9/11 remains returned to World Trade Centre site
Published: 6:31AM Sunday May 11, 2014 Source: AP
The unidentified remains of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack returned to the World Trade Centre site in a solemn procession on a foggy Saturday morning.
The remains left the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Manhattan’s East Side shortly before 7 a.m. in three city vehicles. They were accompanied by police and fire department vehicles with lights flashing but no sirens.
Construction workers paused as the motorcade passed, and about 10 fire-fighters stood in the cool breeze saluting the vehicles as they arrived. The remains will be transferred to a repository 21 metres underground in the same building as the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Like many decisions involving the site of the worst terrorist attack in the U.S., the disposition of the unidentified remains has been contentious.
A group of victims’ family members who say the remains should be stored in an above-ground monument separate from the museum protested the procession. About a dozen wore black bands over their mouths at the site Saturday.
“It’s horrible. I am so angry. I am so angry. I am outraged,” said Sally Regenhard, whose fire-fighter son was killed at the trade centre.
“The human remains of my son and all of the 3,000 victims should be in a beautiful and respectful memorial, not in the basement of a museum,” she said.
Uniformed officers from the New York Police Department and Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority police carried the three caskets into the repository.
The facility will be available for family visits but will be overseen by the medical examiner.
Officials hope that improvements in technology will eventually lead to the identification of the 7,930 fragmentary remains.
The death toll stemming from the attacks at the World Trade Centre stands at 2,753. Of those, 1,115, or 41%, have not been identified.