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Chico Bagel-Maker Pays Tribute to Pre-9/11 U.S.

"That was a time of maybe not innocence, but close to it, and then once that happened we moved into a new time where we are no longer separate from the rest of the world," said owner Peter Horylev.

Posted: Sep 11, 2018 4:53 AM
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 5:47 AM

Chico, Calif.- If you've ever stopped by Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works in Chico, you'll notice the New York City skyline - just the way it looked more than 17 years back.

Photos and paintings of the twin towers of the World Trade Center are everywhere.

"A lot of them have been donated by other people," said Peter Horylev, co-owner of Brooklyn Bridge Bagel. "Scott (his partner) had a couple in his office that he brought in, and more and more people started to come and bring them in." 

Horylev is from New York, and decided to pay homage to his roots when he opened the place in the late 70s.

That pride grew tenfold when his county, his birthplace, was attacked.

"At first I thought, what a weird accident, how could this happen? When the second one hit, you realize, to have two in a row like that? This is intentional," Horylev said. "The smoke came billowing out like you'd see in a movie, that really shocked people."

Horylev says he'll keep the artwork because it reminds him of simpler times.

"That was a time of maybe not innocence, but close to it, and then once that happened we moved into a new time where we are no longer separate from the rest of the world, we're part of it and susceptible to the same things everyone else is susceptible to," Horylev said. 

It's been 17 years, and there are a lot of young adults today who just can't relate to that memory of feeling "untouchable."

One of Horylev's employees, Lexi Hoedt, was 6-years-old when the planes hit the towers.

"(I felt) scared almost," Hoedt said. "I didn't know what was happening. My mom was crying, it was very dramatic for me, so it's engraved in my brain." 

She remember growing up with a little more fear - the invasive airport checkpoints, a general sense of having to be on guard all of the time. But she says some good came out of it.

"I felt that we were, as a country, feeling vulnerable, and that patriotism was a way to fight the vulnerability and in the long run," she said. "It made us stronger." 

Maybe that's OK. Maybe there's something to be learned as the first-hand memories fade away.

"Sometimes when it's so close, you don't really learn about it. But give it 30 years? You look back at history, you start to see it in books, then you start learning more about it" Horylev said. 

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