Wednesday, August 3, 2011

World Trade Center or Ground Zero?

I'm not quite sure when I heard it first, but what I do remember, is the phrase knocking the wind out of me.

"Ground Zero"

Not many of us heard it before 9/11, and except for that one day downtown, we haven't heard it referenced much elsewhere.  Since that day, a lot has happened in that area.

Mainly though, progress, that’s what has happened.

People used to flock down to lower Manhattan to see what 9/11 was first hand.  Now, from far off distances, you can see lower Manhattan take shape.

At first, there was just a gaping hole with rubble, next, just a gaping hole, and finally, a construction project.

In May of 2002, an empty stretcher was carried away from the gaping hole where the Twin Towers once proudly stood.  The stretcher was to symbolize the victims who were not recovered.

Sometime around that point, I remember not calling it Ground Zero anymore.  I either called it 'The World Trade Center', or 'where the Twin Towers once stood'.

I mention this because there’s a new type of debate.  A debate in which both parties have valid points. 

Should we still call it 'Ground Zero' or 'World Trade Center'?

Some say that no matter what you build down there, you can't change the history of that nightmarish day. 

Others say it resembles nothing like it once did ten years ago.  Instead it represents a whole new beginning.

Usually, when I have a conflict like this, it's pretty easy for me to pick sides and bash my opponent.  This though is a little harder.  People still have trouble getting over what has happened down there.  So who am I to say, "You're wrong for thinking that?"

I will say this much...

I grew up loving the Twin Towers. I used to just gaze at them in amazement while crossing the Verrazano Bridge.  I want my skyline, or the closest thing to it, back.

I've always considered that area the World Trade Center.  The only exception was that short time after 9/11.  I want to look at the future, and build a better New York.  True, we can't forget the people we've lost, but we need to move on at the same time.  That's why I personally have to call it the World Trade Center.

Ground Zero, to me, signifies misery, a catastrophe and heartache.  The heartache may still be there, but that's it.  I can't speak on behalf of families or what those victims would have said.  But I think they'll agree that the construction down there, represents a bigger and better New York.

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