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  • E40FDNYL35
    September 30, 2006 -- The Freedom Tower is a big step closer to construction today, as dozens of steel columns are unloaded in Baltimore. The last shipment of more than 800 tons of columns as tall as a five-story building arrived yesterday by ship. They next go to Lynchburg, Va., where they'll be turned into the first 27 "built-up supersize" columns of the tower's below-grade structure. The finished columns are due at Ground Zero by the end of the year, ending a 4,700-mile journey from a steel mill in Differdange, Luxembourg.

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  • E40FDNYL35
    Zero effort is shameful

    August 28, 2005 -- It has almost been four years since Sept. 11, and all we have in the place where 3,000 died is a hole in the ground. For shame. It is simply staggering, a failure of monumental proportions, that we have not put one brick on top of another at Ground Zero.

    A mostly forgotten episode in the history of WWII, a feat of engineering second only to the building of the Panama Canal in the 20th century. It's called Alcan, later renamed the Alaskan Highway.
    Right after the Pearl Harbor bombing on Dec. 7, 1941, the nation was in a panic - much as we were after 9/11 - about where our enemies would attack next.
    Many people believed that the next and most vulnerable flank in North America was Alaska. Japanese spies were known to have been in the Bering Sea since 1939, photographing and sizing up the Aleutian Islands, which pointed like a curved dagger down at Japan. If the Japanese could get a foothold in Alaska, they could invade us from our weak northern border.
    We had 20,000 troops in Alaska in early 1942, and of the laughable 12 bombers and 20 fighter planes, only half were operational.
    In the weeks after Pearl Harbor, Japanese subs torpedoed our cargo ships delivering crucial supplies to Alaska. The air staging route through Canada's unforgiving wilderness was pathetic. Tiny and mostly inoperable airstrips were often snow- and fogbound.
    We dispatched two emergency squadrons to Alaska. Most of the planes crashed or ran out of fuel. Only half made it because of the treacherous weather and lack of navigational guideposts.
    On Feb. 2, FDR called an emergency cabinet session. The prospect was grim. The Japanese were advancing through the Pacific and heading for the Aleutians, and if they were not stopped, would be the first time since the War of 1812 that foreign enemies stomped boots on American soil.
    We had all of nine months - before the next winter - to do something dramatic to protect Alaska. Someone remembered that in 1929 Congress had approved a 1522-mile Highway to Alaska through the Canadian Rocky wilderness and the Alaskan Klondike, but the costly idea was abandoned.
    Now, with sea lanes closed and air routes unnavigable, FDR told his cabinet to do whatever the hell it had to do to build the highway so that planes could follow a staging route, refuel at refurbished airports along the highway, and eventually open a trucking route through our vulnerable north.
    The Army Corps of Engineers said they'd need 11,000 men attacking the highway from four intersecting points to pull this mission-impossible off in less than nine months. Problem was they had only 7,000 men.
    FDR suggested the Negro Engineer Regiments. The military brass scoffed, saying that just as Negroes were unsuited for combat, they were useless in cold climates. One officer cited an Army War College report that concluded, "The Negro is careless, shiftless, irresponsible and secretive."
    FDR activated the black troops. Most were Southerners, field hands and cane cutters who could not read or write. Most had never seen snow. Almost none had experience with heavy machinery or building roads. But in March, the Army Corps of Engineers started work on this highway - from Dawson Creek Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska - through uncharted, unmapped wilderness where few whites and fewer blacks had ever gone before.
    They worked in 12-hour shifts in temperatures that plunged to 79 degrees below zero, plowing and blasting, with grading averaging 8 miles a day. Men froze to death in their bulldozers. A dozen perished trying to ferry a bulldozer across Charlie Lake. In June, when the men learned that the Japanese had invaded Dutch Harbor and seized two of the Aleutian Islands, killing 100 Americans, they worked 18-hour shifts, surging with black and white American patriotism to protect the homeland.
    The blacks excelled. Astonishingly, one black regiment built a 360-foot bridge across the treacherous Sikanni Chief River in three short days.
    Spring rains brought muskeg, or swampy ground, forcing them to move at a pace of 1 mile a day. Summer brought 90-degree-plus heat, dust storms and mosquitoes. They dealt with landslides, forest fires and Arctic blizzards, and they survived on pancakes, frozen WWI rations and Spam.
    But on Nov. 20, 1942, eight months and 12 days after starting, two lowly soldiers - one black grunt plowing south, one white guy bulldozing north - met at a place called Contact Creek.
    The Alaskan Highway was finished.
    A black hand clasped the white hand in a hugely successful propaganda photo symbolizing this gargantuan engineering feat of the United States.

    Eleven months after Pearl Harbor, we built a 1,522-mile Highway to Alaska. Four years after 9/11/01, Ground Zero is still a hole in the ground. For shame.
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 08-28-2005, 07:00 AM.

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    If this was posted on the crusty site I could speak my mind, but my potty mouth would get me banned from FH so I'll try to tone it down.

    Located in nine countries on five continents, the coalition museums chronicle apartheid in South Africa, slavery in Senegal, torture in Argentina, racism in the South and internment of Japanese-Americans in California, along with other historical horrors.
    That's fine, JUST DO IT *insert F bomb here* SOMEWHERE ELSE!

    Instead, the family members have argued for a facility more clearly devoted to the attacks.
    That's the way it should be!!! When I go to the WTC Memorial it will be to honor those killed and reflect the attacks on SEPTEMBER 11th, not learn about apartheid in Africa! *insert F bomb here*

    I should never have started replying to your latest info, Ray ... I'm just getting more ****ed off. grrrrr ... *******s! They just DON'T HAVE A FREAKIN' CLUE! It is admirable of them to want to build a museum like they are describing, but it has NOTHING to do with the attacks on America! NADA ZIP ZILCH ZERO!

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  • E40FDNYL35
    August 21, 2005 -- A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned. The outrageous request is the latest controversy to torment the Freedom Center, whose leaders have tried to dispel the perception that it would be a home for America bashers.
    "Don't feature America first," the IFC has been advised by the consortium of 14 "museums of conscience" that quietly has been consulting with the Freedom Center for the past two years over plans for the hallowed site. "Think internationally, where America is one of the many nations of the world."
    Those words rang hollow with some 9/11 family members.
    "I can't think of a greater insult than to invite museums from other countries of the world to come and exploit what should be America's memorial," said Jack Lynch, who helped carry the body of his firefighter son Michael, of Engine 40, out of the rubble.
    "If you're going to explore slavery, the Holocaust or women's rights, you should do it at Chelsea Piers or on the East River waterfront - anywhere but Ground Zero," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles, 51, was the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. "After all, it was not slavery that caused the terrorists to attack us," said Burlingame, who has led the fight to bar the IFC.
    Under fire from 9/11 family members and Gov. Pataki, the IFC on July 6 pronounced itself proudly patriotic, vowed never to "blame America" and said it would celebrate the nation's "leading role in the global fight for freedom."In April, however, the Freedom Center said on its Web site and newsletter that it had "drawn inspiration" and received "important practical advice" from the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.
    "We have many, many advisers who have given us lots of advice," Richard Tofel, Freedom Center president, said last week. "Some of it we've taken and some of it we haven't - that's the nature of advice."He said the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington had most inspired the IFC's vision, and that the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Illinois was also offering extensive advice.
    The firefighters union already has demanded the Freedom Center be booted from Ground Zero, and state officials have given it until Sept. 23 to satisfy the objections of family members. Located in nine countries on five continents, the coalition museums chronicle apartheid in South Africa, slavery in Senegal, torture in Argentina, racism in the South and internment of Japanese-Americans in California, along with other historical horrors.
    "No one in the civilized world would ever defend what happened on 9/11," said Sarwar Ali, the coalition's chairman and a trustee of the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh. "But what happened after 9/11 - with restrictions placed on human rights and the cycle of revenge and the allegations of human rights abuses in prisons - must also be explored," Ali said in a call from London.
    Coalition members gathered for their annual conference at a Holocaust site in the Czech Republic in July 2004 - and assailed the United States for "reasserting its power in an arrogant way," the conference report shows. Among its suggestions for the place where the United States was attacked and nearly 3,000 innocents massacred: "The Freedom Center must signal its openness to contrary ideas." Philip Kunhardt, the Freedom Center's editorial director, was in attendance at a session called Bringing Conscience to Ground Zero and was given this advice:
    n "Help distinguish between American people and the U.S. government in exhibits ..."

    n "Use reports from human rights organizations to examine contemporary abuse of rights."

    n "Involve the United Nations, UNESCO and other international bodies."

    n "Use the museum as a venue for international meetings, where all views are welcomed and considered."

    At the conference, the coalition also leveled barbs at the IFC: "The Freedom Center is a caricature of the typical American response to everything [telling every story from an American viewpoint]."

    Members of the coalition also expressed these concerns:

    n "It seems that whatever Americans want, Americans get!" the conference report states. "Is the definition of the 'struggle for freedom' simply defined by the victors, or also by those engaged in ongoing struggles? Will Americans really create a balanced vision of freedom?"

    n "The WTC was attacked because it was a symbol of power and influence. In building the Freedom Tower, the U.S. reasserts its power in an arrogant way: Does this mean the U.S. will not only build the biggest building, but also define freedom for the world?"

    n "Many nonsecular Muslims may be very skeptical about the intent of this museum (e.g. the average Bangladeshi condemns the Sept. 11 attacks, yet at the same time feels his/her human rights have been violated by the U.S.)."

    Kunhardt, an ordained Episcopal minister and the writer of the PBS series "Freedom: A History of Us," mostly listened. He agreed with some things that were said, disagreeing with others, an observer said. He didn't return calls. Tofel said preliminary plans call for an exchange of exhibits with some coalition museums. "It is hoped and expected that temporary exhibits at the IFC will originate at, or travel to, some of the Historic Site Museums of Conscience - and perhaps vice versa," he said in an E-mail.

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  • E40FDNYL35
    August 17, 2005 -- The union representing New York's Bravest yesterday demanded that the controversial International Freedom Center be removed from Ground Zero. In another blow to the cultural plans for Ground Zero, Uniformed Firefighters Association President Stephen Cassidy said the Freedom Center would "diminish the sacrifices that the 343 members of the FDNY made on 9/11. That is unacceptable."
    Cassidy sent a letter announcing the UFA's position to Memorial Foundation director Gretchen Dykstra on July 27, but union officials made it public only yesterday. "We cannot help but feel that if the International Freedom Center is to be located alongside the memorial, our membership, along with our 9/11 families, will come out strongly in opposition to supporting your foundation," Cassidy wrote.
    Gov. Pataki and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. have been under intense pressure to drop plans to include the Freedom Center and the Drawing Center in a museum building next to the Ground Zero memorial. Family members of 9/11 victims have blasted the two cultural institutions, saying they could include anti-American exhibits. Instead, the family members have argued for a facility more clearly devoted to the attacks.
    Debra Burlingame, whose airline-pilot brother was killed during the 9/11 attacks and who now serves on the foundation board, said the firefighters' announcement is more proof that most Americans don't want a cultural center at Ground Zero. "This statement on the part of New York's Bravest shows that they share our deepest concerns that the story of what happened that day will be obscured by the International Freedom Center," said Burlingame.
    Cassidy said yesterday the union's leaders haven't yet decided what action they will take to block fund-raising by the Memorial Foundation if the IFC is to be a part of Ground Zero. Pressure from family groups has already put the squeeze on the Freedom Center project. The proposed building for the facility has been downsized 30 percent and LMDC Chairman John Whitehead has given the IFC until Sept. 23 to come up with specific programming plans. The Drawing Center is already seeking a new site. "We're deeply saddened that the Uniformed Firefighters Association would withdraw their support for the memorial to honor all those lost on 9/11, including the sacrifice of the firefighters," said foundation spokeswoman Lynn Rasic.

    * A dozen families of 9/11 victims will announce a federal lawsuit today against the city over what they claim is the burial of their loved ones' remains at Fresh Kills Landfill, where trade center material was sorted. The families believe fragments of remains too small to be caught in sifters used to search rubble are still at the landfill and should be buried in a cemetery.

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  • E40FDNYL35
    Families: Remove remains from Fresh Kills

    June 16, 2005 --ALBANY - Relatives of 9/11 victims urged the removal of dust containing human remains from Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill yesterday to a "peaceful" burial site.
    Rallying outside the state Capitol, members of WTC Families for Proper Burial called on the Assembly to follow the Senate's lead in insisting that the dust be removed from the dump.
    "A dignified place would be Governors Island or Liberty Park - certainly not a garbage dump I grew up smelling for 20 years," said Retired FDNY Lt. Paul Geidel, 71, of Staten Island, whose son Paul, 44, also a firefighter, was killed at the World Trade Center.
    The Bloomberg administration has opposed the removal of the fine dust particles of human remains that are mixed in with pulverized glass and cement dust, arguing that all identifiable human remains have already been sorted out.
    But Diane Horning of Scotch Plains, N.J., whose 26-year-old son, Matthew, was killed on the 95th floor of Tower 1, suggested the material could be transported to a sprawling final resting place that could be installed on Governors Island, "much like the cemetery at Normandy."

    Some numbers
    nearly 2,800 victims at WTC
    fewer than 300 whole bodies found
    fewer than 1,600 victims identified
    over 1,100 victims remain unidentified
    over 800 victims identified by DNA alone
    nearly 20,000 pieces of bodies found
    over 6,000 pieces small enough to fit in test-tubes
    over 200 pieces matched to single person
    nearly 10,000 unidentified pieces frozen for future analysis

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  • E40FDNYL35
    Dear Families, Friends and Supporters:

    If you've been reading the papers lately, you've seen a lot about the Freedom Tower, the Westside Stadium, the rail link between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport and Donald Trump's grand
    plans for Ground Zero.
    In less than three months, the nation and world will once again come together for a national day of mourning on September 11, 2005. What happened to the memorial? Please join us and stand with America on Monday to refocus the world's attention on the memorial at Ground Zero.


    12:00 Noon, Monday, June 20, 2005 (Please arrive at 11:45 am)

    Ground Zero at the Corner of Church & Liberty (rain or shine) In the event we are blocked from using this location, the press conference will be held in Battery Park at 12:15p.m. adjacent to the bronze Sphere which serves as a temporary memorial.

    Please wear black or yellow to symbolize unity, or wear
    clothing that symbolizes your loved one's affiliation and
    bring a picture of your lost loved one to hold over your heart.


    Advocates for 9/11 Fallen Heroes

    Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund

    Coalition of 9/11 Families

    Fix the Fund

    September 11th Families Association

    September's Mission

    Skyscraper Safety Campaign

    Take Back the Memorial

    Voices of September 11th

    WDOYLE 9/11 Support Group
    [email protected]

    WTC Families for Proper Burial

    WTC Family Center

    World Trade Center United Family Group

    For additional information, please contact:

    Bill Doyle (Father of Joseph)
    [email protected]

    WTC Tower 1 101st Fl. Cantor
    17189486284 phone/Fax
    3472360885 Mobile

    9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism

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  • E40FDNYL35

    Take back the Memorial

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  • NJFFSA16
    God bless Keithroy M. Maynard and his family!

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  • E40FDNYL35
    A funeral service will be held on Saturday June 11, 2005 for Firefighter Keithroy M. Maynard of Engine Company 33. Maynard was one of seven members of Engine Company 33 to be killed on September 11, 2001. The funeral will be held at 11 am at the Church of the Master located at 86 Morningside Avenue in Manhattan.
    All off-duty members and their families are invited to attend as a mark of respect to the deceased. Members are requested to attend in dress uniform.

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  • E40FDNYL35
    The Desecration of Ground Zero

    By Michelle Malkin
    Most Americans have not been paying attention to the bureaucratic wrangling and political jockeying that has plagued the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. But it’s not just New Yorkers and developers and 9/11 families who should care.
    A good portion of the project is federally subsidized. All of us have not only a financial stake, but also a moral stake, in protecting the honor of the victims and the dignity of our country. A Blame America Monument is not what we need or deserve. But it looks like one is already in the works.
    In a startling op-ed printed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Debra Burlingame exposed the "Great Ground Zero Heist." Burlingame is on the board of directors of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She reports that the World Trade Center memorial will encompass a "cultural complex" whose primary tenant will be something called the "International Freedom Center."
    According to an IFC fact sheet, the project "will be an integral part of humanity’s response to September 11." An educational and cultural center will host exhibits, lectures, debates, and films "that will nurture a global conversation on freedom in our world today." Tellingly though, as Burlingame notes, early plans for the center that included a large mural of an Iraqi voter were scratched in favor of a photograph of Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson when the designs went public. So much for nurturing that global conversation.
    The center’s "civic engagement network" will connect visitors to "service" opportunities. Translation: Left-wing activist recruitment center. As the fact sheet notes, "leading NGOs (non governmental organizations) will be offered outposts at the Center to reach out to its visitors." On its face, the project may seem fairly unobjectionable enough (putting aside how far afield it all seems from the task of remembering the victims and heroes of 9/11)­until, that is, you take a closer look at the chief movers and shakers behind the project.
    Tom Bernstein, a deep-pocketed Hollywood financier and real estate mogul, is the primary driver behind the IFC. Bernstein’s longtime friendship and business partnership with Yale classmate George W. Bush gives cover to his radical activism as president of Human Rights First. The group opposed Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez over the administration’s preventive detention policies and has joined with the ACLU in mau-mauing the Pentagon over alleged prisoner abuse.
    Among the many supposedly respectable scholars consulted on the project is Eric Foner. He’s the unhinged Columbia University professor who reacted to 9/11 by griping: "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." The IFC’s list of scholars and advisors also includes left-leaning elites such as Henry Louis Gates at Harvard University; Stephen B. Heintz, Secretary; President of the Rockefeller Bros. Fund; Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute; and Michael Posner, Executive Director of Human Rights First.
    Burlingame also reports that Anthony Romero, ACLU executive director, "is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11." Then there’s billionaire Bush-basher George Soros, who Burlingame reports is an early funder and supporter of the IFC and whose spirit infuses this grievance-mongering enterprise.
    Do we really want Ground Zero to be the playground of anti-war financiers, moral equivalence peddlers, and Guantanamo Bay alarmists? As Burlingame told me yesterday, "Ground Zero belongs to all the American people. If Ground Zero is lost, whether through negligence or malfeasance, it will be a loss that is felt for generations to come."
    Richard Tofel, IFC president, is minimizing dissenters. In a statement, he told me that "we understand that a few do not" agree with the project’s stated mission of promoting the "cause of freedom." The question is not whether most Americans support a monument to freedom, but whether they will stand by while saboteurs convert it into The Ultimate Guilt Complex.

    Voice your opinion here: Memorial Comments Section, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation http://www.renewnyc.com/Memorial/frm_memcomments.asp

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    Ray, thanks for the update. I guess it was too much to hope for ......

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  • E40FDNYL35
    End looms for damaged 9/11 tower
    June 7, 2005 -- The end is drawing near for a dark, shrouded ghost of a building overlooking Ground Zero.The Deutsche Bank tower, ravaged on 9/11 and long draped in protective netting, will be examined tomorrow by bidders on a contract to erect scaffolding prior to demolition. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which acquired the 42-story, asbestos-laden building on Liberty St. last summer, plans to award the contract on July 1 and later choose another firm for the demolition.
    The work could begin this summer and take 18 months.
    "For the building to come down will certainly be a plus," said Richard Kennedy, chairman of Community Board No. 1. "But it's important that the job be done in a sound, reasonable, environmental manner."Under a 2004 agreement with Deutsche Bank, the LMDC's demolition costs will be capped at $45 million. Meanwhile, a program to monitor air quality in lower Manhattan will be announced today by the new Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, formed by Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to coordinate rebuilding and demolition.

    and still no plans for a Memorial start-up...

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  • E40FDNYL35
    9/11 kin rip WTC plans

    May 7, 2005 -- The controversy over redevelopment of the World Trade Center site is symptomatic of Gov. Pataki's irrational obsession with political expediency - getting it done fast at the expense of doing it right. The NYPD's security recommendations for the Freedom Tower mirror concerns families of 9/11 victims have voiced for 31/2 years. Yet Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Chairman John Whitehead professed surprise to learn of them.
    There could be no better proof of the urgent need to disband the LMDC. It is unaccountable to the people, lacking in vision and driven by a political agenda. Some might attribute the current state of disarray at the World Trade Center site to Whitehead's elitist, exclusive policies. If Pataki lacks the stomach to disband the LMDC, he should at least appoint a progressive, energetic individual to replace Whitehead. The LMDC leadership has consistently appointed committee members with blatant conflicts of interest, including some who govern the WTC Memorial Foundation. They have selected some individuals who share LMDC's narrow vision for the site, have vested interests or whose independence has been compromised by receiving funding from the LMDC.
    Kevin Rampe deserves credit for resigning last week as president of the organization, apparently recognizing that it was time to abandon a sinking ship. For 31/2 years, the input of the public and 9/11 families has been largely ignored, and the LMDC has been allowed to operate with no accountability or transparency. Worse than delays, this has resulted in the creation of a memorial that fails to connect to the majority of families and will certainly fail to provide context to future visitors.
    From the beginning, despite the guise of a public process, powerbrokers, including Pataki, continue to make Ground Zero decisions behind closed doors. That so few individuals can control and manipulate the process in an open society is a travesty.
    The public (including 9/11 families) has received only empty symbolic gestures in response to our concerns, which are often deflected by political rhetoric exulting the need to rebuild fast to send a message to the world that America is strong. But the actual message LMDC has sent to the world is that we put money interests above honoring our dead and preserving our national heritage and the security of our citizens.
    If we have learned anything from the horrific experiences of those trapped in the burning towers on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, it is that the safety and security of any future inhabitants of the site are paramount and must not be sacrificed for the sake of expediency.
    The victims' families have repeatedly raised our concerns for security at the site, including our belief that the introduction of new streets around the memorial will make it more dangerous and as vulnerable to attack as the Freedom Tower.
    Adding to the danger is an LMDC proposal to reduce the number of ramps into the memorial from four to two, making exit difficult in an emergency. And despite Pataki's promise to the families that the sacred site would never be defiled by a bus depot - also a major security risk - that is just what is going to happen.
    It is not too late for Pataki to turn this ship around by becoming a leader who respects public input, welcomes oversight and is accountable to the people. As a true leader, he can show the world that our nation's strength is reflected in how we honor our dead, preserve our national heritage and put the safety of our citizens above expediency.

    Still there is no memorial ...

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    Still there is no memorial ...yet.

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