President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush will participate in the 10th anniversary ceremony of the Sept. 11 attacks this year, marking the first time a president has done so.
Mayor Bloomberg said Friday on his radio show that Obama and Bush would be given pre-selected readings, and that none of the dignitaries would be making speeches.
"This cannot be political," he said.
When Bush was president, he visited the site on anniversaries, but did not participate in the morning ceremony where the names are solemnly read aloud. Obama has also visited at other times, but never for the name-reading ceremony.
Also for the first time, the names of all the people killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pa., will be read aloud. In previous years, just the names of the trade center victims were read.
The ceremony will also include several current and former governors, along with Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The memorial being built for the victims is set to open on the anniversary, for families and dignitaries only. It opens to the public the following day.