The new school year had just started less than a fortnight ago, so I had a routine of coming home just after 3 o’clock in the afternoon and turning on the TV to relax for about an hour or so.
But I don’t remember any relaxation on this particular day. Due to the 6-hour time difference between New York and Slovenia, my coming home was probably less than half an hour after the first plane hit the North Tower at 8:46 in the morning. In some way or another, I stumbled across a live TV news feed of this burning tower. A tower which I knew plenty about. My one abiding memory which I’ll never forget is that in my endless childlike naivety I thought, “this looks kinda bad but nothing they can’t repair.”
You see, back then I was just starting to fall in love with skyscrapers (there was just something about height and architecture that filled me with awe and wonder), and I was drawing them daily. I could easily name probably close to a hundred famous structures along with their exact heights and pieces of trivia. So I actually knew about the 1945 crash of the B-25 bomber into the famous Empire State Building–my favorite skyscraper then and now (in the foreground on the featured pic). That building survived, and I thought so would the Twin Towers.
I watched in horror when these colossal 400m high structures collapsed to dust. In the following years, I became obsessed with this disaster, also venturing down the deep rabbit hole of conspiracies. But I’m still not any wiser than I was back then about the whys, the hows, and the whos.
I only know that this defining moment of our generation still fascinates me because it encapsulated the human condition in all its shapes and forms. From the incomprehensible atrocity of a group of people deciding to turn airplanes into missiles, and to the endlessly inspiring courage of everyday men and women risking their lives to save others.