There’s a group of four apartment buildings near my place called the Zeckendorf Towers. Each one has a triangular top. Every night the tops are lit up with gold lights. I can see one of the towers from my window wall. Its top has not been gold the past few nights. Instead, it’s doing this wild thing where it will be orange for a few minutes, then flash light blue and lavender for a few seconds, blink to blood red, and fade back to orange. It keeps repeating this cycle until the lights are turned off around 12:30.
I have to know what this means.
I’ve always been obsessed with city lights. Not sure where it came from. Maybe it’s just that when I was growing up in the country, city lights symbolized a more exciting life. They still give me that electric feeling. Even streetlights. Of course, the most special lights right now are the Tribute in Light. I wasn’t expecting to see them this year until tonight. They’re usually on for a week leading up to September 11. But they’re super expensive to produce, so the rumor was that they weren’t going on until tonight this year. When I saw them walking home from the gym last night, I just stood there and looked up. For a really long time. Seeing the lights emerging from One World Trade (aka The Freedom Tower) is a thing of beauty:
Tonight my friend Stephen and I will take our annual walk down to Ground Zero. We will get as close to the lights as we can. It’s this thing we have to do. Almost every year since September 11, 2001, the day we were supposed to visit the Twin Towers observation deck, we have walked down to where the Towers should be. Here we are with the Tribute in Light last year on September 11, 2011, reflecting on the past 10 years:
I wrote about our story last year. You can read it here.
The meaning of those Zeckendorf Towers lights is a mystery for now. But the meaning of the Tribute in Light could not be more clear. Hope lives on. Memories live on. We will never forget.