De Blasio blames staff after he skips 9/11 memorial unveiling, choosing morning workout instead

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Screen capture … Dedication ceremony of the 9/11 Memorial Glade … Credit: CBS New York

New York City Mayor and hopeless 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio skipped a memorial dedication event on Thursday for 9/11 victims of toxic exposure to Ground Zero. Afterward, the Democrat’s staff put out a statement saying that no one told the mayor about the event as his team didn’t believe the half-hour event could be worked into his hectic schedule.

The New York Post reported de Blasio was spotted at his usual coffee shop that morning and that his security people were seen at his health club until 10 a.m. The brief ceremony for the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial Glade started at 10:30 that morning.

During the ceremony, the mayor was said to be at Gracie Mansion attending an “internal meeting.”

“The Mayor’s team believed they could not make the event work with his schedule and declined without conferring with him,” de Blasio spokesman Freddi Goldstein’ statement read. “Had [he] known about the invitation, he would have attended.”

New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo also skipped the event. He was scheduled to be a speaker at the dedication but canceled shortly beforehand, opting to instead send counsel to the governor, Alphonso David. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul also was absent. A spokeswoman said the governor never planned to attend the dedication, but insisted he supported The Glade.

“I regret that I couldn’t attend,” Cuomo said when he was asked about it at a Manhattan  event. “You know, we supported that memorial, I think we gave them $500,000, is that right?”

The Post described the memorial …

The Glade is located at Liberty and West streets. It will include a path lined with six stone monoliths pointing toward the sky that “are worn, but not beaten, symbolizing strength and determination through adversity,” according to the museum.

The Canadian granite slabs, weighing as much as 17.5 tons, will incorporate steel fragments from the World Trade Center.

The plan was done by Michael Arad and Peter Walker who designed the 9/11 memorial, and it comes with a about $5 million price tag.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among those attending the unveiling, as were other politicians, celebrities, and first responders and their families.

“In the years since 9/11, thousands of people have become ill or died from causes related to the attacks,” said Bloomberg. “That group includes many people who participated in rescue or recovery. It also includes people with homes and workplaces in the surrounding area who would not allow terrorists to force them to abandon their communities.”

Many in attendance were critical of the fact that the mayor and governor were not at the ceremony.

Video by CBS New York

“They should have been here and it’s unacceptable that they’re not. said Maureen Fritz, who was there to her brother, firefighter William Gormley, who died in 2016 of 9/11-related illness. “They ought to be ashamed of themselves. They should not be reelected at all because that’s not how you treat your citizens, your first responders.”

Retired FDNY Officer Rob Serra, who responded to Ground Zero on his first day of work, said, “I think they should have been there, but one’s running a campaign and I don’t know where the other one is. Serra, is now in a wheelchair from related illnesses including peripheral neuropathy that causes numbness in his limbs, according to the Post article.

Michelle Holfester, whose husband Det. William Holfester died in 2008 at 43 from cancer related to Ground Zero, agreed. “They should have been here, that’s the bottom line,” she said. “We’re here, where are they? They’ve seen through the years what’s been going on … the suffering with the men and women that lost their lives post 9/11 … It’s not a good picture. It doesn’t look good you know.”




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