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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 7, 2011

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed on September 11, 2001 when two airliners were purposely flown into them

CONTACTS:
Jack Dewan Jr., firefighter and petition creator (774) 200-5191, jack.dewanjr3156@yahoo.com
Darci Jenkins, graduate student and co-creator, (603) 321-5271, jenkinsdarci@gmail.com
Sarah Marie Ryan, Human Rights Organizer, Change.org, (914) 275-5549, sryan@change.org

***PRESS RELEASE***

FIRST RESPONDERS DEMAND INVITATIONS TO 9/11 MEMORIAL CEREMONY

Explosive campaign on Change.org calls on Mayor Bloomberg to invite first responders to September 11th memorial ceremony at Ground Zero; the memorial would be the first time since 9/11 that first responders were not invited.

New York, NY – More than 1,500 people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to invite first responders to the tenth anniversary memorial ceremony of September 11th.

Jack Dewan Jr., a Boston firefighter and nephew of the late Gerard “Gerry” Dewan, FDNY Ladder #3, who gave his life on September 11, 2011, launched the campaign on Change.org following Bloomberg’s August 15th announcement that for the first time since the September 11 tragedy 9/11 first responders would not be invited to the memorial ceremony to be held at Ground Zero. A Bloomberg spokesman stated that due to space constraints the commemoration ceremony would be for victims’ families, while a separate ceremony would be held for first responders at later time and different location.

“On the tenth anniversary of September 11th, the first responders who were there that day and survived are not welcome to grieve the loss of their friends and coworkers,” said Dewan, the firefighter who launched the campaign on Change.org.

Dewan and his family are invited to the ceremony were invited to the ceremony due to the loss of a family member, but the firefighter has refused to attend a ceremony where the other firefighters in his uncle’s ladder are not invited.

“I will be at the firehouse, where the firefighters continue to do the right thing and carry on the legacy of their friends and coworkers with pride and dignity.”

News of the online petition campaign’s success is likely to increase pressure on Mayor Bloomberg’s office. The petition has already gathered over 1,500 signers on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.

“To not give them a seat at the ceremony is absolutely a slap in the face to everyone of those men and women that did what they had to do that day,” wrote Change.org member Samantha Flores in the petition comments. “And its a slap in the face to all of them that died or were injured saving other peoples lives”.

“It’s no surprise this campaign would attract so much attention,” said Change.org Human Rights Organizer Sarah Marie Ryan. “One can see from the comments on the petition that this issue is not just close to the hearts of first responders but to those of Americans across the country affected by the events on September 11th. Mr. Dewan’s petition on Change.org seems to have given many an outlet to show their solidarity with the 9/11 first responders.”

Live signature totals from the campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/allow-first-responders-to-attend-the-10th-anniversary-ceremony-of-911

Fox News coverage of the campaign:
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/08/15/first-responders-snubbed-not-invited-to-911-ceremony/

CNN coverage of the campaign:
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-16/us/new.york.911.memorial_1_john-feal-responders-ground-zero?_s=PM:US

Journalists interested in contacting Mayor Bloomberg’s office should try:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office
Phone: 311
Fax: (212) 312-0700
Email: www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

Stu Loeser, Press Secretary

(212) 788-3000

Fax: (212) 788-2460

Marc La Vorgna, Press Secretary

(212) 788-2958

Fax: (212) 788-2460

Journalists interested in contacting the 9/11 Memorial Committee:

Lynn Rasic, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications
(212) 312-8800
press@911memorial.org

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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Sarah Marie Ryan
Organizer, Change.org