City Not Budging On Ban on 9/11 Survivors at Ground Zero Commemoration
It was reported last week that members of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network, who had previously been allowed at the annual commemoration of the tragedy, would not be allowed to attend the 2011 ceremony at Ground Zero. (Nor, for that matter, would any other survivors.) Despite public outcry, city officials have not changed their position.
Mayor's office spokesman Andrew Brent, when asked for comment by the Voice, simply repeated his original statement released last week:
"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. The commemoration ceremony is for victim's 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."
Acting president of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network Richard Zimbler told us in an email that "unfortunately, there's been no change in the City's position." He added that the group was able to get tickets to see the Memorial on September 12 through the Museum's public ticketing system.
"It doesn't make our disappointment in not being allowed to participate in the official ceremony any easier, however," he wrote. "After all, we are trying to participate on the 11th to honor our dead colleagues and co-workers ---- not get free passes to the Memorial."
Tickets for the Memorial have been overwhelmingly popular. The day they became available the online box office faltered as 24,000 people attempted to make reservations.