Renewal And Betrayal

scene, wtc, terror, september
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
We've been working on a lot of stories about 9/11 here at CBS News.

There are many stories of individuals and families who managed to recover their lives from the rubble of the World Trade Center. Some companies that were devastated are now thriving.

Yes, there has been renewal in the five years since that devastating day. But there has been betrayal as well.

How often was it publicly announced that the air downtown was safe to breathe? It gave the impression to all who worked down there that the air at the World Trade Center site must have been OK, too. Now we know there are numerous first responders who have developed serious lung conditions directly attributable to their work on the pile.

The EPA says it advised the city to require the workers to wear respirators. Did the City of New York fail to act on that advice? No matter. Now, five years after the attacks, new victims are being claimed — and someone has to be responsible.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith