Philippe Petit and the Twin Towers belonged to each other. As a young man, Mr. Petit, who refers to himself as a self-proclaimed engineer from the school of day-dreams, didn't just take a deep breath and scurry from one tower to the other in 1974; he spent forty-five minutes dancing, leaping, and laughing as he crossed between the Twin Towers eight times. What he was teaching us was that exuberance, planning, and poise can take us anywhere. That is a vital lesson if we are to live up to the challenge before us – to build a World Trade Center that will equal and surpass its former glory.
In his book "To Reach the Clouds" Mr. Petit wrote the following poem. These are the words of a man who would willingly put his life on the line more than thirty years later to once again show us that daring is a synonym for truly living:
The question for us is: Are we in retreat or will we once again stand tall?