With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 now past, I keep returning to the question about whether or not it was too soon to develop Ground Zero. Ten years ago, I wanted the city to wait longer before a decision was made about what was best for the site. While I thought it was important to rebuild, I also thought that the city was jumping too fast into putting a Band-Aid over the hole in the ground. Now, after a decade of reflection, I am not so sure. With the opening of the 9/11 Memorial, I have a sense of relief that there is something tangible at the site that people can visit.
Year after year when I have found myself in Lower Manhattan I have strained to peek through the fences and mesh screens to watch the new World Trade Center emerge. I have followed friends on Facebook who have posted views of the site from their apartments, and I have taken advantage of any chance that came my way to visit surrounding buildings with a view, each time trying to render the pools and towers in my mind. At first, this was enough for me. Now, I am excited and anxious for more.
On each anniversary the Tribute in Light has illuminated the sky, temporarily re-unifying the city. While I hope that this was not the memorial’s last year (click here to contribute to the Municipal Art Society’s fundraiser), even if it is, I am looking forward to each subsequent anniversary, as the site will continue to open more and more to the public as construction continues, and the bandages are removed. I haven’t seen the pools in person yet (I have my appointment scheduled for 10.01.11. Click here to make yours ), but the fact that they are now open gives me a sense of optimism about the beginning of the end of an era, signaling a time to really look to the future, rather than dwelling on the past.