Rally Urges Funds for Ailing Ground Zero Responders

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People who worked at the site of the World Trade Center disaster — and who are still suffering from persistent ailments linked to being on the scene after the Twin Towers fell — hold a demonstration as President Bush visits New York City.

The son of one worker who died last week sought a personal meeting with Mr. Bush.

After delivering a speech on the economy at Federal Hall, President Bush met with Cesar Borzha Jr., the son of a policeman who had worked at Ground Zero who last week died of a lung ailment.

"This was one of those rare moments when I planned and it happened as I hoped and prayed it would," Borzha said.

Borzha is convinced that his father died from exposure to toxic fumes that came off the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center. He says he told the president that the federal government has to make the commitment to paying for the health care of everyone who helped look for survivors or cleaned-up the site. Borzha says the Mr. Bush seemed supportive.

"I felt the dedication and motivation of the president has for my father my family and myself," he said.

There's other proof that the administration is listening. White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday that the government is committed to giving all first-responders the treatment they need. And yesterday, the White House announced that it will include $25 million in next year's budget to continue funding a Sept. 11-related health program.

But at Ground Zero, sick 9/11 workers gathered to say that $25 million is barely enough for a few months of care.



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