When the first aircraft hit New York’s World Trade Center during the morning rush hour on Tuesday, September 11, young children were arriving at Trinity Wall Street’s pre-school, staff were on the streets around the center, and Archbishop Rowan Williams of Wales was preparing for a videotaping with Trinity Television. Daniel P. Matthews, rector of Trinity Parish, and a group of colleagues were in a meeting in the parish’s office tower three blocks from the WTC.
“We were on the 24th floor, which has a view of the World Trade Center, when we heard the sound, and looked up to see a ball of fire coming from one of the towers. A few minutes later, we saw the second plane hit, and again a ball of fire erupted,” Matthews said. He was soon down in the building’s lobby, reassuring shocked staffers as security staff sought guidance on the safest response.