Families of 9/11 victims surprised by cancellation of N.J. memorial

Sept. 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM
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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Families who lost loved ones in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center say no one told them a memorial event Sunday in Jersey City, N.J., was canceled.

Dozens of families showed up for the event at the Empty Sky 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park. It took repeated calls to the organizing non-profit group, the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation, to find out the event had been called off.

Organizers said they canceled the event after facing a series of challenges and had no way to notify families, The Jersey Journal in Jersey City reported Monday.

Michael Raymundo of Bayonne, whose wife's two cousins died when jetliners were rammed into New York's Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, said he had left numerous telephone messages at the foundation before someone called back to tell him, "there was Sandy damage and lack of support from the government."

An unnamed foundation official posted on the group's Facebook page that "it is very difficult for us to get in touch with the family members when the state is not directly involved."

A foundation official reached by telephone who wasn't authorized to speak for the group said the event was canceled, in part, because Gov. Chris Christie wasn't going to attend and musicians scheduled to perform had dropped out.

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