Subscribe Now!
GannettUSA Today

Say, what?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I decided to take a risk and bring up a touchy subject ... like the "manholes, utility cavities, subterranean areas and underground pockets" filled with body parts recently unearthed at ground zero.

Is it just me or is everyone refraining from calling it the sewer system?

Not being an expert on underground infrastructure and having seen horror films where manholes only lead to the sewer system, am I out of line to wonder about this?

I know no one wants to believe their loved one ended up dying in the sewer, but how long are we going to sugar coat the facts out of the fear of being insensitive?

And, are we overly sensitive to being insensitive?

I think it's time to call a spade a spade and focus more on why those places (whatever they're called) weren't checked for bodies before now.


Anonymous blogbert said...

All those synonyms sound good to me. Why say sewer if you have alternatives in your vocabulary? In this case the sensativity is welcomed.

Wed Oct 25, 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous mikey said...

We are being overly sensitive. With the massive cleanup remains may have migrated to these areas. I certainly don't think anyone didn't search there on pupose! I suspect this will be happening for years to come.

Wed Oct 25, 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Darlingdaughter said...

I really don't think the families care whether their loved ones were found in the sewer or not, only that they were finally found. It would be horrible to go on for a lifetime not knowing exactly what happen to a loved one. At least they now have closure.

Wed Oct 25, 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete said...

They are dead. Call their final resting place whatever you like.
The much baser fact is: The attack should have never happened!!!!
The authorities stopped the searching far too soon. That is a fact.
Can there ever be closure given the heinous way these innocents died?
I think not.

Wed Oct 25, 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous who's the real hero said...

i say it's time to move on. yeah, a lot of people died, so what. people die every day and so did a lot in all the wars we've fought in the shitholes of other countries. no one is being overly sensitive to the veterans' families.

Wed Oct 25, 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous capitalize said...

I think someone should make a movie exploiting the Trade Center clean up just like they did about the events that took place that day. Oh, wait a minute, that would be a really long movie and probably not very exciting, a lot of construction workers standing around eating lunch....boring!!!

Wed Oct 25, 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous D. Harris said...

Insensitive? Are we allowed to be insensitive without some group, right wing, left wing, political hipocrites, ACLU, NAACP, the media and everyone else telling us the correct way to feel? RIP.

Thu Oct 26, 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

I think the "PC" crowd has gotten in charge and we can barely speak without offending someone.
School systems sway to this beat with fear of lawsuits.

Thu Oct 26, 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous William Dunwoody Jr. said...

If it was the sewer, the remains would have been washed away long ago into the Hudson River (...and if you really want to be insensitive; they would have washed up on local beaches by now...)

As an engineer who had done some design work for the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (...NYC Subways) as well as the Port Authority, specifically in the World Trade Center; I had been down in some of the subterrianian tunnels and areas well below street level; there certainly are areas that may have been made inaccessible as a result of 9/11 and the effort to restore electricity and telephone service to lower Manhattan. ConEd, Verizon and others could not reach or access many manholes and vaults necessary to restore service, so in some cases they ran new cables out of the basements of unscathed facilities blocks away and ran the cables down the streets! To protect these cables (telephone cables with thousands of pairs of wire or hundreds of glass fibers, and 13,000 volt electrical power cables) they paved over the cables in the street.

So it is indeed possible that some manholes or vaults were forgotten, abandoned or paved over post 9-11; the equipment or cable in these facilities was irrepairibly damaged and had already been bypassed or replaced; and to open up these manholes to remove damaged and abandoned equipment and then remove or seal up the manhole(s) would have cost ConEd or Verizon much more than what their scrap material would have been worth. I cannot blame them for not opening up there areas.... But the City of New York most certainly should have looked into these areas long ago!

Thu Oct 26, 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Norm said...


What is most interesting about this subject is how differently people react to various actions and words. I don’t find the word “sewer” at all offensive in this context. It makes absolutely no difference to me if you were to tell me that I am going to be buried in a sewer rather than a grave. Once I’m dead, I’m dead.

On the other hand I sure think twice about doing anything or saying anything that might offend somebody. However slightly.

Based on my own experience, I strongly recommend that one should try to avoid saying or doing things, which you are aware can be hurtful to others, even if you don’t understand their pain.

Thu Oct 26, 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Diana Fasanella said...

when your name is attached or you're face to face with being one or the other, everyone tries to be sensitive. but i've seen some real insensitive anonymous bloggers!

Thu Oct 26, 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aha! Now you're beginning to see why bloging is so popular. It attracts all us sick minds.

Thu Oct 26, 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous proofreader said...

let's face it, these people did not just die, most were incinerated and basically saved funeral directors that extra step of cremating those remains..of course most of us want to be sensitive, but, "it is was it is" and as Bill Clinton once said, "it depends what the meaning of "is" ,is.

Fri Oct 27, 06:15:00 PM  
Anonymous mike the realist said...

Actually, I think the survivors are being a little selfish; yes, selfish! "New York City, spend MORE taxpayer money and find my husband's finger or something." The WTC attack was horrible, but it was 5 years ago. If your loved one wasn't there, they'd be home by now. f they're not home, they're dead. Unless, of course, they hated you and used 9/11 as an easy out. Isn't it ironic that if about 1/3 of the victims had died of natural causes, they would have been creamated and ended up in the same condition? Hmm? Message to the WTC Commission; buy a couple of buckets of KFC. Eat the chicken, smash the bones and char them up a little. "Lady, the DNA matches. We have determined that this is your loved one's pinky ." That should put their minds at ease and save a lot of time and money.

Fri Oct 27, 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your logic is impeccable. But if it were your wife's finger, how would you feel? Would your logic change?

Sat Oct 28, 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Hartster said...

Because they're more than just sewers. Remember, all of NYC's infrastructure is underground - telephone lines, fiber-optic lines, cable lines, and the like. And shades of Beauty and the Beast (the TV series), there are tunnels underneath that have been forgotten about - old subway entrances, roads and subway systems that were never completed, even old escape routes from speakeasies.

We should just stick with "utility corridor" or some such, just like it's not a telephone pole, it's a utility pole.

Sat Oct 28, 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous swearimnotasicko said...

mike, you used an unfortunate choice of KFC and a pinky..I keep thinking of "finger-lickin' good"

Sat Oct 28, 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous anna said...

all around ground zero is sacred ground and they should put off costly memorials - build some kind of tall slab with the date 9/11 instead. they should have kept that cross beam instead of taking it away.

Mon Oct 30, 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Frymeup said...

I'm OK with it as long as there isn't a pinky in my KFC. But who knows, are there any KFCs near the World Trade Center site. Maybe that is the next place that they will find remains. Anyone checked there yet?

Thu Nov 02, 01:34:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home