Where were you on September 11, 2001? I think anyone over a certain age has that day etched in their memory. We were getting the kids ready for school just like any other morning except for some reason, we turned on the TV to find the shocking pictures of a burning World Trade Center on every channel. We saw the second plane hit live as we watched and the reality of that day started to sink in. Grim news became sheer horror as the towers fell before our eyes and two other planes caused similar devastation.
Amid the unbelievable tragedy of that day I strangely remember regretting that I would never get to see New York from the top of the World Trade Center. The above photo was taken by my wife but I have a nearly exact duplicate of it that I took in 1989 and I am sure countless other tourists have the same shot in their albums. We were in the Big Apple on the Fourth of July, our country's birthday, and we went to the World Trade Center to see an exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings. We left the show and walked across the plaza to where I snapped my version of this same scene. My companions and I debated about whether we should go to the top before heading back for the evening. It was decided that the hour plus wait in line was too long and that it was not worth the wait. I promised myself that there would be another time.
My next trip to New York was in 1998. I again thought about making the trip to the top but schedules that day made it unworkable and I missed my opportunity. Oh how I wish I had taken the time to go to the top on that Independence Day twenty-two years ago.
As we remember this day the loss of so many and the heroism and sacrifice of so many brave men and women, let us celebrate the freedoms we have and the love of those around us, for things can change in an instant. Don't be caught thinking "if only". When the Freedom Tower is complete, I want to make sure I visit the World Trade Center Memorial and this time I will make the trip to the top- this I promise.
The above photo comes from this great 9-11 tribute on Artwife Needs a Life