What America has learned since 9/11

The world is more interconnected than ever — and yet we can't master it

A September 11 memorial.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Twenty years ago, I was in sitting on a trading floor in midtown Manhattan when the world collapsed before my eyes.

My memories of the rest of that day — indeed, of the rest of the week — are somewhat scattered. I remember dry-heaving when the first tower collapsed, thinking that it must still have been substantially occupied, and that thousands of innocent people had just perished in an instant. I remember sitting in my boss's living room uptown, where I'd walked, since I couldn't get home to Brooklyn yet, watching the television and listening to the idle chatter of his other guests and wanting to scream: how can you keep on talking like that? Don't you all understand? Everything is different now.

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