By Gina Cherelus
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of workers who scoured the wreckage of the World Trade Center for the remains of the dead after the skyscrapers were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, will be recognized at the memorial in New York City, officials said on Tuesday.
The tribute at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is expected to be a "commemorative space and walkway" in the Memorial Glade, a grassy clearing in the southwest corner of the 8-acre (3.24-hectare) site that once held the Twin Towers. The area became known as Ground Zero in the months after the coordinated attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.
"This new tribute will be a poignant reminder of the selflessness and courage of our first responders, who embody the best of New Yorkers, and ensure their sacrifice will never be forgotten," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, along with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and memorial board member Jon Stewart.
The rescue and recovery workers came from around the nation and the world and more than 91,000 have suffered illnesses and more than 400 have died as a result of the toxic mix of dust and chemicals they were exposed to at Ground Zero, according to city data. Many rescue workers continue to face conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer.
Officials with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will lead the planning, design and development of the tribute.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker)