McNamara Family

McNamara Family

9/11 Hero's Legacy Lives On 10 Years After His Death

July 18, 2019 - 10:51 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- As the fight over funding the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund rages on in Washington, there's a benefit golf outing being held Thursday on Long Island in memory of a 9/11 hero.

Before there even was a 9/11 health bill, John McNamara traveled to Capitol Hill looking for help. The retired firefighter had cancer and he knew plenty of others that did too.

"He knew what was happening to them and he also had a very strong sense of justice," his wife, Jennifer, told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

McNamara died in August 2009 at age 44. Shortly after his death, Jennifer started the Johnny Mac Foundation in memory of her husband.

While the foundation don't raise a ton of money, it helps community members in need.

"We try and do the smaller things to make sure that people know that they are loved, that they're not forgotten, that they're cared for," she said. "We sponsor the Little League, we sponsor to pay for the the watering of the beautification flowers along our main street and we adopt children over Christmas, so we'll buy Christmas gifts for them."

Ten years after her husband's death, Jennifer can't believe 9/11 responders are still going to Washington to fight.

She says it's time politicians prove that they truly never forget.

"I absolutely believe that they carry on their shoulders the angels of all who have come before them," Jennifer said.

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund bill, which unanimously passed the House, faces a more difficult path to passage in the Senate after Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky blocked fast-track approval of the bipartisan bill.