We all have our stories of where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, so there’s no need to bore you with mine.
But having worked across the street from the World Trade Center for over a year prior to 9-11, I can safely say I grew attached to that area of Lower Manhattan. So, anytime there’s a milestone in the re-development of the site, I feel like I should be there.
My first trip to the site after the attacks came in November of 2001, and the devastation was overwhelming. I remember seeing the site, with the smoke still billowing and the water spraying the embers from across the street. There was such an eerie silence to that day, even though a lot of people were there that Friday morning after Thanksgiving. A lot of them stood and cried. Many watched while talking to police officers, and the sentiment was so positive toward the NYPD. Some tourists would ask to have their picture taken with an officers. Others just shook hands with them and said thanks.
While the site was indeed a work-in-progress in not only cleaning it up, but respectful in that remains of victims were still being recovered, there was also a lot of hustle and bustle in the immediate blocks around the site. Tee-shirts, statues of the WTC and other artifacts were being sold and there was plenty of people there. Hey, it’s New York.
We’ve all seen the great things that have happened there since late 2001. I remember taking the first PATH train back to the WTC site in November of 2003. That event came to mind today as the PATH station at the WTC unveiled a new platform. The place looks beautiful and I can’t wait to go visit soon.
When the WTC officially became the tallest building in the United States, I couldn’t help but visit. When the sphere was added to the top of 1 WTC, I had to go. When the WTC Memorial opened in Sept. of 2011, I was there the first month it opened and have returned numerous times to visit. It’s quite a site.
The rebuilding of the site in Lower Manhattan is a testimony to the spirit of our great country. Pretty soon, the World Trade Center buildings will all be thriving with tenants. A new generation of people will inhabit the area, but we should never forget those who worked there and didn’t come home on Sept. 11, 2001.