At 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, my roommate woke me by dragging me into the living room while telling me in brief “the world is coming apart.” A little over a half-hour later, I watched as the World Trade Center came crashing down. Back home in New Jersey three weeks later, I caught a glimpse of the New York City skyline – minus the towers. Since that morning, architects, contractors and pundits speculated and offered opinions as to what should be built or re-built on the WTC site.
E-mail and conversations across the globe provide different ideas on what should happen to the World Trade Center site. Some propose a simple monument. Others propose two stronger towers, taller than the previous ones, soaring high above the skyline of New York City. While each idea is full of good intentions, the only way to properly honor all of those whose lives were taken and affected is to erect two towers, each of the same height and same design as the original Twin Towers. We must rebuild the World Trade Center.
Obviously, internal structural changes need to be made in order to support such buildings from future problems, but the fact remains that while a bigger and better complex would show our resolve against the attacks, an exact replica of the original buildings would serve to show that our original way of life, previous to Sept. 11, will not be brought down.
Our lives will forever be changed as a result of what we lived through. We will all have to make changes and sacrifices due to what we now face. But while we will make security and safety changes on the large scale, the events of last month have bestowed upon us the responsibility to stay the course. We must commit ourselves to bringing back the normalcy of our lives. If we do not do this, we hand the perpetrators of the attacks, the terrorists of the world, a victory over freedom and democracy – the very tenets they sought to bring down.
The tangible sense of this responsibility is embodied in rebuilding the World Trade Center utilizing the same outer design, the same location and most importantly – the same name. John F. Kennedy once said, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” Similarly, we must rebuild the original World Trade Center, and never forget its name.
Once the World Trade Center is put back in its place, we can say to the world that our spirit will not be brought down. Rather it remains affixed in its place for all to see.
-The writer is a junior majoring in international affairs.