9/11 families gather to oppose plan for unidentified remains
About 20 families of 9/11 victims gathered near the World Trade Center site yesterday to oppose a plan to bury the unidentified remains of some victims in the bedrock of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
Under the plan, a repository for the remains would be set up about seven stories underground between the footprints of the Twin Towers run by the city's medical examiner, with only family members having access to the area.
According to an informal survey of 350 family members with 9/11 ties conducted by this group, nearly 95% were against the plan, according to Norman Siegel, the families' attorney.
"Human remains do not belong in a landfill or in a museum," Siegel said. These families "don't think it's a proper burial sight, and they think the remains are being used as a lure for tourists," he said.
The families sued the city over the plan, hoping to make it solicit feedback from relatives, but the families lost and are now appealing the decision, reported The New York Times.
9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels defended the plan.
"Since the very beginning, victims' family members have strongly advocated for the unidentified remains to be returned to the World Trade Center site," Daniels said.
"This is the plan that has been honored and is being implemented."
The families also condemned the mistaken burial of some remains in a landfill at Dover Air Base in Delaware, and will call on Congress to establish better protocols for dealing with human remains after national disasters, Siegel said.