Today it is exactly seven years since those terrifying attacks on the World Trade Center, NYC. Reams have been written in eulogies and copious amounts of tears have been shed for those that lost their lives on that day; some of whom ran in willingly to save others. The terrorist attack finally woke up the United States to the dangers of Islamic terrorism which unleashed the now-infamous War on Terror. Ground Zero, as the site of the WTC is now known, unfortunately remained as an ugly scar on the New York landscape and only this year was the construction of the new Freedom Tower was begun.
Boston.com’s Big Picture shows us some images from that day; mostly of the site and the current progress of the construction. Apart from the Freedom Tower which will obviously house offices and commercial space in the very-expensive Manhattan market, the artist’s impression of the monument for the victims depicting the footprints of the towers with waterfalls (see image) looks beautiful. But have the emotional scars healed yet? Probably not. Although New York hasn’t experienced any attack, I’m sure the people still get nervous each time mention of any such attack is even hinted at. Judging from the average reaction from the Indian Home Ministry after a terror attack, New Yorkers are probably not as resilient as Mumbaikars. The fact that there has been no attack on the U.S. soil in the past seven years is no reason to get complacent and declare victory over the terrorists because such a claim is only valid until the next attack. The phrase ‘War on Terror’ is misleading because everyone in Washington knows that you can never completely win this war but only achieve small victories. As long as a suicide bomber can walk into a crowded cafe or an IED made in a tin shack can blow up an armored Humvee, you’ve to keep on fighting. The two sides may differ on how best you can fight this threat but fight you must either ideologically, diplomatically, or militarily.
I’m glad that political partisanship will take a much-needed break on this day as Obama and McCain make a joint appearance at Ground Zero. Although it sounds sad, it takes a tragedy to bring a nation together again. I just hope that after going through the raucous partisan debates in the recent past, the United States doesn’t need such an event to unite the people.