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In July, 1976, I stood in the North Tower of the World Trade Center watching ships from all over the world sporting their native flags and milling around the Statue of Liberty. It was a spectacular structure! The entrance was like walking inside a typical skyscraper with marbled entryway and spacious lobby. Then we entered the elevator. Suddenly there was the equivalent of surround sound in mirror form: walls, ceilings and floors. And it gave the illusion that, if a person concentrated, one could see all the way to the lobby. In the evening we went to what was aptly named by New Yorkers "The Restaurant At The Top". A jazz singer stood behind a baby grand piano in a corner bedecked by floor to ceiling glass overlooking floor to ceiling city lights. The atmosphere felt drug induced and yet comfortably relaxing. At one end of this top floor was the dining room with regulation tables, chairs and attention from dining assistants. But, on the other end, it was like walking into a not so garden variety den. It had sunken seating everywhere arranged for intimate conversations and goings on. And, most spectacular and almost completely incongruous, were the window seats around the perimeter of this warehouse sized room. Each one had plush cushions and, when a person sat down, on the other side of the glass they were wrapped in thin air and Manhattan Island all around. The sound of the jazzy piano permeated the entire top floor as it impacted the glass mirrors and moved on. The patrons were so spellbound by The Twin Towers experience, they were restless with wonderment. They wondered who could have created such a manmade miracle of construction. I recall the early part of the seventies and all the updates on the towers formation. I believe the North Tower came first then the South Tower appeared nearer the connection between the East River and The Hudson: at the foot of Ms. Liberty. And the receptionist for both, Battery Park, stood by patiently until the day came to unveil these fittingly named Towers. At the same time, schoolchildren across the nation were asked to draw a picture of the finished product. The stakes were high: the winner would get (by order of the President himself) a full scholarship to the college of their choice. The winning drawing was a very simple version of a complicated feat. But, for the American people, it hit the mark. The winner, a fifth grader, saw the towers as two siblings protecting each other. They drew the towers leaning toward one another and don't let the crayons fool you. This student envisioned them as being indestructible. But, just like the Titanic, they were not. Twenty four years and ten months later their depicted kinship was dismantled. Floor by floor, brick by brick, leveled. But not before taking over two thousand souls with them.

(Continued . . . )


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