There have been several examples of the twin towers being rebuilt in the virtual world of Second Life, but with the anniversary of that awful day with us once again, I would like to bring to your attention a site that I feel deserves a special mention: the World Trade Center sim. As I write this, it is still being finalised, ready for an official opening to coincide with the time the first plane hit. What singles this site out is that it does not attempt to undo what has happened. Rather, it commemorates those from many. many nations who died in that dreadful and tragic atrocity.
It is a solemn and moving experience. Around a square pond is a walkway. Facing towards the pool, and edging the walkway, is a wall of commemoration, simply listing the names of those killed. It would be tempting to say “the fallen”, but I don’t feel abstract euphemisms are appropriate. In appearance it is reminiscent of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington: sombre, simple, factual and frightening in its scale. The smooth surface of the wall itself is broken by rivulets of rainwater, trickling like tears down the lists of the dead. Thunder rumbles overhead, as the rain comes down, splashing into the pond. It is a mournful and respectful place. Behind the memorial wall, and near to the entrance, you will find hundreds upon hundreds of photographs, another poignant reminder of lives cut short.
The build has been carried out by Liam Kanno (in real life: Odin Liam Wright) of the V3 Group. But this is more than just another commission for Liam, one of the most talented builders in Second Life. He was at Ground Zero that fateful day, and so this is of special significance to him. I believe my New York friends will find this site deeply moving, but this was a tragedy of global impact: 82 nations lost people that day. I hope you will agree that this is a most fitting tribute.
If you are not a Second Life resident, or simply want to find out more, why not visit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop?
Aleister Kronos appears by kind permission of Ambling in Second Life.