Can 9/11 Be Free of Politics?

Last year was the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, with numerous tributes, memorials, films, articles and much, much more. The eleventh anniversary of the attacks is today and media coverage has been far less extensive. A $1 billion museum at Ground Zero, the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum,†was supposed to open today, September 11, 2012.

But, due to a dispute between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor — over which government agencies will fund operating costs — the museum’s doors remain locked and are likely to stay that way for the twelfth anniversary in next year and for many years after the attacks that took the lives of over 3,000†people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

This dispute over a site regarded as “hallowed” by New Yorkers and many throughout the US shows how politically sensitive the topic of 9/11 remains. Can’t there be a “politics-free 9/11?” asks Jennifer Peltz in an Associated Press article that appears in the Bergen Record, a daily serving a New Jersey county that lost scores of residents in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The impasse between Bloomberg and Cuomo — which has also drawn in Chris Christie who, as New Jersey governor, controls the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which owns the WTC site –”represents a return to the political squabbling, delays and inaction that characterized the rebuilding of the 16-acre trade center site before 2008,” comments the New York Times. As a result, 1 World Trade Center, the 104-story Freedom Tower (it’s the tallest building in the Manhattan skyline in the photo above) could well be finished in early 2014 before the museum opens.

In an attempt to de-politicize 9/11, no elected officials will be speaking at the September 11 anniversary ceremony at ground zero today. Traditionally, the governors of New York and New Jersey — Cuomo and Christie, presently — have been asked to speak.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles was the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, is on the board of the organization that announced the change in plans. She says that the anniversary day should be the “one day, out of 365 days a year, where, when we invoke the term ’9/11,’ we mean the people who died and the events that happened.” But†retired Deputy Fire Chief Jim Riches, whose son (who was named after him) was a firefighter who died at the WTC, says that “banning the governors of New York and New Jersey from speaking is the ultimate political decision” as it amounts to the “the 9/11 families .. having to turn their backs on the people who helped us so much,” by pushing for laws to help families and the health issues of survivors and first responders.

I work at a small university in Jersey City which is directly across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. On the morning of 9/11, under a beautiful blue sky lit by sunshine, the twin towers, and the ruins of the towers, burned across from my school, sending smoke and ashes and bits of paper all over New York City and across to New Jersey. Life changed forever for many people at my school who lost sons, spouses, daughters, dear friends. It changed for the school’s many Muslim students who found themselves identified with evil they had nothing to do with; for our Egyptian landlord, who found himself pulled aside and questioned for hours on trying to reenter the US after going to Canada on business. It changed for all of us, in the form of far more stringent TSA regulations and a shattered sense security and safety.

9/11 has been an event in which the personal and political collided for many of us.

As Peltz writes, “The change [in the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony] was made in the name of sidelining politics, but some have rapped it as a political move in itself.”†Can “the Sept. 11 that is about personal loss” ever be separated “from the 9/11 that reverberates through public life?”


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Photo by debmcalister


Marianne B.
Marianne B5 years ago

It should not be about politics, but a day of remembrance for all the heroes and innocent people that gave their lives that day . Period.

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

I doubt that anything will ever be 'politics free'. Altho Romney had promised 'no politics on 9/11' he shamelessly capitalized on the deaths of Americans, blustered and bungled the facts, and used yet another terrorist attack to blast the Obama administration. Despite an obvious timeline, indisputable information, condemnation for his gratuitous grasping at political points, Romney won't back down. Apparently, he never learned what most of us did early on: Tell the truth. Choose your words wisely. If you are wrong, admit it and make amends.

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N5 years ago

Lol, Matt B., thanks for pointing the fact that, based on your logic regarding the Koran, we have to ban Christianity based on myriad Old Testament examples of precepts for murder of all kinds of people and genocide of some.

Matt B.
Matt B5 years ago

Maureen L.,

It is not possible to be part of a particular religion and not follow it. Either you believe in and do what your religion expects of you or you are a sinner of some kind or a non-believer. Your cafeteria Muslims don't get to pick and choose what they want out of Islam and leave the rest behind. If they are not following the dictates of that faith than they are not in fact real Muslims. If they don't want to be real Muslims then I say more power to them. But like every other Muslim that has killed others, I seriously doubt that the Muslims you know, if any are in fact real, would be dumb enough to admit to you that they planned to kill you or anyone else before they were ready to pull the trigger or push the bomb's detonator button.

As for research and reading, I suggest you read a Koran if you don't blieve what I have to say. The verses speak for themselves with examples like:

Quran (2:191-193) - "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

Quran (4:74) - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward."

Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who

Arild Warud

Almost everything gets politicized these days.

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N5 years ago

What BMutiny T. said!

There is no aspect of 9/11 that I can recall seeing that seems honestly explained under the official story provided, and far too many concerned groups of professionals and experts explaining scientifically how official claims in various areas deny logic and/or physics for anyone not in line with the anti-scientific Bush admin. to wonder how it is that anyone could accept official claims.

The evidence shown by these professionals makes it evident that a thorough, independent inquiry is imperative.

BMutiny TCorporationsAreE

It seems to me, that this squabbling about the "ceremony" and its details, is simply to serve as a DISTRACTION, from the FACT that there is a GROWING DEMAND FOR A NEW INVESTIGATION, since the govt report is, to put it mildly, so flawed. {Pure B.S., would be to put it less mildly.}
Such demands are COMING FROM 9/11 FAMILIES, AND FIRST RESPONDERS; among others. NOT from "a bunch of Conspiracy nuts". These demands for a completely new and thorough investigation that deals with glaring, unanswered questions, are coming from POLICEMEN, FIREMEN, ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, SCIENTISTS - and MILITARY PERSONNEL AND PILOTS.
There are just too many gaping HOLES not dealt with. And these Voices are being silenced, ignored, name-called, and deliberately not invited up on the platform in "ceremonies".....
And these neglected Voices are GROWING ENORMOUSLY IN NUMBERS...

Phillipa W.
Phillipa W5 years ago

why would it ever be free of politics? It was for political reasons it was perpetrated (as well as a lot of money, and saving a lot of money instead of refurbishing them to remove the asbestos to get the buildings up to code), it was specifically done to implement laws depriving US citizens of freedom and to spark wars, on which currently the US economy and companies owned by prominent politicians is based and as a grab of resources.

Ron B.
Ron B5 years ago

9/11 cannot be free of politics anymore than it will ever be associated with the truth of just exactly who and how many people were actually involved in it. They got away with it. And the official story is STILL that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, as well. Yeah, right. They got away with it, too.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Not in my life time.