For many in the world, particularly those in the United States, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers in the Manhattan Borough of New York City are seared into their memories.
The intensity was heightened by the fact that the images of the planes crashing into the two buildings, starting with the first, and followed only 18 minutes later by the second, were all captured live, with the entire world witnessing the shock and devastation that occurred as the burning buildings collapsed. It would take months to go through all the rubble, and in the end, close to 3,000 people lost their lives that day.
It was 17 years ago today that these events occurred. The central area where the attack occurred was named Ground Zero in the next months that followed, a symbolic reference to the enormous efforts that would be required to completely rebuild the affected area to restore it to its former greatness.
On that memorable day, it was telecommunications and the transportation infrastructure which were affected immedately, as people scrambled to contact one another and get out of harm's way.
One of these was the WTC Cortlandt Station, which was completely destroyed before, and now, close to 17 years after that day, the station was reopened. The first train entered the station at noon on Saturday, September 8th.
The new WTC Cortlandt station on the 1 line is now open to the public. It’s fully accessible, has fewer columns for easier customer flow, and is also air-tempered to keep you cooler on hot days. pic.twitter.com/A5DaiBb06w— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) September 8, 2018
A new station that pays tribute to history
The look of the WTC Cortlandt Station was updated in a number of ways, mostly structural.
Like many subway stations throughout the world, there are several signs throughout the space that bear the name of the station, but one, in particular, has a memorial feel to it. The words World Trade Center appear in stark, white letters on the white, marble wall just behind the train platform. Around the three words are written, in mosaic form, text that comes directly from the US Declaration of Independence and 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"WTC Cortlandt is more than a new subway station," said New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) chairman Joe Lhota in a statement," adding, "It is symbolic of New Yorkers' resolve in restoring and substantially improving the entire World Trade Center site."
Much has changed in New York City in the years between the time that the station was buried under rubble and reopened, but there is also the chance that WTC Cortlandt Station, beyond its symbolic significance, will also usher in a new era of subway infrastructure development in the City that Never Sleeps. In most cases, efforts like this do tend to have a ripple effect.