Families angry over plan to move 9/11 victims' remains to museum

NEW YORK - The families of some 9/11 victims vowed Thursday to protest a plan to move the unidentified remains of those killed to a new museum opening next week.

More than 1,100 people who died were never identified.

The unidentified remains have been in the medical examiner's office for 13 years. They will be moved to a room 70 feet below the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. A large wall will separate the storage area from the public.

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Family members of first responders killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, including Sally Regenhard, left, and Rosemary Cain, hold pictures of their firefighter sons, both killed in the attacks, as they appeal to members of the press, Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Kathy Willens, AP
Rosemary Cain never got all of the remains of her son George, a 35-year-old firefighter who died on 9/11.

"To me, it's disrespectful. It's not anything that I would ever choose to do to my beloved son. Absolutely not," she said.

Cain says she learned of the city's plan by email.

"Why I have to do this on Mother's Day weekend is beyond me," said said. "Really, it's so cruel."

But Monika Iken, who is on the museum's board, sees it differently. She says the plan is nothing new.

"We always said they would be there," she said.

Iken's husband died in the attacks. His remains were never recovered. She doesn't understand the opposition to the plan.

"I think we're really losing sight of what's happening here," she said. "We created this memorial as a museum out of nothing. I'm here to bring Michael and all of those who are not here and really to honor them and give them a sense of peace. Now (they're) finally back where they belong."

Families will have access to a private room for reflection adjacent to where the remains will be stored. But some of the families want a tomb adjacent to the memorial plaza.


  • Vinita Nair

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