All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10th Anniversary of 911

In 1966, I lived two blocks from the World Trade Center on the corner of Rector and Greenwich Streets. Except for the old apartment buildings in that area almost all the space was commercial. I was told that the building we lived in was once a hotel where seaman stayed when their ships were in port. Battery Park City did not even exist yet and the tenements along West Street and the Hudson were razed under Eminent Domain for the construction of the towers. I don’t remember the exact date, but during 1967 the South Tower began to raise, a few floors at a time a first. At some point it blocked virtually all the light on Greenwich Street south of the tower. The street remained dark until September 11, 2001, the day the towers fell. Days later when the dust cleared looking north you could see the light of the sky for the first time in more than 30 years. In this case seeing the light had a two fold meaning. First it meant we came to understand our enemies had to be taken seriously. Since Viet-Nam we had waltzed through our conflicts. With some small exceptions we had not seen death and destruction by a foreign enemy on our own soil. Second, The World Trade Center, which had become for us a symbol of our financial power and influence in the world economy, had become for our enemies one of the ultimate prizes they sought to destroy to demonstrate America’s weakness. Ten years have gone by since the day the towers fell. I have been back a few times to see the progress on the site and to see the old apartment building, which still stands. The location of the Freedom Tower will not block the light like the South Tower did when it stood. Likewise America will not be blinded to the intentions of its enemies as we move forward on this 10th Anniversary of 9/11/2001