Today marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Throughout today, people have been looking back and reflecting on the tragic events of 9/11, as well as remembering and praying for the thousands who perished on that day.
Scanning the Twitter and Facebook feeds of my friends, I’ve seen competing impulses. Most people’s posts have been somber and sad. Some have taken the opportunity to reaffirm America’s greatness; others have used the occasion to criticize U.S. foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. Now that the day is coming to an end, some have expressed 9/11 fatigue.
If you have 9/11 fatigue, you can stop reading here. But if not, please continue….
On Twitter, people have been recounting where they were on 9/11, collected under the #911whereiwas hashtag. Please feel free to share your own 9/11 remembrances, in the comments to this post.
On the morning of September 11, I was getting ready to head into work at Wachtell Lipton, where I was a litigation associate at the time. As I was getting dressed, I heard a brief radio report of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. I assumed it was a small plane and that the crash was accidental.
I left my apartment and walked the one block to work. When you work at a place like Wachtell, it’s nice to live close to the office. When I arrived at work, I learned about the second plane — and that the crashes were not accidents.
My colleagues and I followed developments over the televisions in various partners’ offices (partly because getting news over the web wasn’t as common a decade ago, especially in terms of streaming video, and partly because many news websites weren’t loading anyway). Standing in front of a tiny TV, I felt chills as I watched one of the towers collapse.
The rest of the day passed in a blur. Like everyone else, I tried to get in touch with family and friends, but this was difficult due to the jammed airwaves. I spent some time in the office; Marty Lipton sent around an email suggesting we’d be safer staying at the office as opposed to leaving.
But after an obviously unproductive afternoon, and after many other lawyers and staff departed, I went home too. Even though were in midtown rather than downtown, four miles to the north of the World Trade Center, you could smell the smoke upon stepping outside.