Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Honoring" the Victims of 9/11?

Humans have devised thousands of different rituals for honoring and mourning the deceased. In most societies, including our own, the bodies of the dead are protected from post-mortem desecration, the definition of which varies by culture. In fact, our laws criminalize defiling a corpse. How, then do we explain this, that the New York City government may have allowed the remains of 9/11 victims, forever lost in the rubble, to be used to fill potholes?

I read this article with horror, considering myself in some way a permanent "New Yorker" since I experienced 9/11 on the streets of Manhattan and struggled through the aftermath with that city's residents. Perhaps one of the most heart-rending moments in the months following the attacks came when the city decided to stop the search for remains and simply removed the rubble to a landfill. I cried with millions of New Yorkers at the sight of NYC firefighters marching to the site and clashing with NYPD, demanding the right to bring their brothers home....

There simply is nothing else I can say, except that I cry with them again now.

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