New York not inviting First Responders to 9/11 Anniversary Ceremony
NEW YORK -- The first responders are not invited to this year's September 11 memorial ceremony at ground zero, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office confirmed this week.
"Given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said, noting that the commemoration ceremony is for the victim's families.
In addition to the victims' families, several politicians, including two presidents, are expected to be in attendance. Bloomberg's office would not provide specifics on the ceremony's arrangements, but did note that the first responders have not been invited to the preceding nine memorial services, either.
Morris Faitelewicz, vice president of the Auxiliary Police Supervisors Benevolent Association, called that explanation "nonsense." Faitelewicz said first responders have been able to attend all of the previous ceremonies simply by showing up.
Not allowing them to attend this year -- the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks -- is an especially galling affront, he said.
It's a painful insult for many of the approximately 3,000 men and women who risked their lives, limbs and lungs on that monumental day, puncturing another hole in a still searing wound.