The Towers Are Still in the Background

A strange thought hit me this evening as I was watching a few episodes of NYPD Blue from 1995……kids who start college this year were not alive when the Twin Towers were destroyed. 

I see the Towers in the background of various movies and TV shows, and every time I see them standing tall and proud, stars in the New York background, I feel that pang of pain. In my mind’s eye I still see that airplane headed to the side of the building, knowing what happens in just a few more seconds.

I don’t know anyone who died during that disaster. I don’t know any first responders, rescuers, rescue dogs, or families who lost a loved one. I don’t know anyone from Flight 93, nor anyone from the Pentagon. 

But I remember where I was when I heard the news.

Today isn’t an anniversary or anything; it’s merely a panning of the 1995 New York skyline I never paid attention to the first time around. And now I can’t help but pay attention every time I see it.

It’s just another haunting moment and memory in my life. Something those under 19 will never remember. Never experience. And maybe that’s a good thing. 

Of course, I was never a part World War II either. I watched ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima’ the other day. The movie was spliced with film from the actual landing. And watching the real troops pile off the boats and onto the exploding shoreline was painful, too. My dad was headed towards that island when the first line landed.  And it effected him in ways I will never know. Never understand.

And I will never forget that, either.

There are so many of us that are affected by things we never directly experienced. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. And we will forever be affected by that.

Never forget the pain that got us here. Don’t focus on it, obsess on it, don’t let it consume you. Living is for today. For now. For the friends and family you have around you this moment.

But never forget, either. Because sooner or later you’ll see it on TV or in a movie somewhere.

The skyline that used to be but is no more.

11 thoughts on “The Towers Are Still in the Background

  1. I think that’s part of evolution — the references and language of generations. I try to avoid movies about World War II because they are just painful to watch, but every now and then I watch one and think of my dad. Maybe being reminded what we fight for isn’t such a bad thing after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes. And sometimes I think it’s worse when you don’t expect to see the towers and there they are. They stand out like shiny beacons.


  3. What a touching response. Thank you. As I said, I don’t know anyone directly involved, but there are so many out there that do. And every time I watch an older movie and see those towers in the background the first thing I think and feel is how sad. Senseless. I will take a look at that link, and feel a step closer to someone who knows someone. Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wonderful post. as a teacher, I have to keep reminding myself that the students may not be familiar with many of the references I use (and the same goes for the references the students use – a good chance I may not know what they are talking about.)


  5. This was such an interesting post. My friend Cesar Murillo died in the twin towers on 9/11. We were in college together. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. Thank you for honoring that moment on an odd day, on a non-anniversary day. On a “just looking at the skyline” kind of day. There is something that touched me about it. Here is a link to Cesar’s info on the CNN 9/11 memorial. Now, you do know someone. Thank you again and hugs.


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