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Firefighters Vote to Boycott Bush Sept. 11 Tribute

“The president has merely been using firefighters and their families for one big photo opportunity… We will work actively to not grant him another photo op with us.”

‘The International Association of Fire Fighters voted unanimously on Wednesday to boycott a national tribute to firefighters who died on Sept. 11, in an angry response to U.S. President George Bush’s rejection of a bill that included $340 million to fund fire departments.

Bush is expected to speak at the Oct. 6 ceremony in Washington D.C., where the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation is hosting its annual tribute to those who died in the line of duty during the prior year.

The ceremony will honor 343 firefighters who died responding to the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, as well as about 100 others who also died in the year.

The IAFF, the umbrella organization for the nation’s professional firefighter unions, is enraged by the president’s rejection of a $5.1 billion appropriations bill that included $150 million for equipment and training grants requested by some of the nation’s 18,000 fire departments.

It also include $100 million to improve the communications systems for firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel as well as $90 million for long-term health monitoring of emergency workers at the Ground Zero site where New York’s World Trade Center towers once stood.’ Reuters [via Paul Randall]