A decade ago, September 11, 2001, the day was at first a very beautiful late-summer day. I was downtown in an office. As I started to work (about 8:45), I noticed that I could not get on the Internet. The management of the business did not inform the employees of any external problems, and so I figured something was wrong with the company’s Internet connection. It was not until mid-morning that a colleague had said planes had hit the World Trade Center in New York City. I later found out that the Pentagon was struck by an airplane as well. There were rumors that another plane was in the air heading for another target, rumors of other places that were hit, and other confusing rumors.
It was an unusual feeling; the workday was over. I was able to get in touch with family (some of whom lived in the New York City metropolitan area), and I e-mailed friends who had just moved to the New York City area (they were fine).
Later in the morning, I was able to get on the Internet and was able to see the terrible extent of the damage done by the airplane hijackers that day—people jumping out of the top floors of the burning World Trade Center towers to certain death, damage to the Pentagon, a plane crash in Pennsylvania, workers at the Capitol running out of its buildings. Rumors lessened and facts increased. I was dismissed from work at about 1:00 p.m.
When I left the office, the roads were tranquil. (I had missed the earlier traffic jams as people sought to leave the city at the same time.) As I took the subway (basically empty), I was able to see the smoke from the Pentagon from the windows of the subway car.
Ten years on, many things have happened, yet I still remember the events of that day relatively clearly.