- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 10, 2016

Police reportedly asked a group of men to leave the National September 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan on Friday after they posed for pictures with a blow-up doll at ground zero two days before the 15th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in modern history.

Photographs surfaced online Friday showing the group of men and their plastic companion speaking to a member of the New York Police Department at the site of the former World Trade Center towers.

One of the men said they were from London and were having a bachelor party, the Daily Mail reported. He declined to comment further, and police eventually asked the group to leave. One person who knew the men told the Mail that three of them worked at a New York bank.

Michael Frazier, the executive vice president of communications and marketing at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, condemned the men’s behavior after being shown pictures of their stunt by the Daily Mail and said he had “never seen anything like this or expect to see anything like this — not even remotely close.”

“This image is exceptionally disturbing and what is just as disturbing — if not more — is that these people find it appropriate to blatantly disrespect this place made sacred by the murder of 3,000 innocent people,” Mr. Frazier said.

“At any time, this would be enraging and offensive. We are days away from commemorating the 15th anniversary of 9/11 — this is disgusting,” he added. “There’s no reason for a human being with any sense to do that on a sacred site.”

Also on Friday, President Obama signed a declaration designating Sept. 11, 2016, as Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

“I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” Mr. Obama wrote.

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