By Phil Corso
Eleven years have gone by and the cityscape has changed drastically, but now there are names, like those of Bayside’s John Thomas Resta and his wife Sylvia San Pio Resta, which will forever be inscribed in Lower Manhattan.
John Resta and his wife worked for Carr Futures Inc. in the North Tower of the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001. They lost their lives, along with Sylvia’s unborn child, when terrorists attacked Manhattan as well as the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a jetliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
And after the 9/11 Memorial officially opened 10 years after the tragedy, their names were etched into slab N-62, facing north in the footprint of the tower where they once worked.
Not far from there, Astoria’s John A. Katsimatides’ name was embedded into the N-39 slab in honor of the late employee of Cantor Fitzgerald. His name was surrounded by this co-workers. Londoner Alex Flum stopped at the spot on the memorial to read his name out loud in the days before the 11th anniversary.
“People don’t realize enough that these were someone else’s children, parents, relatives,” Flum said. “But I don’t know a better way to remember them.”
The memorial originally opened Sept. 11, 2011, with two pools embedded into the footprints of the original Twin Towers. Inside, a 30-foot waterfall acts as a reflecting pool for each building.
“But as important as the memorial is, and I believe it could not be more important, we owe the victims much more than ceremonies and symbolism,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of the site. “We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as Ground Zero. Never. But the time has come to call those 16 acres what they are.”
Designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, the site includes a surrounding plaza filled with white oak trees and a museum yet to be completed.
“The opening of the 9/11 Memorial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of New York City and the United States,” said Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. “The memorial is now forever a place for visitors from across the country and around the world to pay their respects, reminding us not only of what we have endured, but also of our ability to come together in the wake of a tragedy.”
Since its opening, the 9/11 Memorial has grown into an international destination, swarming with visitors from all over the world.
Jonathon Rosenberg, of Chicago, was visiting New York with a friend last week and walked slowly around the North Tower’s massive reflecting pool. He ran his hand across the names in the shadow of the new building at 1 World Trade Center, which at 1,776 feet, will top out as the tallest building in the United States.
“It will never be the same,” Rosenberg said, looking up at the new building, still growing to its full potential. “It has been a real reality check being here, but I’m glad we are showing this kind of respect to the victims.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.