Mohegans Pledge $1 Million To Help Victims, Families Of Twin Towers Terrorism
MOHEGAN, Conn. -- The Mohegan Tribal Council is pledging $1 million to a fund to assist victims and their families in the terror attack on the World Trade Center, as well as families of the rescue personnel.
Tribal Chairman Mark Brown, himself a former policeman, said, "It seems in some ways not enough, but what would be enough?"
The donation is the largest to date from an American Indian tribe, although many have made six-figure pledges from casino revenues.
Brown told ICT he had a special feeling for the rescue workers because of his background in law enforcement. "Both myself and my wife are ex-police officers," he said.
"You can picture going into a call like that. You're rushing in to help people. You've got to do what you've got to do."
More than 300 members of New York City's police and fire departments are missing and presumed dead after responding to the emergency call after two airliners hijacked by terrorists crashed into the top of the two World Trade Center towers. The towers collapsed an hour later after most of the office workers had been evacuated but rescue workers were still inside.
Brown said that families of the rescue workers would be hit hard financially as well as emotionally. Their insurance coverage, he said, would amount to a year's salary, "and that's it."
"They're really going to be impacted."
The Mohegan Tribal Council voted unanimously to make the contribution on Friday. "We did it in 15 seconds," Brown said. "The bottom line is the firefighters, police officers and rescue people went in to save lives. As Native Americans, as the first Americans, we take very strongly this attack. So anything we can do to give support to the rescue effort and families, we will."
The donation goes to the Twin Towers Fund, established by the New York City Public/Private Initiatives Inc. a nonprofit organization, to assist victims of the attack, their families, and the families of the rescue workers, who include firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and Port Authority police.
The Mohegan Tribe, with 1500 members, owns the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut.