Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:46 pm Post subject: CONCERNS ABOUT THE WTC 9/11 MEMORIAL
From Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:00 am to Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:59 am (included)
|Dear 9/11 Family Members, First-Responders, Military Personnel, and all concerned Americans,
Recently, 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, it's 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.
The 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.
We 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.
Co-chair, Advocates for a 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial
Brother-in-law of B.C. Orio J. Palmer, Batt 7
Rita and Jim Riches (DC/FDNY(ret)
Chairman, 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters
Parents of FF James Riches, E-4
Rosaleen Tallon, Ed. D.
Family Liaison, Advocates for a 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial
Sister of FF Sean Tallon, L-10
Maureen and Al Santora, (DC/FDNY (ret)
9/11 Tribute Center Docents
9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters
Parents of FF Christopher Santora, E-54
Sally and Al Regenhard
Skyscraper Safety Campaign
9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters
Parents of FF Christian Regenhard, L-131
Joyce and Russell Mercer
Parents of FF Scott Kopytko, L-15
Mother of George Cain, L-7
Professor Glenn Corbett
Chief Technical Advisor, Skyscraper Safety Campaign
Professor of Fire Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
311 or (212) 788-7418
Mr. Joe Daniels
Governor David Paterson
Governor Jon Corzine
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand