Photo: The Villager
The heart that is evident in the first story is clearly missing from the next two, which give tremendous insight into the unseemly arrogance that is driving the agenda at the 9/11 Memorial, where the unidentified remains of those who were killed on 9/11 are being confiscated by those who have no right to them.
A man who lost his only daughter on 9/11 asks: “Who Owns the Dead?” While he puts the blame where it belongs in the segment below — responsibility for yet another Ground Zero outrage goes further:
“But perhaps one of the most distressing issues is that of the plan to place the remains of the those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 — over a 1,000 body parts — inside the museum, seven floors beneath the ground. They will be placed behind a wall, marked with a quotation, and accessible by the Medical Examiner and the family members of those lost.
“But unlike the Tomb of the Unknown in Washington D.C., or the site of the USS Arizona, where the American public can visit for free, the American public will have to pay an entrance fee to pay homage to the remains stored in a museum. I call it a PAY TO PRAY option.
“The repository in the museum is not a holy and sacred place for the interment of these remains. The city already has bulldozed the ashen remains of those lost into the landscape of the world’s largest garbage dump, the Fresh Kills land fill, without the acknowledgement of the families of those lost.
“And they now seek to incorporate the remains held by the Medical Examiner into the Museum without the consent of the families. Which begs the question Who Owns The Dead?
“My generation held to the code of Duty, Honor, Country. When we were told the remains would be treated respectfully, we thought in terms of a repository which would be like the Tomb of the Unknown, a sacred and holy place, above ground which could be freely visited by all Americans, and those who wish to pray for the lives lost.
“It appears that will not happen. The city of New York – which has a reputation for not welcoming the dead – will get what it wants, a memorial site which contains no remains at ground level, not even an remembrance of the destruction which occurred, by prohibiting the return of the Sphere which once stood on the site.
“Perhaps even more saddening is the fact that there is no outcry from those we call our elected officials. In Washington, New York and New Jersey, those to whom we trusted to do the right thing.
“No one to tell the Mayor and Mr. Daniels that they in fact could be wrong on this issue.
“There is no outcry from our fellow citizens to ask why, perhaps that is why the issues surrounding the 9-11 Memorial Museum are important.”
What good is the tsunmai of information that is swallowing us whole if every person in this country does not have ready knowledge of the issues that actually define us? Why is there no one to tell the Mayor and the head of the Museum that they really could be wrong? If they had a shred of humility between them they wouldn’t have to be told. But how can there be a public outcry if people are fed bogus, tainted, information? We may have a 24-hour news cycle but what do we know?
Seventeen dedicated 9/11 Families are being heaped with abuse — again, as usual — because they are challenging the way the decision over the final resting place of the remains was handled. The Bloomberg position honoring the Freedom of Information request for the names of all the families, so that they could be polled on this critical question, would open up the names on the list to all who wanted to see it was a ploy. The families would have been happy to give Bloomberg/Daniels the text of the request for them to transmit to all concerned.
Instead the museum wrote to every family member to tell them what to think — insisting that everyone had agreed long ago and that was that. Apparently, that was not an invasion of privacy — but asking them to explicitly state their preference, instead of it being assumed that they implictly agreed at some point to having the remains entombed in “the basement of a musuem” would be an invasion of privacy.
Getting to the truth is never an invasion. Whatever was or was not discussed in the past, whether the misunderstanding was honest or not — what matters now is discovering what it is that those who have obvious title to but not posession of their loved ones’ remains really want. Isn’t that the least we can do?
There is no reason that an above ground tomb — where the public would not need to pay admission to pay their respects — is beyond us to give the victims, their families, and the nation. The details can all be worked out. There is no reason that such a repository would prevent the Medical Examiner from future endeavors to identify the remains. There is no shortage of space on the 7.5-acre Memorial grounds. And removing the remains from the Museum would not robbed it of power. But not getting to the bottom of this matter would make us less decent as a nation.
As Mr. Meehan observed: “”Perhaps even more saddening is the fact that there is no outcry from those we call our elected officials. In Washington, New York and New Jersey, those to whom we trusted to do the right thing. No one to tell the Mayor and Mr. Daniels that they if fact could be wrong on this issue… no outcry from our fellow citizens to ask why…” There is no one in government or the media to ask for whom the bell tolls. It is up to individual citizens to look out for each other and clean up the corruption — or we will be sorry.
The New York Times
This is a classic example of the marketing hype that the Port Authority and Silverstein have been engaging in for years. All the talk about about prospects that never materialize is predictably empty and getting old.
In the opening video, reporter Chris Cuomo makes some very important points about 9/11. It’s too bad the remarks that followed undermined his credibility. To pretend that One World Trade Center is going to be taller than the Twin Towers or that we are coming back better is debatable at best, if not downright foolish. As for the memorial, the first responder’s report is extremely disturbing, incredibly telling, and clear proof that the site would be better managed by the National Parks Service, as many 9/11 families have requested.