Over the past few weeks I noticed a number of people sharing the post below on their social media outlets.
At first I thought "this is a virus". There could be no way that the people who risked their lives on September 11, 2001 and every day they worked since would be shut out of the memorial.
The claims in the message are true and have been confirmed by a number of credible news reports. An August 16 report published on UPI.com notes:
NEW YORK, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- First responders who rushed to the disaster scene on Sept. 11, 2001, are not invited to this year's memorial service at Ground Zero, New York officials confirm.An August 17 Fox News report concurs, noting:
The service is scheduled for Sept. 11, 10 years after the terror attacks.
In a statement, a spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Brent, said the memorial is for victims' families, CNN reported.
New York – They were the first ones on the scene when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001, but ten years later, the first responders are being told that they will not be invited to take part in this year's tenth anniversary ceremony at Ground Zero.What a disgrace to those brave men and women who risked their lives and health to respond to the events that occured that day. New York officials claim that the 10th Anniversary memorial ceremony will focus on the families of victims. New York Mayoral spokesman, Andrew Brent stated that "given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times."
The city announced earlier this week that due to security and space issues, there would be no room for the first responders.
Official invitations have not be sent to first responders in previous years, they were still free to attend memorial ceremonies if they desired and thousands have done so. This, the 10 year memorial is reportedly the first year in which first responders have been officially advised that they are not invited to the event.
This story gives me a pit in my stomach. I am thankful for all the people who rushed into those buildings, while others were desperately trying to get out. I think of all the people in my life that have lost a husband, father, brother or friend that were there on that day. All they did to help and this is the thanks we give to the others "left behind:"?
Something has to be done...we need to make sure these hero's know not all New Yorkers or even Americans agree with Bloomberg and other officials that have made this decision.