As the US and the world remembered the tragic events of September 11 the focal point for the commemorations once again focused on Lower Manhattan, as the names of those who died were read out and 2 periods of silence were observed. However unlike the previous times instead of conducting this ceremony in a large gaping void it happened in the September 11 memorial park opening on the same day.
Now I’ll admit that when the plans for the World trade centre site were announced I was skeptical. This was a time which to be Americans had become rather gaudy and tacky in their commemorations, at that time everything about 9/11 had the word “Freedom” bolted on, a point made when Tower 1 was named the “Freedom tower.” I was half expecting some gaudy site probably completed with some drawings of Eagles with tears in their eyes.
However after seeing the 9/11 memorial I can honestly say I love it. There’s no jingoism in sight. No “freedom Yea!” anywhere. It’s nice, simple and after seeing the “making of” on Discovery it’s clear that those behind it have lived and breathed the site since that dark day. In fact one of the main people behind it breathed it too much, explaining to the camera he has around 7 years left to live because of the toxic dust cloud he spent 10 years working in.
The two huge gaping holes in the ground still remain, there was no question of building over them. Instead the 1776ft tall renamed “One world trade centre” is off to the side, and now it’s finally taking shape it looks more pleasing to the eye than the massive shiny needle the original plans included.
The memorial will be a focal point for future commemorations and when the final tower is completed later in the decade, will look absolutely stunning.