Those who witnessed it, either in person or from afar, will never forget it.
Those who are too young to remember it will simply never understand the gut-wrenching impact it had as it unfolded.
We’re talking, of course, about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It’s hard to believe that Tuesday will be the 17th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist strike on American soil.
In a lot of ways, the country has healed and largely moved on since that dark day. Sept. 11 feels more and more like any ordinary day as time passes. Many young adults entering college and voting in the midterm election only understand the horrors by what they’ve learned from history books.
The Twin Towers may be gone, replaced by the beautiful but somehow less iconic One World Trade Center, but one scar from the deadly attack remained damaged for all these years. A New York subway station which was located under the ill-fated towers was closed since 2001, but has finally re-opened after a nearly two decade wait.
The new WTC Cortlandt station on the 1 line is now open to the public. It’s fully accessible, has fewer columns for easier customer flow, and is also air-tempered to keep you cooler on hot days. pic.twitter.com/A5DaiBb06w
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) September 8, 2018
The Cortlandt Street station on the No. 1 line ran under the World Trade Center.
“The station took so long to reopen because the Port Authority kept it shuttered while it was busy working on the rest of the reconstruction of the World Trade Center complex,” Fox News reported.
It goes without saying the site suffered major damage during the infamous attack. WCBS-TV explained that part of the World Trade Center fell through the underground station, a fact that is both impressive and sobering when the lives involved are remembered.
“It’s long overdue,” said Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University. “It was a major challenge to rebuild the subway at the same time you’re rebuilding the site above it.”
In addition to finally being open again, the subway station also received some welcome upgrades. Modern architecture allowed designers to eliminate some of the station’s columns, giving it a more welcoming feel.
They also renovated it with an improved ventilation system, and artist Ann Hamilton provided a mosaic that features text from the Declaration of Independence.
Progress isn’t cheap, however. The station cost $181.8 million to restore, according to Fox.
That high price tag and long project time earned the station its share of critics, including New York subway expert Benjamin Kabak.
“It’s not exactly one of their crowning achievements,” he said in chiding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “They had a lot of back and forth with the Port Authority.”
Still, it’s finally open, and that means that one of the last damaged pieces from the tragedy is back to normal … or as close to normal as the location can ever be.
The 9/11 attack was meant to shake the foundations of American power, but those foundations proved stronger than our enemies anticipated. Lives are irreplaceable, but infrastructure can be rebuilt. It just might take a few years to finish the job.
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