Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

On the delay of certain freedom

I’m not quite sure why you actually have to be aware of this story to be able to find it, but it seems to be the case. I was told of it the other day by someone browsing the BBC news site, but on perusing it myself, I can’t find it. I checked all my major news sites, too: the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post and Heck, you’d hope one would find it through the New York Times, but no luck there, either. Just to confirm, I ran a search on it yesterday, and this is all I found:

I had to go all the way to Google, in fact, and when I did, I found an Associated Press story the associated press seems to have summarily completely ignored: apparently, whoever owns the World Trade Center proposed completely scrapping plans and deadlines for the construction of the new Freedom Tower because “nearly every project is delayed and over budget and that previous estimates are unrealistic.”

Sad, that. The first project scheduled to be completed–in time for the tenth anniversary of the attacks–was the memorial. Freedom Tower itself, along with the other buildings, weren’t expected to open themselves until 2013.

Shame, this.

Larry Silverstein is in charge of building three of the five towers (seems he’s the owner). He’s also the person to whom will be made payments of $300,000 per day for every day the construction of the towers goes beyond deadline. In fairness to him, though the article is not clearly worded, I think he’s also the one proposing scrapping the deadlines in the first place.

It puts me in mind of a paragraph from “What I Saw That Day (September 11th, 2001),” my essay (in my collection) concerning that day those years ago, and how I feel about it now:

I can’t seem to shake this feeling that it’s a bad dream. I can’t help looking at the plans and design for the new Freedom Tower and wonder why we can’t just build the World Trade Center back. Why we can’t recreate those buildings so that, one day, when we talk to our children and tell them about that day, they can look up at us and say, “What’re you talking about, Daddy? You mean those buildings? Right there? They falled down?”

There are days I miss New York, especially lately, but sometimes I wonder if I don’t miss Manhattan during the summer of 2000. It’s different when I go back, and then again, so am I.

(if you want to read my September 11th essay and haven’t yet, you can find it here.)


  1. I actually read the BBC article, but only because I subscribe to their Twitter feed and saw the link there. Finding it again, without the direct link, proved near impossible.

    I don’t really have a lot to say about the Freedom Tower, other than I feel that–if you start something related to this, you *must* finish it. I don’t care how delayed or how expensive it is. It’s bullshit to start something that represents so much and then just give up because it gets a bit hard.

    But that’s just me…bullheaded as I tend to be. It goes to integrity, I think, and here–more than ever before–giving up would send a message to the world about our integrity. Because what does it say about America to give up on such a thing?

    Of course, no one really wants to discuss what America represents anymore. It’s too easy to point fingers and elude responsibility. When it comes to actual discussions about that day, we’re still playing a mean game of dodge the bullet.

    I get what you’re saying about missing the Manhattan of 2000. I have similar feelings about the year prior to my Mama’s death. But, more than missing that reality, I suppose what I miss is the me that existed before…the person who didn’t know to much, who hadn’t seen too much. You can never go back there, but the here and the reality of what came after sometimes isn’t so bad.

  2. This is likely being treated as old news in the media because it IS old news. This seems to be another in a long line of delays on getting a memorial built. That the owner of the site has decided to scrap plans is disheartening, but the red tape he and others have encountered is downright infuriating. News of those particular delays kind of trickled out and didn’t get much attention. I think even Penn & Teller had an episode of “Bullshit” devoted to what was going on there.

    My old roommate used to keep this article pinned to his bulletin board:

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