Sunday, September 11, 2011


World Trade Center (image via Wikipedia)

It’s a testament to the power of symbolism that the twin towers of the World Trade Center were and in their absence remain synonymous with power, hubris, terror, and loss. The late Minoru Yamasaki, architect of the WTC, said “world trade means world peace” and that the complex should be a “living symbol of global harmony.” On September 11, 2001, radical jihadists instead regarded it as a symbol of American evil and arrogance. The painful irony of Yamasaki’s words haunted us in the immediate aftermath of the terrorists’ attacks.

The new World Trade Center (image via Wikipedia)

Today, 9/11 is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. New Yorkers are rebuilding Ground Zero as a gleaming paean to optimism. Collectively, the new architecture there will stand for an entire nation’s response to the events of that fateful September morning. The power of symbolism is great; in this instance, let’s hope the architecture ultimately symbolizes our ability to move on. It’s important to remember what happened ten years ago (no one will forget) but also to awaken to a world that has irrevocably changed since then.

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