'August 17, 2005 -- The Uniformed Firefighters Association's decision yesterday to withdraw support for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, citing two controversial museums proposed there, may have ended the threat of institutionalized activism at Ground Zero.
Good for the UFA.
The union's "membership and our 9/11 families believe that the memorial design will take away from the memory and sacrifice of the firefighters who bravely gave their lives during the most horrific terrorist attacks our country has had to face," UFA President Steve Cassidy said.'
'Plus, folks all over have joined the movement; 40,000 have signed its petition. (Indeed, grassroots America is taking note: Today, the tiny town of Anthony, Kan., will join in a "Take Back the Memorial" rally. Way to go, Anthony!)
At home, three local congressmen have threatened to work to bar federal funding for the memorial. Philanthropists, too, are balking — as Whitehead relentlessly reminds everyone.
So it's hardly just Burlingame and family members. And now add the UFA, representing 22,000 firefighters and wielding exquisite moral authority, as a foe.
Ironically, the Times, for all its personal vitriol toward Burlingame, essentially admitted she's right: that a chief concern is that the center will be "a place where people engage in free speech."
Now, three cheers for "free speech."
But there's a place for unfettered, raucous, rollicking, disrespectful-for-effect political debate — and that place, purely and simply, is not at the Ground Zero memorial.
To be sure, the Times got one thing right yesterday: It decried Pataki's lack of strong leadership regarding the two museums. He should have pulled the plug on them weeks ago.
So here's hoping the UFA's announcement will give him the cover he apparently feels he needs to do the right thing.
Which is to exorcise the IFC and the Drawing Center from Ground Zero, once and for all.'
You can help, sign the "Take Back the Memorial" petition. If you can, plan on attending the "Take Back the Memorial" rally on 10 September 2005 in New York City, at the corners of Church and Liberty Streets, from 9:30am to 10:30am, rain or shine. If you cannot attend, send an e-mail to email@example.com. Stand up and be counted!
Just a note to the NY Times, your continued trashing of Debra Burlingame, is just another indication of how you believe that free speech is only the right of the left. - Sailor