Fall semester had just started. I was a college senior, fresh from a summer spent interning in Boston, and already thinking about The Future after graduation the next spring. When I heard about a plane crashing into a New York City skyscraper, I was busy breakfasting in the dining hall, looking forward to my Modern British Literature class later that morning.
Fast forward about an hour, and I’m watching in horror on the little television in my dorm room as the south tower collapsed…and then, minutes later, its twin.
Watching it live on TV, I didn’t imagine then that, exactly ten years later, I would be standing on that very site as the country paid tribute to those who died. Today, in addition to observing the 10-year mark, New York opened the 9/11 Memorial in the footprints of the towers, a serene space with waterfalls and oak trees. We taped part of Monday’s show on the 10th floor balcony of 1 World Financial Center, looking out over the footprints. (This is a shot of Evan setting up with media positions behind him.)
Many of you have seen photos and watched video of that day’s moments, as have I. But I’ve also visited the site of the attacks several times, both during anniversaries and at other times of the year. There’s always an undertone of somberness. A hush. Over 2,000 people died an awful death in that place, and their presence is very much felt.