NEW YORK -- Politicians will be excluded from speaking at this year's Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony at ground zero, following a year in which families have expressed concern that political struggles are hindering progress on a 9/11 museum at the World Trade Center site.

The foundation that controls the 9/11 memorial told family members that this year the reading of victims' names by relatives will be "the exclusive focus of the program," according to a letter sent to families Wednesday and shared with The Associated Press.

It was the first indication that the reading of the names would continue to be part of the ceremony as the 11th anniversary approaches. Some family members had protested after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the foundation's chair, had said he wasn't sure if the names should be read individually now that they are on display at the memorial at ground zero.

Construction of the museum planned to accompany the memorial has slowed amid financial and political disagreements between the powerful forces that control the space. The foundation is responsible for the memorial and museum, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – jointly controlled by the governors of both states – owns the site.

Disagreements over the site have intensified in recent weeks, with some family members accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of betraying the dead, and others accusing Bloomberg and the foundation of blocking progress and allowing costs to spiral out of control. Many family members have expressed concern that the site is sliding back into political dysfunction.

Joe Daniels, president of the memorial foundation, said in a statement Wednesday: "The National September 11 Memorial is focused on honoring the victims and their families in a way free of politics, and this ensures that continues."

This year, as in other years, the observance will be broken by six moments of silence, marking the moments in which each World Trade Center tower was hit and fell, and the times of the attacks on the Pentagon and on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pa.

Until now, Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki – the mayor of New York City and governor of New York at the time of the attacks – have always been called upon to speak at the ceremony, along with Bloomberg and the current governors of New York and New Jersey. President Barack Obama read a psalm at last year's 10th anniversary ceremony, and other past speakers have included then-President George W. Bush, several U.S. senators and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Bloomberg has said he wants to keep the site out of "the political process," while Cuomo's office has said the museum shouldn't be politicized, and a Christie spokesman has said no one wants to politicize the site.

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Associated Press writer Amy Westfeldt contributed to this report.

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  • A woman cries while looking at the names inscribed at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • A woman cries while looking at the names inscribed at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • Family members gather at the edge of the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • A flag hangs from 1 World Trade Center, left, as friends and family of the victims of 9/11 attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • Former U.S. President George W. Bush and family and the U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the North memorial pool during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Carolyn Cole, Pool / Getty Images)

  • Family members of the victims enter the 9/11 Memorial Plaza for the first time during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

  • People gather to watch the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 in New York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)

  • Bagpipers walk towards the stage past the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Family members pay respects in front of one of the two waterfall pools during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Family members of the victims of the attacks at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001, enter the Sept. 11 memorial plaza during the 10th anniversary ceremonies at the site, Sunday Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Chip Somodevilla, Pool)

  • A woman reacts after the name of a family member is read during a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, Pool)

  • Family members visit the south reflecting pool of the Sept. 11 memorial during 10th anniversary at the site, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Todd Heisler, Pool)

  • The World Trade Center flag is presented during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center site in New York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • Paulette Nelson, from Savannah, Ga., watches a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)

  • New York City Commemorates 10th Anniversary Of 9-11 Terror Attacks

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Paul Simon performs at the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Allan Tannenbaum-Pool/Getty Images)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Road blocks in downtown Manhattan with police inspections have been formed in light of a possible terror plot to attack the National September 11th Memorial at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Chere Rosadesharon sells posters to passersby at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Ray Coyle holds a wooden flower with an eagle imprinted on it that he sells to people at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Firefighters pose for a photo at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Ground Zero place mementos at the FDNY Memorial Wall. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Ground Zero write on a poster at the Ground Zero site. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

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    Denise Rooney and son Tomas Rooney check out the FDNY Memorial Wall to find what they believe is a distant relative from England that was killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Tim Bolles and daughters Anna and Averyl check out a sign with the names of the victims of the terrorist attacks on the United State. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Seon Youhg from South Korea places a note card sentiment for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States on a board in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

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    Tom Steel and Pam Crabb both from England pose for photographs in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

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    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Roberta Daveri and Laura Todescato both from Italy check out the notes people had written and attached to a board setup in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A large amount of police cruisers and officers arrive at the National September 11th Memorial in prepartion for the opening of the Memorial on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A large amount of police cruisers and officers arrive at the National September 11th Memorial in prepartion for the opening of the Memorial on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    An overview of the National September 11th Memorial site can be seen on September 10, 2011. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • The annual “Tribute in Light” memorial e

    The annual “Tribute in Light” memorial echoing the twin towers of the World Trade Center illuminates the night sky during the 10th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the lower Manhattan site of the World Trade Center September 11, 2011, in this view from Bayonne, New Jersey. Also seen are the Statue of Liberty (C) and 1 World Trade Center (L). AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A beam of light shines at ground zero on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the Manhattan Borough of New York on Saturday, September 10, 2011. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)