Awakening on the morning of September 11, 2001, we Americans were proud, happy, and confident. We knew ourselves to be the only Superpower—the world's economic colossus, the global center of culture, the planet's most potent military force. We thought these things made us invulnerable. We know differently now. 
Most of us still find it impossible to grasp the destruction of the World Trade Center. It was real, we saw it, but it does not belong in any reality we can understand. We saw the airliners, full of people who might have been us, streak incomprehensibly toward the walls of steel and glass. We saw them morph into fireballs that trapped thousands of people, working at their desks on a routine morning, in an inferno that killed most of them. We saw the shimmering towers collapse, and the towers of volcanic smoke that rose to take their place in the New York skyline.

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