Thank Goodness: No Sentimental Patriotism at World Trade Center Site

"Freedom Tower" or "1 World Trade Center"?

With memories of 9-11 apparently fading, Saturday's story by David Dunlap tackled the controversy about what to call the tallest building being erected at the World Trade Center site, "A Debate at Ground Zero Over Which Name Will Last."

Some businesses have flinched at moving into a building with what Dunlap describes as "such potent ideological symbolism." Dunlap tipped his own hand with an extraneous snob attack on "cynical or sentimental" patriotic symbolism.

That there is a debate at all suggests how much has changed since the first years after 9/11, when no official pronouncement was complete without an assurance that the attacks, the victims, the rescuers and the survivors would never be forgotten; and when any use of patriotic motifs seemed to be beyond public reproach, no matter how cynical or sentimental.

The reporter also took the unusual step of dipping into the comments section at forpredictably self-righteousliberal support for the name switch.

The majority of comments to The New York Times' City Room blog favored jettisoning the Freedom Tower name, some calling it Orwellian or jingoistic. "I always thought it was funny that Freedom Tower was almost certain to have some of the most restrictive security in the city," said a respondent signed Dave.