Monday, September 11, 2006


Five years ago, hijackers commandeered four commerical airliners and crashed them: one into each tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania. For various reasons, I did not learn about what happened until well after the events; all planes had crashed and both towers in New York had collapsed by the time I got some email messages alerting me to what was going on. My attempts to verify the news on news websites were unsuccessful because everyone else was trying to do the same thing, and the sites could not handle the traffic. With limited television access, I missed much of the repetitive coverage and searing images.

When I think about the World Trade Center, I prefer not to think about the towers burning and collapsing. Rather I prefer to think about happier times spent at the towers. The images above and below were taken in summer 1998 when I visited the observation deck with my girlfriend. These show uptown Manhattan, the East River, and the sun setting over New Jersey. Over the years, the two of us also frequented the plaza and restaurants, along with the Borders book store in one of the smaller buildings. The trade center was a part of daily life for many New Yorkers, and it was a routine stop for my girlfriend and me when we met in Manhattan. Though the design of the place left something to be desired, it was a vibrant place and full of life. Then in one short morning, all of that was gone.

Someday, when the political squabbling stops, the trade center will be rebuilt, a memorial will be in place, and the site will be full of life once again. For now, we are left with a lingering hole - literally in Lower Manhattan, and figuratively for those who lost loved ones and for those of us who remember the World Trade Center fondly.