9/11 Memorial Service Moved From Ground Zero Without Consulting The 9/11 Families

Very sad, and infuriating at the same time. Just today two more victims were discovered.

The families respond...

(Continued after the jump)

Governor Spitzer, Attn: Marlene Turner
Mayor Bloomberg, Attn: Commissioner Nazli Parvizi, NYCAU
Via Email and Fax
July 16, 2007

Dear Governor Spitzer and Mayor Bloomberg,

We have just learned of the City’s plans for the six anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While we support your decision to have first responders read the names of the 9/11 dead, we ask that you reconsider the decision to relocate the annual 9/11 commemorative events from Ground Zero to Zuccotti Park.

For five years, families of 9/11 victims have gathered at the World Trade Center site to stand on sacred ground, and mourn the men, women, and children murdered in the worst attack on U.S. soil in our nation’s history. For us, and many Americans around the nation, the World Trade Center site is sacred ground. The ongoing discoveries of human remains at the site remind us of the brutality of the attacks and confirm its sacredness.

Nearly half of the victims’ families have no private place to grieve because no earthly remains of their loved ones have been recovered. Each year, despite the emotional pain, victims’ families put their lives on hold to attend the annual commemoration at the World Trade Center site. Some travel from across the nation, others from around the world, to gather at the place where their loved ones died. They have descended to the footprints at bedrock to pay tribute, as the names of the victims were read.

Ongoing construction—without any details—has been identified as the reason for the relocation. While we support the revitalization of the site, is it so terrible to stop construction for 1/2 day so that fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, friends and fellow citizens can respectively gather to remember and honor their fallen loved ones? We also fear this relocation raises legitimate safety and security concerns.

How will the thousands of mourners physically be able to gather at Zuccotti Park? Will the adjacent streets be closed to accommodate attendees? How will access to the ceremony be afforded? Will there be any form of access to the World Trade Center site on the anniversary of the attacks?

We welcome and appreciate the opportunity to discuss these concerns with you and your staff directly.


Bruce DeCell, 9/11 Families for a Secure America

Bill Doyle, Doyle 9/11 Support Network

Anthony Gardner, World Trade Center United Family Group, Inc.

Kurt and Diane Horning, WTC Families for Proper Burial, Inc.

Jim McCaffrey, Advocates for a 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial

Dennis McKeon, Where to Turn, Put it Above Ground

Margie Miller, 9/11 Long Island Families

Sally Regenhard, 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims, and The Skyscraper Safety Campaign

Patricia Reilly, Coalition of 9/11 Families

Feel free to let Gov. Spitzer, and Mayor Bloomberg know that you want to remember our fallen citizens at the place they were murdered.

Eliot Spitzer
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 788-8123



Bloomberg says decision to move 9/11 ceremony is final

Source: newsday.com

Associated Press Writer
July 30, 2007, 4:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony would not be held in its original ground zero location, despite threats by family members to boycott and hold their own shadow remembrance.

Construction on the memorial to the victims, as well as new buildings that are going up, have made the site unsafe for a large public gathering like the one that has taken place at the site each year, he said.

Bloomberg said the decision to move the sixth anniversary commemoration to a plaza off the southeast corner of the site was final, and that "it would be a big shame" if anyone skipped the remembrance events out of anger.

"They can't take place in the old location _ we just couldn't make it safe. Construction is going on over there," Bloomberg said.

For five years, mourners have participated in the same ritual at the site: As the names of the nearly 3,000 victims were read aloud, echoing across what was once the World Trade Center basement, family members could also descend a long ramp into the seven-story pit. There, they laid flowers on the dusty bedrock.

Some angry family members have written letters to Bloomberg and Gov. Eliot Spitzer, warning that they will hold their own gathering if the ceremony is not moved back to its original place.

The families said Monday that they will now apply for a permit to do so, but it is unclear whether that would be successful; the city controls permits for the swath of land where previous remembrances were held, and a separate bistate agency is in charge of the seven-story pit.

That agency, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said Monday it was working to find a way to let families visit the site on the anniversary. Spokesman Steve Sigmund said that would not include permission to hold a separate ceremony, nor would it include access to the pit.

The family groups that are protesting say the new location has none of the same significance that ground zero holds.

"This is not the site _ it's across the street," said Anthony Gardner, whose brother was killed in the attack. "You have a better view of a Burger King than the actual trade center site."

Bloomberg said the plaza has its own historic significance from that morning. There was much "pain and suffering" there, he said.

People died in that area, and shortly after the attack, temporary morgues were set up there along the street. The plaza is also close to the Engine 10, Ladder 10 firehouse that lost six of its firefighters and was nearly destroyed in the attacks.

"Hopefully the families will participate ... but that's where it's going to be. We can make the area big enough, we can secure the area, it's safe," Bloomberg said.

"We're trying to change it a little bit each year _ you don't want to do the same thing every time."

It is likely that this fight will not end this year. With the World Trade Center memorial and various buildings now going up, the area will be under construction for years, and it is possible that the anniversary ceremony won't return until the rebuilding is complete.

Families have long said they feel an emotional attachment to the site, a sentiment that is particularly strong for the relatives of the 1,100-some victims who have not had any identified remains recovered from the site. Many feel as though ground zero is a grave site.

The city is now re-excavating areas around ground zero to look for more body parts after a cache of human bones was found in an abandoned manhole last year. More digging turned up other subterranean pockets of remains that were missed during the initial cleanup.

Some families believe the city has not kept them fully informed about the new round of remains excavations, which is expected to last for many more months.

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Not only are the families denied closure and justice with regard to their loved ones (because this Government is so criminal, and REEKS of 9/11 complicity), but now they're denied memorializing their loved ones where it is MOST important to them. SUCH BS.

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