City, families strike deal on Ground Zero ceremony
Family members of Sept. 11 victims were relieved Friday after they reached a deal with the city that will allow them to mourn their loved ones at Ground Zero.
The sixth anniversary ceremony at the site of the World Trade Center was in jeopardy when the city announced plans to move it from the 16-acre site to nearby Zuccotti Park. Officials said ongoing construction in the pit made the area too dangerous for a large gathering.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with the families Thursday and agreed to their proposal that they be allowed to go down briefly into the seven-story pit. Bloomberg said the families? proposal was deemed safe by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the lower Manhattan site.
Most of the ceremony will take place at the park off the site's southeast corner. Bloomberg repeated his position that holding the full ceremony at the Ground Zero site would be a safety issue for mourners.
Yonkers resident Aggie McCaffery?s brother, NYC firefighter Orio Palmer, died on Sept. 11 trying to save others. ?We're still in a recovery phase, healing phase,? said McCaffery. ?I know it will take a lifetime to heal.? Palmer?s remains, like so many others, were never recovered.
McCaffery said a time may come when there will no longer be memorial services at Ground Zero. For this year at least, she said she knows she can say a prayer at the site for the brother she loved so deeply.
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