I was born in 1970, the same year that the World Trade Center opened for business. My first memory of the Twin Towers was taking the Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan with my brother, my parents and my grandparents to visit the massive structure -- it was 1977. I remembering being, at once, excited and frightened -- the ride up was exhilirating, but one look down had my knees shaking.
Over the years I formed other lasting memories of this astounding piece of
architecture. When I first visited "the city" with my friends as a teenager, it was a comfort to know that I could rely on the 1000+ foot beacon as my compass. Heading towards it meant I was walking south, away north --
it was always there for me when I had to get back to Penn Station.
When I moved into Manhattan as an adult, the buildings awed me each time I took in the glorious view from downtown. I would always stop to gaze as I passed through Washington Square Park. I recall snapping off a portrait of the Towers with the Washington Square Arch as its frame. But my most treasured memory of the Towers will always be the times I flew into La
Guardia and the pilot tacked around the horn of Manhattan with my own personal eighth-wonder-of-the-world just outside the window.
In 1993, I was working in an office building in Tribeca when terrorists drove a car bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. Of course, that event was devastating. But nothing could prepare any of us for Tuesday's
horror. We are a strong people, Americans, and I know -- somehow -- we will find the resolve to survive this. So, tonight as I mourn the loss of friends and neighbors I also mourn the loss of a landmark that I grew up with. I'm going to find a frame for those old photos.
Source: Evan T. Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org)