I remember that I had just opened the door at the hairdressers called Joseph on the Mall at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Everyone there, staff and clients, huddled in front of a television.

"What's going on?" I asked, and they said, "Planes just crashed into the towers at the World Trade Center!" I sort of laughed and said, "That kind of thing happens. Planes crash into the Empire State Building all the time, and it's still standing." That was before we saw the bodies falling.

The U.S. response to that is what plunged us into the "forever war" in Afghanistan, with billions of dollars and countless lost lives later.

— Irene Willis, Lenox