Politicians banned from this year's Sept. 11 ceremony


Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during the 10th anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2011.


Justin Lane

No politicians will be allowed to speak at this year's Sept. 11 ceremony at ground zero following concerns from victims' families over politicial struggles surrounding the site's 9/11 museum.

In a letter to families Wednesday obtained by The Associated Press, the foundation that controls the museum said this year's ceremony will center around the reading of victims' names by relatives.

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“The National September 11 Memorial is focused on honoring the victims and their families in a way free of politics, and this ensures that continues," wrote Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Musuem.

In the past, current and former politicians have recited poems or historical readings at the ceremony.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had discussed the possibility of scaling back the event even further, raising the possibility of not reading the victims’ names aloud. But many family members balked at that prospect, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Construction of the 9/11 museum has slowed in recent weeks amid political squabbling and financial disagreements between the foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- which owns the site.

Some family members have accused the governors of New York and New Jersey of betraying the dead, while others have directed their anger at Bloomberg and foundation staff, accusing them of blocking progress and allowing costs to skyrocket, according to the AP.

The ceremony will still include six pauses to mark the moment each tower was struck and fell, and the moments of the attacks on the Pentagon and Flight 93.