Windows on the World




The loss of lives in the World Trade Center tragedy is beyond comprehension. Never in all of our history have so many people died all at once and in one place. For some of us there is also another loss to contend with: the death of the Twin Towers. They were not just a skyline marker or an abstract symbol. They were a part of our lives, they held precious memories.

I have been connected to the Twin Towers and the surrounding buildings for over 15 years. I worked in the Wall Street area, coming in and going home each day through the PATH station beneath them. I went to conferences, job fairs, meetings, and dinners in that vast area called the World Trade Center (WTC). I saw the world from the 110th story of the Windows on the World restaurant. Sunsets over NJ were my most memorable images. I shopped in the Mall created underneath the plaza and had favorite stores and favorite salespeople.

Then on Sept 11, 2001 in the space of about an hour, all of that vaporized. Unlike construction, which razes buildings to be replaced by new ones, this was not done through a plan executed over time. No, this was swift and without warning. My memories were buried beneath the rubble. Now I can walk through the plaza and Mall only in my dreams. And there will never be another view from the 110th floor. On every trip into Manhattan, be it by bus or train, I see a hole in the skyline, where once the Towers stood, reminding me of my loss.

As much as the death of humans supercedes any other destruction, we all must deal with loss no matter what its form. As a writer, immediately after that black Tuesday, I started to set my grief to words. As the poems and essays piled up, I decided that others could benefit from reading about my pain and thus created a website containing my writings, photographs, and photomontages. However, I felt my website was too ephemeral. This book grew out of a desire to give a concrete form to that website. It is not a duplicate but highlights the best writings from what I have come to call "the 9/11 year." My hope is that by sharing my memories and my grief, the Twin Towers can live on in our hearts and our grief can, at some point, be quelled.

(c)2004 Leona M Seufert



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