9/11 first responders denied at memorial service

Firefighters arrive on the scene after the collapse of the first World Trade Center tower on Sept. 11, 2001.

Anthony Flammia wants to place his feet firmly on the World Trade Center
memorial plaza this Sunday, a place where 10 years ago he stood,
directing people to safety away from the burning towers before they
fell.

But this Sept. 11, the now-retired NYPD officer will not be let
inside the plaza gates. The majority of first responders who risked
their lives on Sept. 11 will watch the memorial service from across the
street, in Zuccotti Park.

“To basically shut out the responders overall for that day, the most important day in history, is absurd,” Flammia said.

According
to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, because many 9/11 victims’ family members
want to attend on Sunday, they will be given first priority inside the
plaza. Ceremony organizers face space constraints for the first time, so
only a limited number of survivors and first responders will be
invited.

“There just isn’t enough space,” Bloomberg said  yesterday,
defending his decision. “If you have to pick one group, for one day — it
just has to be the families.”

But Flammia, 48, who now suffers from
breathing and lung problems along with post-traumatic stress disorder,
said the city should create a special spot for responders inside the
plaza. 

“We were the ones who did the work. We were the ones who
responded. We were the ones who put the city back into place,” he said.
“It makes it seem like [we’re] barred.”

Russell Mercer, whose
firefighter son, Scott, 32, died in the south tower, said it was a
disgrace that firefighters are not allowed where he will be, as a family
member.

“How could you possibly kick these people under the bus?”
he said. “What these men did, you should be giving them first row down
there.”

2,200 outraged

Jack Dewan Jr., 32, a
Baltimore firefighter, is one of 2,200 people who signed a petition
asking Bloomberg to allow first responders into the ceremony. Because
Dewan’s uncle, Gerard Dewan, a member of FDNY Ladder 3, died during the
attacks, Dewan was invited inside the ceremony. But he is refusing to
attend until all the other firefighters in his uncle’s ladder company
can, too. “If my uncle hadn’t gotten killed, we wouldn’t be allowed,” he
said. “All the guys he worked with, that survived and are sick, they’re
not allowed to go.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.