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9/11 Responders Challenge "America's Mayor" at NH Debate

January 7, 2008

Manchester, NH – The national nightmare of September 11, 2001 isn't over for many Ground Zero responders, and three New York City rescue workers came to New Hampshire on Saturday with the goal of meeting former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani at the Republican debate. The trio seeks his help with illnesses they say resulted from toxins and dust they inhaled when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

Paramedic Marvin Bethea says if Giuliani is running for president based on how he handled the crisis, he still has more work to do.

"We feel abandoned, and you should be the Number One person screaming for us to get the proper compensation and care we deserve, and unfortunately, I simply haven't heard that from you."

Bethea says he's not working to get Guiliani defeated, but simply wants to tell his side of the 9/11 story.

"I'm honestly not here to get into who people should or shouldn't vote for. All I'm saying is, people should know the person and know what the person's like."

Outside the debate hall, Bethea showed the film "The Real Rudy: Abandoned Heroes," that chronicles the rescue workers' complaints. He hopes to meet with Giuliani further down the campaign trail. The former mayor's campaign staff did not return calls seeking comment.

John Robinson, Public News Service - NH