I’m always deeply touched by the solemnity that marks this day. The ringing bells and reciting of the names. Photos of lost loved ones held up high. The tears welling up in the most hardened or officious New York eyes. These are beautiful, simple moments. And this is likely to be the last year the ceremony will be held down in the pit. Because supposedly the construction will be farther along. But the only thing that seems to be going up at Ground Zero is the fucking cost. And that’s just for the so-called “memorial”.
Frugality used to be a prized trait in this country. No more. Why we feel it necessary to spend $1 billion on an ugly crypt is beyond reason. Like the faded and rusted memorials to the USS Maine, in 100, 200 years from now, what will it matter, except the price tag? And the worst of it is that, like everything else, the New York City taxpayers are going to foot most of the bill.
I’m certainly not callous to the horror and pain of that happened on this day. No one is. We’ve all been affected by it, to whatever degree. Nor do I think we should scrap plans to memorialize what happened. I just think a little more prudence and simplicity would better ensure that our collective memories—or our tax dollars—don’t get buried in a showcase of tragedy worship and gloomy pageantry. That’s all.