Sunday, September 11, 2011

The 9/11 Decade

The event will forever be synonymous with the decade, and time will continue to clarify the impact on the world, a nation, a generation, and me.  I was alerted to the disaster by a friend, who called concerned about mutual friends in Manhattan.  Had I heard from them, did I know if they were okay?  Assuming they were in a car accident, I asked for details.  Turn on the TV.   The South Tower was already down.  I couldn't fully process or comprehend what I was seeing.  The footage of the plane colliding with the building was on a continuous loop, as if the riddle would be solved the more times it was viewed.

The Woolworth Building with it's majestic Gothic spire is my favorite architectural wonder in the city, but The Twin Towers hold a special space.  We were conceived in the same decade, I watched them grow from the car window during frequent family trips to the city.  A source of conversation around the dinner table, they symbolized confidence in a city plagued with crime and inflation.  I loved them most from afar, rising from the concrete, sleek and modern, anchoring the skyline.  I can't recall the first time I stood in the plaza, shadowed by the world's tallest skyscrapers, but my most memorable experience occurred when I was 17.  Commemorating my grandmother's 80th birthday we had an intimate family dinner at Cellar in the Sky.  I borrowed one of my mother's designer dresses, the men wore black tie.  On the 107th floor of the North Tower, we dined for hours on a superlative, seven course menu impeccably paired with five exquisite wines.

I was on the phone with my mother when the North Tower fell, words caught in my throat, tears wet my face.  In the ensuing days I was awakened to the ramifications of our global actions.  I was deeply saddened by the devastation, but also by the country's arrogance.  My initial fear, that life would never be the same, were accurate, but in ways I didn't anticipate.  At some point ease and frivolity returned to my days, but my global disillusion remains.

No comments:

Post a Comment