[SpamCop-Social] Re: From the master of self-promotion
dfm2a3l0t2 at spymac.com
Thu May 19 21:56:09 EDT 2005
In article <d6j084$30b$1 at news.spamcop.net>,
"Sylvesterthekat" <nobody at spamcop.net> wrote:
> I actually agree with him. I think they should rebuild the towers that fell
> but make them stronger. Perhaps some of those who lost loved ones in the
> attacks would be upset, but I'm willing to bet some of them would actually
> like to see them put back pretty much the way they were because what bigger
> poke in the eye could there be to Al Qaeda than that? It would be
> interesting to poll everyone in this country and find out.
I like this idea from MSNBC's Keith Olbermann:
Rebuild them! (Keith Olbermann)
SECAUCUS - They were just a few feet tall and not even as solidly
constructed as the old architectural models my father would sometimes
bring home from the office for me when I was a kid - but they affected
me in a way I never would have imagined.
The towers of The World Trade Center.
They were in our studios yesterday, plastic recreations of the
originals, dragged in by groups who are taking advantage of the security
concerns about the planned Freedom Tower¾ to push the simple idea that
the best way to memorialize the victims and restore the community is to
re-build the towers exactly as they stood until three and a half years
They're absolutely right - with one minor caveat. One of the towers
should be exactly 229 feet, four inches shorter than the other. I'll
explain why in a bit.
Before that, I have a confession to make. My first job in television
was in the lobby of WTC #1 (as they used to call it; I never heard
North Tower¾ or South Tower¾ until the day of the attacks). That's
where CNN's New York bureau was located until 1984 - behind a two-story
thick glass wall that, when we put the studio lights on, made us look
like a very cheap high school science experiment.
I hated the place. I mean, if you work in the city's tallest building
and you're stuck in the lobby, you develop a mean streak about it. The
place was comically understaffed (the first two years, we didn't have a
receptionist - whoever was closest to the front door opened it, for
staffers, visitors, and bag ladies alike). The commute - from almost
anywhere else in the city - was wearying. The mall beneath the towers
was a desert, and the neighborhood a wasteland (the dilapidated old West
Side Highway still stood - kinda - out the doors to West Street, and the
only amusements were those days when big hunks of it would crash to the
roadway below). Worst of all, the air conditioning used to go out on an
almost regular basis. You've never known heat until you've worked in a
television studio without ventilation. Suits pressed while you wear them.
As I hinted above, my father's an architect, so I had inherited the
typical aesthetic condescension of his profession. What the heck was
this Trade Center design supposed to be? The world's largest salute to
Oblong, perhaps - with the faux-gothic grillwork on the outside tacked
on in a fruitless attempt to class up the joint.
I went in there to clean out my desk on the afternoon of Saturday, March
31, 1984. I would not return until September 11, 2001.
Suddenly, of course, the sense of drudgery that only a disliked
workplace can represent had been transformed into the terrible meaning
we all now intuit. And that gaudy grillwork - the only remains standing
- stuck out against the smoking pyre of the place with the starkness,
and the sudden antiquity, of the Roman Colloseum. The feelings, I
needn't tell you. 40 days as a street reporter in and around the scene
of the catastrophe managed to reshape even my memories of the buildings
I once dismissed as merely a great deal of weight sitting on top of the
place I did my sportscasts.
And as the searing pain of those first few weeks gradually gave way to
sadness and thoughts of what, if anything, should be placed on this most
hallowed ground, the only thing, the only thing that seemed to make
sense, was the towers recreated, as originally designed, oblong boxiness
and all - with that one minor caveat about the 229 feet and four inches.
I wasn't among the voices insisting that only rebuilding it as it was
would show we hadn't been beaten¾ - merely that all other forms of
construction there would offend the sensibility, and diminish, not
enhance, the remembrance.
I hadn't thought much of it lately. The process of healing is a
regretful one in a way. We're designed to forget - not forget the whole,
but merely the sharp edges. I hadn't forgotten the Trade Center, nor my
three years in it. Nor had I forgotten the fact that some creatures had
managed to use two planes that each contained a friend of mine (Ace
Bailey, the former hockey player and executive, was on one, and Tom
Pecorelli, who had been one of the studio cameramen for my shows at Fox
Sports, was on the other), to kill so many innocents in the buildings,
including two college classmates of mine (Mike Tanner and Eamon
McEneaney, who happened also to have been the quarterback and the
receiver for Cornell University in the first sporting event I ever
actually got paid to cover).
Those things hadn't passed, and they won't. Nor will the simple reality
that it all happened - a reality that will still of a morning
unexpectedly punch me in the stomach, or make me wonder for a moment if
something so horrible could've actually occurred, or if I must have
imagined it in a consummate moment in a dream from an endless night.
But I'd forgotten about the rightness of putting the Trade Center back
where it stood. Forgotten it, until I saw that model yesterday, and it
all came back to me.
The Freedom Tower¾ design wasn't somebody trying to be disrespectful;
it was just the unavoidable project of an architectural trend in which
everything must look like somebody just built it with a kid's erector
set. The Hearst/Conde Nast building is just getting finished not far
from my home, and it's that same style: Attach Beam A to Side Support B,
Tap Support B with a pen to make sure it sounds as tinny as it looks.
But it was wrong.
The best way - the only way - to further soothe the pain is, as the
proponents including Donald Trump are suggesting, to rebuild it as it
was. Which brings me to my caveat.
I'd use the original blueprints and design the new¾ Trade Center
exactly as it had been. But I'd insist that one of the towers be exactly
229 feet, four inches shorter than the other. It's an uncomplicated
gimmick to guarantee remembrance. Because, as long as these new towers
would stand, someone unaware would ask, why is one of them shorter than
the other?¾ Whereupon an old-timer could explain, solemnly, that the
difference between the heights of the towers is intentional - it's
exactly 2,752 inches.
One inch for each of the victims.
It's all the memorial we really need.
dfm2a3l0t2 at spymac.com
"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream
will never die."
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