Pentagon 9/11 Victims Remains Hauled to Va. Landfill

By Carter, Sara A. | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, February 29, 2012 | Go to article overview

Pentagon 9/11 Victims Remains Hauled to Va. Landfill


Carter, Sara A., Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


The remains of some of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and of others who died in the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa., were disposed of in a Virginia landfill, Defense Department officials said Tuesday.

An investigation by retired Army Gen. John Abizaid found that the mortuary at the Dover Air Force Base had acted inappropriately when it allowed several portions of remains from those killed on 9/11 to be taken to the landfill. Last year, the Air Force admitted that partial, unidentified remains of at least 274 troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq were disposed of in landfills by the Dover mortuary.

Abizaid declined to estimate how many victims of the 9/11 attacks in Washington and Pennsylvania had their remains disposed of in a landfill. The remains were too badly incinerated or too small for DNA testing, officials said.

The revelation has disturbed family members of victims, and shocked members of the military, who said it was disrespectful to mistreat the remains of people who died in the service of their country.

Retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Meehan, whose daughter Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow was killed at the age of 26 in the World Trade Center, said he understands the pain both service members and 9/11 victims families are registering.

Its difficult for the families who didnt receive the remains of their loved ones to wonder what happened to them, said Meehan, who believes that unidentified remains of his daughter and other victims of the World Trade Center ended up in a New York City landfill when they could not be identified. Its an unforgivable sin to know that their remains are in an unholy, unconsecrated landfill with garbage, even a decade later. …

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