The President was in New York last week in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. He lunched with firemen from a company that lost men on 9/11 and greeted families of others who died at ground zero. I went downtown on Friday, a couple of days after Obama’s visit, to see how things were going. One World Trade Center appears now to be sixty or more stories high, and the above ground part of the 9/11 memorial and museum is being rushed to completion. Just a few months ago it was a steel skeleton–now it is mostly enclosed. I made several photographs with the view camera in the area just south of Liberty Street near the Fireman’s Memorial. I also snapped a few shots with my digital camera.
Tourists jammed the sidewalk near the Fireman’s Memorial, and possibly because of Obama’s recent visit, there were lots of flowers and pictures placed along the wall of the memorial. There were no such items the last few times I’d been there. A tour guide led a large group of out-of-towers by the memorial and I heard her refer to those “murdered” on 9/11. There was a thinly veiled anger conveyed by the use of the word murder. Yes, it’s true that those killed when the planes were crashed into the towers were, technically speaking, murdered in an act of violence. As are any victims of terrorism worldwide. And what about the innocent victims of unjustified wars? I’m not interested in a moral equivalency argument here. It’s clear enough what happened on 9/11. I just think it is better to tone down the rhetoric.
On the subway heading back uptown, I saw a construction worker from the World Trade Center site. His hardhat was decorated with stickers, one for the 9/11 memorial and an another with a flag and the Twin Towers.