How It’s New York: 9/11 mainly invokes New York, although it is important to remember it also hit in New Jerset and D.C. too. But Ground Zero was here. It’s been a sore point recently, with debates over mosques, but the building is going forward. As building always does in New York.
How It’s Irish: Bill Baroni, former New Jersey Senator who took reporter Vincent Murphy on the tour, has dual citizenship– American and Irish.
Tuesday September 6, 2011
At Ground Zero, A New World Trade Center Begins To Take Shape
By Vincent Murphy
On Sunday next, New York will reclaim a patch of land from history.
For ten years, a high perimeter fence has blocked Ground Zero from public view, but now the first piece of the re-imagined World Trade Center is set to be unveiled.
The fences will move, and a permanent 9/11 Memorial Plaza will become a part of Lower Manhattan’s landscape.
In the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood, two giant reflecting pools have been carved out of the ground.
When water starts cascading down their granite sides next week, they will be the biggest man-made waterfalls on the planet.
Called “Reflecting Absence”, Michael Ared’s design strikes the right tone.
At once, it conveys the scale of what was lost when planes smashed into the iconic buildings a decade ago, and offers a dignified nod to the thousands who died.
Towers will rise around them, and thousands of people will once again call the World Trade Center their workplace.
But not here – not on the exact spot where the old towers stood and so many perished.
Around the edges of the pools, carved in bronze are the names of all the victims of the Nine Eleven attacks – not just those in New York, but in Washington and Pennsylvania too.
“What we hope is that the families who lost so much – husbands, wives, kids – walk out in the Plaza next week, will say that we did our job with dignity, humility and honoring the people we lost,” said Bill Baroni, as he took me on a tour of the site last week.
Baroni is deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is responsible for the rebuilding effort. The former New Jersey Senator, who holds dual Irish and US citizenship, is keenly aware of how important it is to get the memorial finished in time for the 10th anniversary.
Copyright 2011 New York Irish Arts