During summer vacation from school when I was a little girl, my father would wake me up very early, pack me into his car and bring me to work with him. As we would drive along Route 3 towards Nutley, New Jersey (where he was a police officer) we would enjoy a breathtaking early morning view of New York City. The empire state building, all shiny in the morning light would be directly ahead, with the twin towers further down lower Manhattan to the right. I still remember this view as clear as day. Since I was growing up in "the sticks" as my hometown is called, the city was and is always fascinating to me.
It wasn't until I was a young adult that I actually visited the World Trade Center. I remember viewing the city from the observation area. Joe, my father and I attended an orchid show held at the center. A month before they fell, Joe and I sat in the atrium (which by some miracle is still standing) and ate lunch while looking out over the Hudson river.
When the towers were destroyed, so was the subway system below. Not very long ago, the NY/NJ Port Authority opened up the PATH system again which connects Newark New Jersey to the World Trade Center site. The train station is located about six or so stories below street level and runs the perimeter of the hole which is ground zero. In other words, you are actually inside ground zero as you approach the train station. From the train you can see what a huge area had been destroyed and the efforts of hard working men and women as they work toward rebuilding.
So today, I not only mourn the loss of thousands of lives, but also for the loss of a New York landmark, the twin towers and surrounding buildings that were the World Trade Center. You will forever be in my memory as part of the great city of New York.
Below are a few pictures I took at ground zero while visiting the city this past weekend: