09/11/2011 01:42 pm ET Updated Nov 11, 2011

9/11 and Its Great Transformations

On September 11th, 2001, on what was a perfect morning-right up until the very moment a Boeing 767-223-ER slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, I stood on the corner of Delancey and Ridge Streets in downtown Manhattan.

I was working on an election campaign -- it was primary day in New York -- and little did I realize that politics, culture and our entire trajectory as a nation was about to change forever. I had been alerted to the first crash by a friend calling my cell phone, but it was as I was staring at the gaping hole in this New York City landmark, in horror, shock set in as I saw a second plane approaching.

I can see it all in slow motion these days -- the airplane seemed to glide in almost effortlessly, and as I and others around stood unable to move, a loud explosion echoed through the canyons of lower Manhattan as a fireball erupted that almost seemed to reach where I was standing. It was, for lack of a better term, surreal.

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