A group of 9/11 family members are suing the city, demanding that they turn over the complete contact list for all relatives of people killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The lawsuit, filed this week, is the latest part of a dispute between some family groups and the 9/11 memorial/museum complex over how that institution will locate remains of the dead. The family members want the list so they can ask each relative what they think of the plan to inter them at the September 11 Memorial and Museum.
One of the plaintiffs, Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son Christian in the attacks, claims that neither the city nor the Sept. 11 memorial consulted her or other families about a plan to place the remains “70 feet below ground at the museum.” “I believe it is dishonorable, disrespectful and inappropriate to place the remains in a private museum with an entrance fee,” she says in an affidavit.
Regenhard points out that the remains of those who died at the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 are interred in an above ground tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. “They didn’t take their remains and put them in the Smithsonian,” she writes.
She says the city and the memorial have refused to do a poll of views of family members about the remains. The city has also denied a Freedom of Information request for the list of names.
Regenhard, retired Deputy fire Chief Jim Riches, who also lost a son in the attack, and the other plaintiffs believe the remains should be placed in an above ground memorial separate and distinct from the museum. Riches also claims neither the city nor the memorial consulted him about the remains
“I believe the family members have a right to decide where their loved ones remains will rest,” Riches says. “All we want is to notify the families about these current plans and have a say in where the remains are laid to rest.”