Rosemary Cain, who lost her firefighter son, George, putting the remains in the same space as the museum is “like a freak show.”
Atlas readers are well aware of the atrocity taking place at the 911 Memorial and Museum.
"a dispute over what to do with those fragments of humanity is simmering between some of the victims’ families and the officials planning the National September 11 Memorial and Museum underneath where the twin towers stood"
The remains of the victims of the September 11th Islamic attack on this country do not belong to those ghouls at the 911 Memorial and Museum (Ground Zero mosqueteer Daisy the Khan is on their advisory board).
Alice Greenwald, the museum’s director, said. “When you go to the genocide museum in Phnom Penh, when you go to genocide museums all around Rwanda, there have been decisions in those places to present corpses, skulls, evidence of human remains.
Greenwald's groteque equivalence between what we ought to do with what they do in third world countries is indicative of the soulless elitists who have co-opted the narrative and traffic in the dead of 911.
Leading experts in the field agree with the 911 families. One such expert, Dr. Colwell-Chanthaphonh, dismissed museum officials' contention that the human remains would be hidden, “they are essentially incorporating the human remains room into the visitor experience.” He also raised the question of consent, noting that in the celebrated “Body Worlds” exhibitions, every individual whose body was put on display had signed a form giving permission. None of these 911 family members gave consent.
And when museum curators circulated a petition among their peers “trying to apply some pressure” on the museum, 911 museum officials contacted them. “They said we were being manipulated by the advocacy groups, that there was another side to the story and that we needed to talk to them.” How depraved are these tyrants? These families want their loved ones remains respected and these grossly overpaid bureaucrats call them "advocacy groups."
Joe Daniels, the memorial and museum’s president, disagreed. “What the families need most and what the public needs most is a memorial they can come to to pay their respects at. The hubris of this creep. He is going to tell the 911 family members what they need. Fire this bastard. Joe Daniels pocketed $371,307 after receiving hefty raises three years in a row — 28 percent in 2006, followed by 12 percent and 6 percent. From where? Donations from unsuspecting Americans, school children and bake sales ……
Museum director Alice Greenwald made $351,000, and capital planning Vice President Joan Gerner soaked up $337,143 before leaving last spring. Development director Cathy Blaney raked in $322,292. The full-time foundation employee also worked last year as a fund-raiser for Gov. Cuomo's election campaign.
The money to pay the $5.3 million in compensation for the foundation's 87 staffers in 2009 came from private donations — $220 million raised in a Herculean grass-roots effort to honor the 2,974 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Atlas readers, please start working the phones and your email lists. We must help the 911 families rescue their loved ones' remains from becoming a circus sideshow:
Email to Joe Daniels, President, 9/11 Memorial Museum:
Email Mayor Bloomberg, Chairman, 9/11 Memorial Museum
And pen a letter to the editor of the NY Times: letters@NYTimes.com (important)
And post a comment online after reading this article:
IN one of the haunting legacies of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the remains of 1,123 of the victims, 41 percent of the total, have not been identified, leaving many of their relatives yearning for closure. At the same time, nearly 10 years later, 9,041 pieces of human remains — mainly bone fragments but also tissue that has been dehydrated for preservation — are still being sorted through by the city’s medical examiner for DNA, though the last time a connection was made was in 2009.
Now, a dispute over what to do with those fragments of humanity is simmering between some of the victims’ families and the officials planning the National September 11 Memorial and Museum underneath where the twin towers stood.
Officials plan to take the grisly souvenirs seven stories below ground and place them in the new museum behind a wall with a quotation from Virgil about never forgetting, studded in letters of World Trade Center steel. But the families, appalled by the idea of remains that could belong to their loved ones being turned into a lure for tourists, want them kept in a separate above-ground memorial that would be treated like hallowed ground.
“To allow remains to be put in a museum, really for gawkers,” marveled Sally Regenhard, the mother of a 28-year-old probationary firefighter and aspiring writer, Christian, who died on Sept. 11, 2001. “I personally feel I’ve been robbed of access to where my son’s remains are potentially being buried. My entire family, we will never go in there. This is a post-traumatic stress situation waiting to happen.”
How to handle remains is one of the most delicate questions that confront those trying to commemorate the darker chapters of human history. Over the past 20 years, museums across the country have grappled with how to repatriate Native American skeletons, scalps and bones to their tribal heirs, as prescribed by a 1990 federal law. At its inception, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington debated whether to display human hair from the Nazi death camps, and decided not to when some survivors felt it would be offensive.
The plan at the World Trade Center is for the remains to be invisible and inaccessible to the public, museum officials said; an adjoining room will be available to victims’ families for contemplation and grief. Although people would have to enter the museum to get to the remains, the remains will technically be in the custody of the medical examiner, so that they may be removed for future testing.
Alice Greenwald, the museum’s director, said that because the museum would be at ground zero, it had a special place in history.
“Yad Vashem is not the site of an atrocity,” Ms. Greenwald said. “When you go to the genocide museum in Phnom Penh, when you go to genocide museums all around Rwanda, there have been decisions in those places to present corpses, skulls, evidence of human remains. When you go to Auschwitz, the entire facility is made up of human remains.
“Most American museums have not confronted the particular issue that we are dealing with here,” she added. “The only place one could repatriate those remains to is the Word Trade Center site.” Indeed, Ms. Greenwald said that was what a “majority of families have actually said over the years” that they wanted.
Certainly, not all of the victims’ relatives oppose the plan: some are on the museum’s board. The dissenting families, including some of the most active and vocal leaders of the victims’ groups that sprang up in the aftermath of the attack, say that they supported a plan for placing the remains in something akin to the Tomb of the Unknowns, separate from the museum, but that they were shocked to learn that instead they would be housed near the main exhibition spaces.
Several families said that officials sent letters to the heirs of all 2,752 victims, asking for the proper spelling of their names for panels that would adorn the memorial plaza, but that they learned of the new plan only by chance, when they attended a presentation about the museum at St. Paul’s Chapel, in Lower Manhattan, in 2009.
“The names were important to us, of course, but what could be more important than our loved ones’ remains?” asked Rosaleen Tallon, whose brother, Sean, a probationary firefighter, was killed when the north tower collapsed.
Those upset about the plans contacted David Hurst Thomas, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, who then brought in Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, an expert on the repatriation of Native American remains at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Dr. Colwell-Chanthaphonh dismissed the argument from museum officials that the remains would be hidden, saying that the Virgil quotation meant “they are essentially incorporating the human remains room into the visitor experience.” He also raised the question of consent, noting that in the celebrated “Body Worlds” exhibitions, every individual whose body was put on display had signed a form giving permission.
“We know none of those individuals gave their consent to be on display or part of a museum exhibit,” Dr. Colwell-Chanthaphonh said of the 9/11 victims. “And we know there are lineal descendants and people in this community who are saying, ‘We want a role in this,’ and yet their requests for meaningful consultation are being denied to them.”
Shortly after the two curators circulated a nationwide petition among their colleagues, “trying to apply some pressure” on the museum, Dr. Colwell-Chanthaphonh said, officials contacted them. “They said we were being manipulated by the advocacy groups, that there was another side to the story and that we needed to talk to them.”
The curators and family groups met in June, but were unable to come to a resolution. As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches — and, with it, the scheduled opening of the first part of the memorial — concern is resurfacing.
To Rosemary Cain, who lost her firefighter son, George, putting the remains in the same space as the museum is “like a freak show.” Ms. Regenhard said she imagined having to squeeze past hordes of museum-goers, retracing the steps of victims trying to escape the burning World Trade Center, to get to what may be her son’s remains.
Joe Daniels, the memorial and museum’s president, disagreed. “What the families need most and what the public needs most is a memorial they can come to to pay their respects at,” he said, “and a museum where they can come to learn about events; not reopening decisions that were made in the past.”
Read the rest. I am very glad the NY Times addressed this crime.
UPDATE: In the comments section:
Rosemary Cain has left you a comment:
Thank you Pamela, for supporting our cause and helping us get the word out……people must know how the precious remains of the victims are being treated. how the families are being treated….NO CONSULTATION….such disrespect for the dead is uncivilized! So a museum in Rowanda displays the corpses! Are we of the same mindset? How disgusting! The outrageous salaries these people are making off the donations of generous Americans is proof positive these museum people have no scruples and no conscience…
Rosemary Cain mother of Firefighter George Cain 35 yrs. old
murdered by cowards on Sept. 11th, 2001
Readers, please call and write and send the info to your email lists, listservs and internet groups. Post to twitter and your facebook pages. Do it.
UPDATE: More media on the desecration and exploitation:
9/11 kin decry plans to house remains at museum http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ATTACKS_MEMORIAL?SITE=MAQUI&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
Respect Human Remains at the 9/11 Memorial
"Advocating for ethical treatment of human remains at the 9/11 Memorial Museum": www.respecthumanremainsatthe911memorial.com
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