Senseless acts of violence resulting in the deaths of thousands of people did not begin on September 11, 2001 and, unfortunately, did not end there either.
I miss the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Yes I am saddened at the loss of life that was suffered that day, but the Towers were such a visual representation of a city I love that it's hard not to be despondent by their loss as well. Every time I see an old movie of New York... every time I watch a re-run of an episode of Friends... every time I view old photos of the city... I see the Twin Towers standing there and cannot help but feel saddened. They may not have been the most architecturally interesting structures on the planet, but the gap in the NYC skyline is a constant reminder that we are a hateful, violent species seemingly incapable of understanding each other and living in peace.
Prior to 9-11, I visited the "Top of the World" (which is what they called the South Tower observation deck) three times because it truly did feel like you were standing on the top of the world, and was the best view in the city. I remember the experience well, and still have some film I shot from my first visit to NYC...
Looking South from the Empire State Building
Looking North from the World Trade Center towards Midtown and Tower 1.
Looking South from the World Trade Center towards the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I got to experience the "Top of the World" while it still existed. But all I can think about is that I will never be able to experience it again, and of all the people who will never have the chance.
Though even that's never enough of a distraction to make me forget the senseless loss of life that occurred and the ever-escalating violence that's responsible for it all.
I wish it were.
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I am sad.
No comment for today.
Before 9/11 the only other state I had lived in besides California was New York, and I worked in the city. To me, it seems so surreal that the towers are not there and that the town is not the same. Like you, I am just glad that I had the chance to see them and experience them before all of this completely senseless violence occurred.
I miss Windows On The World, the restaurant. I have a lot of fond memories there… lunch with my grandmother, dinner with my fiance’, corporate events where champagne flowed like water… but most awe inspiring was the view and the knowledge that yes… man had accomplished this.
Now when I drive by Ground Zero… I can still say man has accomplished this… but it has a truly different meaning.
I only saw them once while staying over in NY before taking a flight to Egypt with my wife in 1999, and only then from the window of our hotel. I thought they looked impressive.
That flight was the same flight and airline that the pilot had plunged into the sea just two weeks before. Was somewhat spooky and even spookier to talk with the flight attendants who knew many of the flight attendants on that other flight who had been killed. Was nice to land in Cairo.
In watching films over the past year of WWI, WWII, and now the Napoleonic Wars, it is apparent we (i.e. Humanity) have a long, long way to go.
It all comes down to respecting our differences and rising above the reptillian brain.
I wonder (too often, probably) if we’re really gonna make it…
I kick myself for never having gone to the Top of the World on my two trips to NYC. I always keep thinking that there will be time, I will have another chance.
An opportunity squandered. And by senseless violence, no less. That makes it even more painful.
I’m pretty much jealous of anyone who has experienced New York, I have never heard a single negative about that place from the people who have visited, and I think out of all the places of the world, its there I’m hoping to visit the most. But to have been on top of the WTC, that’s jealously gone mad, I hate you!
I’m glad you wrote this. I miss the towers also, but almost feel bad, as if missing two buildings in light of the all the human life that was lost is wrong. I got to visit them, along with the rest of N.Y., a week before 9-11 so at least I have that. My photos are fair (not good as this was in my pre-digital camara days) but I cherish them.
There are many things in life that I wish I had taken longer to appreciate – being atop the towers is high on that list. I wish I remember how the sky looked, or what the temperature was. I wish I could recall the type of flooring or the people I met there. I can’t, and it frustrates me beyond belief.
There’s no way to fix how anyone feels about 9/11. I wish there was a way to ease the hurt, stop the bruising and the crying.
But then maybe it’s better in the long run if we remember the loss.
Nice pics, nice post. I won’t comment much other than I hope people don’t make this post a political opinion bulletin board.
Oh, and DANG New York is HUGE. I keep forgetting how truly immense it is, even though I’ve been there a few times. It just goes on and on and on…
Well written and a beautiful tribute, Dave.
My first trip to NYC was on my honeymoon in 2004. Although I never got to visit the towers (I did go to Ground Zero though), I get the same reminiscent feeling whenever I see old footage of that great city.
My deepest reaction came the first time I flew over NYC en route to Long Island and the Towers weren’t there. I know it should have hit home long before then, but that’s when it truly got to me.
I miss the Towers, too. I have some photos very like the one you took form the Empire State Building. It is nearly impossible to believe that they are gone, even though I know it. It is so strange.
I stumbled across an NYC skyline snow globe soon after that day, and had to carry it with me for a long time. My daughter plays with it now, and she is too young to undersand what happened. I’ve spent the day thinking of her and her innocence and dreading the day when she learns all the horrors we as humans are capable of.
And I am so glad that day is not today.
I’ve never been to New York.
I’ll never the true empty feeling of looking to where the towers once stood.
Maybe I’m lucky in a way.
Excellent post Dave – the symbolism of the Twin Towers and now their absence is powerful indeed. I experienced a similarly powerful reaction when I went to Washington D.C. a couple of months after 9/11. Seeing the Capitol dome and thinking what could have been but for the heroes of Flight 93 was truly overwhelming.
I grew up in Brooklyn and saw those buildings finished out my kitchen window. I worked a few blocks from the WTC for more than a decade. I live on the West Coast, but vist NY a few times a year, yet it took me years before I could go downtown again because I didn’t want to see the void left where so many died. I consider myself lucky that I didn’t lose anyone that day, but there were too many close calls – the friend who stayed home from work because it was her son’s first day of school, another who led her blind co-workers down 70+ flights of stairs, another who emerged from the PATH station just as the first plane struck.
I remember how I learned of the attack. I was visiting Boston for a week of meetings. Just before 9, I went out to look for a co-worker with whom I worked quite closely but seldom got to see. I said her name, and she stood up crying and hugged me. I asked what was going on, and she said, “I was supposed to be on that plane.” She then told me what had happened, and that she had cancelled her trip to LA only the night before.
I also remember a good friend, fraternity brother and former co-worker of mine who worked for AON on the 105th floor of the second tower that to be struck. He had been sick, yet we thought he had returned to work. We couldn’t reach his parents for days. When we finally reached his sister, she told us that he had died of the illness he had been battling just a few days after the attack.
Sorry for the long comment. I wish it were there, too.
I probably will always regret that I’ve never been to NY, and I will never get to see that view.
Those are amazing pictures, but still a sad reminder of what was lost. 🙁
A touching and fitting tribute. I never had the opportunity to experience the city or the towers but these beautiful photos are almost like being there. Thank you.
Dave, thank you for the pictures.
I’ve been to NY several times before 9/11 but never made to the World Trade Center. Last year when I went to NY, I was able to go there. The area was huge… I walked around… Nobody was talking. A long silence moment in the New York city.
Peace to all.
I was lucky enough to go up just ten months before it happened. Even though I spent quite a long time up there (probably an hour and a half all up), sometimes I wish I’d taken more photos of the interior and just appreciated the place more. I do have one nice shot of the foyer though. You just don’t expect it not to be there anymore. I still tear up seeing footage of the attacks. It felt a lot more personal having been there so shortly beforehand.
Great pictures! I never made it to the top of Towers as the financial district really isn’t of interest to me. All the greed turns my stomach. However the buildings were amazing and the views must have been wonderful. I hit the State Building everytime I get into the city even if it just for lunch simply for the view. I can’t imagine the sight from the WTC.
On a greedy self indulgent note, I spent the afternoon of 9/11/06 not thinking about the tragedy or the lives lost. No I spent it at the BMW cycle shop drooling over the year end leftovers. Good times, good times!
I have my pics from my visit to the WTC in August 2000. I treasure these photos (I have multiple backups in multiple locations) and am sad that we will never be able to experience it again. My only regret is that I didn’t take my daughter to NY that trip for her to see the towers.
I work in Manhattan (midtown) and see the gaping reminder of 9-11 daily. But I also believe that we should remember that there are positives to be thought of and remembered on this day.
For me, 9-11 will always be a day of celebration because it is the day of my son’s birth. He turned 6 this year. It was a happy day.
I have been up to the ‘Top of the World’ on July 27th, 2001, and looked down the windows in the observation lounge. Back in Europe, i was shaken and devastated the day the planes hit the towers.
My personal fear of heights added to the horror of seeing people jump to death, and a world collapsed as the towers came down. I still get mail from people who read the travel log on my web site – a trip taken in a time when New York was still ‘whole’ and the world not aware of global terrorism on this scale.