As we’ve written twice before, 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 — has a rather exclusive invitee list. That is to say, it was only to be open to victim’s families and certain politicians, despite the hopes of survivors who wanted to attend in a healing gesture, as well as “heads of state” and your average citizen, who had simply hoped to pay their respects. (Many are doing that on other days: Ticket sales for the 9/11 Memorial have been hugely successful, though that seems the wrong word.) The Daily News reports today, though, that City Hall is looking into opening up the ceremony to a few more people. Who are they?
The priority list went like this: family members of victims, President Obama, politicians from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But after NY Rep. Jerrold Nadler expressed that this is a national tragedy and “a powerful opportunity for all Americans and any member of Congress who represents them to come together in a show of unity and patriotism,” city officials have, according to City Hall spokeswoman Julie Wood, “had conversations with both House leadership and our delegation, and we expect the issue to be resolved shortly.”
Which sounds like, despite the “scrambles to find space for all” in the Daily News headline, maybe the city will be letting a few more politicians in, assuming everyone can make room for them, and providing House and Senate leadership signs off on an expanded list, because, “there is a cost for lawmakers to travel.”
We’ve reached out to Acting president of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network — the group had been petitioning to let members attend the ceremony — Richard Zimbler, for comment.
Via the Daily News,
Another group left off the initial invite list were the police, firefighters and rescue crews who toiled at Ground Zero trying at first to find survivors, and then victims’ remains.
Wood repeated in a statement to us, “We’re working very hard to make this day a memorable and comfortable experience for the family members of 9/11 victims. Of course, we understand that the anniversary is meaningful to many other groups as well, and we are working to find ways to accommodate those groups either on the anniversary or at other places and times.”