NEW YORK (AP) - The Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony at ground zero will be stripped of politicians this year. But can it ever be stripped of politics?
For the first time, elected officials won't speak Tuesday at an occasion that has allowed them a solemn spotlight. The change was made in the name of sidelining politics, but some have rapped it as a political move itself.
Questions have long swirled about how or whether to try to separate personal loss from the 9/11 that reverberates through public life.
Debra Burlingame's brother was the pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon. She notes that 9/11 is the one day a year reserved for memorializing the dead.
She says "that it's even controversial that politicians wouldn't be speaking is really rather remarkable."
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