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1,100 WTC Victims to Never Be Buried

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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  • "WTC Families For A Proper Burial" v. NYC was thrown out of court today. The grim, grim, grim lawsuit concerned the non-remains of "approximately 1,100" victims of the World Trade Center attacks who were "utterly consumed into incorporeality." The plaintiffs (they have a website if you're interested) sued the city to "reclaim the finely-sifted residue of the World Trade Center debris at the City's Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island" and to create a cemetery in some "more suitable" location. (No one likes Staten Island.) The City offered a memorial. The plaintiffs said their Constitutional rights to bury their family members were being violated. Off to court! The 22-page complaint is the grimmest thing you will ever read. Did we say "grim" enough yet? It is. (And, for the interested, the Constitutional complaint was that the City was infringing upon people's right to a religiously appropriate burial. That argument did not work out.) At the risk of outraged hate mail, may I suggest that our culture's obsession with the placement and proper treatment of no-longer-used bodies is, at best, a little weird? (No? I may not?) Even the Judge ends up saying that perhaps this body-reclamation lawsuit, years in the making, might be a misuse of energy and time. Also: he sounds really bummed out by the whole thing. Go figure. GRIM.

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