Bloomberg Supports Separate Memorial For First Responders

WNBC 4 - June 08, 2003

Hundreds Show For Firefighter's Funeral

NEW YORK -- At a funeral for the youngest firefighter killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said firefighters, police and emergency workers who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center should be identified individually in a memorial.

Several hundred firefighters applauded the mayor's remarks Saturday at the funeral of Michael Cammarata, 22.

Friends, family and fellow firefighters went to Staten Island Saturday to remember Cammarata. Like relatives of nearly 1,300 of the 2,800 victims of the World Trade Center attack, Cammarata's family has been waiting nearly 21 months for his remains to be identified. Rather than wait longer, the family on Saturday buried a vial of blood he had earlier donated.

The question of how names of the victims appear on a memorial at the World Trade Center site has been contentious since the organization overseeing the rebuilding of the site recommended a memorial with no hierarchy of names.

Bloomberg said Saturday that visitors to the memorial should "be able to read their names, know what they did, appreciate their heroism, be inspired by their sacrifice and ensure they are designated as role models for the next generation who will protect us all."

It was the first time an elected official has weighed in on the topic. Several months ago, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta wrote to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, requesting a separate memorial for firefighters and other first responders.