From the top of the tower, I took this photo with my Kodak Instamatic.

Have you noticed? The one-one in September 11 looks like the Twin Towers, or two people standing side by side.

At fifteen and about to be a sophomore in high school, I stood on the shoulders of the Twin Towers. I was without my parents that day, and feeling pretty grown up. At the time, the towers were only five years old, barely in kindergarten, but they were grown up enough that I could see all of Manhattan, New York’s other boroughs, New Jersey, the rivers feeding into the Atlantic ocean, iconic symbols like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Up until the year before, it reigned as the world’s tallest building. I’m thankful I got a chance to stand tall and see it all.

I couldn’t have imagined, that day, what I would see so many years later.

I’m thinking about all that the Twin Towers represent, then, but mostly now–how many thousands and thousands directly touched by the unimaginable, sudden loss–those who will be hurting especially this week with the anniversary of 911, having lost family members, close friends–stolen. There may be still gaping-wide heart gashes that need a soothing balm.

We’ve come a long way since the days following September 11. Collectively devastated, it seemed we came together–unified–as never before. In my lifetime, anyway.

Feels like we’ve come a long way, in a bad way, digging in our heals. Politics, deceit, division, arrogance, anger, blame–is it just me or are we labeling like never before, painting with such broad strokes? Why must it take something horrific to bring people together, to stand side by side, maybe even link arms, as though its just you and me.