Some movie and TV executives excised the towers from pre-9/11 works. Others let them stand. Either way, for many viewers, the melancholy endures.

It can happen abruptly, while flipping through reruns of Friends or re-watching a movie like Armageddon or Working Girl: a sight of the twin towers, dominating the New York City skyline like steel sentinels.

"I used to get so startled when I first saw them in repeats and old shows," said Sally Regenhard, a skyscraper-safety advocate whose 28-year-old son, Christian, a New York probationary firefighter, died when the towers fell 18 years ago.

Although she still views

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