LOWER MANHATTAN — President Barack Obama will focus on the future of the World Trade Center instead of dwelling on the horror of 9/11 when he makes his third presidential visit to the site next Thursday.
The president will be joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a rare joint appearance that will coincide with Flag Day, a spokesman for Cuomo confirmed.
Obama will tour the rising 1 World Trade Center, which recently claimed its title as the city's tallest building. He is not scheduled to visit the 9/11 Memorial, where he has offered words of comfort to grieving 9/11 family members in the past, a source familiar with the plans said.
Bloomberg and Governors Cuomo and Christie will show the president the dramatic progress at the 16-acre site, including the nearly-topped-off 1 World Trade Center, a 2.6 million-square-foot office tower scheduled to open by early 2014.
The event will mark the president’s first visit to Ground Zero since the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, when he gave a reading of Psalm 46 and family members were given the first chance to see their loved ones' names etched in the memorial pools.
After touring the site, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama are set to switch gears and head to a star-studded fundraising event at Sex in the City star Sarah Jessica Parker’s house, which will be co-hosted by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and feature a performance by songstress Mariah Carey.