9/11 Responders Invited to Mark 10th Anniversary of Ground Zero Cleanup

By Julie Shapiro on May 15, 2012 4:59pm 

LOWER MANHATTAN — First responders who risked their lives on 9/11 will return to the World Trade Center site May 30 to mark the 10th anniversary of the end of recovery operations at the site, the city announced Tuesday.

Thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers and volunteers participated in the eight-and-a-half-month recovery effort, which ended May 30, 2002 with the removal of the "Last Column," a steel beam covered in tributes to the dead.

Now, the city is inviting those workers back to the site for a ceremony on the 9/11 Memorial plaza at 6:30 p.m. May 30, city officials said.

"The efforts by the first responders and recovery workers at the World Trade Center site were nothing short of heroic," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "This event will allow us to honor the sacrifice made by so many."

Those who want to attend the ceremony must register in advance online, because the 9/11 Memorial has limited capacity. Those who register will also be included in the 9/11 Museum's Recovery and Relief Workers Registry and in the Scroll of Honor, an installation that will be displayed near the Last Column in the museum, officials said.

The city did not release details of the event but said there would be no speeches.

Some first responders — along with 9/11 survivors and Downtown residents — were upset that they could not attend the city's ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks last fall, which was limited to victims' family members.

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