Unacceptable solution

To the editor:
In recent weeks, in spite of efforts by Community Board 1 and others in Lower Manhattan, the powers that be have decided both Lower Manhattan residents, and more importantly, those injured – many of whom have physical injuries that will never heal — will be excluded in most part from the tenth anniversary commemoration on 9/11/11, as well as a requested day for themselves on the following day. A proposed, and unacceptable, one Sunday evening per month is the best that was offered.

Over 3,000 people died on 9/11, and the suddenness and horrific nature of the attack have scarred permanently even those who did not suffer a direct loss. For those who lost family, friends, and loved ones, one cannot imagine what life was, is, and forever will be for them all until one day they are reunited, and that is the problem. Mankind has an infinite, not finite, ability to love and remember…its not limited by time and numbers.  In the say way spouses can love one another and all their children unequivocally and equally, we can show compassion for the living, and broken, as well as the deceased: compassion for one does not detract from the other. Many involved in the Memorial and Museum projects, as well as City and State leaders, apparently think to focus on the needs of others will take away respect and dignity from those lost.  Certainly the logistics of the tenth anniversary will not provide the space required for residents of Lower Manhattan, but not providing a special day for them — as space and time allow —borders on the shameful. Did any of the decision makers live in the Battery Park City area that day?  Lower Manhattan is now thriving, as crowded schools can attest, only because the majority of residents remained in spite of that “second wave of attacks” that was feared.  Many of our neighbors were covered in what must have appeared like Dante’s Inferno when the Towers came down. Those at home had no idea what had happened as day turned to night, and feared their homes the next to collapse.  Parents raced back from all points in the City to rescue their children from our local schools — praying they were still alive. Yet we stayed.  We were young and old, some disabled, many with toddlers or pregnant — or both — and we were tougher than the terrorists.   We had dust in our homes, almost nowhere to buy food, no bus service, and armed soldiers and checkpoints. Many understandably moved, others left because staying wasn’t worth the trouble. Some actually moved into our area to show support for us and America, while others decided reduced rentals and condo prices were “ a good deal”. And will we ever forget the quote from one of the later group who asked a buddy after moving here “where do we find woman”. Lower Manhattan exists today only because a majority of us stayed: we were not cowered…as Americans we were more resolute than those who sought to destroy us.

All who lived through that day will never be 100 percent emotionally again, and many will also never be physically whole.  Burned, cut and broken, I suspect those from the area returned home when able and remain to this day. They are now told not even will 9/12 be set-aside for them. Why not?  I bet if you asked the families of those lost if they object to a special day for these not one person would object.  An Op-ed in the NY Daily News by the father of a firefighter lost dealt with decision makers who, not to offend the “sensibilities” of the general public, placed the mangled fire trucks, and other stark reminders of that day underground and not readily visible.  Do they think “sensibilities” will be offended among the families of the lost if thousands of residents and the injured are also given a time to grieve?  If that is the case they, not us, are limited in their capacity to fully mourn, and appreciate, the enduring sacrifice and courage of all involved in that tragic day. Time is running short, but as this is NYS property, in the form of the Port Authority, and located in NYC. Lets hope both Gov. Cuomo, and Mayor Bloomberg, find the capacity to fully respect and honor all involved.
 John Brindisi