A new documentary follows Jon Stewart's relentless, decade-long fight to help 9/11 first responders
via Reddit

After the attacks on 9/11, the U.S government has had little problem spending over $6.4 trillion on the War on Terror. For some perspective, the U.S. government's total expenditures last year was $4.4 trillion.

Direct combat has killed over 800,000 people, including 350,000 civilians, and displaced over 37 million people.

The U.S, government has unflinchingly wasted all of this blood and treasure but has dragged its feet repeatedly to pay the healthcare bills for first-responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Tens of thousands of police, firemen, and rescue workers who sifted through the smoldering rubble on 9/11, while breathing in a toxic cloud of debris, have since come down with a host of health issues, including rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, sleep apnea, cancer, posttraumatic stress disorder, respiratory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, and anxiety disorder.

"We will never know the composition of that cloud, because the wind carried it away, but people were breathing and eating it," Dr. Michael Crane, at the World Trade Center Health Program, told Newsweek in 2016. "What we do know is that it had all kinds of god-awful things in it. Burning jet fuel. Plastics, metal, fiberglass, asbestos. It was thick, terrible stuff."

In America, even with insurance, chronic disease can leave a family in financial ruins.

Recent analysis has found that close to 10,000 first responders have been diagnosed with cancer and over 2,000 deaths have been attributed to illnesses caused by the attacks. It's estimated that more people have died from toxic exposure than were killed in the actual attack.

Former "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has been a tireless advocate for the 9/11 first responders. Last year, when funds for the most recently-authorized bill to help pay for first responders' healthcare, became depleted, Stewart gave a passionate speech to an empty Congress.

"It's an embarrassment to the country," Mr. Stewart said, criticizing members of Congress for skipping the hearing.

"And you should be ashamed of yourselves," he scolded.

After Stewart's rebuke, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the House floor for consideration. The Victim Compensation Fund was then been extended through 2092, funding health care for first responders for life.

Now Stewart, 9/11 activist John Feal, and FDNY hero, Ray Pfeifer, are the subject of a new documentary on their collective fight to ensure healthcare and compensation for the thousands of ailing first responders.

The film is called "No Responders Left Behind" and has yet to have a release date.

No Responders Left Behind Official Trailer www.youtube.com

"John Feal and all the first responders have done so much for me, for the community, for the city, for the country. To be able to repay some of that debt that I feel I owe them personally, that we all owe them, is the best feeling," Stewart said, according to Variety.

"Being a small part of this journey is the one thing I'm most proud of. I will follow John anywhere he wants to lead me next," he added.

"For many, the last 18.5 years has been about passing legislation and fighting for justice for those affected by the aftermath of 9/11. I cannot say the same for me," said Feal.

"It has never been about passing legislation, donating money or the accolades," he continued. "It has always been about the journey from where we started to not knowing when it will end. It has been about the friendships and all the people I love and now call my family."

The news of the documentary comes as reports show the Trump administration has siphoned off $4 million from the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program. The program treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11-related illnesses.

"Here we have sick World Trade Center-exposed firefighters and EMS workers, at a time when the city is having difficult financial circumstances due to COVID-19, and we're not getting the money we need to be able to treat these heroes," David Prezant, the FDNY's Chief Medical Officer, said according to New York Daily News.

After years of complaining about the mysterious funding depletion, Prezant consulted Long Island Republican Representative Pete King and it was discovered it was due to a Medicare dispute with the state of New York.

King intends to confront Vice President Mike Pence over the issue.

"I gotta tell him," King said. "Forget the politics. I don't want to sound naive, but this is terrible, absolutely inexcusable."

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

via idiehlpare / Flickr and ESPN

An innocent tweet by sports reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques erupted into a great discussion where people tried to describe the indescribable. "There's an unnamed media member in here who has never had a Dr. Pepper and asked what it tastes like," he tweeted.

"I have no idea how to describe it -- how would y'all do it?" he asked.

Marcel Louis-Jacques covers the Miami Dolphins for ESPN and appears on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and more.

The question feels like a Zen koan such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "What do you call the world?"

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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