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Manhattan 2002

I gave the following presentation at our Toastmasters club on September 11, 2002.

In August, 2002, our family went to New York for my the 90th birthday of my wife’s grandmother. We decided to go to the Statue of Liberty one day while we were there.

It was one of those steamy summer days you hear New Yorkers complain about, but you don’t really know how bad it is until you experience it for yourself. The sky lay on the buildings like a smothering gray blanket.

As we went through Lower Manhattan, we pondered whether we should go to Ground Zero while we’re there. Turned out that we didn’t have to. There were plenty of reminders of September 11.

This was the first thing we saw as we entered Battery Park, the battered sphere that used to be in the courtyard of the World Trade Center. It was brought to the park and used as a temporary memorial.

World Trade Center Sphere

This plaque marked the site.

World Trade Center Sphere Plaque

We took a ferry to Liberty Island. In the previous trips I made to New York, I never went to Lower Manhattan. I didn’t know what the skyline looked like, except in pictures. Even so, I knew something was missing.

Lower Manhattan 2002

This plaque at Liberty Island showed us what.

Lower Manhattan sign with World Trade Center

This is what the Manhattan skyline looks like now.

Manhattan Skyline 2002

This is where the World Trade Center used to be. I will never see those buildings in person.

Former World Trade Center site in 2002

This trip, however, reminded me not only of what we lost, but what we still have and what we still hold dear.

Statue of Liberty

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