Accession Number: C.2020.72.1
Dimensions: 27.5 in X 18.5 in
Dimensions (Metric): 69.85 cm X 46.99 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Bridget Gormley
White sleeveless athletic tank top. "DUST | indiegogo.com" is printed on the front in bold black text. On the back is printed, "William J. Gormley | FDNY Ladder 174 | 911 First Responder | Died 14 Jun 2017 | 911 Related Cancer."
On June 14, 2017, 53-year old William John Gormley, a retired New York City firefighter who participated in the rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, died of lung and bladder cancer traced to toxins prevalent at the WTC site. He left behind a wife and four children, including daughter, Bridget who became an advocate for 9/11 related health effects.
The Nike-pro marathon shirt emblazoned with the word “Dust” was worn by Gormley family friend, Brian Sherras, who annually ran in New York City race. The year that William Gormley died, Sherras chose to wear the shirt to commemorate Gormley and to “spread the word about 9/11 illnesses.”
Gormley is representative of hundreds of uniformed first responders who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site who, after a period of latency, developed debilitating illnesses and cancers tied to toxic exposures. Like Gormley, many have succumbed to these conditions.