Approaching the 10 Year Anniversary: September 11, 2011
As we approach the ten year anniversary of the
9/11 attacks, the goal of full and appropriate recognition of those we lost
has yet to be fulfilled. Politicians and other officials for instance,
still refuse to list our fallen heroes by their earned and deserved
ranks. Other disrespectful omissions also remain within the current
proposal; no ages, floor or flight number for example will be listed
following the name of each precious soul taken from us.
These simple yet powerful reminders of who each person
was have been respectfully requested of re-development officials for many
years and in many ways. For the most part, these requests have fallen on
deaf ears. Come 9/11/11 however, these same politicians
and officials will most assuredly bask in the glory of their version of
accomplishment. But this final memorial "vision" will be
viewed quite differently by countless 9/11 family members and
others. They will see the current design-if completed-as a
disgraceful failure, and their grief will be compounded by what will have
been denied to those who literally gave their lives for others.
Please increase your efforts to reach out
to your elected representatives regardless of where you live.
Beseech them to speak up and support our goal. And most importantly,
please contact Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Joseph Daniels and respectfully
demand that they provide a recognition that should have been
originally granted automatically and without request.
This is DAMAGE
CONTROL. The media and our personal emails from the City (Mayor's
office and Office of the Medical Examiner) have been filled with the news of
sifting taking place at Fresh Kills. These messages coming out of the
City are misleading at best. What is taking place is a continuation of
what they had been doing at Water Street in Brooklyn. This is NOT a resifting of
what they dumped at Fresh Kills.
For years we have
been telling the City that there are many places at the WTC site that had never
been excavated. Instead of being proactive, the City waited for such
awful discoveries as that made by Con Ed workers. Accidentally
discovering human remains, and being honest enough to report this
discovery, Con Ed essentially forced the City to search a bit more.
There are still areas at the WTC site that have been paved over or just
ignored, not having been searched. The most recent excavations are no
longer being processed at Water Street but are being taken to Fresh Kills, near
the Sanitation Department office trailers where the material is being looked
through. We had been allowed to visit the Brooklyn facility for one
day. At that time we were told all material, after processing would be
put into environmentally safe containers. When I saw these containers
months later at Fresh Kills, these containers had NO LIDS. Calling that
to the City's attention, lids were affixed to the containers. Shortly
after, tents were erected, and the containers emptied and removed. These
materials are no longer in environmentally secure containers. There seems
to be a pattern of trying to deceive the public and especially the friends and
families of those who were murdered at the WTC.
We are still
fighting to have the material (hills 1 & 9 at Fresh Kills) removed and put
in a place which does not have household trash. There is even a place at
Fresh Kills that could accommodate this effort, but the City has refused.
Apparently the garbage dump is good enough. The City emptied
(though not thoroughly) the WTC site and searched for remains (though not
completely) during a 10 month period from 2001-2002. The endeavor came in
under time (scheduled to take 2 years) and under budget ( FEMA appropriated
$125 million...the City spent $67 million and then used the remaining money to
pay straight-time salaries). It is this material, sitting on top of
household trash without separation, that we want removed.
cruel to try to deceive you all. I am so very sorry for any false hope
you had and any increased pain this information gives you.
mother of 26-year-old Matthew
Horning, WTC I, 95th floor
October 18, 2009 A9-11 Update
members of several 9/11 family groups met with Mayor Bloomberg
and Mr. Joe Daniels of the National September 11 Memorial Museum
Foundation. During these meetings, which we are grateful to Mayor
Bloomberg and Mr. Daniels for hosting, we expressed the deep concerns that
the overwhelming majority of family members and many others still have
regarding several key issues with the Memorial and Museum.
We discussed numerous points regarding the Memorial and Museum such as safety;
its' underground location, displays that may contain human remains, etc.
However, the most critically time-sensitive issue discussed is how
the names of the victims will be listed on the 9/11 Memorial. We
again stated our position that the ranks of first responders and military
personnel must be listed preceding their names. Additionally, we
reiterated our request that the age of each victim be listed, and for
non-uniformed victims, the company and the floor where they worked.
Unfortunately, our request for this deserved recognition was again denied.
We realize that the way the victims are to be listed has improved somewhat from
the original design, which offered only an underground, random name
format. Thanks to the efforts of The Advocates and others the name of
each victim will be listed at ground level, not seven stories below.
Additionally, first responders will be listed together under a department
heading along with their respective units. These have always been key
components of our long-standing request, but they are just part of a
larger proposal that was drawn up several years ago by the majority of civilian
and first-responder family groups after many months of hard work. This
proposal was delivered to Mayor Bloomberg, then Gov Pataki, and others charged
with the memorial's development. Unfortunately, it was largely
ignored. To continue to deny the ranks to first-responders and
military personnel, and the age, company, and floor number to all victims
is an extremely disrespectful omission and one that reduces them to mere names
on a wall.
current proposal is similar to the minimalist design of The Vietnam Memorial
where no ranks or branch of service are listed. Many find this concept
disrespectful and offensive and it should not be the model for the 9/11
Memorial at Ground Zero. Rather, the majority of family members and
Americans nationwide prefer a listing similar to that of such iconic structures
as the Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, Normandy, and Pentagon 9/11 Memorials
where branch of service and rank are indicated. A memorial that fails for
instance to list Peter Ganci as FDNY Chief of Department, or Mychal Judge (an
ordained Catholic priest) as Father Mychal Judge, FDNY Chaplain, or
Timothy Maude as LT General, U.S. Army, is one that fails to tell the
authentic story of 9/11/01. No one should have the right to deny on
a memorial such hard-earned designations to those who died while serving
in those ranks. This memorial should be one that celebrates lives
and reflects on the absence of people, not one that celebrates
waterfalls and speaks to the absence of buildings.
therefore request that all who recognize this egregious affront to voice
their deep concerns regarding these issues. Please
write letters to the editor of newspapers and
contact other various media outlets and your elected officials
at the local, state and federal levels. Additionally, make your opinions
known directly to those at The National September 11 Memorial/Museum
Foundation, to Governors Paterson and Corzine, and to Mayor Bloomberg.
Let them know that we remain deeply disturbed by the continual omission of full
and proper recognition for each precious soul lost on 9/11/01. We
also ask that such requests, while passionate and firm, are done in a
dignified and respectful fashion.
Hopefully, if we persist, the final version of The September 11,
2001 Memorial at The World Trade Center will appropriately reflect the
wishes of the families and the sacrifice that was made by so many on
September 11, 2001. And know it is our intention to follow up with
further action and events to achieve this goal. Thank you all.
Port Authority's Ground Zero plans prove agency has a lot to learn.
New York Daily News Thursday,
March 26th 2009
the past several months most Americans have become inured to the deficiencies
of countless financial institutions. "Bailout" has become part of the
lexicon. Not surprisingly, given many past performances, the Port Authority has
recently joined this somewhat ignominious group by requesting federal dollars
to fund various projects.
comes as the PA continues to justify extravagant and superfluous construction
projects in the form of the 9/11 memorial and museum and the Calatrava transit
estimates approximate the current cost of the memorial at levels near $1
billion and the transit hub at close to $3 billion. And, being that these are
current estimates and that this is, after all, New York City, no
one can realistically believe that these figures will not rise dramatically as
the projects proceed. It's time
to rethink these plans.
perusal of the plans for the memorial/museum complex reveals a grandiose design
extending seven stories below street level. Building designers and safety experts
have stated that such a structure has several inherent flaws. First, it
is a subterranean labyrinth with no obvious means of escape for those who will
be 70 feet below ground. Access and egress will be a logistical problem under
the best conditions. Under emergency conditions it turns into a nightmare. Many
of the exits necessitate traveling on horizontal pathways for several hundred
feet before an ascent begins to ground level. It will be a monumental task to
evacuate such a structure during an emergency. And no one needs to be reminded
that Ground Zero will remain the No. 1 terrorist target in the world.
proposal regarding the placement of the victims' names also fails to properly
recognize those who were killed on that fateful morning. Ironically, the
connection between the victims and 9/11 itself is absent. No affiliations such
as those of first responders or members of the military will be listed. It also
fails to list the victims' department, branch of service and their rank.
Civilian victims will likewise have no affiliation, age or the floor where they
worked listed next to their names. Essentially,
this memorial is a generic rendition that could represent just about any event.
proposal is also said to be a green project. Just the energy required to pump
and heat the water integral to the design is more than enough to refute that
claim. Additionally, the millions of dollars required every year to run the
memorial is a colossal waste of money. One must also wonder how the waterfalls
will remain safe and efficient during the cold, winter months.
the transit hub, many have questioned the need for such an extravagant and
expensive design where relatively few passengers travel. The cost, which keeps
spiraling upward, is prohibitive.
addition, the glass-laden Calatrava structure is located directly above one of
the proposed underground bus garages. It seems that the PA has not learned the
security lessons of 1993, despite recently paying millions to the victims of
that terrorist attack.
In the best
of economic times, such projects would be dubious. In our present climate, they
are unsustainable. A scaled down version of the transit hub would be more
cost-effective and profitable in the long run.
reassessment of the memorial/museum complex would likewise result in a safer,
more responsible and less costly product. It would also be much closer to what
the majority of 9/11 family members and most Americans have always sought: a
simple, respectful and inspiring aboveground memorial that simultaneously
records the events as they happened, and appropriately honors those who
perished. It has always been our solemn duty to provide such recognition and
now, more than ever, this worthy goal must be achieved.