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In Remembrance, a Decade Passed Too Quickly

America and the world remember 9/11.

by on Sep.11, 2011

There are those moments that we all remember in life, perhaps the birth or death of a loved one, a victory, a defeat.  Occasionally, these are memories shared with family and friends.  Today is one we share with the world.

I doubt anyone can forget the exact time and place when they first heard about what happened in New York City that morning exactly 10 years ago.  A friend’s wife was in the Towers, trapped in an elevator when the first plane hit the building and cut its cable.  She and the strangers jammed in beside her were able to pry open the doors smash through a wall and escape, just barely, as the first building fell behind them.

I experienced nothing so horrific.  But it is nonetheless a memory that will be forever etched in my mind.  I had just finished an interview at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show when I was told by a PR person from Saab that something had happened in New York.  The first word reaching Europe was garbled.  Two planes had collided over Manhattan and then fallen on the towers.  But minutes later, when I reached my next destination I was told the more frightening truth: two planes had been flown intentionally into the Twin Towers and by then the first had collapsed.  Moments later, someone screamed from nearby as they watched the second collapse on a TV monitor.

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The World Trade Center – The Untold Story for Car People

The human toll was unfathomable, but there were other losses, as well.

by on Sep.11, 2011

One of many emergency vehicles destroyed when the Twin Towers fell.

Originally posted in November 2001; updated and edited for TheDetroitBureau.com for the 10th Anniversary. 

On its Tenth Anniversary, Americans are still reeling from the unthinkable attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York City’s World Trade Center and Washington’s Pentagon, and the thousands of innocent people who were murdered in cold blood by fanatic, radical Islamist terrorists.

Yet there is an amazing story, basically untold, of vehicles lost.  TheDetroitBureau.com after all, is an eMagazine whose readers look to us for the automotive stories they can’t find elsewhere.  The concentration of other anniversary stories elsewhere has been, naturally, on the human consequences of the terrorist attacks and all that came afterward, Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance.

According to a 2001 American Heritage magazine report, the 9/11 terrorist attacks may have produced the greatest loss of life — thought at first to be 6,000 — in America in a single incident since the Battle of Antietam in 1864.  And the World Trade Center losses represented the largest aggregate claims in the world history of insurance.

Significantly, according to this writer’s research — and not published elsewhere –the WTC attack also resulted in the largest number of vehicle losses in a single incident, easily exceeding 3,000 cars, trucks and SUVs.  The vast majority of these were privately owned vehicles, but the largest dollar losses were in firefighting equipment of the New York Fire Department.

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