Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Trade Center Site, 9 Years Later

I'm almost ashamed to say that before this month I hadn't truly visited the World Trade Center site for two and a half years. Even then, I just stole some glances through covered fences. I hadn't taken a proper look from a viewing tower since 2003.

Not much has changed since then.

I have mixed feelings about the site. I work less than two blocks away, and I walk by it every day. I may never see the pit, but I see the cranes -- and the dozens of tourists angling for the best photo from the street.

It's safe to say that Sept. 11 affected all Americans, both practically (I have to get to the airport how early?) and emotionally (Just who are our enemies?). But Sept. 11 was a very personal experience for New Yorkers, many of whom don't have to count to six degrees before they're connected to someone who died in the attacks.

So I try not to gawk at the site. That being said, I was curious about how much progress had been made. When my aunt, uncle and cousins came to visit, we found a viewing platform, basically in a mall across the street from the site. It was a study in contrasts. On one side, the dirt and destruction where the towers once stood:

Look in the other direction, and you're in a beautiful shopping center with indoor trees, outdoor seating and what looked to be a view of the Hudson River.

Time moves on. I just wish progress on the site would too. Until then, I'll try my best to commemorate 9/11 and pay my silent respects.

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