Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:15 pm Post subject: 15 9/11 GROUPS: IFC DOES NOT DESERVE PLACE ON SACRED GROUND
From Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:00 am to Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:59 am (included)
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information contact:
Alliance of Fifteen Major 9/11 Family Groups Say International
Freedom Center Does Not Deserve Place on Sacred Ground
New York, NY --- September xx, 2005 --- What part of “NO” do the
International Freedom Center and New York officials not understand?
How long does Governor Pataki intend to twist the knife in the wound
that is Ground Zero by allowing the IFC folly to continue?
The alliance of fifteen major 9/11 family organizations representing
a decisive majority of victims’ families rejects outright the
arrogant and absurd justifications offered by the IFC for remaining
at Ground Zero. We are joined by over 47,000 Americans who have
signed the petition at www.takebackthememorial.org calling for the
removal of the IFC. We are joined by the Uniformed Firefighters
Association, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, the Firemen's
Association of the State of New York and the Patrolmen's Benevolent
Association which together represent over 106,000 active duty and
retired first responders in rejecting the IFC.
We are joined by New
York Congressmen Vito Fossella, Peter King and John Sweeney in
rejecting the IFC and support their plans for congressional oversight
hearings on how the LMDC has spent America’s tax dollars.
joined by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in rejecting the IFC. Our
numbers and our voices will only continue to grow larger and louder.
The IFC does not deserve a place on sacred ground and must go.
What’s taking so long?
The IFC completely violates the memorial mission statement by
referring to how they will “strengthen our resolve to preserve
freedom.” They forgot the most important part – the opening line -
“May the lives lost, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened
be eternal beacons that strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom."
Moreover, at no point did the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
in its call to cultural institutions ever indicate that any cultural
institution had any role to play in interpreting the events of 9/11.
These responsibilities were given solely to the memorial and memorial
museum of which the WTC Memorial Foundation is gatekeeper.
The IFC is a redundant institution that intends to appropriate 9/11
content in order to create an artificial connection to the site and
use it to promote a decidedly political agenda. They intend to steal
the stories of our loved ones away from the memorial and memorial
museum – to pillage the most important artifacts like the Koenig
sphere – to blatantly plunder a family-driven initiative called the
‘Living Memorial’ - to ransack our highly personal family tributes
and belongings that we keep in our family room. All this in order to
force families and the public to visit the IFC and force feed their
views. Where in the absence of leadership is the gatekeeper that
should be zealously guarding all that is most precious to the
memorial and memorial museum? Why is the gatekeeper allowing Tom
Bernstein and friends to exploit 9/11 and go on a veritable looting
Contrary to what the IFC suggests, the memorial and memorial museum
are not just places to “mourn and reflect.” These are the places
that give 9/11 historical meaning. These are the places where our
children and grandchildren will go to learn not only about the tragic
events of that day - the loss of the bright, brilliant and beautiful
people who had so much to give to future generations – but also the
stories of heroism, the nation’s resiliency, the world’s response and
the unprecedented outpouring of goodness and humanity. If visitors
to New York want a lesson in world politics, they can take a taxi
ride over to the United Nations. What kind of arrogance allows the
IFC to even suggest that these stories – the victims’ stories - our
stories – the nation’s stories - are somehow not enough or that they
should be divided with the IFC taking the inspirational spoils? To
do so will taint and trivialize a seminal moment in our nation’s
history, politicize it, and subject the United States to worldwide
So where can the IFC go? HELP should be plentiful from the
illustrious team of advisors and prominent museum officials loaning
their influence to the cause. Perhaps Robert C. Wilburn, President
of the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation will make
room on top of the graves of U.S. Soldiers in Pennsylvania. His
museum – which is singularly focused - outgrew their current museum
and is now erecting a new one OFF the sacred ground of a battle site
where so many lost their lives. Or perhaps Louise Mirrer, President
and CEO of the New York Historical Society will offer up space in her
facility. After all, the South African Constitution played such an
integral role in the history of New York. And maybe Sara Bloomfield,
Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum would consider giving
the IFC the entire first floor of her fine museum in Washington, D.C.
To be sure, visitors will be confused at first when they enter the
building and expect to learn about the Holocaust only to be told
about Abe Lincoln and events 100 years prior. But perhaps she feels
the lessons of the Holocaust will be lost to the world unless they
are told in the context of a civil war on another continent.
If these alternatives won’t work, and a connection to 9/11 is as
essential as the IFC maintains, Mayor Bloomberg may be able to help.
There is a lovely garbage dump on Staten Island known as Fresh Kills
where the cremains of our numerous unidentified loved ones rest
because they were not properly handled. Mayor Bloomberg believes
this is perfectly appropriate and stubbornly refuses to seek funds to
move them. If this location is dignified enough for the Mayor,
perhaps it’s equally fitting for an illustrious institution like the
If the IFC’s supporters had any decency at all, they would withdraw
their support if for only one reason. Millions of visitors to the
memorial and memorial museum will be turned away annually – thousands
daily - because New York leadership and the LMDC lacked the foresight
to understand visitation demand before arbitrarily assigning space.
The LMDC stubbornly maintains without showing the supporting evidence
that after an initial surge in visitation, memorial visitors will
level out to 4 million annually over time. How can this be?
Last year alone, 3.6 million people journeyed across water – the only
way to access the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Prior to 9/11,
Lady Liberty hosted 5 million annually and that number was
increasing. Memorial visitors will come on foot, by train, ferry,
bus, car and taxi. If the pilgrimages to Ground Zero after 9/11 are
any indication, the initial number of visitors for this memorial will
likely range between 9 and 12 million, leveling off to many more
millions than what the LMDC purports over time.
Those visitors that are lucky enough to get in to the memorial if
current plans prevail should fear for their safety because plans
likely won’t adhere to NY City and State safety codes. We also
reject the changed plan for a narrow one-way-in one-way-out scheme
designed to discourage visitors by evoking horrific memories
survivors have of evacuating the twin towers. We reject burying the
9/11 museum in an underground bunker with inadequate capacity to tell
the stories authentically and accommodate the millions of people who
will make the pilgrimage to learn, bear witness and pay respects. We
refuse to accept any plan until the LMDC can prove that it’s
responsive to what America expects in a memorial and memorial museum
and can welcome the world with open arms.
What’s left to understand? The IFC has no place at Ground Zero.
They cannot be trusted to tell any aspect of the story of 9/11
without turning it into a generic atrocity and hoodwinking America.
LMDC has lost its compass. Governor Pataki is abroad and cannot be
reached for comment. Mayor Bloomberg is on top of the world but out
of touch with reality. The gatekeeper is not minding the store. Can
you hear us now?
Advocates for 9/11 Fallen Heroes (firstname.lastname@example.org,
Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund (www.cantorrelief.org)
Coalition of 9/11 Families (www.coalitionof911families.org)
Fix the Fund (www.fixthefund.org)
Give Your Voice (www.giveyourvoice.com)
Margie Miller 9/11 Support Group (WTCFamilyCenter@aol.com)
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America (www.911familiesforamerica.org)
9/11 Families for a Secure America (www.911fsa.org)
September 11th Families Association (www.911wvfa.org)
September's Mission Foundation (www.septembersmission.org)
Skyscraper Safety Campaign (www.skyscrapersafety.org)
Voices of September 11th (www.voicesofsept11.org)
W. Doyle 9/11 Support Group (www.joeydoyle.com)
WTC Families for Proper Burial, Inc. (www.wtcfamiliesforproperburial.com)
World Trade Center United Family Group (www.wtcufg.org)
Bill Doyle -Father of Joseph
Wtc tower1 101st fl.Cantor
9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism