Tragedy at Ground Zero

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NEW YORK – Nine years on from the largest mass murder on American soil, New York’s cityscape remains painfully incomplete. For all the grand plans and lavishly designed (and redesigned) memorials, for all the talk about the urgency of paying tribute to the nearly 3,000 victims of Islamic terrorism, Ground Zero is a graveyard of promises unmet and due honor delayed.

What was supposed to become a monument to American resilience – the country’s unique capacity to transcend tragedy and rebuild bigger and stronger – has instead become a symbol of stasis. Plagued by a combination of bureaucratic bungling and political mismanagement, the rebuilding process has stalled time and again, breeding cynicism where it was intended to foster hope. New Yorkers today reflect the anxieties of a watching nation as they wonder when – and if – the site of the former World Trade Center will cease to be a festering wound in the city and become once again its bustling commercial heart.

The Ground Zero debacle has many architects, including two prominent names. Some blame the initially impractical and ultimately unrealizable master plans for the site put forward by German architect Daniel Libeskind. The architect has the dubious distinction of submitting the winning design for a 1,776 foot, symbolically tall Freedom Tower, only to see it ultimately scrapped and revised by architect David Childs. Childs’s improvement, an all-glass tower, did not prove much of one. It was rejected out of security concerns and replaced by yet another design. That the eventual building will be the tallest in the country is intended to mollify some of the criticism of the Freedom Tower’s stumbling conception, but given that the tower is not expected to be complete before 2013 – already four years behind schedule – skeptics can be forgiven for wondering if it will ever truly happen.

Local politicians, likewise, have not covered themselves in glory. Former New York Governor George Pataki in particular is identified with the glacial pace of the rebuilding process. Although Pataki created the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to oversee the reconstruction, his early lack of leadership when the Ground Zero site become a canvass for a host of disparate plans, up to and including the city opera house, is one of the reasons why it became bogged down. The recent outcry over the construction of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero has become a national story, but as John Podhoretz points out, it never would have become a headline issue had the site been rebuilt according to schedule.

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  • Elaine

    But I watch an interview with the man that bought the Twin Towers 6 weeks before 9/11.
    They are working on it. But they are making a lot of changes. The walls are going to be stronger with some new technology & more reinforcement rods. The steps are going to be, I think he said, 2 feet wider. It is going to be beautiful once they are finished. There is even going to be a place where they will bury all the body parts that were found even out as far as the Hudson buried. I agree it took them to long to get started but they have been working for longer then we think or thought. What is concerning a lot of people seem to be the day of 9/11 when all the family, friends, firefighters, police will be there & a demonstration against the Mosque is going to be going on. The family requested to hold the Demonstration the next day so as not to interfere with the families gathering but I do not think they will.

    • http://www.myspace/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

      good news

  • yrd4soundingoff

    Thank you so much Jacob for this writing. I didn't know what was happening with the site.
    I just couldn't believe that all of this hubub about the mosque went on with NO ONE talking about the gigantic hole that is the World Trade Center. I just can't believe that almost a decade has passed and we have not done anything to rebuild this site. How horrible it is to imagine that a mosque will be built and dedicated by the 10th anniversary of this tragedy and there is nothing at the site. The shameful mayor claims it Could any of us have imagined we would be in this situation 8 or 9 years ago? The shameful mayor's comment," it's not unreasonable for something as complex politically” as the rebuilding of Ground Zero to have dragged on for nearly a decade." is just another knife in the heart of the people of this nation who witnessed those planes flying into the buildings and the destruction and devistation that followed. Where did we go wrong?

  • http://www.myspace/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    ask why the system boys will allow al qaeda victory mosque and ask what can I do about evil inside this government and ask why a mosgue has been build at the flight 93 site? see
    soon we will all see islamic symbalism all over the place and for a good reason our government needs the evil ideals of islamic BS To control the ideals of freedom and take us all into a third world hell.



    • http://www.myspace/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

      thank you but by the time the American people get what is happening most will be disarmed and this government will be full of muslims racists and evil doers.
      the kids today really don't understand what is happening many don't care.

  • tanstaafl

    Nothing would discourage the global jihad more than to see a new building rise up in New York.

  • henryCrux

    henry |
    Going on ten years now and the Huge 9-11 cavernous awe inspiring hole in the earth where the twin towers once stood, is still there – a perpetual memorial to the superiority of the Muslim Bible over American Democracy. Now, a beautiful HUGE mosque will be built on the edge of that Muslim-made Grand Canyon so that Muslim visitors from all over the world can climb up to the observation decks which are specially made to give everyone a view of what can happen to a country that dares to defy the clear warnings in the Holy KORAN that no infidel should trouble those who follow the only true faith in God that ever existed or ever will exist. On viewing the magnificent victory hole which will scar American forever, the Muslim viewer will be filled with glorious wonder and pride whilst the Americans will be humbled at the sight and realize the holy and mighty superiority of the religion of the Koran and the perfect faith of the only Chosen People of God – a mighty faith that laughs at death, and looks forward with absolute confidence to an eternity in heaven with co-habiting beautiful naked angels whilst enjoying watching the horrible agonies of all the non-Muslims suffering in Hell forever! But, right now, there is the great hole in the ground – you have to ask yourself, "why is it still there? How hard can it be to cover up this insult? Why has it not been done? How many big oil money bribes did it take to keep it here for the viewing delight of all the good Muslims in the world? A lot you can be sure – paying off American to sh*t can their national pride does not come cheap!

  • Jerseyman

    We should have rebuilt the Twin Towers. Bigger, stronger, more beautiful, but the Twins rebuilt.

    I watched the first two go up. It didn't take this long. Most people don't know, but if asbestos hadn't been outlawed during the construction they probably wouldn't have come down. The replacement fireproofing around the steel crumbled and allowed the fatal weakening.

    It becomes clearer every day that we are not the men our fathers and grandfathers were.

    The Empire State Building went up in less than 36 months!

    • bubba4

      Oh for want of asbestos….

      Most people don't "know" that because it's not true.

      It takes very little asbestos to cause cancer. Once it's in your lung…it's never coming out. You may be fine…but probably not.

      • Reason_For_Life

        The best estimates is that asbestos would have prolonged the life of the building for a few hours at best. It was, and is, a superior insulation but it isn't magic.

        Asbestos in buildings has never been shown to affect the occupants. Asbestosis and mesothelioma have been shown only in people with continual occupational exposure to airborne particles of asbestos.

    • Reason_For_Life

      The Empire State Building went up in 410 days and less than 16 months from groundbreaking to occupation. It was built in defiance of the Great Depression as a symbol of strength.

      But that was another era and another America, one that would never have let an open wound like the twin craters remain.

      The 9-11 mosque isn't an insult, it's a reminder of what we've become.

  • topperj

    And the ESB was built during the GREAT DEPRESSION as was the Hoover Dam.

    • bubba4

      Yeah some of that damned stimulus! We should tear down these monuments to collectivism.

  • Hal B> Wright

    CitizenMan: There are tribes in Africa who kill a child of their enemy to send a message.
    It is well known that an event such as the Thomas Jefferson's response to the demand of the Tripoli muslim pirates for a tax was to organize the Marines and send them to Tripoli. There they smashed the muslim pirates and the jirza collectors of islam withdrew. It is a centuries old battle.
    A few nuclear small bombs strategically placed would only excerabate the problem.
    The wicked shall and will destroy the wicked. We only have to defend ourselves by preemptive measures, deport the illegal aliens as Hoover ( 9 million) and Eisenhower (11 million) and we will have a good start. Next, deport the muslims ASAP. the moderate muslims are a hotbed of protection for the radicals. Build a border fence that is secure and prosecute spies and moles at home. Make English the official language. Clean out the House and Senate – then impeach BHO and the errant Justices of the Supreme Court. Make it law that all measures passed in the House and Senate have a REAL basis in the Constitution. Establish a flat tax and we will all be happy.

    • bubba4

      How about you just build a wall around yourself and we can all get on with our lives.

  • ApolloSpeaks


    "Once upon a time I bought into the leftist myth that for every problem there was a government solution. And that government had the capability to perfect human society. A myth that the clueless wonder in the White House is providentially burning to the ground. It was no wonder, and no accident in my view, that Ted Kennedy (Obama's kingmaker) in a moment of rare oracular clarity once called Obama by the name OSAMA BIN LADIN, confusing him with the terrorist. For Barack Hussein Obama is the 9/11 of Liberalism."

    This is part of a short article being featured by USA Today and India Times. Click my name and read the rest.

  • http://www.myspace/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    Obama is on the side of our enemies, obama is our real enemy inside a nut government, the muslim religion subjugation/ brainwashing/ victory mosque will be build by your tax money just wait 5 more weeks the deal has been made.

    But always keep up the fight against evil you can't win a war if you don't fight back with all you have. Just remeber at the start of world war two the U.S military got its butt beat but after 6 months it was beating butt . we Americans beat down 30 million monkeys with 12 million of our guys and girls we can do it once more.

  • BS77

    Tell the lying imam if he doesn't like our Constitution, our traditions, our religions, our people, our dress standards, our movies, our food, our culture… just go back to Turdistan where he can whip women, where people live like slaves …mutilationg women, stoning people, setting off bombs every other day….killing thousands in Sudan, Pakistan and Iran…GO BACK and stay there….Sign the petition. No Victory Mosque at Ground Zero. Cordoba was where the muslims destroyed a Christian church and built their mosque. FDNY in Memory. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten by us.

  • Martin

    I've recently come to the realization that a large hole in the ground is the perfect monument to Islam and the site of an Islamic Mosque and Cultural Center on the same site couldn't be more fitting. In this way, visitors can be reminded of the great contibutions of America and the West to the woirld and the simple goal of Islam to destroy it. In time, if left alone it will fill with pond scum and the Cultural Center can look into it as their legacy and contribution to the world.

  • American_Flag

    It is sad that Political pressure has become the way of life in America…so sad the WTC could not be rebuilt in whole, and in 6 years or less…did you know that the Empire State building in NYC was completed in just 13 months! From the foundation, to the light bulb on top, and ALL THE INTERIORS TRIMMINGS!____How about that people?__

  • American_Flag

    In a 1000 years time when they do finally take over the earth, they will sit on sand and wonder "Gee, we are back where we started in civilization…nothing but us and camels and nothing to do."

    Then they will realize that following Mohammed was a complete waist of time…there – I said it.

  • Rifleman

    We should be sending a very clear message that if they manage to knock our landmarks down, we’ll only rebuild them bigger and stronger (not the current if they destroy it, it will be gone forever). The WTC should be rebuilt bigger and taller, with some of the extra stories accommodating phased array radar panels, a VLS system and RAM launchers on the roof. It’s a fine location for the first ABM/ACM system on the Eastern Seaboard. The site should again be a landmark business and financial hub that dominates the New York skyline, again creating the wealth and prosperity our enemies hate and seek to destroy.

    After Pearl Harbor all the battleships sunk but The Arizona were refloated, and all those but The Oklahoma were repaired and returned to action. Five were on hand almost three years later to turn the survivors of the IJN Southern Fleet back at Surigao Straights after wrecking it with broadsides in the last surface action between battleships. The surviving ‘victims’ became deadly and instrumental avengers.


  • Rifleman

    How our national character has changed since then. We’re almost (at least they used some WTC steel to build AA ships) blind to symbolism, and we don’t even build world class skyscrapers anymore, which is one reason why we’re building that overpriced pathetic weak sister memorial at Ground Zero. It’s a disgrace to those that died in that atrocity, they and America deserves much better.

    What greater monument could we build, what more fitting memorial could we dedicate, what better message to the terrorists could we send than to rebuild the WTC bigger? What better answer to the victory mosque than to make sure it stands in the shadow of the WTCII?

    • American_Flag

      I have been an advocate of rebuilding WTC exactly as it was since Sept. 12, 2001. Too bad politics have replaced common sense…we may die before they complete the final structure at WTC site.