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Zohar Kadmon Sella

Indeed, the new design of the 9/11 Memorial was presented in the press – in part – as an attempt to accommodate the demands of 9/11 families, who wished, for example, the names of the victims to appear in the plaza level of the memorial rather than in the underground level. The New York Times spoke of “many relatives” who were critical of the original design, typically leading readers to believe in massive opposition by numerous 9/11 families. But these “many relatives,” according to Robert Kolker in his Nov. ‘05 piece in the New York Magazine, are not more than 30 forcefully active family members who pursue specific causes that they deem worthy without representing any meaningful portion of the community of the 9/11 families. It is highly plausible that if surveyed, 9/11 family members – a group of about 15,000 people – would have been found to mostly agree to the original underground inscription of the victims’ names. The deferential attitude of the media toward all those who claim to represent 9/11 families hinders the redevelopment of Ground Zero, because such unquestioning reinforcement of the moral authority of any 9/11 families’ activists forces the authorities and the developers who engage in the rebuilding effort to adhere to any of their demands.

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