Volume 18, Number 50 | April 28 - May 4, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Rethink the memorial

To The Editor:
I read, with great interest, your article about the proposed W.T.C. memorial (news article, April 21- 27, “Residents clash with 9/11 families”).  I strongly agree that the footprints should not be built upon.  As a physician who rendered emergency care in the aftermath of 9/11 and as a member of a team that entered the W.T.C. memorial competition with a submission that was singled out for citation by Kevin Rampe, the former president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (after the jury had selected its finalists), I have strong feelings about the manner in which the fallen should be honored at ground zero.  I favor the L.M.D.C.’s own competition guidelines, which prohibited the building upon the footprints of the original Twin Towers and the preservation of the “bathtub”.   Unfortunately, the jury saw fit to ignore its own competition rules and selected Mr. Arad’s bland and generic design.  Not only will it spend half of its huge budget to fill in the “bathtub,” but it will obscure the original footprints that both the jury and the 9/11 families originally felt so strongly about preserving. I believe that Mr. Arad’s design, albeit dignified, misses the point.  It bears little resemblance to Mr. Arad’s original design that was selected by the jury.  From a barren, stark, open space, it has been turned into an arboretum by Mr. Walker.  It utterly lacks specificity to the tragic episode in world history that it is to memorialize.  Waterfalls and reflecting pools will be seasonal, freezing in winter, unless heated to prevent freezing.  

This lawsuit might prompt all sides to take a major step back to review what could be more appropriate at the memorial site.  It would be worth delaying the memorial if it ensures that a mistake in perpetuity is not made. 
 Barry Miles Belgorod


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