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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If the Ground Zero Memorial Were Up to Me.


Have you heard what's been happening at Ground Zero lately? New Yorkers have undoubtedly known this for years. But now the rest of us are learning that after nearly 9 years, Ground Zero remains basically an empty pit. The site of the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City was supposed to be transformed into a towering cluster of colossal architectural landmarks and monuments. But construction has been stalled from the very beginning. Plans called for 5 skyscrapers, a memorial, a museum, a theater and a transit hub. As of today, very little work has been done even though billions of dollars have already been spent. The site languishes as a giant hole in the ground...an enormous dirty, dusty ditch. It's become an epic boondoggle that disgraces the memory of those who died there and highlights the shameful egotistical behavior, conflicts, disagreements, bureaucratic bungling, incompetence and political wrangling of the project coordinators. Turns out the various parties involved are currently not even speaking to each other. Sounds like Congress, doesn't it?

Personally, I always wondered why the powers that be in New York City felt it necessary to build massive, towering structures as a way to memorialize the 9/11 location. If it were up to me, I'd turn the entire area into a beautiful and tranquil park...a vast green space to honor all those who perished there. I'd call it "Peace Park".  It would be a bookend to Central Park. Of course a park would not bring in zillions of real estate cash flow. But for me, I don't see the need for another cash cow, another colossal tax payer money pit. I don't see the need for another canyon of cold, concrete/steel mega-towers, constant bickering among conniving developers and scheming politicians and billions of wasted dollars. What I visualize is a solemn, simple yet elegant, dignified setting surrounded with splendid natural beauty, resounding with noble patriotic pride that pays tribute to all those fallen souls who exemplify the true American spirit.   But...that's just me.
           Ground zero photo courtesy of: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ Sphere: Related Content

20 comments:

Oklahoma Granny said...

When I read your ideas on the NYC memorial I immediately thought of the Oklahoma City Memorial. It's very nice.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

If I had donated even a penny to that memorial I would be livid that its still a pit.

We saw the memorial in Oklahoma City last year and it was perfect, tranquil.

Isn't that New York (and really all of us) need after this... a place of tranquility?

Sylvia K said...

I feel exactly the same way that all of you do!! And the Oklahoma City Memorial would be perfect. However, I don't have much hope that the money-mad would see that as being profitable! Great post!

Sylvia

Molly Potter said...

In absolute agreement BP. It could come to really symbolise why Peace is such a worthy aspiration.

Shriram INC. said...

in 2days world tragedies are replaced by monumental structures by even bigger ones to show the terrorists that they hv nt won. this makes them even softer targets.ALAS!!

Fran Hill @ Being Miss said...

Totally agree. I didn't know about this. It should be a green, peaceful space, as you say. It's a slap in the face for people who lost loved ones, that's for sure.

Wow, that was awkward said...

I have mixed feelings on this. Have you been to the site? I was there a few years ago. It's difficult to describe the emotions I felt and I can't possibly explain what the site must mean to others. I don't feel like it's insutling or a disgrace to be in the state it is today. I do wish they'd just figure out a memorial and get it done. But right now, in the state it is, it reminds you how precious life is, how things can change in a split second and how good we have it living here in the States. If you go to an old civil war battle site and you see a park with slides on it or a building, it doesn't seem to do justice for what the war stood for nor for those who lost their lives there.

So, I'm taking a solid neutral ground on this. :)

Boomer Pie said...

You make a very good point,WTWA. Can I call you "Wow"? I understand what you mean about seeing the site in it's "bombshell crater" state. The site "as is" certainly leaves a huge dramatic impact for visitors...as it did for you. They might be better off leaving it like that and removing all the construction equipment. What's disgraceful is all the self-serving, greedy beurocratic bungling that's been going on for 9 years!

gondreauonline said...

That's why Boomer Pie, you should be Vice President of the World. And by the way, I love love love your blog and your snazzy header:-) www.lgpromarketing.com

D.G. said...

Actually that would maybe make that a very "special" place. I like a park/memorial approach myself.

Boomer Pie said...

Laurie G...You are too kind. Thanks for the swell flattery but why stop at V.P.? Ha, just kidding. I'm actually too honest to be in politics, way too efficient and organized and too politically incorrect. Glad you like my heading redesign. My brilliant son did it for me.

ChrisJ said...

No, it's not just you, it's me as well! But I must say, though I haven't thought of it before, leaving it as it is ought to be a horrific reminder to our nation of how much we have to lose. All these years later we are still squabbling among ourselves!

ReformingGeek said...

Hum....maybe a museum or exhibit that is explicit enough that we don't forget.

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

I agree. I was there on 9-11 of the following year, and obviously the pit was still undergoing some cleaning and clearing of debris, but for the most part the area was surprising cleared. I think the park idea is a great way to remember those who died and the strength of the community to pull together in their time of need. If I had lost a loved one there I would much rather them be "buried" under a lovely park than a high rise tower of any type.

Copyboy said...

As a NYer I totally concur with your views!!

leonardgrotenrathjr said...

One is put in mind of the epitaph of the great architect, Sir Christopher Wrenn, that adorns St. Paul's in London, "Si monumentum requiris, circumspice." (If you seek his monument, look about you.")

Of course, this was to commemorate a work of lasting beauty while the 9/11 memorial is meant in part as a remembrance of a work of horrific evil. I say in part because that is not it's sole purpose in that out of the carnage that ensued that day there were also acts of courage that defied the spirit of nihilism that spread its pall across the city and nation. Acts of men and women which gave the lie to fear and despair, and lit the gloom with lambent examples demonstrating that amidst the numbing horror there were still heroes among us, scarred but undaunted. And it is these, as well as the victims, that we struggle to memorialize.

And therein lies the rub. How to do so fittingly. That we are unable to achieve a satisfactory memorial is sad testimony of the impoverishment of moral imagination that afflicts our fractured culture, which well before 9/11 lost all but the most gossamer of tethers to a common cultus which alone might provide us with inspiration as to how we might mourn our fallen and honor our heroes.

Today we stand bereft of what the ancients called pietas, and hence we flounder about debating whether concrete and steel structures or watered gardens are more apt as tribute. It seems to me that one looking about that pit in NYC might see in it a monument to our own deracinated souls, its emptiness a mirror in which we see all too clearly our own civilization's decline and loss of purpose.

M S said...

Yes, I agree with you and several noters. A memorial park and a small museum would be an apt reminder.

U.S. is still so gracious with the terrorists!

Pauline said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I enjoyed my visit to yours. Coming from the other side of the world, I don't have a strong opinion on this subject but think I can understand your feelings.

Kate said...

Hi Boomer,

Why is it that the folk with common sense and feelings who should be in government aren't and those who shouldn't be are.... Your suggestions show a lot more sense.

I feel so sorry for those who lost loved ones and see how little the powers that be feel for them... It seems so callous to just leave the area as it is atm.

Another thing about this is recently I keep coming across articles which seem to show that the disaster was 'NOT' as is seemed and that it was all a con.

This makes all these lost lives seem horrendous but all too suspect ... To be honest I have that knot in my stomach that makes me very suspicious... I wonder,
Was it all a con ??

Hugs Kate x.

Kate said...

I don't mean that all these poor folk didn't die but that some other group was involved in the planes hitting the towers... an inside job etc.. there are a number of things which don't add up... I don't know whether conspiracies were involved but there's something not quite right about it - know what I mean ?

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