To the Editor:

I am a South Dakota native, and a Sept. 11, 2001, responder.

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The Zadroga Act, which provides needed medical services for 9/11 responders, expired on Sept. 30. It was not included in the emergency spending bill passed on Sept. 30. There has been a proposal to provide these services on a permanent basis in Congress for at least six months.

Our members in Congress like to extol the heroism of those who died during the attacks on 9/11. They praise the courage of the responders who risked their lives to do their job. But now, when these responders need their help the most, South Dakota's representatives in Washington are letting us down. None of them are co-sponsoring this bill. They haven't even confirmed that they will vote for the bill, ensuring that these responders continue to receive the care we have earned.

This is not a New York issue. It's not even an East Coast issue; 9/11 responders live in every state in the nation. We are in all but a few congressional districts. This is a national issue, which deserves a national response, from every member of Congress, regardless of where they are from.

Please contact Sen. John Thune, Rep. Kristi Noem and Sen. Mike Rounds, and ask them to co-sponsor the renewal of the Zadroga Act. Only then will this great nation make sure that those who are continue to suffer from the events of that tragic day get the care we deserve.

Richard Rezac