9/11 memorial will exclude survivors, first responders on 20th anniversary of terror attack

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In a move that’s raising a lot of ire among the public, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum has reportedly significantly downgraded this year’s service, despite 2021 marking the 20th anniversary of the horrific Sept. 11 attacks.

The New York Post has learned that the non-profit is limiting this year’s “reading-of-the-names ceremony” to only family members of deceased Sept. 11 victims. This means that both survivors and first responders — including cops and firefighters — aren’t welcome.

The nonprofit has reportedly claimed that the issue is once again money.

“[T]he National September 11 Memorial & Museum is crying poverty for the second year in a row. This time, it says it can’t afford to mount special exhibitions planned to mark the two-decade milestone,” the Post reported Saturday.

“In 2020, the twin-beam ‘Tribute in Light’ was canceled only to win a last-minute reprieve after soon-to-be-ex Gov. Cuomo pitched in state resources. But no such bailout appears in the offing this time,” the Post added.

The problem is that the facts don’t seem to fit.

“Invited family members can bring as many additional family-member guests as they’d like,” memorial spokeswoman Lee Cochran told the Post.

If the issue is money, and disinviting first responders and survivors would resolve the issue, then wouldn’t allowing family members to bring along an unlimited number of guests exacerbate the issue?

It seems to make no sense.

In fact, according to one critic, the lack of first responders and survivors, therefore, means “it isn’t a 9/11 memorial.”

Family members of the terror attack appear to agree.

“I think that 9/11 happened to a lot of people, and we can’t forget the survivors,” Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son, Christian, was killed during the attack, told the Post.

“It didn’t happen exclusively to people who were massacred on that day. It profoundly affected other people, who were physically or emotionally injured,” she added.

She further rightly noted that people in uniform tend to “consider the people they work with as brothers and sisters — they’re a family.”

“They should make an effort to have every single first responder who would like to attend, go. It should be open to all of them, especially those who answered the call of duty on 9/11,” she maintained.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller, who lost his firefighting brother, Stephen Siller, on that tragic day, concurred.

“Just because it’s 20 years later doesn’t mean you‘re completely healed. They want to pay their respects and honor their heroes. I think they should be allowed down there,” he said.

According to the Post, the “reading-of-the-names ceremony” began informally with then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2001 and continued until the official 9/11 memorial reopened in 2011 and the ceremony became a more formal affair.

Incidentally, that was also when problems first emerged.

“When the memorial opened in 2011 for the 10th anniversary of the attack, the city said there was no room for firefighters, cops and others at the ceremony attended by Bush and Obama,” according to the Post.

Something similar happened in 2016, when some firefighters were reportedly “barred from the ceremony while politicians got in.”

Barack Hussein Obama was still president at the time.

Speaking of politicians, current President Joe Biden has also been disinvited, but not by the nonprofit. He’s been disinvited by family members of the deceased.

“Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks. Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks,” the families wrote in a recent letter to the president.

“Twenty years later, there is simply no reason — unmerited claims of ‘national security’ or otherwise — to keep this information secret. But if President Biden reneges on his commitment and sides with the Saudi government, we would be compelled to publicly stand in objection to any participation by his administration in any memorial ceremony of 9/11,” they added.

As of Saturday, it didn’t appear the president had declassified said documents, though according to reports, his Department of Justice was looking into the matter.

“The Department of Justice pledged on Monday to conduct a fresh review of files related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for possible public release, after years of pressure from victims’ families to disclose information on the alleged role of Saudi government officials,” CNBC confirmed Monday.

Vivek Saxena

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