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Nine Eleven

Yesterday’s commemoration in New York was a poignant reminder for my wife and I.

At 10am on 3 September 2001, we stood on the outside deck, above the viewing gallery of WTC One on one of the few days the deck opened, due to wind, and the limited space.

As I gripped the railing on a stunningly beautiful day, and looked out over Chinatown, SoHo, and Little Italy, and up Broadway towards Midtown Manhattan, I silently mused as to what would happen if a plane were to come straight up the canyon from the South, and crash out of sight and below us into the tower. I was thinking Cessna 185, not United Boeing, and quickly put the rogue thought out of mind. In any case, nothing could possibly damage those monumental concrete, and hidden steel columns.

At midnight, six days later in Darwin, and suffering jet lag following our arrival home, I watched CNN in horror as the second plane winged into sight, and instantly disappeared into the other tower, pristine behind the burning pyre of WRC One. The moment that followed seemed eerily silent and surreal - as if the building had simply absorbed the plane, together with its contents, like a giant carnivorous plant.

We watched, resisting sleep for the reminder of the night and into the following day as events unfolded, stunned, yet fascinated at the sudden turn of events that even then gave every indication of marking the zenith of US dominance of world affairs.

But for us, it just mean't that fate had intervened by bringing us to this landmark a little early for the main event - like missing lotto by six numbers. Uncomfortable, but tolerable.




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