Bloomberg bans politicians from 9/11 memorial

The anniversary of 9/11 last week was met with the usual remembrance and mourning, but this year it lacked one commonality: politicians.         

According to The Huffington Post, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, decided to bar politicians from speaking at the anniversary ceremony. While they were still invited to attend the event, DePaul University political science professor Scott Hibbard added that “no politician would be given the podium.”        

By allowing only the victims’ names to be publicly delivered, the memorial hoped people would focus less on a political backdrop and more on honoring the memory of those lost.         

“9/11 has been politicized for partisan gain,” said Hibbard. “Part of the ban is to try to remove that dimension of politicization from the event.”         

Hibbard noted that the ban was particularly interesting since the United States is currently in an election season. In 2004, for example, the Republicans received a lot of criticism for hosting the Republican National Convention in New York City two weeks before the anniversary.          

“It was a backdrop to George Bush’s reelection campaign,” said Hibbard.          

Hibbard argued that the former president and other politicians used 9/11 to justify the War in Iraq, intensifying its political stigma. Some even equated an anti-war attitude with a lack of patriotism.          

New York City and the 9/11 memorial has been caught in the midst of local political conflict as well. According to a Sept. 10 article in The Washington Post, progress on the site was hindered due to conflict between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the foundation over costs each party believes they are owed.          

Additionally, a projected $60 million annual cost for the memorial has made some people uncomfortable, despite others claiming it is a suitable amount for such an important project.