DOCUMENT: Crime

Ground Zero Typo Caught After Two Years

World Trade Center memorial sign placed attacks one year later

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Ground Zero Typo Caught After Two Years

JULY 15--In an embarrassing governmental gaffe, an official tribute sign erected on the fence surrounding Ground Zero actually misstated the date of the terror attacks, a glaring mistake addressed only after a visitor recently complained about the error. The sign, which memorialized victims killed in the Pentagon attack, noted that "September 11, 2002" was a pivotal day for the country and the world (below you'll find a photo showing a segment of the sign). Click here to see an image of the Pentagon memorial in its entirety. The large metal sign, one of several erected on the viewing wall's eastern side, was unveiled in August 2002 in "honor of the heroes" of 9/11 and so that "the world community can reflect upon and remember the events that took place here, and draw strength and inspiration as we rebuild." Officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the World Trade Center site, first learned of the mistake this week when they received an e-mail from Justin Matley, a 21-year-old who noticed the error during a July 10 visit to the viewing wall. Noting that, "essentially the signs are obituaries," Matley said he was upset that the sign's creators--and proofreaders--incorrectly placed the terror attacks in 2002, not 2001. Matley told TSG that he later visited the Port Authority's web site and filled out a feedback form apprising the agency of the mistake. On Monday, he received an e-mail from a Port Authority manager who reported that the "panel is being removed and will be replaced with correction." The official, Nancy Johnson, noted that it was "truly astonishing that you are the first person to have reported this mistake to The Port Authority. We sincerely appreciate your heartfelt note and the time you took to report this mistake." (5 pages)