The Freedom Center at Ground Zero, as proposed, is very controversial. The center includes exhibits on various human rights issues and space for seminars on freedom related topics. Some of the family members of the 9/11 victims are opposed to it. They fear it could be used as a forum for anti-American values. What do you think should be part of the Freedom Center?
I think there should be a diversity of views, exhibits, and activities in the Freedom Center. But I think that they have to be guided by a sense that we lost 3,000 people and families and this entire city have been deeply affected.
I think clearly there needs to be more done to make sure we are reaching out to the families. I think what really ought to be part of the Freedom Center is the Freedom Tower. And we ought to be rebuilding lower Manhattan. It is national disgrace how little has been done to rebuild, not just the memorial, but to rebuild in terms of the businesses and the heart of the plan to re-energize lower Manhattan.
Three and a half years ago, Mike Bloomberg was sworn in near the still smoking wreckage of Ground Zero and said he would rebuild it. He hasn't done it. We should be talking about a Freedom Center that represents a diversity of views. But we have to keep a close eye for the victims for whom that area is a shrine.
C. Virginia Fields:
Diversity of culture. Diversity that represents this great city. And clearly a memorial that reflects what happened there, keeping in the forefront of all our minds. And working with the families to decide all those details.Â