Memory etchings

Where were you?

I remember well: I am taking part in a meeting at IBM Euro HQ on the 33rd floor of Tour Descartes in the La Défense complex in Paris. We just had lunch and are restarting the meeting when someone walks into our meeting room and says “You got to see this!”.

We rush to the closest office with a TV, the North Tower is already belching its big plume of smoke and fire in the air. None of us understands what we see, some are talking of a bomb, others are asking if this’s for real.

As we watch, something darts across the screen and the South Tower explodes. Someone shrieks, someone cries, we can’t even hear the CNN speaker.

After about 15 minutes someone remarks that we’re standing on the top floor of one of tallest buildings in Paris, and a bunch of us rush for the elevators down to the plaza right in front of the Tour.

I call my wife, who was not watching television and tell her I’m safe, to which she responds “Of course you are, why not?” and I tell her what’s going on. We attempt to continue the meeting but soon realize we must make for the airport if we want to go home; I catch one of the last flights before CdG is closed down and head home.

Nothing was the same ever since.

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