Tenth Anniversary of 9/11
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 16th, 2011
This past Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, perhaps the defining event of modern times. Ceremonies and memorials across the country commemorated this tragic day in American history, and the nearly three thousand people who lost their lives.
A solemn ceremony was held at the newly unveiled Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero as the nation gathered in solemn rememberance of the attack. Families of victims, politicians, and other fellow mourners were invited to the event.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the ceremony with a moment of silence. President Barack Obama followed with a reading from the Book of Psalms, the same passage he read to commemorate the Arizona shootings. In an act of solidarity, George Bush honored the memorial at Obama’s side.
A group of New York firefighters and policemen unfurled a tattered flag at the ceremony. It was the same flag which originally flew over the World Trade Center in the months after September 11th, 2011. Traditionally, torn flags are not meant to be flown, but this flag rose as a symbol of national resilience.
Bloomberg sparked controversy when he announced that the first responders would not be invited to the unveiling due to a lack of space. Viewed by many as a slap in the face to firefighters and policemen who willingly risked their lives, chain statuses circulated on Facebook in protest of the mayor’s decision.
Israeli Michael Arad designed the memorial on 8-acres of Ground Zero. His design was selected in a 2004 competition. The focal points of the memorial are two large reflecting pools. The names of the 2,977 fallen are etched into the walls surrounding the pools. The plaza around the pool consists of swamp white oak trees taken from New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C., the three targets of the attacks.
On the remaining half of Ground Zero, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is in the midst of constructing four skyscrapers. The construction is scheduled for completion in 2014 but has been slowed by the financial crisis. When complete, the new World Trade Center 1 building will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere, surpassing both the nearby Empire State Building and the Willis Tower in Chicago.
When the Upper School gathered for morning assembly on September 12th, Chaplain Suzanne Debuhr, Head of School Todd Bland, and Upper School Principal David Ball reflected on 9/11. A moment of silence was observed to honor those who lost their lives in the attack.
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