Two weeks ago, while downtown for a meeting, I decided to take a long overdue journey to the World Trade Center memorial site. As I can see it out of my bedroom window, in my new Brooklyn apartment, it is a constant reminder of what happened on that awful day. I visited 12 days ago but finding the right words to accompany these photos has been the cause of the delay. Eleven years later I still have a hard time writing or talking about this tragic event, so instead I am going to echo verbatim The Welcome Message at the ticket counter that was written by Mayor R. Bloomberg, the Mayor of the City of New York and the Chair of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum:
On behalf of the City of New York, it is an honor to welcome you to the National September 11 Memorial. From victims’ families to rescue workers, survivors, government officials, planners, architects, engineers, construction workers, community leaders, and supporters from all over the world, hundreds of thousands have contributed to making this memorial possible. This place of remembrance is the realization of our city’s and our country’s commitment to honoring all those we lost in the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 attacks. I invite you to reflect on those who perished, the courage of those survived others, the resolve of those who survive and the solidarity the world has shown to New York.
As a New Yorker I usually avoid the shops associated with tourist attractions but I decided to stop by the 9/11 shop after reading about the motorcycle created to represent the site. Here is the exact words on the plaque next to the bike, World Trade Center Rebuilding Chopper Courtesy of Daniel R. Tishman:
The World Trade Center Rebuilding Chopper, designed and custom-built by Paul Jr. and Paul Jr. Designs, was commissioned by Daniel Tishman, co-chairman of the Construction, OPerations and Real Estate Committee of the 9/11 Memorial’s Board of Directors. Drawing inspiration from the 16-acre World Trade Center site, Paul Jr. folded into the bike’s design a number of architectural references from the Memorial and re-development projects underway. The front wheel is crafted from hand-poured glass to evoke the crystalline form of the new 1 World Trade Center. The bike’s front end, a nod to the new 3 World Trade Center, emulates the diamond-shaped bracing of the building’s planned facade. A ribbed gas tank parallels the white spires of the site’s transportation hub, and the back wheel, distinguished by its mirror-finish, is an homage to the 9/11 Memorial’s two reflecting pools. The exhaust is modeled after 2 World Trade Center.