World Trade Center Station

Img_1685jpgThough I’ve been to the World Trade Center Site many times, until yesterday, I had not taken the Path train. Past trips to the site flood me with memories from that day. I remember the fear, the burning smell, the plume of dust, and the sirens. I know that this suffering is not unique in the world, but 9/11 was closest that I’ve ever been to it. So coincidentally, on the same day that Osama Bin Laden released his video message to the American people, I visited the site he ordered to be destroyed. Remote control violence–give an order on one continent, bombs drop on another. It’s easier to forget about humanity when one frames the debate in terms of objectives and platitudes. (Jonathan Glover’s Humanity, A Moral History of the 20th Century illuminates this grim topic and offers solutions.) But now the World Trade Center site has been scrubbed clean, turned into a bit of a memorial and an efficient construction site. I still felt the site’s power, but felt it less keenly than on previous visits. I don’t know if I was overwhelmed, numb, or if I’ve grown so used to the sensation that it’s no longer the same. Going down into the station took me closer than I’ve ever been and yet 9/11 never felt further away. Go figure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *