Things will be especially quiet this year when families gather in New York City to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The 9/11 Foundation is banning politicians from making speeches at this year’s ceremony.
This year’s 9/11 ceremony at New York’s Ground Zero will distance itself from events from years’ past because the 2012 edition is eliminating a segment usually reserved for politicians to address the public. In years past speakers have included US President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, but this autumn the event will focus on reading the names of those killed on September 11, 2001 — and nothing more.
“This year, the reading of the names by family members will be the exclusive focus of the program,” Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, writes to family members in a letter published on Wednesday.
“The National September 11 Memorial is focused on honoring the victims and their families in a way free of politics, and this ensures that continues,” Daniels adds.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spoken at past ceremonies, is a chair on the board of the 9/11 foundation, a non-profit organization that oversees the ceremony. Speaking earlier this year, though, he suggested that things might be different down the road.
“Look, the plaza and the museum are going to be run by the foundation,” Bloomberg told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t think anybody wants to turn over the plaza and the museum, the memorial and museum, to political process.”
The mayor has been critiqued in his past for seemingly all matters relating to the ceremony — which has included disagreements about whom he chooses to speak and those he doesn’t.