I was in Europe at the time. My schedule called for a visit to Paris on September 10 followed by a meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in Slovakia, then speeches in Warsaw and Amsterdam on welfare reform and economic freedom. My flight from Paris to Slovakia was uneventful and, returning from lunch in downtown Bratislava, I thought how the city had changed in the decade since I had last visited: the buildings were cleaner, the food better, the service professional and pleasant, the people engaging—not glum as I had noted previously. Entering my room I checked for email, and while waiting for the connection, I heard a news update come in on my phone — “plane flies into the World Trade Center.” Thinking it was some kind of prop plane that had wandered off course, I turned on the television just as the second airliner crashed into the World Trade Center.
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