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Concerns about the Remains /A Father's Response

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Concerns about the Remains /A Father's Response
From Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:00 am to Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:59 am (included)
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Dear Mary,

I have read the response to the ongoing controversy regarding the remains placement at the museum posted on your Web site and sent via email. Let me first tell you that the use of the phase "let us set the record straight", implies a certain arrogance on the part of the authors, that they are right, and all others are wrong, who oppose them, or have different opinions.

A poor choice of words for a beginning statement and a document which is meant to inform and convey a sequence of events, and which I assume is also meant to persuade people. One expects more from those who wear the mantle of leadership.

For family members who have different opinions, and have not given permission to be represented by those named in your letter, is what I see at the heart of this issue.

In five years I have not received, been told of, or heard of any communications from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum staff ,trauma psychologists, museum ethics experts, interfaith clergy, and numerous other advisors, cited in your letter. Can you provide the numbers for how many families in New Jersey were contacted? By whom and When in ten years?

(I know that they in fact have my postal address, by the number of solicitations for donations I find in my mail box.)

You have failed to answer is the simple question "Who Owns The Dead?”

The Families Advisory Committee which was comprised of 9/11 family members and representatives of victims' family organizations you cite as responsible in this decision making process, do not own the dead, neither does the city of New York, nor the Medical Examiner.

Note: (In this case I would have preferred that you name names and cite the members of the Advisory Committee and organizations so that we understand exactly to whom we should address our correspondence).

None of these groups, committees, organizations or persons have the permission or the authority to dispose of the remains of any victims. PERIOD. That is a sole right belonging to the next of kin. To deny even a single family from having a part in the decision making is to take away that right. Given the amount of time that has passed it is unconceivable that you (i.e. The Advisory Board/Committees/Museum Staff) were not able to accomplish that task of affording the families a way to render a response on how the remains were to be reposed.

To attempt to justify a process that was flawed to begin with, is without merit, and shame on all of you for believing you had that right to make that decision without consulting the victims' next of kin or gaining their permission and approval.

You also have failed to understand that to forge a concept that blurs the line between what exists as a museum, and what constitutes a memorial is directly in opposition to those who believed that the victims’ remains deserved a sacred (holy) place separate and distinct from the museum. And I do not believe I am alone in that belief.

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.

I trust you will accept this letter in the good faith that it is written, and I remain grateful for all of the good things you have accomplished for all of the 9/11 families.


Thomas J. Meehan III
Thomas J. Meehan III
Father of Colleen Ann (Meehan) Barkow Age 26 WTC Cantor-Fitzgerald 103rd Floor
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: A Parent's Response Reply with quote

The letter that was sent from Thomas Meehan is right on the money.I too have never received any correspondence from anyone on the advisory council regarding this issue. The human remains belong to the families of the 2,974 people who were murdered on Sept 11, 2001. They belong to all the families not a select few.
I will be passing this on to everyone I know. Please thank Thomas for us. He represents our views as well

Maureen and Alexander Santora parents of FF Christopher A Santora age 23 E 54
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