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Fearing attack, family won't attend Ground Zero ceremony

From left, Dan Polatsch, Linda Bodian and Bud

From left, Dan Polatsch, Linda Bodian and Bud Polatsch hold a photo of family member Lawrence Polatsch, who died on 9/11 working as an equities trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. (April 12, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / Mario Gonzalez

She lost a son on 9/11, and had been among those selected to help read aloud the names of victims during Sunday's solemn Ground Zero ceremony.

But on Saturday, at an already overwhelming time, Linda Bodian of Melville made an agonizing decision: She decided not to attend because of the threat of another terrorist attack.

"I struggled. I wanted to go," said Bodian, 70. "It would have been beautiful to go for the 10th anniversary and say his name and tell him I think of him every hour and every day."

Her son, Laurence Michael Polatsch, was a partner in equities sales at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the north tower.

Up until Saturday afternoon, Bodian had planned to attend the ceremony with both her husband and her former husband, Laurence's father. Joining them would be her other son, Daniel Polatsch.

But as the terror warnings continued, Bodian changed her plans. She worried that Polatsch's two young sons might lose their father.

A spokeswoman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed Bodian's decision.

"As happens every year, a couple of people have let us know they can no longer attend and they will be replaced by alternate readers," said Deputy Press Secretary Samantha Levine.

Daniel Polatsch, 40, said he visited Ground Zero only once, after two weeks of treating 9/11 victims as chief resident of Bellevue Hospital Center.

"I haven't been back since. I would love to go back and see the memorial," he said.

He understood his mother's decision, however.

Instead, he said, they will mark the anniversary in their own way, watching the ceremony on TV and sharing a quiet dinner.

On Monday, the family will gather in Scarsdale for a charity golf tournament for the Laurence Polatsch Memorial Fund, a foundation the family set up. The organization has focused on children's organizations. This year, proceeds will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Then, on Oct. 9, on what would have been Laurence's 43rd birthday, they will go to the Ground Zero memorial.

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