Thu, 15 May 2014|
Glenn Corbett live from a protest during the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero in Manhattan.
Good morning, this is Pete Brockilo, with Fire Engineering. I'm here with Glenn Corbet, one of our technical editors, who is down at ground zero for the opening of the 9-11 memorial museum today. Glenn, can you tell us a little about what's going on down there. Sure Pete, thanks for having me on. I'm standing at the corner of Church and Liberty adjacent to the World Trade Center site. It's pretty dreary today, it's overcast, it was raining this morning. I'm here with a group of families that we've been working with for many years now. Of course, today is the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. And we're getting your on that, at that corner of Liberty and Church essentially protesting some of the issues that are contained within the museum, particularly the, the biggest one for the families, particularly the firefighter families the the entombment of the unidentified human remains in the basement of the museum. We've been advocating for years to have this repository as a separate and distinct above ground tomb [INAUDIBLE] unknown soldiers and unfortunately that didn't happen and so we're down here today to make our. thoughts now on where [UNKNOWN] could perhaps helps us with the situation. There's a variety of issues Pete, here Pete. This is a gigantic money making operation down here so to some extent it's David and Goliath kind of situation. The opening is going to be occurring here in about, about 15 minutes. They're gonna have a dedication ceremony in the museum itself. So again we're down here in attempts to tell the public that you know, we're opposed to placing the remains at the museum, and certainly a lot of the other issues that are important not only to firefighters but people for us to you know, to [UNKNOWN]. All right so, Glenn, have any of these issues that you've raised been addressed in any kind of substantive way or? Have you been able to, have you seen your communications, you know any evidence of it having any effect what so ever? Or what's been the communication system like? Well we've basically been shut out. There really hasn't been any communication, we've simply asked with a meeting with they mayor. The Mayor de Blasio. Discussed these issues. You know, we want to tell them that we did our own survey a couple years ago through a family member about, specifically about the human remains. And we polled about 1,000 people. 1,000 different distinct families. And we got a response, we got 300 back. And of those 300, in injured 300 different families. 94.5% of them, 94.6% of the families, were opposed to the placement of the remains inside the, museum in the basement. They wanted it again, that's what we pulling for today. There's too many unknowns at an above-ground location. You know, Steve, it, it, it's bad that the trees down here in this urban forest that they've created with the memorial pools. It's more important than the people that died here that day. So that's why we're trying, again, get the word out but we've unfortunately we've been met with a lot of. You know basically white stairs and brick walls we haven't really been able to do anything you know, for, for us and everything. So in any case, you know, we're kinda here 18 years, the family members here in the background, [SOUND]. So in any case, One thing I was gonna ask you, how, how can, members, regular members of the fire service, I mean, obviously, 911 has really affected the overall American fire service above and beyond, obviously what it did to the fire department in New York. How can. Fire Fighters from around the nation get involved with this cause, and help out in any way. Well I certainly, it certainly see email Mayor [UNKNOWN] and Governor Cuomo here in New York, you know, putting, you know, fire fighters worth back worth in backing through email will be very helpful to us. They ultimately want to express other kind of issues down here. You know, the human remains is perhaps the biggest one. But the fact that big curve most of the firefighters in America, they recognize honor and tradition and all of those good things and stuff. And unfortunately here at Ground Zero, there's only one single, solitary American flag on the entire site. And it's on top of an air conditioning building. They refuse to put any flags on top of the plaza. And Pete, what they're trying to effectively do, and they've come out and said this, they want to make this an urban park, a place where people can come out and eat their lunch and enjoy the day, perhaps reflect from moment to moment with the pools, but prospectively integrate this into the entire city, and. Of course we would never expect that to happen at Pearl Harbor or Gettysburg or any kind of American shrine basically, and unfortunately it's the complete opposite at ground zero. So I think, again, I think just contacting there own [INAUDIBLE] own federal legislators. We believe that's, for example going forward. Is gonna cost [UNKNOWN] for 60 million dollars they're gonna operate. [UNKNOWN] Pretty much any national park in America basically. And so they're gonna come out with their heads down in Washington in the very near future. So I would hope that the firefighters listening today we'll talk to their own legislators and advocate or [UNKNOWN]. To bring back not only sanity into the situation down here, but also respect, and honor that is really, really desperately needed down here. So, that's what they could do [UNKNOWN], and I'm hoping, like I said, in the near future, you know, we may be able to turn a corner with this thing and get it straight to where, again American firefighters that that do visit this site will find a site of respect and honor, not an urban park. We'll keep [UNKNOWN] at the, right above the wall that people died that day, September 2001. Alright Glenny, thank you for the update, any closing words, or, take aways. No. I think, Pete, like I said this is gonna be an ongoing for the next several years and we're just gonna keep following it, you know. 343 firefighters that day were killed and one fire patrolman. They deserve honor and respect along with all the other people down here. And its unfortunately its become a gigantic money making operation and it certainly shouldn't be. So again, thanks for having me on today and I'm hoping like I said that the next time we're on that we'll have a much different story to tell