Don’t Rename Newark Airport

[written 9-25-02 updated 1-24-03]

I wrote to Governor James McGreevey on 8-29-02 about this. I wrote:

Please do not rename Newark International Airport “Liberty International Airport at Newark”.

– Newark Airport had nothing to do with the attack. They’ll name the new World Trade Center after the attack, that is enough of a scar for it to leave.
– It’s a bland name that doesn’t identify the purpose for it’s naming.
– The reason for it’s naming will be completely moot (and mocked) the next time a terrorist attacks the US. And that will happen, sooner or later.
– It’s an ungainly name that doesn’t indicate where it is. The word “Newark” got tagged on at the end like the name of a shopping mall…. “The Mall at Short Hills”.

“Newark Liberty International Airport” is a slightly better choice but it still sucks.

Please don’t.


On 9-17, the governor wrote back, writing:

As you may know, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently approved changing the name of the facility from Newark Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. Through the new name, Newark Liberty International honors the memory of the heroes of September 11, 2001, and reminds us all of the principles upon which our nation is founded.


It’s good, at least, that he wrote back….


Great, let’s go on a renaming spree… Jersey Truth City, Hudson Freedom River, New Liberty York City, The Empire Justice State Building….

Also, after I thought about this a while, I really really don’t want to use an airport named after an airline disaster! Would you want to sail on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Iceberg Princess? Or how about working in the Towering Inferno Towers? Or working in the McVey Towers office complex? This is so sick, it’s funny! No, it’s just sick.

1-24-03 I recently got an email from a total stranger (now I suppose he’s an “acquaintance” :-) about this Rant. He gave permission for me to repost his comments here:

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your website. What prompts me to write, however, is your Rant about the renaming of EWK. I’m from Jersey, born in Elizabeth, lived there for 22 years. Now I’m in Northern Virginia. Down here, the GOP recently re-named Washington National Airport, Reagan National Airport in honor of the Conqueror of Genada, the Pasha of Panama, and the B’wana of Bedtime for Bonzo, his imperial excellency, Mister Nancy Reagan. (Personally, I can’t wait ’til they re-re-name it Reagan Memorial Airport.) Courageously, our Metro system refused to budget money for new signs for the airport MetroRail station, and they remained unchanged until Congress provided emergency funding money to make the alterations. No one here (except political appointees) calls it Reagan Airport. In the people’s eyes, it will always be Washington National. But I know how you feel about the issue. Actually, “Newark Liberty” isn’t half-bad. Beats “Reagan”.

Winch

And here is my response to him about this:

That stupid Reagan airport thing too! Ugh! I followed that in congress while it was happening. I had to turn off CSPAN, it made me so angry! The argument was that he was a “great” president and should be honored as such. But there is no way that anyone could tell if his legacy would be “great” until 10 or 20 years after he left office! By their reckoning, a president that printed money and gave it to the people would be “great”… until the currency devaluation catches up with everyone. Oh wait, that’s what happened.

To followup on this story just a little more… Yes, the Governor renamed Newark Airport. The question is, will anyone acknowledge the name change? A quick search on Google.com on 1-24-03 is enlightening.

Google Search for: hits
"Newark Airport" 47,900
"Newark Liberty Airport" 112

After a year, no one has changed their websites to match the name change.

 

Google Search for: hits
-Reagan Washington "National Airport" 29,600
-Reagan "Washington National Airport" 11,300
"Reagan Washington National Airport" 11,000

After 10 years, the old name is still more popular than the new one!

4 Comments

  1. TJIC says:

    Lee, I entirely understand your point about not renaming the airport.

    I, personally, have no opinion at all.

    However, I entirely disagree with your correspondent who writes “Courageously, our Metro system refused to budget money for new signs for the airport MetroRail station”.

    There’s nothing courageous about that – that’s just petty minded bullshit.

    Would you and others think that it’s courageous for a county clerk in Massachusetts to refuse to issue marriage licenses for lesbian couples, because the clerk disagrees with the law? Or, to make a closer analogy, the clerk could refuse to authorize spending for new licenses that say “partner 1 / partner 2”, and insist on sticking with the old forms that say “husband / wife”…because of the clerk’s own opinion?

    Like or hate an individual law, bureaucrats are not payed to inject their own political preferences into mandates handed down from above. On huge moral issues, yes, we expect every human being to resist “turn in the Jews” laws: but on matters like birth certificates, train signage, etc., employees SHOULD “just follow orders”.

  2. TJIC says:

    he argument was that he was a “great” president and should be honored as such. But there is no way that
    anyone could tell if his legacy would be “great” until 10 or 20 years after he left office!

    Reagan left office a few days after 1988 ended.

    The airport got renamed in 1998.

    10 years.

    By their reckoning, a president that printed money and gave it to the people would be “great”… until the currency devaluation catches up with everyone. Oh wait, that’s what happened.

    Inflation was over 10% / yr when Reagan took office. Within two years or so, he’d dropped it to 4%.

    Make fun of the man for Grenada, or his hair, or his wife, or his movies with monkeys. Say that he had nothing to do with ending the Cold War and that it was coincidence…but inflation is the one thing that absolutely everyone on the planet should agree was ended by Reagan.

  3. Lee says:

    >Courageously, our Metro system refused to budget money for new signs.

    I was thinking more that it wasn’t courage but fiscal prudence. It takes millions of dollars to enact a renaming like this, money that should rightfully come from the mandating authority. Unfunded mandates are always a hard sell.

    >[Inflation and currency devaluation]
    My core worries here are the long term implications of US currency devaluation. I was going to say that a recent look at a chart of the deficit as a percentage of GDP has allayed my concerns, but I think what’s more important is the debt as a percentage of GDP.

    I can’t find the right stats now but I’m doing research on it.

  4. Randy Kendrick says:

    This is like our “new” stadium here in Denver. They scrapped the old “Mile High Stadium” name when they rebuilt it. It is now “Invesco Field at Mile High”. To top this off, Invesco no longer exists, but was bought out by another mutual fund company.

Leave a Comment

Do not write "http://" in your comment, it will be blocked. It may take a few days for me to manually approve your first comment.

You can edit your comment after submitting it.