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A September 11th Question :Who Owns The Dead ?

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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 22572
Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: A September 11th Question :Who Owns The Dead ?
From Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:00 am to Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:59 am (included)
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Who Owns The Dead ?

Of all the questions, debates, and issues which have arisen since the events of September 11,2001, the single issue which remains unanswered is who owns the dead. and how did their ashen remains, bone fragments, and decaying tissue become one with the hills known as hills one and nine at the Fresh Kills land fill on Staten Island.

There is a clear distinction between the effort of identification, to determine who perished at the World Trade Center, and what has been done to provide for a proper burial of any and all of the remains.

I wrote the above paragraphs in a letter in 2004, and it asked the question "Who owns the Dead?" The subject matter was the ashen remains bulldozed in the landfill on Staten Island , known as Fresh Kills.

But the question applies equally to the remains held by the Medical Examiner's office, which have yet to be identified, and which are destined to become part of the Museum dedicated to the lives lost in Washington D.C, in a field in PA, and at Ground Zero in New York City.

Just as the 9/11 family members have written, "In the first few years after 9/11, many families advocated that the unidentified human remains be returned to Ground Zero, to be interred in a type of "tomb of the unknowns." At that time, the families fully believed that this tomb, and indeed the entire memorial complex itself, would be above ground where it belonged. We all believed that the human remains would be interred in a respectful and accessible location at Ground Zero. We never thought our loved ones' remains would be made part of a museum and we surely never agreed to such an arrangement! "

Their placement at the site of the Memorial was to allow the remains to be accessible as new forensic capabilities became available, which did not exist in the aftermath of the events of 2001, and the years that followed to the current date.

The idea of a Tomb of the Unknowns would rather that being part of a New York Museum, would be a monument dedicated to the lives lost that day. It would be established in a manner to allow all religious beliefs to be acknowledged, and would be a sacred burial place for these unknown souls, and honor the oath "Never to Forget".

"Here Rests In Honored Glory The Heroes Known & Unknown of September 11,2001 and Who Are Known Only to God" is a fitting inscription.

For how will a society be judged that treated its lost lives as garbage, keeps their remains out of sight, and does not preserve the memories of those we called heroes for future generations in a sacred and consecrated manner and place.


Thomas J. Meehan III

Father of Colleen Ann (Meehan) Barkow Age 26 WTC Cantor-Fitzgerald 103rd Floor
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