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Quote of the Day: Garrison Keillor, Remembering 9/11

Remembering 9/11 — From the archives

Sep 11

BEARING WITNESS

By Garrison Keillor

Sept. 3, 2006 New York Times Book Review

It was a perfect late-summer day in New York, the sort of day when a person feels terribly lucky to be in the city. A man named Pavel Hlava was showing his brother Josef around town and raised his video camera toward the World Trade Center just in time to catch a bright object flashing in the sky and then a puff of smoke from the north face of the north tower.

A French filmmaker, Jules Naudet, who was making a documentary about firefighters, was with a fire truck responding to a gas leak at Lispenard and Church Streets downtown when he heard the roar of a jet engine and raised his camera to catch the plane too. And so did two Webcams from an apartment window in Brooklyn. It was 8:46 a.m. on the 11th of September, 2001.

At 8:49 a.m., CNN went live with a shot of the towers from a camera on the West Side. The second plane hit the south tower at 9:03, and by that time dozens of cameras were on the scene, aiming upward.

In his apartment at Broadway and Franklin Street, Lyle Owerko heard the first explosion, grabbed a Canon EOS 3 with a 400-millimeter zoom lens, dashed downstairs and around the corner to Chambers Street. “Life was still oddly normal,” he tells David Friend. “People stood buying bagels and coffee [from] corner street vendors.”

Tom Flynn, a CBS News producer, was reading the morning paper on his deck in the West Village when “a plane went over the trees in my garden. It was low, it was loud, and it was determined. It was not right. It seemed to be revving up. Then there was a pop, like the sound of a softball hitting a glove.” Continue reading Quote of the Day: Garrison Keillor, Remembering 9/11