What’s In A Name? When It Comes To ‘Ground Zero,’ A Lot Of Debate

Some Think It's Time To Refer To Area Of Lower Manhattan As Something Else

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Years from now, will the words “ground zero” still be used by New Yorkers to describe the World Trade Center site?

Some say it’s time to move past using those words, because the site is no longer a disaster zone, CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano said.

“I lost half of my left foot, and I’m not going to say I lost half of my left at the new WTC. I lost half of my left foot at ground zero,” 9/11 responder John Feal said.

What’s in a name? Former construction worker Feal said the words “ground zero” to him mean never forgetting what happened here.

“Almost 10 years ago this country witnessed firsthand the most horrific day in the history of this great nation. You could change it and name it anything you want but it will always be ‘ground zero,’” Feal said.

Just a little more than a month before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks a debate is brewing over whether the World Trade Center site should continue to be referred to as “ground zero.”

Elizabeth Berger, the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said the site is in the midst of so much growth — towers 4 and 1 are rising and a museum and memorial are on the way – that the site, she says, no longer should use the words “ground zero,” a phrase commonly associated with a disaster zone.

“Of course [it’s] hallowed and sacred ground, but it’s so much more,” Berger said. “I call it the future of lower Manhattan. It really hasn’t been ‘ground zero’ for a very long time.”

On one side of this fence construction continues to progress. On the other public opinion varies on what to call it.

“As long as we remember what happened here, that’s all that matters. A name is just a name,” one man said.

“I believe it still should be called ‘ground zero,’ just for the memories of the people,” Holly Tucker added.

“I still call it ‘ground zero,’ but sure I’m gonna get away from that as time moves on,” said Rob DeFilippo of Livingston, N.J.

Whether or not New Yorkers in years to come refer to the World Trade Center site as ‘ground zero,’ those two words will still evoke the same emotions and for some emotions.

World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein told Mercogliano “’ground zero’ is a reference for yesterday, but ‘World Trade Center’ is the reference for tomorrow.”

What do you think the site should be called? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • John

    I can’t believe you people actually WANT to forget it!

    “I hear people saying we don’t need this war
    But, I say there’s some things worth fighting for
    What about our freedom and this piece of ground
    We didn’t get to keep ’em by backing down
    They say we don’t realize the mess we’re getting in
    Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend

    Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
    To see your homeland under fire
    And her people blown away
    Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
    We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
    And you say we shouldn’t worry ’bout bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    They took all the footage off my T.V.
    Said it’s too disturbing for you and me
    It’ll just breed anger that’s what the experts say
    If it was up to me I’d show it everyday
    Some say this country’s just out looking for a fight
    Well, after 9/11 man I’d have to say that’s right

    Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
    To see your homeland under fire
    And her people blown away
    Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
    We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
    And we vowed to get the one’s behind bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?

    I’ve been there with the soldiers
    Who’ve gone away to war
    And you can bet that they remember
    Just what they’re fighting for

    Have you forgotten all the people killed?
    Yeah, some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
    Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
    All the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on
    Don’t you tell me not to worry about bin Laden
    Have you forgotten?”

    No I will NOT forget it and we WILL ALWAYS continue to call it ground zero!!

  • j

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.

    In and around the time frame of 1997-2003 several corrupt DEA, FBI and DOD employees in the San Diego area had been receiving bribes from Al Quida operatives in return for help in hiding the 9/11 hijackers.

    Several DEA and FBI in the San Jose area had received bribes within that time frame also. They where to provide money laundering for funds raised at the San Francisco Bay Area mosks that was to help fund the 9/11 attacks.

    There is proof.

  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin

    Not going to change with this generation!

  • dgi

    The term was coined specifically to designate the area above, beneath, or upon which a nuclear explosive device is detonated. Other uses are non-technical variations. To continue to call it ground zero is arbitrary and disturbing (“Let’s get together for Betty’s going away party at that sweet cafe at ground zero!”). Drop it already.

  • Ayinde Stevens

    I think that people will stilll use the reference Ground Zero largely becasue it has had a significant impact on peoples livesbecase of september 11 some more than others. for instances I was 8 when it happen so I will see it as Ground Zero, a lot of people ask me where is Ground Zero? Because it is still ingrained into there mind that the name Ground zero is coined. Also the names are interchangeable beacasue for one the memorial will always be Ground Zero wheras the other areas willl be the World Trade Center.

  • Eileen O'Farrell

    Larry Silverstein has a financial interest in dropping the term Ground Zero. I, for one, will always call it Ground Zero. Notice I capitalize the name; out of respect for those who lost their lives there.

  • Remembering

    This year is the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The name hasn’t changed. Of course, like Mr. Giuliani who urged people to shop, go to theatres and restaurants on 9/12, many prefer to forget. But I am not going to say that my cousin died at the new WTC, as if he was mugged in the garage! Be sensible!

    By the way, this WTC is exactly as ugly as the first one, and probably as dysfunctional.

  • http://bestblogeverismine.wordpress.com bestblogeverismine

    well said Raissa!!

  • Raissa Castillo

    I have learned to move on, and never call it “ground zero”. It just gives those terrorists happiness when they see that New Yorkers are traumatized and still fearful of that past. I still call it the World Trade Center , and I worked there in a restaurant and since moved on. If we want to prove to the world that we a strong and united, we must lift our heads and wipe our tears and move on. We are strong and united, so lets prove it by showing it through actions, using postive phrases instead of negative like “ground zero”. Lets call it what it is “The World Trade Center”!!

    • gjk

      Bin Ladenville. i mean, he owned it, right?

      Why do i think i’m ggoing to get a lot of thumbs down here? The guy changed America. He took away our rights, and he’s got people scared like they never were before. i say we acknowledge it, keep it in mind.

    • Andrew Parke

      I am happy that someone on this page has some sense. Thank you Raissa, I will always call it The World Trade Center too. Brilliantly stated.

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