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Plane Crash in NYC: It's Like 1945, Not 2001

When I heard about the plane crash a few hours ago, I hoped it would be more like 1945, not like 2001.

Thank God that was the case.

If you read here regularly, you may recall why I thought of 1945 when I heard about the crash. On July 28, 1945, as World War II was coming to an end, an American B-25 bomber got lost in the fog above New York City. At 9:49 AM it crashed into the Empire State Building, damaging the 78th and 79th floors. Although it was a Saturday morning, there were people working in the building. Fourteen people were killed and twenty-six sustained injuries.

By the next week, the building was repaired and the floors were usable again.

It was this incident that prompted E.B. White in his essay "Here is New York" to note the following:

"The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions."

It sounds as if something similar to the B-25 bomber crash happened today. Latest reports indicate that a Yankees pitcher who was an amateur pilot had a problem with his plane, and that was the reason for the crash. I've checked in with a variety of friends and loved ones; I hope everyone stays safe out there.


From what I heard, it's nowhere near on the level of the 1945 crash. Much, much smaller. A couple people killed, four apartments on fire, the rest of the building still habitable.
It's funny, that's exactly what came to my mind too, when I heard.
Not-so-funny, it's what came to my mind 5 years ago, when I first heard that a plane had hit the WTC. I wasn't particularly concerned until the second plane hit, thus showing that it wasn't an accident.
Interesting. For me, it was such a blue sky on 9/11 that the analogy didn't come up. This was a plane crashing into a building on a very cloudy day.
It's kind of weird that a plane crashing into a building can be met with such relief.

December 2016

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