Rebuilding WTC towers

New life: Buildings should rise again to honor victims and faith in America's resilience.

September 23, 2001

TERRORISTS who attacked New York and the Pentagon in a twisted, murderous way sought to cut America down to size.

They will succeed if New York decides not to rebuild the World Trade Center.

Since the Sept. 11 attack, debate has emerged over whether the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ought to rebuild the complex.

They should -- unquestionably.

At first, such talk may seem premature, but on reflection it's clearly appropriate. As devastating as the attack was, the effect will be even more damaging if authorities decide against rebuilding on the site, which was targeted because of the prosperity and industry the complex represented.

Some argue that it will be wiser to build smaller towers, 40 or 50 stories high. That may be the way to go, but new buildings should replace the rubble as a working memorial to the victims. Ultimately, the market will decide whether to rebuild.

Authorities who control the valuable real estate in lower Manhattan will have to determine whether inhabitants will be afraid to occupy new structures of any height.

Let's hope fear doesn't prevail.

Terrorism can make us more aware of dangers. It can strip away another layer of innocence, of idealism. But it can never be allowed to destroy confidence in the foundation of American life.

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