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A Final Trip to Bedrock for 9/11 Families

On Saturday, relatives of 9/11 victims had the chance to descend to the bedrock at Ground Zero, as they’ve done very year for the last three, knowing — as the Daily News put it — that “the descent to the hallowed ground may be their last.”

The reason is that, by this time next year, construction of the Freedom Tower, the new PATH terminal, and the memorial are expected to be well underway, meaning that “unfettered access to bedrock is unlikely to exist again.”

Not all of the 9/11 families are happy about this:

Michelle Stabile, 43, said the thought of construction equipment covering up the bedrock is painful.

“It’s discouraging to see the construction going on around the site. It’s disturbing,” said Stabile, who lost fiancĂ© Frank Koestner. “And personally I would have rather they left the [site open].”

Far be it from me to dictate how somebody else should process their grief, but this is not a realistic point of view. Anybody who’s visited the site can see that a 14-acre hole in the ground can’t simply be left as a permanent gash in the streetscape. There needs to be an appropriate balance between recognizing their loss, and rebuilding what we lost. Those 9/11 families who fail to understand this balance do not offer much help in this ongoing debate.

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