At about 8:40 a.m. on Sept.11, 2001, I received a phone call from a friend. As usual when talking to him by phone, I swung around in my chair and looked up at the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center, where he worked on the 101st floor of the North Tower.

What I saw was a sudden disintegration of the top part of the tower in a burst of black and orange, which was accompanied by a dull boom. My telephone hand set went dead with a slight electric shock. In fact, it would be several hours before realizing this would be my last conversation with my friend.

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