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Memories of the WTC Before and After 9/11

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The following day, I was among hundreds who reached the site to bring relief supplies to rescue workers via police vessel. It was a terribly hopeless feeling. I’ll never forget the ride back across the Harbor, and the look on the faces of two Jersey City cops who sized me up before pointing at my lower legs: covered to the knees with ashes.

In the days and weeks that followed, the spirit of the Port was incarnated in stories of firemen and cops and brokers who shared a historic link to the Harbor and waterfront, often through the memory of longshoremen ancestors who had worked the piers of the West Side at a time when the Port was the great metropolis’s most special place.

The World Trade Center was designed by officials at the Port Authority as a hub for productive maritime-related commerce in the world’s greatest harbor and around the world. Austin J. Tobin, grandson of a Brooklyn longshoreman, had struggled for decades—almost entirely behind the scenes—to overcome the organized and less-organized criminality that had plagued life in and around the port since the late nineteenth century.

With the advent of the Port Authority-backed Waterfront Commission in 1953, control over hiring in the Port was shifted from mob-controlled piers to the new agency’s hiring information centers. But by the time the World Trade Center was opened in the early 1970s, container technology had rendered the piers of Manhattan’s West Side obsolete: the epicenter of the Port shifted to container facilities at Newark and Elizabeth in New Jersey.

The Twin Towers were like thousand-foot vertical piers, soaring up and away from the often violent, yet deeply compelling history of the sea-level docks of the West Side. The Port Authority’s insistence that the Twin Towers site be moved from its originally planned location on the East Side to the West linked the project to the agency’s recently acquired Port Authority Trans Hudson (formerly the Hudson and Manhattan railroad “tubes;” now PATH) light-rail connections to New Jersey. The move affirmed the agency’s self-identity as a kind of third state in the region, coordinating transportation and infrastructure improvements within a twenty-five mile radius from the Statue of Liberty.

The Trade Center struggled in its early days; the diversification of its tenant base in later years saved the complex while shifting its focus from maritime trade. Yet at is heart it remained a monument to this special place, the Port of New York and New Jersey, and the special people who made it great and whom we will never forget.

 

Go here for Care2′s 9/11 coverage.

 

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Photo by Gavin Costello from Wikimedia Commons

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43 comments

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2:53PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

its been a decade see what toronto could do.the toronto trials on 9/11 on tube no media confusing lies
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.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-s4yVzP5-A&feature=youtu.be

2:52PM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

its been a decade see what toronto could do.the toronto trials on 9/11 on tube no media confusing lies
.
.
.
.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-s4yVzP5-A&feature=youtu.be

7:47AM PST on Jan 5, 2012

Thanks!

11:19PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Ameer T. Good try. More muslims are killed by muslims in the countries where Americans and allied forces are at war , and else where. Who is killing muslims in Syria, Egypt at this moment ? www.thereligionofpeace.com

5:25AM PDT on Sep 16, 2011

The website of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is: www.ae911truth.org.

4:26PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Thanks!!!

11:22AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Thanks

4:48AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

True this was a devastating event. I won't implicate some particular group responsible for it either. But once let us take a moment to consider something that may be bigger and better than all of us. Americans and peoples from all nationalities died on that fateful day, so the grief should rightly be shared by the entire world and the loss should be considered global, not just American. But even if someone did not lose a friend or relative in the 9/11 attacks, we are all connected through the bond of humanity. And therefore there is where my appeal lies.

America started a war in three countries as a direct consequence of the 9/11 attacks. in ten years How many people do you think were bombed, attacked, arrested, shot, harrassed, murdered, raped, orphaned, widowed, threatened, robbed and killed? i dont think a true figure would ever be reached. but it would be safe to say they were in the millions.

They couldn't all be terrorists. thats common sense. But what they were and are, are our brethren humans. They feel pain as much as you, they love their families as much as you, they love liberty as much as you, they are in a sense just like you.

How many of them would need to continue to die as a consequence of war? how many children should continue to wait for their father or mother to come back, or widows for their spouses.

America has set a bad precedant when it was in power. Would you like some super power of the future to come bomb your house & family to oblivi

4:47AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Sure Everyone is having fun now because the war is taking place elsewhere. some place far off from where the cries of children and widowed women, the shrieks of raped girls, the wimpers of kidnapped orphaned children to be sold as sex slaves in the meat markets of Europe and US and indeed the world dont reach your ears.

The bombs are raging on over some desert dwelling, barefoot, naked, illiterate, half civilised people. All the better if the war is far off and not near home. At least your family, loved ones & your children and pets are safe.

So who cares right? even if you lose a bit of sleep over it when you get down to thinking sometime, you are reminded that these muslims are a plague and a threat to everything good and civilised. If left unchecked they may bring the world back to the dark ages. they are barbaric and so they should be killed without remorse, without pity, without consequence. Or perhaps you may think that the world is over populated and this killing will set the clock back a bit.

But Powers have risen and fallen throughout history. America has risen now and seems it is set to fall already with the crises it has run itself into. Consider that another nation rises to power, maybe even muslims and they find similar reasons such as yours to come and bomb you back to oblivion and similarly be deaf, dumb and blind to the pleas and cries of your loved ones. Is that the future you want to see for your children? Coz thats the standard you have set.

12:11AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

@Jack W For goodness sake Jack..Look at the evidence! I've been studying the 9/11 disaster for 10 years. I don't just believe what I'm told! You can't dispute the facts Jack! 1500 engineers and architects say that what we were told in the "official" explanation is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE! Never in history has a building come down like that from a plane hitting it. Those towers were built to handle just such a situation. Jet fuel can't burn at the temperature needed to melt steel. Nanothermite was found at the scene! I could go on, but maybe you should look up some of this stuff yourself. You could start with buildingwhat.org and let the EXPERTS explain some things to you! Mind you..you'll have to pull your head out of the sand to listen and learn. There are some very bad people out there and a few of them got into power in your country.

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