The catastrophe of 9/11 remains stubbornly with us. This is a good thing in a sense, because the lessons it holds for us — of courage, steadfastness and compassion — will see us through the pandemic and whatever other challenges come our way.
The notion that 9/11 was a passing speed bump is infuriating and ignorant. The terrorist attack’s poisoned residue endures despite downtown reconstruction and renewal.
Twenty years on, cancer and respiratory ailments plague up to two-thirds of firefighters and other emergency workers who toiled amidst the toxic ruins. For the several thousand victims, 9/11 has yet to end.
“Ground Zero” frustratingly remains a work in progress. The planned tower at Two World Trade Center remains unbuilt, camouflaged with an art installation and a beer garden. A long-sought performing-arts center is years behind schedule. The Westfield retail mall at the leak-prone Oculus sometimes seems to have more vacant storefronts than shoppers.