While many Americans were insulted when they learned of the 9/11 Museum Foundation’s original decision to reject of one of the most iconic and patriotic images in American history — Tom Franklin’s flag-raising firefighters at Ground Zero — it was no surprise to our 9/11 family members. 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims has been tracking and exposing an endless series of inappropriate and offensive decisions perpetrated by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Foundation for many years. As Americans, we are truly offended by the unpatriotic and disrespectful antics of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Foundation.
The recent article: “Iconic Ground Zero photo was nearly excluded from museum for being too ‘rah-rah’ American“ (NY Post 7/28/13) simply reinforces the unaccountable and out of control image that many family members have of the 9/11 Museum Foundation. The unending list of unseemly actions taken by museum officials includes their decision to remove the ranks of all uniformed members from the memorial, the rejection of any reference to 9/11 at ground level (including the banishment of the “Koenig Sphere” from the site), and the inclusion and placement in the museum of 9/11 terrorist photos at eye level while at the same time jamming all of the victims’ photos into a corridor and placing some of them 12 feet above the floor. The most shocking and disrespectful of all decisions – to place 9,000 unidentified human remains in the basement of the museum as an attraction – is truly reminiscent of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” – and is opposed by an overwhelming majority of 9/11 families in the only survey ever conducted.
Our FDNY Firefighter Families as well as firefighters across this country are disgusted at the 9/11 Museum’s degradation of this important photo and thus the sacrifices made by emergency responders on that terrible day. How dare these officials call the bravery and resolve shown in the iconic WTC flag raising photograph and similar photos as simply “a myth of one iconic moment ! “
This is not the first time the 9/11 Foundation has chosen political correctness over patriotism. Last winter, a group of New Jersey firefighters — the Bergen County Firemen’s Home Association — called the foundation out on the complete lack of American flags on the Ground Zero plaza. To this day, only a single American flag flies on the site, pushed to the edge of the plaza and placed on top of an air-conditioning building!
As 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims has done since February of 2012, we continue to advocate for a complete takeover of the Memorial and Museum by the National Park Service. The NPS will bring the patriotism and respect to Ground Zero that is sorely missing. The NPS will also bring transparency, professional management, fiscal responsibility and true collaboration with family members – things that have been profoundly lacking at Ground Zero for over 10 years. It is time the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Foundation be replaced by the patriotic and respectful National Park Service. It is time to say goodbye to the out of touch and overpaid stuffed suits and fat cats. The National Park Service is what is truly wanted and needed at Ground Zero.