I shot the first two photos in the early 1990s, the first from the Staten Island Ferry, and the second from the 86th Floor Observatory Deck of the Empire State Building. The Twin Towers were an important part of my life, as they frequently punctuated childhood visits to Manhattan. I worked there for a week as a temp; worked six months in the neighborhood, and celebrated my first wedding anniversary there.
A Day that will Live in Infamy
When these attacks were launched upon our nation, I was working for Con Edison doing desktop support and LAN administration. I had been there about 18 months and had the good fortune to be at at our Victory Blvd. facility in Staten Island, some 30 miles away from the Twin Towers that day. My wife was supposed to be exiting the Battery Tunnel at the time the first plane struck as she would have been on her way to a dance class. After an hour of frantic calling, I learned that she stayed home.
I wanted a Reagan-like response to the September 11 attacks. As the hours passed, I waited. Nothing. Our response would come October 7, 2001 at 12:30 EDT. I was in Boston with my wife as we visited a relative of hers who was attending Harvard University on a partial scholarship. That day, I felt I had to visit all the historic sites in the area -- Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord. When I heard the Battle Hymn of the Republic being played on church bells, I ran to find a TV, and that was where I saw that the War in Afghanistan had started.
While George W. Bush was no Ronald Reagan, he did keep us safe following 9/11, for there was not one attack on US soil. Indeed many attempts were foiled and many Al Qaeda sleeper cells were busted up.
Much Visible Progress Made at WTC Site since 2009
In 2009 I had written that "[a] nightmare scenario is unfolding at the WTC site where neither the Twin Towers, nor what was chosen to replace them will be built as envisioned." I am happy to report that my assessment was wrong.
One WTC (Formerly "Freedom Tower") Viewed from two blocks north on West St. The building is at the 36th Fl. level and will rise to 1776 feet.
Close-Up of 1 WTC passing by. Notice the tower crane attached to the building. This crane is used for lifting the forms used in concrete pours.
Tower 4 is under construction now with the concrete core being the priority. Then, the steel will takeoff like gangbusters. The building will rise to 975 feet and is mostly pre-leased.
Passing structures for the 9/11 Memorial at the WTC site. Notice toward the left of one of the concrete structures one of the 16 Swamp White Oaks that were planted for the Memorial on August 28, 2010.
You can see regularly updated progress on the WTC site at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's WTC Progress site.
Resurrection and Juxtaposition
It was at the same Victory Blvd. facility nearly seven years to the day following 9/11, that I would hear the resurrection of Ronald Reagan. As I pulled my assigned minivan out of the lot and turned on the radio, her voice and words would so transfix me that after two blocks I could not drive anymore. The yearning I felt at that Victory Blvd. location some seven years earlier was answered by a woman's voice.
Watch as she interrupted her own VP campaign to return to Alaska and bid her troops farewell to Iraq on September 11, 2008. Her son, Track was among them.
Governor Palin at the WTC site and with FDNY 2008
Sarah Palin: Presidential Leadership...
"Praesis ut prosis ne ut imperes"
Lead in order to serve, not in order to rule.
(Motto of The Laptop of the United States - LOTUS Blog)
"As commander-in-chief, Governor Palin is the one we look to for leadership and inspiration while serving and defending the sovereign boundaries of Alaska," said Lt. Gen. (AK) Craig E. Campbell, Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard (Kosovo, 2009, ¶4).
Governor Palin Visits Alaska National Guard in Kosovo. (2009, June 25). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved June 26, 2009 from: http://wayback.archive-it.org/1200/20090726151839/http://gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=1937&type=1
The LOTUS (Laptop of the United States) (Photo and Logo). (2009). LOTUS. Retrieved September 10, 2009 from: http://thelotuslaptopoftheunitedstates.blogspot.com/