Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:51 pm Post subject: AP RELEASE ON PROPER BURIAL RULING
From Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:00 am to Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:59 am (included)
|By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- A judge has rejected an effort by some families of terrorism victims who wanted to reclaim World Trade Center residue and create a cemetery on Staten Island for it.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said Monday that not every wrong can be addressed through the courts. "The grave harm suffered by the plaintiffs in this case is undeniable. But the jurisdiction of a court is limited," Hellerstein said.
Hellerstein says he will continue to make himself available to both sides if they want to settle the issue in a way that might bring relief to the families.
The lawsuit against New York City had asked that the residue -- which might contain human remains -- be moved from the now-closed Fresh Kills landfill to land across the street that could be made into a cemetery.
Norman Siegel, a lawyer for the 17 families who brought the lawsuit, said he was "extremely disappointed" by the ruling. He said another 1,000 people had signed a petition supporting the lawsuit.
"The 9-11 families sought to rectify an egregious wrong that occurred regarding the disposition of human remains. We are not prepared to leave hundreds of human remains of 9-11 victims on top of a garbage dump as their final resting place," he said.
The city said through a spokeswoman that it was preparing a statement in response to the decision.
Hellerstein noted in his written decision that the city has planned to create a nature preserve and park at the Fresh Kills site, including a memorial at a height that will provide a view of where the 110-story twin towers once stood.
"What better reverence could there be than a memorial that both recalls those who died, even without leaving a trace, and points to the tenacity and beauty of life that must go on? The terrorists sought to destroy our lives and our freedom. They failed, and a memorial in such a beautiful setting can symbolize the vital continuation of our vibrant democracy," he wrote.