News

World Trade Center: 10 days before 9-11

SPOILIN’ THE BROTH
Bill Cooke

When we rode that elevator 107 stories to the observation deck atop one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center, little did we know that we would be among its last visitors.

Wife Peg and I, along with friends Bob and Geri Burnett and Gary and Annette Griesbach, spent the morning Sept. 1, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York City.

We took photos at the beautiful WTC plaza and listened to a British rock band. NYC sponsored free noon and evening concerts in that plaza.

Then we took that elevator ride. The observation deck provided spectacular views of Manhattan Island and beyond. We stayed there spellbound for a long time.

Other rooms inside that top floor afforded a theater where the seats actually moved and tilted while you watched a big-screen video of a helicopter tour of Manhattan, as if you were riding in the helicopter.

Another room featured a scale model of Manhattan which you could walk around and really get the “lay of the land” you had been exploring.


World Trade Center ‘twin towers’ were imposing landmark from any angle. World Trade Center ‘twin towers’ were imposing landmark from any angle. From the WTC we had lunch at Battery Park and then walked the park’s scenic bay walkway to catch a ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Our v isit to N YC w ith our friends was a whirlwind week in the “City That Never Sleeps.” We spent two days at the National Tennis Center watching the U.S. Open, learning the tricks of subway travel.

And the rest of the week we did the usual tourist things: Broadway shows, Grand Central Station, Carnegie Hall, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park and more.

Ten days later we watched TV in horror as people were running screaming on that Battery Park walkway, and on many other familiar streets, to escape the carnage of the most devastating attack on our country since Pearl Harbor — a sickening, cowardly attack that changed the world forever.


Observation deck atop tower afforded spectacular view of Manhattan Island and beyond. Observation deck atop tower afforded spectacular view of Manhattan Island and beyond. It took us 10 years of spilled blood before we could cheer the Navy Seals team that killed the mastermind of that attack.

God bless our troops and our nation. Like Pearl Harbor, 9-11 awoke a sleeping giant. May we ever maintain our vigilance and our preparedness.



At the center of the tower observation deck was this scale model of Manhattan Island, with the landmark towers illuminated. At the center of the tower observation deck was this scale model of Manhattan Island, with the landmark towers illuminated.

Ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty afforded a view of the towers that dominated the NYC skyline. Ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty afforded a view of the towers that dominated the NYC skyline.

World Trade Center plaza’s huge band stand (left) hosted free noon and evening concerts sponsored by the city of New York. World Trade Center plaza’s huge band stand (left) hosted free noon and evening concerts sponsored by the city of New York.

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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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