[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.
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”.
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 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!