Pols Avoid Ground Zero as Cost Debate Rages
Obama, Romney put negative ads on hold
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2012 7:59 AM CDT
In this Sept. 11, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama delivers his remarks during 10th anniversary ceremonies at the Sept. 11 memorial in New York.   (AP Photo/Allan Tannenbaum, Pool, File)

(Newser) – For the first time, no elected officials will speak at Ground Zero on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the AP reports. While many hailed the change as a separation of 9/11 from any sort of political agenda—"The fact that the politicians will not be involved, to me, makes it more intimate, for the families," says one man whose wife was killed at the World Trade Center—some saw the move as retaliation from 9/11 memorial organizers who were upset with the New York and New Jersey governors over a cost debate that halted construction on the $700 million 9/11 museum. But a deal was reached last night, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing that the project will resume, though there are still questions over the project's $60-million-per-year operating costs. Construction starts up again next week, the New York Post reports. More on the 11th anniversary of 9/11:

  • In honor of the anniversary, President Obama and Mitt Romney will halt their negative ads for the day and neither will appear at explicitly political events, the AP reports.
  • Obama will attend a memorial service at the Pentagon and hold a moment of silence at the White House, while Romney will speak to the National Guard, which deployed members after 9/11. Vice President Joe Biden will speak at the Shanksville, Pa., memorial, while Paul Ryan has no public events scheduled and plans to pay tribute at home.
Also last night, the government added 50 types of cancer to the list of ailments the Twin Towers health program will cover for 9/11 responders.