“A bright morning sun lit a cloudless blue sky”; “a beautiful blue-sky day”; “the kind of bright blue sky that people who love New York love best in New York”; “what airline pilots call ‘severe clear’: seemingly infinite visibility”; “a crystal blue bowl of morning sky”; “it was not just blue, it was a light, crystalline blue, cheerful and invigorating”; “a late-summer sky so astoundingly blue it made the whole Northeast sparkle”; “almost alarmingly blue”; “9/11 weather.”
I can’t for the life of me track down where I first found this paragraph, this collection of weather descriptors from various 9/11 memorial pieces over the years. I can’t take credit for collecting them in one place, but this remains one of the more interesting reflections I’ve read on 9/11. I remember that in Rocky River, Ohio, the sky was crystalline and calm that morning as well. The serenity is burned into my mind, and the contrast with what came next is a jarring pivot in my adolescent memory.
This is an interesting little piece, too, on the weather that morning. Were it not for a cold front moving into the New York City area, the edges of Hurricane Erin would have swerved across the Mid-Atlantic and likely caused rippling flight delays. All of modern Western history might have taken a different direction, had it not been for the vicissitudes of barometric pressure. The mind reels.