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.