Reflections from Ground Zero

One of the pools representing the foundations of the twin towers of the original World Trade Center


We went to the 9-11 Memorial this afternoon.  I’ve been to the site once or twice before, but it’s gradually taking shape.


When my wife and I took our little boys to the roof of the World Trade Center towers back in 1993, we would never have believed that, twenty years later, we would be visiting a memorial on the same site, and that our world would have been so transformed in the interim.


The Memorial is impressive, and moving.  And One World Trade Center, the signature building that will anchor the complex, is nearing completion.


Artist’s rendering of One World Trade Center. It’s almost complete.


Since, so far as I’m aware, I knew nobody who died that day, I sought out the name of Barbara Kay Olson, an author, former federal prosecutor, and conservative commentator on Fox and CNN with whom I had been familiar, on the lists of victims that surround the two fountains marking the footings of the two towers.  Barbara Olson died when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon; she had been en route to taping a show with the execrable Bill Maher.  I wanted to have some personal connection, a face and a personality to go with a name.


Barbara Kay Olson (d. 11 September 2001)


And yet, and yet . . .  Our memorials are feeble.  Futile.  They do not conquer death, and the twin fountains, though beautiful, are far less complex and fascinating and valuable than even one of the nearly 3,000 people who perished on 11 September.  Neither they nor even our necessary attempts at justice can bring back those who died.  Their loss is irreparable.  We can only mourn.  And hope.  We can hope that there is another chapter in those lives, glorious far beyond compensation, and that justice will be perfectly satisfied.


Posted from New York City



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