Sunday, August 01, 2004

From the ashes: A Second Lifer builds a memorial to the World Trade Center

SecondLIFE Magazine

There are two buildings Sexy Casanova doesn’t see anymore.

Part of Casanova’s daily routine used to include passing the New York World Trade Center on the way to work as a mailman. That changed Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists used planes as missiles and brought the buildings crashing to the ground, killing almost 3,000 people.

But now, Casanova and others in Second Life have a second chance to walk by the Twin Towers one more time. Casanova has built a memorial to the buildings and the people who worked there at Hachiman (20, 214).

“I’m a mailman, and I travel by the WTC on the way to work every morning, and sometimes, I just remember the towers there in the skyline, and I get depressed when I don’t see them,” Casanova said. “I lost a few friends and some of my customers, so I always have reminders when I work.”

He thought building a memorial would be a way to “let out some of the things I feel.”

Working quickly, Casanova assembled towering replicas of the World Trade Center that include dozens of images of the landmark buildings. Some show the towers in happier times. Others, on the day of its destruction.

“I had started with just the good ones remembering the buildings, then I figured it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t show the end results so people don’t forget,” he said. “I don’t plan on keeping it here too long. Might upset some people with the pictures.”

But others looking at Casanova’s memorial said the images moved them.

Brynna McCoy said she likes the memorial, but it makes her feel “Angry, really....that people can get away with this kind of thing ... I mean...barbaric acts...”

Krashen Byrne, a Navy pilot in real life, responded by donating Linden dollars to Casanova so he could upload more images.

Casanova said he’s concerned that the images might upset some people. Olympia Rebus said she had the same concern when her real-life friend framed some newspaper and magazine images of the attack and hung them in her apartment.

“At first I thought it was morbid,” Rebus said, “but now I realize it’s a good ‘never forget’ strategy. I see the pics every day and remember what happened … and (know) that something similar could happen again.”

Such talk had Casanova thinking he might keep his memorial around a little longer than planned.

“Maybe ill keep it here longer,” he said. “It seems to do some good.”


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