Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘world trade center’

Rebuild the Twin Towers!

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2008

Via email from the Twin Towers Alliance:

Finally, there is an opportunity to change direction at Ground Zero. On May 25, 2008  the editor of the New York Post wrote: “No one seriously believes that the current schedule of construction deadlines is remotely achievable, and things are only getting worse.”  And just last Thursday, New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo wrote: that “lots of what's going on is what real-estate developers derisively call ‘moving dirt around.’ The likelihood it will result in even a single component of the new WTC being finished on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, just over three years from now, is nil.”

The stage is set. We have a bright and independent new Governor of New York who wants to win election on his own in 2010 and a Governor in New Jersey who would love to distinguish himself. And they have the absolute power to do whatever they decide is best for the WTC. Governor Patterson recently appointed a new executive director at the Port Authority, a man who was on record from the start as not favoring the depressing “Reflecting Absence” memorial. And he has directed him to audit the entire site and report back by June 30th. Even the New York Times is noting that a fundamental correction is due. And we have been in touch with a number of key individuals behind the scenes who are on board and ready to speak out when the time comes.

But none of that would matter if it weren’t for the fact that the Twin Towers II plan is fully developed and ready to swap for the current boondoggle. The politicians could never abandon one plan without having another plan ready to go. The fact that there is a plan to restore our butchered skyline by 2011 is what makes this all possible.  When officials finally recognize that there is a way out of the mess they have made, they would have to be demented to pass on it. 

The Twin Towers II plan is ready to take all the time and energy that has gone into Ground Zero and convert it into soaring Twin Towers that WOULD be ready for the 10th anniversary. It includes a memorial, which has the support of many 9/11 families and that is a quantum leap in quality over the current design. And Ken Gardner even has a plan to recycle the materials that have been procured for the funereal “Freedom Tower” into the Deutsche Bank replacement – so waste will not become an issue.

The way the political landscape has changed over the past six months is truly miraculous. Rebuilding the Twin Towers is now less radical than continuing on the current course. There is no way to justify or redeem the current mess. So there really has never been such an opportune moment as is now upon us and The Twin Towers Alliance has prepared an extraordinary booklet that is going to leverage all the promising developments.  We will go to print this week and get it to the desks of well over 100 prominent individuals around the country. We fully expect it to be the catalyst for new Twin Towers.  When people see how far superior the Twin Tower II plan is to the current development, and they see the mailing list of names that will be attached, there will be no responsible way to ignore it.

There is NO doubt that this is going to open the eyes of a lot of these people and get them thinking and turning to their rolodexes. The very high quality presentation will cost around $25.00 apiece to print and mail, but there is no other way to do it right.  Once the mailing has gone out we will post a Flash copy of the booklet on the site as the pinnacle of all we have been striving to achieve. We know that no one will be disappointed.

This is by far the most important broadcast The Twin Towers Alliance has ever sent out. We have sent out very few fundraising emails in the past so we think our credibility should be pretty high. There is a real opportunity for each of you to rebuild the Towers by clicking here or on the banner below to donate. This is the culmination of all our efforts, so please think carefully about how much you can afford to help – especially if you have never contributed in the past.  The Twin Towers II plan is 115 stories high and for a donation of $115 we will send the donor a booklet, which we expect will become a collector’s item. Rebuilding the Twin Towers is just as momentous for every one of you as it is for us.  

Finally, we want to acknowledge all the inspirational email messages that are sent in and to say that we only wish we could answer them all. But we are sincerely grateful for the moral support and read every one.

There is something magical about the possibilities before us. Please help us make the most of them. We vow, pledge, promise, and swear to do everything humanly possible to channel your support into a World Trade Center worthy of the name.

Thank you and best wishes,

Margaret Donovan and Richard Hughes

for The Twin Towers Alliance

THE WORLD IS WATCHING

Contribute to Twin Towers Alliance

 

Minoru Yamasaki, architect of the World Trade Center: "World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center… is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace… a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness." Please join me in supporting this effort to restore that symbol.

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Barnett on 9/11

Posted by Richard on September 12, 2007

Dean Barnett:

I WASN’T PLANNING ON POSTING A 9/11 reminiscence today.  I wrote a lot of them back in the day, and I didn’t think I had anything fresh to say.  Whatever I wrote today about 9/11 was going to stay between me and my hard drive.  Then a few hours ago I got a letter from a Cantor Fitzgerald employee.  It brought back memories of the day.  Suddenly saying nothing about 9/11, especially on a day when so many Senators are talking about al Qaeda as part of a lame attempt to score partisan political points, seemed inappropriate.

Read. The. Whole. Thing. 

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Never forget

Posted by Richard on September 11, 2006

Lady Liberty watching over the twin towers before 9/11
 

On this anniversary, no words I write could match what Gerard Van der Leun wrote several months ago when United 93 came out. I described it thus:

Nothing else I’ve read comes close to Gerard Van der Leun’s Of a Fire in a Field. I first read it several days ago and was unable to even write about it. I’ve read it several times now, and the impact is still powerful. I don’t recall anything that has ever moved me more.

In the passage that moved me beyond words, and that I quote again today, Van der Leun recalled 9/11 and its aftermath, when he lived in New York:

Inside the wire under the hole in the sky was, in time, a growing hole in the ground as the rubble was cleared away and, after many months, the last fire was put out. Often at first, but with slowly diminishing frequency, all the work to clear out the rubble and the wreckage would come to a halt.

The machinery would be shut down and it would become quiet. Across the site, tools would be laid down and the workers would straighten up and stand still. Then, from somewhere in the pile or the pit, a group of men would emerge carrying a stretcher covered with an American flag and holding, if they were fortunate, a body. If they were not so fortunate the flag covering over the stretcher would be lumpy, holding only portions of a body from which, across the river on the Jersey shore, a forensic lab would try to make an identification and then pass on to the victim’s survivors something that they could bury.

I’m not sure anymore about the final count, but I am pretty sure that most families, in the end, got nothing. Their loved ones had all gone into the smoke and the dust that covered the end of the island and blew, mostly, across the river into Brooklyn where I lived. What happened to most of the three thousand killed by the animals on that day? It is simple and ghastly. We breathed them until the rains came and washed clean what would never be clean again.

. . .

As I did back in May, on this anniversary, I urge you to read the whole thing — and think about the question he asks you at the end.

The final count, apparently, is 2,626 at the WTC and 2,996 total. The latter number is also the name of a website and a fine idea for a tribute:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.

I really meant to sign up for this effort, but other events made me forget. Not to worry — there was no shortage of volunteers. In fact, the list is oversubscribed (more than 3400 bloggers participating), so some victims have more than one blogger paying tribute.

Here’s the entire list of links to the tributes. Take a few moments today to read just a few, won’t you?

And never forget.

First tower falls
Fleeing through the choking dust

 

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Twin towers

Posted by Richard on July 15, 2006

rebuild the twin towersUPDATE: See this 22 June 2008 post for the latest news. It's still not too late. Two years later, they still haven't done anything but "move dirt around."

I don't strongly dislike the final design for Freedom Tower, the World Trade Center towers replacement, unveiled on June 28. They've removed most of the godawful aspects of the original Liebeskind proposal that won the design competition.
 
But what's being built now still pales, IMO, compared to rebuilding the twin towers. It's a single, smaller, more modest and humble building than the two towers it's replacing. Is that really the statement New York wants to make?

Like Ed Koch, Donald Trump, Penn & Teller, David Brenner, many of the families and friends of the victims, at least three-quarters of New Yorkers, and the vast majority of Americans, I support rebuilding the twin towers, at least as tall and stronger. If you agree, please join me and the numerous groups working to bring this about:

  • Sign the Twin Towers Alliance petition.
  • Visit the Twin Towers II Memorial Foundation, take a look at the Gardner-Belton plan (I love it), and vote in their online poll.
  • Visit MakeNYNYagain to see more about Gardner-Belton and compare it to Liebeskind.
  • Look at the finalists in the Team Twin Towers design competition (Coloradan Robin Heid is one of them!) and vote for your favorite.
  • Visit Rebuild-the-Towers, where you'll find some excellent commentary, such as:

    A Matter of Honor

    Our disdain for the latest version of the "Freedom Tower" is not because of what it looks like – but what it stands for. It could be the most beautiful building in the world and it still would not belong at Ground Zero because it represents retreat. It's as simple as that.

  • Watch this wonderful Penn & Teller video clip (due to language, not work-safe unless you use headphones), which is both funny and soul-stirring.
  • Donate at Team Twin Towers to support the joint efforts of the allied twin towers organizations. 

It's not too late to get the plan changed. Construction has begun, but so far it's just excavation and site preparation.

 

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