Thursday, December 08, 2005

Fresh Kills

There is no space to dump because of too much waste. According to J. Johnson (2003) in “Fresh Kills’ next life begins to take shape”, Fresh Kills is trying to change from just a landfill to a park now. Fresh Kills is the largest landfill in the world. It is about three times the size of Central Park. It is in Staten Island, New York City. Most landfills are terrible. They stink, they are dirty and so on. The reason they wanted to turn Fresh Kills into a park was because it was full. They couldn’t use it anymore. When it becomes like a park, more people will go there as an enjoyable or memorial place. However, it is not easy to change like that, because it takes a lot of time and costs too much to rebuild it.

K.C. Smith (2005) said that “A Manhattan federal judge suggested that 9/11 kin should settle for a memorial park using only some WTC debris from the former Fresh Kills landfill, rather than ask the city to dig up and move tons of the refuse.” However the 9/11 families of victims have a wish. Therefore, it is a very difficult problem. Families of the victims can’t forget their family who died because of the 9/11 terrorism forever. On the other hand, we have to think of our future from now on.

In addition, B. McGuire (2005) in “9/11 Families urge lawmakers to act on remains” said that some people who were killed by the 9/11 terrorism were buried under the Fresh Kills. This tragedy happened at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. The families of the victims are very upset and would like their dead family remains to be moved to another site, so the families asked lawmakers to pass a bill to have family remains sent to another landfill, a place where the family can mourn. Some families would like the dead’s remains to be moved to Governor’s Island.

The problem of Fresh Kills landfill is a very serious problem in New York City, and there are mainly three reasons to establish the memorial place from just landfill.

First, it would be very difficult to find all the remains in the Fresh Kills, because four years has gone since the terrorism happened. Four years is too long to find the remains under the Fresh Kills. According to Agence France Presse (2005), “The focus of the lawsuit filed in federal court by “WTC Families for Proper Burial” is around half a million tons of ash containing the remains of nearly 1,200 September 11 victims that could not be identified.” I agree with this article. The families of victims want to get their bone, but the place may be changed. Therefore, it is not a good idea to try to find all the remains.

If people tried to find remains soon, it might be easier than now. In addition, the remains’ shape may change because of the time. Because a long time has gone by, a lot of remains might have become ash. Who can recognize who they are when people look at ash? Therefore, if the remains could be found now, families of victims at 9/11 who are buried in the Fresh Kills could not ever know who they are.

According to L,Neumeister(2005), the families need to accept the fact that to find the victims is impractical and realize movement makes Fresh Kills symbol of the hollowed ground. I agree with this idea. I know that it is very difficult for families of the victims to accept the facts and stop accusimg the city. However, if they don’t accept the facts, this tragedy will never end. I think the victims of the 9/11 terrorism don’t hope so. It is kind of impossible to find all the remains now.00

K.C.Smith (2005) said that “WTC families for Proper Burial, which represents relatives of more than 1,100 victims and seeking to force the City to move up to half a million tons of debris out of the former dump.”

Second, there is not enough money to move all the remains to another place. If the remains are moved to another place, it will cost too much. Especially, if they have never found the remains, they would have to move everything. Agence France Presse (2005, Oct. 17) said that if we try to find all remains, “cost would be around 450 million dollars.”

Four hundred and fifty million dollars is a very huge sum of money. If there is 450 million dollars, people can do a lot of things. For example, people may be able to help victims of hurricanes or earthquake who are still live. They lost their house, money or family because of a disaster. Therefore, they are alive, but it is very hard for them to live like before. If there is a lot of money like 450 million dollars, the government should have to use that money making temporary housing, giving some food or something to help for them. I know the mind of those who are families member of victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. They really want to dig up the remains and get some bones. However, there are a lot of people who are alive and starving in the world. I think we have to help them if there is much money.

In addition, there are not enough workers or machines which do that. There is no money to pay for workers. Therefore, if digging up the remains is carried out under the Fresh Kills, it needs volunteers or lots of contribution. I think it is very difficult to collect 450 million dollars and the people. Even if there is enough money to do that, there is very low possibility that all remains can be found. Therefore, it is better to make a memorial place at Fresh Kills.

Finally, people will go to the memorial park after Fresh Kills is changed. According to J. Johnson (2003), “Making the landfill into a park will increase the percentage of parkland on Staten Island from 21 percent to 27 percent.” Also he said that “It will set a new standard for the transformation of former landfill into beautifully landscaped public parks.”

They could make a new monument which people want to see, like the Atomic Bomb Memorial Dome in Hiroshima, Japan. The Atomic Bomb Memorial Dome is the symbol of the atomic bomb. America dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Pupils and junior high school students still visit there for school trip not to forget that tragedy. Therefore, making a memorial park makes the memory continue. Of course, it is not only to not forget but also to never do like that tragedy.

They can recover from the memory of Ground Zero. Therefore, it can be better for people’s healing. If the Fresh Kills is only vacant land, nobody will want to go there, and people may be able to forget easily. However, a lot of people remember the tragedy of the atom bomb by virtue of the Atomic Bomb Memorial Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

It is very certain, because I went there when I was a junior high school student. I knew the atomic bomb was misery and sorrow. A lot of people died because of that. I learned a lot of things which I hadn’t known before, after I visited there. If I didn’t go there, I might not know about the misery of the atomic bomb, and I wouldn’t think about it. I think a lot of young people in Japan don’t know about that tragedy, so it is a good place to learn the history of before we were born. Therefore, a making memorial park gives us a chance to know what happened.

The Atomic Bomb Memorial Dome is the most famous memorial park for me, but I know a lot of memorial places in the world. For example,thereis Chernobyl in Ukraine or the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, Japan. Both are very good tourist attractions. In addition, if Fresh Kills becomes a memorial park, it may get money by admission fee. Money which is gotten from memorial park entrance fee can be given to the families of victims. I think this is one of the ways to help them. It can’t change money to life, but it is better than nothing. Making a memorial park has great power to remember an unfortunate occurrence.

Now, Fresh Kills is trying to change from just a landfill to a memorial park. If it becomes a good memorial park, it will be a good thing. Making the memorial place has mainly three reasons. First, it is difficult to find all the remains. Second, there is not enough money to move all the remains. Finally, people will go to the memorial park after it changes.

More and more people go to New York City for sightseeing from other states in the U.S. or foreign countries. Therefore, there is a lot of opportunity to let many people know what happened there. When I went to Staten Island in New York City this Thanksgiving break, it was still just a landfill but I think that landfill must be a very nice memorial park is a few years, because it is located near the Statue of Liberty. Therefore, a lot of people will go there. When you go to New York, why don’t you visit and think about that tragedy again?

We can’t change the past, so we should do something to get better from now on. People have begun to think about environmental problems. It took much time to notice that, but we need to make an effort to change from now on. In addition, the government must make some good plans. It means not only the environment but also our future. Fresh Kills a good example. People have used oil without thinking, so it has become a valuable thing and expensive. People might know that resource is not an endless thing by this causes. We must not waste resource, otherwise they will run out. We can do a lot of things for improvement. For example, reuse, recycle and reduce. Now, if people think about environmental problems more seriously, environmental destruction will decrease.

Agence France Presse (2005, Oct. 17). Sept 11 families sue New York over burial of victims remains. Retrieved Dec.1,2005, from Lexis-Nexis.

Gateway National Recreation Area. (1989, Dec.). Amendment to the general management plan: Great Kills Park, Staten Island Unit, New York/ New Jersey. The graphics and editorial staffs of the Denver Service Center.

Johnson, J. (2003, Nov. 10). Fresh Kills’ next life begins to take shape. Crain Communications Inc. Retrieved Nov.10,2005, from Lexis-Nexis.

McGuire, B. (2005, June 16). 9/11 Families urge lawmakers to act on remains. The New York Sun, One SL, LLC. Retrieved Nov.13,2005, from Lexis-Nexis.

Neumeriater, L. (2005, Oct. 17). Families ask court to ensure 9-11 remains aren’t left in garbage. The associated press state & Local wire. Retrieved Dec.3, 2005 from Lexis-Nexis.

Smith, K. C. (2005, Oct.18). Fresh Kills compromise-judge proposes ‘symbolic’ deal. The New York Post. Retrieved Dec,2.2005 from Lexis-Nexis.


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