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Letter: The Inclusion of Human remains at the 9/11 Memorial

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: Letter: The Inclusion of Human remains at the 9/11 Memorial
From Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:00 am to Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:59 am (included)
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April 7, 2011

An Open Letter To:

The 9/11 Family Members & The National 9/11 Memorial Museum Board & Staff & The 9/11 Family Advisory Council Members & The Mayor of New York The Honorable Mayor Bloomberg & The 9/11 Member Organizations

I have read the letter posted on the Voices of September 11 Web Site written by Mary Fetchet, her husband Frank, and other family members who signatures appear on the document, regarding the issue of the inclusion of the human remains in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The defensive use of the phase "let us set the record straight” is poor choice of words for beginning a statement 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 at the core of this issue are the family members who have different opinions, and have not given permission to be represented by those named in your letter, and have been denied the right to advise and consent on the disposition of the remains.

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 the explanation given.. Can anyone in any organization provide the numbers for how many families in New Jersey were contacted? By whom and When in ten years? Somewhere there must be a bean counter that kept track of these numbers, even if only to justify the expenses involved.

But the real issue is that no one has answered 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 cited as being responsible in this decision process, do not own the dead, neither does the city of New York, nor the Medical Examiner, nor the Mayor.

None of these groups, committees, organizations or persons has 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 they (i.e. The Advisory Committees/ Museum Staff, Board Members,) were not able to accomplish that task of affording the families a way to render a response to the way the remains were to be reposed. Simply put to Advise & Consent on this issue.

I find it unbelievable that those responsible for this decision thought that they had that right to make that decision without consulting the victim’s next of kin or gaining their approval.

To 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) separate and distinct from the museum, is to act in a vacuum .They(the victims) deserve a Proper Burial.

For how will a society be judged that treated its lost lives by, keeping 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.

For myself, some injustices, or wrongs, even if never corrected, should not and cannot be forgotten.

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