Sunday, September 11, 2011
Why I didn't feel like watching much TV Sunday
I prefer my own memories. The endless anniversary commemorations and slow motion reenactments of the tragedy haven't done much for me. They won't bring back more than 3,000 lost souls, the twin towers themselves, or the ten dark, wasted years of war since then that threaten to drag on without end. It didn't have to be that way.
I prefer to remember them as they were. For our family the World Trade Center will remain forever engraved in memory as a treasured experience in the summer of 1980. From the top of the world we looked past the north tower, up the glittering avenues toward the lights of midtown Manhattan glowing in the dusk.
We visited the towers late in the afternoon and took one of the express elevators that accelerated like a rocket to the observation deck. A surprisingly stiff wind blew across the catwalks on the observation platform. Phobic as I am about heights, I still remember a twinge of vertigo that I forced myself to ignore. We watched the sun set over the Hudson River, past the big red microwave horn.
To the east, we saw the Moon rise over Brooklyn, with the graceful parabolas of three historic bridges twinkling below us -- in the distance, the Williamsburg Bridge, then the Manhattan Bridge, and in the foreground, the oldest of all, the Brooklyn Bridge. One of the great vistas of all time.
For more than 30 years my slides were in the attic, and for the last decade I never had the heart to look at them. But recently I brought them down and digitized them. It's time to move on. And the Forever War needs to end. We can do so much better.