"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

CALL it "The Freedom Tower" ...

... Not that mind-numbing bureaucratese of "One World Trade Center".

(Originally published 1404 CDT 10 SEP 2011 - Updated below)

"Freedom Tower" is what it was originally meant to be called anyway, until somebody got their panties in a twist and thought that such a name would be a gigantic Foxtrot Yankee to those who tried to bring us down. (Sounds to me like an excellent reason to so name it.)

From the Wikipedia entry (for what that's worth) ...
In 2009, the Port Authority changed the name of the building from "Freedom Tower" to "One World Trade Center", stating that this name is the "easiest for people to identify with".

All I can say is (EXPLETIVE DELETED!!!).

I saw a NOVA special on TV a few nights ago, all about the design and construction of the  1 WTC Building (They've already forgotten the original name) and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The Presence of Absence ...
That's what the architect of the memorial said it was to evoke;  the sense of loss in the footprints of the original twin towers.

That's not a bad description of what appears to be the attitude of Obama and many of his minions who will appear at the 10th anniversary on 11 Sep 2011.  An attitude of "Let's put this behind us and move on." ;  a good sentiment in some circumstances, but in this context almost like saying that the Holocaust Museum should never have been built.

In the Shadow of the Freedom Tower ...
To add to the mix, we also have the Ground Zero mosque, except we're not supposed to call it that on account of it ain't located directly on the former World Trade Center site, Ground Zero, nor is it primarily a mosque,  ("A rose by any other name ...")

Although the City of New York refused to let a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed at Ground Zero be rebuilt, they appear to have no problem with this abomination.

Maybe some solace can come from the fact that its location, about two blocks northeast of the Freedom Tower suggests that in the fall (around Sep 11), each afternoon it will lie in the shadow of the tower.

So, where are we now? ...
I don't have a date for the picture on the left, but it would probably be several months ago. The two open squares will be the memorial (hopefully completed tomorrow 11 Sep 2011). The picture on the right is how the tower should look when completed a couple of years from now.  (All images in this post are from www.nyc-tower.com )

This one is dated 24 Aug 2011

And this was taken on 01 Sep 2011 - coming right along.

Where was I on that fateful day? ...
The same place most of you were;  at work that Tuesday morning 11 Sep 2001.  Being in IT, they tolerated my occasional surfing of the internet, but it was other workers who urged me to check out the CNN website that morning; something about an airplane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers.

I immediately thought it was a horrible accident, with Murphy's Law working at peak efficiency that it would be the tallest thing in Manhattan to be hit.  Indeed, that even made sense as it would be a more likely thing to happen because of its height.

I had read, many times, about the July 1945 incident in which a USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) B-25 Mitchell bomber ...

... tried to land in zero visibility (because of fog) at LaGuardia Airport and the pilot became disoriented and crashed into the Empire State Building between the 78th and 80th floors.  At the moment, I felt that, because of the proliferation of tall buildings near landing approaches, such an accident was almost inevitable sooner or later.

Of course, that second plane hitting the other tower made it painfully clear what had really taken place.

The most horrific part was when the South Tower collapsed.  Most of the people killed would have been those trapped on the upper floors.  By that time, the ones below would have already been evacuated, with the only people still below being responders and others desperately trying to reach those still trapped.

What a horrible word is "only" when applied to people like that. The most merciful thing in their case was that when the rumbling started, they probably barely had time to wonder "What the Hell is that?" before it was over.  It was half an hour later before the North Tower went, and I believe that rescue people were still trying their level best there, knowing all too well what could happen and being totally aware when it did.

A year later, I took a driving vacation and, among other places, visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

On display in one wing of the museum was a U-2 reconnaissance plane.  On one wall, curving up from the floor, was a huge aerial photo, taken from that (or a similar) plane, of Manhattan Island.  What you could see so clearly in that photo were the Twin Towers, and it literally took your breath away realizing what was now gone.  I was trying very hard to hold back tears, and I don't think I succeeded. (If any reading this have been to the museum recently, I'd love to know if that photo is still on display.)

Update 27 Jan 2012 - As nobody has volunteered that information, I emailed the museum and received this reply:
Your inquiry of January 26, 2012, regarding an exhibition has been received in the Smithsonian’s Public Inquiry Mail Service for response.

The oblique U-2 photo of the New York metropolitan area in the 1970s is still on view in the Looking at Earth Gallery (110) in the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.


Update - Sunday, 09 Sep 2012 - What was, ...
(Couldn't find a date for this picture)

... what is ...
As of April 2012 - from urbanpeek.com 
(The only image in this post not from www.nyc-tower.com )

As of today (Sunday, 09 Sep 2012) - from live camera

The steel structure is complete, with work on glass still proceeding and the spire to follow.

... and what shall be ...

The Tower is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2013, and at present has about 55% of its leases filled. The current economy isn't exactly helping, but those who worry about being able to find tenants should recall that the Empire State Building and the original Twin Towers took decades to fill to capacity.

Bottom line, about that name ...
I hope this will be read by bloggers with far greater readerships than my humble 3 or 4 hundred a month, because I beg you to launch a campaign to make "Freedom Tower" the official name of this magnificent structure, or failing that, at least make it the de-facto name.

For my part, from here on out, I shall never refer to it as anything else

If honoring the memory of those who fell there was the only reason, that would be more than enough.



Foxfier said...

Jonah Goldberg had it right-- rebuild the towers, exactly as they were, except put anti-aircraft guns on the levels where the planes hit.

Apparently my family included the only folks on earth who didn't assume it was an accident. I think dad heard it was an airliner, went out and told mom-- who was finishing the haying-- that we were under attack.
If you knew my dad, you'd realize this isn't some sort of red-neck assumption thing, dad's about as far from a yahoo as you can get, but he's got really good tactical sense. If he Knows something, it's true. (There's a reason I believe in some forms of ESP.)

Gary Binkley said...

It should be left as "Freedom Tower", the mosque should not be allowed and if this hurts anybodys feeling then screw them!!!! If they are going to insist on political correctness in the name,then they should finish it in the shape of a giant middle finger facing Mecca!!! I for one am sick and tired of kissing our enemies collective asses ....we are the United States of America! We will kick your ass, but we won't kiss it!!!!

Paul Gordon said...

...but he's got really good tactical sense. If he Knows something, it's true. (There's a reason I believe in some forms of ESP.)

I suspect that it's not so much ESP as "Situational Awareness".

I was probably not as aware of things going on in the outside world because, two months prior to the attack, Houston got visited by Tropical Storm Allison.

Instead of just blowing on through, it stalled on the coast, for TWO solid days, picking up moisture from the Gulf and dumping it on Houston and on the areas northwest of us (where most of our streams and bayous originate).

If you saw pictures of Houston at that time, they almost certainly showed highway underpasses completely full along with buses and 18-wheeler trucks totally submerged.

Buffalo Bayou (which eventually becomes the Houston Ship Channel) is normally a placid creek while running through Memorial Park, just across the Allen Parkway from our main office building.

It rose over 40 feet above flood stage, turning into Buffalo Bay, coming over the parkway and flooding our basement.

We had to move our computers into another one of our buildings and work from there, before eventually being able to return after an unholy mess was cleaned up.

We were still recovering when September 11 arrived, so I was probably way less up on current events as your dad may have been.

Of course, any time you have so much on your plate and just think you can't be bothered with anything else, reality has a way of intruding.

Gary Binkley said...

I was watching the Today show that morning,when they brought up the subject of an airplane hitting one of the towers.....you could see the smoke from their studio window behind them....about time they tried to zoom in for a closer look I could see the second plane hit! It's a little different when it's not a replay!....One more memory for the really didn't want it file!

Paul Gordon said...

Utterly pointless nitpick of my previous comment ...

Allison hit in early June, so it would have been three months prior, instead of two.

I must be getting OCD even worse than Adrian Monk to worry about something like that.

But, I am a compulsive picture straightener, so perhaps that is the case.


Anonymous said...

The event floored my wife and I. She attending Law school, and I working the night shift at UPS while putting myself through university during the day in upstate NY.

My father was supposed to be in those buildings when it hit. The attorney canceled the appointment earlier that morning. On her side are a lot of firefighters and NYPD. One was missing for 3 weeks. Our next door neighbor was a first responder. 10 people from the church I grew up in never came home. The firefighter's never been the same - Million yard stare and all. He once brought out pictures from the interior that someone snapped just after the collapse. The dust/light/and reflective gear make it very eerie. Almost like Angels among us. It's what I hope to believe anyway.

Anyway, I say all that to say this: Build it bigger, build it better, and for the love of GOD - BUILD IT. It's been over a decade, this is absurd. Maybe nanny bloomberg needs to pay more attention to other things than salt intake and legally owned guns.

I can get behind Freedom tower. I hate "One world trade center"


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