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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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I was working from home that day

I was working from my Halifax home office for a Montreal-based software company at that time, and the morning of September 11th, 2001, I had a conference call and software demo scheduled for a client in Manhattan. I tried to call in at the scheduled time, somewhere around 9:30 my time, 8:30 Eastern, and the number kept ringing out to a fast busy signal. I gave up after a few times, kept checking my e-mail, and heard nothing from the client.

Then the phone rang. It was one of my work colleagues who also worked from home. "Can you believe this?" he said. I heard excitement in his voice. "I'm sure Osama bin Laden's behind this," he exclaimed. "Al-Qaeda is totally behind this, for sure. They're the only ones who could pull something like this off."

"Pull something like what off?" I asked.

"The World Trade Center, of course! What did you think I was talking about?"

"I don't know, man! What about the World Trade Centre? You mean the one in Halifax, downtown? And who's Osama bin... what?"

"Osama bin Laden! The twin towers in New York City! Aren't you watching the news right now?"

"No man, I'm at my desk working. What the hell's going on?"

"Just go turn on your TV, man. Any channel. They're all carrying it."

"Okay, I'll call you back in a bit." I hung up, ran upstairs to the living room, and turned the TV on to CBC.

And I barely left the living room for the rest of that day.