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'No day shall erase you': 9/11 remains to be moved to spot within museum

By Sho Wills, CNN
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
Artifacts from ground zero get a preview at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Among them is a cross made out of steel from the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. The museum opens its doors Thursday, May 15, to the 9/11 community -- survivors, rescuers and families -- almost 13 years after terrorists hijacked and crashed four airliners into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. The museum will open to the public May 21. Artifacts from ground zero get a preview at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Among them is a cross made out of steel from the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. The museum opens its doors Thursday, May 15, to the 9/11 community -- survivors, rescuers and families -- almost 13 years after terrorists hijacked and crashed four airliners into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. The museum will open to the public May 21.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The remains will be moved this year to a new resting place with 9/11 Memorial Museum
  • They will be kept behind a wall in an area off-limits to the public, officials tell CNN
  • The decision to house remains in the museum repository has been controversial

(CNN) -- New York City plans to move the remains of unidentified victims in the 2001 terror attack to a new resting place within the 9/11 Memorial Museum, officials tell CNN.

The roughly 8,000 remains, which are in the custody of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, will be moved to the museum this year, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

"We are making plans, but we are going to notify the families before we make any further announcement," she said.

The remains will be kept behind a wall in an area off-limits to the public, according to 9/11 museum spokesman Michael Frazier.

The museum's website says the wall, which visitors will be able to view, is to be inscribed with the following from the Roman poet Virgil: "No day shall erase you from the memory of time."

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Only medical examiners and families of victims will be given access to the repository, according to the spokesperson for both the museum and the medical examiner's office.

The decision to house remains in the museum repository has been controversial.

In 2011, 17 families of 9/11 victims filed a petition in court to force the museum to consult with the victims' families before deciding what to do with the remains. They eventually asked for a congressional hearing. Both efforts were unsuccessful.

On its website, the museum said the decision to move the remains to the repository at the museum was because of overwhelming feedback received from families after the attacks.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is scheduled to open this spring as part of the part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site.

DNA identifications of the unidentified remains will continue in the new repository, according to the museum.

In New York, 2,753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York, Washington and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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CNN's Adrienne Zulueta contributed to this report.

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