one day in the not so long ago...

December, 1997
A couple weeks before Christmas
we took our boys to New York City for the first time
Eric was 10 years old, Andrew, 6
we did all the touristy things
Central Park, Rockefeller Center,
Times Square, Ellis Island
The Carnegie Deli for lunch
Little Italy for dinner
we stayed at the Marriott World Trade
right next to the Towers
the highlight of the weekend was
going to the top of the North Tower
the boys talked about it for years after
and still have vivid memories today

We have since been to NYC many times
but yesterday all I could think of was that particular time
seeing the city through the eyes my young children
I suddenly remembered that there were some photos…somewhere..
so after searching through a few boxes, I came across several
I really like this one, although certainly not a great photo,it was all of us
and both Towers were in the background

so I decided to put it on my Flickr page
where I put most of my images..the good, the bad and the ugly
this time I disabled the comments

but then a rather remarkable thing happened…

I started receiving flickr emails
some from contacts and some from complete strangers
stories….memories..of the WTC

from a woman who wrote “My husband and I were both Delta Airlines crew members and in 1984, while on a layover, he asked me to marry him at Windows On The World on the top floor.”

One man wrote, “I attended high school up the river in Orange Co. We all watched those towers being built, rising floor by floor over the years until the year my class graduated, 1973. Each of us always felt they were in some way “ours.” I still cannot believe they are gone.”

Another wrote how he once had a terrific job offer that he had to turn down because it meant his office would be in one of the Towers and he was afraid of heights. Though he was always in awe of the Towers and wished that he could experience the view, he could never summon the courage to do it.

And these are just a few of the stories

Bittersweet, all.

As I was reading last night, I thought about the connections we all had with the WTC. I was able to think a bit beyond the horror of 9-11. Although I will never forget, maybe it’s all part of a healing process, I don’t know. But no matter what relationship you had with the Towers…they were once truly the windows on the world.

My sons now have a story to tell…

21 thoughts on “stories

  1. it’s amazing isn’t it. that a simple snapshot can connect us in ways we can’t possibly imagine. i love the story of the photo when you took it as well as the story it tells now.

  2. Your photograph is a symbol that we’ve moved on as a country, and that the terrorists didn’t win. Beautiful families like yours still flourished after the event. I love this sweet family photograph!

  3. The stories and memories that connect us. Our eyes are always drawn to those towers in older pics and movies these days, bringing a flood of those memories.

  4. A great memory for sure! That’s so interesting that people felt compelled to send you Flickr mail and share their stories. Everyone has a story, my kids ask me each year where I was when the towers fell.

  5. Thanks for sharing a day of your memories, that’s a great picture! I recently read a book with my kids (there’s a documentary too) about a French high rope walker who went from one tower to the other as they were almost finished. That’s an amazing story. The book ended with a quick word on the towers not being there anymore but it was very tasteful. I need to get that documentary again. It’s called Man On Wire and his name is Philippe Petit.

  6. Time. How we often don’t even realize how things can change in an instant. Who would have ever thought those two grand buildings behind you would no longer be and lives would be changed forever. I like that you shared the comments you received on your photo and how it sparked memories. I bet in certain ways this moment felt like yesterday. I want to visit your flickr page now!

  7. we were living outside washington, dc in manassas, virginia at the time when the pentagon and the towers were hit. our daughter was in second grade and our son hadn’t quite turned two and was really grumpy that morning. it was a beautiful day in virginia, the first real fall day. i was going about the business of tidying up the house and such, when i heard on the radio that one of the towers had been hit and they weren’t sure what happened. i rushed to the television, flipped it on just in time to see dark plumes of smoke rising from the pentagon. my husband worked for the CIA when we out there, and often times had business at the pentagon. i immediately tried to call him, but only received a busy signal. i went into panic mode: i didn’t know if he was at headquarters, in transit, where he was. finally after an hour of not knowing, he called me and told me that he was in an underground bunker safe and sound at HQ with director tenant and the deputy director (my husband worked on their security detail). he didn’t know when he’d be home, but that he would come home that night. i spent the rest of the day crying, avoiding the television and spending it with my kids and neighbors. it was so eerily quiet: beautiful blue, blue skies and sun everywhere, but no bird songs or sounds of traffic or airplanes in the sky. at one point, my neighbor and i were both gazing into the sky when we saw air force one fly over, way, way up high. it was just a glint of silver. to this day, i still can not look at images of that day because they make me cry. it’s still too fresh.

    1. It was just husband does a lot of government work as well and spends a lot of time in D.C. I was so grateful that he wasn’t traveling that day. I guess what I found hopeful though was that these emails were not about the WTC on that particular day, but of memories and connections to the Towers back in better days…of marriage proposals, of fun visits to NY..or to watching the construction as they were being built…the more positive connections that people seemed to want to talk about.

  8. A very striking picture! Must be strange now, knowing they are gone in that very tragic day. So it seems you just can prevent people from contacting you, to share their feelings – that’s nice to know!

  9. That’s a lovely picture, really. I was too close for too long, and am glad I’m far away now. It’s good to hear about “thinking beyond the horror” and it’s certainly been a long time.

  10. What a beautiful shot. I grew up in NYC, went to high school in Manhattan (Stuyvesant), and swing danced on the top floor, Windows on the World, as an adult.

    Your photos are so lovely.

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