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PLACE WHERE THE TOWERS WERE
Once upon a time New York City represented Americas fantasyland. A city that never sleeps. The challenge of making it in the #1 city in the world. A place where dreams and fortunes are made, but nightmares and poverty abounds.
Several years ago I had the privilege of accompanying a group of Marshall University theatre students, faculty, staff and friends for a Broadway adventure. We arrived 12 hours late after forging through a blizzard. Tired and weary eyed we say the New York City skyline; we were reenergized!
During our few days and nights there, we saw shows, watched some tapings and did some sightseeing. I convinced my then-fiance, whom Ill call Patty Sunshine, to play hooky from a Saturday morning Metropolitan Opera tour. I wanted to go to the World Trade Center!
Although slightly frightened by the nearly deserted subways on a Saturday morning, we arrived at the concourse. Tightened security abounded, just a year or so before a bomb had gone off in the garage. But from looking at the majestic towers and the glass concourse, you could not see a blemish.
After passing through security portals that separated workers from tourists, we stood in line to board the elevator to the observation deck. Smiling slyly at her, I asked, Wonder if we can kiss to the top? She laughed , remembering the 45 floors of giggles a couple of days before at the Empire State Building. She looked at me defiantly, Get in the back of the elevator!
When the car arrived, we huddled in the back, took several deep breaths, and put our lips together. As the car ushered us 1300 feet into the air, we maintained our pucker. We could claim a world record we had kissed all the way to the top of the tallest building in the world!
Months later, the anger, bitterness and jealousy of friends , family and foes would destroy our planned marriage. For years my hear has weeped , knowing that Sunshine and I will never mutually scrawl I love yous on each others foreheads.
Now, tens of thousands of men and women and boy and girls grieve. Their girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, aunt , uncle, son or daughter will never again say I love you for on a cloudy September day their souls were swept into the heavens by the furor of madmen.
In fact, an email friend of mine witnessed the tragedy at her office five blocks from the World Trade Center:
"I could see it all happen from my desk yesterday [Tuesday] morning. As they evacuated our building, I started to run toward the World Trade Center as my friend Jerry and sister-in-law work at Two World Trade Center. As I ran towards the building, It was horrible....I did not get to see people walk away but plummet to their deaths. There is one scene that will never be erased from my memory : A couple holding hands all the way down as they leapt to their deaths at the foot of the towers."
I then had to run in the other direction as I got nearer as 1 world trade center began to collapse and fall in my direction. After that I was not able to go back as they shut everything down. I had to run and walk to my friends apartment and stay there as they would not let us leave Manhattan. "
As workers search for the remains of thousands, a haunting reality erodes initial shocks: True, no one else will ever kiss to the top of the World Trade Center like Sunshine and I did that cold and snowy Saturday morning. But America's romantic fascination with skyscrapers and New York City have been forever replaced with surreal scenes that were NOT rom a mega-bucks Hollywood disaster movie.