Orderly end to fight over 9/11 memorial names

NY Daily News - December 14, 2006

by PAUL D. COLFORD


DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

The controversial plan to list victims' names randomly at the World Trade Center Memorial was scrapped yesterday in favor of grouping them by uniformed service and employer.

The change - long sought by many 9/11 family members and the police and firefighter unions - was approved by the executive committee of the WTC Memorial Foundation.

The change "strikes the right balance," said Mayor Bloomberg, who was elected chairman of the organization two months ago.

"I have spent a lot of time listening to everyone's views on the subject and there is no right answer," Bloomberg said.

The mayor had favored the random listing to reflect what memorial designer Michael Arad called the "haphazard brutality" of the terror attacks.

"Nevertheless, it is time to move forward," Bloomberg said.

Arad signed off on the change.

The 1,518 names to be inscribed at the sunken pool marking where the north tower stood will include those who worked in or were visiting the building on 9/11, such as the 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald who lost their lives. They would be listed as a group, but without the company's name.

Those aboard the hijacked plane that crashed into the tower also will be inscribed there.

The 1,461 names at the pool for the south tower will be divided among eight other groupings, including those who worked in the building, the three other hijacked flights of 9/11 and first responders.

As a result, fallen members of the Fire Department, Police Department, Port Authority Police Department and court officers will be listed together - by command, precinct or company, but not by rank.

"We're very happy with the outcome," Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy told the Daily News last night.