From that point on, I remained glued to the TV screen. I sent a few phone texts to friends: "Watch CNN! Some plane crashed in the WTC!" And as I watched this surreal image of the tower smoking, another explosion occurred. Even weirder, I actually saw the second plane live, crash into the other tower. Of course, at first I thought I had hallucinated, there could not possibly be a second plane crashing by accident in those towers.
The commentators said the explosion heard and felt was probably from the engine of the (first) plane, which would have exploded after the initial crash. I wondered about the plane I had seen myself. Then CNN found out that the engine exploding after the crash was not a very good explanation for the new explosion because it was located on the other tower. At this point it became really crazy. Nobody mentioned an attack, I still thought it was an accident. But now, with two planes crashing in two towers, that was unreal. My first thought was that some diabolical automatic piloting was the culprit, and that for some reason, planes were now forced to take this deadly course and crash into New York's highest skyscrapers.
I thought, with disbelief, that maybe a third plane would come, that they would keep on coming. Then news of the Pentagon being attacked came on, and at that point, I don't remember how I felt and what I thought. Except this: "Well, maybe this day will be referred to as a historical day, and I was there." Not an especially noble thought, but for once in my life, I felt the entire world was together in this, and this was true.
The towers hadn't collapsed yet, I think, and so I wasn't aware of what was really going on. I thought the planes had crashed, there was smoke, but everything was so calm yet (from my far away point of view, no CNN journalist that I could see was on the ground per se). And then as this commentator from several miles away, atop another building, was commentating on the situation, one tower collapsed. As with the second plane, this made the whole thing take another dimension. I didn't expect the tower to collapse. I couldn't believe it when it happened.