This year’s commemoration ceremony at Ground Zero — which marks the 10th, and will be held for the first time at the new 9/11 memorial — will be the first to exclude survivors who escaped the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, reports DNA Info. The World Trade Center Survivors’ Network was informed of this last week by the mayor’s office, saying that there would simply be no room for them at the event.
“In years past, members of this survivors’ group were permitted to attend once it was clear that attendance numbers of victims’ family members would allow it,” said Andrew Brent, spokesman for the mayor’s office.
“The commemoration ceremony is for victims’ family members, and this year – on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — the expectation is there will be no opportunity for members of the group to attend.”
September 11th will again be an emotional day for victims’ family members, survivors, responders, millions of New Yorkers and people from all over the country and the world, but obvious space constraints on the Memorial plaza will limit the attendees to victims’ families,” Brent added.
Survivors had asked the mayor for permission to attend, and upon denial, emailed its members that they wouldn’t be allowed to join the ceremony — and that if an exception was to be made, “we won’t know until just a few days beforehand,” organizers Richard Zimbler, Brendan Chellis and Lori Mogol wrote.
Many survivors do still plan to visit the memorial on September 12, and others hope for a last-minute invite if there’s room. Record attendance is expected this year — and tickets to the memorial have been extremely popular — making it particularly sad that not all who want to be there will allowed. An online petition is in the works to ask the city to reconsider.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2011