09/18/2001 at 12:00 AM EDT
The questions have been simmering in the back of the minds of New Yorkers all week: Will the World Trade Center be rebuilt? Should it be? Or must it remain hallowed ground? Or must New York show the enemy that it will not be deterred? Larry Silverstein, a developer who in July (along with Westfield America, Inc.) bought a 99-year lease to operate the towers, said on Monday that he would work with city, state and federal authorities to rebuild in some form. President Bush authorized the funds, by approving a $20 billion budget to help rebuild New York, to resurrect a World Trade Center, though what form it should or would take remains to be seen. "You want a safe place that doesn't have 'big target' written on it," Robert Yaro, executive director of the New York-area development group, Regional Plan Association, told the Associated Press. Yet it must be noted that the land where the trade towers stood remains some of the world's most valuable real estate, making reconstruction in some form a virtual certainty. Bill Stern, former chairman of the state Urban Development Corp., said rebuilding is imperative, but a memorial must also be included on the site. "This was a thriving economic center," Stern said, "and the memorial should be to continue as a thriving economic center."