Ten years ago

Ten years ago today, I’d just moved from New York to San Francisco.

We left New York on September 1st by plane, while our stuff was being hauled by truck by a moving company.

On the morning on September 11, I got up and went to work like normal. We didn’t have cable for our TV yet, and I wasn’t on the internet, so we had no source of news.

I remember getting out of the BART around 9am when my girlfriend called and told me about the towers. Her mom had called her all the way from Denmark. That’s how we learned about it. 

I dismissed it. That couldn’t possibly be.

But of course, I was to learn that it really was. By that time it was already noon in New York and both towers had  been down for over an hour already.

I went to the office, and I was the first person there. A few minutes later someone else showed up. He hadn’t heard either. The TV at the office didn’t have any cable, either. News sites on the internet were slammed. We went to a store, got an antenna, and went back to the office.

For the rest of the day, I just sat transfixed in the meeting room, watching the clips of the towers again and again.

Everyone else at the office didn’t seem to care much. They went about there work as usual. That really surprised me.

In the following weeks, the tone of the media was different for a while. And there were no ads on TV for about a week. That was a nice break.

The concert they showed on TV where Billy Joel sang “New York State of Mind” really touched me. I sang that song for my first wife at our wedding. That song has always been very special to us.

It was a strange feeling having lived in New York for over two years, and then not to be able to go through that traumatic experience with our friends. It’s probably a good thing not to have to suffer the trauma, but it also felt like bailing out on my friends, in a way.

More than anything, on that day we saw the American character that I love so much.

Quickly, though, things returned to politics as usual.

America, I love you, and I wish you the best. You still have it in you.


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