Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani lashed out at Port Authority officials Tuesday saying their decision to rename a skyscraper being built at Ground Zero is disrespectful to the victims and the heroes of the 9/11 attacks.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said last week it is changing the name of the tallest new skyscraper slated for the site of the terrorist attacks from "Freedom Tower" to "One World Trade Center."
“I think it’s a mistake, a big mistake,” Giuliani protested during the Fox and Friends news broadcast. “It should have a patriotic name. It’s the scene of the worst attack in the history of America. It’s a symbol of what happened when terrorists tried to defeat us.
“It’s a symbol of the bravery of the police officers, the firefighters – the rescue workers that stood up immediately and didn’t cave in to that type of pressure," Giuliani added. "One World Trade Center is the address, not the name of the building."
“As to it being more marketable – it wasn’t terribly marketable as One World Trade Center. It was never a successful building," the former mayor said.
Giuliani concluded with an argument that the building will not be safer because you give it the same name it had when it was attacked twice.
The One World Trade Center skyscraper is expected to be completed in late 2013. Ten of the building’s planned 108 above-ground floors have been built.
The building was dubbed the Freedom Tower in the first Ground Zero master plan. Officials at the time announced that the tallest of five planned towers at the site would symbolize the nation’s triumph over terrorism.
The change from Freedom Tower was first unveiled last week at a news conference where the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the signing of the first commercial lease in the building to a Chinese company, according to a report by CNN.
“We’ve referred to the primary building planned for the site as One World Trade Center -- its legal name and street address -- for almost two years now, as well as using the name the Freedom Tower,” said Stephen Sigmund, a spokesman for the Port Authority.
“Many will always refer to it as the Freedom Tower, but as the building moves out of the planning stage and into full construction and leasing, we believe that going forward it is most practical to market the building as One World Trade Center.”
Sigmund added that the Port Authority lost 84 colleagues in the 9/11 attacks.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking on the John Gambling radio show last week was less excitable about the name change than Giuliani.
“It’s up to the Port Authority,” he said. “I have no idea what the commercial aspects are, and we can say, ‘Oh, we shouldn’t worry about that,’ but of course you have to, particularly now.
“I would like to see it stay the Freedom Tower, but it’s their building, and they don’t need me dumping on it. If they could rent the whole thing by changing the name, I guess they’re going to do that, and they probably should. From a patriotic point of view, is it going to make any difference?”
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