Five men believed to be planners of the September 11 attacks were arraigned on Saturday, and thanks to a recent announcement from the Department of Defense (DoD), first responders were able to watch the proceedings. Previously, only members of the media and the families of victims were allowed to view the trial, according to American Forces Press Service.
The change in policy allowed between 400 and 600 firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel in New York City to watch the court proceedings on a closed-circuit television. Officials felt the switch was necessary given the extraordinary work the first responders did that day.
"In recognition of the very unique situation that occurred in New York City with the first responders, we wanted to [make a site available] for police, fire, paramedics and other emergency workers who lost friends and co-workers," Wendy Kelly, chief of operations for the Office of Military Commissions, told the news source.
The five men on trial are accused of training, advising and financing the 19 hijackers on 9/11. The arraignment at Guantanamo Bay did not go exactly as planned, The Miami Herald reports, with none of the accused entering a plea.