MANHASSET, N.Y., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuesday's Children, the family services organization serving the needs of those directly affected by the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, announced today that it strongly opposes holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 terror suspects in New York City.
While an increasing number of government officials have come out against holding the terrorist trials in New York City due to security concerns, cost and the potential for negative economic impact on downtown businesses, what has not entered the debate is how holding these trials in lower Manhattan will affect 9/11 children and children living in lower Manhattan.
We fully recognize that adult members of the 9/11 community are split on whether or not this trial should be held in New York City: Some want to witness justice firsthand and others find it too emotionally painful to even consider the prospect of a trial in lower Manhattan. However, lost in the debate is what we believe to be the single most important consideration, namely, "How will holding the trials in lower Manhattan impact the children of 9/11?"
"As an organization that has provided family services and developed personal relationships with hundreds of 9/11 children, we know that eight and a half years after the attacks, they continue to struggle with their unfathomable loss," said David Weild, Chairman of Tuesday's Children. "We strongly believe that holding the terrorist trials nearby (or in other cities with 9/11 families) is not in the best interest of 9/11 children or children that still live in lower Manhattan. We urge the Government to put these children first and move the trials out of New York."
Dr. Thomas Demaria, Director of C.W. Post Psychological Services and 9/11 Family Center said, "Locating the trials near the location where their loved ones were murdered will undoubtedly generate painful memories and feelings. For the past eight and a half years, the 9/11 families have worked hard to restore what was tragically taken from their children including their sense of safety and security. The intense security presence and public attention that the trials will generate will serve as negative reminders of a time when New York City was in a state of siege and a time when fear and uncertainty dominated their lives."
"We are pleased that the U.S. Justice Department is said to be reconsidering the location of the terrorist trials," said Terry Grace Sears, Executive Director of Tuesday's Children. "But we will not be satisfied until a location is selected away from the site where so many children lost their mothers and fathers on that day. We also urge the government to pay special consideration to 9/11 children living in Washington, D.C., Boston, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles by avoiding these locales."
About Tuesday's Children
Tuesday's Children is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long-term commitment to every individual who was directly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001, providing a wide range of programming including mentoring, education and career guidance, leadership training and life management programs, all designed to address the unmet needs of 9/11 family members, including the Responders, at each and every stage of life and recovery.
SOURCE Tuesday's Children