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Heroic 9/11 first respondents snubbed as they are denied an invitation to tenth anniversary of New York terror attacks |
Daily Mail. Hannah Roberts. 13th August 2011
Police, firemen and rescue workers who risked their lives to save the victims of 9/11 will not be invited to take part in the 10th anniversary ceremony.
Despite giving up hours, days and weeks of their time to search for survivors and clear rubble, unpaid, rescuers are to be snubbed at next month's remembrance events.
First responders will instead be asked back to the site at another day for a separate commemorative ceremony, according to officials.
Space and security logistics were at the heart of the decision, the New York Daily News reported.
The loved ones of those killed in the 2001 atrocities will receive first priority at the maximum security event.
President Obama will be the first sitting President to attend the annual remembrance, heightening security concerns.
Rescue workers were devastated by the news that their vital work is to go unrecognised at the most important commemorative ceremony so far.
David Jacobs from Queens, who volunteered at the site sifting debris, and who lost a childhood friend, a city fire-fighter, in the attacks said: 'To have a separate service on another day has no significance, no meaning.'
'For many of us, we gave a lot at that site.' he said.
As many as 91,000 people took part in the initial search and rescue and subsequent 10-month clean-up, according to estimates taken for the city.
In past years, first responders were welcomed to the annual commemoration because little or no construction had begun at the site and space was not a problem.
Politicians were also told yesterday that only a limited number would be invited. Only representatives from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut got congressional approval to attend.
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided on Friday that the government would pick up the tab for representatives from just those three states.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) had sought to make the event open to politicians from across the country.
All lawmakers are allowed to attend the memorial in Shankesville, Pa., where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 eventually crashed.