Sep. 12-13, 2011
My twins. They were such tiny, red things, starting out in life. These well-behaved kids didn't cry one bit, and they didn’t hurt a soul. Most people don't know they were conceived in the early 1960's, but were born in 1968 and 1969. They could have been named East and West, but they went by the names North and South instead. The first time I laid eyes on them was in the very first week of 1970 - during a short trip on the West Side Highway. I'll bet they were shorter than twenty stories each at the time. My first glimpse of the twins didn’t impress me much, but I happened to take my movie camera that day and have some silent and shaky 8mm pictures of the twin towers to prove it. You see, my friend and his family returned from a week-long cruise that cold but sunny morning, and I surprised them. I took the subway all by myself at the age of 15 from Brooklyn to meet them at their ship’s Manhattan dock. The car ride home became an unexpected gift for me. Now you know how I met my twins.
Why do I call them my twins? Well, I was born in the same city, and I matured along with them. Five years passed, and the towers approached their completion. One day in March of 1975 I took the subway there and stood at their base, impressed by their no longer red, but now silver majesties. Needless to say, my camera recorded a few images. Difficult to tell them apart from ground level, I pulled on the door handle of one tower. It opened, I stepped inside, and enjoyed a day I'll never forget. Three hours of peace and quiet on an empty floor - a wonderful prize for someone entombed in noise all day, every day, in the city that never sleeps. I photographed the scenes, inside and out. I promise, although a little chilly outside, it was a perfect, beautiful day inside.
Within the next few years I visited my twins at least twice. One cloudy day some friends and I stood atop one tower, outside, and I pointed to my friend, shouting, "Hey, your hair's standing straight up." I didn't realize my long hair did the very same thing. What a laugh we had! Another friends' dad worked in one of the towers and a group of us visited him just for the heck of it, and to say we'd been in the World Trade Center. One year I took the family back to New York to visit. I have a picture, taken in 1996, of my wife and kids at Liberty Island with my two guys standing across the river from us, oh, so tall in the background. Tons of pride welled up in me when I took that photo. I needed plenty of self-control to not shake the camera. My wife, my kids, and my twins - all in the same shot! I try not to look at it too much these days.
Along with a fire-ball vision and personal stories of friends and family who narrowly escaped death in the horrible pancake effect, I keep those who lost their lives on a fateful Tuesday fall morning in 2001 in my mind. I think of the heroes of 9/11, and wonder what I would have done had I been in the towers that day. These are the thoughts that return to me on the same week, the same day, every year. Ever since the day that changed everything, I compulsively add a new flag to my car’s antenna as each one wears out - for my twins - I loved them so much. But now they're gone, over ten years gone. Who would take them from me, and why? I’m sure we must ask, "Why?" I feel blue for the most part, but we should learn what we can from that awful day, and never let anything like it ever happen again. It's not just simple hyperbole. The twin towers were a symbol of the American spirit. I know that thousands of others lost a whole lot more than I did on September 11, 2001. Yet, my twins are gone forever! Please understand how much I miss them.
Keywords: Conservatism, Conservative blog, Mark A. Cohen, From The Left to the Right, The Twin Towers, 9/11, September 11, 2001, My twins, North and South, West Side Highway
Keyword Phrases: "Conservatism”, “Conservative blog”, “Mark A. Cohen”, “From The Left to the Right”, "The Twin Towers", "9/11", "September 11, 2001", "My twins", "North and South", "West Side Highway”
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