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Politicians Left Off 9/11 Guest List for First Time

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Family members of the victims of the September 11 attacks will gather at the World Trade Center on Tuesday for the annual commemoration of their lost loved ones.

This year, for the first time, organizers have not invited politicians to speak. In years past, the observance has featured New York City's mayor and the governors of New York and New Jersey.

In a statement released over the summer, Joe Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, said the memorial, which opened to the public the day after last year’s ceremony, is "focused on honoring the victims and their families in a way free of politics and this ensures that continues."  

As in past years, there will be six pauses during the reading of the victims names, representing the moments each tower was struck and fell and the moments of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93.  

The 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center opened last year. But an accompanying 9/11 museum has been delayed by financial disputes between the owner of the site, the Port Authority -- by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- and the memorial foundation, which is chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The dispute is over who should be responsible for infrastructure costs.

On the evening of September 11, the "Tribute in Light" will return at sundown and will illuminate the skies over lower Manhattan into the next day.

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