I was very pleased yesterday to get an email from the WTC Memorial Foundation that stated that the controversial plan to randomly list the WTC victims' names on the memorial had been dropped. The executive committee of the Foundation approved the plan to now group names by uniform service and by employer.
There will be 1518 names inscribed at the sunken pool where the North Tower once stood, and 1461 names where the South Tower stood. They will be grouped together by their employer, first responding group they were apart of, or flight they were on.
Designer Michael Arad's original plan had the names listed in no particular order to reflect the "haphazard brutality" suffered on that terrible day. I certainly respect his thinking, but it has always been my feeling that most of those people who died in the World Trade Center worked together, so they should be memorialized forever together. Just having them there in a random order will cause too much confusion for their loved ones and those people who will be there to remember them. And make no mistake about it, the crowds who will be there will be absolutely enormous.
I'm really pleased to hear this, as are most members of the WTC Family groups as well. I'm proud that my friend Joyce will be remembered together with her General Telecom colleagues on the memorial. But I must admit, I'm just a little disappointed that the company names won't be acknowledged on the memorial. It's appropriate to remember the first responders by badge number and department, but it would also be proper to list the company that each civilian who perished worked at as well.
They worked together. They died together. And they should be remembered together.
Forever, and for all time.