Religion Banned, First Responders Not Invited To 9/11 Ceremony?

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is the focus of quite a bit of anger over the memorial service commemorating the September 11 tragedy. It appears that the ceremony is to be areligious, meaning no prayer observances will be held, which has religious communities up in arms. Then there is the matter of the First Responders not being invited at all.

In the finalization of the plans for the ceremony commemorating the tenth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signed off on the idea that the memorial would be areligious. There would be no religious observances at the ceremony, which, for the first time in its history, will be held at Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center towers stood. Bloomberg also did not invite the city's First Responders, those individuals from the city's police and fired departments that were first on the scene on 9/11 when it was recognized that there had been an horrific incident at the World Trade Center. Both decisions have left the mayor under attack.

No Religion At Ground Zero

Mayor Bloomberg has been targeted by everyone from the average church-goer to the highest ranking religious leaders in America for his proclamation that the ceremony would be kept religion-free. The operative word would be kept, as the previous nine ceremonies involving the 9/11 commemoration were held without religious clerical inclusion as well.

As the controversy mounts, conservative blogs and news outlets have pushed the idea that the decision was made for the tenth anniversary ceremony, that Bloomberg has "banned" both clergy and prayer from the ceremony. However, he has not, simply stating that religious rituals and/or prayers will not be officially observed. Besides, this has always been the policy.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League observed: “What [the mayor] did is what he often does, which is to make autocratic decisions,” Donahue said. “I don’t think this is something that will sit well with New Yorkers.”

At present, it does not appear that the mayor has any intention of reconsideration.

Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins said that Americans "turned to God for solace" after the tragedy of 9/11and that the clergy were part of the healing process. "At a Ground Zero commemoration for the families of victims, Mayor Bloomberg is allowing the presence of politicians and presidents, but no pastors or prayer. The mayor of course will be there, but politicians weren't then -- and are not now -- nearly enough."

Bloomberg's answer to those calling for reconsideration was summed up in mayoral spokeswoman Evelyn Erskine's offered statement: “There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11."

First Responders Not Invited to Tenth Anniversary 9/11 Ceremony

Thousands of First Responders, those trained trained to deal with emergency situations that include policemen and firemen, rushed to the aid of their fellow Americans on the day the Twin Towers would ultimately come crashing to the ground. Hundreds would lose their lives trying to save others and in attempting to find survivors among the rubble. They weren't issued an invitation to the tenth anniversary of the tragic event and there are those who wish to take up the issue with the Mayor's Office, according to CNN.

Bloomberg's office insists that the day belongs to the victims of the terrorist attacks. From Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent: "While we are again focused on accommodating victims' family members, given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times."

But John Feal, founder of an advocacy group for the police officers, firefighters, civilian volunteers and others who worked at Ground Zero does not believe there should be a different places and times. "The best of the best that this country offered 10 years ago are being neglected and denied their rightful place," he told CNN.

As with the matter of religion at the ceremony, the Mayor's Office has noted that there were no official invitation to First Responders at the previous nine September 11 commemorations, either.

The Tenth Anniversary Ceremony at Ground Zero

In an announcement on July 29, Mayor Bloomberg announced the details of the commemoration. He noted that among the dignitaries attending would President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. Their presence marks the first time a president has attended the ceremony. Joining them will be governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey; George Pataki, who was governor of New York in 2001; and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, mayor at the time of the terrorist attacks; and Bloomberg.

"Family members only will be allowed to walk onto the plaza, look at their loved ones' names, look down into the voids," he said. The "voids" are reflecting pools in the footprints of the two towers. "The first day, it's reserved for those family members who lost somebody on 9/11."

The day's events are to include the traditional role call of the victims' names, including those who died during the attack on the Pentagon and in the forced plane crash in Pennsylvania. There will also be readings of selected quotes and poetry.

September 11, 2001, saw the most devastating act of terrorism ever carried out when a group of 19 individuals belonging to the al Qaeda organization hijacked four airplanes, flying two into the Twin Towers in New York City, ultimately causing their collapse, and a third into the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers overcame the terrorists and denied them their target, which at present is still unknown.

Officially, 2,606 people were killed on 9/11 in the collapse of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

At the Pentagon, 125 more lost their lives.

On the four airplanes, 246 passengers and crew personnel were killed.

In addition, 411 emergency workers, including 343 members of the New York Fire Department, would give their lives responding to the tragic developments, themselves becoming victims of the day's devastating events.

(photo credit: Jeffmock, Creative Commons)

Comments

Submitted by MWCerkas (not verified) on
Bloomberg is a puppet, trying to look like he has a mind of his own. The guy seriously must have undergone a lobotomy in the past somewhere. This is ludicrous, censorship, infringement upon free speech, insensitive, arrogant and bigoted. Did I mention I think it is a bad idea?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Bloomberg is not only missing his mind, he's remote-controlled! What a Loser!

Submitted by Oath Keeper (not verified) on
9/11 was an inside job. watch?v=OQgVCj7q49o&list=FLCKPQRPXGdB9OaIjXnBqsaw

Submitted by Dawn Rommel (not verified) on
I’m Not Invited To Ground Zero On 9/11 I strapped a gun to my hip and a badge on my chest and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I lost my right kidney to cancer and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 My left kidney is at stage III renal failure and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I lost my thyroid to cancer and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer from Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS) and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I have a lesion on the right side of my brain and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer from lung scarring, inflammation, atelectasis and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer from chronic bronchitis, small airway disease, growing lung nodules and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer from a chronic cough and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer from sinusitis and rhinitis and I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I am now disabled and have to fight for my benefits and I'm not invited to ground zero on 9/11 I suffer at the hands of our self-serving politicians who invited themselves to ground zero on 9/11 and yet, I’m not invited to ground zero on 9/11 There was one other time I was not invited to ground zero September 11, 2001 Guess it was a good thing myself and thousands of others showed up without an invitation. Sgt. Michael Swannick

Submitted by PhilT (not verified) on
Brilliant comment!

Submitted by Linda Bass (not verified) on
I thank you for being there. I am totally appalled at this insane decision to remove the first responders and prayer from the ceremony. Maybe next time there is a NYC disaster GOD and the FIRST RESPONDERS will not show up. Bloomberg can play GOD and be the only FIRST RESPONDER...let's see how that works out!

Submitted by Donna (not verified) on
God bless you, and thank you. I will never forget you.

Submitted by Richard Teran (not verified) on
Until the PC crowd understands that 911 was a religious statement, we will continue to be in grave danger and our country will continue on this downward spiral.

Submitted by MWCerkas (not verified) on
http://www.redcounty.com/content/%E2%80%9Cwe-are-all-muslims%E2%80%9D-says-mayor-bloomberg-ramadan-muslim-audience Read it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Bloomberg wasnt a first responder. He was probably hiding somewhere on 9/11. He should, himself, be banned from the 9/11 remembrance. He's a first-rate MORON who's experienced one too many labotomies and enemas! He should be waterboarded, tarred and feathered and runned out of NY city.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Thank you frm the bottom of my heart for your bravery and your Scarafice. Who cares is one dumb Mayor doesnt recognize you. Me and my family and your true fellow Americans DO, HAVE, and WILL CONTINUE. And so does the only one who matters. God. And try as they may, the cannot keep him out! Godbless and goodnight

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I've always been grateful that I lost no one in the 9-11 tragedy but if I had, I would not attend this memorial. It's nothing but a political sham. I'd be out there at the fire stations and police stations taking in cookies or lasagna and shaking hands with the people who helped as many as they could. Who wants to listen to a bunch of politicians talk anyway? They had nothing to do with it.

Submitted by Linda Bass (not verified) on
I will be there with you. As I said already, maybe next time GOD AND THE FIRST RESPONDERS WILL NOT SHOW UP FOR THE NYC DISASTER AND BLOOMBERG CAN HANDLE IT ALL BY HIMSELF!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I've always been grateful that I lost no one in the 9-11 tragedy but if I had, I would not attend this memorial. It's nothing but a political sham. I'd be out there at the fire stations and police stations taking in cookies or lasagna and shaking hands with the people who helped as many as they could. Who wants to listen to a bunch of politicians talk anyway? They had nothing to do with it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
shame on the mayors office , Gods love and blessings to you all , and thank you xx

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
'September 11, 2001, saw the most devastating act of terrorism ever carried out when a group of 19 individuals belonging to the al Qaeda organization hijacked four airplanes, flying two into the Twin Towers in New York City, ultimately causing their collapse, and a third into the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. The fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers overcame the terrorists and denied them their target, which at present is still unknown.' First of all, at least 5 of those 19 so called terrorists were still alive after the event. This is a fact. Secondly, no steel structure building in history has even succumbed to fire and fallen at near free fall speed into its own footprint. It was an inside job! Thirdly, all 86 cameras that may have had images of the 'plane' that hit the pentagon, were immediately confiscated after the event. Why? WAKE UP! I feel for the good people of the U.S. The 1st responders and the 911 Truthers. ‎"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." — Arthur Schopenhauer

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
One of my biggest question fro Mayor Bloomberg is if the cerimony is for the victims families then why the hell invite politicians to the cerimony!! They have nothing to do with it and some of them were even in office when it happened! And to the leaving out of the first responders is shame on you mister mayor,they were also victims to the loss of their fellow comrades in the attacks let alone searching for survivors afterwards!! We talk about them being heroes but you and your office don't seem to see them that way anymore by leaving them out!! As for not letting religion be part of the cerimony,who do thing just about everyone turned to on that day be they jew,christian,or muslim?? GOD or their spiritual leaders not the politicians!!! Even the President looked to spirital leaders in those dark days so explain to me why they should not be now,and no political bs please!!!!

Submitted by MWCerkas (not verified) on
Bloomberg is a TRAITOR.

Submitted by Carol from L.I. (not verified) on
He;s not just missing his mind, he's missing his heart. I cannot believe prayer is not the main part of the cerimonies,,,,but to be banned? What the Hell? And the first responders who gave their lives,, both at that time, and now, slowly dying of all sorts of cancers and different diseases from their selfless sacrafices aren't going to be there? If space were his only concern,(duh) he could have made the morning for the first responders and the afternoon for the families....fixed! Well, here's a mayor who paid his own money to buy himself a third term, so lets assume he thinks very highly of himself and assumes he has a lot more authority than he should have. If I were up at the podium reading a name, I would just lead the group in the Lord's Prayer...would the mayor run in and try to stop the prayer? Yikes folks, just think about this.......

Submitted by reece james (not verified) on
another puppet wake up america WE THE PEOPLE need to take back our country from the fools .......while we still have one to take ........WOLVERINES

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
"A mountain of fresh evidence confirms that 9/11 was an inside job and this will be presented at the International Hearings on 9/11 in Toronto Canada...." Google it: Armed SWAT Raids Confirm 9/11 Criminal Hearings Necessary

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I'm sorry, but I think Mr. Bloomberg is missing the point. First Responders were victims of these attacks. First, many lost their lives, thus their families should be front and center under Bloomburg's reasoning. Second, those first responders who survived are suffering not only medical fallout from exposure to toxic chemicals, but also are left with the horriffic memories of the aftermath of the attacks. Does that not qualify them as "victims"?? When you think about it, every American who gives a rip about our way of life is a victim of this thuggery. But since we can't all fit in this venue, let's at least honor all the victims who were there at the time and are still with us. Crikes!

Submitted by rosehaft (not verified) on
Families of victims who are going to the 10th anniversary memorial should stop first at their local police & fire departments to 'adopt' a family member to accompany them.

Submitted by Carol from L.I. (not verified) on
Well I see now that all of the families in the different boroughs and counties have taken it upon themselves to have their own cerimonies and prayer services just as they should. If they should still desire to attend the service at ground zero, well they have had their spiritual devotions now in spite of Bloomberg. The most important thing is that the lost are never forgotten no matter how it's done in Bloomberg's world so we honor all of the deceased and ill and you truely will never be forgotten. And the terrorists have no glory at all in this......they thought someone said 13 virgins.....but now they are finding it's only 13 vegans...Oh well.... ")

Submitted by jackie pate (not verified) on
had americans not excluded God from everthing this might not have happened God used anti christians to bring judgement to america and the president bush get on tv and ask that we pray for those family members that lost loved ones while this country continualy goes away from God we are a country that sayes it is legal to kill umborn babys and same sex marriage is ok that is chose no wonder we are in the recession that we are in no wonder muslims attacked the twin towers on 9-11 no wonder we are seeing things happen that has never been seen before scripture says that if my people which are called by my name shall trun from there wicked ways humble themselves and seek my then He will here our prayers and heal our land no wonder fea