On September 11, 2001, a neighbor telephoned and said, “turn on the TV.” I assumed that a hurricane, possibly a bad one from the sound of the neighbor‟s voice, was headed our way, and turned on the TV to determine whether we needed to shutter the house and leave.
What I saw was black smoke from upper floors of one of the World Trade Center towers. It didn‟t seem to be much of a fire, and the reports were that the fire was under control. While I was trying to figure out why every TV network had its main news anchor covering an office fire, TV cameras showed an airplane hitting the other tower. It was then that I learned that both towers had been hit by airliners.
Cameras showed people standing at the hole in the side of the tower looking out. This didn‟t surprise me. The airliner was minute compared to the massive building. But what was going on? Two accidents, one on top of the other?
The towers—the three-fourths or four-fifths of the buildings beneath the plane strikes–were standing, apparently largely undamaged. There were no signs of fire except in the vicinity of where the airliners had hit. Suddenly, one of the towers blew up, disintegrated, and disappeared in fine dust. Before one could make any sense of this, the same thing happened to the second tower, and it too disappeared into fine dust.