Skip to comments.The missing towers
Posted on 09/03/2002 11:19:37 AM PDT by gordgekko
One gets a very strange feeling as they drive the looping curve of road that leads to the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel from the New Jersey side. From here, particularly when the traffic was going slow, you could always look over to your left and see the whole of lower Manhattan laid out in all its splendor.
These days, one searches for the two gleaming towers that dominated the tip of the island. Surely it is a dream. Surely, this time they will be there. They are not.
As September 11, 2002 approaches, I keep thinking we should build those same two towers again.
I keep thinking of lunches and dinners in Windows on the World, the splendid restaurant that topped out one of the towers and, from which, walking the full perimeter of the floor, one could look out at the extraordinary urban landscape that is New York City and its boroughs, and across the river, New Jersey. Down below, one could see the Statue of Liberty, looking very tiny in the harbor.
It makes me angry.
It makes me angry to think that two planes, filled with innocent people, were turned into flying bombs that literally decimated these two great structures, these monuments to the economic vitality of this nation.
I want those towers back!
Forget about the new designs. They have already been dismissed and an international search is on for still more. I say, take out the architectural plans for the Twin Towers and rebuild them! Tell the crazed Islamists that they did not achieve anything and will not achieve anything. They have signed the death warrant for fanatical, fundamentalist Islam.
Many years ago, I visited the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. I was a child when the Japanese sneak attack awoke a sleeping nation, an isolationist nation, to the reality that it had real enemies. Ironically, the boat I took to get out to the site was filled mostly with Japanese tourists. What struck me, once we got there, was that they would pause to pray in front of the names of those who died that day, December 7, 1941, "a day that will live in infamy."
The Arizona Memorial is a place of silence broken only by the waters that lap at the twisted, rusting metal of the ship below and the beautiful arching structure above.
I want the new Twin Towers to be a bustling, noisy place, filled with people coming and going. Most will have been born after 9-11 and perhaps some will pause to look at a wall filled with the names of the more than 2,800 who died there on a long ago day in 2001.
I want the Towers back! I want them because this is America and we will not be defeated.
Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs", a weekly column posted at www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. (c) Alan Caruba, 2002
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The new towers would be ARMED with both surface-to-air missiles and close-in anti-aircraft defense systems.
Re-build them bigger than before and name the towers "Freedom" and "Unity" and let the world come to their own conclusion as to the meaning of the acronym.
I want the Towers back! I want them because this is America and we will not be defeated.BTTT!!!
I have had a similar experience to the author, but on the train into Manhattan rather than driving. On days with decent visibility I could see the twin towers as I was commuting into NYC on the train. From there, I would look to the left and see the Empire State Building. I still have a sinking feeling in my stomach when I look for them and don't see them, but it is infinitesimal to the feeling in the days immediately following 9/11 when there was still a huge cloud of smoke around the remaining buildings. Last September I noticed I wasn't the only passenger who couldn't stop staring toward the location of the missing towers (and probably trying to wish them back into existence).
Incorrigible, that is a great picture.
Ive spent my career designing steel structures and told my son before the SECOND plane hit the second tower that the FIRST building was toast. There was NO WAY those heat weakened columns would hold. And when the second plane hit the second tower, taking out the columns on one side, I knew IT was history. I cried as the second tower struck crumpled in the direction of the sliced columns (as I predicted it would) and, shortly after, the upper 20 floors of the first tower pan-caked into the lower 90 after THOSE columns buckled.
Im not some anti-techno Luddite: Even BEFORE the events of 9/11, I was growing weary of watching bodies fall from burning high-rise buildings as rescue workers stood helplessly in the street below, poised to clean up the carnage. Ask ANY thoughtful professional firefighter where HE AND HIS FAMILY STAY ON VACATION: YOU WONT FIND MANY WHO TAKE ROOMS HIGHER THAN THE 7th FLOOR. WHY? BECAUSE 70 FEET IS ABOUT AS HIGH AS MOST BIG CITY DEPARTMENTS CAN REACH TO GET YOU FROM OUTSIDE THE STRUCTRURE. And its worse in small towns. I wonder how many high-rise dwellers are today looking for farms in Kansas?
The evidence is growing that we need to seriously rethink our compulsion to concentrate populations in taller and taller, easy-to-hit targets which are also built to function as chimneys.
Another element to consider is the matter of INSURANCE: Until the world is free of people who hate us and are jealous to the point of insanity of what our system has allowed us to achieve here (and we will not be without those people any time soon), would YOU insure some new US skyscraper? And if you did, what would you calculate as the premium for doing so? Would it be HUGE? Probably!
While those tall structures are often awe-inspiring and beautiful to look at, they are NOT terribly efficient or practical. I, like many of you, have been up in them and have been impressed. From the upper reaches one can almost see heaven almost, in the words of that beautiful poem about flight, touch the face of God. Tragically, 2,800 fellow humans -- who perhaps might still be with US had they worked or lived in a safer structure -- are now WITH God.
The loss of life in the WTC is staggering.
Compare that number to the final body count at the Pentagon. Then think about the differences in those two buildings.
I rest my case!
If only that were true. But I see that the Saudi government is still our "friend", and George II has not changed his tune from "Islam is a religion of peace." So no death warrant has been, or will be, issued for fanatical, fundamentalist Islam.
If I were Emperor of the United States, I would have treated the WTC site like an American Masada. Every year, the graduating classes of our military academies would conduct their commencement ceremonies there, likewise the NYPD and FDNY. It would be the site for administering the oath of allegiance to new citizens, basically a shrine of the "civic religion." All of this would continue until the Crusade (yes, Crusade) to wipe out Islamic terrorism was concluded, including "regime change" throughout Arabia.
Then, the towers would be rebuilt, as an exact reproduction of the originals.
No question that building higher and farther will entail risks of various kinds. But a great people rise to a challenge and undertake risks, knowing that what is gained by the spirit in meeting a challenge often outweighs what is gained by playing it safe. Would we incur risks in rebuilding the WTC as it was or better? Sure, but reaching for the stars always does entail some measure of risk, as well as embodying the sense of striving and adventure and the compulsion to reach beyond the limits those who would bind us seek to impose. America has always sought to ascend the pillars of sunlight that fall upon the lichen-tangled ground at our feet. That's why the barbarians chose the targets they did. We need to show them that we, as a people, will not be cowed into hunkering down among the shadows of our cities, in fear of whatever terror the barbarians might loose against us. To do otherwise would risk much more in our spirit than the physical risk we face by rebuilding.
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