"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Five Years Later - II

When I returned to work in lower Manhattan after 9/11, I was initially reluctant to take photographs of the devastation. Eventually, I did bring a digital video camera (I did not yet own a digital still camera) and took a few photos.

Photo #1 above shows the burned-out #5 World Trade Center before it was demolished. My office building was the one on the right side in the picture. My firm has since moved uptown.

Photo #2 is a closer view of #5 WTC. In the right foreground is the tower of St. Paul's Chapel (1766), where George Washington worshipped when New York was capital of the U.S. and where George W. Bush recently attended a service on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. According to the church's website, "for nine months after the attacks on the World Trade Center, it was the center of a relief ministry for ground-zero’s workers. Thousands of volunteers and hundreds of rescue workers passed through St. Paul’s, and the chapel became known around the world as 'the little chapel that stood.'” After 9/11, the iron fence surrounding the chapel became covered with missing-person signs, messages of support, flags, etc. The materials remained on the fence for a considerable period of time before they were finally taken down and archived.

Photo #3 is a close-up view of #5 WTC.

Photo #4 was taken from my firm's cafeteria. For months until we moved uptown, we had a bird's-eye view of the cleanup and recovery efforts. The pile of rubble between the two buildings to the right was #7 WTC. It is the only building that has been rebuilt.

Photo #5 is the same view at night. The work went on 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Photo #6 shows the World Financial Center impaled by steel from the World Trade Center.

The barrel-vaulted structure in Photo #7 is the Winter Garden, a dining and shopping complex at the World Financial Center. Amazingly, the Winter Garden has been completely restored, and palm trees once again stand under its glass roof. To the left, of course, are the walls of the WTC.