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September 11, 2006

More True Than Funny: NY Unveils 9/11 Memorial Hole

Five years later, they're still dicking around. May be the wrong day for this, but The Onion nails the stupidity:

NEW YORK—Days before the fifth anniversary of the destruction of New York's World Trade Center by terrorists, city officials gathered on the site where the Twin Towers once stood to dedicate the newly completed 9/11 Memorial Hole.

"From the wreckage and ashes of the World Trade Center, we have created a recess in the ground befitting the American spirit," said New York Governor George Pataki from a cinderblock-and-plastic-bucket-supported plywood platform near the Hole's precipice. "This vast chasm, dug at the very spot where the gleaming Twin Towers once rose to the sky, is a symbol of what we can accomplish if we work together."

Pataki then cut a ceremonial ribbon to release a giant blue plastic tarpaulin, reportedly the largest of its kind, which fluttered and snapped while slowly settling into the detritus and mud at the bottom of the 70-foot Hole, drawing a long, tired sigh of resignation from the estimated crowd of 50,000 who had assembled to watch and shake their heads.

Begun only days after the 2001 attacks, the Hole covers almost the entire footprint of the original World Trade Center, contains over 16 acres of empty space, and is visible as far away as Hoboken, NJ. Over $175 million has been spent on the Hole's development, and thousands of pages of proposals and designs concerning the site in which the Hole was excavated were reviewed in over 2,800 hours of meetings. Work crews comprising more than 7,500 welders, equipment operators, excavators, and other construction specialists spent long, often unpaid shifts in its depths.

"These five years have been admittedly difficult," Pataki said. "Inevitably, we heard from the naysayers who said we would never accomplish anything on this site. To those people, I invite them to gaze down at this magnificent pit if they want proof of New Yorkers' dedication to this project."

The Hole contains several symbolic features: A massive reinforced-concrete foundation known before 9/11 as the "Bathtub" now serves as the renamed "Remembrance Facing." According to official memorial literature, a gently declining plane into the heart of the memorial stands for the gradual but steady passage of time, and permits construction vehicles to enter and exit the site. Chain-link fences symbolize the present but nonetheless scalable barriers between different cultures. Lastly, the "Eternal Puddle," perhaps the Hole's most notable and arresting, as well as bottommost, feature, allows visitors to reflect on the tragedy, while the rainwater-and-seepage-fed Puddle itself reflects muddy swirls and oil slicks.

Officials did not immediately explain the significance of the ubiquitous yellow "Keep Back" tape present at the site.

Rebuild the Towers.

The Aftermath: Pictures from September 13, 2001.

Via Larwyn.


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posted by Ace at 09:47 AM

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