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June 20, 2005
NEW POLL BY FAMILIES OF SEPTEMBER 11 REFLECTS SUPPORT FOR CURRENT PLANS FOR WTC MEMORIAL AND UNDERGROUND MEMORIAL CENTER, SPLIT OVER CULTURAL FACILITIES AND FREEDOM CENTER
NEW YORK (June 20, 2005) -- Families of September 11, Inc., (FOS11), the largest of the families' membership-driven organizations with an international membership representing over 1400 of the 9/11 family members, has announced the results of a poll that it conducted to assess the opinions of family members as to the current plans for the memorial, the memorial center, and cultural buildings on the site. This poll is in response to confusion that has surfaced in recent weeks concerning what has been planned in order to memorialize the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001.
The results of the poll indicate that two-thirds of respondents (67%) support the current design for the World Trade Center Memorial, "Reflecting Absence." Nearly as many (64%) also support the plans for a Memorial Museum Center to be located underground in order to access bedrock, the slurry wall, and other important site features. One notable result was that despite recent debate and criticism on the appropriateness of cultural facilities at the memorial site, families were evenly split in their support of the proposed location with 47% of respondents in favor and 45% opposed. However, on the issue of the appropriateness of the location of the International Freedom Center on the site, while more than four-fifths of respondents (83%) agreed that "freedom was under attack on September 11," 41% of the respondents said they are satisfied with its proposed location while 50% of the family members say they are opposed to it.
The telephone poll of 9/11 families was commissioned by the Families of September 11, Inc., (FOS11), a nonprofit organization founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The purpose of the survey, conducted by a third-party polling firm, was to gauge how families feel about the current status of the memorial and cultural center plans. The respondents included members of FOS11 and those designating themselves as members of other organizations as well, including the Coalition of 9/11 Families, September's Mission, the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, the September 11th Families Association, and Voices of September among others. In total, 105 family members were randomly sampled. The poll's margin of error is 9.8%.
Tom Rogér, Vice President of Families of September 11 and a member of the WTC Memorial Foundation Board of Directors, noted that "FOS11 commissioned this survey to make sure we would be able to accurately assess the feelings of a scientific sampling of families, including those whose voices might not be heard by the media. We remain steadfast in our support of the memorial and memorial center as the most important elements of the process in accordance with the wishes of victims' families and others. FOS11 continues to support the collaborative process that has been carried out by the LMDC to try and incorporate the input of the families and the other important groups that were impacted during the events and aftermath of September 11. In all matters, FOS11 will remain vigilant in its oversight of the process to insist upon design and programmatic guidelines for all of the building elements that will be respectful of the families' concerns for the significance of the memorial."
SCOPE OF SURVEY: The telephone survey randomly sampled 105 family members from across the country with a majority of the respondents located in the tristate area. Respondents were asked about (a) their satisfaction with the design for the World Trade Center Memorial, (b) their feelings regarding the underground location of the September 11th museum, (c) their opinion regarding whether the Memorial should serve as the single largest component of the WTC site plan (82% were in favor), (d) their support for the idea of locating cultural institutions on the WTC site, (e) their opinion as to whether freedom was under attack on September 11, and (f) their view of the appropriateness of locating the International Freedom Center on the memorial site.
Families of September 11, www.familiesofseptember11.org, is a nonprofit organization founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Membership is open to those affected by the events of September 11, including family members of victims, survivors, rescue workers/responders, and others who support our mission. The group has two goals: to raise awareness about the effects of terrorism and public trauma and to champion domestic and international policies that prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist acts.