Wounded Nation, Broken Time



The day was rainy and damp. The mournful melody of “America the Beautiful” emanated from the flute of a lone musician, while a few vendors sold packets of World Trade Center pictures from makeshift tables over public garbage cans. Visitors wandered vacantly past large plaques showing scenes of the World Trade Center being built in stages over time. More interesting were the comments people had written on these plaques—dedications to lost friends, condolences to the city, or urgings toward war. One figure, who we’ll call John, drew our attention as he began to loudly point out the exact spot where each of the seven World Trade Center buildings used to stand. A small crowd of tourists and New Yorkers gathered around this former WTC tour guide, desperate for some vision of what the site once held. Because of the spatial confusion caused by sixteen acres of empty space, many people found it difficult to imagine just how the towers stood. How tall were they, really? Where did they stand? How did it feel to walk between them?


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Walter Benjamin, Illuminations (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1955), xx.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Elizabeth Hays and Jose Martinez with Ralph R. Ortega, “Morgan Freeman’s 9/11 Take Panned,” New York Daily News, June 3, 2002, 4.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lisa Cartwright and Marita Sturken, An Introduction to Visual Culture: Practices of Looking (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), xx.Google Scholar
  4. 25.
    Lisa Yoneyama, Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. 26.
    Jack Kugelmass, “The Rites of the Tribe: American Jewish Tourism in Poland,” in Museums and Communities, eds. Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), 382–427.Google Scholar
  6. 34.
    John Crudele, “Hey Larry: Build it and I Won’t Come,” September 17, 2002, New York Post, 031.Google Scholar
  7. 36.
    Steve Dunleavy, “How Dare these Ghouls Set Up their Unholy Shops on this Hallowed Site?,” January 9, 2002, New York Post, 004.Google Scholar
  8. 37.
    Donald Home, The Great Museum: The Re-Presentation of History (London: Pluto Press, 1984).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dana Heller 2005

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations