Monday 11 September 2006. I remember everything of that fateful date. No words can express the utter disbelief that I felt then, five years ago to the day, glued to my TV screen, my vision blurred by the tears in my eyes. No words can relate that tragedy. The sight of that plane heading for the emblematic skyscraper, which looked suddenly so very vulnerable. I remember seeing, along with millions of other traumatised human beings, the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center tower #2. I do remember, but it is like remembering a dream, not knowing whether what you experienced was reality or fantasy. I am not convinced that remembering a nightmare is actually less disturbing than experiencing it. A hell of a vision. A vision of Hell.
I remember the apocalyptic rumbling, as the Twin Towers were collapsing. The debris and the thin white dust covering just everything, lain on the city like a lead weight. How ironic : lead and asbestos might eventually kill more people than the terrorist attacks per se. I remember beholding with awe what was from then on to be called Ground Zero, a graveyard in ruins. Not one single telephone, not one single chair, not one single human body that has not been completely pulverised. I remember haggard people, covered with ashes, as if wearing a white veil, running around in panic, with no place to find shelter in. The white veil was actually more like a shroud. I also recollect the amazing sight of dozens of bodies falling from the towers in a desperate and vain effort to escape the heat and the smoke. I remember the fire-fighters' alarms echoing in all Manhattan. "It was raining people", later said one of the many firemen present that day. The deathly hush following the collapse of the Twin Towers, one after the other. The deafening silence that followed chaos, turmoil, sound and fury.