Spud visited the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center for the first time in 1998. Back then, he remembered stuffing himself on to a high speed elevator (along with hordes of other camera toting tourists) as it rocketed up 110 stories to the observation deck on building #2.
From his lofty perch, the tuber was able to capture an unparalleled view of the Manhattan cityscape; a view that would not only be immortalized on his film, but forever be imprinted into his memory.
The events of September 11, 2001 not only changed the Manhattan skyline, it also changed life in free, democratic nations forever. Not one to sit back and let hatred infiltrate and poison our way of life, Spud set out to do his part to fight in the war against terrorism.
The tater would be remiss though, not to visit New York once again to view Ground Zero and pay his respects to the thousands who lost their lives that fateful day.
A special viewing platform had been erected across the street from where the buildings of the World Trade Center once stood. To access the platform and to control crowds, Spud had to wait in a never-ending queue to get a ticket which had a specified time for him to go. The potato didn't mind the long wait and was happy to find that the tickets were not being sold. Not charging an admission seems so contrary to the Capitalist ideal, but in this case, it was appropriate & respectful. Rest assured, there were countless entrepreneurs hawking Trade Center memorabilia in and around the site.
Since September 2001, tens of thousands of men & women have worked tirelessly at the epicenter, trying to clear the mountain of twisted metal and begin rebuilding the infrastructure of the Trade Center's neighbours; the unfortunate witnesses to the devastation. Some are cloaked in black shrouds as if to mourn the fallen heroes. Spud donned his hard hat and offered his help, but officials were afraid he might get mashed.
Next to the viewing platform lay St. Paul's chapel. Miraculously, this Georgian Classic-revival church built in 1766 managed to avoid getting damaged as the towers collapsed across the street. Today, the fence that surrounds the chapel has been turned into a makeshift memorial - a wall of condolences offered from all over the globe.
Spud paused to read some of the many heartfelt notes and offerings.
The intent of bin Laden may have been to tear the fabric of the free world apart, but instead it has only woven that fabric tighter than ever.