9/11 First Responders Not Invited To 10th Anniversary Ceremony At Ground Zero

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — First responders will not be invited to this year’s 9/11 ceremony at Ground Zero. That’s the word from city officials who say there isn’t enough room for the tens of thousands of firefighters, police and other rescue workers.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

According to a report by the Daily News, security issues and making sure that all of the victims’ families will be able to participate in the 10th anniversary of 9/11, contributed to first responders not being invited to the ceremony.

Phil, a construction worker at Ground Zero, says the city needs to figure out a way to have first responders at this anniversary.

“I think that they should be allowed to go because too many of their brothers and sisters lost their lives and they should be the first ones that are included,” he said. “They should make it happen. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people here who shouldn’t be here.”

First responders will be given a separate ceremony at a later date.

Both President Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush will be at this year’s ceremony as well as former mayor Rudy Giuliani and other dignitaries, meaning extra security will be on hand.

In addition, only a limited number of lawmakers from the Tri-state area will be allowed to attend.

On Friday, House Speaker Rep. John Boehner said the government would be paying for representatives from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to attend the ceremony.

An estimated 91,000 police, firefighters and other first responders helped with the search and rescue efforts in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

What do you think about first responders not being invited? Sound off below in our comments section…


One Comment

  1. Eizee says:


  2. Cathy says:

    Maybe the current mayor, former mayor, president and former president should stay home and watch it on TV. These men and women would do it all over again if need be. I saw footage of Bush sitting on his butt in the Florida classroom on that grim morning until he was finished with the children. Do you know how many innocent lives were lost in those few minutes?


  3. Jeanne Shearer says:


  4. Rene Moulton says:

    This has to be some kind of bad joke… the people who were there without invitation on the day of horror not invited to the 10th anniversary? ABSURD!

  5. dagoose says:

    OK…first responders stay put. But at the ring of the first 911 call because some fat politician fell and broke his ankle or caused a waste-paper basket fire with a carelessly thrown stogie….all first responders turn off the hotlines and go take a nice long lunch.

  6. Mary Fraley says:

    What is happening to America? Mayor Bloomberg, where is your heart? Come on!!! Those rescuers should be there with the survivors. SHAME ON YOU CITY OF NEW YORK. Figure out a way.

  7. Sami One says:

    I think this is disgusting. Yes I understand the numbers thing, but without the work of the first responders there would undoubtedly be a lot more families having to attend this ceremony. To be fair I think only one member of each family who lost someone during 9/11 and the same with the first responders (one member from each unit) be invited. That way everyone who was affected by this event is represented at the anniversary. To have a separate ceremony at “a later date” is totally not the same thing as being there “on the date”. Remembering the event any other way is disrespectful to whichever group is not included on the day.

  8. tulsamedic says:

    “there’s not enough room there for them”?!?! Seriously?!?! Well, there was damn sure enough room there for them that dreadful day! And they were all there without even thinking twice about it! My husband is serving in Afghanistan right now, and has unfortunately they have lost 8 guys from their unit already in the 6 weeks they have been there. In my opinion those people that lost their lives that day are no different than our men and women in the military that have also made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for this great country. This just makes me physically sick and just brings more tears to my eyes just when I thought there were no more tears left to cry. Shame on you NYC! what a disgrace… So disappointing!!!

  9. Michael Barker says:

    As a fellow firefighter, it is a slap in the face by New York for not allowing any first responder to attend. Even though I live in Michigan, the people who gave their lives that day were brothers and sisters to me also and I feel the loss too. Shame on you New York!! And to my fellow first responders, I will always remember you and our fallen Comrades who lost their lives that day.

  10. RHB says:

    Listen to yourselves you sound like kids fighting over a piece of candy. This is a time when we as Americans need to come together and remember those who lost their lives that day 10 years ago. I for one believe all of the 1st responders should be there. I don’t give a damned how you do it NEW YORK BUT MAKE IT HAPPEN. I always hear big talk from you so lets see what your made of. Not only in NY but in Shanks ville PA and Washington D.C. also. You know I don’t see why the only time we all come together is when something like this happens. I just wonder what we will do when we get hit again and it’s not a question of if it’s a question of when. This is what they want us fighting each other and not focused on those who mean to do us harm and don’t lye to yourselves they are out there we need to be just as vigilant now as we were after 911. I know everybody has their own lives to live everyday but keep your eyes and ears open cause the life you save by being vigilant may be your own.

  11. robin johnson says:

    This is messed up!!!! It was OK for them to put there lives on the line during 9/11 but not OK to be invited to the Ceremony which should be centered around them and the ones lost during 9/11!!! What’s up with that, talking about UNETHICAL………………..Mayor Bloomberg, you SUCK !!!!!!!!!!

  12. Dominic says:

    There is not an instance that I see the footage from that day, that I do not want to cry out in despair, sadness and anger…. NYPD and FDNY and all the EMS in NYC did their job, yes…. but what else they did was not stop doing their job when their shift was over, They gave our country a place to look for hope and purpose, after being damaged as badly as we were. I was not there, I was driving a truck in Boston, I remember being at a delivery and seeing #2 get hit, and watching live as those people jumped to their death rather then burn to death….. I have never lost that image,… I never will… Thank you NYPD and FDNY, and I am truly sorry you are being dishonored this way….. not what I would have done to and for you, for sure … please do not stop being you.

  13. annie says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how little respect our first responders get, until we need them!! People that make negative comments should do their jobs for one day. I certainly did not see any politicans running in the trade center or pentagon on 9-11-2001. First responders are a family and have a bond that unless you are apart of, you will never understand. They didn’t loose co-workers on 9/11, they lost their brothers and sisters. People say well thats there job to run into buildings or take a bullet. Maybe it is their job to do that, but no one ever deserves to die doing it. Maybe people on here will remember that the next time they make those comments. For the record as a wife of a police officer, the money is never worth the actual cost.

  14. Chris A. says:

    Okay, I’m ticked at this website: I’ve tried THREE times to reply to what someone said on the first page, and it’s still not showing my reply, even though the reply button is available and others have replied on that page today.

    I guess CBSNY would rather have comments like “U R an IDIOT!” and “Your an @ss on their front page, than an informative, reasoned, compassionate reply. Thanks a lot, CBSNY.

  15. Kathy says:

    So sad, how can the people making these decisions look in the mirror. How would they feel if their house was on fire or there was an intruder in their home and when they called 911 they were told sorry we room for you in our schedule?

  16. Sula says:

    Those arguing to use one of the stadiums to house the first responders know little of the geography of NYC. None of the professional stadiums are in Manhattan.
    In fact, the closest stadium to lower Manhattan is in NJ (the Meadowlands). The baseball stadiums are in the Bronx and Queens. MSG could not house 90K people. So opening up a stadium would cause yet another headline because they’d be nowhere near the memorial. It’s a no win situation. Survivors of the crash feel just as strongly about attending.

  17. Paul says:

    I am not from the US but think it’s a slap in the face for first responders not to be there because of lack of room and wanting to make sure victims families can make it. Who was more traumatized then the people on the scene first, many who suffer for it today and watched and lost co-workers, friends and family.

    When there is another crisis I am sure the same officials will be more than willing to step aside to make room for theser brave men and women who will still come because of loyalty to what they do even though slighted for what they have done.

    1. Sula says:

      You’re not really arguing that the families of those who died in the towers (some of who were first responders) suffer less trauma than those who are alive today and want to attend a memorial?

      1. Paul says:

        No I’m not I just think that all of the people involved are suffering at so many levels that it is very difficult to measure on a personal level. I am simply stating that first responders should be there. I think there is a strong connection between the victims families and first responders who tried to save their loved ones and it would be a comfort to have them there, certainly more comforting than the politicians or other dignitaries.

  18. Michael Swannick says:


    This says it all, the politicians should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Catharine says:

      God Bless You!

  19. Louise Bishop says:

    So, let me get this straight! Politicians Yes. First Responders No. Politicians Yes, Clergy No. Make no sense people. If this is really because the families are going to be there, maybe you should think about the families wanting to see and thank and hug the first responders for their attempts at saving their loved ones lives. For heavens sake: WAKEUP!!

  20. Chris A. says:

    Last Comment: To me, the real insult to First Responders was when Congress decided that, in order to get health benefits etc., they would have to go through a bunch of red tape to *prove* they aren’t on the “Master Terrorist List.” That’s like telling Mother Theresa you wouldn’t give her funds to help her lepers until it could be proven that she *wasn’t* a serial killer. Our First Responders and their families deserve every penny of health care and help that we can give them!

  21. Michael Swannick says:

    Your an @ss.

  22. Chris A. says:

    As to leaving out the Secret Service, that’s plain dangerous! The nutjob gunman they stop from entering, or stop because he looks suspicious, doesn’t always *hit* what he’s trying to aim at. Often, it’s someone in the *crowd* (or several someones) who get hit—would *you* want to attend knowing that the people who’ve had specialized training in spotting and stopping this *particular* kind of assassin aren’t going to be there? And that’s no insult to the police, it’s simply recognizing specialized training for a specialized job. That’s why the police specialize too: S.W.A.T., detectives, car/motorcycle/bicycle/foot patrolmen, etc.

    To be honest, it seems to me that this event wouldn’t just draw presidential assassins, but also possibly some suicidal terrorist who wants to put the cap on 9/11 by wearing a bomb into the memorial ceremony. Given that possibility, isn’t it wise to have police AND secret service working to protect, not just the President, but the crowds too? They each have their own bailwick, and both are trained to spot certain things… “two heads are better than one.”

  23. Chris A. says:

    Also, I agree with Gilbert that having a representative from each of the First Responder Unions *ought* to be done. They could stand for all the First Responders at the first ceremony, then attend again at the second ceremony for the First Responders. 🙂 If this *wasn’t* done, it *should* have been done.

  24. Chris A. says:

    Quoting Wiki: “Up to one million people go to watch the ball drop each year. Therefore, New York Police Department (NYPD) exert strict control over the crowd so as to prevent crushes and stampedes. The technique used by NYPD is to divide Times Square up into sections, commonly referred to as “pens.” As people arrive, usually in the afternoon, they are directed into the pens. NYPD starts with the pens closest to 43rd Street, and as those pens get full, closes them to further people and works their way back toward Central Park. Once inside the pen, people may leave, but will not be able to reenter the pen.”

    From what I’ve been able to find, the actual Ground Zero Memorial is only 4.7 acres—and that includes the museum buildings and the fountains.

    Now, the article said there were over 91,000 First Responders, and that doesn’t even take into account their family and friends. I suppose you *could* try to cram all the First Responders in, along with their family and friends, along with the families of the victims, along with the limited amount of politicians who are allowed to go (and you know if they *didn’t* go, people would scream “They didn’t CARE enough to go!”). But even then, you have to add in various personnel who will be there to help the guests: Police, Fire, and EMTs; first aid personnel; people to control and direct foot traffic and give information; people who assist handicapped guests; plus security, plus technicians to handle sound and wiring, plus of course space for the news crews and *their* technicians. Then, with a president and former president attending, there’s their security details as well.

    Should the guests then be put into “pens” like the guests at Times Square?

    Then there’s the question of how will the guests *get* there? What are the capacities of the local transit and streets? What are the regular demands on both by residents and local workers? Will the streets be clear enough for emergency vehicles to get to and from the site quickly? If it’s your father having the heart attack, or your toddler who’s lost in the crowd, just how crowded the area is, and how well emergency people can get through/in/out becomes quite vital to you.

    On a lesser note, there’s issues like bathrooms: this facility isn’t designed to handle huge crowds like a stadium is.

    Bottom line is, there’s a whole lot more that goes into event planning, safety, and taking care of guests than most people ever dream of… and one of the first rules of thumb is “never exceed your capacity of the number of guests you can deal with.” At best, you end up with angry people who are hot, cold, tired, needing to use the restroom, and possibly with minor injuries. At worst, you can end up with someone dying because of poor planning and over-capacity crowding.

    Given all these issues, I can understand why they felt the need to have two ceremonies. And if it comes to a choice between families of victims, and first responders for who attends the initial event, several have rightly pointed out that the first responders are heroes who know the risks in their dangerous profession to help and save; the victims were normal people struck down by something they could never guess might happen.

    If I were running this event, I would trust my first responders to understand that I honor them, that I know they are heroes, but also to understand that trying to bring a group of their size into the first ceremony would push it far beyond capacity, and to understand the risk that would put to *everyone* there. I’m sure police, fire, and EMT hate dealing with problems arising from some idiot trying to cram too big a crowd into an area not set up to deal with it. Heck, that’s why the Fire Marshalls limit crowd size in all kinds of events.

    I would trust their professional understanding, and I would do my best to ensure that in the special second event that honors them, that all the first responders and their families know how much I honor and respect their heroism and sacrifices in the line of duty.

  25. Coleen Davies says:

    Are you kidding me, enough? That is one of the most pathetic statements I’ve heard in a long time! Yes they get paid to do their job, but they get paid squat, and they deserve to be there more than the politicians!!! Really??? Connecticut politicians??? On our dime??? There may not be enough room for eveybody, and that’s an issue to be dealt with, but your comment is MORONIC!!!

    1. Al Ly Cat says:

      And when “the government pays” to send the politicians, that means we the taxpayers actually pay, and this taxpayer says my money should go to the HEROES. Give up your seats, Obama, Boehner, and others who were comfortably at home on 9/11. We want the first responders treated right! They’re already suffering – don’t leave them out! If there is room for them at a later date, there’s bloody well room for them NOW! I’m so disappointed and disgusted

  26. al says:

    You’re an idiot

  27. April says:

    This is so wrong! These first responders should be at ground zero. It’s not right to leave them out. Make the room for them. They all are just if not MORE apart of this ceremony as anyone. They are, our hero’s and they have a duty to serve and protect too and they very much deserve the honor for what they all went through on 911. And if you people in these high up positions can’t see that then you for sure need to re-evaluate your priorities.

  28. David B Elrod says:

    Just out of curiosity. How many servicemen lost biological family members in the attempts to save others? Are they allowed to attend or are they not allowed because of their profession?

  29. Cindy Reed says:

    A friend from Scotland actually shared this on FB and all I could say was that I was ashamed. I feel embarrassed for our country. Can someone please explain why the politicians are going, but why our first responders are excluded? If they needed room to include the families, who’s more appropriate to leave out.. Ummm, the people who WEREN’T there!!

    The eyes of the world are on us, please don’t shame us anymore.

  30. Allison says:

    Since when is Barack Obama and former president George W. Bush a part of the victim’s families?!?!? Neither of them lost a family member on 9/11 so what right do they have to get the privilage to attend, first responders should have the right to be there… shame on you to the person who decided this, you should not be allowed to attend the ceremony

  31. Mike McCampbell says:

    Repugli nazis caused 9 11. They used the feeble minded Fire Fighter Union member, King, to hype their fake ‘Strong Defense of America’ commercials. They stabbed all first responders in the back, by voting against the Zadroga First Responders bill. They currently fight a rear-guard effort against covering the First Responders’ cancer treatments. Darned shame that Obama is aiding and abetting the repugs’ treason. And I’m a hard-core Democratic activist and donor.

  32. Pam says:

    I am astonished that the very heroes of that horrible day would not be invited to honor what they too lost. They are the very people who worked without thinking of their dangers. We don’t need politicians, the rich, etc. Also, clergy are not invited. Bloomberg is very wrong and ruining the foundation of our country. Honor the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday so that we may all be safe. Shame on New York for allowing your mayor to shun the heart of that horrible day. Yes, the families belong their, but the 1st responders should really be there.

    1. David B Elrod says:

      First I have to say sorry. I accidentally clicked the report comment instead of reply. I am even torn about the families NEEDING to be there. I think it should be the SURVIVORS. The ones who will forever be haunted by the things they witnessed and countless victims they failed to save. I use the word fail not as how I see them, but how I hope they don’t see themselves. That is surely how they are being treated in all of this.

  33. Mary Newman says:

    APPALLING. FIGURE IT OUT. One way: Have a parade of first responders and have the dignitaries and loved ones salute or wave flags for them. I don’t know how wide the street is, but you can probably get at least 15 people across in close ranks. Even if every one of the 91,000 first responders showed up, that would mean 15 across x 6067 long. Again, do it in close ranks to minimize parade time. It would be the most spectacular parade ever, and would clearly honor these amazing people. I’m betting the victim’s loved ones would be thrilled.

    Too much trouble to stand or sit through a parade that long? It won’t be as long as they fought during the week of September 11, 2001.


    Mary Newman

  34. Kimberly Hilburn says:

    I have a serious problem with this. These are the same people who risked their lives by going into those buildings and now someone has the NERVE to tell them their not invited, excuse the hell out out of me. These men and women are HEROES and deserve to be treated as just that, they lost friends and family that day too. How about the politicians who did’nt lose a loved one stay away and allow the HEROES to attend. Just SAYING.

  35. H says:

    I am so sick of firefighters and police officers wanting to be patted on their backs. FOr a job they volunteered for . 911 just didn’t happen to them ., it happened to all of America. You don’t hear our soldiers coming home and complaing about how dangerous their jobs are . Or complaining about not being invited to a 911 ceremony .

    1. Stephanie C says:

      Wow…i can’t believe you would even say that they are asking to be patted on the back….these men and women are willing to do something you aren’t. If you can honestly say that you would have ran into the burning building or you would go over seas and take a bullet for the country then you can talk. But don’t disgrace our men and women in uniform…this included firefighters, pd, ems and service men and women. You truely aren’t an AMERICAN…with that AMERICAN PRIDE when you make comments like this….all i have to say is what are you going to do when you need a 1st responder and they don’t show b/c of the comments you have made…you can sleep in your warm bed at night with nothing to worry about thanks to those serving in the miliatry…so be thankful and stand up and say these 1st responders should be in attendence.

  36. Kool Vybz says:

    No good deed goes unpunished….!!!! So this is how the mayor treats the civil servants huh….???

  37. jess says:

    i.. am absolutely…. disgusted. the nerve of the mayor to do such a thing. unbelieveable.

  38. Debra says:

    Just can’t even wrap my head around this one. This outrageous exclusion is an absolute disgrace. Shameful. Unbelievable.

  39. Gilbert Taylor says:

    I am sure there is more to this then what has been reported. Main stream media has a tendency to blow things out of prospective and report is usually somewhat lopsided.

    I am a firefighter, and agree that first responders should be allowed to attend, but so should anyone else that wants too. Perhaps the venue is the problem as they estimate only so many people can attend. There should at a minimum be representatives of all Emergency Services involved. The fact that one is planed just for the first responders does not make up for telling them they can’t attend, but with some official representation of those agencies and their labor unions at least allows for some recognition as well.

    No one really expect that all the NYC area First Responders will attend this as i have read in other forums, so that is not a concern. Do we really need all the politicians to be there? i think the President, the Mayor of NYC, Govenor of NY and the former Mayor of NYC is more the enough.

    Just my opinion

  40. Aldrich Raines says:

    Why not have the First Responders invited to the first event and then have the people who didn’t help meet on the other day? I think that it is not fair You are telling people who risked their lives, they can’t come to an event because its crowded. That guest list should be rearranged, and FiIRST Responders should be FIRST on the list.

  41. Tina Shaw says:

    I just keep finding myself wondering… where does anyone propose putting the nearly 100,000 people that everyone here wants to invite?

  42. Sovereignty Soldier says:

    The first responders do NOT believe the official story. They know the truth and would be wearing all sorts of shirts with anti globalist statements. The government does NOT want the people to see on national TV, firefighters and police voicing their dissent from the oficial lie,er, story!
    These first responders were denied healthcare and the treatments they needed after the EPA lied and told them the air was ok.

  43. Dianne says:

    What a crying shame that the HEROES who immediately responded to the needs of our country will not be honored and are not invited. They were not invited to attend 10 years ago…. but they gave of their time, and risked their lives to help save others. I agree with Gene Rooney. Hold it at a stadium, and then hold another ceremony for families at Ground Zero.

  44. JohnnieBoy says:

    What irony. “there isn’t enough room for the tens of thousands of firefighters, police and other rescue workers” yet “Obama and Bush will be there “meaning extra security will be on hand.” I couldn’t think of a safer place to be than among tens of thousands of New York’s finest. Leave the Secret Circus at home.

  45. Carly Ann says:

    I find that utterly pathetic that the men and women who put THEIR lives on the line to save others so that they would have a chance at life again are not able to attend this event. Why should these politicians be able to go when they did NOTHING to help or even lend a hand to these great men and women. It is just baffling to me, the only reason why most people were able to get out alive or be pulled from the wreckage was because of these HEROES, yes HEROES is what they are. I say that they should all show up like they did 10 years ago, and F*** what others say, they have just as much a right to be there as the families do!!!!!

  46. Gene Rooney says:

    There are how many Stadiums in New York City Use them
    Lets See Yankee Stadium Mets Stadium Foodball Stadiums Have a representative other then the Mayor attend each location and give a speach.
    Maybe they won’t all fit at Ground Zero- They can at least have immediate family members of victims there. But Stadiums should be ample to get the job done.
    Let Fomer Gov Pataki and Rudy Guiliani give speaches at the Stadium. This can be simulcasted – Come on people use your heads.

    1. Teresa Edwards says:

      I agree with you 100% Gene. The first responders and medics and police and even citizens were brave enough to risk and GIVE their lives to save others. Even firefighters who were retired came down in uniform to command the rescue teams, volunteer firefighters, etc. I agree that there are PLENTY of places in NYC where the first responders should be praised, and NOT at a later date. I didn’t see the presidents, the mayor and their cronies out there fighting to save peoples lives. If anything, they should have a ceremony for the POLITICAL dignitaries at a later date, so the first responders could attend WITH the victims families, WITH the people that these responders gave their lives to save, and help, etc. This just isn’t what America looks like- they should be turning this into a political hullabaloo.

  47. Mike Perry, Jr. says:

    They say space is limited and they don’t want to exclude the victim’s families to make room. However, there seems to be no problem inviting politicians that had no part in the event at the time. I realize that you can’t make room for 90K worth of NYPD, FDNY, EMS, personnel, etc. But they gave their lives too…and space should be allotted for some of them to represent their sacrifice and losses as well. Kick a few slimy politicians just looking for their photo op and give their seats to those that served and deserve to be there regardless if they are planning to honor them at a later date and/or location! Hey Bloomberg, Rudy will be there so we got the Mayor slot during 9/11 covered. How about you give up your seat to a hero and set an example!!!

  48. Captain Matt Grizely - EFD says:

    I hope all New Yorkers remember this at election time. The biggest slap in the face for all first responders. Whatever happened to COMMON SENSE. He will look back on this as the worst decision he ever made.

  49. Deanna says:

    Just thinking about it logically. If the first responders hadn’t showed up, there would have been hundreds if not thousands more victims. NYC would have to make a place for their families. Because there were not more victims, why can’t those spots go to the first responders who saved their lives?

  50. malgosia says:

    From Chicago PD to 9/11 First Respondrs
    Thank You for the job Well Done!!

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