For nearly four years now, the 9/11 families - those who lost immediate family members in that tragedy - have provided an inestimable service to this nation. They helped drive forward the inquiries of the Sept. 11 commission. They helped formulate any number of the projects being developed at ground zero. They have reminded us conscientiously of what was lost on that day.No, it means no politicization of the site and using 'culture' as a codeword for moral equivalence. Islamic terrorists launched an unprovoked and heinous terrorist attack on this nation, murdering more than 3,000 people for simply doing ordinary tasks like working or travelling. The IFC and Drawing Center have no intention of honoring the memories of those who lost their lives that day. Their representatives may speak in platitudes, but their actions speak louder.
But in the past few weeks, we've watched a handful of vocal family members, who may not represent a majority of 9/11 families, change the dynamic at the World Trade Center site for the worse. They have begun a movement to "take back the memorial," which means, in essence, eventually purging ground zero of its cultural partners, including the International Freedom Center.
Meanwhile, some 9/11 families point to a London 9/11 memorial as the model to follow in NY.
We can learn a lot from the mother country," said Charles Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, a British citizen, was killed while working on the 97th floor of the north tower.
"You won't see the British build a museum next to their memorial park," he said.
"Ideologies change over time," he said. "Memorials are meant to be perpetual and eternal."
Also, the LMDC is opening a story telling booth at the WTC PATH station:
Inside the World Trade Center PATH train station, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has commissioned a project to tell the story again, an exercise in populism that takes an approach opposite to that of the photo booklets. The project, a storytelling booth set to open today, depends on words with no pictures, rambling impressions instead of searing images, the cadence of voices in place of printed text.
In part, it is a stopgap for Reflecting Absence, a six-acre memorial scheduled to open in 2009 at the site of the terror attack of 2001.
Technorati: World Trade Center, WTC, Pataki, LMDC, urban policy.