When the first plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, like many people, I thought it was an accident. Jeff was on his way into the city, and he called from the train. My mom (who had been staying with us for three weeks since Ben was born) answered the phone. “Turn on the news,” Jeff said.
We did, and we watched for a little bit. I saw the flames but, in my mind, I was thinking it was going to be similar to the story about when the plane hit the Empire State Building long ago. A tragedy, yes, but at that point they were saying it was a twin-engine plane, and for some reason I assumed the building was basically empty. It was just too early in the morning for many people to be in there. Geez, I hope the pilot got out okay, I thought. Total denial.
My mom was getting laundry ready to take to the laundromat, and she had the basket in her arms. We were talking about something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a fireball on the TV screen.
“Wow, I just saw a fireball or something,” I said.