The fall of the towers was so stupendous that you could swear you felt it in Denver, on the floor of the Mart. Hundreds of people were gathered in the Foyer of the Mart trying to register for the show, watching the feeds on the tv’s talking, being silent, processing, and being confused.
For my part I was pissed. Livid, in fact. Why? Here is why.
As just a Colorado hick, when I went there the sheer mass and scale of the towers was boggling. The buildings were curtain wall construction, which means the exterior facade is just that, a facade. The supporting structure was all interior steel. But the facade came down from on high, blending into elegant arches, 10 stories up, tapering to elegant points at the ground. Like a beautiful woman supported by high heels.
Security was every where. While you could freely enter, a geek like me could not take an elevator to say the 54th or 80th floor unless you had business there. You could take the express to 110th floor for Windows on the World.
Now NYC is expensive – but that place was more. But beautiful. High class to a degree, because they were used to geeks like me coming to see this awesome edifice.
The point is this: The talking heads on the news, who live there and look at the Towers every day, were so in shock that their initial reports mentioned a ” small plane”. What? A Cessna?.
Granted, the brief snippets of video were not clear, but showed enough to see at least half the width of the building was destroyed. By a large airplane. No building can survive that, let alone the fire that ensued.
The talking heads since then have only re-inforced their cautious idiocy.
At the Trade Show we watched the awesome buildings pancake. The dust cloud was clearly epic. Concrete, wallpaper, paper, carpet, furniture, drywall, paintings and decorations, plants, wool, wood, anything you can imagine. Steel I-beams that any strong man could not lift 1′ of. Let alone, a good portion was on fire. Plus cables ,electric wiring, hydraulic fluid from elevators. On and on.
At the trade show, some people left, some went in to do business. I was of the latter.
Many attendees had traveled hundreds or thousands of miles, to make commerce and keep their businesses afloat. Many vendors had done the same, but with a bigger commitment to set up and service the accounts. 25% of vendors closed their booths. I do not know how many attendees left.
I personally took umbrage at people leaving. That behaviour was what the terrorists wanted.
Shut down commerce, our economy. I said NO! We soldier through, keep it going, and do not falter in the face of such action.
Any way, my buddy and I soldiered through. Did business. Made things happen. Although, like every body we were n shock.
We left the show to go back to our room. And out to eat. After changing I walked around a bit. Very strange.
I grew up around Denver and know it well. There were no cars, no planes , no traffic helicopters. Businesses were open, but all the servers were numb, like us. All was quiet.
Most people are ignorant of this fact, but on 9/11 National Guard F-16s, F-15s and FA -18, were scrambled to shoot down any airliner entering US air space. Many were sent up in the frenzy without arms. With no bullets let alone rockets options were limited.
No airliner was allowed into our airspace. None.
Many of these pilots were tasked with kamikaze missions. On airliners. Crash your plane into another one. Full of innocent people. This happened on the East coast and W Coast. No take downs , but hundreds of planes with thousands of passengers shunted off to Canada.