My partner woke me with the words: "The World Trade Centre's on fire." I had gone to sleep on the sofa, clothed, which was just as well, because within 30 seconds we were both down on the corner of my block where West 11th Street crosses 6th Avenue, beholding the last burst of flame as a plane cut into the south tower of the World Trade Centre. People were still eating eggs benedict at the sidewalk tables outside French Roast on the corner.
Observer writer Ed Vulliamy was living in Manhattan when the World Trade Centre was attacked on 11 September 2001. Ten years on he recalls the extraordinary spirit of the devastated city as it responded with shock, tenderness and heroic camaraderie.