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Letter: Burial of remains a family affair

Artifacts from the collection of the National September

Artifacts from the collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum are displayed at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site on Vesey Street. Seen here are clothing and equipment from the recovery at Ground Zero, a gift from George Luis Torres which includes work boots, work gloves, overalls, serrated garden trowel, and case with attached hose and hook. (July 16, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

The editorial "9/11 survivors are entitled to privacy" [Aug. 24] perpetuates the fallacy that New York City does not release the addresses of Sept. 11 family members to any individual or group. How then did the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a purportedly private entity, obtain this information, which enabled it to contact each Sept. 11 family and tell us -- not ask us -- what the plans were for the interment of human remains?

Additionally, Newsday misrepresents a crucial, intrinsic point within the lawsuit: that the 17 plaintiffs (or the public) will never see, and do not wish to see, the addresses and contact information of all 9/11 families. This list would only be seen by a court-appointed arbiter.

The lawsuit would compel New York City to allow every Sept. 11 family to have a say in how the human remains of their precious loved ones should be interred. The opportunity for all families to do so has never been provided.

Affording each family such input is not pestering, nor is it a "political cause," as columnist Lane Filler suggests ["Court right to protect addresses of 9/11 families," Viewsday, Aug. 21]. It is what we as Americans and civilized people do for one another.

James McCaffrey, Yonkers

Editor's note: The writer is a relative of a man who died in the 9/11 attacks and a party to a lawsuit that seeks the release of an address list of victims' survivors.