A jury is working to choose among the eight memorial finalists announced in November; a decision is expected in the new year. But when the designs were unveiled, none of them made provisions for exposing the full extent of the tower columns at bedrock.
Since then, several victims' family groups and their politician allies have renewed demands that the architectural bones of the towers be revered as the centerpiece of a memorial.
"It would be powerful for its authenticity," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York. "The World Trade Center is the Gettysburg of our time, and the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century."
Representative Maloney and the family groups say such a memorial could have the impact of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial or Gettysburg National Military Park.
Some family members are especially disappointed that the current ground zero master plan, in focusing on the site's concrete bathtub wall as an inspirational emblem, has all but ignored the traces of the towers in the earth, which, they say, have far more meaning.
"They died within that space, and it is sacred," said Mary Fetchet of the advocacy group Voices of Sept. 11, whose son, Bradley James Fetchet, died in the south tower. Like almost half of the victims' families, Ms. Fetchet has never received any remains, so she says the footprints are all she has.