Michael Bloomberg's office has decided that first responders won't be part of this 9-11 memorial ceremony at Ground Zero.
In a statement, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said the commemoration ceremony is for the victims' families.
"While we are again focused on accommodating victims' family members, given the space constraints, we're working to find ways to recognize and honor first responders, and other groups, at different places and times," Brent said.
But they could find space for some politicians to come. In years past, no formal invitations have been extended to first responders--they could simply show up. Hopefully somebody will have the decency to stay home so there can be space for the true heroes of that day.
Needless to say, the first responders feel betrayed.
But first responder John Feal, founder of an advocacy group for the police officers, firefighters, civilian volunteers and others who worked at ground zero, assailed Brent's response, saying Bloomberg "lives in his own world."
"The best of the best that this country offered 10 years ago are being neglected and denied their rightful place," Feal said.
Denise Villamia, a first responder who worked at ground zero for several months, cried over the phone as she recalled her "totally heartbroken" reaction to the news that she could not attend the memorial service.
"I'm crying because it's really a big betrayal on the part of the city, to rob me from my way to pay homage and to find that comfort and healing," she said. "I feel that I have been robbed of my way to pay tribute."
The New York Daily News first reported this in its Saturday edition. Apparently they'll be honored at a later date--which would be like celebrating New Year's Day on January 2.