Letters to the Editor

Juror’s revelations

To The Editor:

Re “A W.T.C. juror speaks” (news article, Dec. 16- 22):

James Young provides some interesting insights into the memorial jury’s collective state of mind. His statements occasionally alternate between poignancy and naiveté that indicate a depth of general intellectual acumen but a shallowness of understanding the specific complaints leveled against the jury’s selections.

The element of time is the recurring message in Mr. Young’s statements. Mr. Young appears not to be hearing the Coalition of 9/11 Families that have called for not just a slowdown in the memorial selection process but a temporary stoppage, as evidenced by the Coalition’s current thrust to have the tower footprints be declared a national historic site. This process would require months of study by the National Park Service that would eliminate any construction near the tower footprints until surveying and recommendations could be made.

This concentration on time is further reflected by his assertion that “the W.T.C. jury has a lot of freedom to make changes.” This statement implies that we may not be viewing the finalists’ designs.

If Mr. Young is stating that the jury has the power to create a memorial that we are currently not looking at and further that we should trust their judgment to generate this memorial vision that will keep shifting from our view, then it is a shameful pronouncement of the failure of this jury to adhere to a single vision of one of the entrants to the competition. It is not for the jury to design the memorial.

In most competitions of this nature, a “design lock” is put on the winning design at some point in time. This jury would apparently have us believe that the design is so mutable that it will keep changing for an unforeseeable period of time. Of course, the other interpretation for these assertions is that the jury has foundered on the shores of public opinion and to protect their final selection from scrutiny, it will be shielded in the secretive veil of evolving over time.

The beginning of the article has a quote from Mr. Young with the emotional message of truth that, “People are responding from the heart. The magnitude is so large in some people’s minds that nothing in their view would ever come close to capturing the enormity of the event.” There is no question that no memorial could ever capture the scale of death and destruction that was witnessed on 9/11, but that should not be used as an excuse not to try and instead to look the other way.

We do not object to these designs because they lack aesthetics but because they lack answers. We do not object to these designs because they fail to convey loss but because they fail to convey history. And we do not object to these designs because they are not able to change with time, but because they are not fixed in any time.

Steve Argue

Lockport, N.Y.

Monster of a tower

To The Editor:

The latest version of the so-called “Freedom Tower” is a monstrous abomination, a FrankenTower. I leased space on the 77th floor of One W.T.C., and will take the terrorism risk of returning, but only to towers truly worthy of that risk. Of all those who leased space in our beloved W.T.C. towers, I’m not aware of anyone planning to occupy the proposed new FrankenTower. It is time to scrap the deeply cynical, anti-democratic process that created this mess. The thousands of our family members who died, and the millions of us who survived, all deserve so much better. It is not too late. With considerable effort, we can and will prevail over this FrankenTower nonsense.

Jonathan Hakala

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