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9/11 remains returned to World Trade Center site amid some protests

NEW YORK--The unidentified remains of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack returned to the World Trade Center site in a solemn procession on a foggy Saturday morning.

The remains left the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Manhattan's East Side shortly before 7 a.m. in three city vehicles. They were accompanied by police and fire department vehicles with lights flashing but no sirens.

Construction workers paused as the motorcade passed, and about 10 firefighters stood in the cool breeze saluting the vehicles as they arrived. The remains will be transferred to a repository 70 feet (21 meters) underground in the same building as the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Like many decisions involving the site of the worst terrorist attack in the U.S., the disposition of the unidentified remains has been contentious.

A group of victims' family members who say the remains should be stored in an above-ground monument separate from the museum protested the procession. About a dozen wore black bands over their mouths at the site Saturday.

“It's horrible. I am so angry. I am so angry. I am outraged,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was killed at the trade center.

“The human remains of my son and all of the 3,000 victims should be in a beautiful and respectful memorial, not in the basement of a museum,” she said.

Rosemary Cain, who also lost her firefighter son at the trade center, was also upset about the transfer.

“I don't know how much of him is down here; if it's one little inch, I want it treated respectfully,” she said. “I want it above ground. I don't want it to be part of a museum. I don't want it to be part of a freak show.”

Other family members support the plans, which have been in the works for years. Lisa Vukaj, who lost her 26-year-old brother, said the new home for the remains is “a fitting place until technology advances” and new techniques are available to identify their loved ones.

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Relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks stage a protest, as unidentified remains of some of the victims in the attacks are escorted to a repository at Ground Zero in New York on Saturday, May 10.

(AFP)

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