Ground Zero, Sacred Territory Essay

3246 words - 13 pages

Ground Zero, Sacred Territory
This is a comparison paper on modern day sacred secular places versus mythological secular places in history. This report will summarize what elements mythical secular sites have in common. The report will explain how Ground Zero qualifies as a modern day secular site. The significance and functions of the twin towers before the attack will be addressed. Ground zero will be compared with the Areca Tree, noting differences in meaning, function, and common elements. Our modern day secular site is Ground Zero. On September 11, 2001; 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four jet airliners. At 8:45am. American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) and exploded. At 9:03am, United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the south tower of the world trade center and exploded. At 9:17am the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shut down all New York City airports. 9:21am the port authority of New York and New Jersey order that all bridges and tunnels in the New York area are closed. 9:30 am. President Bush announced the country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack." 9:40am, for the first time in history Federal Aviation Administration halted all air traffic nationwide. 10:05am, the south tower of the World Trade Center collapses and a massive cloud of debris and dust expands from crash site. 10:28am The World Trade Center north tower collapses from the top down. 11:18am American Airlines reports it has lost two aircraft. Flight 11, a Boeing 767 had 81 passengers and 11 crew members. Flight 77, a Boeing 757, had 58 passengers and six crew members. 2995 people died that morning including the 19 hijackers. 156 innocent civilian passengers, 2605 civilians died on the ground. More than 90 countries lost citizens in this attack. 200 of the people who died on the ground jumped to their deaths to avoid burning alive. They were trapped on and above the floors impacted. Of those 411 emergency workers died trying to save the lives of those injured in the attack. The damage was not limited to the collapse of the twin towers. Numerous buildings surrounding the World Trade Center were seriously damaged. The monetary costs of this attack are in the billions of dollars affecting millions of New York citizens and those around the nation. The tragic event that took thousands of lives and that has affected everyone alive today is not easily summarized.
Sacred places and the stories told about them give us a chance to see, and feel the presence of mythic truth in the midst of our perception of reality. Whether these places are actual sites that you may visit, or sites you only visit in your imagination they serve to teach and remind us of whom we are and how we ought to behave in our daily lives (Leonard & McClure, 2004). In order to better understand what makes a place sacred we must first identify some of the elements and characteristics that sacred places have in common.
According to Andrew...

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