Ground Zero visitors say justice is done
By JT Nguyen May 5, 2011, 20:28 GMT
CORRECTION epa02719235 US President Barack Obama (R) greets Payton Wall (C) and sister Avery Wall (L) who each lost their fathers in the 9/11 attacks, after laying a wreath at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York, New York, USA, on 05 May 2011. US President Barack Obama is visiting the site today to lay a wreath following the death of Osama Bin Laden. EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT CORRECTION: CORRECTING NAME AND POSITIONS
New York - Justice was the word heard over and over Thursday around the World Trade Center construction site, as foreign tourists and Americans alike marked the killing of Osama bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama huddled at Ground Zero with some families of the 2,740 people killed in New York when bin Laden's followers used two hijacked airliners to destroy the 110-storey Twin Towers. Another 236 people died when two more planes crashed that morning into the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Pennsylvania.
In an assault ordered by Obama, bin Laden was killed by US commandos in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bill Steyer, a Vietnam War veteran, was waiting Thursday for a glimpse of Obama at the intersection of Church and Vesey streets in Manhattan. Looking north, the corner has a wide view of Ground Zero and a handful of giant construction cranes, and Steyer said he was there 'to celebrate the victory, to acknowledge that justice is finally done.'
'I am retired now and demonstrated for peace in Afghanistan,' Steyer said. 'I am a non-violent person, but this man (bin Laden) deserved to die. I am concerned about the families of the victims here, and he deserved death.'
Another Vietnam veteran, giving his name only as Bill, said the assault on bin Laden was 'a job well done. Justice is done.'
Four tourists from Lyon, France, declining to give their names, said the killing of bin Laden was justice for the victims.
'Of course there is justice. He deserved it,' said a woman in the French group. 'This is not the death of a person but the death of a (terrorist) system, of a symbol.'
They marvelled at the construction work at Ground Zero, where the 104-storey Freedom Tower is rising and already an imposing structure.
'It's very American, those skyscrapers,' said a Frenchman. 'It's extraordinary, and it's progress. We are amazed by this construction.'
Japanese tourist Akiko Ai said: 'People are excited by what Obama has done, but I don't trust it too much.'
Ai explained that she was skeptical because not all the facts were made public about the killing of bin Laden, early Monday in a city 50 kilometres from Islamabad. But she acknowledged that the crowds of visitors showed appreciation that terrorism was defeated.
The 16-acre Ground Zero and blocs of adjacent streets in Lower Manhattan are a construction site.
Freedom Tower, known also One World Trade Center, Four World Trade Center and two other smaller towers are rising on Ground Zero. Other towers are under construction nearby.
Construction of One World Trade Center is scheduled to be completed in 2013 at a cost of 3.4 billion dollars.
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, located in the centre of the Ground Zero site, are already taking shape with trees and two pools of water. The memorial will be engraved with the names of 2,982 people killed in 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, including the 1993 attempted truck bombing of the World Trade Center.
The Memorial and Museum will officially be inaugurated on September 11, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
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