City delays permit for 9/11 parade
All he wants is a parade down the Canyon of Heroes to celebrate 9/11 first responders, but a disabled construction worker says all he's getting from the city is the runaround.
Queens resident T.J. Gilmartin said Wednesday he was shocked to hear from NYPD headquarters that his permit for a parade down Lower Manhattan was being denied -- even though he had support from local pols and the Community Board.
No reason was given, he said. But then, in a follow-up call, he added, police told him he must fill out new forms with the city in Brooklyn.
"I did everything they asked me to do," griped Gilmartin, 51, who said he suffers from respiratory illness after working at Ground Zero. "Why do I have to do this all over again when I did everything I had to?"
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment, although a mayoral spokeswoman told DNAinfo.com, which first reported the story, that the city is already planning an event for recovery workers. Details of the city's plan were unavailable.
Gilmartin, 51, said he wants a parade that will honor all responders, from police officers to construction workers, and would be willing to work with the city.
Ideally, he wants a ticker-tape parade during the last week of May, to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the last steel beam being removed from the wreckage.
Community Board 1 voted to support the parade last fall, and Gilmartin said he also had support from the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. His office didn't immediately comment Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a determined Gilmartin said that first responders deserve better: "They just want to hear, 'Thank you,'" he added.