NEW YORK — After America was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, we vowed to “never forget.” However, in 2021 the 9/11 Memorial & Museum has forgotten (intentionally excluded) heroes and survivors of the deadly attack as they’ve been excluded from the annual day of remembrance.
A 20th anniversary ceremony next month to honor those killed will be limited to family members of the fallen, after organizers decided first responders, survivors and others wouldn’t be invited to the milestone commemoration, New York Post reported.
The solemn gathering at the World Trade Center site will serve as the city’s featured memorial on a day that devastated New Yorkers and shook the nation.
In years past, the reading of the names of 2,983 deceased has been attended by all manner of patriots and dignitaries. Among some of the most impacted—due to the devotion to duty—have been firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMS workers and other first responders, all joining family members at Ground Zero in the audience. Yet they are not welcomed to attend the landmark anniversary in 2021.
This year, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum sent the usual invitations to the relatives of the victims saying, “The ceremony will be exclusively for 9/11 family members.”
The invitations will serve as the “credential for admittance to the ceremony on the memorial plaza,” the letters say, and attendees will cluster near the two memorial pools rimmed with the inscribed names of those who perished.
“Only family members are invited,” said memorial spokeswoman Lee Cochran. “The invited family members can bring as many additional family-member guests as they’d like.”
Cochran insisted that nothing is new, but the rules have been selectively enforced, the Post reported.
Police and firefighter unions have blasted the decision. There appears to be plenty of blame dispersed between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, COVID, and the budget crunch. However, one thing seems certain, the catastrophe’s 20th anniversary will be a shadow of its past commemorations.