The remains left the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Manhattan’s East Side shortly before 7 a.m. in three city vehicles. They were accompanied by police and fire department vehicles with lights flashing but no sirens.
Construction workers paused as the motorcade passed, and about 10 firefighters stood in the cool breeze saluting the vehicles as they arrived. The remains will be transferred to a repository 70 feet underground in the same building as the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Like many decisions involving the site of the nation’s worst terrorist attack, the disposition of the unidentified remains has been contentious.
A group of victims’ family members who say the remains should be stored in an above-ground monument separate from the museum protested the procession. About a dozen wore black bands over their mouths at the site Saturday.
“It’s horrible. I am so angry. I am so angry. I am outraged,” said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was killed at the trade center.
“The human remains of my son and all of the 3,000 victims should be in a beautiful and respectful memorial, not in the basement of a museum,” she said.
Rosemary Cain, who also lost her firefighter son at the trade center, was also upset about the transfer.
“I don’t know how much of him is down here; if it’s one little inch, I want it treated respectfully,” she said. “I want it above ground. I don’t want it to be part of a museum. I don’t want it to be part of a freak show.”
Other family members support the plans, which have been in the works for years.