At its first public hearing, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation heard
dozens of New Yorkers, at three minutes apiece, talk about the future
of Ground Zero. At the May 23rd hearing, some asked that officials focus first on a memorial; others
called for new buildings that reach as high or higher than the Twin
Towers; some criticized officials for not paying attention to the health concerns and economic problems of
workers and residents, some of whom are still unemployed or displaced. "I need to know that I can visit that site in
the future and have a sense of peace and reflection on my husband's last
day on Earth," said Monika Iken, founder of September's Mission, a group for families of the victims.
"I believe we are on the verge of another disaster, with so many displaced
workers not getting the help they need," said Chung-Wha Hong, of the New York Immigration Coalition.
Architects, artists and those without portfolio talked about their visions
for memorials and parks, holding up drawings and computer sketches of
their own designs. Here are excerpts from the testimony.