One World Trade Center memorializes 9/11

By Editorial Board

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center, the One World Trade Center opened Nov. 3.

The building respectfully pays tribute to the 2,977 people who died on 9/11 while keeping pace with Lower Manhattan’s thriving economic development.

Standing at 1,776 feet, symbolic of the year the U.S. declared independence, the One World Trade Center is the tallest and most expensive building in the Western Hemisphere. Built in Lower Manhattan on the site where Six World Trade Center once stood, the building, also known as the Freedom Tower, is part of a new development that spawned six new skyscrapers, a memorial museum for the victims of 9/11 and a transportation hub.

The construction of the Freedom Tower was met with political controversy that led to delays throughout its development. Comedian Chris Rock recently discussed his fear of going inside the building during his Nov. 1 “Saturday Night Live” appearance, saying, “They should change the name from the Freedom Tower to the ‘Never Going in There Tower’ because I’m never going in there.”

Rock received backlash for his comments, with critics viewing his jokes on “SNL” as offensive to the victims’ families, and rightfully so.

By rebuilding on the Ground Zero site, New York City and the country are creating a landmark that is respectful to the people who were killed, and it is offensive to make jokes.

Nearby is the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on the site where the Twin Towers once stood. The memorial site is truly moving and heartbreaking. There are two large reflecting pools meant to represent the towers. Inscribed on the pools are the names of the victims killed on 9/11 and on Feb. 26, 1993, when the World Trade Center was bombed.

If Ground Zero was not rebuilt, New York City’s downtown would have forever remained a reminder of that day with chain-link fences and holes in the ground. Rebuilding the area commemorates the lives lost while advancing its economic interests.

Lower Manhattan has flourished in the past decade. The population has grown by 162 percent since 2000 with an estimated 60,000 residents, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York. There has also been vast growth in schools and businesses in the area. The One World Trade Center reflects these developments by housing offices for 3,000 employees including companies that have already leased offices there, such as Condé Nast, Servcorp and the Vantone China Center.

Although it is important to remember 9/11, the memorial museum assures that this can be done while allowing the area to flourish. There is nothing wrong with rebuilding and memorializing the site.

As for Rock’s comment about his fear of entering the building, it is ludicrous and inflammatory. The same can be said of any skyscraper in any city in the world. The architects of the One World Trade Center also ensured it was built with the utmost safety features by consulting the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to an Oct. 31 Washington Post report. A 20-story base of concrete and steel was constructed using concrete four times stronger than the kind found in sidewalks.

What happened on 9/11 will never be forgotten, but New York City is properly honoring those who died.