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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
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Location: Staten Island

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: A PERMANENT AFFRONT
From Oct 18, 2011 to Oct 20, 2011 (included)
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After marking the ten year anniversary of 9/11, at least two ineluctable results regarding The World Trade Center and Ground Zero have been evinced. First, with the partial opening of the 9/11 Memorial/Museum (MM), the mayor and MM officials will continue to congratulate and laud themselves for reaching what they believe to be a milestone achievement. The second unfortunate outcome however is the crushed hopes of countless 9/11 families and others who believe this “milestone” instead represents ensconced disrespect for the 9/11 victims. They do not view the MM as a national monument, but something more resembling a national disgrace. The visceral grief suffered by so many for ten years is compounded by this rendition and they will remember that their concerns regarding it’s design and construction were too often dismissed by many development officials and politicians.
Opposition to the current MM design can mainly be attributed to what many have described as the "secret sins" of the 9/11 MM. Consider: 1. Astonishingly the issue of interment for the human remains of the 9/11 victims at GZ is still unresolved. Despite a massive PR campaign to the contrary by the city and MM, full consultation with every 9/11 family as to the disposition of those remains has never occurred; indeed, the input from the families was never sought by the city. How is it possible that the remains of the 9/11 victims are in the control of a few politicians and other influential individuals and not in the hands of their loved ones? This unconscionable breach of ethical and moral standards must be rectified and a FOIL lawsuit intended to compel the city of New York to notify every 9/11 family is pending at this time. Human remains should not be tantamount to an attraction in an underground museum, but rather, they should be interred at ground level as part of the memorial in something akin to a Tomb of The Unknowns 2. The listing of the victim’s names is inherently disrespectful. Ranks of military and first responders are ignored. General, Captain, Battalion Chief, etc. does not precede the names of those that died while operating under such titles. Also egregious are the omission of corporation name, the floor number for non-uniformed victims and the age of all victims. Who could be offended by the poignant listing for example of the age of a two-year-old child? Such listings are immediate and powerful reminders that each person lost was a precious soul, not just a name on a wall. 3. The museum section of the complex will be a dangerous and disrespectful 70’ below ground. Visitors need ask themselves just one question when realizing this fact: "Do I want to be 7 stories beneath the earth while visiting the #1 terrorist target in the world?" Danger is not just a by-product of the museum's location, but rather, intrinsic to its design. 4. The attention devoted to telling the story of the terrorists in this “memorial” museum is extremely inappropriate particularly when contrasted with the stories of the victims. This “terrorist hall of fame” will be replete with martyrdom quotes, videos and photographs easily observed while one must search for victims information at smart tables and kiosks. The terrorists “story” should instead be located in the investigation portion of the complex. 5. Final cost estimates of nearly $1 billion and $60 million for construction and annual upkeep respectively are abhorrent. One could question whether this is a memorial to the fallen or a self-indulgent profit scheme.
The foregoing is but an abbreviated compendium of the failures and missteps associated with this MM. In the eyes of many 9/11 family members disrespect has permeated the entire MM development process and myriad recommendations intended to create a safer, more respectful, amaranthine memorial have been proffered by numerous 9/11 family groups. Unfortunately they’ve been largely ignored. The many that oppose this design have assiduously spoken only for those that can no longer speak for themselves. For whom are development officials speaking? Years from now a visitor to this MM will ask the same question that legions have been asking for 10 years: “Why was this allowed to happen?”

James McCaffrey

(Brother-in-law of FDNY Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer)
Co-chair, Advocates for a 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial
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