Here in New York, everyone has their story. Where they were when they heard that it happened. What they saw when they looked downtown. How they got home from work that day.
And then there are those of us who were supposed to be there. I’m sure you’ve heard some of these. Running fifteen minutes late saved someone’s life. Standing in a long line for coffee at 8:46 saved another. Or just feeling, for no particular reason, that going to work on such a gorgeous day would be unbearable.
Here’s another one.
I was there with my friend, Stephen, the night of September 8, 2001. No one else was around. I stood next to the Twin Towers and tilted my head way back and took pictures of them. Because that’s what they were to me. We wanted to go to Windows on the World, but it was closed. We decided to go back Tuesday.
That Tuesday, of course, was September 11.
He comes back to visit every year. And every year, we walk down to Ground Zero to be there again. To be in the place that once had such intense energy it took my breath away. Every time I saw them, it took my breath away. Every single time. This of course has to do with my obsession with them, how they were in so many dreams I had when I was younger, calling me here. Now I’m here and they’re gone. But their energy will never die.
Tribute in Light looks like two towers of light from a distance. But up close, you can see that they actually consist of 88 individual searchlights. I took these pictures at Ground Zero in 2004:
I still see the shadows of them, where they’re supposed to be. I always look closer, hoping.