America will never forget
People who throng the construction site of World Trade Center in Down Town New York are moved so much that their eyes turn moist. The visitors to the...
Vijaya Chandra Babu Menda
People who throng the construction site of World Trade Center in Down Town New York are moved so much that their eyes turn moist. The visitors to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum have to first collect passes, not sold but given free, from an office situated nearby. But a notice on a board asks for a willing donation from five to ten dollars. And, no one seeks a free pass.
Visitors coming from all over the world give more than what they are asked for. Many youngsters buy memorial wrist bands and wear them with pride. Workers at the site of the World Trade Centre reconstruction with their heavy loads of tools and other paraphernalia are wished with respect and awe. The site is restricted and only those with access cards are allowed inside. In the museum, the pictures of horrendous terrorist act on September 11, 2001 make the visitors remember the death of thousands of innocent people.
Before the Al Qaeda attack, there were World Trade Centers numbered one to seven. World Trade Center North and South were tallest and most famous which attracted about 80,000 visitors every day. The restaurants on the 106 and 107 floors of the North Tower, called “The Window on the World,” were a major attraction. It was a place where literally “one could eat with his head in the clouds.”
They were visible majestically from Staten Island where New York’s landmark Statue of liberty is located and from the Brooklyn Bridge a few miles away. One could see the towers from any point in the Financial District in Down Town. Their destruction by Al Qaeda elements was witnessed by people from all over the world. The tragedy was a death blow to the Americans. But not for long. They recovered and regained their composure. They hunted down the perpetrators of ‘war on America’ and gave them a befitting reply. American forces made them run for their lives. While the US government and its troops were busy fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan and elsewhere, Americans, with true grit, have started raising the towers from Ground Zero.
The brilliant beams that pierce into the night sky are now surrounded by hectic activity of reconstruction. The area is abuzz with all the towers coming back except the Tower Six which housed the United States Customs Department and the Tower Five which housed the United States Claims Court. The main tower, the World Trade Center Tower I is almost complete and can be seen from anywhere in New York. The other towers are under construction. The ruined Millennium Hilton Hotel, Century 21 Departmental Store and the Deutsche Bank came back to life and are in full swing. The 1776-ft tall tower WTC I is now called Freedom Tower.
The earlier World Trade Center Plaza had such a huge plinth area that it had its own pin code number: 10048. And the new complex too will carry the same pin code number. The St. Paul’s Chapel which was a regular prayer place of the Founder Father of the United States of America George Washington which stood next to the collapsed towers was left unscathed. Most of the relief work was carried out from here.
The Freedom Tower, shaped like a diamond, was designed by David Schilds of Skidmore, Owings and Merril and will have a spire on the top which will beam a 100 ft light beam into the night sky. The tower is estimated to be completed by the end of this year or in early 2014. It was originally called Trade Center I but by public demand it has been renamed Freedom Tower.
Peter Petit, a young man who walked on a tight rope between the Twin Towers in 1974 with a balancing pole for eight times may not be able to do that feat now because Freedom Tower is only one tower which is the tallest in the Western hemisphere and fourth tallest in the world. Asked how she felt on seeing the almost complete Freedom Tower, a lady tourist from California said,” America never forgets”.