Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Remember 9/11

Shot by GrandCentral looking down on Ground Zero to the east

It almost seems surreal to think that over a decade has passed since the tragedy of 9/11 changed America forever. 2,983 innocent men, women and children died that day as the world helplessly looked on in disbelief.  It was one of those moments in life where everybody remembers where they were and what they were doing.  11 years later, we still remember it like it was yesterday.

To bring you guys up to speed as to what has been going on with Ground Zero here in New York City, Freedom Tower (the 1,776 foot tall skyscraper) has been making good progress and appears to be reaching its tallest height at 104 floors.  This wasn't easy though.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the quasi-governmental entity which governs all of the bridges and tunnels between NY and NJ) argued for years with Larry Silverstein who acquired the lease to the World Trade Center in July 2001 when the Port Authority decided to sell it.  The debate focused on whether Silverstein, who under the terms of the lease had the right to rebuild the WTC if it was ever destroyed, could secure the financing from the many numerous insurance companies that had written policies to cover the WTC.  The legal issue turned on whether 9/11 counted as "one" terrorist attack or "two" for insurance claim purposes. 

In the end, the answer to that question depended on the language used by the respective insurance companies: some were required to make 1 payout while others were required to make 2 payouts.  All told, Silverstein got about $4 Billion and change to rebuild the WTC and construction finally began years after the debris had been cleared from the site. However, the Port Authority (which may have illegally jacked up bridge and tunnel costs to pay for the site) wanted more control over the new site which brings us to today's dispute.

Today, the 9/11 memorial has been open to the public for a year but in the middle of the memorial is a proposed museum.  The museum could not open along with the rest of the memorial last September because, once again, the Port Authority is arguing with New York and New Jersey about financing and who is going to pay what.  New York Governor Cuomo, along with the assistance of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has apparently brokered a deal that the Port Authority can live with...for now.  As a result, construction has just recently resumed on the museum.  It should be open sometime next year.

All of that aside, here are some picks taken by the Urban Politico team at the 9/11 memorial.  Enjoy:

This tree survived from the original site


blog comments powered by Disqus