Who will define ground zero? I believe that Ground Zero should be defined by the area surrounding the World Trade Centers, where any damage&debris fell,and where any ashes were scattered or body parts and plane parts may have been found. This is why the Ground Zero Mosque location is so controversial, as those who attacked us on 911 were Muslim's who followed their 'religious' beliefs, under Islam. They were taught through their 'bible', the Koran, to kill anyone who is not one of them, the infidel. In addition, the landing gear of one of the planes was found in the building where the mosque is destined to go, making this building 'sacred' to those who lost loved ones and a significant landmark to the events of 9/11.
The families who lost loved ones should be the first to decide what the parameter of Ground Zero includes. The rebuilding of the World Trade Centers into a memorial with waterfalls and a park defines the exact location where the buildings came down, but the entire area surrounding was filled with smoke,ash and debris after the buildings came down.
I understand there are still businesses in those surrounding areas, including a strip club which existed prior to 9/11, however, the building of the mosque/cultural center is insensitive to the families who lost loved ones and those who feel a mosque that represents the same 'religion' of those terrorists who attacked us is too close for comfort. Not to mention Muslim's have a history of building mosques over areas they conquered. Such a the Cordoba mosque in Spain, which has now been reclaimed by Christians. However, there are other mosques around the world which have been built where Muslim's have conquered Christian churches and landmarks, such as the mosque being built in Pakistan over a Christian cemetery.[see:http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/pakistan/24955/]
Despite being told not to build there, the Pakistani radical cleric has ordered construction to continue. Where is the sensitivity among the 'religion of peace'? Therefore, it is believed by many Americans, including Muslim's, the Ground Zero Mosque, Park51, should not be allowed to be built because of the significance and proximity to the World Trade Centers. In addition, the building was damaged by debris, landing gear, from the attack on 9/11 making it a sacred landmark. Therefore, the area defining Ground Zero extends beyond where the towers fell, but also to the surrounding area at least within three blocks, if not more.
Who will define ground zero? 9 years after 9/11, tug of war over 'sacred ground' grows heated
Depending on whom you talk to, it's a scar on this city where horror still lingers, a bustling hive symbolizing the resilience of a nation, or simply, for those who live and work nearby, a place where life goes on.
In recent weeks, as debate has raged over the placement of a planned Islamic cultural center and mosque a couple of blocks from the construction, Americans have been reminded of just how many people lay claim to this place, the focal point for all those who have a stake in the legacy of Sept. 11.
Gesturing at the land he helped clear in the weeks after 9/11, Louis Pabon believes he knows who owns it: "This is mine."
Take a walk around ground zero, and you can get lost in the throngs. Among the tourist crowds at St. Paul's, a block away, a woman sipping a strawberry smoothie walks past an altar covered with photos of the dead. Outside, beneath cranes that glint red in the sun, construction workers cluster. A woman in a business suit and white sneakers speeds down the sidewalk. Burger King is full, and at Century 21 department store, across from the construction, polo shirts are 85 percent off.
This place was once a giant plaza filled with businesspeople and tourists and shoppers and commuters rushing to the subway. Then, on one sunny September Tuesday in 2001, it became suddenly a place of history and loss. Within 24 hours, someone had dubbed it ground zero, and it was never the same.
After 9/11, there were weeks, and months, of coming to grips. Everyone had lost something. A child. An acquaintance. A skyline. A sense of safety. A center of business. A solid stock portfolio. A feeling that we knew where everything was heading.
Before the week was out, the pastor at St. Paul's began calling the site of the devastation "sacred ground." On Sept. 20, Katie Couric told TV viewers it "should be hallowed." For the family members of more than 1,100 of the victims whose remains were never recovered, it is the only gravesite they have.
"This pit of evil and doom," Sally Regenhard calls it now, her voice shaking nine years after the death here of her firefighter son, Christian.
"My son's beautiful remains are forever scattered," she says. "Ground zero is a burial ground."
Now, most everyone is staking out a position on the planned Islamic cultural center, to include a mosque, auditorium and other facilities about two blocks from the construction barriers. Some say the location should be moved out of sensitivity, because the Sept. 11 hijackers claimed to act in the name of Islam. Others say that moving the mosque would be bowing to intolerance and curtailing religious freedom.
Through all of this conflict, ground zero has been shuttered. Few have walked on its soil, except for the workers who cleared the site and those who are rebuilding it. Family members and others invited to the yearly memorial ceremonies have been allowed in, as was the pope on his 2008 pilgrimage.
With so few allowed in, everyone who journeyed to this untouchable space could make of it what they would. So what happens after the planned memorial opening on Sept. 11, 2011 — when the public is allowed inside the walled-off space?
The memorial was always intended to become a vibrant space again — to "be stitched back into the grid of lower Manhattan," says professor James E. Young, a member of the panel that selected the memorial design.
Freedom Tower, the site's signature skyscraper, rising a symbolic 1,776 feet, was renamed One World Trade Center, thought a better draw for corporate tenants. Even the ethereal design imagined by architect Daniel Libeskind came back to earth, restrained by the boundaries of physics and financing.
The plan for the memorial pools set in the footprints of the towers, though, remains.Read more at www.foxnews.com
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