You may recall me mentioning my ever-so-brief career as a freelance journalist of sorts. A few years ago I was hired to write content for the now-defunct Grid World News blog, which reported on the virtual places and happenings in the online game Second Life. The following is an article I wrote for the sixth anniversary of 9/11. Please note that ‘Linden’ is the name of the fictional land in Second Life.
The Twin Towers Rebuilt
Rising above adversity and remembering the human tragedy of 9/11
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away from Linden, there were two giants – the tallest buildings in the land. They were the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and they dwarfed everything around them. For many years they stood on that land as shining symbols of its wealth and power. Then one otherwise ordinary September morning, they were attacked and came crashing down in the most horrifyingly spectacular way. That day would forever after live in infamy. That day was 9/11.
After visiting Linden’s tribute to the Twin Towers called Twin Towers Rebuilt, it’s hard to know how to feel. Six years have passed, but for many of us the events of that tragic Tuesday are still fresh in our minds. The last live images we saw of the World Trade Center were of the towers collapsing like twin houses of cards while we sat glued to our TVs – our eyes wide and our hands covering our mouths. Therefore, to see them rebuilt with such meticulous attention to detail can leave one feeling unnerved, uneasy, and overwhelmed.
It’s even harder to know what to write. How can one even hope to capture in words the sheer enormity and the profundity of that day? The writer struggles to find the right words and none of them seem big enough. This is probably why there are no words at all in the 9/11 Memorial and hardly any in the rebuilt Twin Towers. Instead there are images – lots and lots of images, going along with the old idea that images speak much louder than words ever could. The memorial contains thousands of images of the faces of victims. On the observation decks of the rebuilt Twin Towers are dozens of images, most of which are of the towers in flames, but there are also some quite poignant and intimate images of people.
The Twin Towers Rebuilt doesn’t tell one how to feel or what to think. It does not judge, nor does it offer analysis or explanation. It has no political agenda, and it does not attempt to assign blame for what happened. It’s simply a reminder to all of us that people died that day, and that 9/11 was ultimately a human tragedy.