It was a powerful meeting - hundreds showed up at the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing to discuss plans to demolish a 150-year-old building - to clear the way for the development of a 13-story Islamic mosque at Ground Zero where thousands of Americans were murdered by Islamic terrorists.
We represent Tim Brown, a firefighter and first responder who survived the Twin Towers' collapse, who lost nearly 100 friends in the attack. We have dedicated a legal team to this important case. And at the meeting yesterday, Sam Nunberg of our New York office reminded the commissioners that they have landmarked some 22,000 buildings in the city - including 6 percent of which have been landmarked solely on the basis of historical significance - including where Bill Ayer's terrorist group, Weather Underground, was building bombs when one detonated.
If the commission felt it appropriate to landmark that building, the location under debate now surely deserves landmark status due to the fact that a wheel from 9-11 ringleader Mohammed Attas hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 - imbedded in the building itself.
At the hearing, Sam put the issue clearly into perspective:
"The Landmark of 45-47 Park Place is important not only to maintain the character of the neighborhood and also to preserve the unique architectural design that would otherwise be lost, but even more importantly because of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. It is important to grant the landmark status in order to freeze construction of buildings that do not belong at the location near Ground Zero and would irreparably change the look of the neighborhood. Not only has the building stood there for over 150 years, but it has also felt the impact of the 9/11 attack unlike any other building in the area."
"It would be a travesty to permit this building to be removed. It would be like removing the sunken ships from Pearl Harbor in order to erect a memorial for the Japanese Kamikazes killed in the surprise attack of US Troops."
We are continuing to monitor the situation in New York and continue to work to ensure that the current site is landmarked which would make it nearly impossible to construct an Islamic mosque on that site.
Ground Zero is not the place for an Islamic mosque. Many Americans - and certainly most New Yorkers - understand that.
While the Commission agreed to postpone a vote on whether the building in question would be declared a landmark and has agreed to keep the evidentiary record open until next week, there's growing concern that the Commission still may move forward on violating procedure by not permitting the Lower Manhattan Community Board to vote on the matter first, as required by law.
We are preparing court action - and plan to seek an injunction, if necessary - to prevent a rushed, procedural violation that not only sidesteps the rules, but a move that would certainly disrespect the memory of the 9-11 victims.
Of course, we could not do this without your support. Thanks to the thousands who already have signed on to our Committee to Stop the Ground Zero Mosque. If you haven't done so already, please add your name now.
We will keep you posted as developments unfold.
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