Unidentified 9/11 remains moved to Ground Zero amid protests

Unidentified 9/11 remains moved to Ground Zero amid protests

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The foggy weather on Saturday fit the mood of the silent and solemn procession at Ground Zero.

The unidentified remains of those killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 were moved to an underground repository in the same building as the National September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero.

Firefighters saluted as the flag draped cases containing the remains were brought past family members. The only people allowed in the plaza for the ceremony.

A group of Sept. 11 family members vowed Thursday to protest when the unidentified remains of those killed at the World Trade Center were moved to a repository at the site this weekend and they showed up in large numbers.

The relatives said that the plan to house the remains underground in the same building as the National September 11 Memorial Museum is disrespectful and that they would rather see the remains entombed above ground on the adjacent memorial plaza.

"Let us have a voice! Let us have a say!" said retired firefighter Jim Riches, who lost his son, also a firefighter, in the 2001 terrorist attacks. "We are outraged, and we will never rest until our loved ones, America's heroes, rest in peace."

Sally Regenhard, who also lost her firefighter son at the World Trade Center, said the family members dread the opening of the museum on May 21.

"It's a day of sadness and a day of outrage," she said.

Not all family members agree. Other victims' families have been forthcoming about their support of the plan, saying the repository is a fitting site for the remains.

The repository will be overseen by the medical examiner with hopes that improvements in technology could eventually help identify the 7,930 body parts.

City officials have said that family members were consulted about the plan, but the opponents say all relatives should have been polled.

"The city won't do a survey because they know we're right, that the majority of family members would say no," said Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer who is representing family members opposed to the city's plans.

Phil Walzak, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said de Blasio's administration "has engaged the community of 9/11 families continuously since entering office four months ago. This includes talking with and listening to families who have questions about this plan -- as well as many families who are supportive and comfortable with this plan."

Like many decisions involving the site, family members opposed to the plan say all they really wanted was to be consulted.

Forty-one percent of the 2,753 people reported missing at the World Trade Center have not been identified.

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