"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
Robert Stone

September 1, 2014


Our offices move to 1 World Trade Center in 2015. In anticipation, perhaps it is time for me to pay a visit and to pay tribute by stopping at the Memorial and the Museum.

August 8, 2013


CNN will air The Flag, a prime-time documentary on September 4, 8, and 11--based on the last chapter of Watching the World Change. The movie, directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, tells the back-story of the famous photograph, by Thomas Franklin, showing three firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero on 9/11. This is the second in a series of documentaries being released by CNN FILMS, the first being the critically acclaimed Our Nixon, which was broadcast this month. (Check your local listings for times near you.)

Also: For those who don't yet have the book, this week Picador releases an e-book "short" of the last chapter, "The Flag"--for 99 cents.

Photo: Thomas Franklin/The Bergen Record

April 6, 2013


The New York Times 's Jim Dwyer has an important report on the ongoing identification of remains of the deceased of September 11, 2001.

Twelve years after 9/11, according to the Times, the families of 1,119 people--more than a third of those who perished in the World Trade Center attacks--have yet to receive any identifiable remains of their loved ones.

November 4, 2012

The Echoes in Sandy's Winds and Water

A vulnerable downtown Manhattan....Ravaged neighborhoods plunged into darkness... Scenes of tangled wreckage... Valorous public officials stepping up and pulling together to help the shocked, the grieving... And, finally, so many innocents, lost by the score.

The tragic echoes of September 11 were everywhere in evidence this week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, even though this latest disaster had not been the result of the darker forces in global ideology and human nature but of nature itself, albeit natural forces that were multiplied in impact by decades of human ignorance, greed, and neglect toward climate change.

What's more, the great deluge of 2012 did not spare those areas most hard hit by the World Trade Center attacks. Neighborhoods that had lost loved ones, disproportionately, in 2001--notably those on Staten Island and throughout New Jersey--were again besieged. Floodwaters poured into the Ground Zero site. And the National September 11 Memorial Museum itself, as described in this New York Times story, withstood serious damage.

Through it all, Sandy's silver lining--if one dare call it that--will, given time, prove to be similar to the one that shone through eleven years ago: the resilience of survivors and public servants in the face of epic calamity.

September 17, 2012


Today marks the 150th anniversary of the single bloodiest day in American history--the Civil War battle of Antietam, which claimed four-to-five thousand among Union and Confederacy ranks. See pages 346-348, the coda, of Watching the World Change.

September 11, 2012


A day for commemorating, for honoring, and yet, for continued vigilance.

An important column to digest today is the riveting op-ed piece in The New York Times by Vanity Fair's Kurt Eichenwald. He cites memo after memo--prior to the infamous August 6, 2001 briefing (in which George W. Bush and his administration were warned by intelligence officials that Osama bin Laden was "determined to strike in the U.S.")--in which sources were saying, clearly and consistently, that an al-Qaeda attack had gained momentum and was imminent.

Eichenwald details warnings that came on May 1, June 22, June 29, July 1, two on July 9, and July 24, 2001. And he describes the following situation: "Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else."

This is chilling reading on the anniversary of this coldest of days.

June 30, 2012


Photographer Rikki Reich recently revealed one of the most apocalyptic sets of images of the September 11 attacks -- photographs that had not been previously published. The Monroe Gallery is representing her devastating series of black-and-white pictures, taken from New Jersey, on the morning of 9/11.

Some of the images appear here on the Franco-American online newsletter La Lettre de la Photographie. Note the last, almost unbearable frame.

June 4, 2012

9/11 Museum in the Making

Yesterday's New York Times offered a compelling and thorough front-page story on the machinations behind the planning of the September 11 Memorial Museum, set to open in a year or so.

May 5, 2012

OBL Letters revealed

The Pentagon has released private letters written by Osama Bin Laden, collected a year ago in Pakistan during the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader. In the letters, OBL frets about his image, his legacy, and the in-fighting among underlings. In one instance, he admonishes an al-Qaeda member for breaking a covenant by lying on an immigration form. In the twisted logic of OBL, defying an oath is verbotn, but not the mass murder of thousands of innocents. Go figure.

April 14, 2012


Our company will be moving to 1 WTC in early 2015. Here is another recent piece on the structure, which now has a logo…


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