Eighteen years ago today, the world changed when the Twin Towers collapsed. It’s one of those where were you when it happened moments. This is my story.

I was in Seattle and it was the second day of an internship at Amazon.com. It was 2001 and I was working on the [tiny] mobile team. A friend generously lent me a space on their couch while I looked for an apartment, so I was sleeping on the couch when my friend woke me and turned on the TV. As the events were still unfolding, many major cities like Seattle were on high alert and were evacuating their skyscrapers. We actually went in to work, but then rushed back home. We were warned that being in a highrise wasn’t safe. It was a real and unforgettable fear. It was what I felt during scud missile attacks during the first Gulf War in Saudi Arabia.

It was also a time that brought people together. Strangers became family and friends, collectively supporting each other over the next few hours and days. I’m sure many of those bonds still last.

Humans are capable of infinite love and hate. In a strange way, both were on display that day.