NEW YORK - A group of families of World Trade Center victims seeks help from the National Park Service in developing the Ground Zero memorial.
Proponents said the park service's expertise would help planners design the most suitable tribute and create the most compelling visitor programs.
The park service - which runs the Vietnam Veterans and Gettysburg memorials - "can provide the resources and funding that would optimize" the World Trade Center memorial, said Louise Lo Presti, who is advising the Coalition of 9/11 Family Groups.
In a meeting Tuesday, coalition members asked New York Gov. George E. Pataki to arrange park service help and to make the memorial an affiliate site of the agency, similar to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site.
A proposal that would push the federal role in the Ground Zero memorial a step further - making it part of the National Park System - is part of legislation being crafted by Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, both New York Democrats.
Supporters of the nationally designated status for the World Trade Center memorial said it would follow the precedent of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and other tribute sites.
"There's a certain amount of protection and expertise that goes with it," said National Park Service spokesman Gerry Gaumer.