Members of a 9/11 survivors group likely will not be allowed to attend the 10th anniversary ceremony at Ground Zero due to space limitations, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told FoxNews.com.
Members of the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network have been attending the annual ceremonies since they were first invited on the third anniversary, said Richard Zimbler, acting president of the group.
But the group, which has 1,400 members, will have to find another way to commemorate the occasion because the city’s annual ceremony is foremost for the families of victims in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said.
“In years past, members of this survivors group were permitted to attend once it was clear that attendance numbers of victims’ family members would allow it,” Brent said in an email to FoxNews.com.
“The commemoration ceremony is for victims’ family members, and this year – on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – the expectation is there will be no opportunity for members of the group to attend.”
Zimbler notified members Tuesday in an email, in which he vowed they would still attend.
"We do intend to be there one way or another however, though without knowing at this point where the public area will be it's too early to give any details," he wrote.
In an interview with FoxNews.com, Zimbler said some members told him that it feels like a slap in the face. But Zimbler said he's more disappointed that members of the group have never been asked to participate in the name-reading portion of the ceremony.
"Considering that the names of the victims are friends, neighbors and co-workers, we've always felt that after family members, no one is more suitable for reading the names than survivors," he said.
The ceremony will be held at the new 9/11 memorial, which will open Sept. 11. The plaza can hold 1,500 people Brent said.
“Sept. 11 will again be an emotional day for victims’ family members, survivors, responders, millions of New Yorkers and people from all over the country and the world, but obvious space constraints on the Memorial Plaza will limit the attendee to victims’ families,” Brent said.
Zimber said his group will gladly stand with the public at the ceremony.
"Survivors feel a responsibility to be a witness for friends, colleagues and neighbors who lost their lives," he said. "If we can't be at the formal ceremony, we'll be in the public area. That's what this is all about -- our responsibility to honor the dead. It's not about survivor and our desire for recognition."