Now that the 10th anniversary commemorations at the World Trade Center site are over, many families of the victims of the attack are back trying to settle a dispute that has raged in one fashion or another since: What to do with the remains of their loved ones.
Years ago, for example, I wrote about one of the original insults the families felt they’d suffered: the harboring of the remains at a city dump.
Now, they’re protesting the intention to put the unidentified remains in the 9/11 Museum.
“No other memorial would give the indignity of putting human remains in the basement of a private museum,” said Sally Regenhard, whose son Christian was a firefighter and died in the attacks.
“In 2002 we were told by the mayor and everyone else that the remains were going to be separate and distinct from any museum or any visitor center,” said Deputy Chief Jim Riches, a retired firefighter who lost his son Jimmy, 29, also a member of the FDNY, in the North Tower. “I guess they lied to us because In 2009 we found out that they intended to put them seven stories below grade in a museum where they’re going to charge $20.”
The families want an above-ground tomb that is available to them at any hour, not for $20 when the museum is open.
They’d like to tell other families about the plan, but the City of New York refuses to give them the names and addresses of next-of-kin of 9/11 victims.
A hearing on a lawsuit they’ve filed is being heard in New York this morning.