The World Trade Center on a clear day in 1990.File photo/AP

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Twenty years ago, the New York City metropolitan area awoke to shockingly blue skies. It looked set to be one of the loveliest days of the season, if not the year. Then two planes hit the World Trade Center’s twin towers. The temperature was in the mid-’60s and climbing.

There’s an aviation term for the conditions fighter pilots scrambled into, and passengers on the four hijacked jets flew through, on September 11, 2001: severe clear. It’s in every photo you see of the day, backdropping smoke, swirling papers, and falling bodies. If you were most anywhere in the northeast that day your memories carry that sky, and that early fall-like feel.

In New York now, at about the same time, it is about the same temperature, and the skies are about as clear.

Weather repeats itself. May we work to make sure history does not.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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