Jon Stewart lauds passage of 9/11 benefits: 'I'm hopeful that today begins the process of being able to heal'
Jon Stewart applauds the athletes participating in the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games during closing ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. June 21, 2016. (Department of Defense photo by EJ Hersom)

On Tuesday, following the long-sought passage by the Senate of the bill to make 9/11 first responder benefits permanent, Rolling Stone reports that longtime political comedian and 9/11 survivor advocate Jon Stewart delivered an emotional speech of gratitude.

“We can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country, but we can stop penalizing them,” said Stewart, who testified forcefully in favor of the bill in Congress recently. “And today is that day that they can exhale. Unfortunately, the pain and suffering of what these heroes continue to go through is going to continue. There have been too many funerals, too many hospices, and these families deserve better."

"I'm hopeful that today begins the process of being able to heal without the burden of having to advocate," he said.