Nearly six years ago, the United States and the global community were jarred on a September morning by a crime against humanity that none of us will soon forget. I remember being in eighth grade, unfamiliar with the city of New York, but I had the innate sense that something was wrong here.

As a college freshman, I finally ventured to the vast city as part of an Alternative Spring Break program, stood at the Port Authority Terminal, and looked out over what was once the site of the Twin Towers and what is now still a place of ruin. Only, the sorrow and reverence that marked the site in the months following September 11th's devastating events is occasionally washed away, and on my visit I instead encountered marketing of the grief of a nation.

The reality is, I am tired of crying and being saddened and disheartened, only to have that grief further affirmed by the capitalistic actions of those who market Ground Zero and who peddle about the site hoping to make a dollar off of the countless tourists who stop and visit each day.

I didn't lose anyone in this tragedy, and for that I am luckier than many, even those I know personally. But I still want to see a rise from the ashes of destruction and devastation. Since September 11, that phoenix-like rebirth has been promised. Now we are simply waiting for that promised action.

Project Rebirth, a nonprofit organization out of New York City, has been waiting for that action too and chronicling such on the Web in still pictures and in video. The site recognized the same reverence to be seen about the site as I did, yet ignored the commercialism, potentially to focus on the hope or remembrance that the location itself brings.

What we are waiting for, as a nation, and as a world, is the fulfillment of a master plan, which is the brainchild of Daniel Libeskind. His design for the rebuilding of the site was selected in 2003 and includes the construction of Freedom Tower (which will be the second tallest building in the world). The site, in its entirety, will include 10 million feet of additional office space between the five towers.

From the ashes of terror and destruction, the architects and builders involved with renovating Ground Zero hope to create greatness.

Six years have passed, children grow older without their fathers, and the realization that loved ones will never come home is still a unique pain that no one can comprehend. But in the midst of a construction zone, a country is trying to heal. We must help it.

For more information on Project Rebirth, and to find resources where you can help fund the current projects or donate to victims/survivors of September 11, visit

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