Letters: Week of Jan. 28, 2016

To the Editor,

Regarding your story “Fate of WTC Sphere keeps turning,” (Jan.14 issue), the reason a spokesperson for the memorial foundation declined to comment on the “debate” about returning the WTC Sphere to the WTC memorial is because there is no debate.

It is like arguing the fate of the USS Arizona. Should it be part of the USS Arizona Memorial? Imagine if the architect of that design said it’s perfect, it’s beautiful; now get rid of the ship.

How do you deny the Sphere, battered and torn in the attacks but the last remaining intact artifact of the WTC, a place of respect and honor at the National September 11 Memorial at the WTC?

How do you deny the millions who visit the memorial the opportunity, the right to see it – at the place it stood and survived the attacks – and appreciate its “beauty and power?” — as Foundation President Joe Daniels described the Survivor Tree when it was restored to the site.

So, let’s see; Survivor Tree stood on the site for 30 years; survived attacks; nursed back to health; as per Daniels and Foundation Chairman Michael Bloomberg, must be returned so all memorial visitors can see it there. The Sphere? Stood on the site for 30 years, survived the attacks, carefully salvaged from site. Cannot be returned. No one is allowed to see it there.

Makes sense.

And that’s why the memorial spokesperson declined to comment. Because he did not want to sound like an idiot. Because the Foundation has no remotely coherent reason for its refusal to return the Sphere.

There is one place for the Sphere and that is the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center. The general public, including Downtowners, have overwhelmingly called for that, even before a final memorial design was chosen. 9/11 families have overwhelmingly called for that; 9/11 survivors have called for that. The Executive Director of the Port Authority has called for it. The Battery Conservancy has called for it. The Koenig Foundation from Germany has called for it. Truth, memory and duty calls for it. Only the intransigence of a handful of memorial foundation officials blocks it. This is an outrage and an affront to the people and ideals the Foundation is supposed to serve. Finally and once and for all, return the Sphere. If the Foundation won’t, then it is time for Gov. Cuomo to step in and get it done.

Michael Burke

Head of “Save the Sphere,” 

Burke lost his firefighter brother, 

 Capt. William F. Burke, Jr., on 9/11. 

His brother’s rig, Engine 21, is an exhibit 

in the National September 11 Museum.

To the Editor,

I don’t it find a surprise to hear that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey still refused to put back the Sphere, designed by Fritz Koeing, back at the World Trade Center site (“Fate of WTC Sphere keeps turning,” Jan. 14 issue).  I feel that the main reason is the fact that it’s a remnant of the original World Trade Center and it would serve as a reminder to just that, which might also explain why the survivor’s staircase and what was left of the Westfield Mall was removed from there as well during the years of clearing out the place.  Perhaps, they would be afraid of people looking at the Sphere that was once part of the plaza that stood by the Twin Towers and might constantly ask why the Twin Towers weren’t just rebuilt instead of what wound up there, especially from those who knew why it was there in the first place.  What’s even more interesting is that they don’t even seem to want it to be placed in the 9/11 Museum.

Tal Barzilai

Pleasantville, NY

To the Editor,

Be it this weeks issue, or countless other ones,  doesn’t anyone get the point: WE are the problem with a lack of local representation and responsiveness on the BPCA board (“Board games” Jan. 14 issue).  Politicians of all stripes know one fundamental thing about “The People’s Democratic Voters  of Lower Manhattan” — it overwhelmingly votes Democrat, and unless one retires or is convicted, though complaining about results and character, re-elects the same tired faces.

A Republican governor will ignore us since we never vote for him, and conversely a Democrat governor knows we will vote for him reflexively no matter what he does and has no urgency to listen. It brings to mind a definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. One thing about politicians: they know how to read the tea leaves, and they and their cronies “yes” us to death as they laugh at our gullibility.

Think they would all notice if at the next primary all local pols were voted out, and on a state level, in close elections where every vote counts, the thousands of voters in Lower Manhattan said “no, not this time?”

On Sept. 17, 1990, amidst over 2,000 murders, graffiti, and an exodus of the middle class, NYC made the cover of “Time” magazine as the “Rotten Apple” as it proclaimed the death of big cities.  An ineffectual Mayor voted out after generations of one party rule, a new Mayor with fresh ideas, and before his first term was over that same “Time” magazine proclaimed the Big Apple and American cities were back.

It can happen that quickly, but only if people take the time and effort, and have the courage and conviction, to appreciate our democratic process which they abuse now by their lack of forethought.

John Brindisi

Spread the word:

One Response to Letters: Week of Jan. 28, 2016

  1. I think about the issue of whitewashing Confederate monuments in this country, and at the same time see the WTC site as an area where the whitewashing of history has already happened. Everything about the former WTC is either underground, obscured, or kept off site. The officials don't want any symbol of the former WTC to remain outside.

    The Survivor's Tree, being a tree, does not specifically say or show anything that specifically reminds people of the former WTC, and is therefore acceptable for the original Safe Space.

    Sigh…what has happened in those 16 acres is a major reason my faith in America has been hurt, and because of this I have envisioned a negative future for this country. It's like the site shows the exact opposite what what America is supposed to stand for.

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