First Staten Island couple engaged at World Trade Observatory

Carol Ann Benanti Staten Island Advance

Charles Thompson believes in fate.

He met Meagan Campbell —  the “girl of his dreams”  — at SUNY Binghamton (N.Y.) University, but the life-long Staten Islanders were practically neighbors growing up in the South Shore town of Huguenot.

Charles Thompson pops champagne after proposing to girlfriend Meagan Campbell on the 102nd floor of the new World Trade Observatory.

Charles Thompson pops champagne after proposing to girlfriend Meagan Campbell on the 102nd floor of the new World Trade Observatory.

Borough natives Charlie and Meagan have a love story to tell, the type hopeless romantics like me never tire of hearing.

After a five-year courtship, Charlie, 24, proposed marriage last week high atop the new World Trade Observatory — making them the first Staten Island couple to be engaged on the 102nd floor of the monumental new building.

In fact, the business advisory consultant for Ernst & Young says the proposal translated into somewhat of a test run for the building — a model of sorts for future engaged couples to follow.

On the pretense that Charlie was required to attend a work-related event at the tower to be followed by dinner, Meagan easily bought the story.

“When we arrived we were taken on a private tour of the observatory walk-through and elevator to the top floor,” Charlie says. After watching a two-minute video with others, they were instructed to head to a private event space for “dinner.”

When the couple walked through the doors, a white table cloth, champagne and pink roses awaited — and John Legend’s “You & I” reverberated on speakers in the background.

“I walked her to the table where I proposed — overlooking the Manhattan skyline,” Charlie says with pride, while his photographer friend from college, Stanley Duval,captured the moment with video and photos.

On hand to witness the magnificent moment was Emira Perezic, a One World Observatory staffer who helped make arrangements.


At first, the self-proclaimed soul mates had no idea how similar their upbringings were — they both came from blue collar families and even shared some of the same friends without knowing it.

Fate, Meagan says, forms your future.

“I truly believe it — we met at college only to realize we lived down the block from each other on Staten Island,” says the 25-year-old St. Joseph by the Sea grad, who earned her associates degree at Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology before transferring to Binghamton.

“I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be marrying my best friend and the love of my life,” adds Meagan, who is now an assistant buyer at “June 13th was the perfect day; the best day of my life.”

And the location of their engagement means a lot, as Charlie points out: “Growing up in Staten Island, I watched this building slowly rise from its earliest stages through its final completion just last year. Never did I think I would have the opportunity to propose to the love of my life overlooking New York at the top of this iconic building that has become an iconic symbol of our country’s resilience and our city’s future.”

The proposal was followed by an intimate family gathering at the couple’s first apartment together in Weehawken, N.J.

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