When I visited the Burj Khalifa in Dubia, the tallest building in the world, during my travels in 2014 I realized I had been in three of the last six buildings to be deemed the tallest in the world and decided it would be cool to visit every one of them at some point. Well this blog represents my last visit this offseason to most of the buildings in America that made the claim to be the tallest. I still need to visit two since I got the wrong one for the old Met Life Building (I wrote a blog about it a couple weeks ago) and still need to go to Chicago for the old Sears Tower.
With that said I want to talk about the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and subsequent memorial. I had the good fortune of having gone up to the observation deck on the roof of the south tower when I was 16 as part of my Boy Scout National Jamboree trip. I remember it being windy on the roof of a 1377-foot-tall building, but the view was unbelievable.
As much as I heard about the Twin Towers in my life I was surprised later in life when I learned it was only the tallest building in the world for three years. Yep that is all, three years. That is when the Sears tower in Chicago surpassed it is 1973.
As most people in America, and maybe the world, I know exactly what I was doing when I heard of the 9/11 attacks. Since I lived in Colorado at the time it was only 7:30ish when I called my cousin in Atlanta to chat with her about my visit in two days. She told me I probably was not going to make it and I told her of course I was I had the ticket and everything. That is when she said I need to turn on the TV and watch the news. Of course, it was a double whammy since I was a firefighter at the time and so many first responders were lost during the emergency response.
On September 14th of last year I visited the National September 11 Memorial. In my opinion, the architect of the memorial simply NAILED IT. Reflecting Absence is the name of the two pools that sit on the foot prints of the twin towers. The waterfalls along the edge go down before falling again into a smaller hole. It symbolizes the missing towers and the hole in most of our hearts. Around the edge of the pools are the names of every victim and the rest of the grounds are a garden with hundreds of trees and a museum. It is a very powerful memorial and with the trees and sound of the water you feel a sense of reflection.
I loved that the National September 11 Memorial dedicated was completed and able to be dedicated on 9/11/11, the tenth anniversary of the attacks. How perfect is that? Another tribute to the Twin Towers and their destruction is the movie The Walk (2015), based on the story of 24-year-old French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a fantastic performance and was dedicated to the victims of the attacks.
Tomorrow I am going to share one more extra special touch I witnessed at the National September 11 Memorial.