20 years ago. It seems implausible. What happened that day was almost implausible.
Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard about a Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel fly high into New York’s World Trade Center north tower at 8.45am on September 11th, 2001.
I was in the City of London walking back from lunch with a client just by the steps of the Lloyds Building when we heard the first few whispers. Those whispers became more frantic and we walked into a nearby office and watched the surreal tragedy unfold crowded around a television.
My client had a sister in New York and was desperate for news of her, while I thought about my colleagues that occupied 8 of the top floors in the south tower, an office I had visited regularly. 176 of my colleagues lost their lives, 2,606 altogether at the WTC site and 2,977 in total killed in the separate attacks in New York City, Washington DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 1,106 of those victims’ remains have never been found.
In 1996 I came pretty close to working in that south tower but someone upstairs was looking out for me because it didn’t happen, but still I had spent quite a bit time on the 105th floor before 9/11 watching out of the window at the helicopters and clouds gliding silently below.
Those of a certain age will never forget that day 20 year ago, and everyone in New York has their own story to tell, and I have heard hundreds. Many though can still not bring themselves to talk about it.
I was in New York this week, it is a resilient and inspirational city, and it was obvious to me that it is facing new challenges post pandemic. Yet New York is a city that doesn’t sleep and will once again not lie down.
Never forget ❤️