A man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking...

A man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower. (Sept. 11, 2001) Credit: Getty Images

The aftereffects of the World Trade Center attacks 12 years ago are still painful. Along with the nearly 3,000 people killed on 9/11, thousands more still suffer from cancers, respiratory disorders, and other chronic illnesses and injuries. Time is running out for these survivors to seek federal aid for the treatment they need. Those who knew of such illnesses or injuries before October 2011 have until Oct. 3 to enroll in the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, preserving the right to file a specific claim by 2016. The fund is starting to pay out claims for about 18,000 victims who registered. But thousands more remain, perhaps unaware that help is available.

This deep wound in the American psyche and the hearts of those who lost loved ones still is not healed. Helping survivors with their physical recoveries is another step toward mending it.

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