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Renovating a Sacred Place, Where the 9/11 Remains Wait

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In the most intimate and personal sense, in the sense of an ache that cannot be salved, ground zero is not really downtown. It is instead under a big white tent, stretching from East 29th Street to East 30th Street along the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, in a temporary morgue that has become a permanent shrine of its own. Inside, 13,790 human remains from 9/11 are kept in three climate-controlled, walk-in containers, against the day when DNA-based identification techniques permit a final reckoning and the remains can be returned to families. Under the tent roof, but apart from the storage area, is a family room; a luminous, tranquil chapel where victims’ relatives can gather privately to mourn. More.

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