The truth and nothing but – 9/11 museum must correct exhibits on Ground Zero air toxins

New York Daily News Editorial

The magnificent 9/11 Museum at the World Trade Center does an exceptional job of poignantly documenting the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on the WTC.

Almost to the last detail, its presentation is pitch-perfect.

Almost. It is essential that the museum accurately record the history of the thousands forgotten heroes poisoned by the plume of toxic air thrown up when the towers fell.

This is a fact: Many of the firefighters, police officers, construction workers and others who worked on the smoldering Pile have died, and many more are sick.

Unfortunately, several explanatory panels in the museum’s permanent exhibit have texts containing bad information.

One says that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Fund established by Congress to pay for medical treatment is “for those with health conditions claimed to be related to the World Trade Center Disaster.”

Wrong. Get rid of “claimed to be.”

Another panel says that government officials “were criticized for allegedly not providing timely and accurate information about air quality in Lower Manhattan.”

Wrong. Get rid of “allegedly.”

Yet another panel states that “subsequent tests showed that omnipresent dust — made of pulverized building material, industrial chemicals and electronics mixed with jet fuel residue — was ‘hazardous.’ ”

Wrong. Get rid of the quote marks around the word hazardous.

Museum President Joe Daniels and Director Alice Greenwald must fix the incorrect language before the 9/11 anniversary next month.

Happily, Daniels says that “if ever there is a way for us to improve our exhibitions, we have done so, and will continue to consult members of the 9/11 community. It is in our DNA to ensure we are completely accurate in preserving this important American history.”

That’s the right attitude. Work with the WTC health experts and get it right. For history’s sake.

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