Fifteen Years Ago

September 11th snuck up on me this year. It wasn’t until Friday evening, walking out of a restaurant in the village, when I was greeted with this sight.


But September 11th is always there in the back of my brain. When a plane flies low over NYC, I always look up with a slight panic in my gut.

That’s how it happened for me and two colleagues having breakfast before a board meeting that morning. We were sitting outside at a cafe about a mile straight north of the towers. A plane flew low right over us, we jumped up into the street and watched that plane bank and slam right into the tower.

The rest of the day unfolded a bit like a dream. We were just moving through it, taking care of things that needed to be taken care of, but mostly staring at the TV screen trying to make sense of things that make no sense.

I don’t think much about that day anymore. But when someone brings it up the flashback is vivid and real. Everyone says “I remember exactly where I was that morning.” Of course we do.

It was fifteen years ago. My daughter who was ten is now twenty five. The VC firm I was working at is long gone. The company whose board meeting we were heading to is long gone too.

New York City has mostly recovered from that wound. One World Trade stands as a tall reminder that we can rebuild. And the two lovely memorial pools are a reminder that we can never forget.

Time does heal all wounds, but the scars remain. And for as long as I live, the eleventh day of September will be a day to stare at them.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Alex Iskold

    We will never forget.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Don’t be so sure. Just like there are people who say the Holocaust and moon walk never happened, there are people that try to twist the events of 9/11 too.

      1. LE

        9/11 is a bit different in that the number of people that were directly involved in the action and/or the planning was relatively small compared to the Holocaust.Ironically my dad really only mentioned the Holocaust experience 1 time that I remember. When I was approx 16 I complained about something and he said “when I was your age” or something like that to shut me up. That was really it. Other than that he never used it as a crutch to get any compliance, guilt or otherwise. He actually didn’t even ask us to go to those groups of children of survivors maybe one time we went. When I went to the event it struck me that many of the others had a significant impact from their family that I had not experienced. The pain had clearly been transferred from the parent, something I or my siblings had not experienced.

  2. LIAD

    I’ve tried a few times to explain to my kids, none of which were born then, the magnitide of the day itself and the ramifications it has had since and will continue to have for decades to come.Really hard to fully express how monumental the day was. Living through it, and it’s psychological and practical effects, effectively on the entire world, ever since.- if anyone has 15ish mins this epic article published a few days ago on Politico is an incredible read. It details for the first time, with first-hand testimony, the turmoil amongst President Bush and his inner team as they learn about, and decide how to deal with the day, as it unfolded, contending with immense confusion, unprecedented security concerns and growing “fog of war”…

    1. AMT Editorial Staff

      We tried to explain to our kids last evening…after church. Our 5-year old came down this morning at 6a and the first thing he said was “this is the memorial day.” Yep. We then said a prayer.

  3. William Mougayar

    That somber & horrible day changed the course of world history.

    1. gregorylent

      the overreaction to it caused an untold amount of damage and suffering, for sure

      1. pointsnfigures

        I don’t disagree that going to war in this instance was probably poor strategy. On the flip side, when is it appropriate to go to war?

        1. jason wright

          usually economic considerations are top of the list when deciding the appropriateness of going to war.

          1. pointsnfigures

            I disagree with you. Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with economics. Neither did Vietnam or Korea. I don’t think this war has anything to do with economics either.

          2. jason wright

            those wars were executed based on US twentieth century geo economic strategic planning. the wars that followed 9/11 were based on US twenty first century geo strategic planning. they are not random wars. however, i don’t particularly want to go down this road today. i don’t think Fred wrote this post as a launching pad for bickering about theories behind why 9/11 happened. another time

          3. pointsnfigures

            We disagree.

          4. jason wright

            we have different opinions. that’s all. have a nice Sunday.

          5. LE

            You are both right. But at the root of all evil is money and oil. We don’t dick around in countries that much where there is no impact on us in any particular economic way. And I would argue that at the root, preventing communism is simply to make sure that it never spreads and changing our cozy way of life. That boils down to money and the economy one way or another.What’s interesting to me is that those past wars ended up providing major benefits to society as a result of the investment in the war (transistor, space program, internet as only a few examples).I can’t think of that many major gains as a result of the 9/11 attacks as far as our responses.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Or, it uncovered it.

      1. William Mougayar

        In more ways than one.

    3. Douglas Crets

      Not sure it changed the course. It is history so the course would be whatever course it was taking. In short, that day, and many days after it, created history.

      1. William Mougayar

        Events can change history. If 9-11 hadn’t happened, maybe the Iraq war wouldn’t have happened either, and maybe ISIS wouldn’t have happened, and maybe other things would have happened differently. That’s what I meant.

  4. Mac

    Thoughts and prayers to all the families who lost a loved one that day.

  5. Salt Shaker

    I ache every September 11th. It became an annual ritual for me to thank the firemen at my local Upper West Side firehouse on 9/11. Just a small token of appreciation for what they do. I plan on continuing that tradition today in Seattle, my new home.

    1. awaldstein

      I wonder how real it is to the Seattle community. I lived on Broome Street at the time and used to go see The Guys which dealt with the local nature of the attack and how people internalized it.

      1. Salt Shaker

        I think it’s very diff for most people outside of NYC, and perhaps even for those who reside there now but didn’t 15 yrs ago. For me the images are indelible and the emotions still pretty raw. The raging fires, watching the buildings fall from my office window, the eerie silence as thousands walked home from work, the ash, the acrid smell, posters of the missing, the endless funerals, the names of lost firemen stenciled on the sides of every fire truck, etc. It’s still, even in retrospect, a sensory overload. I type this at 4:30 a.m. PST. I literally can’t sleep. Why? Cause it’s 9/11. I keep replaying the day, and can almost minute by minute.

        1. AMT Editorial Staff

          There’s no way the impact can be as deeply felt if you were truly “there”. We were in Chicago, in a highrise. Time stopped. We at first thought the news reports were some sort of “dramatic reenactment”. We wish that was the case.

          1. charlieok

            I was in Chicago, traveling on business. I had flown in the evening before, September 10th. I’d walked around the Loop and gone to the observation deck on the top of the sears tower to look around.The morning of the 11th, after the live coverage of attacks on the World Trade Center followed by the Pentagon, we were worried about the Sears Tower, within a block of us, possibly being hit next. I remember a lot of people emptying out of that downtown area.I headed back to where I was staying, a hotel in the center of the O’Hare airport. With the whole country’s aviation system essentially shut down for a week, I spent that whole week in the middle of the shutdown airport, watching guards making rounds with bomb-sniffing dogs.The attacks were far away but their effects were far reaching.

          2. CJ

            I was in Chicago having just flown home from NYC the afternoon before on 9/10. As I walked from from the train I stopped by my GF’s job where we finalized a breakup that was a long time coming. The next morning as I was on the bus heading to the train to head into work from the auto mechanic, she calls me frantically saying that a plane just crashed into the WTC. I remember vividly saying, ‘What, a small plane, like a Cessna or something?’ I was thinking to myself that the pilot was drunk and high. We hung up, and then she called me back…I still went into work that day, on Michigan Ave where we watched the Towers collapse in real time and then decided that we should all evacuate downtown. I spent the remainder of that day on my bed glued to my TV freaked out. Wondering if Chicago was next. Wondering what was next.

        2. LE

          think it’s very diff for most people outside of NYCAgree and for exactly the reasons that you mention. It was abstract and something watched in news reports not something witnessed directly. The area that I lived in at the time apparently had the most people killed outside of NY Metro area but I didn’t know any of them although I knew people that knew them. [1]I found out about it when I was reading email. Someone on a ‘list’ who witnessed it wrote the dire details that they saw from their office. At first I was confused. But then I checked the NY Times online and saw the headlines. I had a TV in storage (holdover from the OJ Trials) and turned it on and watched the 2nd tower get hit. Or maybe it was a replay .. don’t remember. When I saw that, the first thing I thought was “this changes everything” I knew that we’d be in store for a whole host of changes to make sure it never happened again. The next thing I thought about was the economic impact that it would have on this country as a result of those changes and precautions. Also, and it’s strange to me now, is that “NYC is not invincible”. It was so strong in my mind prior to that that this was like Superman losing a fight to an MMA fighter. I don’t remember thinking that for the US, I thought it specifically for NYC because the WTC was always so iconic and NYC was such a powerful brand to someone on the outside looking in.Outside NYC [2] life got on to normal quickly it seemed. I did get several emails from customers overseas expressing their condolences for the attacks either the same day or next day. I don’t think that they were even people that I knew personally in anyway just people the company had dealt with.[1] The pilot who was in one of the planes that hit towers lived in the community. The co-pilot, I found out years later was the brother in law of a girl that worked for me in the 80’s. I remember the last name as being her maiden name and googled and came up with pictures of them at a backyard barbecue.[2] The way it seemed at the time, from my memory, was that the only thing that mattered were the NYC attacks, I think the Pentagon didn’t even make the front page of the NYT nor did the third site in Shanksville PA. That’s from memory though I think Pentagon was pg 3 at least on the issue that I read.

      2. pitarus

        I can only say that even an as Israeli, who is and was then so used to terror attacks, I can recall each an every detail in the time frame from hearing about the first plane crashing into the tower until seeing the towers collapse on TV.

  6. Nidhi Mevada

    Nice one : Time does heal all wounds, but the scars remain. Watch this TED talk ,

    1. Dave Wilkes

      Excellent Talk. Very powerful

  7. John Pepper

    Remembering Chris “Dom” Colasanti. Dartmouth ’90, great friend to many, dad and husband. Still missed.

  8. Vendita Auto

    Watched the video again a few days ago, Feel I have a personal duty to watch moments in history [WW2 concentration camps] that question my tribal heart of darkness.

  9. Mike Zamansky

    I remember rounding up strays and taking them to my apartment in Chelsea after the national guard ordered us to evacuate. Then the month long exile only to return 30 days later with the smell of a still smoldering file in the air.Over the years, I’ve watched the transition. Students who lived the event to students who were old enough to comprehend and now, kids that weren’t even born at the time. To them, it’s just another part of the history books, seemingly so distant. Watching school populations over time – all the same yet all different can be so revealing.Being there 15 years ago and seeing 9/11 become part of our history rather than present gave me a different perspective and appreciation for what I could only previous view as history rather than recent past,

    1. fredwilson

      Seeing it through kids is an interesting way to look at it. It made a big impact on our son who was five at the time.

      1. AMT Editorial Staff

        I just replied above. Our son is 5 now. We tried to explain it all to him and his sister last night. He came down this morning and first words out of his mouth were “today is the memorial day.” We then said a prayer.

      2. LE

        I was a bit younger than your son when JFK was killed. I remember it from TV and it’s had an impact on me for sure.

  10. pointsnfigures

    What a nutty day. I was on the trading floor and long 80 Eurodollar contracts hoping to get out of them. The look on the guys faces at the Cantor Fitzgerald desk is something I will never forget. In an instant, they lost all their business partners and friends. It’s trite to say that it’s a thin line between life and death but when you see something like that you realize it.

  11. jason wright

    i’ve been taking a complete break from mass media content consumption for the last six weeks. whatever coverage there may have been of this anniversary i’ve missed. i didn’t even realise today’s date this morning until i read this post.i remember exactly where i was and how i first heard about it. the where was a building that’s no longer there. the how was radio. many things have changed in fifteen years. i wonder how the archive of information about that day would be different if the smartphone and social media had existed back then? we rely upon the mass media for that. Albert Wenger has a post out on reality, observation, and explanation. i doubt that the conclusions drawn and the actions taken in the aftermath of 9/11 would stand up to scrutiny if it happened today. perhaps that’s a good thing.

  12. Dave Wilkes

    Thanks for sharing, Fred. You’re right everyone remembers where they were that crazy morning, I was in Salt Lake City. In an instant our entire World changed. As a result we all have a special place in our heart for NYC and it’s remarkable people.

  13. Chimpwithcans

    As a non-American, the events that unfolded in the years after the attacks have had more of an impact on my life than the day itself, though i still remember watching on CNN from my house in Nairobi. I remember a sense of disbelief that the same people who bombed the embassy in Nairobi could hit America where it really hurt. In the years after, America’s place in the world, and its military intentions were questioned for the first time in my life. I have since seen the memorial site in NYC. It is haunting and terrible in its beauty. No city should have to go through that sort of ordeal. Wishing NYC the best at this difficult time.

  14. creative group

    FRED:THANKS!An American/New Yorker can provide no other word.

  15. jerrycolonna

    Amen brother.

  16. Eric Dahler

    I was in Falls Church VA at work and could see the Pentagon burning from the airliner that crashed there. As horrific as NYC was its easy to forget about those killed in VA and that they were Targeting the White House as well only to be foiled by heroes as big as those that went into the towers. It all still seems so surreal and hard to believe those towers are gone and the senseless act that killed innocent people from all over the world. We have rebuilt and can only move forward with positive intention and healing energy, our prayers and each year a salute to the bravery and sacrifice of those we lost that day.

  17. PhilipSugar

    I had moved from Liberty Tower a couple of years before:…I was very much saddened when I heard the news (I was crabbing on the Chesapeake)As a pilot I instantly knew what had happened.I am amazed though at how the neighborhood downtown has gotten so much better. When I lived there it was absolutely dead at night and tough to get food.I am not a huge Bruce fan but his song The Rising is a great tribute:God Bless the NYFD

    1. awaldstein

      The responders, fire departments especially were truly heroes. Selfless people doing their jobs to save others.There are a million stories on this. Many worth knowing.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I feel for everybody that lost their lives. Truly do.But it is another thing to go in there knowing you are risking yours to save someone else’s.Let us remember that this happens often. I knew Chip McCarthy:Buffalo, N.Y. — Two firefighters — one searching for a person reported to be trapped and the other responding to a mayday call — plunged through the collapsed first floor of a burning building and died early Monday.Rescue crews tried repeatedly to get to the two fallen firefighters, but were beaten back by fire and further collapses inside the corner brick building, Commissioner Michael Lombardo said.The first firefighter to fall through the floor, Lt. Charles “Chip” McCarthy, was a 22-year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department who was assigned to a team whose members are trained to find and free trapped victims.He had depleted one oxygen tank, came out to replace it and then re-entered the building just before the accident happened, said firefighter Vincent Gugliuzza, vice president of Local 282, Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association.

        1. awaldstein

          Couldn’t agree more.Empathy is a key ingredient that makes us human beings. When I get glimpses of those without it, my alarm goes up.Selflessness and dedication to serving–this is the stuff of that overused term–heroes.I give back to some degree by helping others, but supporting what I care about, by taking care of my own.But..they stand apart.Thanks!

          1. PhilipSugar

            This is exactly correct. This is what people need to think more about.One going in twice to find a person they didn’t know, and the second going in to try and save a brother, when he knew things were dire.One white, one black, one old, one young. Their differences didn’t matter, they knew they were brothers.

      2. laurie kalmanson

        on the relief boat in the harbor, preparing and serving meals for the people who came as rescuers, including dogs

        1. awaldstein

          As a overt animal rights advocate, the info shrines that cropped up around missing pets tugged at me.And over the last few years, been following the stories of the remaining rescue dogs. Amazing animals who played a large part in the rescue operations.For a short time, this brought out the best in us.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            so true. the dogs were so brave — the stories about rescue dogs being sad about not finding survivors; i can’t even.…MANY of the 300 rescue dogs searching the ruins of the World Trade Centre are suffering from depression because they are not finding any survivors, a vet said yesterday.”When they no longer find live people, it’s difficult to get them motivated,” said Douglas Wyler.”They don’t like to find bodies. They’ll find them, but they don’t feel rewarded. The dogs are good, they’re professionals, but like any professional they can suffer from melancholy and depression. It’s hard for the men not to find anyone alive and the dogs sense that,” said Mr Wyler.”It’s a very difficult situation. The only thing that we can do is give them a lot of love and affection from their handlers, a lot of praise and a lot of encouragement.”

          2. panterosa,

            My vet treated the dogs. I always loved her for that.

          3. awaldstein

            Yup–my accupuncturist, spent the week treating the responders and the dogs.Good community response from a truly horrible experience.

    2. LE

      As a pilot I instantly knew what had happened.Do you mean it must have been a hijacking?

      1. PhilipSugar

        Yes. It was what we call “severe clear” that day.A business partner called me twice. I normally do not pickup the phone when I am doing activities including eating. I am not a slave to my phone.Bang me twice in a row and I know it’s an emergency (or it damn well better be one)I knew there could be no way a flight crew did that.

        1. LE

          I agree with you, don’t look for the zebras probability wise it was a hijacking.That said recently those two flights (one was MH370) raise the question (can’t think of the other one) of pilot suicide. Of course given two pilots and two buildings pretty clear that would be beyond probability (but one pilot, definitely possible).One thing about air craft investigations and this is strictly from watching all of those air crash documentary shows is that notice that with air crashes they specifically don’t make any assumptions as to cause. They just look at everything completely even if the cause seems super obvious. Down to the last drop.Compare that to criminal investigations with the police. There they jump to all sorts of conclusions (‘the husband did it’) and build the case around their hunch (at least that’s the way it seems). Just watched the Jon Benet one the other night on Dateline (or was it 48 Hours don’t remember).This could be as a result of the quality of the people doing the investigations but I think it’s also part of the culture and the way they are specifically trained. Police work way different than NTSB. NTSB they don’t appear to jump to early conclusions.

          1. PhilipSugar

            NTSB is very trained. Also they don’t deal with the amount of crime a police department does. I.e. they don’t pattern match.This will start a storm if too many people read it, but it is true.If you pull me over in my car in my neighborhood versus somebody that looks like a “thug” in a different neighborhood and car (and our Sheriff’s Department patrols both) You probably rightfully expect a different experience.So everybody realizes where I live that “thug” has a much, much better chance of being white than black.

          2. LE

            Do you actually mean “black vs. white”?What’s interesting also with the NTSB is that ‘scale’ also relates to the amount of failure you are willing to accept.Hinkcley was just released from prison (absurd to me). If we had 100 assassination attempts per year and a bad outcome from a few that were released (as he was) no way they would be letting him out because of the potential bad outcome from even one mistake.

          3. PhilipSugar

            No. I said what is the fact. They call Cecil County Ceciltuckey, because they moved a ton of people from Harlan County, KY to work at the munitions plants during WWII.You pull over a white kid in a lowered honda with the back window literally pulsing from the subwoofer in the trunk in Elkton, MD??They are wearing a hoodie, have teeth that make you know they enjoy meth? Yes, very different.

          4. LE

            From what I hear, and I think your wife probably says this as well no doubt, the drugs alter you in a way to make you simply a drug seeking machine … they take your soul away. (As opposed to alcoholism which is a much different addiction problem or even sex addiction..)

          5. PhilipSugar

            Look all I am saying is what people don’t want to hear. Not everybody is a good person. Not everybody is a winner. And frankly there are certain groups that live in certain places, that do certain things.Black, white it doesn’t matter.But if you are a police officer it matters.My BIL got pulled over yesterday in my town. He was driving his wife’s car which is much quieter than his convertible.He said it went like this:Sir: The speed limit is 25 you were going 36Sir: I am very sorry, I was wrong. I am in my wife’s car, which is much quieter than my convertible. I was at my BIL house (gave the name of the house) we ran out of ice. Sorry.Ok: Let me run your license, registration, and insurance. You are going to get a written warning and be on your way.Thank you Sir.That is very different than if the same officer is pulling over a person at 2am leaving from the waterfront bar.Sorry. Just a fact.My next door neighbors daughter is an officer and her husband a Trooper. She has been assaulted three times. My wife has given her stitches.When they visit if I am not in my spot they park there. I have come and they run to move. I tell them I have a standing order. My car not there (because I travel so much) park there. Do not move, do not question, I love the patrol car in my spot. My wife loves it more.

          6. LE

            I am very sorry, I was wrong. I am in my wife’s car, which is much quieter than my convertible. I was at my BIL house (gave the name of the house) we ran out of ice. Sorry.Well it worked for him but depending on the car (I am assuming it was a nice one I guess) I don’t know if I would have added that commentary. Police typicallyare blue collar types. I guess my assumption is your BIL is white collar and possibly even driving a nice car and appears of a different social class. To me it’s enough to be respectful and saying more than that runs the risk of overselling.Overselling for anyone reading this (not for you) is when you say more than you have to to get the sale. I learned this at a young age. Make your pitch make the sale and get your ass out of dodge. Why? Because you might say something that takes away and losses you the sale.I remember the first house I bought before I had kids. The realtor said “and you know the fact that’s it’s on Birch Rd doesn’t matter, the kids can play in the backyard”. And I thought “wow I never even thought of that”.A few months ago I bought and ordered a convertible. When I drove it home from the dealership after it arrived I quickly found out I didn’t like it. Why? With the top down sounded great. With the top up I kept hearing the noise from trucks and other cars going by on I476. I ended up trading it back, losing a bit, and getting a coup. Plus I didn’t want the sun exposure. I had a convertible before but for some reason this time it bothered me.

          7. PhilipSugar

            That is the second time this month for him, in the same car. And it is a Lexus.I think in general police just want to hear the truth. I am wrong, sorry.I think the lawyerfication of America has caused a big problem for police and doctors.And many businesses.

          8. LE

            I think the lawyerfication of America has caused a big problem for police and doctors.The media and in particular social media has definitely exacerbated this problem. In the past something bad would have to rise to a certain level of bad in order to make it newsworthy. Now people feast on everything and anything even things that they simply know others will feast on. [1] And obviously we can also thank Steve Jobs who brought us down the road of easy to use phone cameras with great quality. Now we have facebook live also enabling publishing.Medicine of course is a different animal.[1] Think about that for a second how people mouth off about things that don’t even bother them just to see the pleasure of others or get some kind of reinforcement. This is the same as if when you were in college you saw something that you didn’t care about personally but knew a fraternity brother would. So you would tell him about it to get a positive reaction and see the pleasure. People talk about what is reinforced by others in some way.

          9. LE

            Look all I am saying is what people don’t want to hear. Not everybody is a good person.Because they feel fine walking down the street in their safe upscale neighborhood and enjoying the diversity, but not moving to, living or interacting in those communities on any significant basis.By the way “what people don’t want to hear” is an artifact of the liberal bias on this particular blog and many online communities which is not necessarily representative of the world that many of us actually operate in.

  18. Rob Underwood

    I was living in Prospect Heights at the time, in a building long gone (it’s now center court), but that day was out on Long Island headed to a client (Symbol, now part of Motorola). As we drove by MacArthur Airport, my colleague Colin noticed that a plane landing had its emergency lights on, which was, of course, unusual.When we got to Symbol people were upset and we knew something was wrong. I remember seeing someone react in a cube screaming something about the World Trade Center and think that’s when I first knew. The rest of the morning was surreal. There were many people at Symbol with friends and family who were directly impacted. As people walked around crying and desperately trying to reach relatives, meetings seemed to continue as planned until noon or so when the collective shock started to ebb and people headed home.My wife had only recently moved to the US from Japan. She was in Prospect Heights and had watched some of what had happened from the roof of our building. I needed to get back into NYC and that became the overarching focus for my afternoon. I ended up at the LIRR Ronkonkoma stop trying to get a train in to NYC. I watched trains coming out, which were a mix of mostly people who looked like they were returning from any other day in NYC with a few who clearly had been down town. What I noticed about them all – no one spoke.About 4pm or so a train headed towards the city but somehow I missed it. I can’t remember if it was on another platform or just wasn’t taking passengers. I ran to it and jumped into an open conductor window (it wasn’t going very fast) and pulled myself in. From there I have no recollection of much of that trip or even how the change in Jamaica went – I think the train may have be diverted to Atlantic Ave which is where I wanted to be.When I got home everyone was upset of course. I remember the folks on our floor all felt like we needed to do something and we decided the one thing we could do was make pots of coffee and bring it to the 105/219 firehouse right near us. We went down to the firehouse carrying the plyrex pots of coffee and realizing as we got there that “Of course they have coffee.” But they were incredibly appreciative nonetheless. That small firehouse lost 7 fire fighters that day, one of the highest % of any house outside lower Manhattan.I still live very close to the firehouse and so have watched the firehouse continue on over the last 15 years. When I saw this article,…, it struck me very hard as this picture of Frank Palombo was one of the 7 pictures on the front of the house for many years in a little memorial they set up. Any time I took my kids to the playground on Dean Street, I’d pass his picture.There is also this article about 105/219…When you’re next walking to a Nets game or Beyonce concert at the Barclay’s Center, I hope you’ll walk by 105/219 and think about the fire fighters from that house who lost their lives that day.

  19. matthughes

    It’s still so crushing, even for someone relatively far-removed.Much love to the victims’ families & friends.

  20. panterosa,

    My daughter was 7 weeks old and we lived in Flatiron. As such a new mother, life had changed so much already, and now I was housebound for the fumes watching my city from a room inside it. Yes we all entered a bizarre dream state, which lingered on and changed the world we woke up to. A strange one to wake up to with a first baby.As an artist, the 9/11 lights have always been the beauty and timelessness we aspire to as an annual event of recalibration and remembrance. Love’s in Need of Love played then, and I hear it yearly since then will always make me cry, the most complex tears I shed, too many emotions. Perhaps those complex tears we all shed every year on this day are part of washing the scar you mention Fred.

  21. Pete Griffiths

    Friend of mine lost her husband that day. The scar is still very much there for her.

  22. John McGrath

    Boy do I share that reaction to low-flying planes. It’s diminished over time, but I’ve accepted it’s unlikely to ever go away. Peace.

  23. sigmaalgebra

    Remember?Yes, I was at my computer typing on some project.Making Sensetrying to make sense of things that make no sense.Well, it does make sense.To see the sense, just set aside political correctness and look at reality. Grade school material is enough. So, let’s go through it:There is Mideast desert Islam. It’s still Medieval and brutal. It’s isolated from the cultures of the rest of the world.Part of its culture is to have everyone else, infidels, convert or be killed.They are not kidding.They gave us a good sample in the first World Trade Center bombing of February 26, 1993. We were so politically correct we refused to believe the lesson.They gave us another lesson on 9/11/2001, and again we were so politically correct we refused to believe the lesson and, with outrageous, suicidal delusions said that Islam is a “peaceful religion”.They have declared war on us.They will nuke us ASAP. The only reason they didn’t nuke us on 9/11/2001 is that they didn’t have a nuke.What We Should DoWe need to defeat them so that they can no longer hurt us.Done.

  24. bobmonsour

    We had moved to Princeton, NJ the year before and on Sep 11th, we were moving into a new house. Yes, that was moving day. I was driving over to the new house, about 5 miles from the rental we were in at the time and I remember hearing on NPR about a plane accident in NYC. At first, everyone was reporting it as a possible small plane crash. Little did we know. I called my wife back at the rental and told her to tell the movers not to pack the television and to turn it on. I drove back there and we watched for a few hours, seeing the towers fall. Totally unimaginable.Our son was 6 at the time and attending first grade. The aftermath of that for his was that he was awakened to his Arab heritage. My half of the family originally came from Lebanon in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I grew up an American, first and foremost. In Princeton, a beautiful, but largely white, Protestant area, was different for my son. He was teased, being called a terrorist at times. He didn’t know what to make of it and found it pretty hurtful.Sadly, one of his classmates lost his father. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. A neighbor lost her brother and many friends knew people who were lost. A lot of people commute daily to NYC, so it hit pretty hard.We move to the SF Bay Area and he attended high school in SF. He greatly appreciated the diversity we found there and it had a very positive impact on him.We had some friends visit us from California a couple of weeks after the attacks. One of them, our son’s godfather, Arthur, went with me to NYC to walk around the city. As we walked by St. Patrick’s that day, we were honored, and deeply saddened to see the largest contingent of NYC police we’d ever seen assembled in one place. A funeral was just ending and they were departing the cathedral with bagpipes playing…an unforgettable scene.We also happened to walk by Rockefeller Center. Timing being everything, that was one of the days that an anthrax letter was delivered there. We wondered why there were so many police in the area and news crews. Later that day, while sitting in a bar, we saw the reports on television. Strange times…It’s so very hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since that tragic day. My heart goes out to all affected and their families and hats off to all of the incredible first responders. A challenging job in the best of times.

  25. BillMcNeely

    There was a young woman at my church that had left texas and moved to boston after becoming disalusioned with law sxhool. She was a flight attendent and was suppose on the plane out of boston but switched schedules.she left the airline 6 months later for a big insurance company. She has a nice life with a house, husband and beautiful kids.

  26. Douglas Crets

    My first full week of work at a school began on September 11 with a spelling test. I remember rushing to get a copy of the test printed because I had forgotten one. A teacher met me in the hall and said “The WTC has been attacked.” I heard her say what she said, but I really had no idea how to comprehend what she was saying.My day unfolded like yours, in slow motion and just almost like an out of body experience.Fifteen years later, every time I go back to New York to revisit my old neighborhood, I make sure to walk down to Chambers Street and the area around the WTC and I remind myself to keep working with purpose and to not forget how I felt that day. It’s not like I need to tell myself much about that; it’s an ever present feeling. But having that awareness and conscious focus makes me feel like I have a reason to be here.

  27. Ana Milicevic

    For the last 14 years the 11th was always palpably quieter than other days in NYC. We don’t have many quiet days when the buzz of the city takes it down a few notches – it’s usually the holidays when many of us aren’t around. The 11th is the exception – as if we’re all rightfully taking some time to think back to that day 15 years ago in its stark contrast of wailing sirens and souls.

  28. kidmercury

    9/11 is my favorite holiday of all so an especially warm and sincere happy holidays to all. since 9/11 america has been mired in endless wars, has experienced a profound loss of civil liberties, and has experienced immense financial difficulty. these troubles will continue until we embrace the truth that sets us free.9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury


    a wish that the deceased always be remembered…

  30. Twain Twain

    We lost bank colleagues that awful, awful day.I was in London and worried sick for my friends in New York. I ran up one of the biggest phone bills I’ve had, calling people to check on their safety.One friend should have been driving through that area when the planes struck but, for whatever reason, she got up late and saw events unfold from her car.My thoughts are with the people of New York.

  31. laurie kalmanson…”the event is hard to grasp in full if you never saw the towers intact, if you never gazed straight up between the two pinstriped columns and got dizzy at the scale. And if you were not downtown that day, and did not have to flee uptown or across a bridge, did not have your memory seared by the smoke, the dust, the smell, the incomprehension”

  32. awaldstein

    In a reality without the social web, this was community at its best on the street.I spent days as soon as I could get back just hanging out in Union Square. Circles of people in groups of 20 or so, sharing experiences, talking about this face to face, parents brining their kids to listen.This would have been a different event post if we had the social web not only in how the world experienced it, how we remembered it, but also by the numbers of casualties potentially as well.

  33. Mike Zamansky

    Yes (at least for a few days).I wanted to get off the west side highway so I walked the kids up either Hudson or Greenwich – I forget which one.As we marched uptown along with I don’t know how many others, I remember all the shop owners, garage owners, and residents out on the sidewalk stacking water and other supplies already there to comfort and help any and all that needed.

  34. laurie kalmanson

    union square, days later

  35. LE

    No need to call bullshit. Was not referring to you. Most people are not you. Talking about people who live specifically in diverse but safe (because of real estate costs) neighborhoods in, for example NYC. Let me know when even a small number of those people decide to vacation in Lancaster PA vs. The Hamptons or even the nice parts of the Jersey Shore.And there is a liberal bias on this blog. If there wasn’t Phil wouldn’t have had to tiptoe around his statement.

  36. awaldstein

    yes a true sense of community existed in new york sprung from this.i was born here, lived everywhere all over but it made me re realize that this was home.