Johnny Appleseed Network Logo

Home

Johnny Appleseed Travel Diaries

Color Computer Library

... Services

Contact Us!


World Trade Center reflections

Tribute in Lights, photo by Denise Gould

“The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace... a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and, through cooperation, his ability to find greatness.”- Minoru Yamasaki, architect and designer of the twin towers of the World Trade Center

The 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center were completed in 1972 and officially opened in 1973, becoming stationed at the heart of New York City and its skyline. Over time, it became home to almost 500 businesses and 50,000 employees. They were the world’s tallest and largest buildings for a time, until the Sears Tower surpassed them in height in 1973.


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall - think of it, always.” - Mahatma Gandhi


On September 11, 2001, I got up about 5:45 am to shower and get ready for the daily grind at my desk job. About 6:15 am, by the time I was finishing up my shower, my parents had turned on the TV as they did every morning and I was hearing bits and pieces of news reports. Every morning about this time, I would also sit down with my parents to watch the news, but before I sat down, I sensed that today was different. At that time I had learned that airplanes had crashed into each of the Twin Towers. About 7:00 am, I left for work. As the day went on, I followed the developing story of the day on National Public Radio, while commuting to work and while at work. The events of that day and their aftermath have changed the world and me forever.


October 26, 2003

Nathan at World Trade Center site

That was a lot to reflect on as we set out today for the World Trade Center site from Central Park. We found ourselves fighting traffic and the maze of one way streets and limited turns on Manhattan streets to get there. After some turns and twists, we finally found ourselves heading to lower Manhattan on Broadway. We somehow managed to find some street parking near Battery Park, perhaps because it was Sunday.

We were not sure what to expect as signs directed us and our feet to the World Trade Center site. As we got there it provoked thoughts and stirred emotions in us as we contemplated what happened there.

As we got there, we encountered individuals who apparently were trying to make money by selling books about the World Trade Center. A passerby had commented that these book sellers were not supposed to be there. It seemed surreal, as if these book sellers did not contemplate the seriousness of the moment. I was contemplating how it must have felt and what it meant to those who made Manhattan their home, to have such a tragic event happen in their own backyard.

I was at a loss for words at that moment. Bonnie was concerned that young Nathan would be troubled by it all. I asked him, “What do you think, Nathan?” He paused and shrugged as he overlooked the World Trade Center site, where one could only see the rails that once took the subways under the Twin Towers. Nathan noted, “It’s a big area”. He then asked, “Where exactly was it?” and other questions of a technical nature which we tried to answer the best we could. I recalled that I had been on a subway on those rails under the Twin Towers a few years ago with my dad. All of us took pictures, including Nathan. The site seemed all cleaned up as if it were waiting to decide what to do next, in contrast to the destruction etched into our memories by TV and pictures.


“The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.” - Henry David Thoreau


The human spirit is not measured by the size of the act, but by the size of the heart

There were signs of hope. As we were walking through the site, we saw a memorial set up by New York and New Jersey police thanking the American public for their support through this ordeal. We left the site through a walkway leading through the World Financial Center, a complex of intact, impressive buildings next door contrasting to the destruction pictured in our minds. We then made our way from the World Financial Center to Battery Park. At an entrance to the park, we saw another memorial dedicated to members of the police department that had lost their lives. Members of the New York Fire Department and members of the everyday public also lost their lives. They and each one of us are important, making some difference to their local community and the world around us. Everyone has made a difference, no matter how simple or obscure. Each one of us can make a positive difference.


Home

Johnny Appleseed Travel Diaries

Color Computer Library

... Services

Contact Us!

Tell us what you think: Visitor Comments

This web site is maintained by
Johnny Appleseed Network ™
(Formerly The Color Computer Library)
Web site design, stories and photos 1996 - 2017 Johnny Appleseed Network™

Johnny Appleseed

Webmasters, Photographers and Writers: John Wight aka Johnny Appleseed, and Rick Davis
assisted by members of the Johnny Appleseed Network™