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World Trade Center

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It's difficult to grasp that the World Trade Center's twin towers are gone. It's two weeks past September 11, 2001 as I write. I watched the events of that morning live on television as so many did, and saw them repeated over and over, but some part of me still can't believe that I place I've visited, a structure so monumental and iconic, no longer exists.

This is a trivial web page, in that it is about lost buildings and about things rather than human lives. Of course, I do not mean to trivialize the deaths of the thousands killed in the terrorist attacks. I am saddened by the deaths of the victims and by the grief of their friends and families left behind.

I keep inconsequential items as souvenirs; things that are often meant to be discarded, rather than collected. In the days following September 11, I looked up some of the ephemera I had accumulated from time I had spent at the World Trade Center. I was grateful that the pieces had survived, for they are now not only part of my personal past, they now signify a place that has passed into our collective history.

I first visited New York City on a high school trip in 1983 or 1984. I was more interested in record stores and the girls in our tour group, but I dutifully went to all of the proscribed destinations, including the observation deck of The World Trade Center.

I don't remember whether the roof deck was open that day or not, but I know that I didn't go all the way up. My only souvenir of the experience is a brochure from the 107th floor (see item #1 at left) which bears the now-creepy slogan "The closest some of us will ever get to heaven."

I made trips to NYC in 1988 and again in 1994, but did not visit the twin towers. In January of 1999, my job took me to Manhattan for a large-scale computer replacement project, which ended up taking nine weeks to complete. I was fortunate enough to split my time between two very nice hotels: the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, and the Marriott World Trade Center (items #2 and 3).

On the evening of January 12, 1999, I returned to the WTC observation deck (items #4 and 5). Though it was a cold and windy night, my associates and I were permitted to go up to the roof. It was a singular experience—scary, but stunningly beautiful—and now, sadly unrepeatable.

— Fred Wheaton
September 25, 2001



WTC Brochure
1. WTC tourist
WTC Marriott Check-in card
2. Marriott WTC
check-in card

Marriott WTC concierge letter
3. letter from
Marriott WTC

WTC Observation Deck ticket
4. WTC observation
deck ticket
WTC elongated penny
5. WTC
elongated penny

External link: World Trade Center Observatory Photo Tour

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last updated 10/07/01