On 9/11/2001 I lived at my home in Belmont. I was awakened by a call in the morning from my manager at Blue Martini, Michelle. She told me what had happened. I don’t think she used the words terrorist attack, it wasn’t really something that people talked about before then. But she did say I didn’t need to come in to work if I didn’t feel like it.

I did nothing but stayed at home and watch TV all day. The endless replays of the towers falling and  Peter Jennings sitting at his news desk just cemented the same couple of scenes in my mind. There wasn’t much I could do except watch, I felt too distant to do anything. People were already organizing to help and give blood.  I tried to call my brother Tim a few times even though his place in Long Island was pretty far from the towers and he wouldn’t likely be in Manhattan, but couldn’t get a hold of him.

I got on IRC and chatted with my friends about what was going on. We tried to guess how many lives would be lost at the towers. Our estimates were far higher than the actual death toll because there was more time for people to get out than we had expected. It was a dispassionate conversation of rational people who are distantly watching thousands of miles away.

There wasn’t much information about who or why on that day. I remember hoping that any kind of military reaction to the incident wouldn’t be too extreme, but I knew better. I remember the vigils around the world to commemorate the victims and I silently thanked the world for a moment of unity.

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