Letter from Charles Hirsch & Joe Daniels re underground repository

In a letter to family members in October 2011, Joe Daniels, President & CEO National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and Charles Hirsch, NYC Chief Medical Examiner, included the following details regarding the internment space.

The plans for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site have included a repository for the remains on the sacred ground of the site since the memorial competition process began. The repository’s location between the two footprints of the Twin Towers, underground at bedrock level, was designed in 2006. The repository will be within the structure of the Museum, however this facility will be accessed, operated, and maintained solely by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York (“OCME”), which has committed to continuing to attempt to make DNA identifications of 9/11 victims, as well as safeguarding remains that are in its custody. The OCME facility will include an adjacent laboratory for the OCME and a private seating and viewing area for family members only (this private area is in addition to the Family Room, which will be located in the Museum Pavilion). In order to access this area, family members will descend to bedrock level within the Museum, but the interior of the repository, including the viewing area and laboratory, will not be visible or accessible to the public.

The OCME space will be behind a wall that will carry a simple quotation by Virgil: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” The two spaces together will occupy approximately 2,500 square feet of space, and have been designed by the OCME to provide the highest levels of care and the safest environment for the remains.

Please visit the 9/11 Memorial web site for further information on the planning and design.

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