City Should Demand Twin Towers
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
While I’m not sure which maximum-security federal prison will be stuck with Zacarias Moussaoui for the rest of his life, it looks like we in New York are getting stuck with the awful Freedom Tower. We haven’t had much of an opportunity to express our opposition to this sorry design that will alter our skyline. Now there’s a Web site – www.twintowersalliance.com – that allows iconoclastic Gothamites a chance to vent.
I was the first journalist to sign the list of those demanding that the towers be rebuilt, at a time when there were only about 100 signatures on file. With very little fanfare, that number has rapidly grown into the thousands, and I hope more New Yorkers will join us and let the powers that be know how we feel.
Next Tuesday, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on Chambers Street, there will be an open meeting of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Its president, Gretchen Dykstra, is scheduled to update plans for the World Trade Center memorial and museum. She will answer questions from the public. Here’s one I hope someone will ask: Where are my Twin Towers?
I don’t recall anyone asking what the public wants, so once again the majority is subject to the tyranny of the minority. Fellow New Yorkers, take a good look at the proposed Freedom Tower. It looks like a giant hypodermic needle. Is that how we show the world how we recover from a catastrophic attack? Shouldn’t our response have been something bigger, greater, and positively invulnerable instead of something delicate and shiny?
Those who have joined with me in signing the petition at www.twintowersalliance.com include many former workers at the trade center. They express no fear in returning to work in the rebuilt towers, yet city and state officials have expressed doubts about finding tenants for the buildings. A recent Wall Street Journal article by Alex Frangos speculated on the possibility that the Port Authority may become a “government citadel, housing federal law-enforcement groups among other government agencies – possibly enhancing its profile as a terrorist target.”
I worked in the World Trade Center for a few years and I also visited the state offices in one of the buildings. The fact that government offices were located at the trade center was not the reason it was attacked. Rather, it represented the center of trade and commerce of the Western world. As an international center of capitalism it became a target – not as a government office building, such as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The remains of that building were demolished after the bombing and a memorial was built on that site. It consists of 168 chairs commemorating the victims of the blasts attributed to Timothy McVeigh.
Let’s see now: We speedily executed McVeigh, who was responsible for 168 deaths, but we’ll house and feed the only person to face justice for the September 11, 2001, attacks for the rest of his life. When I first heard the jury’s verdict condemning Moussaoui to life in prison, I was sorely disappointed. I felt that this unrepentant Al Qaeda terrorist should be dispatched as soon as possible.
The more I think about it – and depending on the terms of his sentence – perhaps it wasn’t such a bad decision. I’d like to see him spend each day in solitary confinement in a cell allowing him only reading material from all the other religions in the world. Alas, the ACLU would probably complain about such cruel and unusual treatment.
For a very brief period last year, I hoped that Donald Trump would continue fighting for the rebuilt towers. There was even a mock setup of the new proposed twin towers in the lobby of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, but the politicians apparently got to him.
Rebuilding the towers is not sentiment but common sense. The foundation of the huge towers is already in place, which means that the towers could be rebuilt faster than any new complex. Rebuilding would restore office space, jobs, and tourist revenue. Rebuilding the towers also would have a huge economic impact on the city.
If we don’t, we’ll be bowing to terrorism. I invite all New Yorkers to sign up at www.twintowersalliance.com if you agree with its statement: “We submit that there is only one way to truly heal the skyline of Manhattan and the heart of America: Rebuild the Towers. Doing anything less would leave a permanent scar on the face of New York and diminish a legendary city.”
So far, the will of the people hasn’t amounted to much in this city – but there’s always a first time.