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The Ugly American
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
  I wrote this yesterday and today...
This is for the english class I'm taking right now...

Before and After 9/11
The Twin Towers dominated the New York City skyline. Each building, one hundred and ten floors a piece, stood over 1300 feet in the air. They were unmistakable landmarks. They could be seen from just about anywhere in Manhattan. The World Trade Center complex was so large that it had its own zip code.

Construction on the Twin Towers started in 1966 and rocketed into the sky in just 4 short years. The North Tower, Tower 1, was completed in December of 1970 and stood 1,368 feet tall. The South Tower, Tower 2, was finished a little more than a year later in January of 1972 and stood 1362 feet tall. They were both dedicated in April of 1973. They were the tallest buildings in the world for about a year until the Sears Tower in Chicago took the title away in 1974.

Not only did the towers rise spectacularly into the air, but there were at least 6 basement levels as well. Below the street level was Manhattans largest mall along with at least two levels of subway platforms and the PATH trains. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson train system carries riders to and from Penn Station in Newark, NJ and drops them off at the base of the trade center.

Then, what started out as a beautiful late summer day in 2001, everything in lower Manhattan changed. It started out like any other day. People arriving from all directions, heading to work or to drop off children at daycare. Things seemed pretty normal until 8:45 that morning when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Eighteen minutes later United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. Tower two fell first. It took only 47 minutes. Tower one lasted a little longer and at 10:29 that morning she came crashing down and both towers spread ash, dust, soot and smoke across lower Manhattan making the scene look eerily like a dirty winter wonderland.

These days the PATH still runs to the stop named World Trade Center. It runs through the tunnel from Newark, under the Hudson River, eventually snaking slowly up out of the hole that was the World Trade Center complex. The hole that used to be the basement of the WTC doesn’t look that big from the train, but to see the train as you look down into the hole really shows how big the basement once was.

On the anniversary of 9/11, for the past six years, a magnificent light show has been set up at what is now referred to as Ground Zero. Created with 44 search lights, it shines brilliantly into the night sky and disappears into the clouds. A symbol maybe, a beacon of hope or a light of determination, to let the world see the tenacity and perseverance of the American people.

Where the Towers majestically stood guard over the Hudson River, construction has begun on the Freedom Tower. It’s planned to be finished by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The Freedom Tower will stand 1776 feet tall and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000,000,000 to build. It will be a monument to those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

They were called many names back in the day: spaghetti boxes, ugly, the Twin Towers and The World Trade Center just to name a few. Now they go by only one name. Ground Zero.
 
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Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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