Robert Novak of the Washington Post wrote a column on Monday about how Washington, DC was 50 years ago. Buried at the bottom, in the second to last paragraph is a mention of a man, who just so happens to be my great uncle. I will not tell you stories of his life, as I never knew the man, and only know the stories that my immediate family has told me about him.
I have not read his book, and I have not delved deep into his history. Before I read this column, the last time I thought of him was when I happened to find a Wikipedia entry on him and corrected a misspelling.
However, I do remember his death, 12 years ago. I remember attending his funeral in New York City, where numerous important people said nice things about a man I did not know. I remember being awed by New York, a place I had never visited before.
I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty, the UN headquarters, Broadway… and I remember taking a long elevator to the top floor of one of the World Trade Center towers. I remember looking down upon the yellow taxis and other cars that darted along the streets, and thinking, that from this height they looked like bugs. I remember being slightly disappointed, as we only had enough time to visit one skyscraper, and I had wanted to see the Empire State building.
That was the only time I have ever visited New York City. I would like to go back, and go to the same places and see the same sights. I want to go back to that time in my life when I felt safe, even in a city as huge and intimidating as New York. But I can’t, I can only remember. I can only remember the way things used to be.