After 9/11: The Future in One Word

III. The Long Now

In01999, Gary Snyder, the Zen poet, sent an epigram to Stewart Brand, the environmentalist and cyberculture pioneer best known for founding and editing the Whole Earth Catalog:

This present moment

That lives on to become

Long ago.

Snyder’s poem alluded to how the present becomes past. Brand responded with a riff of his own, on how the future becomes present:

This present moment

Used to be

The unimaginable future.

At the time, Brand was at work completing The Clock of the Long Now, a book of essays that introduced readers to the ideas behind the 10,000 Year Clock and The Long Now Foundation, the nonprofit organization he co-founded with Brian Eno and Danny Hillis in 01996.

The book was a clarion call for engaging in long-term thinking and taking long-term responsibility to counterbalance civilization’s “pathologically short attention span.” Brand argued that by enlarging our sense of “now” to include both the last 10,000 years (“the size of civilization thus far”) and the next 10,000 years, humanity could transcend short-term thinking and engage the challenges of the present moment with the long view in mind. This 20,000-year frame of reference is known as the Long Now, a term coined by Brian Eno.

Brand included his exchange with Snyder as the book’s closer. (Snyder would ultimately include his contribution in a 02016 collection of poetry, This Present Moment).

Brand’s epigram became one of the most shared selections from a book full of “quotable quotes,” regularly appearing in motivational tweets and the slides of keynote presentations. He always makes a point of crediting Snyder when the quote is attributed to him alone. I asked Brand recently whether this was simply a matter of giving credit where credit was due, or if he felt there was a deeper connection between the two poems that was lost when viewed in isolation. (Another famous Brand quip, “Information wants to be free,” is often shared without the crucial second part: “Information also wants to be expensive.”)

“Both credit and connection help the quote,” Brand told me. “Gary lends gravitas with the credit. Also it’s a sequence, which he started. The two riffs book-end time, backward and forward, the way Long Now tries to.”

“It’s a conversation,” Brand said. “Nearly all art is, not always so overtly.”

In 02018, Eggert added her voice to the conversation. She’d read The Clock of The Long Now three years earlier, and found the concept of the Long Now a compelling corrective to the detrimental effects of the small now she saw in religion. She was particularly struck by Brand’s “This present moment…” epigram.

“I’m on a constant hunt for literature to read that will be another star in that constellation of my understanding of time,” she says. “My process as an artist is, as I’m reading these books, I always keep a sketchbook nearby. If there’s ever a quote that jumps out at me, I write it down. Then, when I’m brainstorming for new work for an exhibition, I’ll oftentimes go back through my notebooks and look at all the quotes that I’ve written down. I don’t know how or why I ended up choosing Brand’s words at that particular time, but I started realizing that they were saying exactly what I was feeling at that moment to be true or important.”

When Eggert asked Brand on Twitter whether she could have permission to turn the quote into a neon sculpture, his response was typical: “Sure!” (The footer of Brand’s personal website reads: “Please don’t ask for permission to borrow my stuff: just do it”).

After 9/11: The Future in One Word - HISTORY

New International Version
I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

New Living Translation
Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures never again will a flood destroy the earth.”

English Standard Version
I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Berean Study Bible
And I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

King James Bible
And I will establish my covenant with you neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

New King James Version
Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

New American Standard Bible
I establish My covenant with you and all flesh shall never again be eliminated by the waters of a flood, nor shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

NASB 1995
“I establish My covenant with you and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

NASB 1977
“And I establish My covenant with you and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Amplified Bible
I will establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the water of a flood, nor shall there ever again be a flood to destroy and ruin the earth.”

Christian Standard Bible
I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I confirm My covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by the waters of a flood there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

American Standard Version
And I will establish my covenant with you neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I shall establish my covenant with you, and all flesh shall not end again by the waters of a flood, and there shall not be a flood again to destroy the Earth.”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And I will establish my covenant with you and all flesh shall not any more die by the water of the flood, and there shall no more be a flood of water to destroy all the earth.

Contemporary English Version
I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will establish my covenant with you, and all flesh shall be no more destroyed with the waters of a flood, neither shall there be from henceforth a flood to waste the earth.

English Revised Version
And I will establish my covenant with you neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Good News Translation
With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood never again will a flood destroy the earth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I am making my promise to you. Never again will all life be killed by floodwaters. Never again will there be a flood that destroys the earth."

International Standard Version
I will establish my covenant with you: No living beings will ever be cut off again by flood waters, and there will never again be a flood that destroys the earth."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I will establish My covenant with you neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.'

Literal Standard Version
And I have established My covenant with you, and all flesh is not cut off anymore by waters of a flood, and there is not a flood to destroy the earth anymore.”

NET Bible
I confirm my covenant with you: Never again will all living things be wiped out by the waters of a flood never again will a flood destroy the earth."

New Heart English Bible
I will establish my covenant with you and all flesh will never again be cut off by the waters of the flood, neither will there ever again be a flood to destroy the earth."

World English Bible
I will establish my covenant with you: all flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood, neither will there ever again be a flood to destroy the earth."

Young's Literal Translation
And I have established My covenant with you, and all flesh is not any more cut off by waters of a deluge, and there is not any more a deluge to destroy the earth.'

Genesis 8:21
When the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, He said in His heart, "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from his youth. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.

Genesis 9:10
and with every living creature that was with you--the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth--every living thing that came out of the ark.

Genesis 9:15
I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Isaiah 54:9
"For to Me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you.

And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Genesis 8:21,22 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done…

Isaiah 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

Genesis 7:21-23 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: …

Genesis 8:21,22 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done…

2 Peter 3:7,11 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…

40 Powerful Short Inspirational One Word Quotes

Too often we need encouragement and motivation to move forward in our lives. Sometimes, a little push is all we want to take action. In those depressed life moments, one word can make a big difference. Maybe, a stranger who just said ‘SMILE’ during your morning walk made you smile for the whole day. Or, you’re skimming through social media and found a one word quote, ‘INSPIRE’. These type of one word quotes are so inspiring and often take you back to memorable events of your life.

Do you want to get inspired? Or, you truly desire to motivate the people who are around you. Why not use motivating one word short inspirational quotes? Every one word quotes in this list can be used to bust a bad mood or motivate, energize yourself. You can even share these one word quotes with your favorites and change their moods. Basically, these one word quotes are quick minutes fixes which can actually uplift your moods anytime. So, use these short inspirational quotes in any situation and get motivated.

One Word Quotes

Here are short inspirational one word quotes to cherish your mood.

    1. Inspire – Be the reason people look forward to you. Make a difference to other’s life by inspiring them.
    2. Smile – Let your smile change the world. Your smile can make beautiful conversations. Make sure you smile.
    3. Breathe – Take a deep breathe. Go outside to get some fresh air and let your body inhale the good nature.
    4. Freedom – You’re free to go. Enjoy the air of freedom and live your life.
    5. Infinity – My friend, it’s time to dream beyond infinity. Go limitless.
    6. Happy – You truly deserve to happy and cherish. Do things that make you happy. Don’t let little things steal your happiness in any way.
    7. Fly – Don’t think what would happen if you fail! Think, what if you fly?
    8. Dream – Have the courage to pursue your dreams. Live them and act on them.
    9. Motivate – It’s time to be the best version of you. Get up and hit it!
    10. Believe – Start believing with all your heart. If you believe in good things, anything is possible.
    11. Positive – Train your mind to think positive. Have positive thoughts shape your mind and life.
    12. Relax – Don’t overburden yourself! Take time for yourself and calm down.
    13. Enjoy – You only live once. This is not a rehearsal. Enjoy it every day!
    14. Hope – Look for a light of hope every day. You never know how will your tomorrow look like.

      1. Fantasy – Sometimes, we do need fantasy to live in reality. It’s okay to fantasize and look at the life through a different angle.
      2. Alive – Make your existence alive. Celebrate your presence every second.
      3. Beautiful – It’s not just your physical appearance – it’s the beauty of your soul.
      4. Karma – Everything you do comes back to you. It’s the sweetest revenge!
      5. Love – Love is a priceless feeling you enjoy. Not a decision you make.
      6. Meditate – Spend few minutes and talk to your inner soul. Listen to your heart and let it engulf you.
      7. Goals – Have big dreams? Sketch out bigger goals.
      8. Laugh – Don’t take yourself too seriously! Find a reason to laugh every day. Isn’t it the best therapy?

        1. Cuddle – Is there anything more beautiful than a cuddle?
        2. Bless – Remember that all of us are blessed in different ways. You are blessed and you know that!
        3. Imagine – Ever fallen in love with the imaginations? Just imagine the story and bring it to real life.
        4. Compete – Always compete at the highest level. Be so good that no one ignores you.
        5. Classy – Be classy because it annoys other people.
        6. Confidence – Let your body and mind speaks confidence.
        7. Focus – Ignore the noise around you, focus on your vision.
        8. Brave – When you feel weak, be brave. When you find risk, be brave. Only bravery can make you strong.
        9. Blissful – Being blissful is not something you work for. It’s something you follow and take pleasure in.

          1. Wander – Wandering doesn’t mean that you’re lost. But, it actually shows that you are alive.
          2. Opportunities – You only get few chances to change yourself. Make sure you avail the opportunity that come to your way.
          3. Win – Sometimes, winning isn’t everything but the want to win is.
          4. Mistake – You won’t learn anything new unless you make a mistake. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn from it.
          5. Appreciate – To live a better life, appreciate what you have in your life.

            1. Forgive – If you really want to heal your wounds, forgive quickly. Give yourself a gift and free yourself from negative energies.
            2. Creativity – What makes life interesting is the constant creativity of your soul. Be a creative artist and show it to the world.
            3. Strength – The strongest people are not ones who show strengths by their muscles but by their hearts.
            4. Success – There’s no shortcut to success. You have to work hard and go for it!


            Were you feeling depressed today? Or, if your friend is going through any anxiety, grab these inspiring one word quotes and make him/her feel happy. Sometimes, you don’t desire for expensive gifts or lavish dinners, but a word from some close friend does the magic. Do you want to motivate someone today? Pick a list of words and jot it down in a message and share it with your BFF. Use these magic words and make a small difference to someone else’s life. As the list has the word ‘creative’, use that and think how you can be creative with these quotes. If you loved the whole list, share it with your friends and family right now. Your one word can make a difference. Be the reason someone motivates today.

            What’s next? Check our other collection of inspirational short word quotes:

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            Revelations consists of a prophetic description of how the world will end. Its writer identifies himself as John, but other than his name, nothing is known of him, and the traditional identification of him with John the Apostle is likely not true.

            Yet whoever this John was, he played a decisive role in molding the Christian conception of the eschatological end of days. John, who wrote Revelations in Greek, also bestowed upon the English language two words for the end of the worlds: apocalypse and Armageddon. The origin of the first is clear, but the latter is puzzling.

            "Apocalypse" is a Greek noun meaning “uncovering” or “revelation.” It is the first word of the book in its original Greek. Thus, as was the common practice at the time, it became used as the name of the book.

            Since the book describes the end of the world, its Greek title began to be used by English speakers to refer to the end of the world itself, which is how we got the word apocalypse.

            The origin of the word Armageddon is far more difficult to explain.

            Evangelists visiting Tel Megiddo - the postulated site of Armageddon. Rami Chllouche

            Out of the mouth of dragons

            In Revelations, Armageddon appears in Chapter 16, where John tells us that he heard “a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.’”

            He then goes on to describe these “bowls of God’s wrath” being poured on the earth: The first is an outbreak of “festering sores” the second the turning of the sea to blood and the death of all that live in it the third is the turning of the rivers into blood the fourth is the scorching of the people by the burning son the fifth is “the kingdom of the beast” being plunged into darkness the sixth is the drying up of the River Euphrates.

            Then before he gets to the seventh and final bowl - a mighty thunderstorm accompanied by massive earthquakes and a hailstorm of biblical proportions - he says that “he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (16:16).

            Who exactly is gathered to Armageddon is not exactly clear from context. It might be “three impure spirits that looked like frogs” and “came out of the mouth of the dragon” or "the kings of the whole world."

            Either way, according to John, just before the world comes to an end, they will convene at “a place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”

            Whatever John meant by this, it is clear that he believed that just before the end of the world, something momentous would take place there. Later Christian theologians interpreted this as meaning that this would be the site of the showdown between the forces of good and evil, which will obviously end with the victory of God and the good.

            But where did John get “Armageddon” from? The most common interpretation is that John was mangling the words har Megiddo, that is, "Mount Megiddo." But where he got the phrase har Megiddo from is a mystery that scholars have been trying to explain ever since.

            The view from Megiddo

            The identification of the town of Megiddo with the site of apocalypse has some merit, since it is mentioned several times in the Bible, tellingly, as the site of several epic battles, such as the Israelites vs. the Canaanites (Judges 5:19) and Judah vs. Egypt. In the latter struggle, King Josiah, who the bible explicitly calls the best of the Judean kings, was killed:

            "While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo"
            (2 Kings 23:29).

            Excavating Megiddo: A neighborhood of small homes and workshops Ariel David

            The main challenge to the interpretation that John was referring to a Hebrew text that talked of har Megiddo, is the fact that Jews never referred to a “Mount Megiddo” – and for good reason. There is no mountain at Megiddo. At most the site could be called a small hill, or more accurately, a tell.

            In fact, when the Bible actually refers to a geographic feature related to Megiddo, it is not a mountain but a valley:

            On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo” (Zechariah 12:11).

            Perhaps John got just got that fact wrong. Or maybe he thought the valley would become a mountain. It is unclear.

            A scholar named John Day, writing in 1994, has suggested that John mixed the eschatological message of Zechariah 12:11, which features Megiddo, with the text of Ezekiel 38 and 39), which does feature a mountain, albeit not Megiddo:

            In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate” (Ezekiel 38:8).

            Meaning, maybe John took Ezekiel's mountain and Zechariah's plains of Megiddo and wound up with "Mount Megiddo". Perhaps.

            Another avenue taken by theologians and scholars suggests that the original word was “megiddon,” not Megiddo at all – but a word derived from the root G-D-D (or G-D-ayin), which would mean the mountain in question was the mountain of “gathering” (or “being cut off” – meaning, “destruction”).

            The Greek translation of Zechariah 12:11 may relate to “the plain of Megiddo” in this way, but no such high-altitude gathering places appear anywhere in the Hebrew writings that have come to us.


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            Five of California’s 10 largest fires in modern history are all burning at once.

            So Brazil has an unfortunate history of sensitive data finding its way onto the internet.

            Three of the largest fires in history burned simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area.

            As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.

            Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case.

            The well, ghost or no ghost, is certainly a piece of history with a bold presence.

            “Lockheed Martin has a long history of misrepresenting facts,” Wheeler added.

            Although Huckabee's condescending tone - like that of an elementary school history teacher - makes it difficult to take seriously.

            The well-worn aphorism of the Frenchman, “ History repeats itself,” was about to assert itself.

            Had not this Indian plant been discovered, the whole history of some portions of America would have been far different.

            Be Bry in his History of Brazil describes its use and also some interesting particulars concerning the plant.

            I cannot see in science, nor in experience, nor in history any signs of such a God, nor of such intervention.

            History gives them scant notice, and the Federal government has failed to reward them as they deserve.

            After 9/11: The Future in One Word - HISTORY

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            Charting the Emotions of 9/11 — Minute by Minute

            People rush away from the collapsing World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, after two hijacked airplanes ran into the two New York City towers


            There has always been a chilly succinctness to the way we refer to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Even before the page had turned on that shocking day — when the buildings were still smoking and the alarms were still sounding — an unspoken consensus emerged that the event would be labeled simply 9/11. Pearl Harbor and the Kennedy assassination were never known simply as 12/7 or 11/22, but for 9/11, a numerical designation seemed to serve as a thin shield against having to name — and thus feel — the tragedy every time we discussed it.

            If we've been parsimonious with what we've called 9/11, we've suffered its impact all the same. One nationwide study in the months following the attacks found that 4% of Americans were suffering from 9/11-related posttraumatic stress disorder, including a whopping 11.2% of New Yorkers. For many office workers who fled the sites and first responders who labored there, those symptoms still linger. Now, a new paper published in the journal Psychological Science has provided a sort of fever chart of how the emotions of Americans as a whole rose and fell in the course of that singular day. The study drew its data from a surprising — and revealing — source: messages sent on text pagers (the closest thing to texting at the time) from people around the country sharing news of the event. (See the challenge of memorializing 9/11.)

            A team of psychologists at the University of Mainz in Germany collected 573,000 lines of text from 85,000 different pagers, comprising 6.4 million words. The texts span the period from 6:45 a.m. E.T. on Sept. 11, or roughly two hours before the first plane hit, to 12:44 a.m. E.T. on Sept. 12, or 18 hours after. All of the messages were released last year on WikiLeaks and all have been freely available since then, but no one has subjected them to quite the kind of analysis the German team did.

            The researchers first cleaned up the content of the texts, removing all technical codes, to-from data and anything else not associated with actual human communication. This left them with about 29% of the original material. They then ran all of these distilled exchanges through a form of language-identification software known as the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. The system was primed to look for words such as crying and grief (measures of sadness), worried and fearful (measures of anxiety) and hate and annoyed (measures of anger). Sadness, worry and a rising fury were the three great emotions that defined the day, and the analysis revealed how they all changed depending on the circumstances.

            Sadness was the least labile, or fluctuating, of the day's reactions and that's not a surprise. Sorrow and, later, grief are slow-cooked emotions, ones we allow ourselves to experience most fully when the initial crisis has passed and the loss we've experienced settles in to stay. On 9/11, this pattern was manifestly in evidence indeed, in the first hour after the attack, sadness-related words actually fell, going from a little over 0.5% of the total material to just 0.25%. The number knocked around in that range all day, rising slightly after 2:49 p.m., when Mayor Rudy Giuliani memorably said that the eventual body count would probably be "more than any of us can bear." It rose again at 7:45 p.m. with the first detailed reports of the firefighters who were killed at the scene, and peaked at about 1% of the total word count at 10:45 p.m. — perhaps as the emotional fatigue of the day set in, and perhaps as details were revealed that made the deaths seem avoidable, particularly the news that the hijackers had been armed only with box cutters. (See TIME's 9/11 covers.)

            Anxiety was a different story. Unlike sadness, anxiety is a sort of flash-paper emotion, quick to ignite and quick to subside once some kind of reassurance is made available. Again and again throughout the day, anxiety rose and fell, spiking at 10:05 a.m., when the South Tower fell at 11:26 a.m., when United Airlines reported the crash of the fourth hijacked jet in Pennsylvania at 4:00 p.m., when Osama bin Laden was first widely cited as the likely author of the attacks and at 8:30 p.m., when President George W. Bush addressed the nation, confirming that "thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil." But Bush's speech, like all the other trigger events, was followed by a quick return to baseline levels of anxiety. For this, the media, the Web and the tendency of people to pass the word of anything they've learned all get credit.

            "The immediate recovery from anxiety," the researchers wrote, "might be explained by the lessening of uncertainty shortly after each event, as the result of the spread of information."

            When it came to anger, there was no return to baseline, and in some ways — as evidenced by the recent rage over the proposal to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero — there never has been. On Sept. 11, anger began in a statistical trough, representing around 0.25% of the total words in the text at 8:45 a.m. It climbed throughout the day, cresting near 2.5% at the end of the study period — about six times greater, on average, than sadness or anxiety, and nearly 10 times greater than it was just after the attacks. Almost any news stoked the national outrage, though both presidential addresses (the first occurred at 1:04 p.m.) did cool tempers — briefly.

            "President Bush's speeches, which can be interpreted as a vicarious acting out of people's anger, led only to a temporary pause in the increase of anger," the researchers wrote. "Instead, anger accumulated over the course of the day."

            The results of the study, the German team stresses, offer more than just a new perspective on an exhaustively lived and relived day. Rather, the data can be helpful in understanding how human emotions are generated and resolved, and how any society can best cope with those feelings — particularly anger. "On the one hand," conclude the scientists, "anger might have been helpful for regaining a sense of control over the tide of events . On the other hand, anger is known to predict moral outrage and a desire for vengeance, which — once aroused — seem to require an outlet."

            That may be worth remembering on a national level, as American troops remain bogged down in Afghanistan and American combat forces only now quit Iraq. It may be worth remembering on an individual level too, as a Muslim cab driver in New York City begins to heal following last week's knife attack by an Islam-hating passenger. We can do little about the anger, anxiety and grief we feel after an event like 9/11. We can do much, however, to determine how we respond to those feelings.

            What Did It Feel Like to be Inside the World Trade Center at the Time of the 9/11 Attacks?

            I arrived for work that morning on the 77th floor of World Trade Center Tower 2 around 8 a.m. It was a bright, beautiful morning, and you could see seemingly forever out the floor to ceiling windows of the building. My company had offices on the 77th and 78th floors. My office was on the 77th, facing the north tower.

            I was standing in the hallway outside my office talking to a co-worker when I heard a tremendous explosion at 8:46 a.m. I looked into my office (office wall was floor-to-ceiling glass) and saw a gaping hole in the south side of WTC1. We had no idea what had happened. No part of the plane was visible (it had hit WTC1 from the North—the opposite side from where my office faced).

            Eventually, word filtered in from somewhere that it was a plane that hit the building. We didn’t know whether it was a commercial jet or a private plane like a Gulfstream. It also did not occur to me at the time that it was a terrorist attack. I just assumed it was a terrible accident.

            At some point, I saw people appear at the edge of the gaping hole. Smoke was pouring out, and while I don’t recall seeing much in the way of flames, it was clear that there was a raging fire going on inside the building. I saw a number of people jump to their death, desperate to get away from the heat/flames.

            It’s hard to express what I felt at that point, because I can only describe it as shock. Your mind cannot really comprehend what is happening—almost an overload state. You see it with your eyes, but you are somehow mentally detached from it at the same time.

            I called my wife to let her know what was happening. She was just walking out of Penn Station on her way to work. I quickly apprised her of the situation and told her that within a few minutes there would probably be pandemonium as people learned what had happened. I assured her that I was OK, and my building was not impacted. I told her I’d call her again when I could.

            Many of my co-workers began to leave the building immediately after the plane hit. For various reasons, I decided to stay. This was partially because I believed that it was an accident, and I was in no immediate danger. I was head of technology for a financial information firm at the time. Based on what I was seeing, I figured it might be days or weeks before we could return to our offices, so there were many things I needed to attend to so that operations could be moved to an off-site location.

            At some point, I left my office and took the escalator in our space up to the 78th floor. We had a large conference room there with a projector and cable TV, so I wanted to get the news on to see what was happening. I turned on CNN. Information looked pretty sketchy, but I decided to return to 77 to inform my remaining co-workers that I had TV coverage on upstairs if they wanted to come up.

            I returned to my office and decided to call my mother. A few seconds after hanging up the phone at 9:03 a.m., I felt a violent jolt and then a falling sensation. I remember thinking that the building was coming down, and it was the end. The impact caused the building to sway heavily. It was actually designed to sway to a certain degree as the towers have to withstand high winds on a regular basis, but this was far beyond anything I’d ever felt before.

            Eventually the building stabilized. Much of the ceiling had come down, and I could feel the breeze from blown out windows on the other side of the floor. This felt oddly disconcerting since none of the windows were designed to open in the WTC.

            At that point, I honestly didn’t know what had happened. Strangely enough, my first thought was that WTC1 somehow exploded, and what we experiencing was the impact of that.

            I found myself outside my office with a number of co-workers. There was a ton of dust and debris in the air, and the electricity was out. While I was covered in dust and other particles, I was not injured. We (about ten of us) made our way to the stairwell on the NE side of the building.

            Upon arriving at the stairwell, we ran into some people who had apparently just come down from the 78th floor. One woman had a severe laceration on her arm. While the wound was quite serious, it did not appear to be life threatening. There was some brief discussion about going up (I cannot recall why), but the injured woman or someone she was with mentioned that everyone was dead on the 78th floor.

            I later found out that United Airlines flight 75 had slammed into the southwest face of the tower, creating an impact hole that extended from the 78th to 84th floors. Apparently the conference room that I had been standing in just a few minutes before was now obliterated. Had I decided to stay up on 78 instead of returning to my office when I did, I would not be alive today.

            Tragically two co-workers who I considered personal friends apparently took an opposite path that day, making their way from the 77th floor to their offices on the 78th floor just before the impact. I never saw them again.

            Seemingly insignificant decisions a person made that day determined whether they lived or died. It’s still something that’s a bit hard to fully come to terms with.

            Unbeknown to me at the time, my wife had arrived at work at the Midtown financial firm where she worked, right around the time my building was hit. The WTC towers were clearly visible from the trading floor of her firm. While we’d spoken earlier and she knew I was OK, that was before the second plane hit WTC2. She knew I was still in the building at the time, and she knew what floor I worked on, so at that point, she had no idea whether I was still alive.

            Once we got into the 77th floor stairwell, I recall jet fuel pouring down the stairs. I mentioned previously I was definitely in some form of shock at that time and not thinking rationally. Having worked as a baggage handler at JFK airport for a summer (ironically for United Airlines of all companies), I knew what jet fuel smelled like. Still, I could not put one and one together and make the connection that a jetliner had just crashed into the building only a few feet above my head and split open, spilling the contents of its fuel tanks into the building core.

            We slowly made our way down the 77 flights of stairs. A woman there who worked for me at the time was about six months pregnant, so we went slowly in order to stay with her and help her down.

            At some point, I remember passing a number of firefighters heading up the stairs. They had a full set of gear on, and they looked weary and frightened, yet they continued up past us. It’s hard to put into words what I feel for the firefighters who sacrificed everything that day in order to try to help others. Reverence is about as close as I can get.

            Eventually, we exited the stairwell and made our way into the mall connecting the WTC complex. I recall thinking that we were still alive and basically were out of danger. It was then that I saw police officers or firefighters yelling and waving at us frantically to get out of the building, and we quickened our pace.

            We exited the mall in the northeast corner near the Millennium hotel. We were standing on the street, and it was chaos. I was with a colleague and my boss at the time. There was debris falling off the building, and my boss suggested we get out of the area.

            We began walking north. We had gotten maybe five blocks away when we heard a large rumble and saw a massive dust cloud to the south of us from the direction we came. Word eventually filtered up through the crowd that WTC2 where my office resided had just fallen. It was a strange and surreal experience. Thoughts flooded through my mind like, how many people just lost their life? Do I still have a job? Even a mental inventory of the things that were in my office that no longer existed.

            Words with my co-workers which I cannot recall were exchanged, and I decided to set off on my own to try to get home and reach my family to let them know I was OK. I eventually walked over the Williamsburg Bridge, caught a bus in Brooklyn heading for Queens, and then flagged down a gypsy cab in Queens to take me to my home in Port Washington, Long Island.

            I eventually got through to my family via phone to let them know I was safe. I also spoke with the president of the company who was down in Florida at the time. He later told me that I was speaking very quickly and not making much sense. I guess the events of the day had taken their toll on me.

            I made it home a number of hours later. My mother-in-law was there with my daughters, but my wife was still trying to make her way home. I walked in and hugged my two daughters like I had never hugged them before.

            The rest of the night was mostly a blur. I spent most of it on the phone trying to account for every employee in the company. It was emotionally draining, but necessary work. I think I collapsed for a couple of hours, and then was picked up by one of the guys that worked for me to head to Philadelphia where my company had a smaller office.

            I recall driving down the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and passing the downtown area, seeing a massive plume of smoke still rising from the WTC site. I can only describe it as surreal.

            At some point during the trip, I received a phone call from a relative of an employee who had not yet been heard from. I tried to remember where and when I had last seen the person. It was one of the most difficult and emotional conversations I’ve ever had in my life.

            We arrived in Philadelphia later that morning to ensure that we had accounted for all of our employees to the best of our ability, and then to set about the task of trying to resurrect a business that was basically in tatters.

            I still had not had a chance to really process what had happened, but I realized that unless we immediately got to work, hundreds of people were going to lose their jobs.

            It wasn’t until later that night when I checked into my hotel, about 36 hours after it had all begun, that I had a chance to turn on the TV and watch a full account of the events. Sitting there in front of the TV, it was like a floodgate had opened, and my mind finally had a chance to deal with the tragedy and all the emotions that went with it.

            9-11 Commission, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Reform

            Senators Lieberman and McCain authored the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission to investigate why America's defenses failed leading up to September 11, 2001, and how to prevent a catastrophic attack from happening again. Senators Lieberman and Collins subsequently crafted legislation to implement the Commission's recommendations and have worked ever since to ensure those laws are working to protect the American people to the greatest extent possible.

            The Committee has originated a series of bipartisan legislative initiatives enacted by Congress and signed into law to organize and coordinate the federal government&rsquos vast resources more effectively to prevent, prepare for, and, if necessary, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks or natural disasters, while also strengthening the capabilities of state and local governments, first responders, and the private sector.

            In 2001 and 2002, the Committee led the effort to consolidate the 22 disparate agencies and bureaus responsible for disaster preparedness, prevention, and response into one Department of Homeland Security with the unified purpose of protecting the homeland. The Homeland Security Act passed Congress in November 2002.

            The 9/11 Commission produced its best-selling report in July 2004, and the Committee promptly drafted legislation to implement its main recommendations. Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention and Act of 2004, which created a Director of National Intelligence to coordinate the work of 15 federal intelligence agencies and established a National Counter Terrorism Center to analyze intelligence information &ndash &ldquoconnecting the dots&rdquo so the government could take effective action to detect, prevent, and disrupt terrorist activity.

            To ensure appropriate oversight from Congress, the Senate expanded the Committee&rsquos jurisdiction in S. Res. 445 and changed the Committee&rsquos name to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

            The new Department of Homeland Security was tested for the first time when Hurricane Katrina, the largest natural disaster in recent U.S. history, struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. The inadequate response by all levels of government to this disaster underscored the need to better prepare for both natural disasters and terrorist attacks. After a Committee investigation that included 24 hearings, review of over 840,000 documents, and interviews of more than 320 people, the Committee released the only Congressional bipartisan report on Hurricane Katrina entitled, Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared.

            Based on the findings of this investigation, the Committee drafted and Congress enacted the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, which strengthened the Department&rsquos ability to protect the nation from &ldquoall hazards&rdquo &ndash whether natural or man-made.

            In 2006, the Committee also worked with others to draft the SAFE Port Act of 2006, which was signed into law in October. This legislation strengthened the security of the nation&rsquos ports by, among other things, establishing a dedicated port security grant program. Congress also adopted chemical security legislation in October 2006 &ndash building on the Committee&rsquos work - to allow the Department of Homeland Security to begin regulating the nation&rsquos highest risk chemical plants.

            In 2007, Senators Lieberman and Collins led the Senate effort to enact additional recommendations from the 9/11 Commission report and to improve the Department of Homeland Security&rsquos existing efforts to protect the nation&rsquos security. The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 established a fair and stable formula for distributing homeland security grant programs, over 90 percent of which would be allocated based on risk. The Act also required screening of all cargo carried on passenger airplanes within three years gave protection from lawsuits to vigilant citizens who in good faith report suspected terrorist activity targeting airplanes, trains, buses created a dedicated interoperability grant program to improve emergency communications for state and local first responders and authorized more than $4 billion over four years for rail, transit, and bus security grants.

            The Committee also worked on and approved legislation to strengthen the federal government's ability to respond to an attack using weapons of mass destruction, and legislation to improve the security of the nation's laboratores using the most lethal biological pathogens.

            In 2011, to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Committee launched a series of hearings to review the efficacy of the laws it had passed over the past decade and to assess additional needs for the future.