Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I expected the lead-up to 9/11, the 5th anniversary of September 11th, to be full of fear. I expected BushCo to try to scare me with talk of war and terrorism. Hell, right before the midterms, I wouldn't be surprised if they found Bin Ladin AND the elusive WMDs in Iraq. What surprised me was watching Nova last night, which was all about the structural strength of the World Trade Center. I watched them talk about how the buildings did what they were supposed to do, to a point, and what went wrong. They talked about ways that the buildings could have been better designed. They said that about 10K people die every year in house and office fires, and only maybe 20 people a year die in high rise fires. My head tells me, this was once in a lifetime. Not only will new skyscrapers be safer, but it will be more difficult for terrorists to committ such a heinous crime. And probably, they're over there (or here...remember Oklahoma City?) thinking of new and inventive ways to terrorize us, not the same old tried and true.

My head tells me that there's nothing particularly dangerous about going to work every day in a big tall building. But my heart agrees with one woman who survived the attacks on the World Trade Center, who said, "If it takes me more than 5 minutes to evacuate a building, I don't belong in it." And I thought to myself, if there's a building, a tall hotel like the one I worked in for 7 years in SF, surrounded by other tall buildings, that's one thing. But to go up in the Sears Tower, the Eiffel Tower, or another 'target' building, one that stands as a symbol as much as these buildings do? Every day? I don't know if I could.

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