Everything that followed simply felt surreal. News of another plane hitting the Pentagon; reports of another plane hijacked, whereabouts unknown (which would later turn out to be United Flight 93); images of people trapped in the towers jumping to their deaths. Then the south tower fell and, within half an hour, the north tower too. I could barely comprehend what I was seeing. It felt apocalyptic. The Merrill Lynch global headquarters are at the World Financial Center, parallel to the site of the twin towers. When the north tower went down, it looked like the entire thing had landed on our colleagues. As it turned out, all but three of the 9,000 staff had been evacuated in time and made it home safe.
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I remember remarking to a colleague that this will be our generation’s JFK moment. Yes, this is a cliché now, but it’s true. This was a day that seared itself on our collective conscious, still a vivid memory now, five years later. It may have all happened over 3,000 miles away, but it all felt very close to me, and it was clear that the world was never going to be the same again. And indeed it hasn’t been.
I’d always been fascinated with