Five years.

It’s been five years since the Twin Towers fell. For a long time, there was a giant pile of smoldering rubble — a gravesite for thousands.

Then, over time, remains were recovered and debris removed, and there were holes where once mighty buildings stood. In a way, those holes represent how Americans feel about that fateful day – empty and out of place. At the same time, that emptiness is contradictory to how Americans feel about 9/11, which is defiant and resilient.

We’re ready — It’s time to fill the holes at ground zero.

To my knowledge, it was actor Alec Baldwin who first suggested constructing something at the site when he called on New York to build the new Yankee Stadium at ground zero. I’m sure George Steinbrenner wouldn’t want the Yankees new home to be known as “The House that Thorazine Built,” so Baldwin’s call went unheeded.

Alec Baldwin was right about one thing, though (I never thought I’d say that), and that’s that something should have been built, and sooner rather than later.

Debate raged about what the building(s) should look like, with many at the time suggesting sending a message to future would-be enemies of America. We’ve all seen this:

Well, last Thursday, a new view of what it is thought the World Trade Center complex was unveiled. Here is the Freedom Tower with new surrounding buildings that are in the planning stages:

Switch the building on the left with the building third from left, and the original ”F-you, terrorists” joke design has almost come to fruition.

Here’s more on the latest design from the New York Times:

The developer of the new World Trade Center unveiled the designs yesterday for three gargantuan skyscrapers at ground zero that would serve as steppingstones to the Freedom Tower and, with it, remake the New York skyline.

Each building has a different famous architect — Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, both of London, and Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo — and a distinct design. Known simply as Towers 2, 3 and 4, they would occupy three parcels between Church and Greenwich Streets. Together with the PATH terminal by Santiago Calatrava, they would be the trade center’s front door to the rest of downtown, with the signature Freedom Tower rising to the west.

Taken in a single sweep, the designs presented yesterday by the developer, Larry A. Silverstein, offered the most comprehensive picture to date of what the finished trade center might — just might — look like in 2011 or 2012, if development unfolds as planned.

It’s the “just might” part that is somewhat disturbing. We all know the government can’t agree on one way to tie their own shoes let alone on what kind of buildings to put up in place of the Twin Towers.

Saying “If we do/don’t _______ then the terrorists win” in response to reacting or not reacting in a certain way post-9/11 has become a cliche of sorts, but the longer we wait to rebuild at ground zero, the more the terrorists do, in fact, achieve their goal of disrupting the United States from being the United States.

It’s time to fill the holes at ground zero. We’re ready. America wasn’t built on… well, not rebuilding.

The single largest disservice for the memory of those who lost their lives that day would be to leave the site as a stark monument to the end result of hatred.


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