Sept. 11 Families Request Permit to Keep Annual Commemoration Ceremony at Ground Zero

Families of Sept. 11 attack victims, angered by city plans to move an annual commemoration ceremony away from ground zero, filed a permit request Wednesday asking to hold the event at the World Trade Center site.

The coalition filed the request with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

"This is the place we have. A precedent has been set in letting us touch ground zero," said Diane Horning, a representative of one of the family groups.

The city has said that ground zero, now undergoing reconstruction, is not safe for the large annual gathering, and it plans to move the recitation of names to a nearby plaza.

Relatives of the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks will have some access to the site — just not to the pit and not for a ceremony, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"It's just not safe," Bloomberg said. "Listen, we've had enough tragedy on that site. Our first priority, No. 1, is to make sure that everybody's safe, and nothing's going to get us off that."