Frustration Builds Around 911 Memorial - NECN

Frustration Builds Around 911 Memorial



    Visitors touched, but victims' families disappointed as they continue to await museum (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    (NECN/WNBC: Andrew Siff, New York) - The National September 11th Memorial in lower Manhattan is an emotional magnet.  

    While most visitors seem touched by the memorial, behind the reflecting pools there is also simmering disappointment.

    "Without a museum, it's a travesty," Edie Lutnick said.  
    Lutnick wears a broken heart necklace for her brother.  

    "Broken but never severed. That belongs to my brother Gary," Lutnick said.  

    He was among the 658 employees at Cantor Fitzgerald killed in the 9/11 attacks.  

    "Without a museum, this memorial doesn't teach you anything. It doesn't tell them anything about what happened on that day. It doesn't tell them anything about the people who were murdered there," Lutnick said.  

    Eleven years later, the bond trading firm that lost more employees than anyone is again thriving, now in midtown.   

    The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, led by Edie Lutnick, has helped raise millions of dollars for 9/11 families. 

    She also wrote "An Unbroken Bond" about the politics behind delays at Ground Zero.  

    "To me, that's a missed opportunity, because that's 4.5 million people who saw what appears to be a random listing of names around two waterfalls," Lutnick said.  

    What's behind the delay? Well, there's plenty of blame to go around. The city says the Port Authority, controlled by Governors Christie and Cuomo, suddenly stopped construction nine months ago. 

    The Port says it's the city-controlled memorial that owes tens of millions of dollars.  

    "The museum was supposed to open this year. And we understand that it has to happen," said Joe Daniels, 9/11 Memorial and Museum President.  

    Daniels says that if construction resumed soon, the museum could open in a year.  

    "We want it done as soon as possible," Daniels said.  

    Until then, visitors peek behind the glass at steel beams and other artifacts that will one day be exhibits.

    "I think it would be a more rewarding experience to see details. That would be a more fulfilling visit," Manhattan Resident Lindsay Paulin said.  

    An echo of what 9/11 relatives say: Without a museum, like the skyscrapers around them, the  experience is incomplete.