It was a clear beautiful, royal blue sky day on Wall Street. The S & P futures were up markedly, awaiting a positive open, as I turned to get my first cup of coffee, after completing my morning chores. I returned to CNBC to get the morning business news, when I noticed that the S & P futures were falling, and they were falling fast. Down 10 points, 15 points, 20 points: "What the Hell is going on here?" ... I heard myself reflexively exclaim.
My exclamation was unintended as prophetic, but little did I know that "Hell on Earth" was soon to befall the victims of the South Tower, and then the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The North Tower falls after burning for 102 minutes.
The World Trade Center's North Tower was struck at 8:46 am by American Airlines Flight 11, which was commandeered by 5 Al-Qaeda hijackers. At 9:03 am, the South Tower of the World Trade Center was struck by United Airlines Flight 175, also commandeered by a second set of 5 Al-Qaeda hijackers. American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia at 9:37am by a third set of Al-Qaeda hijackers. A fourth airline, United Airlines Flight 93, impacted into a secluded field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers courageously foiled the fourth set of Al-Qaeda hijackers attempting to strike their intended target in Washington, D.C.
The late Mark Haines, CNBC's venerable morning anchor of the popular morning business show, Squawk Box, was the first authoritative voice I heard concerning this cataclysmic event that would forever reshape Americans' view of the world, and conversely, how we are viewed by the rest of the world as well. Mark, David Faber, Joe Kernen and Maria Bartiromo, the hosts of this popular show, continued through the day, finding themselves in a most inauspicious position of guiding their viewers through the most terrible moment in America's relative recent collective memory. Most of us will never forget: where we were, what we felt, when we learned of the horrendous attack by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda hijackers.
It is a moment seared within the fabric of my soul. I pray it will be a moment seared within the collective consciousness of our American People. Lest we forget, our freedoms will be forever lost.