I work on Broadway and Vesey Street, right around the corner from where the towers once stood. I was there when it occurred. And like most New Yorkers, I have my own personal memories of the event.
For days after the attack, I would head to work past the smoking ruins. My cousin's office and the bookstore I used to visit were no more. In their stead were towers of spiky metal, piles of rubble and the acrid smells that stayed with us for weeks. The area was lined with soldiers and with NYC police, many of whom were still in mourning for their fallen comrades. At that point, the term "Ground Zero" seemed to apply.
I go to work these days and see an entirely different vista. The rubble has long since cleared, and in its place the new One World Trade Center rises. It's gleaming glass visible from miles around. The memorial waterfalls are in place. Work continues to go on, and will continue for some while. But the acrid air is gone. Life is returning to the area. Like all New Yorkers, I look forward to the day when it becomes fully integrated into the life of the City.
At this time, the term "Ground Zero" no longer applies. That is not to say that NYers, or the world, will ever forget the tragedy of that day. It is merely that we prefer to recall the Trade Center as it once was, and the new Trade Center as it will soon be. We call it the Trade Center. And of course, respectful visitors are always welcome.