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A day after the horrors of that crystalline blue Tuesday morning 20 years ago, I, like so many, carefully preserved a copy of The New York Times dated Sept. 12, 2001, with its screaming banner headline stretched across the top:

But I hadn’t given any thought to the paper of the day before until this July, when a fellow teacher, Rob Spurrier, walked into my summer journalism classroom at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and handed me his yellowing copy. With a big anniversary of 9/11 approaching, he said, “Here’s your story.”

I scanned the front page of that Sept. 11, 2001, national edition of the paper, with its comfortingly single-column headlines, like:

On the top left was a big photo of an orange tent in Bryant Park for Fashion Week. Under it was the cable and network scramble for morning television watchers. Below the fold was a tizzy over school dress codes — what a reporter called “the tumult of bare skin.”

I saw my friend’s point. Looking at those two front pages side by side was a stark reminder of how drastically 9/11 changed our world.

Feb. 26, 1993, terrorist truck-bombing of the World Trade

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