As I write this column, it is just over two weeks since four planes were hijacked and used as flying bombs in an attempt to destroy key symbols of America's economy, government and freedom. At the time of the attacks, I was just getting out of bed in a hotel near the Los Angeles airport in California. My first action as always was to switch on the television to CNN's Headline News. The first image I saw was smoke and flames billowing out of one of the towers of the World Trade Center. This was quickly followed by a scream and the announcement that a second plane had hit the other tower. My initial reaction was that I had tuned to the wrong station and was watching a movie. However, reality began to set in as my cell phone rang and my wife confirmed that this was real. She followed up by telling me, in no uncertain terms, to get away from the airport in case it too was attacked.
A seemingly normal Tuesday morning was forever changed and the date of September 11, 2001, joined those of December 7, 1941, June 6, 1944, and November 22, 1963, as dates that require no elaboration. As events unfolded over the next few days and the death toll rose to more than 6,000, amazing tales of personal sacrifice and compassion emerged. Secondarily, a relatively new dimension to the story and the subsequent events rose to prominence. Almost every aspect of the events surrounding September 11 demonstrated, in both a positive and negative manner, the degree to which technology impacts our lives.
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