February 18th - February 24th, 2005
New '93 WTC Memorial to Be Dedicated at Ground Zero
Friday, February 18: A memorial honoring the six people who died in the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center is set to become the first formal memorial to be dedicated at Ground Zero, the New York Times reported.
The new memorial -- a nine-and-half-foot-tall stainless steel pylon -- replaces the original, which was located outside the World Trade Center's north tower until it was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks. A single fragment from the original was preserved and will be incorporated in the new memorial, the paper said.
During a private ceremony on the 12th anniversary of the attacks -- Saturday, February 26 -- to be held by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the recovered fragment will be placed inside the memorial behind a half-inch piece of laminated glass, the Times explained.
The memorial, designed by the Pentagram studio in collaboration with the Port Authority's senior architect, Jacqueline Hanley, will be located on Liberty Street in the family viewing area overlooking Ground Zero. While the section is closed to the public, it is expected that visitors will still be able to see the memorial through the fence separating the area, the paper noted.
The $50,000 memorial will serve as a temporary commemoration of the attacks for families and friends of the victims until the World Trade Center Memorial, which will be dedicated to victims of both the 1993 and 2001 attacks, is completed in 2009, the Times added.
NJ Transit Considers Offering Ferry Operator a Break
Saturday, February 19: New Jersey Transit officials are considering lowering rental fees at the Weehawken, New Jersey, ferry terminal to aid financially struggling ferry operator New York Waterway, the Associated Press reported.
As part of New York Waterway's current deal with NJ Transit, the company has agreed to pay $32 million over 32 years for rights to use the Weehawken terminal, which is currently under construction. Under the terms of the newly proposed arrangement, NJ Transit will not charge rent for the first year but will then increase minimum rents to $420,000 a year thereafter and increase them further, to $600,000, in the fifth year, AP explained.
The news comes on the heels of the Port Authority's announcement that it has reached a tentative agreement with a new company, the BillyBey Ferry Company LLC, that will allow the new ferry operator to assume control of New York Waterway's routes between Hoboken and Jersey City and downtown. New York Waterway will continue to operate ferries from its base in Weekhawken.
In exchange for BillyBey's agreement to continue regular operations on the route, the Port Authority has said it will reduce the $50,000 monthly fee the company will have to pay to operate the ferries. The company intends to hire New York Waterway to operate and maintain the boats, which will continue to display the NY Waterway logo. The agreement still requires approval from officials at the maritime administration and the Port Authority's board.
Efforts to Identify 9/11 Victims' Remains End
Wednesday, February 23: The New York City Medical Examiner's Office announced that it has exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of victims' of the 9/11 attacks, leaving 1,161 people still unidentified, the Associated Press reported.
After three and a half years of testing since the September 11, 2001, attacks, scientists have identified nearly 1,600 of the dead. According to forensic scientists, the remaining fragments of the victims are too small or too damaged from fires and debris to be identified using existing DNA technology, AP said.
An estimated 20,000 pieces of bodies were uncovered by rescue workers at Ground Zero, 800 of which were identified by DNA alone. Scientists have freeze-dried and vacuum-sealed 10,000 of the remaining unidentified human fragments in the event that future advances in technology allow for them to be identified, AP added.
The majority of the fragments will eventually be moved to the World Trade Center Memorial, scheduled to be completed in 2009.