If you have paid any attention to the news lately, you would have to agree that “escape” would be the theme of the month.
Just about two weeks ago, a disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico which has caused millions of gallons of sweet crude oil to escape into the water. All plans thus far on stopping the flow have been for naught and the Gulf Region, five years after Katrina’s disaster, is facing another disaster, this time in many respects much more dire. A hurricane destroys structures but not an ecosystem. While shrimpers were able to recover from Katrina, shrimpers may not be able to recover from Deepwater Horizon. This story continues to unfold because oil continues to escape. BP, the company in charge, is trying today to drop a giant 100 ton concrete-and-steel box over the leak to cap it though no one knows if this will work because the leak is over 5,000 feat underwater and this has never been tried for a leak this deep. I guess we’ll see if it works (we now know it failed). I’ll be having some good old Creole food this weekend though because a fried oyster po’ boy just might be extinct pretty soon (I did – went to Acme for lunch and had a half shrimp / half oyster po’ boy with Uncle Bob’s red beans as my side).
Just about two days ago, a near disaster in Times Square almost occurred and the cause of said disaster, an American citizen that developed and placed the car bomb, tried to escape and was literally caught in his seat just as he was leaving the country on an Air Emirates “Islamabad via Dubai” flight. Only 53 hours passed by from the time of the attempt to the time the authorities captured Faisal Shahzad and that was almost too much. While many will trumpet how the bomber was an Islamic fundamentalist, most will never mention that the street vendor who alerted the police was not just a Vietnam Vet, he was among other things a Muslim. The fact that this almost happened in such a low tech way, and the speed in which the authorities responded, is both terrifying and gratifying. I’ve often said that while NYC is a tremendous target, the NYPD is a defacto small army and I feel safer here than anywhere else.
If you have paid any attention to the news lately, you would have to agree that “escape” would be the theme of the month.
I’m staring out my window right now, just staring at the blue sky that’s mixed in with white full clouds, clouds that can resemble plumes of smoke if you want them to. No plane is flying right at me as I stare out across Houston St eight floors above the ground. I’m not going to have to run out of this building as it burns, praying that I make it out before it collapses. Just like last year, I notice that no one is really acknowledging the solemness of today in my office. I am listening to co-workers laugh as they eat lunch and conduct business as usual.
|Today is not normal. Today is September 11. Seven years ago I ran frightened up 5th Avenue as a plane roared overhead, thought about diving under a car to protect myself from the immanent crash because I was next to the Empire State Building and the Towers had fallen already but then someone screamed “Its one of ours!” and I saw that it was an F-16 and knew that I was okay for now. “One of ours.” The four American and United planes were ours too, that is before they weren’t.|
A comment to a City Room post about the ceremony at ground zero reads, “To this day, when a plane passes overhead, I look at it with trepidation and feel my blood chill just a little.” and I feel the same exact way. Time marches on but we should never forget. I was working in NYC that day and so was my wife. One day our daughter will ask us what it was like and I will not know where to start. Before I left for work today I asked my wife, “What is our family disaster plan?” Just in case.
While walking my dog, I placed my annual bouquet of flowers – lilies this year – in front of my local firehouse and reviewed the plaque of the nine fighters who lost their lives that day which reads,
“There was a time when the world asked ordinary men to do extraordinary things”
Engine Company 22 and Ladder Company 13 lost 9 men on September 11th, 2001 and I felt like an intruder as I dropped off my flowers. The first moment of silence had passed and a large crowd was out front. I wanted to say “thanks” – thanks for making it your job to risk your life to save a stranger’s because my job is to manage web projects and that job feels so trivial on a day like today – but I didn’t know who to thank. I hope my presence said it all.
I wish this was a joke but it is not: this Pakistan Airlines ad appeared in the March 19th, 1979 issue of Le Point (and surely countless other publications).
As 2spare.com points out, the shadow is in pretty much in the same place as where the planes hit on September 11th, and there’s no way the shadow should be that big unless it’s seconds away from hitting the towers.
Cue the conspiracy theories.
In everlasting remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001:
Today is the sixth anniversary of when two planes flew into the Twin Towers, bringing with them destruction and death on a quiet and sunny almost Fall morning in the Big Apple. This is the first time that the anniversary has happened on the same day of the week [Tues] on which the disaster took place so I’ve had a bit of deja vu, maybe self imposed. While I have keenly been emotional today, I felt like I was the only one who knew what the day was as in my office, everyone that I came in contact with acted like nothing ever happened.
No one was especially somber, though no one discussed anything related to 9/11 so I don’t know who else but me was actually a tad down today. Time does and should move on but when unions do not have parades on Labor Day, its too much for me and this is similar because I went to the office today expecting a lot of things but dying in the office was not one of them.
I was living and working in NYC six years ago today as well and wasn’t expecting to die that day either but some people, people just like me, actually did. I sit in front of a window on the 8th floor that looks out over Houston Street towards Broadway. I look out my window frequently throughout the day but never expect to see a plane flying directly towards me, yet that is exactly what happened for hundreds of people that fateful day. I do no think I will never forget what I felt, saw, heard and smelt, not just that day but in the days and weeks after. Anytime I hear a plane that I feel is too loud, I still look up. Anytime I smell burnt rubber, I think of the stench that emanated north from downtown for weeks on end.
That being said, six years later “ground zero” is still a construction site, just like last year when the NYT wrote:
“Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, ground zero remains a 16-acre, 70-foot-deep hole in the heart of Lower Manhattan. High above it, a scaffolded bank building, contaminated during the attack, hulks like a metal skeleton, waiting endlessly to be razed.”
Since last year, little progress has been made and the bank building mentioned above caught on fire which lead to another 2 firefighters losing their lives – I know, when I heard it too for the first time I said, “Are you fucking kidding me?!”. This is beyond asinine at this point: for the love of all that is holy, rebuild the site!
While others may simply go about their business today, I just laid some flowers down in front of my local firehouse tonight to honor the 9 guys they lost 6 years ago today. While my wife and I were there placing the flowers in a plastic bucket vase already brimming and overfull next to many others just like it, we were next to a father who had two little kids with him, a boy and girl, and the girl looked younger than six, so she wasn’t even alive when this event first happened. Time marches on. Never forget.
The NY Times lets readers post comments to their articles. One man named John Chuckman wrote a very interesting opinion to “The Hole in the City’s Heart” which, while provocative, neatly encapsulates many of my opinions about what has happened over the past 5 years. The only thing his piece leaves out is a thought about our military response in regards to Afghanistan (which I believe was justified and almost effective, until we decided to focus on Iraq). Feel free to read John’s thoughts after the jump.
Hole in the heart of the city? Many in the world would ask, what heart?
America’s response to 9/11 has been dangerously unbalanced, about as crazed as Senator McCarthy’s drunken rants over non-existent lists of communists. Americans badly need to get a grip on reality.
The roughly 3,000 who died is far fewer than any number of earthquakes and other natural disasters since have killed in many other places. Yet we keep hearing about 9/11 as though it were pivotal in human history.
The fact is the average American’s chance of being killed by terrorism remains about on a par with slipping on a banana peel or being struck by lightning.
In the last five years, Americans themselves have murdered about 70,000 other Americans. Also in that five years, over 200,000 Americans were killed on the nation’s highways. Over 2,000,000 American children were seriously abused by Americans, usually family members, in that time. And about 2,000,000 Americans died from cancer.
What is almost never talked about is the fact that 9/11 was completely preventable without an insane, pointless war on terror. Just simple safety measures like secure cockpit doors and better inspections would have prevented it. But, no, despite all the hijackings that had become common in the previous decades, no new provisions for safety were made. The Congress of the U.S. is about as responsible as anyone for 9/11 through its failure to govern responsibly.
Then, after one freak event, all hell broke loose with hundreds of billions squandered. That wasted money could have built countless new schools and funded vital research and science.
America is now effectively trying to wall itself off in a globalized world. That’s absurd for the world’s largest economy.
We have idiotic, meaningless measures like no-fly lists. The truth is it wouldn’t matter if Osama himself flew over the US so long as good security measures were in place to prevent his doing anything inappropriate.
Americans have surrendered their own rights and freedoms to a shocking extent for no good reason to a leader whose capacities are best described as extremely meager.
Americans permit horrors like secret prisons and torture to go on in their name. This is a terrible shame for America that 9/11can never justify.
Even worse, Bush’s invasion of Iraq took 100,000 innocent lives, wreaked the economic lives of millions, left tons of vaporized uranium for children to breathe, vandalized one of humanity’s great archeological treasures, and reduced a once-advancing country to hopelessness. A total shame and the equivalent of having dropped a nuclear weapon on Iraq, it did absolutely nothing for American security.
I think that the NY Times editorial from today is really on point. Please read it in full after the jump.
The feelings of sadness and loss with which we look back on Sept. 11, 2001, have shifted focus over the last five years. The attacks themselves have begun to acquire the aura of inevitability that comes with being part of history. We can argue about what one president or another might have done to head them off, but we cannot really imagine a world in which they never happened, any more than we can imagine what we would be like today if the Japanese had never attacked Pearl Harbor.
What we do revisit, over and over again, is the period that followed, when sorrow was merged with a sense of community and purpose. How, having lost so much on the day itself, did we also manage to lose that as well?
The time when we felt drawn together, changed by the shock of what had occurred, lasted long beyond the funerals, ceremonies and promises never to forget. It was a time when the nation was waiting to find out what it was supposed to do, to be called to the task that would give special lasting meaning to the tragedy that it had endured.
But the call never came. Without ever having asked to be exempt from the demands of this new post-9/11 war, we were cut out. Everything would be paid for with the blood of other people’s children, and with money earned by the next generation. Our role appeared to be confined to waiting in longer lines at the airport. President Bush, searching the other day for an example of post-9/11 sacrifice, pointed out that everybody pays taxes.
That pinched view of our responsibility as citizens got us tax cuts we didn’t need and an invasion that never would have occurred if every voter’s sons and daughters were eligible for the draft. With no call to work together on some effort greater than ourselves, we were free to relapse into a self- centeredness that became a second national tragedy. We have spent the last few years fighting each other with more avidity than we fight the enemy.
When we measure the possibilities created by 9/11 against what we have actually accomplished, it is clear that we have found one way after another to compound the tragedy. Homeland security is half-finished, the development at ground zero barely begun. The war against terror we meant to fight in Afghanistan is at best stuck in neutral, with the Taliban resurgent and the best economic news involving a bumper crop of opium. Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 when it was invaded, is now a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists.
Listing the sins of the Bush administration may help to clarify how we got here, but it will not get us out. The country still hungers for something better, for evidence that our leaders also believe in ideas larger than their own political advancement.
Today, every elected official in the country will stop and remember 9/11. The president will remind the country that he has spent most of his administration fighting terrorism, and his opponents will point out that Osama bin Laden is still at large. It would be miraculous if the best of our leaders did something larger — expressed grief and responsibility for the bad path down which we’ve gone, and promised to work together to turn us in a better direction.
Over the last week, the White House has been vigorously warning the country what awful things would happen in Iraq if American troops left, while his critics have pointed out how impossible the current situation is. They are almost certainly both right. But unless people on both sides are willing to come up with a plan that acknowledges both truths and accepts the risk of making real-world proposals, we will be stuck in the same place forever.
If that kind of coming together happened today, we could look back on Sept. 11, 2006, as more than a day for recalling bad memories and lost chances.
The path to this strategic defeat began with the failure to capture or kill bin Laden. Never mind the anti-Clinton hit piece, produced for ABC by a friend of Rush Limbaugh; there never was a clear shot at Osama before 9/11, let alone one rejected by Clinton officials. But there was a clear shot in December 2001, when Al Qaeda’s leader was trapped in the caves of Tora Bora. He made his escape because the Pentagon refused to use American ground troops to cut him off.
No matter, declared President Bush: “I truly am not that concerned about him,” he said about bin Laden in March 2002, and more or less stopped mentioning Osama for the next four years. By the time he made his what-me-worry remarks — just six months after 9/11 — the pursuit of Al Qaeda had already been relegated to second-class status. A long report in yesterday’s Washington Post adds detail to what has long been an open secret: early in 2002, the administration began pulling key resources, such as special forces units and unmanned aircraft, off the hunt for Al Qaeda’s leaders, in preparation for the invasion of Iraq.
At the same time, the administration balked at giving the new regime in Kabul the support it needed. As he often does, Mr. Bush said the right things: the history of conflict in Afghanistan, he declared in April 2002, has been “one of initial success, followed by long years of floundering and ultimate failure. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.”
But he proceeded to do just that, neglecting Afghanistan in ways that foreshadowed the future calamity in Iraq. During the first 18 months after the Taliban were driven from power, the U.S.-led coalition provided no peacekeeping troops outside the capital city. Economic aid, in a destitute nation shattered by war, was minimal in the crucial first year, when the new government was trying to build legitimacy. And the result was the floundering and failure we see today.
How did it all go so wrong? The diversion of resources into a gratuitous war in Iraq is certainly a large part of the story. Although administration officials continue to insist that the invasion of Iraq somehow made sense as part of a broadly defined war on terror, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has just released a report confirming that Saddam Hussein regarded Al Qaeda as a threat, not an ally; he even made attempts to capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
But Iraq doesn’t explain it all. Even though the Bush administration was secretly planning another war in early 2002, it could still have spared some troops to provide security and allocated more money to help the Karzai government. As in the case of planning for postwar Iraq, however, Bush officials apparently refused even to consider the possibility that things wouldn’t go exactly the way they hoped.
These days most agonizing about the state of America’s foreign policy is focused, understandably, on the new enemies we’ve made in Iraq. But let’s not forget that the perpetrators of 9/11 are still at large, five years later, and that they have re-established a large safe haven.
“There was a time when the world asked ordinary men
to do extraordinary things”
The photo above is of Engine Company 22, Ladder Company 13 10th Battalion at 9:17 AM today. The words are from a plaque that is found under the photos of nine men who gave their lives trying to save ordinary people like you and me that fateful day. May G-d rest their souls.
While 343 FDNY firefighters, a truly staggering amount, lost their lives 5 years ago today, others have lost their lives in lesser known fires before and after. The circumstances are in the end the same – selfless men and women run straight into danger to get you and me out of it.
One way to help and show you care is by making a donation to the Uniformed Firefighters Association College Fund which provides the families of active and deceased firefighters the opportunity to go on to higher education.
For many people who live in NYC, there is a clear line between those that were here on 9/11/01 and those that were not. In prepping for the 5 year anniversay next Monday, the Times has an article today about this very topic.
“I’m amazed because it was such a big event, and people never mention it,” said Deenah Vollmer, 20, who moved to the city last year. “When you do mention it, everyone has these crazy intense stories.”
I myself have a crazy intense story and unless you were here on that day, and by here I mean in NYC close enough to smell the odor of burnt everything in the air, to see the fighter jets circling Manhattan like slot car racers and to hear the deafening wail of sirens then you have a much different understanding and experience of that day than I do. Unfortunately, I got to experience it live with all five senses.
I do not know if I’ve touched on my personal experiences from that day on my blog yet. I’m not sure I want to frankly but in my hopes that “100 years from now a researcher, in his attempts to learn more about the late 20th and early 21st centuries, will discover these words on a server somewhere” I feel that I should. Stay tuned.
Old New Yorkers, Newer Ones, and a Line Etched by a Day of Disaster by Micahel Brick
Five years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center. Downtown smelled like Coke cans and hair on fire. It was televised live.
In New York City, 2,749 people were killed. About eight million remained. Since that day, the numbers have changed.
The population grew by more than 134,000 from 2000 to 2005, the city’s latest Planning Department calculations show. In that time, 645,416 babies were born and 304,773 people died. A half-million more people came from other countries than departed for them, and 800,000 more people left for the 50 states than came wide-eyed from them.
The meaning in the math is that today a great many New Yorkers lack firsthand knowledge of the city’s critical modern moment.
Five years on, New York is a city of newcomers and survivors. And between them runs a line. The line makes for no conflict, no discernible tension; it works a quieter breach.
Borne of the routine comings and goings of urban life, of births and deaths, the line divides views of a singular moment. Across the line, consummately familiar events can appear contorted.
On one side, the newcomer side, a man seeks accounts of that day; on the other side a man withholds his account. On the newcomer side, a woman visits the absent towers to feel some connection; on the other side a woman feels connected, and then some.
On the side of those who lived in New York, you can share a sense of trauma both layered and ill-defined.
“It’s like someone who has been in a war zone,” said William Stockbridge, 50, a finance executive who was working downtown during the attack. “It’s different.”
On the other side, you can feel like the new boyfriend at your girlfriend’s family reunion the year somebody died — somebody young, somebody you never met.
“You feel like you’re on the outside,” said Matthew Molnar, 26, a waiter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who lived in Middlesex County, N.J., in 2001. “You feel like you missed out on a little bit of history.”
Newcomers and survivors: those terms ring harsh and blunt only because the line is so often unspoken. It runs soundless and invisible down Broadway from Harlem over the Williamsburg Bridge out to Coney Island and to Fresh Kills, up past the airports across the Grand Concourse into Yankee Stadium, through the bleachers where you can’t drink beer anymore and up out of the park into the nighttime sky.
The line flashes into view on the city streets for moments at a time. When jet fighters buzz the skyscrapers for Fleet Week, some of the people below — the ones who were here on Sept. 11 — flinch. More frequently, though, the line operates beneath the surface of conversations, of interactions, of transactions, of life. The line controls small things, controls the way people react to the phrase “and then Sept. 11 happened,” as though a date on the calendar could “happen.”
The line’s contours emerge in conversations. Ask about the attack, and people will describe a sense of ownership.
“You either experienced it firsthand,” said Amanda Spielman, 30, a graphic designer from Jackson Heights, Queens, who was in the city, “or you didn’t.”
Others describe that sense differently, but draw the line in the same place.
“I think for the people that seen it on TV, it is more painful than for the people who saw it here,” said Paolo Gonzalez, 29, who manages a parking lot under the Brooklyn Bridge and who saw the attack. “For the other people it was real. If you was here, when the buildings came down the only thing you were thinking was, ‘Run.’ ”
Across the line, the new arrivals recognize that sense of ownership.
“I’ve been told that I just don’t get it and that I could never understand what it was like to be there in New York on Sept. 11,” said Laura Bassett, 27, who moved to the city from North Carolina after 2001. “I hate that five years later, people still debate which bystander is allowed to be more upset, the New Yorker or the American.”
The line emerges perhaps most powerfully around the fallen towers, 2.06 acres of concrete known as ground zero. Because of the line, the site is a paradox, an emotional contradiction, a mass grave and a tourist attraction.
Some people feel so strongly about the place they cannot agree on an arrangement for listing the names of the dead; others feel so strongly about the place that they make sure to visit between Radio City Music Hall and the Statue of Liberty. Between those emotional poles is a middle ground, and the line runs through its center.
“People who moved to New York, everyone wanted to go down and see it,” said Dede Minor, 51, a real estate broker who was in her office in Midtown on the day of the attack. “For New Yorkers, it was too real.”
Jose Martias, 57, a construction worker who was drinking coffee near the East River when the attack began, said he knew why the newcomers visit the site.
“They don’t understand it so they go down there to see the hole,” Mr. Martias said. “It’s an attraction to them, like going to the circus.”
But across the line there is genuine emotional curiosity, a feeling that people in less cynical times used to call empathy.
“I’d didn’t think I’d be that affected,” said Leah Hamilton, 24, a logistics consultant who moved to Manhattan from Washington State last year. “But when I went to ground zero, it was the first time I’ve felt an emotional reaction like that to something I wasn’t a part of. You feel the energy and you could feel the sadness.”
The line can reach into the future, forging perceptions of New York and its destiny. Some new arrivals speak of the attack as a reason to come to the city.
“We felt like there was a lot of energy here,” said Meg Glasser, 26, a student who moved to the East Village from Boston this year. “We wanted to be a part of it in some way.”
But across the line, that sense of energy is tempered by standards for comparison.
“I know people who have been here a year or two, and they find New York fantastic,” said Father Bernard, 67, a Roman Catholic monk who was born in Brooklyn and who goes by only that name. “They’re right, but they didn’t know the New York before.”
The line reaches into the past as well, dividing memories. Each generation tells the next where they were when the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, when the Kennedys and Martin Luther King were killed or when a space shuttle exploded, but a major act of destruction in a major American city creates more firsthand accounts.
Psychological studies suggest those accounts have played a role in drawing the line. After the attack, a group of academic researchers interviewed 1,500 people, including 550 in New York City, to gauge memories of detail, said Elizabeth Phelps, a professor of psychology and neural science at New York University. Proximity to Lower Manhattan during the attack, Dr. Phelps said, “increases your confidence in your memories, and your accuracy as well.”
In a separate study, the researchers measured activity in parts of the brain connected to memory. With verbal cues, subjects were asked to conjure visions of the terror attack and of personal events from the summer of 2001. Only half registered a difference in neural activity.
“Those who did show a difference were, on average, in Washington Square Park,” Dr. Phelps said. “Those who didn’t were, on average, in Midtown.”
Among those who have come to the city since 2001, the line dividing memories is undisputed.
“I had been there as a tourist to the World Trade Center, so I have memories,” said Marielle Solan, 22, a photographer who moved to the city from Delaware this year. “But obviously I can’t have any sense of what it was like. Every Sept, 11, you get a sense of fear and depression, but in terms of actual visceral reactions, I don’t really have that.”
The new arrivals have found a conspicuous void of shared memory.
“I’m amazed because it was such a big event, and people never mention it,” said Deenah Vollmer, 20, who moved to the city last year. “When you do mention it, everyone has these crazy intense stories.”
Across the line, many of those who lived in the city hold their memories close.
“The people I already knew know my stories from that day, so there’s no need to repeat them,” said Ms. Spielman, the graphic designer. “The new people I’ve met don’t ask me. It’s not something I bring up.”
But each year the calendar brings it up. Alexandria Lambert, 28, who works as an administrative assistant, sees the line run through the center of her office. Each year, a co-worker who witnessed the attack asks for the day off, and each year a boss who did not declines the request.
“His point of view is, ‘Don’t let it get you down,’ ” Ms. Lambert said, “but she just doesn’t want to be here.”
I for one am deeply saddened by the London bombings, especially since I not only used to live in London and am familiar with the areas affected but because I used to take the Edgeware Road stop very frequently (it was right by one building I took classes in). The tube is scarier than the NYC transit system – it is in many places hundreds of feet underground (much farther than NYC) and the tracks and stations themselves are very narrow. If there is a problem, there aren’t many options so I can only guess what the fear must have been like for those trapped below.
In the aftermath, a new form of online news outlet seems to have emerged as well – photo sharing sites such as Flickr, which encourage users to share photos and comments in a communal setting. I suggest you go, look at the pics, read the stories and read the comments. It definitely makes you appreciate how fragile life really is…
As a NYC resident, and as someone who values his apartment for, among other reasons, its close proximity to the subway, I am definitely unnerved. If something were to happen to the 4-5-6, I can only imagine what it would do to my property value, my commute but most importantly my way of life. To me, the subway is one of the greatest things in the world and it’s the heart of my urban experience. If something were to happen to it, my internal compass would be totally thrown off. I thought I was hardened to this kind of stuff by now but I’m not – the panic that shot through me at 9:00 AM yesterday — when first my house phone rang (which I didn’t answer), then my cell phone rang (not a good sign) which I answered to hear Jessie say, “The underground has been bombed” to which I replied “Where?! NY or London?!” — is not something I like to feel.
As a brother, I am saddened that my parents may not let my sister study abroad in London now. She has been looking forward to this experience ever since I was there in 98, hoping to follow in my footsteps in a way and now who knows if she will go, if she’ll be allowed to go or if she even wants to go. She should go. I didn’t move out of Manhattan after 9/11. In fact, I did the opposite – I moved downtown in February, 2002. Jessie and I moved into our first apartment together 2 blocks north of Ground Zero and were part of the rebirth of downtown NYC.
The worst part about this attack is that the sound of sirens again to me is troubling. After 9-11, whenever I heard a siren, I thought “what disaster has just happened?” but that faded over time till it was a normal sound again – “Oh, that siren must be for a robbery, not a disaster; that ambulance probably is rushing a heart attack to the hospital, not a victim of a bombing, etc.” I’ve heard sirens a few times today and always waited to hear more. While I hate this feeling, I will not be cowed, I only hope it fades again, sooner rather than later.
The Media has been buzzing today about a couple things, like a pineapple grenade going off in midtown, and the Freedom Tower is one of them. It seems that Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the lead developer at ground zero said yesterday that the soaring office building known as the Freedom Tower would be significantly redesigned to satisfy security concerns.
In an email I received yesterday, my friend Ben put it best:
“I’m glad to know that when it comes to massive undertaking public construction, Boston is not the only major city fully of a bunch of colossal idiots.
Listening the news the other day I had to shake my head that construction on the Freedom Towers will be delayed because the building needs to 100 feet from the street, due to security concerns resulting from…9/11/01. Four years of planning and these geniuses accepted plans that don’t meet the basic specs for security that were put in place as a result of the destruction of the buildings … they… are… rebuilding. Cue the circus theme.”
Thanks Ben – that is the best op-ed I’ve read on the subject yet…