In 50 years, what are people going to think of the space which now occupies where the twin towers were?
A little late for the September 11 anniversary, but oh well.
I’ve been giving some thought to the design of cities, and how the place which used to be the World Trade Centers will be treated in 50 years. Ten years on, it’s still a construction site. Already many people have grown up and don’t know what happened there. By the time it is finished, the monument will already mean something different to what it would have one or two years after the buildings collapsed.
In 50 years will people know about the monuments? Will they care? Or will it be some abstract thing which they all acknowledge but has no truth to them? Will people meet up there because it’s an easy location to find? A nice park? Will people throw flowers in?
Does building a monument to a terrorist act mean the terrorists win? I mean, in the end all that’s left is a message like “A long time ago terrorists did something here, and now it's all roses”. The monument itself appears to “celebrate” (unsure of the right word to use here) the lack of the towers themselves. The loss of life, perhaps, but not the heroism of, say, the first responders. If a monument is a celebration, then isn’t it celebrating the terrorist act itself? Tacitly, I mean.
So “commercialised” or whatever it may be, it is a part of the city, and will stay there for a long time. It may become an “attraction” of sorts. A strange thing to think of.