9/11 Memorial in NJ Inscribed With Names of Politicians, Not Victims

The marker was removed after complaints.

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    The mayor of a New Jersey town apologizes for a 9/11 memorial that contained the names of politicians, not victims, and promises to replace it. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011)

    A piece of inscribed granite that was part of a 9/11 memorial in front of a New Jersey municipal building was removed Wednesday, just days after its dedication, because it contained the names of politicians, not victims.

    "It made my blood boil," said retired Washington Township police officer Dennis Ryan, 55, who complained about the marker publicly after attending Sunday's 10th anniversary ceremony.

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    The marker sat next to a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, and while it acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the attack, the only names listed were the mayor and the town's committee members and administrator.

    Mayor Samir Elbassiouny, whose name was on the stone, said it was just a small part of the main memorial.

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    "If I offended anyone, I apologize," said Elbassiouny.

    No one from the Warren County town died in the attack.

    The mayor promised the granite marker will be put back next to the piece of steel with an overlay to cover the politicians' names. The message will honor those who died and note that the people of the township will never forget.

    Elbassiouny said he considered the marker similar to a proclamation.

    "If I write a proclamation honoring someone, I sign my name to it," he said.

    But Ryan, who has played in a police bagpipe band at several events in Washington, D.C., said he never saw anything like this at memorials there.

    "If Washington, D.C. doesn't do it, I can't see why Washington Township, New Jersey has to," Ryan said.

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