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NJ 9/11 Widow Disappointed By Canceled Ceremony

Event Canceled Without Notice Because Of Technical Issues, Sandy Damage
"Empty Sky" memorial in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ. (file/credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

“Empty Sky” memorial in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ. (file/credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Empty Sky Memorial in Liberty State Park was canceled over the weekend without any notice, upsetting some victims’ family members.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported Monday, family members of New Jerseyans lost on 9/11 were among the hundreds invited to Sunday’s ceremony.

“No one ever showed up in any kind of official capacity,” 9/11 widow Cheryl Desmarais told Silverman. “We never heard anything official until you just told me right now.”

New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation chairman Rick Cahill said the event had to be canceled because the damage to the park from Hurricane Sandy didn’t get fixed in time.

Cahill said there also wasn’t enough interest in the ceremony this year.

“I went to my website and it was crashed and I had no way of getting any information out to anybody on a timely basis,” Cahill told Silverman.

Desmarais said she knew the 10th anniversary ceremony would be the biggest, but said she thought the annual remembrance would continue going strong for years to come.

“It’s disappointing for everything that comes up as 9/11, we’ll never forget. It’s starting to feel that it wasn’t very long after the 10th anniversary that people are forgetting,” said Desmarais. “But it’s surprising that just two years later, it dwindled to the point where they had to cancel the event.”

Cahill offered his apologies to the few dozen family members who showed up to the canceled event.

“It’s definitely not a question of forgetting. Believe me, family members just plain can’t forget,” Cahill said. “We plan on having an event next year.”

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