Remembering 9/11 on 9/13

Anniversaries come and anniversaries go.

December 7, 1941, a day that would live in infamy, at least for my generation. It’s hard to believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor, in just a few months from now as I write this, will commemorate its 72nd anniversary. As a young child growing up in Manhattan, I remember quite well hearing about Pearl Harbor.

This generation’s day of infamy of course is 9/11. And it’s now hard to believe that 12 years have gone by.

I created, before September 11, 2001, a few paintings that included the Twin Towers. Even with the erection of the new Freedom Tower at the site of the former Twin Towers, there’s still a hole in my heart for what was formerly the most iconic skyscrapers in Manhattan’s skyline.

Some might say the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building or Statue of Liberty more than any other skyscraper, defines and solidifies New York City’s skyline.

But I always loved the Twin Towers. Of course they did not exist when I was a child, but long after I left New York, moving to Baltimore, whenever I would take the train or bus back into Manhattan, I always looked forward to seeing the Manhattan skyline, with the Twin Towers anchoring it.

Many people can understand the emotions I felt when coming back to Manhattan for the first time after 9/11. I was angry, so angry that the Towers were gone. I couldn’t even see, or more accurately, process, the other skyscrapers. In my eyes, they did not exist. I wanted the Towers back. And certainly, those who lost loved ones in the attacks, wanted–and still want–their loved ones back.

I didn’t know anybody who perished in the attacks, but to me, the loss of the Twin Towers was such a shock.

I’ve thought about doing more original, 3D, raised-relief, multi-layered, mixed-media New York cityscape art that includes the Twin Towers. But so far, I haven’t. I won’t go into a myo-psychological analysis to try and figure out why I haven’t, I simply haven’t. Life goes on. We move on. There’s a new tower. Will I make a cityscape art project that includes the new Freedom Tower? It’s hard to say. Rarely do I create literal interpretations of the skyline but more than any other reason, the new Tower … let’s just say I haven’t warmed up to it yet. It’s like meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time: sometimes, it can take a while for you to win them over.

And that’s how I feel about the new Freedom Tower. It quite hasn’t one me over. Maybe I’m still clinging to the past. In any case, I am glad I have created some original cityscape art that includes the Twin Towers. Instead of remembering the Twin Towers merely on the anniversary of their destruction, I can admire them every time I walk into my art studio.

Even if you don’t have an art studio and paintings of the Twin Towers, please never forget 9/11 and remember it more than once a year.