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

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.

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

“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

“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

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

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.”


Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…


The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.


Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…


Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.


'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.


New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!


James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…


True Detective


Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.


Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…


Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.


3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.


Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…


Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…


How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.


A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.