Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper spoke with 9/11 first responder Kenny Specht and Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the news, and the multitude of health issues impacting those who were at or near Ground Zero.
Federal health authorities Monday added 58 types of cancer to the list of covered illnesses for people who were exposed to toxins at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
The addition finalizes a recommendation from Dr. John Howard, administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program. Howard proposed in June that the program accept the recommendations of its Science/Technical Advisory Committee and add some cancers to the coverage list - 14 categories in all.
The advisory committee review called for expanded "coverage for certain types of cancer resulting from exposure to toxins released at Ground Zero."
"The publication of this final rule marks an important step in the effort to provide needed treatment and care to 9/11 responders and survivors through the WTC Health Program," Howard said in a statement Monday.
Fifty-eight types of cancer were added to a program that treats first responders and survivors suffering from toxins emitted from the World Trade Center wreckage. Tomorrow marks 11 years since the twin towers crumbled. In the years since the attack, many exposed to the poisons in the rubble have insisted to the government that their cancer was linked to 9/11.
Today The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health announced that those affected by the newly added cancers will be covered for free under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act 30 days after the additions are published in the Federal Register.
The firefighters and emergency personnel who risked their lives at Ground Zero didn't question their duty to act. Some of the heroes became victims, and their illnesses became another painful part of the tragedy. The fight for compensation outlived those who lost the battle with cancer.
Newly released photographs show what a damaged World Trade Center tower and its collapse looked like from a New York Police Department helicopter as it flew nearby on September 11, 2001, in New York.
The aerial photos were obtained by ABC News after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which had collected the images for its investigation into the towers' collapse.
A couple of the images show one of the twin towers burning after a hijacked airplane had flown into it. Others show it collapsing, and the rest show the clouds of debris and dust spreading below after the towers crumbled.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/09/11/us.sept.11/art.obama.shake.911.gi.jpg caption="President Obama addresses family members and friends who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."]
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer
The day stood in stark contrast to the sunny, brisk morning eight years ago. Chaos surrounded this patch of land at the Pentagon that day. But now a steady rain bathed it in a calm silence as the memorial service began.
Holding umbrellas, President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen stood at the entrance of the Pentagon memorial. It is marked by a stone embedded in the ground with the September 11th date and time, 9:37a.m., reminding people of the exact moment when hijacked American Airlines flight 77 was flown into the building killing 184 people.
The three stood silently listening to a military band play the National Anthem, each than spoke about the day.
President Obama was observing his first September 11th as the commander in chief.
"Eight Septembers have come and gone. Nearly 3,000 days have passed; almost one for each of those taken from us," the president said, now standing uncovered in the rain. "But no turning of the season can diminish the pain and the loss of that day, no passage of time and no dark skies can ever dull the meaning of this moment."
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