US marks 9/11 anniversary
Updated: 2012-09-11 07:51
Events overshadowed by rescuers' health concerns, financial feuding
Eleven years after the attacks on Sept 11, 2001, New Yorkers will mark the anniversary on Tuesday against a backdrop of health concerns for emergency workers and a feud over financing that has stopped construction of the $1 billion Ground Zero museum.
While notable progress on redevelopment of the World Trade Center has been made since early disputes over financial, design and security issues, the project remains hobbled by political battles and billions of dollars in cost overruns.
A major sticking point is the museum at the heart of the World Trade Center site redevelopment. Construction has been suspended because of a feud over finances between the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
When the foundation announced recently that for the first time, politicians would be excluded from having speaking roles in the Sept 11 anniversary ceremonies, it was seen by many victims' families and others in the 9/11 community as a public reflection of these behind-the-scenes disputes.
Overall site redevelopment costs have grown to nearly $15 billion, up from $11 billion in 2008, according to a recent project audit.
But for many of the families of 9/11 victims and ailing Ground Zero workers, the redevelopment disputes are a disheartening sideshow to the rising loss of human lives.
When the 110-storey Twin Towers came down, thousands of tons of steel, concrete, window glass and asbestos came down with it. Thousands of liters of flaming jet fuel and burning plastics released deadly carcinogens.
Last week, the New York City Fire Department added nine names to the 55 already etched on a wall honoring members who have died of illnesses related to Ground Zero rescue and recovery work.