Every year since the 9/11 attacks, the annual ceremony at ground zero has included a reading of the names of the victims by family members and friends, as well as government officials. But today during his weekly radio show, Mayor Bloomberg said that the tradition could come to an end after this year. As the Post reports:
On his radio show today, Mayor Bloomberg said the 9/11 memorial foundation intends to survey family members of the victims and first responders to get their feelings about making changes to the solemn ceremony.
“Some people have said we should go on forever,” said the mayor. “Some people have said change is good. The subject’s come up a couple of times. I think we’ve said the foundation board will talk about this.”
So far, the reaction from family members of 9/11 victims has been about what you’d expect:
Rosemary Cain, whose 35-year-old son George Cain, a firefighter, was killed on 9/11, said she would be heartbroken if she could not hear her son’s name read on future anniversaries.
“He deserves to be remembered as George,” said Cain, a Long Island resident.
“[The 9/11 victims] are not a number. They all had lives, hopes and dreams, and they deserve to be remembered individually.”
Retired FDNY Chief Jim Riches, whose 29-year-old son Jim Riches Jr., also a firefighter, was killed on 9/11, agreed that it is important to read the names of the victims every year.
It’s not clear what the rationale is behind potentially ending the reading. Bloomberg apparently didn’t explain who is against it, or why.
Here are a couple of snippets from past years’ readings: