It's hard to be at your most antenna-of-the-species sensitive when dread of anthrax in the air-circulating system, or a bollard-evading bomb, is on your mind.
Nor am I saying that there's any place utterly safe from the threat of terrorism, in America, but you'd have to admit the Acme Widgets Company in Toledo (a name I made up) is less likely to be on the al-Qaida front burner.
True, even New York skyscrapers that are not making an in-your-face challenge to the most successful terrorist group in the world cannot be 100 percent safe. But why place your entire enterprise in most endangered skyscraper in the world? I have to believe there's more to this decision than we know. Could they be getting the space for next to nothing as a loss leader to attract companies who think: "Well, if Condé Nast is there it must be safe."
Maybe it's a kind of denialism at work. See—10 years later—we're all just Americans hard at work, the way we were the morning of 9/10/01. Like it never happened. But—I hate to be a downer—it did happen. To a building complex we were assured was oh-so-safe back then.
I've always felt that the most fitting response, one that would assure we never forget 9/11—the purpose of a memorial, right?—would be to have left the pit of destruction just as it was, a raw nightmare snapshot of what hatred does. Not business as usual.
Show the scar, the still-open wound. Don't try to cover it up with a pretty, prismy, 1776-foot-tall tower. That's not a victory for freedom. It's a victory for folly.
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