NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man who did recovery work at ground zero has been pushing for months for a celebration in the Canyon of Heroes honoring 9/11 first responders.
TJ Gilmartin, 51, tells 1010 WINS the city informed him this week that it would not grant a permit for a ticker-tape parade.
Gilmartin said he filed all the correct paperwork and received approval from the community board but he believes the decision came down to the cost of the event.
“I did everything they asked of me, and I assume, but I can’t say for sure, that it’s all about the money,” Gilmartin said.
He believes the first responders deserve a parade for the sacrifices they made on and after Sept. 11, 2001.
“When everybody 10 years ago were running out of Manhattan, including probably most of the politicians, we went in and nobody has ever said thank you,” Gilmartin said.
All hope is not lost, Gilmartin has been told he can refile the paperwork with the NYPD.
“I don’t know what kind of game is being played, I’m sure police want the parade,” Gilmartin said. “It’s called the ‘Canyon of Heroes;’ they’ve called us all heroes, so why can’t we walk down that ‘Canyon’ just like the Giants are going to do.”
A Facebook group supporting a parade for 9/11 first responders has over 950 members. Many expressed outrage over the city’s decision and vowed to put the pressure on City Hall.
The city’s last ticker-tape parade was held in 2009 to honor the World Series champion Yankees. If the New York Giants win the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots on Feb. 5, a parade may be held for the team through the Canyon of Heroes.
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