Waking up every morning, I would see the Twin Towers from my porch in Rockaway. I knew I was out too late when the most of lights were out in the city, the towers were still lit, and there was no fooling them.
For high school graduation we went to "Windows on The World", and I felt like I owned the world. Navigating around the city as a teenager, my father always taught me the Trade Center was down (south), the Empire State was up (north), to get my bearings.
Years later, it would be business meetings, conferences and shopping on the concourse. I would bring my visiting friends and relatives there, as the first stop. I took my two children there just last month. We lay on the ground staring up at the towers. I explained their significance, but it was obvious that I was as (if not more) excited and awed by the buildings than my three year old. As we watched the tourists pile in and out, I felt proud and lucky. This was "mine". As a New Yorker, as a resident of Manhattan, as an American, this was mine.
My fondest childhood memory was going to the World Trade Center to be an extra while they filmed the movie "King Kong"; watching them pour fake blood over the "fallen" Kong and being asked to scream on cue (as thousands gathered) was a real thrill for this ten year old. Watching the real life drama unfold, I just wish someone would yell "cut" like they did back then, but it was all too real.
I don't know if I will find up from down in the same way again.
MAUREEN FARLEY SCHILLING