later became ill and died. Firefighters, police officers, ambulance workers and medical people also died years later from exposure.

The United States government knew people needed money to help the families who lost parents working to support them. The attack damaged many other buildings, streets and access routes. People who worked in the World Trade Center area lost their jobs and also needed financial help.

 Government laws that give financial help to victims

In 2015, a permanent health program passed into United States law to provide money for oxygen tanks, wheelchairs, medication and other health care needed for victims of 9/11 health injuries. Because the fund is permanent, money is available whenever necessary.

A second fund called the “9/11 Victim Compensation Fund” was set up to provide temporary financial help to families of those who died or who became too sick to work. After 2020, the fund will stop. Many more people still need help, but the fund is running out of money.

Never forget the heroes

Many Americans want to pass a new bill into law so the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund will become permanent. Its new name would be “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.” The House of Representatives now has enough votes needed for the bill to pass. Once the bill passes the House, it will go to the Senate. If the bill has enough votes from the Senate, it is eligible to go to the authorized signer and become a legal part of the United States law.