I was immersed in my document. I was in my own world of words, buttons, links and screenshots. Nothing outside of the screen in front of me existed.
Then, something intruded on this world.
“A plane has hit one of the buildings of the World Trade Center.”
It was a blip.
Some part of my mind thought on this piece of information as I continued dealing with start screens and checkboxes. Maybe it was one of those single engine aircraft. A Piper Cub, flown by someone who’d made a terrible mistake. That must be it.
I continued on in my tiny little world deciphering programmer notes and making my own.
“The World Trade Center is on fire.”
With those words, my fugue state was shattered. I looked over at the person occupying the next cubicle over. He looked at me. “There’s cable television in the main meeting room. Let’s go.”
Bemused I followed.
The television was already on when we entered the room. We stared dumfounded as smoke billowed from the one World Trade Center building. What could possibly have happened?
And then, a speck raced across the screen. A plane. Another?
We had but the briefest of moments to be apprehensive before there was an explosion and a gout of flame and debris shot out from the other building. We were rooted to the ground in shock.
Accident? Mishap? Pilot error?
We were in Israel, so if any of those thoughts flitted through our minds, they were momentary.
It was terrorism on the grandest of scales, and while it was half a world away, it rolled over us as if it had been next door.
For America, it was a day of innocence lost.
And for us, the world was changed forever.