One World Observatory has welcomed thousands of visitors since opening to the public last Friday, but many still remember visiting the original World Trade Center’s observation deck. One artifact in the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s collection tells the story of two people who were among the last visitors to see the view from the Top of the World.
In September 2001, Winnipeg native Evan Kuz visited New York City. During his visit on September 10, while on the last boat back to Manhattan from Ellis Island, Kuz met a young woman named Kamilla from Eastern Europe. The two out-of-towners hit it off and decided to visit the WTC’s observation deck together. The two arrived late in the afternoon and stayed until shortly before closing. Due to the stormy weather, they agreed to return to the observation deck the following morning, September 11 at 8:45 a.m., in hopes the skies would be clear.
The next morning, Kuz went for a run before the planned reunion and was subsequently running late. Upon returning, he learned of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and frantically tried calling the cell phone number Kamilla had written on his observation deck ticket from the night before, but could not get through. Kuz assumed she was at the World Trade Center.
He finally reached Kamilla on September 12 and discovered that she too had been running late that morning and never made it downtown. The two met the following day in Times Square and that was the last time they saw each other.
In 2009, Kuz met with Museum curators and recounted his story. He also donated his September 10, 2001 observation deck ticket stub. “This is a piece of history,” he recalled. “I think it belongs in other people’s hands other than mine.”
By Jenny Pachucki, Content Strategist