One might think the New York City mayor who led the Big Apple through the worst terrorist attack in history would be warmly received at this year's 9/11 memorial service.
Not so, say several outspoken 9/11 family groups, who view presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's appearance as a way for him to capitalize politically on the day of mourning.
"There should be no political shadow over this day," said Diane Horning, who helped found the family group WTC Families for Proper Burial after losing her son Matthew when the twin towers collapsed.
Giuliani's estrangement from the family groups isn't anything new. Some of the most outspoken families have already shown opposition to Giuliani's tendency to bring up 9/11 in speaking engagements for his presidential run by protesting outside his appearances. And one of the nation's largest firefighters unions created a video titled Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend giving details on how they believe Giuliani failed the city of New York before, during, and after the terrorist attacks.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who invited his predecessor to the event, stood by the decision Tuesday at the National Press Club.
"I think it's appropriate to have Pataki and Giuliani there," Bloomberg told reporters. "After all, they were there at the time and they've done it every year." Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said this will be the seventh memorial of its kind (the first was held six months after 9/11) and Giuliani has been invited to attend every one even though he was no longer mayor.