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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

December 17th, 2001

It is the three month anniversary of the attack on the World Trade
Center. It is 92 days since the world changed. I couldn't get away
from it today if I tried.

The news was full of it; every newscast today reminded me that it was
the three month anniversary since the attack on the World Trade Center.
It is a moment that will never leave us - not this side of paradise.

This morning, while waiting for the car service to pick me up to take me
to an appointment, the clock ticked to the exact moment three months ago
that my chimney shook when a plane hit the first tower.

I will live forever with the sight of the first Tower burning and,
today, when they were reliving that on television, I found myself on the
verge of tears. I have not seen the footage of the second plane hitting
the second tower for weeks; it took my breath away again when I saw it

We cannot run from all of this. It is here. It is part of us. It will
always be part of us. It is now part of the fabric of this city. It
will be part of the fabric of this city forever.


That's how big this was. It will live with us forever. And I remind
myself of that as I walk the streets from one day to the next. This
will be with us forever. A hundred years from now when they talk about
this city the story will include the destruction of the Trade Center and
the changes that event evoked within the city within which we live.

The city was filled with memorial services, at the site, at various
churches, in quiet moments with people standing at the corner, looking
downtown, to where the Twin Towers had once been, quiet.

Halfway across the world, the drama unleashed by Osama Bin Laden
continues to play itself out. Kandahar has fallen, or has almost
fallen. A Vietnam era Daisy Cutter bomb has been used at the entrance
of the caves where it is suspected Osama is hiding and the paper says
that there is screaming for mercy coming over the radio.

It is a quiet day in New York, quiet like it was in the days after the
attacks; I walked through the SoHo and the streets were deserted.
People were huddled together in sparsely peopled restaurants, speaking
quietly. Traffic was down. Everything was quieter than it has been.

As I was. Quieter than usual. When I read things about faceless men
crying for mercy as we bomb them, I also think of the people trapped as
the Towers fell or sitting innocently in their offices in the Pentagon
as a plane plowed them into eternity.

For every action, there is a reaction. And a set of actions is now
ricocheting across the globe and we will all continue to feel it for the
rest of our lives. I suspect that is why people were quiet yesterday,
as we remembered the beginning of the rest of our lives.

It has been enormously warm here in New York and up and down the east
coast. A man on the street said the grand weather was God's way of
giving us a break.

And it has been warmer than I remember any November or December in
history. Only in the last few days has a cold tinge settled in over the
city, making the Christmas Trees look as if they belong.

On the weekend, we went up to the country, where it snowed six inches on
Saturday night. It was beautiful on Sunday morning, sitting by the
dining room table and sipping a mug of steaming coffee. The world was
at peace and nature in harmony.

As I had checked out of Staples the day before leaving for the country,
I asked the woman how she was as she filled my bag with folders and
envelopes. "Grateful for what I have, in times like these."

A year ago those words would not have been so poignant. Now they seem
as wise as time itself.