New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today requested that the U.S. National Parks Service provide financial support and technical assistance to the September 11th Memorial and Museum that would ensure long term stability by helping resolve the current and future financial issues, while also preserving the solemn site for all Americans to commemorate the tragic events of 9/11.
"Ground Zero is coming back to life with soaring office towers racing in to the sky. However, the memorial and museum plays a different role. It is a place for people from all around the world to visit and remember. Like so many other historic sites where tragedy struck, the National Parks Service would bring the resources and experience to ensure long term stability for the memorial and museum, while preserving the site's rightful place in our national history. The September 11th Memorial and Museum is a site where one of our greatest national tragedies occurred and it should be protected and managed as such in order to preserve its place in our nation's history. We request financial support and technical assistance from the National Parks Service to help the site remain a special and solemn location for all Americans to reflect on the tragic events of 9/11," Governors Cuomo and Christie said in a joint statement.
The financial support and assistance requested today would need to be initiated by the National Parks Service and then approved by Congress. Legislation, sponsored by Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Charles E. Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand has been introduced in Congress to approve such support.
The letter from both governors is below:
Dear Secretary Salazar:
On September 11, 2011, the United States came under attack in an act of terror that we will never forget.
Almost 3000 people lost their lives. The National September 11th Memorial and Museum on the grounds of the World Trade Center is a moving and forceful remembrance of that tragic day, amid a symbol of rebirth and hope as towers again begin to soar at the site.
As you know, the establishment of the Memorial and Museum has been spearheaded by a private foundation, of which the Governors of New York and New Jersey both serve as honorary trustees. The progress of the Memorial and Museum to date would not have been possible without the dedication of 9/11 families, public officials, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the support of thousands of people from around the country and the world who have contributed to the effort.
The Memorial and Museum commemorate an event of national and international significance.
As such, we believe it is important for the National Parks Service to play a greater role in assisting the Museum and Memorial with financial and management support. The Park Service's expertise and support has been evident in the Flight 93 National Memorial, and of course its stewardship of sites such as the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and Gettysburg National Military Park. There is precedent for federal support with continued private management in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
As Governors of the states with jurisdiction over the World Trade Center site, we believe that federal support through the National Park Service would ensure long term stability of the Memorial and Museum, ensure the best possible visitor experience by taking advantage of the Park Service's expertise.
We appreciate your consideration.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Chris Christie