I recently traveled to New York City, but was not there to focus attention on the Watchtower. Rather, Ground Zero was on my agenda, and I was not disappointed, though I discovered a few surprises. I have been in the Twin Towers (WTC) several times, and have pictures of the view, including the Watchtower buildings across the East River. So to see Ground Zero had some significance to me.
Upon arrival, I was stopped at a toll station when a guard saw a camera in the car. He asked what I was taking a picture of, to which I responded "Ground Zero, and other sight-seeing locations." He then cautioned me not to take pictures of the inside of tunnels, nor of the inside of any buildings in lower Manhattan. As he was talking, two uniform officers approached and stood in front of my car, while two military guards stood at the rear with their hands on their M-16s. The toll guard then asked who I was, where I was from, what I was doing in New York, and when I plan to leave. I was stunned - and then the realization that we are a nation at war really hit me.
Ground Zero: I was not shocked at the large 16-acre cavity that once hosted the Twin Towers and other buildings ... it was just as seen on TV. What did surprise me was the many large 30, 40, 50 and higher story buildings that still had giant netted cloths draping over them like caskets ... the netting was there because their siding was loose, with windows still blown out. The adjacent damage was much more massive than I realized. It was dreadful ... but ... even more stunning was the presence of many soldiers walking around, again with their hands on their M-16s ... waiting for anything to go wrong. America is at war!
Leaving New York. I drove out onto Long Island a ways ... got stuck in the usual traffic jambs and confusing mass of buildings and streets. Yet having been in New York many times, I was still familiar with the layout. I then found my way down to the southern beltway and headed to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. It was misty, and the bridge stood out like a silver version of the Golden gate in the Twilight Zone. As I got across to Staten Island ... I looked across and saw a delivery truck pulled over by two squad cars and three Hummers full of soldiers ... this time their hands were aiming their guns at the man they pulled out of the truck ... he appeared to be of middle eastern origin ... America is at war!
The rest of the country between Chicago and New York and back was seemingly normal ... Pennsylvania Turnpikes still charge an arm and a leg ... but at least they keep their roads up better than New York ... and the folks at Hershey Pennsylvania still make great Chocolate. Yet, I still can't get those images of New York out of my mind ... how much we have changed since 9-11 ... and how serious this situation is with America at War ... somehow, it seemed so overwhelming that I forgot to even look at the Watchtower headquarters as I crossed into Brooklyn ... somehow, the serious issues of real life made me forget the old fantasies of the JW religion ... you know ... the promised new world of peace and righteousness ... a world that will never come. - Simply Amazing