MAKE TRADE CENTER'S MEMORIAL PROMINENT

July 18, 2002 11:00 pm

The rubble has been cleared from the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are preparing to move forward with redeveloping the 16-acre site where two terrorist-flown planes crashed into and destroyed the Twin Towers.

FORTUNATELY, none of the six redevelopment proposals include plans to reconstruct the 110-floor towers. Duplicating the 1,362- and 1,368-foot skyscrapers would have provided too vivid of a reminder of the Sept. 11 attacks that led to the deaths of more than 2,500 people. It also would have elicited fear within people working in or visiting the new skyscrapers that terrorists might repeat the attack.

All the plans incorporate much smaller buildings and a memorial park where those who died can be recognized.

One of the most attractive designs, called the Memorial Square plan, includes a 10-acre park with a memorial/cultural building at its heart. The design would include twin 70-story rectangular towers with a circular 80-story building standing guard between the two, as if representing the American spirit or faith in God.

Another design, called Memorial Promenade, incorporates even smaller buildings that would blend more evenly into the financial district's skyline. The Promenade would incorporate an oval park and six towers, two at 63 stories and four at 32 stories.

DESIGNERS SHOULD forget about incorporating the same amount of office or retail space that existed before Sept. 11. The World Trade Center included 11 million square feet of office space, 600,000 square feet of retail space and an 800-room hotel. Emphasis should be on creating an appropriate memorial, and then constructing buildings that augment the beauty and solemnity of the park.

The World Trade Center memorial has the potential to be the city's biggest and most important tourist draw in the 21st century.

THANKS, VOLUNTEERS

It might have gone by largely unnoticed, but La Grande's Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its 115th birthday Thursday.

THE COMMUNITY is grateful to the volunteers who give of their time and energy to take their place along side paid firefighters to protect our homes, businesses and property.

While the birthday may have been missed, the efforts of volunteer firefighters in La Grande, Island City, Cove, Elgin, Union, North Powder and elsewhere deserve our applause.

Many homes, barns and other structures have been saved because men and women have stepped up voluntarily to receive the training necessary to respond to fires.