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What everyone would remember first.

The North Tower after the fall of the South.  

The morning of September 11 was, as many would observe, strikingly clear [B1], the sky so blue it made the subsequent events that much more jarring:

“A bright morning sun lit a cloudless blue sky” (1); “a beautiful blue-sky day”(2); “the kind of bright blue sky that people who love New York love best in New York”(3); “what airline pilots call ‘severe clear’: seemingly infinite visibility”(4); “a crystal blue bowl of morning sky”(5); “it was not just blue, it was a light, crystalline blue, cheerful and invigorating”(6); “a late-summer sky so astoundingly blue it made the whole Northeast sparkle”(7); “almost alarmingly blue”(8); “9/11 weather”(9).

1. Don Brown, America Is Under Attack, September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell.
2. John Avlon, Giuliani speechwriter, “The Resilient City,” an essay in Kenneth T. Jackson and David Dunbar’s Empire City anthology.
3. New York Times.
4. David Remnick, The New Yorker.
5. The Hartford Courant.
6. George McKenna, The Puritan Origins of American Patriotism.
7. Robert Mann and Miryam Ehrlich Williamson, Forensic Detective: How I Cracked the World’s Toughest Cases.
8. Wendy Doremus, widow of photojournalist Bill Biggart, who was killed covering the attack, Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11, by Cathy Trost and Alicia C. Shepard;
9. Ed Park, novelist-essayist, New York Times, 2008.