From The Wall Street Journal: Ground Zero: Where is the memorial? by Debra Burlingame.
Today, a handful of people are considering how the history of 9/11 will be preserved for future generations. Will it be scattered all over the globe, eroded by small museums, cannibalized by private collectors, or simply lost forever?
From the giant steel facades that broke but did not fall to the thousands of "Missing" flyers that speak of humanity as no granite monument can; from the harrowing digital footage to the oral histories that provide a mosaic of facts as detailed and compelling as a thousand handmade quilts; these are the pieces that make up our generation's "Day of Infamy." Preserving that history is both the mission and the moral imperative of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum -- if we build it.
The decision lies in one man's hands: New York Gov. George E. Pataki. ...
The American people intuitively understand what the New York intelligentsia does not. They already stream to Ground Zero in the tens of thousands, signing up for tours to stand and look at the iron fence of St. Paul's Church across the street, now stripped of the faded flags, the personal tokens of remembrance and the hand-lettered messages of sympathy that poured in from all over the world. They shell out countless thousands of dollars for picture books and postcards bearing the images of the twin towers from the ragtag vendors who line the site's perimeter. ...
The World Trade Center Memorial and Museum will commemorate, educate and inspire. It will convey to future generations that we as a people are more than sleek neighborhoods and buildings. That is something our enemies did not understand and should be reflected in everything we do on that much-hallowed ground.
9/11’s story will not fit into the lobby of the Freedom Tower, just down a bit from the kiosk’s coffee and magazines. Nor would that be fitting remembrance.
9/11’s story is bigger than that. There was the 3,000, the known and unknown heroes, and people scrambling to get home with a whole city trying to help them get there. There was a Pile swarmed, help pouring it from everywhere, hope, despair, tears, and honor. There was America, knocked down to one knee, struggling to get up, embracing those who had lost a loved one, and rising to our feet as a nation and a people.
We remember. And we must pass it all down to future generations. It is also their ‘day of infamy’ and now is the time to ensure they will come to know 9/11’s story.
9/11 and Ground Zero will never be just two pools in a park. While a few might not know that, the rest of us do.
UDPATE I -- June 12: A memorial is unveiled near Ground Zero if not on it. From Take Back The Memorial: The Firefighters Monument
Across from Ground Zero, on Tenhouse’s wall, reflecting where 343 of the FDNY’s Bravest fell on 9/11, there now stands a monument. The inscription on it reads, "Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on."
From the New York Post: 9/11 Memorial Etched In Time by Heidi Singer.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke at the unveiling ceremony while President Bush, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg sent prerecorded video messages. He later blasted city, state and federal officials for failing to build a memorial at Ground Zero nearly five years after the terrorist attacks.
"Forget about the buildings, the office space - that should all come second," he said. "The focus has to be on the memorial. Get it right. Future generations will respect us for that."
While politicians continue to dicker over the Ground Zero memorial, firefighters quietly built their own tribute to their 343 fallen brothers. Money was raised by law firm Holland & Knight, which lost one of its partners, volunteer firefighter Glenn Winuk, in the World Trade Center.
"There's been much discussion of a memorial to be built over this hole in the ground that still stands after five years," said FDNY Chief of Department Peter Hayden. "We've had empty promises from empty suits, but the Fire Department has filled its promise."
And from New York Daily News: Salute FDNY's devotion - and chief's grace by Michael Daly.
Then, the sound of bagpipes seemed to rise from The Pit, as they had exactly four years before when the FDNY band led the way up the ramp to mark the official closing of the recovery effort.
But you realized it was just a trick of acoustics. The trilling was coming from outside the little firehouse at the downtown edge of The Pit. The band had returned to Ground Zero to play for the unveiling of a 56-foot bronze memorial frieze affixed to the exterior of the home quarters of Engine 10/Ladder 10.
UDPATE II -- June 16: Lawhawk has been following the reconstruction of Ground Zero in depth; here's the latest: The Battle For Ground Zero, Part 147.
Posted by Forkum at June 11, 2006 08:50 AM