New York City: This is what the Big Apple looks like 20 years after 9/11

New York City
This is what it looks like in the Big Apple 20 years after 9/11

Ground Zero Today: The site that was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

© imago / Dominik Bindl

9/11 has burned itself into the collective memory. 20 years later we take a look at New York and a city that does not forget.

Where were you on September 11th 2001? What were you doing back then? Two questions that anyone can answer without thinking too long. Almost 3,000 people were killed that day when al-Qaida terrorists crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York in two passenger planes. Two other machines crashed into the Pentagon and over the US state of Pennsylvania. 9/11 inflicted deep wounds in New York that have not healed even 20 years later.

Immediately after the attacks, US President George W. Bush (75) proclaimed a “War on Terror”. Washington reacted, US soldiers were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, new laws passed, and security measures for entry into the United States tightened. Every year the victims of the attacks are remembered. In New York on September 11th each year, the names of the people who were killed in the attack are read out by their relatives. With the “Tribute in Light” the night sky shines every year on the day of the disaster: Two vertically shining columns of light simulate the towers of the destroyed World Trade Center on Ground Zero.

Ground Zero completely changed the cityscape of Manhattan. The clean-up work took more than nine months, eight months it smoked from rubble and rubble. Today there are several memorial sites on the site, such as the “National 9/11 Memorial” and the “9/11 Memorial Museum”. What is often forgotten: the memorial designed by the architect Michael Arad not only commemorates the victims of September 11, 2001, but also commemorates the six victims of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Six skyscrapers should soar into the sky

2006 began with the construction of the “Freedom Tower”, which opened as “One World Trade Center” on November 3rd, 2014 after seven years of construction and several disputes. At 1,776 feet (542 meters) and three observation decks, it is the tallest building in the United States. The altitude is no coincidence, as 1776 feet symbolize the year of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. The WTC complex also includes the 329 meter high Three World Trade Center and the 298 meter high Four World Trade Center. A total of six skyscrapers are to be built on the site.

It will probably take a while until that happens. In addition to bureaucracy and political disputes, the coronavirus in particular brought the construction work to a standstill. new York was and is one of the cities hardest hit by the pandemic of the USA. 20 years after 9/11, the USA is confronted with a new opponent who cannot be eliminated with a “war on terror”.