NEW YORK: In a move that could fuel the larger debate over how to compensate the families of terrorism victims, relatives of the six people killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing have stepped up efforts to be included in both memorials and monetary relief funds.Saks Fifth Avenue director of publicity Michael Macko, whose father William died in the attack, is coordinating the campaign.
He attributed the timing of his drive to two factors. "The tax bill that was signed on January 23
- which grants concessions to families of terrorism victims - "included Oklahoma City, but not us,
he said. "Then there's the temporary memorial they want to erect in time for the six-month anniversary of September 11; there was no indication that we'd be included.
"Until now, it hasn't been appropriate for us to say anything,
"But I knew if I didn't do something, we'd be forgotten forever."
Macko held a press conference outside city hall on February 24. New York-area newspapers, network morning shows, and national cable news have all covered the story.
Macko has since been appointed to the family advisory council of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which is handling planning of a WTC monument. Securing whatever funds may be available, meanwhile, will fall to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who responded to Macko's request for political assistance.
"There's a broader issue here being raised, and that is how we are going to compensate the victims of terrorism generally,
said Stephen Push, a spokesperson for Families of September 11. "We can keep doing these one-off, or we can come up with a scheme that compensates all victims.
Unfortunately, there will probably be another attack in the future. And there's nothing in place that will be able to help those families."