Ground Zero is America’s open wound. The headlines may have raced on, globetrotting with the war on terrorism, but the reality of the pit pulls us back. It used to be a metaphor. The 16 acre site that a post-September 11 world knows as Ground Zero, once the sprawling complex that enveloped the World Trade Center, used to represent capitalist achievement. The triumph of commerce. The hum and buzz of a robust economy. Then came the planes, and Lower Manhattan, so long the domain of pinstriped strivers, made way for hard hats and broken spirits. Every day now, men and women steel themselves for another 12 hour shift in the ruins. Every day, men and women line up to bear witness to it all. Revisiting the graveyard, remembering Ground Zero.
Charlie LeDuff, New York Times reporter, and Michael Kavanagh, NPR field producer, in New York.