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Plan for unidentified 9/11 remains draws protest

NEW YORK — A group of Sept. 11 family members vowed Thursday to protest when the unidentified remains of those killed at the World Trade Center are moved to a repository at the site this weekend.

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 unidentified remains will be moved on Saturday from the medical examiner's office on Manhattan's East Side to the memorial site in lower Manhattan. City officials say that once there, the remains will be placed in a custom-designed repository at bedrock level in the same building as the museum. The remains will be moved in a solemn procession led by police and fire department vehicles.

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.

Plan for unidentified 9/11 remains draws protest 05/08/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2014 8:11pm]

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