Tragedy at Ground Zero

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


Pages: 1 2

Today, it is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has adopted Pataki’s former role as official excuse maker. He recently insisted that it is “not unreasonable for something as complex politically” as the rebuilding of Ground Zero to have dragged on for nearly a decade. If that logic has failed to calm popular passions, it is probably because the fact that politics have been allowed to obstruct something as crucial as the restoration of that hallowed ground is a large part of the scandal.

Where politicians have failed, private enterprise has shown the way. One of the few successes at Ground Zero is World Trade Center 7, the 52-story, $700 million skyscraper built and owed by real-estate developer Larry Silverstein. As Manhattan Institute scholar Steven Malanga notes, because Silverstein’s building lies outside the government-controlled section of the Ground Zero site, he was able to put up the building back in 2006. He has also turned it into an entrepreneurial success. While the official site has struggled to attract tenants, a legacy of the dysfunctional rebuilding process, World Trade Center 7 is now 85 percent leased.

It’s true that progress – however halting and inadequate – is being made. The Freedom Tower is now 36 stories high, still short of the planned 105 but, with a new story slated to be added each week, on a proper trajectory at last. A memorial waterfall is also reportedly nearing completion. Most recently, a financial peace treaty between Silverstein and the New York New Jersey Port Authority, which runs the Ground Zero site, may pave the way for the construction of two new office towers. Something, clearly, is being done.

And yet, by the measure of what the city and the country suffered nine years ago, the reality of some recent progress comes as small consolation. In the years since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has succeeded at keeping terrorists at bay, staving off a repeat of the devastating attack that many believed was inevitable. But on this September 11th, the emptiness at Ground Zero is a reminder that while America has prevented another tragedy, it has yet to attain closure for the one that shattered a country nine years ago – and that forever claimed a part of its most storied city.

Pages: 1 2

  • 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 crescentofbetrayal.com
    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.

  • ALFRED E. NEUMAN

    A FAIR EXCHANGE TO MUSLIMS WILL BE TO DROP ENOUGH MATERIAL ON SAUDI ARABI, AND OTHER MUSLIM COUNTRIES SO AS TO PROVIDE ENOUGH GLASS TO BUILD THE TOWER AT GROUND ZERO, TO SHOW "WESTERN PRIDE", AND OVER SHADOW THE MOSQUE PROPOSED TO BE BUILT, AND IF THE MUSLIMS USE THAT MOSQUE AS A BASE OF TERRORIST INDOCTRINATION THEN DEPORT ALL MUSLIMS BACK TO THEIR GLASS COVERED COUNTRIES. THE ONLY WAY TO DEAL WITH BULLIES, AND FANATICS IS TO DEAL RATIONALLY THROUGH SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION!

    • 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.

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    THE 9/11 OF LIBERALISM

    "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…..to 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.

    Continued…

  • 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.

      Travesty…sad.