Eight years ago, I was woken by a phone call saying “They nuked New York!”
I’ve been a science fiction fan all my life, and I pay attention to security issues (computer security professionally though not as my main responsibility, and other stuff from habit and interest). So the concept of actual nuclear terrorism was by no means inconceivable to me. However, in a short time we worked through that the situation was somewhat different from that, and I got on the computer and started watching videos and looking for individuals posting their own photos (I’ve still got a bunch of the photos I snagged off the net). But I am probably close to unique in remembering learning that airplanes had flown into the World Trade Center as a bit of an anti-climax.
For MultiLogic, where I worked from 1996 to 2000 when they shut down, I’d made a number of trips to New York, and worked with major financial clients there (though none of the groups I worked with had their offices in the WTC complex). On a trip in October 2000 I’d taken a number of pictures including the WTC. I’d also decided to go to the top of the Empire State building rather than the WTC (there were more other buildings of interest nearby; and indeed I’m quite pleased with some of the photos I got from up there). I haven’t been back to New York since then.
I have watched the constant erosion of civil rights, with one small but important exception (RKBA for self-defense), and our blundering around the world smiting right and left at random, since then, with great sadness.