WTC Victims' Families Continue Fight For 9/11 Memorial To Keep Remains Above Ground
Updated: Updated 08/20/2012 10:33 AM
By: Michael Herzenberg
Some family members of September 11th victims are going back to court in their dispute over where to put thousands of unidentified remains.
The group 9/11 Parents And Families Of Firefighters And World Trade Center Victims opposes the current plan to put the remains underground in the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan.
They would prefer to see the remains encased above ground, like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
The family members want to poll other victims' relatives about the idea.
They are trying to appeal a judge's decision that blocked them from getting the names and addresses of the other families.
"We've had no say in it, so we want names and addresses of the family members to poll all the families, so that all families have a say," said Riches, a spokesman for the group. "Go with the democratic way, go with the choice of the people, which we feel will be like 95 percent to move it above grade."
"Why was it sacred bedrock? Because that was where all the remains were found: Down at bedrock," said Charles G. Wolf, who lost his wife in the September 11th attacks.
After the attacks, officials removed debris from the site to the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island and sifted through it for human remains. That debris is being preserved and will eventually return to the World Trade Center site.
It will go between the Twin Towers' footprints, underground behind a wall where the families of victims will have a private space and the medical examiner will have an office to preserve the debris and keep looking for DNA matches.
Those behind the plan to house remains above ground say they've been consulting the victims' families all along and that they are in favor of it.
The city law department says releasing the list would violate families' privacy but will thoroughly review the appeal.
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