I was entirely unaware of mostly all of this. But it’s fascinating.
From last week’s New York Times.
For nearly a decade, a large white tent has stood on Manhattan’s East Side, out of urban context and hard against the sooty Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. A gauzy drapery divides the tent space: on one side, a quiet makeshift chapel; on the other, three walk-in storage units containing nearly 14,000 human remains from the World Trade Center catastrophe, air-dried and vacuum-sealed.
Several rounds of DNA-based tests have failed to identify about 9,000 of the remains. The rest have been identified but not claimed, for all sorts of reasons; for example, some families have already buried parts of their loved ones, and cannot bear to do it again, and again.
Of the 2,753 victims who died in New York, 1,121 have yet to have their remains identified.
And also, this:
In the beginning, visitors came daily to the chapel, making appointments to sit in reflection, write notes in a ledger or leave a memento or two. Now, says Benjamin J. Figura, the medical examiner’s director of identification, “we average one or two people a month.”
Oh and then turns out there’s a douchebag element to this:
And in the fall of 2009, a trespassing, drunken lawyer with Ivy League credentials set a fire in the chapel that damaged the roof and destroyed photographs, floral arrangements and toy animals stuffed with meaning.