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The need for a memorial tower

By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
web posted October 8, 2001

There has already been discussion of what will replace the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center destroyed by the Islamic terrorists. Environmentalists want the usual empty space, a park in the middle of the financial district. But I believe that an empty space would simply become a permanent scar reminding us of the terrible destruction that took place on September 11th, 2001. It would become a haunted space providing no spiritual comfort for the souls of New Yorkers, who would be constantly reminded of what was once there and is no more.

A memorial should be here, says Blumenfeld
A memorial should be here, says Blumenfeld

We need something with the spiritual power to help us overcome this diabolical atrocity and the tragedies it has caused. We need something positive to replace the debilitating effects of eternal mourning. We need to be uplifted, and therefore, to achieve this, I propose that the City of New York build a Memorial Tower, the tallest in the world, at the very spot where the Twin Towers stood and where more than 6,000 human beings perished. It should soar to heaven with a Cathedral on the top thirty floors to demonstrate its spiritual significance. At night, the Cathedral at the top would be beautifully lit so that it could be seen for miles around.

The first sixty floors should be devoted to commercial office space. The next thirty floors should be occupied by government offices knowing full well that the federal government will be monitoring security at every American airport to prevent any future attacks by hijackers. And the top thirty floors would house the Memorial Cathedral which visitors from all over the world and the thousands of New Yorkers who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center can come to for moments of meditation and solice.

Since most of the dead were incinerated by the explosive jet fuel that destroyed the buildings, there are virtually no bodies to be buried. Yet their spirits haunt the place. That is why an American Cathedral with an observatory atop the world's tallest building would serve as a fitting memorial to all of those who were lost.

In addition, as the world's tallest tower, it would signify that America's spirit-filled optimism was not broken by this cruel attack. It was strengthened. It would signify that those who tried to turn the American dream into a permanent American nightmare, failed miserably, utterly and completely.

A competition among architects to design the new Memorial Tower would turn our minds to a positive recognition of the need to move forward as well as to remember what happened. The American dream did not end on September 11th, 2001. It suffered a heart-rending blow, but it was not destroyed.

America suffered greatly during its Civil War, but because it was fought for freedom, its aftermath of reconstruction enabled the nation to reach even greater heights in achievement.

This new war against terrorism will affirm America's vision of a benevolent universe in which human beings can pursue happiness for themselves and their children in a world where evil has been reined in and rendered impotent. America is still considered by people around the globe as the world's best hope. A Memorial Tower with a Cathedral at the top will inspire our children to seek spiritual strength and guidance from above. It will become a world symbol of the triumph of good over evil.

We were such a symbol in World War II and during the long Cold War. We prevailed, and freedom spread. The new enemy is as diabolical as any we've had in the past. We shall have to destroy it, or it will destroy us.

Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including, "Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud," and "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." These books are available on

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