QotD: Reflecting on September 11th

What are your personal memories of September 11th?

Here are the my posts from 2003 on TypePad. Repost here for those who only start reading this blog recently.

Two years ago my day technically started when I left
my office a few minutes past midnight. As I walked toward the WTC to
grab a cab to go home, I looked up and marveled at how lucky I was to
have the opportunity to work near these two buildings.

Slightly over eight hours later, I woke up to a nice Tuesday autumn
morning. I wasn't needed in the office until noon that day because of
the late night before. The "This Morning" show on NBC was showing the
usual rubbish.

Everything changed a few minutes later when I arrived at the gym in
the basement of my apartment building. A group of people was crowding
around the TV in front of the reception area. All of them wore the
shock expression on their face. One particular woman, probably in her
fifties, was sobbing that someone she knew was there.

As I turned to see the picture on the TV screen, my first thought
was terrorism. May be I was conditioned that way after spending over
ten years in the UK, with the IRA threat hanging over the population
everyday.

We all thought that it could be an accident, and that it was
probably just a small plane. We all had so much confidence in the
firemen to put out the fire soon. But we knew different thirty minutes
later when we watched, live, the second plane hit the south tower. I
knew then that that day was going to be a turning point in human
history…

For the rest of the day (and week), I was glued to the TV and my
computer. Despite the lost of phone line and cell phone connection, my
DSL connection to the internet was working fine. Thus, email and
instant messaging became the de facto mode of communication for that
day and rest of the week.

That day, I knew New York City is my home. It doesn't matter that I
was born and raised in Hong Kong and that I spent my teenage years in
the UK. NYC is my home from that day forward.

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