I have been to the World Trade Center twice in my life. The first time was rainy day in the spring of 1982. The roof viewing platform was closed so we had to settle for the top floor. The second time was on December 26, 2001. Here are two emails fused together that I sent out that day almost immediately after getting home. Having a copy of Time's Person of Year issue would be handy.


I just got back from NYC where Pilzer and I had a personal tour of the World Trade Center site. Pilzer's boss, Chris Hillmann, (whose company has been doing work there since September ( took us to the 21st floor of One World Financial Center (not open to the public), which is mostly vacant and somewhat repaired now. Apparently some of the floors like 23 and higher are ready for business again but no one has moved back in yet. Chris said that thousands and thousands of windows in all the nearby buildings were blown out. 1WFC is right next to where the south tower was once located. We looked down into the pit where the cleanup was. All the buildings around had some damage and many were still vacant. It was incredible to see. What was once a hub of business activity was now all vacant and damaged buildings. Outside, we were inside the restricted perimeter but not where the actual digging was being done. We walked over to Moran's ( for lunch past all the people who were looking at it from ground level a hundred yards away. We saw it from twenty-one stories up and right on top of it. Out of respect I didn't take a camera even though I had a much better view than those with video cameras who were outside past the barricades.

If you look at this week's Time (Person of the Year issue)...

1. The picture of the shirts in the Brooks Brothers store - the store is east of the pit and 1WFC (building I was in) is SW of the pit. I was a little closer (but much higher up) to the scene than the store is.

2. The picture with Kofi Annan (orange crane behind them) and Giuliani is right in front of 1WFC. I viewed the site from the 21st floor of that building. If it appears the building isn't that tall it's because there is a roof on the 10th floor and then the building cuts in a little. We could not gain access to 10th floor roof. The walkway (not in picture) I will talk about is directly behind Giuliani.

3. From 1WFC there is a walkway that used to connect to another building (the hotel that collapsed? - I'm not sure) Now it stands just barely connected to 1WFC. Anyway, the walkway is still standing, which is really amazing. We walked through that and could get a good look from there too. The walkway was probably less than 75 feet from the ground and right on top of where the equipment begins for the pit workers as well as closer with a less obstructed view than the VIP viewing platform.


Another thing I remember from that day was watching fireman retrieve some remains. There was some activity and Chris said that looks like they found something. Sure enough, in the next day's NY Daily News (or Post) there was a picture of the activity I saw. More remains were found.

I also remember being able to see damage from New Jersey before we even got on the ferry. There was a building with visible damage of a lobby atrium.

Now that I think about it, I am surprised we were allowed on the walkway. It was really damaged and we could only go part way as rubble blocked the rest of it.

Also, I could still see the steel from the parking decks below the towers and I remember seeing a large (several feet in diameter) pipe or two that no longer connected to anything and just left a big round hole at the box wall of the pit.

It was just eerie to look at the Manhattan skyline from New Jersey that day and just stunning to really see what happened up close.

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