Magazine article Risk Management

Ten Years After

Magazine article Risk Management

Ten Years After

Article excerpt

Of all the "where were you when?" moments, none resonates so clearly in my mind as the attacks of September 11, 2001. I'm not a sentimental person by any means but even a decade later, I find myself getting choked up when watching or reading reports of that day.

Everyone has a story. I was working in Midtown Manhattan. From my 20th floor office window, I had a view of the towers and watched as they buckled and fell before my eyes. No one in the office said anything. There were no words.

As I made my way to the train that would take me home to Long Island, the city was in shock. The expressions of sorrow, horror, confusion and fear that I saw likely mirrored my own. As I walked, I stared in a daze at the black smoke in the distance until I realized that I had been walking in the middle of the street for blocks with no regard for traffic. But no car horns ever sounded. At the train station, the mood was the same. Even though trains were delayed, no riders complained. Who would dare when you were sharing the platform with downtown workers covered in the dust of collapsed buildings that once dominated the New York skyline? When I finally made it home, everyone wanted to hear about what I saw, but I didn't want to talk about it. How do you describe what it's like to watch a skyscraper full of people fall to the ground?

Thankfully, no one I knew died. I was lucky. Loss was everywhere, however, and when I finally returned to the city after a few days, sagging shoulders and hollow, glassy-eyed stares were all too common. I had to stop reading the newspapers because the reports became too excruciating. It was all I could do to keep from crying.

It's a cliche to say that the world irrevocably changed on September 11, but it did. In a sense, the world shrank. Terrorism was no longer something that only happened overseas. …

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