Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget - Your Turn


Every year I post this photo or one similar and always the same message in the headline. This year though since 9/11 falls on a Friday, I thought I would make this a Your Turn as well. Simple question. Where were you when you heard about what happened? Me? I was in the car and heard the first tower had been hit. I was off work that day and went back home and turned on the television and sat there for the next 12 hours or so and was joined for about half those 12 hours by a repairman who had come to fix something in the house. I had never met him before and never talked to him after, but for 6 hours we sat there and stared at the television. Never forget.

197 comments:

Sarah said...

I was at a work conference in Lubbock, TX. We had set up with televisions and the news came on. I remember watching the towers. I was in shock,like the rest of the country. I looked at my coworker, crying, and the stupid bitch said, "It's not that big of a deal, Sarah. This kind of stuff happens all the time". Nice.

shazzzba said...

I'M IN NEW YORK, I WAS COMING BACK FROM VOTING IN THE MAYORAL PRIMARY....
MY DOORMAN WAS RUNNING OUT OF THE BUILDING...HE'D SEEN THE FIRST PLANE GO BY...I FOLLOWED HIM AND WE BOTH WATCHED IN COMPLETE SHOCK AS THE SECOND PLANE CAME PAST......
I WILL NEVER GET THAT IMAGE OUT OF MY HEAD.
AND THE SMELL....OMG THE SMELL...

Dianne P said...

I was working in my home office. My husband was unemployed at the time--he was sitting across from me.

He was on the phone and apparently someone told him a plane had hit the World Trade Center. He was kind of excited in a male stupidity/liking explosions kind of way.

He turned on the TV and saw the second plane crash into the other tower. At that moment, there was no doubt what had happened.

It had been such a beautiful week or so of late-summer/early fall in New England days. I had been feeling optimistic that my husband would get another job. We had gotten a new dog and I loved taking her out for walks on these beautiful, sunny, crisp days. All that optimism was killed in a few minutes--but of course that pales in comparison what so many people lost (loved ones, etc) and the innocence we lost as a country.

It is tempting to forget and let this day become just another day. I have to make myself look at the pictures and relive the moments, because sometimes I just don't want to think about it anymore. But I won't let that happen.

Idiot Watcher said...

I was a teacher in Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. The high school I worked at was very close to Logan Airport, and right in the flight path of most planes. Many of my students were from families where one or more family member worked at the airport. I was in the middle of teaching a class, when one of my colleagues, who had a free period, came running in and said I needed to turn on the TV immediately. I don't remember much else about the rest of the day, except that it was all a blur as we all watched CNN and tried to process everything. What I remember most, from that day and the days that followed, was the eerie silence as no planes flew overhead. Until those planes started flying again, none of us could even pretend life was normal.

austinrob said...

I was at home; had called in that day. Was on the phone w/work, watching Good Morning America & telling my co-worker about what I was seeing. That's when the 2nd building was hit live while I was watching. I tried to go back to sleep to not think about it...so I turned off the TV in my bedroom. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. After a while laying there, I got up and ran to my living room TV, turned it on, and saw the 1st building falling. I can still remember the heaviness in my legs watching that. I was helpless to those poor people, except for prayer.
I will never forget going outside and driving around & seeing no planes in the sky. I live in Austin, TX & there are always planes in the sky. That's what I remember most.

Rhiannon said...

I was working the 12-8 shift then-when my clock radio went off around 9:45 or so I wasn't listening closely but I heard something about "planes"...but didn't think about it. I lived in South Boston at the time and worked (still work) for a company in a city right outside of Boston-I was SO confused as to why the trains were packed full of people leaving Boston at that time of day until I listened and realized they had all been sent home from work in Boston itself because there was some kind of terrorist threat...Once I got to work it was plastered all over the TV screens (I worked in a call center at the time)...no calls were coming in so they let most of us go home. I attended a wake for a friend's relative and it was so quiet and eerie with no planes flying overhead...After the wake I went home and my roommate and I watched the news for hours...

My friend's mom worked for American Airlines at Logan and she was friends with all of those AA pilots and flight attendents who died. She said it was such mass confusion and sorrow...

Carissa said...

It was my day off. I called my best friend to see if she wanted to have lunch and she was at work. When she picked up the phone, the tone of her voice was unsettling. "Something happened...something bad..." and then she burst into tears. After that, I sat down and turned on the TV and probably didn't leave that spot for 48 hours straight. It was demoralizing. It was painful. And I was terrified. I can still remember the empty sound of her voice. "Something bad has happened."

Mooshki said...

Sarah, your co-worker has no soul.

I was at work. We all gathered and watched it together. We thought the first plane was just a horrible accident, and then we saw the second one hit. It was just inconceivable.

My friend's brother lives and works nearby, so she was panicked until he managed to get through to their family.

I'll also never forget the first Daily Show after 9/11. Maybe it's because he's normally so funny, but Jon Stewart's speech really, really touched me.

Rhiannon said...

Idiot Watcher-I can't believe we posted something almost identical about the eeriness of no planes flying overhead-it's strange how you get so used to something like that-it felt like the whole sky was just...silent.

JessieE said...

I dropped my kids at school (in my pajamas) and then stopped at my sister's house for a cup of coffee, where we saw the second plane hit on the Today show, and then spent the rest of the day in front of the television in shock. Different people drifted in and out that day, while we all tried to process what was going on. I picked my kids up from school at 4 pm, still in pajamas, hadn't even brushed my teeth, and tried to explain to them how the world had changed in one day while they were at school.

Lissa THEEE Pissa said...

Eight years ago this morning, I woke up remembering that September 11th was the anniversary of my father's death. That date had always held great significance to me, as my father died when I was only a year old. I grew up thinking he had committed suicide (nobody TALKS about anything in my family) because that's what the police said. Years later (right around 2000) I learned that he was most likely murdered.
That's what I woke up thinking about the morning of September 11, 2001. My friend called me from her cell a few minutes later and told me to turn on the news, that a plane had just crashed into a building in NYC. I turned on the TV and watched the whole tragedy unfold. It was like watching a loved one being tortured and there was nothing I could do about it.
9/11 changed me in so many ways. I still wake up on this day every year missing my father, but what happened in 2001 changed my perspective of pain and suffering. I no longer grieve for myself. I grieve for the blissful ignorance we as Americans had before the attacks, I grieve for that lost bit of innocence average Americans were so desperately clinging to, I grieve for the thousands lost and for the families they left behind, but most of all, I grieve for all of our children and what they will have to endure in this volatile world.
September 11th used to be the day that changed my life. Now it is the day that changed the world as we know it.

Mooshki said...

And thanks, Enty, for doing this. It reminds me of that first couple of weeks when our entire country bonded together. There was no b.s. politics, just mourning. And appreciation for all those heroic police- and firemen who lost their lives trying to save others.

shazzzba said...

I WANTED TO ADD ONE MORE THING....A THANK YOU TO ALL THE WONDERFUL MEN & WOMEN WHO PACKED UP TRUCKS AND CAMPERS AND CAME FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND CANADA....
SOME WERE FIREFIGHTERS SOME POLICE...CHEFS...DOCTORS, NURSES ..AND THOSE WHO CAME TO DO WHAT EVER THEY COULD...THEY COOKED AND AND SERVED THE WORKERS, AT NO THOUGHT OF THE COST....EITHER MONEY OR A DANGER TO THEIR OWN HEALTH....(WHICH WE NOW KNOW WAS GREAT)..
THANK YOU ...YOU ARE THE TRUE HERO'S

iChew said...

I was at work... 2nd day at a new job. I remember wondering if I'd get in trouble for watching so much TV on my 2nd day. I'm still here, though, so I guess not.

wildflower said...

I was on my way back to work from a dentist appointment and I was listening to NPR and they were describing the Pentagon building being hit. It was so surreal, I had no idea what was going on (and the reporter barely did as well).
I got back to work (at a lawyer's office) and the paralegal was saying - did you hear about what happened in New York? I said "New York? What about the Pentagon?" We both were desperately trying to find out information, meanwhile our boss (the lawyer) was saying "Oh it's no big deal, get back to work." Needless to say once we realized what was going on he apologized and sent us home.
I too was in New England (western Mass) and I remember driving home on a gorgeous late summer day and hearing and seeing no planes overhead and thinking things would never be the same again. I called friends and family to make sure everyone was o.k. and then plopped myself down in front of the television and didn't leave for about 12 hours.
I won't ever forget.

jbdean_79 said...
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Alli Morgan said...

I was in Toronto for the Toronto International Film Fest. I remember vividly the clock radio going off with whatever Top 40 radio station was programmed in, and they said, "we'll keep you updated...once again, a plane has flown into the Twin Towers in New York City." Then, they went into Nelly Furtado's first hit--"I'm Like a Bird." We shot up out of bed, and spent the rest of the day watching television. When we did go out, to get food, the city was a ghost town. I remembered people rushing to the trains to get out of the city, and a boy standing on the street corner, holding a special edition of the Toronto Sun, yelling, "extra! extra! America is attacked!" Surreal, and scary. The borders were closed, all planes grounded, and we were stuck there for an extra five days. Never in my life have I been so happy to return home from a vacation.

sunnyside1213 said...

I was at home getting ready to go to work. I worked for a software company arranging and going to tradeshows. We had 20 people scheduled for a finance show in Windows on the World. I was supposed to go, but I asked a friend who lived in lower Manhatten to take my place. My first thought was of her. I called her cell phone and got no answer. Later that morning she called and said she had overslept and then the police made her go to New Jersey. All but three of our people were late or getting coffee at Starbucks. I cry every year for the three who didn't make it.

Life's Too Short said...

It was a beautiful, crisp late summer day in DC. We were in a staff meeting when someone interrupted and told us about the first plane. I worked in finance, so some of my associates worked in one of towers and some of the surrounding buildings. Everyone stopped everything and watched TV. A few minutes after the 2nd plane hit, we heard the sonic booms of the fighter jets flying over Northwest DC. When the buildings collapsed, everyone started crying. You just knew that it was not going to be good. After the plane hit the Pentagon and the rumors about a plane heading to the Capitol or the White House, I panicked. I had a couple family members who worked on Capitol Hill and we could not reach them during the day. All cell phone lines were jammed. We finally heard from them around 9:00 that night, safe & sound. I spoke to some of those NYC colleagues, who were in complete shock. One guy kept talking about the people jumping. Another guy talked about how they had to evacuate their building because they were concerned that it would collapse (it did). Another person said that their building was set up to be used as a morgue, but that there were no bodies. It was one of the most awful times of my life. And one which I will never forget.

austinrob said...

Well said, Shazzzba. Those rescue workers, fireman & policeman, all heroes in my book. God Bless them all!!

0 said...

It was my senior year of highschool, and I was in my first period broadcasting class- one of the things we did every day was to watch the news and then condense and rehash it for our school's tv channel that was broadcast during second period. Of course, no one was prepared for what we saw. I remember watching right after the first plane hit, when people initially thought it was just a horrible accident, but minutes later we witnessed the second plane hit... I remember everyone in class sitting and watching with horror and shock at what was happening just a ten-minute train ride across the city. I remember schools and works sending everyone home for the day, and for the first time in my entire life seeing the streets of New York quiet and empty, but also full of panic and anxiety.

I also remember seeing the huge pillars of smoke and ash from my balcony after the towers had collapsed. It was absolutely a horrifying sight that I still have trouble finding words to explain.

I will not and cannot ever forget.

empyrios said...

I was in a class in Toronto. As people were coming through the door in the morning they were telling us about it since there was no TV or radio.

I remember sitting in a circle with everyone just talking about it, everyone expressing feelings and thoughts about the events unfolding.

There was one girl who wasn't saying much and other people were interpreting that as her being cold. When questioned on her silence and detachment she simply said:

"Things like this happen almost every week in my country. It's terrorism. They want your world to stop and to scare you so badly that you don't know what to do next. That's the whole point. I've learned that, even though it seems cold, you have to keep going and not dwell on it or else they have won and you have let them."

She was from Iran.

Everyone has a different perspective. It was sobering and humbling to see it from hers.

chris said...

I only wish to remember that the people who did this are BASTARDS.

I hope I can remember the promises I made to myself that day.

Hope you can remember the promises you made to yourself that day.

God Bless America- and God Bless all who wish for a world of promise and hope...

My daughter is fluent in Arabic and works off and on in the Middle East- it has helped me to understand that 95% of these countries peoples are just like me- wishing for birthdays, fun times and LOVE. I really wanted to hate these people- and THANK GOD I am past that and able to see it is just a few BASTARDS that have hijacked a point of view to the extreme.

Never forget.

MommaBear said...

I was at home watching it on T.V. while holding my 5 month old, and wondering what kind of world she was born into. It is all so very sad.

Marion said...

Early morning in Delta, British Columbia, Canada and my daughter phoned me to turn the TV on - couldn't believe what I was seeing, then saw the 2nd plane hit. They said no planes were flying so I knew it was going to be a busy day - I worked for a large Travel Agency. As I drove to work - opposite to you who saw no planes, I was on the flightpath to Vancouver Airport and overhead was a constant drone of planes coming in to land - that was eerie in itself - one after another - big jets all coming in. When I got to work the TV was on and we were all glued to it all day long. To this day my heart aches for all those lost - and one comment always sticks in my mind re the firefighters and policemen. One lady talking to the press said "As we were coming out, they were going in !" May God rest their brave souls !

selenakyle said...

I was in the middle of a bad break-up.

The Ex and I were at K-Mart buying mums for the yard so the appraisal would look good so he could re-finance without me.

My life was a shambles that day.

We heard someone holler something about the news inside K-Mart so we ran to the TV department to see.

Every TV on the big wall was on the same channel showing the first tower being hit, so we all stood around open-mouthed and gasping as we watched the second hit happen live.

I spent the next two months numb on doctor-prescribed Xanax and Celexa getting over the break-up and thinking World War III was happening.

Here is what you should never forget--that the damn US gov't had a chance to nab Osama bin Laden but let him get away.

On purpose? Possibly.
Stupid? Absolutely, and 100% unforgivable.

AndrewBW said...

I moved from NYC on April 1, 2001, to take a new job elsewhere. Previously I had worked on Hudson Street in the West Village, just a couple of miles away from the Towers. You could see them from the street in front of our office.

That morning I was working when I co-worker came by and said she'd heard a plane had hit one of the Towers. I called a friend in New York and she said she could see the Tower burning. I ran to our conference room and turned on the TV, and by that time the second plane had hit.

I sat there for most of the morning watching. Watching the street scenes I recognized the stores, buildings, subways, and was telling people where they were shooting from. After about an hour I thought to myself, "These buildings can't go on burning like this. They're going to collapse." Shortly after that they did.

For the next three days I pretty much did nothing except watch the TV and cry. I had a few friends working in or near the Towers, and eventually I was able to get in touch with them and confirm that they had all gotten away unharmed.
But to this day I still can't watch any of the videos or films about it. It tears me up. I know it's survivor's guilt, but I still wish that I'd been there, as awful as it was. New York City was - and still is - my home.

Ad Diva said...

I was on my way to work in Newark, NJ - as I was going thru the radio stations I caught - plane hit towers - I looked over to the left and saw the plume of smoke - as I walked into work the second plane hit. I remember being numb, the disbelief and seeing the smoke from across the river. There wer no planes flying, and we are by 3 major airports. I worked for a newspaper in NJ and we did not have a tv to see it - instead we listened on the radio and I'll never forget my boss saying the tower just fell, and I asked everyone got out, right & no one replied. Everyone around me was numb - we didn't cry, the crying started that Friday. We believed in miracles,we believed people were going to pulled out alive. They never pulled anyone out. That day was a day of numbness. Worrying about who else was going to get hit. Seeing the F16 jets flying overhead - that was surreal - the haze from the smoke & the smell, omg, the smell. Plastic & flesh.

Kimberly said...

I was in graduate school at the time. I was sitting in my little living room, eating a bowl of cereal, before heading off to class. I remember the spoon stopping in mid-air when I saw the ticker across the bottom of CNN.

I walked to class in a fog (this was before the 2nd plane hit the tower) wondering, "Why? Those people did nothing to deserve that fate." and being cold. I was cold for days...no amount of coffee, tea, or blankets could take it away.

redronnie said...

I was sitting at my desk when a news alert flashed across the bottom of my screen. I turned on the radio and heard a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. I assumed it was a small plane, then when the second one hit I knew something was terribly wrong..I was sitting at my desk stunned some time passed when my phone rang..a friend was in the air and he told me his plane was being diverted. We talked about nothing and everything, I wanted to touch his face one more time. I put on my cool but casual voice and let him know all was well on the ground and I would see him when he got home in a few days. I held my breath until his plane touched the ground. I never let him know that I realized at that moment how much I loved him and needed him to be safe. I will never forget that day and the shock and terror I witnessed on the television screen or my heart waiting to hear from my friend after his plane safely landed in Canada.

Carrie L. said...

I had been struggling with back pain that had kept me off my feet for a few days prior, but on 9/11 I woke up feeling great. I was living & working in downtown St. Paul, MN. I walked to work, it was a perfect day. Got in early, turned on the radio. Right after a song ended the DJ announced a charter plane had hit the World Trade Center. I pictured a small plane at the time...how wrong I was. Within a few minutes my husband called saying he had just seen a plane fly right into the tower while watching the news. My co-workers started coming in & we gathered in the conference room to watch tv. When the second tower fell one of my bosses gave this primal yell and punched a wall; I'll never forget that.

The silence in the skies that day & the days following was deafening. We lived by two airports, so to not see & hear planes was horrible.

When I came home the following Sunday night I saw the downtown St. Paul skies lit up; my first thought was dread and panic. But then I saw that they had put American flags on the big highrise buildings & had spotlights on them. It was so beautiful, I can't even describe it. I felt like we as a country would be alright, that we'd get through this together.

With such unimaginable horror came such compassion & pulling together as people. It's a shame we lost the short term good that came from it. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by these events, and to the heroes out there.

Diana said...

I was in my office - just back in after flying back from NC with my then 7 month old daughter THE NIGHT BEFORE. I turned the TV in my office, horrified by what I saw and heard, and then went running to the Red Cross. Just KNEW there would be survivors needing blood. I spent the rest of the day waiting in line to donate blood and all of us in that endless line, shellshocked and numb, watched the news unfold. Finally, close to 6pm, I was going to have to leave without giving because I had to pick up my daughter from her day care- I was by then in tears. One of the nurses saw me, grabbed me and took me to a mobile unit where I could donate, and then I was able to pick up my daughter. I'll never forget that day and those feelings...fear, horror, sorrow, vulnerability, rage...

AvaMore said...

I was at work, and they sent us home~ and all I could think was "HOW could this happen, HOW?" THen soon after, we had the mail anthrax as well~ was so scary. I truly thought of packing my daughter up and moving to Australia, somewhere in the DEEP Outback.

Bless all who died that day~ and thank you to all NYC Firefighters who were injured & killed to save lives~ may you have a special place in the afterlife for your bravery and strength.

Blessed Be.

Gina said...

I was in 8th grade and lived an hour north of NYC. No one told us about it until the middle of the afternoon.

I remember I was in my Earth Science class and the teacher told us that a plane had crashed in the city. The girl behind me was worried because a relative was flying in to visit that day.

It wasn't until I got on the bus to go home, where the driver had the radio on news stations, that I found out what was happening. I spent the 30 minute ride in a panic, because my father is FDNY and I had no idea if he was home or working that day. I was terrified that he had died.

When I got home, I found out that he wasn't working, but he did go in as soon as the reports started coming out. He was fine, but several of his friends on the job lost their lives that day. For weeks I would close me eyes and see the faces of the men that I knew that had died.

Never forget.

Berlin Brunching said...

I was at home in my parents place in Dublin, Ireland on September 11th. A few weeks before I had interviewed with a company who had a lot of openings all across Germany, but I had made it clear that I was really keen to move to Berlin. About a week before had gotten the news that there was a position available for me in Berlin and that they would be sending the contract in the post for me to sign and send. The morning of the 11th the contract arrived. I was thrilled - sometimes you need to see it in hard cold paper before you believe so I looked through it carefully, signed and went down to the post office to send it off. I arrived back home sometime after 2pm our time, just after the world trade center had been hit. My mother who was ill with shingles called me up to her room the moment she heard the door close and we watched in shock as the towers fell. I remember that sensation that everything had changed completely, and that the new world I would be moving in would not be the same world it had been a couple of hours previously when I had signed my contract...

SCat07 said...

I worked @2WTC at the time. I was running 15 mins late for work on the 95th Fl. of the South Tower. I was supposed to be up @my desk @around 8:45am, but overslept & was cursing myself on the way into work. My subway (the E train) pulled into the WTC station just after the 2nd plane hit my bldg. I still remember getting off the train & seeing tons of people running up the platform or storming into the station, all w/looks of terror or crying like crazy. That was pretty much the worst day of my life, I have never seen such sorrow & destruction. As a native NYer (born & raised), though, I must say I found a lot of comfort in the arms of total strangers who saw me weeping as I walked away from downtown & took time to give me a hug or just listen to me babble on in my state of shock. Never forget ...

boston_gyrl_34 said...

I was at work preparing for a big meeting when the person I was meeting with came in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Tower. I remember wondering what could have happened to the pilot that he would have lost that much control to hit a major building. I knew terrorism was possible but I couldn't believe it could happen on this scale. All of use simply stopped working and brought up CNN on our computers and just stared in disbelief. Much like several other posters, I live right in the Logan Airport flight path just north of Boston and those days when planes were grounded were so quiet. When you get used to them flying overhead and they become a part of your natural noise, and then it disappears, it is eerie and unnatural. One thing I try to do on this day is remember America - how great it was, is and will continue to be. This country (unlike many others) is not known for memorializing tragedy but rather we memorialize what for so long made us unique and what many around the world continue to fight for - we are free! We never forget those who were lost, but we must always remember and honor the freedom that we have - it is what makes us great!

Nikki said...

i was a sophomore in high school on sept. 11. that morning just was like any other, except after my first period study hall there was a lot of chatter in the halls about a plane crash. i honestly did not think much of it during the morning figuring i would hear about whatever happened eventually.

then i got to 4th period biology - i will never forget the look on my teacher's face. he said he had something very serious to talk to us about. i was terrified, i thought we were getting in trouble for something. he was also my volleyball coach so i we were somewhat close as student-teacher relationships go.

he said the twin towers in nyc had been crashed into by 2 different planes. that one building had fell and the other was burning. i remember feeling very confused - how could a plane accident happen 2 times in the same area?! i just couldn't get my head around it. so i finally raised my hand and asked how this could happen?!

he then proceeded to tell me that it was not an accident - that it was done purposely. i was still confused - why would someone do that? who would do that? he of course did not have those answers.

the rest of the day is very hazy - i remember watching the news and just wanting to go home.

every year on sept. 11 i get that same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as when mr. riley had to explain to me that it was no accident.

never forget

B626 said...

At work in the midwest under a bigtop tent outside the factory
participating in a Safety Fair to keep OSHA off the company's back.
13inch TVs on long extension cords
got trotted out and we all watched.
Real bad.
After work sat in hour long+ lines to fill up cars with gas cuz it WUZ the end of the world, ya know!!!

AnonMom said...

I was working for a radio station in SF, and had commuted in from the suburbs. Didn't hear a word about anything until I made my regular Starbucks stop and heard the barista talking about the pentagon crash. I thought he was joking at first, then walked to work, and heard people discussing it on the streets.

It was the craziest day, just surreal. We were all in a daze, everyone walking around the usually crowded and hectic streets of downtown SF, just in complete shock.

When I got to the radio station, I could see the morning show hosts and they were just sitting, listening to the national feed, arms crossed and very somber.

We spent the morning watching tv, crying, talking, calling our loved ones until we were released for the day at noon, because we were all scared and no one knew what was going to happen next.

I'll never forget how eerily quiet SF was as I left at noon. The city was totally abandoned, I mean, it was a ghost town.

jbdean_79 said...
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AnonMom said...

Scat07 -- your story gave me the chills. Sending you good thoughts and a virtual hug.

Dijea said...

I was on the couch feeding my 8 month old, watching Good Morning America and talking to my grandmother. So I feel totally like I was on the front lines. I remember Diane saying something was going on and they were going live to the scene and bam the second plane hit.

And except for going to the bathroom I never left the TV until well after midnight. Holy Crap what a day. My husband had family in New York & I had two cousins who worked at the Pentagon. They worked in the section that was hit, but had been relocated to another location just a few weeks before, but I didn't know that at the time.

Carrie said...

I was in my senior year of High school on Sept 11, 2001. I had fallen asleep with the TV on the night before, and when I woke up, I remember being confused, thinking I was watching a movie. I sat up and turned the volume on - just in time for the second plane to crash. I remember the news anchor so clearly... there was this moment of silence right after the second tower had been hit.
In school that day, we all stayed in our home room classes, and watched the news.

I just remember this massive feeling of dread that something like this was happening so close to home, and I don't even live in the States.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who's lives have been transformed by these events.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I was at home surfing the net when the newsbreak happened. And when I ran to the TV to watch live, the second plane crashed as I was watching.
My first reaction was that it had to be faked, there was no way something like this could happen, much less twice in the space of a couple of minutes.
As the reality of the event took hold, I started calling friends to tell them to put on the news - and the universal reaction from them was that this had to have been Bin Laden.
I work in the financial industry, and at the time we did a monthly transfer to Chase in NY; unfortunately, it was at ground zero.
Any time we had to refer to issues with getting files to NY, we were encouraged to refer to the event as "the incident" in shift turnover.
Regardless, my co-workers and I were overwhelmed by the tragedy and I still to this day pray for the souls of those innocents and heroes who gave their lives.
Never forget!

SCat07 said...

AnonMom: Thank you for the good thoughts/hug :-).

nichole said...

I was working. At the time I was a complex director for a college in Queens, NY. I was in a meeting with my assistant when another director called. She said, "You have to put on the tv, NOW". So I turned it on not knowing what to expect and saw the smoke billowing from the first tower. I hightailed it over to our main office and watched as the second tower was hit. Then watched in horror as the buildings crumbled. That was the last of the live tv I watched that day because we switched into high gear. We had to account for all of our residents because some of them interned in Manhattan, the commuter students couldn't leave campus because the trains weren't running and all the bridges and tunnels were shut down, and we had students who lived in a residence hall in Manhattan who were slowly making their way to us on foot in pajamas with no shoes from lower Manhattan to Queens because their building was 2 doors down from the WTC. I still remember exactly what I was wearing - black pants, black heels, and a red sleeveless sweater. The thought never occurred to me to change into something more suitable to carting mattresses and supplies all over the place. I just started running in my heels and didn't stop.

It was chaos. We had students who had parents, friends, other family, who worked in the WTC and were trying to figure out if they were okay. All the phone lines were jammed though.

Later that afternoon I went to the top floor of my building and you could see the smoke still rising from where the towers stood.

I only lasted a few more months in New York and headed to Boston. After that day I just needed to be closer to my family for awhile.

Elle Kaye said...

I was on my way to work at a day spa and heard it from Howard Stern of all people. He was really good about, though. He had to, he's a New Yorker, right? There was only one plane crashed at that time. I got to work and went in and we watched the second one on tv.

We were all upset, except for one woman. She still wanted her manicure and as I was doing her nails she complained that her flight to San Fransisco would definitely be canceled and she was pissed. I couldn't believe it. We were watching people jump out of burning buildings and she was bitching about a canceled flight. I like to think it was just a defense mechanism to hide her own fears.

My son is five and last year I told him about 9/11 and we watched some shows about it and went to a church and said a prayer for the victims. This year we went to the fire department and thanked the fire men.

He gets it and I won't let him forget.

Lledra said...

I was leaving my English class in my last year of high school when I heard a plane had hit the tower. Pardon my ignorance but, at the time, I didn't know much about the towers. I remember walking through the halls, and seeing people in clumps, listening to their portable radio's and disk mans who could get the news, and when I entered my next class, Mr. Harrison asked me what was going on. I remember telling him that, A plane had hit the World Trade Center. I remember how shocked he looked, and he sat down in his chair, and it was then that I really felt sick to my stomach. It wasn't until later when in the library, scores of students and teachers were watching the news, that I saw the videos of what had happened.

I'm saddened to say that, I never really 'saw' the towers when I saw pictures of New York City. They were just other buildings. But I will never forget when I saw a picture after they were gone. It was so clear that they weren't there...

Pandora said...

I was at home recovering from major surgery. My Husband called shortly after 9:00 and said, "Turn on CNN - it's an attack."

I turned on the tv and described everything to him, arguing all the while that a plane must have just had major engine difficulties. Then I had to tell him about the second plane as they showed in plowing into the other tower.

I convinced him to come home. He brought his partners with him and all of us remained glued to the coverage for hours. We cracked red wine around noon to try to numb the shock a little. It didn't work.

They left for their own families, but I didn't move from in front of the TV or the laptop, listening to the dulcet tones of Peter Jennings on ABC trying to help inform and calm a nation and shedding many, many tears.

How could this happen?

Today I am annoyed with CNN, the White House and the Coast Guard. What kind of callous idjits scheduled a Coast Guard exercise on the Potomac this morning? And why did CNN broadcast it without checking? And why is the White House so damn insensitive to the fears and concerns people still have? Remember the photo-op fly-by?

Prayers out to all of those who lost dear loved ones, and those who still struggle with confusion, pain and fear.

I'm very sorry for those of you who've posted such stories above. You will always remember.

Scooby Dubious said...

Eight long years later and I am most grateful to Charlie Sheen.

Yellow Rose said...

I was on the University of Houston main campus, walking to my truck from my first class when my ex-fiance called & told me a plane hit the World Trade Center. I immediately turned the radio (to 100.3-KILT) on when I got to my truck & listened to the stunned DJs describe what they were watching on the news. I'll never forget the disbelief in TJ Callahan's voice when she said the towers were collapsing.

Not knowing what to do, I went to my next class. At this point, everyone knew & I couldn't believe the professor didn't just let us go home. I then received a text from my ex saying a plane hit the Pentagon, which I announced to the class. Finally the professor thought it would be best if she just canceled class that day.

Then, like the rest of the nation, I rushed home & sat with my family watching the horror unfold, wishing I could do something, but feeling utterly helpless.

austinrob: Like Austin-Houston skies are always full of planes (going to & from our 2 major airports), & U of H is right near Hobby airport, with planes constantly passing over the campus. It was so eerie to the the skies so clear & quiet.

Never forget

Pookie said...

wow.

that was a heart-wrenching day. i had just flown back into l.a. from ny only 2 days earlier, and was in last-minute mode preparations since 9/11 was the day the 2nd annual latin grammys were to take place. i had a long list of artists clients involved w/ the show...we were to go live that evening from the shrine, but it was canceled immediately (right move on behalf of the grammy org.). i was stunned. i was in my car when i heard the news, en route to porto's bakery in glendale for an early morning breakfast meeting with a client, and had a long to-do list of things that had to get done before checking in on my artists.

i remember being glued to cnn and walking around in a daze. tears galore. the grammys were canceled and everyone had a story like mine: the country was on lockdown, all airports and borders shut down, and just about everyone had int'l artists/label peeps/management stuck at a border airports (tijuana and vancouver). we scrambled all day trying to figure out what was going on and how to deal w/ it.

my heart kept breaking over and over. i had JUST been in ny, and had been in the financial district. i love that city and i can remember i just kept praying that god would protect the country that had always protected me so much.

i am an immigrant. i love my mother country with all my heart. however, this is the country that gave me basic human rights when my own country of origin did not, and this is the country that gave me freedoms my own has not known in 50 years. i love this country and i honor and defend it. on that day i was just as american as anyone native-born, if not more so. i know what freedom costs, and i don't take it for granted. it was a wake-up call and a heartbreak all rolled up into one. may we never see terrorism on our soil ever again.

Ayesha said...

I was there. I worked at Deutsche Bank and was on my way in to the office when the first plane hit. I had teeny pieces of glass in my hair. I won't forget. And, as Shazzzzba said, the SMELL...

nancykate said...

I was a sophomore at UW Madison and went in to biochem class and sat next to my friend who told me what happened. I didn't even get it. Walked home from class noticing the streets seemed very quiet. Got back to the apartment, turned on the tv and realized the enormity of the tragedy. Woke up all the roommates and sat in front of the tv scared out of our minds for the rest of the day.

GalFriday said...

It was my second day at a new office - they pulled a TV into the main area and we all watched together.

My Aunt was working for an office high-up in the towers then and I was panicking, cause of course you couldn't get through to anyone on the phone.
Thank-god she was late that morning due to a client meeting, although she suffered survivor's guilt for a long time afterward.

One teeny-tiny good thing to come of it, in my life anyway, was I left my job soon after to go to school for EMS services - I wanted to serve my community like those awesomely brave Fire Fighters/Medics/Police did.
I ended up meeting my husband - who also left his job to become a medic after 9/11 - at the ambulance company about 10 months later. Married 5 years now.

His story is similar to Enty's - he was waiting for a tow truck at his house when it happened. When the tow guy arrived they sat for about 5 hours in the living room watching all the coverage.

Icecat said...

That is one day I will never forget.

I was living in Utah at the time. I had just gotten out of the shower to get ready for work and the news anchor stopped to say that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I (probably just like most of the US) thought that maybe a small jet or a cessna had hit. They cut to the scene and I watched the second plane hit. I was shocked. I'll never forget where I was at that time. I have goosebumps just from typing this.

Well I managed to make it to work, which was only a couple of hours. When I got off I drove straight to my best friends house and, like everyone else didn't move for the next 12hrs....

Clanger said...

I was at work, and scared to death especially when I heard about the Pentagon. I had no idea if my father or brother were in that area on business or not. Got a hold of my dad, then my brother - only to have my brother crying on the phone, because he had gotten a call from his best friend's wife. They didn't know where Jeff was - and Jeff worked in the first tower that was hit. Our phone circuits down here in MD were messed up from everything, and we ended up going home early. I spent the day in front of the tv like most people, and crying. We later found out that Jeff did not make it out of the WTC - he worked on one of the higher floors that was believed to be the point of impact. I had nightmares for months afterwards. I still think of Jeff to this day.....

Pandora said...

I forgot one other part that scared the hell out of us. Late in the evening we got a call from a family member Captain in the military in Canada. They'd been called in for emergency duty - assigned to guard some very sensitive materials in downtown Ottawa - right there near that building that looks likes the Big, Black Submarine. (US Embassy.)

They never divulged exactly what it was, but we got the impression that there is a warhead of some sort in d.t. Ottawa. Who knew?

Scared the hell out of us. All of the fear and the pain and we hadn't really thought of nukes and warheads or the war that was just about to begin.

blog hopper said...

I was a freshman in college, and it was that day of the week I got to sleep in. So I was sleeping, and my neighbor down the hall ran into our dorm room yelling, "America is being attacked!"

We watched the news all day, and even that night at a friend's house. I remember sitting there, but no one was talking like you usually did at a "pre-party." We all just stared at CNN in silence. I didn't even feel right being out at a social event. It all seemed so trivial. Very scary times.

Greg said...

I was living in NYC in Soho. I had just walked out my building when the first plane hit. I walked into the deli on my way to the subway and asked the attendant what had happened. He told me a 747 had flown into the WTC. Immediately I started to cry as planes don't just fly into buildings and I knew something was horribly wrong.

I had forgotten that my best friend started working in one of the buildings (Cantor) in August. By the time I had gotten into the office (to this day, I still have no idea why I still went in), my phone/emails were blowing up asking if anyone had heard from S. As I watched the towers fall on television, so did I...

Miss you everyday. I will never forget.

Majik said...

I was in the welfare line. Seriously. It was the lowest time in my life, personally and professionally and I made an appointment for that day to finally swallow my pride and go on welfare. Eventhough I'm in Canada, when the first plane hit they actually did an "emergency preparedness exercise" and evacuated all the government buildings--so we all stood out in the street for about half an hour. Once everything was finished, I went home and turned on the tv...and then spent the next eight hours sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. I still can't watch the footage of the jumpers, and I no longer am able to use a parking garage.

I have very firm opinions about what happened that day, but for today I send my love and thoughts to everyone who was touched by such a horrific tragedy.

SFG said...

I don't usually read all the "your turns" but today I did. Thank you all for sharing your stories, each one made an impact on me.

I remember I was in my sophomore year of college and, ironically, in my general government class when the first plane hit. My classmates and I were joking about what a dope the pilot was to go so far off course. Then our 3 hour class began. When I walked out, I didn't know what was happening but there was a feeling of chaos around campus. I ran into a friend from high school (we're from the DC area) and she said, "What's happening?!" and I said what do you mean, and she told me the 2nd tower had been hit as well as the pentagon. My best friend's dad worked at the pentagon and I ran back to my dorm room and called her. We went to the same college and lived 2 houses from each other at home. She couldn't get through to anyone at home so I jumped in my car, picked her up, and drove us the 2 hours back to our hometown, just 30 minutes south of DC. Some friends in the DC area had asked me to stay far away in case something else happened, but I knew I just wanted to be with my family if anything else did happen. Many of you have mentioned how you remember the air being quiet, but I remember the highways being dead. Our school was on a major interstate and traffic was constant, but that day, as I rushed home, there was no one. It was incredibly unnerving. When we were about 20 minutes from home my best friend's mom finally got through to her cell to let her know her dad was ok. We went back to school the next day but still I couldn't concentrate on anything for the next few days. We were in the midst of sorority rush and finding out which sorority we got bids from and I remember my asinine roommate getting annoyed with ME because I didn't care who I had gotten a bid from, because to her, this was THE most important news of the day. Needless to say, we aren't friends anymore.

canadachick said...

i was at work , when someone saw it on the internet....there was a tv set up in a conference room and people just kept trickling in to watch..most were crying. Most left the office early - then we heard planes were being diverted to NFLD and we worried Canada was next. Went home and couldn't stop watching..horrifying ...terrifying...so incredibly sad. And its the same day as my Mom's birthday...she's never felt right about celebrating since.

annie cat said...
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annie cat said...

Our Dad woke us when the first tower was hit. I thought it was a horrible accident until the second plane hit. Sis and I were glued to the news but had to get ready for school. (Like YellowRose, we went to the Univ. of Houston Main Campus). Our Business Law test was that day and we were hoping classes were cancelled giving the circumstances.

I remember being scared crapless while driving to class and not being able to get into contact with our family and friends who lived in the DC area. Just thinking about the this day still brings a coldness over me. So sad...

empyrios said...

@jbdean_79

i was in grade 4 when the Challenger explosion happened. it also made a huge impact on me. it was the first time i remember feeling so small and realizing just how fragile human beings really are.

it's important to remember all of these tragic events. thanks for sharing that.

Lil said...

I was living in El Segundo, Ca at the time. For anyone not familiar with So Cal geography, ES is a little city immediately bordered by a large Chevron oil refinery, several aircraft and weapons manufacturers (i.e., Hughes), Los Angeles International Airport and lastly the Pacific Ocean. I'd lived there my entire life and we'd always joked how if there was ever a war on US soil, ES would be one of the first places to be attacked. That joke wasn't so funny after 9-11-01.

I spent the day at a safehouse in Orange County (read: my best friend's aunt's house) and the only thing that made that day in any way livable was my friend's mom and I joking about Bush scurrying to his bunker. I can't remember the exact jokes we made now, and they probably wouldn't be funny if I could, but she was a tremendous comfort on such an awful day.

Lil said...

Also had to add about the lack of airplane noise. Having lived directly next door to an airport for so many years, there was never a moment you couldn't hear airplanes flying overhead or some kind of engine noise. Having berated and cursed at the airport for being so damn noisy for so long, hearing those planes start flying again was one of the sweetest sounds.

Thank you for this, Enty. I've had to click away a few times while reading these comments because the tears get a little too close to overflowing.

katturner said...

I had called in sick to work that morning. I was in serious need of a "mental health" day and picked up the phone around 8:30, left a message and rolled back over to sleep. I had just gone back to sleep when the phone rang. It was my mother telling me to turn on my TV something was wrong. She is a regular Today show viewer and they had reported the first plane hitting. At the time, she (and they) thought it was an accident. I turned on the TV just in time to see the 2nd tower hit. I couldn't move from the TV. I spent every waking hour for the next 3 days doing nothing other than watching news coverage. The images are seared in my mind and I will never forget. I cried until I had no tears left to cry.

I am off today, as I have taken off every 9/11 since. I didn't personally know anyone affected, but I grieve for all souls lost that horrific day.

I can't even imagine the horrors the victims and survivors endured. God bless all of their souls.

Lori said...

I don't usually self-promote, but since I have already written this out (twice):
http://lorimac.blogspot.com/2006/09/my-september-11th.html

http://lorimac.blogspot.com/2009/09/days-after.html

Amanda said...

Was working across the river from lower Manhattan in Jersey. I was on a conference call in my office when I saw the first plane go in. I guess we all thought it was a mistake - like a horrible accident.

The second was obviously much harder to watch.

I'll echo what someone said upthread about the smell but no one talks about the sound. The rumble when the buildings came down and then the jets flying overhead.

charlie said...

I was in my apartment i Stockholm and it was early afternoon. I called my brother in law who lives i NY and work downtown and while we were talking the second tower was hit and we got disconected. We didn´t get hold of him for 24 hrs.

The next day I had to get on a plane for a lecture I was giving in the south of Sweden and I was 8 wks pregnant with my first son and remember how numb I felt.

NYC2008 said...

I received an offer of employment at the WTC in August. I declined the offer because I didn't want to get up early to travel all the way downtown. I think my "angels" were protecting me.

I was sleeping when I received a phone call from my sister.
I watched the towers fall on the tv.

NY was so quiet the next day. I remember walking around the city the next day. So quiet...

Syko said...

I was at work, and had called a legal assistant in Tampa to try to set a deposition. He asked me if we had a TV in the office, and we did, but it was used only for watching videotapes, no cable connection. He said two planes had just hit the World Trade Center. My mind could not take it in - "You mean two planes collided in mid-air and fell on the World Trade Center?" "No, they think it is terrorists."

We turned on the office TV and got snow, so went across the hall to another law firm who had cable and watched, over and over, the second plane hitting the building. I sat at my desk watching out a window, frightened, because who knew the magnitude of it? If they were attacking NY and Washington and wherever the one that the passengers drove into the ground was headed, they might be attacking every city on the east coast. And here I sat on the 22nd floor of one of the two tallest buildings in this east coast city.

We didn't get much work done. We could not stop watching the television. I called all three of my kids, waking the west coast one up, and told them all to turn on their televisions. Finally around 11:00 we closed the office and I walked out into the silence of the beautiful September day, walked to my bus stop, and sat on the bench thinking that nothing would ever be the same again, we had been attacked, people had died, and freedom as we knew it before that day would never return.

Momster said...

I had skipped a PTO meeting that day. I was watching the Today show and saw it all unfold.

I remember trying to explain the events as best I could to my kids, who were in third and first grade. My older son promptly built a lego tower and crashed his toy planes into it. Painful to watch but it was his way of trying to process the events.

On the five year anniversary, I had the worst nightmare. I dreamed that I was running thru one of the towers, trying to warn people, but they couldn't see me. Then the plane hit, and I looked out of the glass windows, and I could see my husband and children standing outside on the ledge. He was holding the younger, and gently pushed my older son off and jumped after. I beat on the glass trying to follow them but I couldn't. I then woke up, crying and covered in sweat. Worst dream ever.

__-__=__ said...

I was in Austin, TX, ready to go to the airport after noon. That didn't happen. I remember watching the first building fall and marvel that it fell straight down. I was impressed after seeing a documentary on the Citi building and how it could fall across many city blocks in the event of an earthquake or flood. After that there were no planes in the sky for days and days. That was very strange. I remember long distance phone lines were down. And I remember Bush and Cheney were far, far away - but still made sure all the Saudi's got home safe.

juicy said...
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juicy said...

I was 19 and living in Seattle at the time and my roommate, who works for the Obama administration now actually, woke me up when she saw on the news that a plane flew into the WTC.... I got up to watch the TV so I could find out what was going on and immediately saw the 2nd plane hit, live.
I remember my knees buckling and I fell to the floor thinking "This is it...we're done." I called my dad in tears, my parents lived about an hour away, and he told me NOT to come to their house, to stay put, since we didn't know what else was going to happen.
Seattle was eerily quiet that day. Later that night, a bunch of us got together to watch the news, etc, and i just remember NO planes flying, hardly ANY traffic anywhere, (ODD for that part of town) and everyone just pretty much in a daze... I remember watching people jump out of the towers, and not actually realizing what they were at the time, I thought it was debris.
I honestly thought that Seattle or the surrounding area would be attacked that day, what with Boeing, Microsoft, the Space Needle, lots of major military bases nearby...

Kristen S. said...

I was just getting into work in Arlington, VA when the 1st plane hit. In the office we were kind of saying "Well, how about that? Isn't that odd?" Then plane #2 hit. Then the plane hit the Pentagon, less than a mile away. That's when we hit the streets, which were jammed packed with cars and people. The Pentagon was between my work and my home, so I couldn't get home the way I came in, via Metro. I went to a colleague's apartment in DC - we walked, and my dad called and said the WTC was collapsed and that another plance had crashed in Pennsylvania. I watched the news at my colleague's place for maybe an hour, and I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to get home. I took a bus through the now-destered streets of DC to the deserted Metro at Foggy Bottom. I got home in record time and spent the rest of the day in the fetal position on my couch watching the news.

Tara said...

The one thing I remember was the weather it was co clear so pretty. I was at work and someone came in and said that a plane had hit the tower I didn't think much about that but a few minutes later someone yelled at us to turn our television on which we did and watched in horror. The rest of the day was like that trying to do something when there was nothing you can do. At about 1 pm that day my husband called and told me to go outside and look up and there was the formation of the air force jets and we knew it was air force one carrying Bush to Omaha. Nothing else in that clear blue sky.

Tania said...

I was at work in central London. It was after lunch, not much happening in the office. Somebody said a small plane had flown into one of the WTC towers. I'd never been to NY, wasn't familiar with the name, so I was all, 'what towers?' It was the last time I would ever be able to say that...
Somebody else turned on the office tv, and we all watched in shock. Soon we were sent home. Tall buildings in London were being evacuated just in case, and though ours wasn't one, we were right next to the Euston Tower.
The streets of London were eerily quiet that afternoon. People stood in huddles, strangers struck up conversations. The tubes were packed with evacuated workers. I think everyone felt stunned, felt a kinship to New Yorkers as fellow big-city folk. And we were all thinking, it could have been here. Hell, it often had been, when the IRA were active - we were used to it. But we knew that the US would be in shock, as their innocence was shattered. And we felt badly for America.

Bonnie Blue said...

I was in my first week of classes at law school in Queens. We were all sitting in class and hearing rumors that something hit the Whitehouse, that there was a bomb, etc. Finally, many of us left class and went to a lounge and watched tv and looked out the window to see the first tower burning. We stood there for what seemed like an eternity when someone said "where is that plane going?" That plane hit the 2nd tower. We were speechless and just started crying. We stood there and just stared at the towers until they fell. Finally some news was coming across on the tv and we had some idea of what was going on. I drove home into Manhattan over the 59th street bridge and bawled my eyes out as I watched my cities skyline broken. I can't even describe the feeling. When I got home, I had left a window open a crack and the smell of burning flesh was all over my apartment. I don't know how this happened after growing up in NY, going to school from elementary school through law school in NY, I didn't know one person who perished on that day. I feel so lucky that none of my loved ones were affected but my heart goes out to all of those who were affected.

califblondy said...

I had an early morning meeting and my boss said something about car bombs going off near the WTC. I really didn't know what was going on until I went home for lunch and turned on the TV. Like everyone else posting, the shock and disbelief was somethng I had never felt before. Every night after work I watched CNN for hours. The day of the national memorial service was a day off for me and that was the first time I cried. I remember laying on the bed and crying my heart out. I still have video I took from the windows of WTC in my first trip to New York in the 90's. I am so thankful now that we visted the beautiful towers on that trip. My friends thought I was crazy, but I visited New York in December of 2001 and the strange smell was still in the air. Right after I got back to SoCal, I was the sickest I'd ever been with bronchitis. I always wondered if it was from that air. I don't know how all the rescue workers stayed there day after day. We spoke to several people who had visited the site and we decided not to go. I knew I would fall apart. I had forgotten about people wondering whether or not to allow their small children to watch the news. For the ones close to me, I thought the kids should watch and be aware to some degree. I will visit New York every chance I get and nobody is going to scare me or keep me from being where I want to be. I keep a picture of the towers taped on my computer monitor at work. I will never, ever forget.

God bless those lost that day.

Glo 1024 said...

I am a New Yorker born and raised and I had moved back here to NY the previous month. That morning I turned on the television before getting up and on the Today Show they were interviewing over the phone a man that saw the first plane hit the towers and I thought, "that's impossible, planes do not fly that low over the city." It did happen and of course it happened again.
I remember thinking when I went to pick up my nephews at school that it was such a beutiful day, not a cloud in the sky, how could something like this happen on such a gorgeous day. It was so quiet too, you saw the look of fear and sorrow on people's faces.
The funerals afterwards were heartwrenching, til this day I can not hear bagpipes without thinking of 9/11/01.

__-__=__ said...

I forgot about going to NYC late October with my friends. They decided to go to the site and see what happened. I told them I wouldn't go and waited for them in Central Park. They took a cab down there - and I remember how they talked about the smell too. And the next day they had terrible bronchitis. One of those friends now has a bad case of COPD and it only started after they went down to the site in late October 2001. It must have been horrible for the workers.

Harriet Hellfire said...

Wow, I'm reading all of these and it makes me want to cry. I was in Sweden at the time and I never really heard a lot of stories from American friends about what it was like for them. I remember a lot of really insensitive comments from a lot of non Americans though, none of which I feel is appropriate to repeat here.

I had a cold with a fever. I still had to go to school to finish a project, and while I was there trying to focus on the work, a guy from my class came in and asked if I had heard about New York? "No", I said, and he said a plane had crashed into the Empire State Building (yes, wrong building), like it was 'just' a really terrible accident with maybe a smaller plane. I went home after a while, in a fever daze, and I remember my ears were hurting really bad. I stopped at a restaurant for some food and the TV was on. I don't remember what time it was, but I think the second plane had just hit. I remembered that I had a couple of friends living in the NYC area at the time, hoping they were OK. I went home, turned on CNN, and did not leave my couch for the next several hours.

It was such a scary and surreal day. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for you guys.

brakewater said...

It was my last week at work for the FBI. I had taken a private sector job. I was sleeping in and the phone kept ringing, my family. Finally I answered, the new colleague said turn on the TV. I turned it on and rushed to get to work. I worked the 4-12midnight shift the rest of my last week and watched TV until 2am every night.

I never had a chance to cry that week but cry now every time I think about it. I just worked. We watched the news on TV like everyone else.

whole_lotto _luv said...

I was at work, with Howard Stern on the radio, when someone called in to his show to say the WTC had been hit by a plane. Stern turned on the Today show, and I turned the radio off. I had a small b&w tv that we got free from office depot or something, and tuned in the first station with decent reception. A reporter was talking about a report that it wasn't just a small plane, but a jet that hit the building. As he was talking, with the WTC behind him, the second plane flew in. It was so surreal. I walked over to the boss' office and told him we were under attack, but he blew it off. My mother called, one of the few times she ever called me at work.

Years earlier, I had spent a couple of hours in one of the towers. As I was a total rube, I'd been amazed at the massiveness of those towers, and when they started to fall all I could think about is that these buildings that could hold the entire population of my hometown several times over were just crumbling. That was so incomprehensible to me, that anything could bring them down like that.

I was horrified, terrified, and heartbroken. On that day, all of these people in NYC were my people, and I was beyond angry with whoever had done this.

adore said...

I was actually at home. I had just woken up, turned on the Tv and saw the news. I remember my brother, mother, and I were just in shock looking at the images. I had to hurry up and get ready for school, an 8 am class, I had a test. We were taking our test when people started yelling that we were being evacuated. There was a mysterious bag in the middle of the university. It was chaotic to say the least--seeing as how they had to evacuate the whole 25,000 + campus.

Katy said...

I was living in southern Maine, my husband was stationed at the Submarine base in Portsmouth NH. I had gone out for breakfast with a friend of mine,and suddenly my cell phone rang, and it was my husband asking me to go home. I got home, and turned on the television. It was just a few minutes later that my friend Kim called, because of the attacks on the WTC, and the Pentagon, they were not allowing people to leave the Submarine Base. I drove for about a half hour and got her children out of school and then drove as close to the base as I could get. We all walked to the gate, where Kim was waiting, but first I had to stand there while the guards held weapons on me and had me searched by a female guard, and the same was done with my friend Kim's daughters. I hugged those kids and sent them through the gate, and then drove home. Feeling completely numb. I remember the car ahead of me as I went through the toll booth paid for my car, and it was such a random act of kindness.. it still makes me tear up.

Robyn said...

Born and raised NYC girl here..

I will always remember getting up that morning to go to school.. I could tell you how beautiful the weather was that day.. Perfect blue sky.. School year had just started. I remember I was in american history when the asst principal asked to talk to our teacher stonehill or something was his name, and he came in and said I guess a plane hit the WTC. And we were all like what? And in the end we all rationalized that one of the towers had a helicopter landing pad and that obviously a heli had hit it. Teachers son had worked in the building when it was bombed back in the early 90s and he told us about his son having to try and get down like 60 floors with a broken ankle.. Went to Sci after that an Mr. Y our teacher had heard about it and knew we were all too unsettled to work so we got on computers, and I was close to one so Iwas on one and we couldn't get the internet to work that well, but eventually right in front of me the homepage news loaded in showing a tower burning and collapsing.. and we figured out pretty quickly what happened. Mr Y had to sit there and explain to some pretty confused 8th graders what terrorism was. I had nightmares for years about everyone I knew dying in that classroom when a plane hit, because the world I knew ended there. After we left I asked some class mates where the WTC were and they were downtown and I panicked cause my dad usually had trainings down there on tues and thurs on canal and reading all these stories brought back all these memories of sitting there in Spanish with the douche bag teaching though kids were being pulled out of class, announcements over the loudspeaker were going that all students who had parents working in the WTC should report to the library, and realizing that all these kids I knew all of a sudden didn't have parents. Wondering where my dad was? Eventually my grandma came and got me and I remember leaving and the teachers who didn't realize what had really happened asking me why I was crying.. Turned on 1010 to listen to the news in the car and all the reports were of car bombs and further attacks and etc. Got home to see we had like 2 channels and the phone was out.. My dad got home much later that evening as there was no public transportation.

I still get chills and goosebumps and panic when I think or read anything about 9/11.. think I've had some ptsd from it. What they said about the smell.. it was like a cloud of debris that was just hovering and shifting around the city. I'm numb just sitting here typing this. I could tell you every little thing that happened in those days, but you could never imagine the fear and terror that we lived in. Every time a plane passes even now I still think. My Aunt lost 2 brother in laws who were fireman. People I had grown up knowing.

Charlie Sheen can say what he wants about a conspiracy but I think it is like making fun of what happened that day. He didn't experience it the way I did obviously, and I can never believe that the US would knowingly let this happen. DO I think the gov't had an idea that we were being targeted? Of course I do. I just think it all got lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy down in DC.

But I will never think that any person who is in their right mind would put anyone through this. My Grandpa ended up in the weeks after it happened sifting through the debris at the site. Buckets. Ash and remains and I can't even imagine what he sees when he closes his eyes.

I can close my eyes and remember the warmth from the sun, the crispness in the air. Did I mention that it was such a beautiful day?

Beensie said...

Thanks Enty and thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. Prayers to everyone who was lost or who lost a loved one that horrible day.

diatribes and dish said...

I had just found out I passed the bar exam the night before, so I was on my way to work, hungover as hell. I remember listening to the news on the Mark & Brian radio show. When I reached work, everyone was glued to our one TV.

emilymartz said...

I was listening to Howard Stern when the first tower was hit, in my apartment in Pittsburgh with my 2 month old daughter. I still remember looking at her, lying on the bed making baby smiles while the world around us was seeming to come apart.
BTW, Howard's broadcast that morning was unforgettable.

yeahwhatever said...

I was living in LA, getting dressed for school. It was my daughter's third birthday. My mom called me after the first tower was hit, and I turned the t.v. on only two watch in horror as the second one hit. I still remember standing in my kitchen in a state of shock.

My grandmother (who essentially helped raise me) had been fighting ovarian cancer for four years, and somehow passed away that very evening. She did always have a flair for the dramatic, LOL. To this day it still hurts me badly that I was unable to attend her funeral, as all flights I booked were continually cancelled due to this enormous tragedy.

A former classmate of mine perished in that first tower. It was his first week of work out of college. My daughter still feels strange about her birthday, though we always try to make it a celebration. Sad.

Jason said...

I had been married for three days and was on the first day of my honeymoon. I awoke to find about 10 voice mail msgs on my phone, and turned on the news. By that time, both towers had fallen and the news was recapping. My bride and I didn't know how long we'd be stranded 2,000 miles from home, and if we would ever be the same again.

This makes for a memorable, but regrettable anniversary gift every year.

Damned Fallacy said...

I had a 3 week old who woke me up early to eat, so I turned on the television right after the coverage of the first plane began. I ran through the house with the baby still attached to wake my then-husband and tell him to watch. He worked for Merrill Lynch at the time, but was being courted by Smith Barney. Smith Barney had taken us to NYC a few months before and we had stayed at the Hilton across the street from the World Trade Center.

We knew an awful lot of people in those buildings, as well as WTC 3 and 7. Fortunately, everyone we knew made it out safely. My cousin worked in the Pentagon at the time, but fortunately he made it out as well.

I returned to the tv in time to see the second plane hit. I went across the street to my in-laws and we spent the day watching the coverage while my two-year-old played and the baby napped and ate.

When my ex and I were in NYC, I'd bought some shoes and books for the kids in the little mall under the WTC. I can't wear those shoes anymore without crying.

Since then, I've visited Ground Zero several times. I always visit the old church across the street. They have a pew there where George Washington worshipped before his inauguaration. They chose to use that pew as a place to treat the feet of the Ground Zero workers, partially to remember the Valley Forge soldiers who fought without boots. I'm crying just thinking about looking at that pew.

Stefan said...

I was in and outside my former apartment on Trinity Place one block south of the WTC (about 100 yards). I will never forget the noise the second plane made as it screamed by my windows, and the long, prolonged screeching metal tearing sound the towers made as they collapsed on me. I thought my then wife and I were dead -- I threw her in the bathtub and laid on the floor and waited (thinking the noise was that of a another plane screeching down the street towards a direct hit). Too many physical memories, all very vivid. I could describe in detail the faces of the firemen I saw rushing into the building as swarms rushed out. The smells, the horrible visuals. And the crazy fact that 3,000 people perished a block away from me and I breathed in their remains. I dealt with PTSD for a few years after, and the biggest trigger was low flying airplanes which would send me into a frenzy (I guess similiar to war vets who have lived thru shelling where you have this compulsion to dig and get underground) even years later after I had moved to tranquil beach town socal.

Theresa said...

My main memory is September 12. At the time I worked for an an adult chat line and in my 8 hour shift I had maybe 3 calls. The only call I remember was a man who called to talk about his good friend who had been in one of the towers.

He really poured out his heart to me and just cried and cried until I became emotional too and we cried together for quite a while. We pulled it together long enough for him to find release and he thanked me for talking to him and understanding his need to let go of his emotions. He told me he just needed a stranger that day because he was the one "being strong" and holding it together for everyone, but that he was wrecked on the inside and had to hide it. In all my years of working phone sex jobs I've never had anything like that happen.

angelina said...

I was living in SF,; my alarm had gone off and the radio came on. As I slept I had dreams of helicopters landing on the roof of the WTC because that's what I thought I heard in my sleep. I knew that didn't sound right so I got up and turned on the tv. I remember seeing the first tower with smoke billowing out of it, and I hoped that no one was hurt. About 2 minutes into watching, the second plane hit. I gasped loudly and I remember feeling all of the blood drain from my head, and I suddenly felt so cold inside. It was the feeling of knowing inherently that something was awfully wrong. For hours that day (and many days afterwad) I sat and watched the footage. Some of my friends came over and we watched it together. Eventually we ventured outside and headed to Baker beach, which is right next to the Golden Gate Bridge. I looked at my beautiful bridge and worried that at any minute something could crash into it as well. Who knew what the hell was happening? Although at that time I had never been to NY or knew anyone there, I cried as though I did. When I finally did make it to NY many years later, I cried openly at the WTC site. Seeing all those names made me remember the interviews on the news of people holding up pictures of their missing loved ones. I felt so bad for all those people that had to suffer such a horrible and frightening death. The thing that haunted me the most was the jumpers. I saw two who were holding hands. My heart ached for them and for the others that felt they had to choose between burning or jumping. I will always feel much grief about that horrible day, and pray for those who lost someone. I am truly sorry. There will never be enough thanks to the firefighters, policemen, and anyone else who went in to save others.

Embo said...

I was in the lobby of the building I work in. The security guard told me, and I thought it was a joke.

Lady Metal said...

I was watching Sailor Moon, while I was getting ready to go to my college (don't judge).

procrastination101 said...

I was in the car with my mom on the way to school (I was still in high school) that morning. I thought of my dad immediately because at the time he worked 2 blocks down from the WTC. I'm so thankful to God that he was ok!!! He came home shaken and covered in dust and debris.

I believed the conspiracy stuff when it came out, but I don't anymore. I do wonder what more could've been done to prevent what happened.

Kim said...

I am a paramedic in Northern California. I was in my room with the news on the tv getting ready for a seven am shift in the ghetto. I was late; I couldn't tear myself away from the tv until the towers fell and then I couldn't get to work fast enough to be with-for lack of a more appropriate term-my people, to grieve with people who felt the same loss I did in the same way. The street was quiet, almost eerie all day, like the junkies and gangbangers were giving us all a break. I found out that seven of the firefighters and 3 of the City of New York paramedics that lost their lives were among those I met at a summer conference on urban search and rescue. My industry, and my soul, will never be the same.

Mama Theresa said...

in my office, luckily not in 2WTC where i was going to later that day and thanking my stars i didn't take the job at cantor fitz a few weeks before.

Melanie said...

My father works for the Pentagon, and when they started doing renovations on the building, his office was moved offsite temporarily. That day, however, he had meeting scheduled in the building that morning. I was asleep when a friend called frantic asking if my father was ok. I didn't know what she was talking about, and she told me to turn on the TV. I turned it on to see the first tower collapse. I freaked out when I realized the Pentagon had been hit as well, and tried frantically to call my mother and father (I was in college in Indiana at the time). I could not get through for hours, and I sat there sobbing because I was afraid my father was dead. Finally 5 hours later, my phone rang and it was my father. Turns out at the last moment, the meeting was cancelled. I have never felt such relief in my life. I spent the rest of the day watching the TV and meeting up with friends from the East Coast for support. I later found out that where the plane hit was exactly where my father's office was. If they hadn't chosen to renovate that area, I can only imagine that this story would not have a happy ending. Worst day of my life.

kvetro60 said...

Ack, my original post didn't work. I do remember that morning was an absolutely late summer day in southern NJ. I work for a NJ hospital across the bridge from Philly and we were originally told we could not leave as a great number of people injured in the towers would need help. Never happened, which was so sad. The ride home was surreal as rush hour in NJ is usually not a pleasant experience. That evening, no horns, no hand gestures, not cutting in, no speeding, just a very peaceful ride home.

The Effervescent Diva said...

I was in grad school in class when I heard the news. We all poured out of class and stood in the lounge watching in disbelief. All classes were dismissed.

I had not owned a tv in nearly a decade but on my way home, I stopped and bought a tv. I knew the world had changed that day and I could not NOT watch as it all unfolded.

Vicki said...

I was in university. I had some drama with a friend the night before and when the president of the uni spoke in chapel, I thought he would say my friend had killed himself. I'd had an 8am class, so I didn't know anything had happened. I don't remember anything that was said in chapel that day, but at my next class my prof had the news on and said, "We're not going to have class. If you want to stay and watch the news, you can. If you want to go back to your dorm, it's ok." Then we watched the second tower get hit and the buildings fall. I had to leave at that point. I cried all the way back to my dorm.

Our school was about 45 min from the nearest airport so we had planed flying over all the time. Nobody noticed the silence until the next plane flew over a few weeks later. I was walking to class and everybody just froze, either out of fear or respect.

TeacherFromTN said...

I was teaching third grade. We had just dropped our kids off for P.E. classes when we got word of an attack. We listened on the radio as Peter Jennings reported. One hour later it was time to pick up the kids, and the last thing I heard before turning off the radio was Jennings' voice cracking as her told us the tower had collapsed. We didn't want to say too much to the children--there was too much we didn't know. It was nearly a heavier burden than I could bear being a teacher that day. The days that followed were hard, too. We didn't have any answers for their innocent questions. Later that fall, I had a miscarriage. Those kids and I were so very close. It was as if we went through war together that year. I still remember those precious kids every year on September 11.

ms. hershey said...

I was 2 blocks away, taking a class at BMCC on Greenwich street. A professor came in after the first plane hit (the building is right on the West Side Highway so it's soundproofed)and told us what happened, we decided it wasn't a huge deal at that time because it wasn't the first time a plane had hit the towers, we went back to our class. a few minutes later, the same professor came back to tell us a 2nd plane hit. things got instantly serious there and we were evacuated from the building. rounding the corner from the interior of the building, i looked up and saw the buildings on fire, heard a barrage of fire alarms/ambulances coming from every direction. at that point, everyone on the street with me was too stunned to move an inch and we all stood still in disbelief of what was going on. since we were in class, none of us really knew what truly happened and honestly, i was sure i was going to die that day. my mom was staying with me for the week and all could think of was getting her on the phone because i thought the rest of the city was under the same attack. my cousin worked in the pentagon at the time also and when the newscaster mentioned the attack that had just taken place there... i broke down crying because i thought she was hurt or worse. a minute later, a woman came screaming down the street, covered in blood. she had been hit by debris and her forehead was bleeding profusely. a few of us were helping her when someone screamed. we all looked up toward the towers and saw people jumping out of the building. i swear, i dreamt about that for a couple of years afterward...i won't say more because it's a bit long already but i'm eternally blessed to be alive and forever grateful. life is a gift people, don't waste it.

Jenny S said...

I had just been released from the hospital after complications from a tonsillectomy. That morning, my roomate came in and said, "Oh my god, my mom just called me and told me America is under attack." We turned on the television to see what had happened, the second plane had already hit the tower so it was known that it wasn't some sort of accident. I still remember the sounds of the people making impact as they jumped from the buildings. It haunts me to this day. Since I was so sick, I just went back to bed and slept. I didn't really mourn and have a good cry for the victims until the telethon that was aired later. 8 years later, it is heart breaking to think of all that was lost on that day.

g said...

I was working on a photo shoot that week for Macy's, and walked in to find everyone huddled around the television, trying desperately to locate loved ones, and crying. Almost all of us were impacted in some way, the make-up artist lost her sister, others had close calls with friends.
The photog wanted to postpone the shoot, it seemed so callous to be creating junk mail in the face of a national emergency.
The studio manager declared we were being ridiculous. She said the problem was in New York and we didn't need to worry about it. The sycophantic stylist I was assisting chimed in that we all needed to suck it up and get to work.
The rest of us walked out, in complete horror and disgust.

I went home and spent the day with my boyfriend, crying in front of the television. I still can't watch that footage without tearing up.

dancingnancie said...

I was in art school - class started at 9am, and I got there, the room was empty. I noticed alot of people in the video room watching TV - I asked what was going on and they said there was a terrorist attack. I stood there for a while, when someone came in and said class wasn't happening, so i decided to go home. My husband (then boyfriend) was asleep, and I woke him up and told hm what was happening - he thought i was joking. We kept the TV on all day.

Marisa said...

Clip of the amazing Daily Show segment that opened the first show after the attacks. A must see: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-20-2001/september-11--2001

Tea Lady said...

I was running late for work that morning. I lived in the top apartment of a "two-family flat" and my mother lived downstairs. I'd been out the front door at least 6 or 7 times and kept forgetting something & going back for it. I think my Mom stuck her head out of the door and said "a plane just hit the WTC" so I went back yet again & turned on the tv in time to see the second one hit. I worked from home that day, with the tv on in the background.

Katie said...

I will echo previous posters in saying that Howard Stern's coverage of that nightmarish morning was some of the most sensitive, dignified, compassionate reporting that I have ever heard.

I was in a large East Coast city where there were mandatory office evacuations early, while there was still mass confusion about how many stolen jets might be in the air -- and where they might be heading. People were standing on street corners, silent and staring up at the impossibly blue sky. It didn't hit me until later that they were watching for low-flying jets.

A few days later, when the FAA finally lifted the ban on flights, I found myself standing in the park across from my office building, staring intently at a commercial jet climbing and banking west. I started shaking, and the tears started flowing. I felt an arm go around my shoulder, and was startled as a young man with a backpack pulled me closer in a comforting gesture. In German-accented English, he said softly, "I think maybe we shall never look at them the same way again, shall we."

Sky said...

I had to say something for this one. I was in Newfoundland, Canada when this happened. Just getting ready to go to class at my university. I had turned the tv on and thought it was some bad movie being played. The most amazing part was what happened in Newfoundland in the days after 9/11 when the sky's were closed. Most of the planes over the atlantic were diverted to Newfoundland and we took care of all of the people who were stranded with nothing. I can't express in words what happened during those few days but this does a pretty good job of it.

http://www.ganderairport.com/911c.htm

and this:

http://www.ganderairport.com/911b.htm

There were no questions asked by anyone from my home. We took care of the "plane people". I am a proud Newfoundlander and in the midst of that tragedy we showed at least a small part of the world how people should act to one another.

Tikitaz said...

If anyone is interested, streaming videos of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and BBC TV coverage (starting at about 8.30 am 9/11 through til mid-evening 9/13) is archived here: http://www.archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive

It's weird watching stupid ads and empty interviews and hearing how quiet and peaceful the world is just before it all hits the fan.

PeepStone said...

I was babysitting for a friend before going into work at noon. I was feeding the kid lunch - blueberries and honey covered carrots and turned on NPR for background noise. I heard something about a plane hitting NYC. At first I thought it was some kind of Orwellian joke. And then the second plane hit. The kid kept eating and giggling. I tried to act like nothing was wrong but also tried to call all my family and friends in NYC and DC. I tried to call his parents. Finally his mom came home and we briefly exchanged information.

I drove into work. They told us to go home. I ended up at a friend's apartment with a bunch of friends. We piled onto the couch and watched the news and movies the rest of the day. We also drank. It felt like the end of the world.

Judi said...

My heart goes out to all of you who've lost someone dear, and who still struggle daily from the trauma. Though it may be small comfort for those who were near, you did what you were supposed to do. In a situation that you did not control, you made it through alive.

It was 6 am PT and I'd just gotten up. Turned on the tv, was preparing coffee when my morning show (the one with Charlie Gibson) announced that a plane had crashed into one of the towers - and, yes, this had happen before and like many, I didn't think it would become what it did. Saw the second plane it and heard Gibson's voice saying, "This is an attack of some sort." Stunned, not at all understanding what I was seeing. Ran in to wake up my BF (now husband) and updated him at work throughout the day.
At the time I was working in one of the high-rises in downtown L.A. and knew there was no way I was going to work. Spent that day and every minute possible of the following days watching, reading, listening.
Where's Angel? In the Marriott. They heard the call to evac yet stayed to try to rescue a fellow FF.
The Pentagon was hit? Where's Rhonda? They never found her.
Thank you, Sky, for the reminder how NFers seriously contributed.
Thank you for the link, Tikitaz.
Many issues separate people for one reason or another, but THIS unites us all. We WILL never forget.

solo polo said...

was at work travel agent and all planes grounded came home watched the twers fall and fall and cried and cried

Dr. Spaceman said...

I was a freshman in college. I skipped class that day and slept in--I was sleeping when it all happened. My mom was watching the news and after the second plane hit she came into my room and turned my tv on and we watched for a little bit.

She had to go to work and nobody else was home so I picked up some food from my grandpa's favorite restaurant and went to his house and spent the day with him.

BlahFrickinBlah said...

I hate this day. I wish I could forget it and every little detail of it but I never will.

Middle-aged Diva said...

The thing I remember is that nothing in my life until then had given me the context to understand what I was seeing. It was beyond belief that every few minuts, another plane crashed into something. I knew by the 2nd it was no accident and then, it was like my footing had disappeared. I remember how people hung together, felt together. The shocked silence.

It makes me sick when 9/11 gets blown out of proportion. when they talk about these poor people who died being heroes. They were VICTIMS. They were in the right place at the very wrong time. It was one of the darkest days in our history and reading all these stories has been so moving. Thank you, Enty, for doing this.

HudsonJoe said...

I live now and then in downtown Jersey City, about 3 miles as the WTC as the Crow flies.

That morning I remember waking up and looking at the skylight over my bed at one of clearest bluest skies I have ever seen. My day started in a lazy fashion because I was going to a sales call in Newark NJ and did not need to be out the door till 9:00 or 9:15. I heard the news on WCBS-880 AM. The CBS O & O radio station in NYC.

I could not reach the coworker who had set up our meeting so I decided to press on to it. When I walked out the front I could look back and see the two towers in flames. I stared at them for a moment and they are done for. But, I then thought if there is any fire department in the world that is going to win this one it is the FDNY.

I got in my car and started heading to Newark. I drove up the tail end of the Palisades and could see the buildings a little better. My thought was they are mortally wounded but standing as long as they could giving their people as long as the could to get out. I enter the covered roadway (State route 139 for you map geeks) and they go out of site. About that time I get the call our meeting is canceled. As I get to the west side of Jersey City, I see the police are starting to turn cars away and as look over my shoulder I see the South tower is down. It had given it's all. Standing long beyond it's design goals and any reasonable expectations.

I drove to work. At the time I worked for a manufacturer of large storage subsystems. I knew many of our large Wall Street accounts downtown would be activating their Disaster Recovery plans and would need help. I was one of the experts on our data replication software and knew 44 the only way I could fight back was doing my best to make sure all of our customers were able to trade when the Market opened.(it opened BIG that next Tuesday) Well all but one who shall remain nameless to protect the criminally stupid cut over without issue.

Jersey City and Hoboken were closed to traffic that night so I could not go home. I ended up spending the night at my brothers.

Losses 1 former co-worker Julie you are missed.

2 guys I knew to say hello from college. Guys I Will Try!


The last 3 years I have gone through the former WTC site almost every work day. As the PATH train pulls in and I lookout my emotions ping pong between raging anger and an overwhelming depression.

Chris said...

We had just moved to TX, and I was at a do-it-yourself carwash. I heard on the radio a plane had hit one of the towers, but I figured it was a small plane, and sort of dismissed it, because it had happened before with no consequence. When they came on and said a second plane hit...I went right home and turned on the TV.

I never felt more angry or helpless - we had just moved to TX from the East Coast, I was a trauma nurse, and had worked in a STICU in Newark NJ - I SHOULD BE THERE!!! We had disaster drills, I was trained for this sort of stuff...and I could do NOTHING.

My thoughts turned to my brother in law, who worked 6 blocks from the WTC - turns out he walked to my brother in law's apartment in Chelsea and spent the night - he could not get back home to NJ - there was NO transportation in or out of NY. He saw the towers collapse.

My other brother in law was on a business trip to Canada, and eventually arranged a bus home.

@ the first poster Sarah - I too, was surprised at the response of the people around me in TX - most were nonchalant about the whole thing - Perhaps because it was so far away, it was harder to relate to. The City was my second home - I was downtown every weekend, and whenever I flew into Newark on the approach, I would see the twin towers and know I was home.

8 years later, I still cry. I can just imagine what those that lost loved ones go through. God bless them.

jinxy said...

I used to travel a lot and actually watched the twin towers fall on the TV in the airline lounge in SFO. It was the most surreal experience. My fellow travelers and I watched in stunned silence. Newark to SFO was one of my regular routes and I was often a passenger on flight 93. That still gives me a chill. Without thought I booked a flight out of Newark on Sept 11, 2002. They held a small ceremony at gate 16 that day. If you ever fly out of Newark - look for the American flag on top of Gate 16 in Newark terminal A and say a prayer for those brave men and women who lost their lives trying to save others that day.

jinxy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Trainer said...

Everything was so confusing: Wait, BOTH towers? But they won't fall! right? The Pentagon too? I was working for a cosmetics company In Beverly Hills & a coworker called to tell me to "Turn on the TV!" I went to work anyway because I felt sure that the world was ending & thought I'd rather die in Beverly Hills (I was young)
MY greedy boss insisted we keep the store open & the only clients we had all day were 2 dreadful BH ladies who returned all their purchases the next day (or tried to: we had a no returns policy!) I knew my time working for that company would end soon. I remember being glued to the tv for the next three nights; crying my eyes out watching all those poor souls looking for their loved ones @ Ground Zero
GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Mary said...

I was a student in Minneapolis at the time and I just moved into a new apartment. We were supposed to have cable installed on 9/12. I was up for a couple of hours, studying and in silence in my apartment when my father called me to see if I was alright. He then told me about the WTC. I was in shock. I woke up my roommate to tell her what happened and we both decided to go to the restaurant we worked at to watch the footage. We took 35W out of the city. An electronic sign above the freeway, used to notify traffic delays just said "Mall of America Closed". A couple of people mentioned the eeriness of not having planes in the sky and I couldn't agree with them more. It is one of the main things I remember and the first airplane I saw in the sky after 9/11.

Minneapolis was lit up for months afterwards, with the skyline lit up in red white and blue. I don't live in Minneapolis anymore, but it will always be one of my most vivid memories of that city.

City Councilman Doug said...

My husband called from work and said to turn on the TV, that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. My first thought was how could you screw up that bad to hit the WTC? Then I turned on the TV in time to see the 2nd plane hit live. I was still watching when the buildings came down. It is eerie when you and the newscasters are seeing something happen at the same time, and you hear them say so. My oldest son was born on May 11, so he was 3 months old that day. I live in Amarillo, TX, and located downtown is the tallest building between Dallas and Denver. It was evacuated. The day after, I think, Sesame Street had their special episode with Big Bird and the Fire. The speech they gave before they aired it....I was instantly taken back to my own childhood, and the special episode they showed when Mr. Hooper died.

egb said...

my dad called to tell me about what happened, my cousin Kevin was supposed to be in the building for a meeting that day but thankfully was not...but my cousin Bobby McMahon and my dad's best friend Dennis Devlin were both killed on duty as NYFD. The footage, the day, all seem surreal, but it was the Concert For NY later that week that really hit home, seeing all the families in the audience was one of the most moving memories of that time. Thank you for helping us remember today- never forget.

ichiban said...

We were stationed in Japan with the Air Force and had been watching a video that night (we were about 11 hours ahead there). When we turned off the video, the Today Show was on and it was just before the 2nd plane hit the twin towers. We stayed up until all hours watching the news in stunned silence. The next couple of days, our base was locked down and everything was closed. When they allowed the kids to return to the high school, there were military personnel w/ machine guns posted at the entrances in the fear that the "bad guys" would target strategic military bases. From the local Japanese community, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy for our country and outrage at the senselessness of it all.

Jeff said...

I remember 3 days afterward. The president of our NJ based company left a voicemail that it was "business as usual" and to get out there and sell. No way was it business as usual. The CFO had been killed in PA, and the company couldn't ship product because nothing was moving by air or land. We were still stunned. I'll never forget his callousness. That's when I started to cry because I realized life in the USA would never be the same.

Adrienne Saia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ardleigh said...

I remember that moring was a gorgeous morning before the planes hit. I was thinking about fall and the leaves turning but that morning was beautiful in PA. I was at work and checking meds in the OR of the hospital I work at.
One of maintenance men who works there saw me and told me about the first plane. I remember saying "What a dunce how do you miss something as big as the Twin Towers?" Little did we know. He came back in and told me another plane hit. We all ran in and watched on 13" TV in the surgeons breakroom. I remember looking at guy who was crying and he told me "Today is my birthday. How can I celebrate now?" It wasn't until later we learned about Shanksville and DC. I don't think anyone took a deep breath for days.

Rebecca said...

Sky: I was in a Boston suburb at the time, and I remember the Newfoundland efforts on behalf of all the plane people. I didn't know much about Newfoundland until I read all the stores in the Boston press about what all the citizens were doing. I thought about the Halifax Explosion and the Annual Boston Christmas Tree from Halifax Nova Scotia. Somewhere in there I also thought about the food air drops in Operation Manna from Canadian pilots, as well as the efforts of Halifax after the Titanic sank.

Canada has a wonderful history of giving.

One of the flight attendants on one of the planes was from my husband's home town. There was a contingent of executives from TJ Maxx, where I often shopped on one of the planes. My physician's assistant's father-in-law was on one of the planes.

Adrienne Saia said...

I went to college in central New York, about 10 miles from the Air Force base in Rome, NY.

Funny how everyone else remembers silence in the following days... I remember those military planes buzzing overhead and every time thinking it would happen again.

My estranged uncle worked in the Pentagon, but was evac'ed out early because he was "important to national security." Meanwhile, 7 men under his command died there.

I know that terrorist attacks are a daily fear in a lot of countries, but that singular day still haunts me. I think it always will.

Adrienne Saia said...

I went to college in central New York, about 10 miles from the Air Force base in Rome, NY.

Funny how everyone else remembers silence in the following days... I remember those military planes buzzing overhead and every time thinking it would happen again.

My estranged uncle worked in the Pentagon, but was evac'ed out early because he was "important to national security." Meanwhile, 7 men under his command died there.

I know that terrorist attacks are a daily fear in a lot of countries, but that singular day still haunts me. I think it always will.

Kit said...

In Australia, unable to sleep. On vacation. Got up, walked into the living area, turned on CNN to catch up, and morning news was live, showing something CRAZY.

Seriously, for about 20s thought it was a movie that I'd missed.

Then it dawned on me.

I woke up my traveling family and was glued to the TV until a phone rang from my office in the US (Austin TX), asking me how to create some files for the Office of the President on internet traffic that I normally create for media outlets.

Then had to get off phone with the TX office as we had sales teams visiting Morgan Stanley downtown at the time and they were trying to reach them. Our team was fine - MS security cleared the building fast after first plane. Our team walked NY and across bridge, then to Newark, then home. One team member's sister lost her husband in the Towers.

Couldn't get back to the US, of course. Aussies treated us like gold until we could get a flight home. Thank you, Aussies!

One of the hardest, saddest days ever.

Gander Newfies - awesome, awesome people. Keep Gander open!

Thanks for reminding.

lilbitsolo said...

I woke up that morning doing my usual routine with my 7 month old. Turned on GMA and noticed something about a plane crash, but to be honest I had a hungry crying baby that had my attention. I happened to glance at the tv in time to see the 2nd plane hit. From that moment on my day consisted of holding my daughter and crying while staring at the tv. My husband is in the Navy, and was out on the ship. He finally emailed me to let me know they were heading straight for NY. They patrolled the port for 2 weeks. He would email me when he could about the things they saw from the water; the smoke and general chaos.

Una Tia Especial said...

I was at work and the building maintenance man came in to the office and said the WTC had been hit by a plane. I turned on our television and saw the smoke billowing out of the tower and said to myself, that wasn't a small plane. And then, I'll never forget...I saw the second plane fly into the second tower. I ran out of the staff reps room screaming, another plane hit the tower. It was then I knew it was no accident. My heart sank. I was glued to the television.

Kelli said...

You know, I think almost every year, after 2001, Sept 11th has been such a beautiful clear sunny day in NY- except for today. I just remember the weather so vividly because it was just gorgeous.

I was in NJ at work at the time. My mom worked near Rockefeller Center, so any major landmark (Empire State Building, chrysler building, train stations, etc.) was fair game in everyone's eyes. It took my mother 10 hours to get home to NJ because they shut down all mass transit in nyc.

I knew quite a few people that died, but the stories of the survivors that lived to tell their stories afterwards was so chilling; for example my friend's mother was deaf,and they kept telling everyone in the WTC to go back upstairs to their desks. Most people followed, and it costed them their lives. She ignored them, only because she couldn't hear, and it saved her life. There was another story about a guy there on an interview who didn't have ID and his interviewer had to come down to the 1st floor to get him. At that moment, the building was hit. This guy saved his life by not having ID.

Also, a lot of people were actually late for work due to the the Giants game running so late the night before.

The freakiest thing to me was exactly one year later, on 9/11/02the pick 3 lotto in NY was 911; the yankees played 11 innings and won 5-4, and the S&P closed at 911.
freaky.

sickle said...

I was at school. We had heard rumours about it since some of the classrooms had TVs in them, but it wasn't until the period change that we got an announcement from the principal.

He made the announcement right in the middle of the change. He didn't wait til the next class had started like he normally would have, so I was on the second floor outside of my Civics classroom.

At lunch I called my mom to ask about my Godmother's husband...he worked for Morgan Stanely (or a similar company, I don't remember anymore) on the 100+ floor of one of the towers. We didn't know that he had lost his job a few months before. It took my mom all day to get through to my Godmother to make sure my "Uncle" Bill was ok.

I got home from school and watched CNN for the rest of the day/night.

lynleigh said...

I was a first year teacher that September. I turned on a radio in my classroom in time to hear the second tower fall. I will never forget.

Kristen said...

I was a freshman in college and had an 8am science class. We were in the middle of doing a lab when my professor left the room for a few minutes, and came back in looking completely ashen. He told us what had happened to the first tower. His daughter worked in building 6 of the WTC and he couldn't reach her. he told us to go back to our dorms, call our families to tell them that we love them, and then turn on the news. It felt like I was in a dream, it was so surreal. We found out during our next class that his daughter was fine, but many of her coworkers were killed when the towers collapsed. They were instructed to stay at their desks, but she ran down the stairs with a few other people and just made it out in time... Hearing him tell us that story made such an impact on me. I will never forget that, or the images of people jumping from the buildings. Chilling.

biteme said...

I was across the street from Disneyland. We had come from a wedding in Santa Barbara. We luckily had driven down from Northern California for the wedding and decided to make a vacation of it. I had just finished my shower and my hubby tells me to look at the tv. Told me a plane had hit the WTC. We watched in disbelief as the second plane hit and both buildings fell.

Disneyland closed for first time that day. Only time it has ever closed. We went to breakfast and the restaurant had tvs on and we watched more coverage. Could not watch anymore coverage, so we drove to the OC coast and it was a beautiful day.

The next day, Disneyland was open again and when went to cross the street, a news team was there and asked us what our thoughts were about this and I said if we did not go on, the terrorist were going to win. I was not going to be afraid to continue living my life just because some group does not like that way America does business.

We did not lose anyone on that day even though one of the planes was coming to SFO from Newark.

I feel for all of you that lost someone or were near ground zero. Cannot imagine what you went through and/or what you saw especially those that witnessed people jumping.

We learned that day that life is precious. Also we have started doing things that we wanted to do especially traveling and do not let a group of people make you afraid to live your life.

Jasmine said...

My Aunt Robbie died of breast cancer Sept 8th, 2001. We were at her funeral and did not know about it until after we got out of the service. A black day all around.
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiance, it took me an hour or so but I read every one of your responses and they really made me apprciate today in ways I have felt before.
I was and still am a liberal atheiest who has Darwin and other stuff plastered all over my car's bumper but the next day after it happened I bought the biggest American Flag bumber sticker I could find and slapped it onto the back of my car. My friends tried to give me shit about it being patriotic bullshit but I gave them all a look and told them to shut the f-up and for once just be proud of our country and left it at that.

Jasmine said...

Oh, and as Mooshki said, having Jon Stewart solemnly do the Daily Show really imapacted me. I re-watched some of the old footage and no one seemed genuinly upset, even after the second plane hit no one screamed or cried or did anything. Jon Stewart was so real about it I really respect him for that.

paulealex said...

I was in high school, one of the kids said that a plane had hit one of the towers. At that point we all thought it was one of those small cessna tourist plane. Class continued, but my next class had a tv. We just stood there watching the second plane hit and then stayed until the first tower fell. I remember looking over and seeing one of the new-fresh-out-of-university teacher crying but everybody else was silent. That school was a open concept school, it was usually very noisy at any given time but then it was silent. Nobody talked. We just watched. All I could think about was that reality TV show I had watched all summer: Murder in Small Town X and that the winner was a FDNY firefighter. Angel was his name and he died that day. After the second tower went down, I don't remember much of that day it was kind of a haze.

Rebecca said...

I work in a hospital in San Antonio. I was listening to a CD in the car that morning, so I didn't hear anything on my way in. I got there and one of the nurses with whom I used to joke came up to me and asked if I had heard about the terrorist attack in New York. I remember thinking, "I don't get it. That's not funny." She grabbed my arm and pulled me into a patient's room. This little old man was in the bed, waving for all the staff to come in and watch his TV, while picking up the phone to call his wife. Unbeknownst to me, they were showing a replay. I saw the smoke from the first tower and thought, "Y'all are just paranoid. That has to be an accident." Then they showed the second plane hitting.

The patients were wonderful that day. They all kept offering to have all the staff people in their rooms to watch the coverage.

When the plane hit the Pentagon, I closed my office door and sobbed. I remember thinking, "My God, what's next?" All I wanted to do was run to my (at the time) 2 year old twins and scoop them up and never let them go.

Cooper's Mom said...

so tragic and heartbreaking. Where was i? I was 18 and one week away from starting uni. I was at home and the phone rang - it was my best friend to say "have you seen??" So i turned on and watched live as the towers fell. I was shaken to my very core. I was totally on my own at home and just watched tv for the rest of the day thinking "what the fuck??" My boyfriend joined me after he'd finished work and we just sat there watching for the rest of the evening... it was totally surreal and gobsmacking. I couldn't process what had happened and, most importantly, what those poor,poor souls had gone through.

Every year since then i pause to remember those that died. We should, and will not, ever ever forget. RIP

ED said...

I live in Alberta, Canada.

I was in grade 9, walking out of the library into the cafeteria when suddenly the TV that usually only played school announcements switched on to the news. Suddenly there was crowd of other kids just watching in silence as the second plane hit.

The rest of the school day was shot, and I remember that everyone was very quiet all day until the bell rang.

Caroline & Jason said...

Such a horrid part of history.

It occured at 10.42pm our time, we had turned the telly off about 10 minutes earlier and headed to bed, so we had no idea.

I was up around 7am and turned on the TV and could not understand what was going on, there was this strange footage being shown on the Aussie Today show, they had a banner AMERICA UNDER ATTACK. I felt like I was in a twilight zone. It was surreal. It soon became apparent what had gone on, I yelled out to my now husband.

I headed into work after an hour or so, I did little work that day, or for the next few.

I still reel in shock anytime I see 9/11 footage, it is just as shocking now as it was then.

Pessoa de interesse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pessoa de interesse said...

I was at my boyfriend's house printing the report of my internship (more or less a graduation thesis), mandatory to graduate from college. My printer had died and I drove 1 hour to his house to print it. I was in the middle of doing that when he yelled from the kitchen, where he was starting lunch "Come here! A plane just hit the WTC! I guess it was an accident..." and as soon as I got to the kitchen the second plane hit and we were mute for who knows how long. I only moved to catch the paper that had fallen from the printer.

The thing that was unbearable for me to watch was the people waving from the towers, jumping with despair. Then the towers started giving in and I remember being petrified... the buildings are one thing, that's just concrete! But I'd just seen a person waving desperatly for anyone to save them...

- Mind you I'm in Portugal and the whole country stopped for the day. It was 12pm here. People everywhere, at work, in coffeeshops, restaurants, at home, were glued to the TV for the next 24 hours.

trogdor said...

Terrible day... Terrible month...

I just moved into my room at my house in U.C. Davis to start the fall quarter in two weeks. My two cousins had come up from L.A. to help me move in. I let them sleep in my roommates room. My phone started going crazy at 6 am. I turned it silent. Around 9 am pacific, my cousin came into the room and announced very simply " We've been hit hard. You need to come see this." I checked my phone and had 12 or so missed calls from my sister. As I walk to the living room, she answers and is crying and barely audible. Then I see my always crazy and high wired roommate in front of the t.v. and he is shock silent. Then I see the images replaying. My first words, and I'm not even sure why, were " Unreal. All those people in the Apple...Poor Afghanistan." My cousin looked at me and said
" No, Poor Iraq..." and then my roommate without looking at us goes " Poor nobody. Somebody is getting their fu**in asses kicked for this."

And then I went outside to smoke and lower the flag to half mast that I had just hung up the night before. My cousins had laughed at me calling me an old timey fart since most kids our age don't do stuff like that, noting that our 68 year old neighbor was the only one with a flag up in the whole neighborhood. They had laughed even harder when I told them it was a flag I intentionally bought for the specific purpose of hanging it on my house since it was my first real place on my own. My neighbor was outside having already lowered hers. On her swing, with her lemonade and Wild Turkey Rye. I went over, gave her a hug and we just sat there for a little while staring at our flags and drinking.

Just surreal, still is. My mom would later have an aneurysm and stroke on the first day classes started on Sept. 29th. We were in PCU/ICU for 4 months. I lived in a hotel near the hospital to be with her around the clock. In an odd coincidence, my cousin was with me in the hotel room watching t.v. when programming broke to announce that the U.S. had fired their first round of rockets in the Tora Bora mountain range. In Afghanistan. Just surreal....

8 years later, mom is fine, Ross the neighbor lady is still there and I just gave the flag to my sister to hang in front of her new home.

Lioness70 said...

I was home with my then 20 month old son and my baby belly (my oldest daughter, who is now almost 8 years old). I got a call from my mom to turn on the TV. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

After I saw the second tower fall on live TV, I freaked and turned it off. I kept my son close for the rest of the day, hugging him like crazy, hugging my belly, and wondering what kind of world these babies were going to be inheriting.

Boriqua said...

I was almost to my office and channel-surfing on the radio when I heard it from Mancow that a plane had hit one of the WTC towers on a beautiful, clear day in Manhattan. About five minutes later I got to work and everyone was in a panic. Not long after the first tower fell, our boss sent us home. I spent days watching TV and crying until my husband cut me off so I could get some sleep.

Liz said...

My hub and I were on vacation @ VA Beach with friends. We lived in the DC area at the time and had friends who had business in the Pentagon. I woke up early and was the only one up. I went and turned on the tv to the Today Show. One tower was burning at the time and I immediately got my husband and in horror we watched the second plane hit. It was like a bad dream. Eventually everyone woke up and we watched the the tv all day in horror and called friends and family who were in DC after we heard about the Pentagon. It was one of the most horrible days I can remember.

Angela & Stuart said...

I was at the foot of the towers, on the West Side Highway, in the car on the way to work. Heard a really loud jet, which is abnormal in NYC, especially Manhattan because planes aren't allowed to fly so low and heard a loudest crash. We stopped the car, looked around and wondered the the hell just happened. I immediately called my best friend who works in the Jersey City finance area to make sure she called her mom who worked in one of the towers and let her know to get out. Not knowing what was going on, we went to work anyway.

Heading east on 23st, we saw a rush of police and firetrucks heading downtown to the scene. Later I realized that those brave guys were the ones who would've perished.

Jesse D said...

I was living with my then husband and his entire meth-addicted family. They all laughed when they saw those people jumping out of buildings, then laughed at me for crying. Soulless f*ckers. My heart goes out to all who lost loved ones on that day. We will never be the same.

burnsie said...

i was 14 years old and a freshmen on 9/11/01. i still remember what i wore, the songs that were on the radio, and the routine i did that morning. my dad was dropping my little sister and i off with her daycare lady who also drove me and her daughter to school. we walked into her house and she said a plane hit the wtc. my first thought was "why is there a crop duster in nyc?" my mind could not comprehend that an actual plane would hit the towers. my first class is when we watched the towers fall. my teacher told us this was our pearl harbor. our school is made up of five pods forming a pentagon and i remember students making jokes about how they hope the terrorists don't mix us up with the actual pentagon. it shows how the severity of the situation was lost on some us and how detached we were being thousands of miles away.

burnsie said...

another thing. my mom worked for american express at the time as a corporate travel agent of sorts and booked for american airlines all the time. on 9/11, a father of a person on one the of the flights called the service desk and my mom's desk neighbor received the call. the father was saying that his son called saying his flight had been hijacked and he was trying to find out some info on his son. my mom says she remembers her coworker bursting into tears realizing the situation. being form north dakota, this shows that 9/11 was a far reaching tradegy that touched many people.

farmgirl said...

I was getting ready for work watching the Today show. I saw everything live on tv and was completely numb. I called work and let them know. Together we all watched the towers fall and listened to the radio just like the old days.
It was a terrible day for us because we all have lots of friends in NYC. Thankfully, no one I knew personally perished.

KaitK said...

I live in Dublin, Ireland, so all this happened around 2 or 3pm. I was still in school at the time and when I was walking into the driveway I got a bad feeling. My dad's car was in the driveway and he's NEVER home during the day. I knew there was something wrong. By the time I got there, the second plane had hit and we knew it was a terrorist attack. My wh9ole family was gathered around the television and I will never forget seeing the towers fall, it was the scariest thing I'd ever seen in my life. It's something I will always remember.

zandra said...

I worked at a movie studio and had run home to get something I needed for a meeting later that day, I turned the TV on, to NBC to listen to traffic and watched in horror as the first plane hit - It was most frightening because it was clear from the onset that it was not an accident - I called my best friend who was in San Antonio at the time and we stayed on the phone for around 8 hours, I never made the meeting - but a week later I was so stressed out by the footage being shown, I canceled my cable and did not watch Tv until right after Christmas - to this day I find the images of 9/11 extremely disturbing - what news I got from the internet was what I could filter.To this day I do not know how or why people allowed children to view what happened. I know my niece who was in kindergarten was terrified for months to leave the house.

That never should have happened, how could we have no one in intelligence who spoke Arabic looking at chatter and leads prior to what happened, how was the only FBI agent who spoke Arabic taken off the terrorism desk in NYC a few months prior to 9/11 after the twin towers had been attacked before as a symbol of American commerce and the heart of the stock exchange?

I will forever wonder why all those people died that day, and why their remains were put in the Fishkill Landfill and not returned to their families, even as a symbolic gesture - families have to go to the dump to visit the "grave" of their loved ones. We were all let down that day. It was American's epic failure to protect us all.

Those poor people, all those families...

cajun cutie said...

I was about 4 blocks away taking my real estate exam. When the first plane hit we thought it was a car crash. After about 10 minutes (shortly before the second plane hit) they told us to stop testing and that we would have to reschedule because there was a situation in the area so they can let us leave the building. A bunch of us went outside to see what was going on and the others went to the subways or buses to go home. Those of us who stayed were just standing there looking (including me) and I remember there was some people saying that perhaps the pilot did not see the building or he lost control and that is when we saw the second plane circle around and hit the other building. We were worried about the people still in the building. Then the talk was like "oh no that was on purpose." After that most of us started to leave because we got scared. By then the buses were crowded from people trying to leave the area so I could not catch a bus. (This was right before they cut subway and bus services) So I had to walk back up to grand central station which was about 30 blocks. When I got there it was packed and I was stuck there until the next morning. I saw so many people who were down there when the towers actually fell covered from head to toe in gray dust as if they were buried. I went back to take my exam about a month later and you can see when you looked outside the window of the classroom to the building next to us (which the roof is lower) and you looked down you could see a thick layer of dust from the towers. I passed my exam but decided to quit real estate before I did anything. My heart was no longer in it.

Lauren said...

I was a Junior in high school, and I still remember everything about that day. We didn't do any school work and we watched the tv for all 6 periods, in silence.

I remember my AP United States history teacher tell us all that we were living United States history in that moment, and to never forget where we were and how we felt. I remember feeling numb.

A month later, in October, I traveled with my Mom to NYC for the New York Marathon. It was the most uncomfortable plane ride I will probably ever have because of the nervous tension floating through the air. Not even the airplane crew could smile.

The day of the marathon, everyone wore red, white and blue.

I just remember crying when visiting ground zero, and holding hands and praying with people I didn't know, and would never see again.

SCat07 said...

And Enty: Thank you for doing this. Even though it's been 8 years since that horrible day, the pain is still pretty strong on each anniversary. So it's nice that you let us vent about it like this ...

Interplanet said...

I was on an extended family vacation, staying with my dad in Scottsdale, AZ. My husband had been unable to accompany me due to work.

I had watched Schindler's List the night before and was so disturbed that I did not fall asleep until around 4AM PST. At 7:30AM PST there was a knock at the door. My husband was calling. He told me what had happened. In my sleep deprived state, I thought at first he meant the United Nations building - until I walked into the family room and saw the towers on fire. And my husband kept saying over and over, "Oh my God, that could have been you..."

Two weeks prior, my dad, stepmother and I had flown back to visit my grandmother in Marblehead, MA - 16 miles north of Boston. Logan Airport. We had such a good time, we were contemplating staying another week but did not. We flew out of Logan precisely one week before September 11 (Tuesday, September 4), on an 8:00AM United flight.

Needless to say, I probably did not actually sleep for another 36 hours. And I am very glad we chose to return to Arizona when we did.

HudsonJoe said...

@zandra

I don't know if it will comfort you. But any remains at the Freshkill site were less than 1/4 inch in size.

The landfill had been closed and that section permanently capped a few years before. Freshkill was chosen because they could bring barges right to the site and there were large amounts of space to work the debris. Every load of debris was examined at least twice and anything larger than 1/4 inch that could be human remains were transfered to the Medical Examiners office.

The reclamation plans are extensive and in time (another 10 years) the area were the debris is will be a memorial in the center of a large park. Some people who have been there think it maybe become the most beautiful site. It is near or at the top of the highest point in the site with views to lower Manhattan.

wade said...

I was at home waiting for my mother to get ready so we could leave. I put the tv on and I wasn't really paying that much attention to what was going on. I was caught up in a book I was reading.

Something caught my eye and I saw footage of a plane hitting one of the towers (this was the first tower hit and a few minutes before the second plane). This is a total cliche, but I thought it was a clip from a movie. I had thought it was funny they were releasing a big FX scene before the movie came out and I just thought it was a segment on "movie magic".

Then it dawned on me what had happened and I was shocked. I just thought it was some kind of a horrible accident.

I remember Bryant Gumbel talking to someone about this "accident" when all of a sudden the second plane hit. I will never forget that as long as I live. It felt unreal.

I live in Montreal Canada and I felt horror and shock. I can only imagine how it felt to Americans, especially New Yorkers.

A few years later I went to Ground Zero and I'll never forget that either. Looking at all the pictures, the art, etc - that people put up on the church across the street. It was heartbreaking.

It is a miracle more people weren't killed.

Emily said...

I was working for a nonprofit just outside of Boston. We'd had a golf tournament the day before, so I was heading in a couple hours later than usual on 9/11. I woke up thinking what a beautiful day it was (as had the day before...great weather for golf).

Turned on the morning news, and one tower had already been hit. At that point, everyone was confused and thought it was an accident. Then the 2nd tower was hit.

I had been fighting with my dad and I hadn't spoken to him in a couple weeks. (We are normally superclose and talk every day...so going that long without talking kills him and I knew it.) He travels for work and was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia that day. When the plane was missing over PA it was the lowest moment of my life. Phone lines were a mess and I couldn't get through to his cell...I finally called his company's HQ and they didn't know where he was.

He ended up being fine, thank God...was scheduled on a later flight than usual, so wasn't even on a plane yet when everything happened. I realized what a selfish jerk I was being and called him sobbing to tell him how sorry I was. Since then I don't fight about petty stuff, because you never know. It broke my heart watching the coverage...all the people who just headed in for what they thought would be a normal day of work. All the moms and dads who never came home. I thought about how I usually head out the door in the morning...bitchy, half asleep (I'm not a morning person)...and how awful I would feel if that was the last time I saw the people I love.

A good friend of mine was an EMT in NYC at the time. Emergency workers were going back and forth on their scanners, talking about which units were ok, which were missing...a lot of the guys missing were people he had grown up with. He was one of the lucky ones. He still doesn't like to talk about it.

In Boston, there was very much a sense of "what next"...especially after the Pentagon was hit too. It felt like the whole country was a target. Some of my friends working downtown had their buildings evacuated.

KellyLynn said...

I was somewhat insulated from the initial barrage of news that kept hold on the rest of the country that day.

I had just moved up to the Chicago area five weeks before that day. At the time, I rented a room from a couple who lived close to the college. As usual, I stopped at the computer lab before heading into work. I didn't yet have any indication of what had happened.

My friends who i had on IM gave me wildly varying stories of what happened, but I was unable to get any news page loaded. As some of my online friends at the time tended to be overly dramatic,I wasn't sure what truth to find in between the messages. I got little more news from the radio on my ride to work, as the news world seemed to jump straight from reporting to rhetoric.

At the time, I worked in a women's clothing store in Naperville, and our managers didn't allow "distractions" such as radios inside the store. All day, the only bits and pieces of news we received were from the secretary in our regional office.

Management also decided we needed to stay open, even though the other malls had closed down over fears of attacks there. One manager said she thought customers may come to our store instead. We saw only three customers that day. Two were returning items.

I had recently made the choice to let my parents care for my then 3-year-old daughter downstate while I continued school and work full-time. While I agonized over that decision, it comforted me knowing she was somewhere far away from any possible terrorist targets. The talk about Chicago having possible terrorist threats coupled with my homesickness made me wonder if I should have stayed downstate with her.

At some point in the afternoon, the stores in our mall collectively decided to close at 5 p.m. As we did our end-of-shift cleanup routine, a man who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent entered the store, carrying a blue backpack. Normally, we would have assumed he was looking for his wife, or merely had gotten lost. On this day, the guy stopped us in our tracks.

As each person noticed him, we continued to stare at him as intently as he stared at us. He made a slow loop around the store, stopping at one clothing rack before then exited the other side.

I felt really stupid later for assuming the guy was a terrorist.

I wasn't much of a TV person at the time, so I didn't see any footage of the crashes until much, much later. While I did follow the same sad/scared/confused progression, I didn't get quite the same hysteria as those who saw the films over and over again.

SkittleKitty said...

I never watch morning TV or even listen to the radio, but that morning I had turned on the Today Show, though I have no recollection what made me do that.
The first plane had just hit and I was thinking (like so many) "some idiot small plane pilot actually flew into one of the Towers." Then the second plane hit and I was just stunned and immobile.
My husband was out of town, though fortunately had gone on the trip by car.
I work for a nonprofit arts organization. We normally have rehearsal on Tuesdays, so I had to go to my office to cancel it. I simply wrote "Due to today's tragic events, tonight's rehearsal in canceled." Sadly, I think a few of the recipients may have learned of the events by my email.
Horrible day.
Never forget....

genesis said...

I was getting ready for school, it was chapel day so I was sitting in my brother's room putting on my tie watching the morning news like we usually did, my mom was helping my brother with his cuz he still didnt know how to tie it (kind of a lol moment, shows how young we were, he was 13/14, i was 11/12), as we were doing them, we sort of noticed the tv and we stopped tying. we were just..there watching. at the time i didnt know what was going on, i really believed i was watching a clip of a new movie they were showing, the ticker was still scrolling so i knew we were watching the news. i dont remember if we spoke in the car on the way to school but i know nothing registered until i walked into class and didnt see anyone there. i walked around and heard a faint noise, i followed it to the back of the school and there everyone was. in a room, some quiet, some crying, all watching the news.



for the next 6 hours everyone just sat there, lunch was served as usual in the cafeteria but no one went, the staff got angry and that forced the administration to encourage us to carry on as normal. but nothing about the next few months were normal.

genesis said...
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RouxGirl said...

I am a flight attendant and on 9/10, I had just come back from Frankfurt. I was watching Fox and E.D. said, 'Oh my God.' At the time, everyone was saying it was a private plane. I was watching when the second plane flew into the building and stumbled backwards, screaming at the top of my lungs. I was on one of the first commercial flights to Europe and we walked through a gauntlet of armed soldiers in Germany as we left the plane. Coming back home, we had passengers on the plane who had lost loved ones and we spent most of our flight sitting with people who were in shock and crying. Less than a year later, I was still having nightmares and could not work a flight without shaking and filled with complete fear. Passengers would whisper that they thought someone else looked suspicious and I would go to the cockpit and a secondary screening would start of the suspicious passenger, without their knowledge. After a year, I left. I went back to school as I decided I wanted to work for the Office of Counterterrorism or DHS. I applied to be a Federal Air Marshal and was put in a hiring pool. I am a corporate flight attendant now and have to fly commercial every now and then. I read the 9/11 Commission report. there was a flight attendant in the cockpit of the Pa flight. What happened to her? It was also thought that they gutted a passenger or flight attendant in full view of the passengers, knowing that would put everyone in a placid state of shock. Terrorists, take note: I carry a small vial of pork oil. I will never forget and I will never forgive you and I am happy to send you to hell.

blossom6673 said...

I live in NY, not in the city but in one of the other boros. I work in NJ. I was driving to work, and listening to a CD, so I didn't know til I got into the office. At first we thought it was a horrible accident but the second one made clear what it was. You could see the towers from one side of our building and everyone was gathered there watching, most of us crying.

I left, I wanted to get home to my family. When I was driving to the bridge the second tower fell and I just remember hysterically crying. I got to the bridge and it was already closed, everything was locked down. The whole time I was trying frantically to call my family, for someone to pick my son up from school, he was only in first grade. No cells were working.

I parked my car on a side street and just sat there. The streets around started filling up with people also trying to get home. I found some other people from my job, we spent the day sitting there waiting, trying to get in touch with people. Phones started working but very sporadically. I got in touch with my family, and my brother picked my son up and went to my moms.

The bridge never opened. We all sat there on lawns until evening. I got in touch with a friend in Jersey around 6:30 and went to her house. I finally was able to go home around 9 the morning of the 12. All I wanted to do was hold my son.

The following days were pandemonium. It wasn't quiet here, there were helicopters constantly in the following days. One of my friends called me up screaming that she couldn't take it anymore, she was losing her mind, she couldn't listen to them anymore. It was awful. The 13th everything here was locked down again, they thought there was someone with a van full of explosives. I think I was nauseated for a month, just from the stress and fear. My son drew so many pictures of the towers in the following days it made my heart break.

I know several people who died that day, and many who did recovery. Forgetting is not an option, it never will be.

Scooby Dubious said...

Stewardess: If you ever make it out of the hiring pool, be sure to mention that bit about the pork oil during your Psychological Assessment Interview.

Lola said...

My family and I are Spanish and less than a month before 9/11 we had been in NY for the holidays. We went up the Towers and took pictures there and everything.

On that day I was studying for my September exams (I was in college) at home with my mom. My brother was in school and my dad was at work.

I remember I had the radio on and they started talking about a small aircraft crashing on one of the towers. I thought it was nothing because I knew it had happened before many years ago. But then they started saying it was a commercial flight and so I called my mom and we put the tv on.
We saw the second plane hit the other tower live, we saw the towers collapse... We saw everything and I just remember not being able to accept it, like, "we were up there two weeks ago, what the hell is this??".

I remember texting my brother who was in class (in high school) and he thought we were joking. He was the one who told his classmates about it because we had been texting him.

Two weeks after I actually found our tickets for the WTC and it was like seeing a ghost. I thought about all the employees on the top floor, the people from the gift shop...

It still breaks my heart.

LauraM said...

I was living in NYC at the time. I worked in midtown and was in a meeting. a coworker came in and told us that the first plane hit. Then he told us about the second one and we all freaked out. We were watching TV for a few hours and saw when the towers colapsed. We were all sent home and no public transportation was available at the time. Everything was frozen and no incoming traffic was allowed to manhattan. My husband at the time and I walked from work to accross the bridge and met my sister in Queens. Walking accross the 59th street bridge was one of the saddest days of my life. Looking over to where the towers were, black smoke had replaced them. I will never ever forget that day.

aanjheni said...

I was sitting in my chair, reading one of my favorite books when my husband called from work. "Turn on the news! We are under attack! A plane has just hit one of the World Trade towers!"
I turned on Fox and there it was...I remember thinking that it was probably a small plane with an idiot for a pilot and that someone was going to be in big trouble after this was all over with. Then the second plane hit and I knew it was no accident. I was glued to the tv and watched the towers fall.
I remember thinking "I want my babies home!" My 'babies' were almost 17 and almost 15 and in school but I wanted them home NOW! I didn't go get them though...
I was unable to move away from the tv for the rest of the day. The school bus came and dropped off my daughter but - where was my son???!!! My daughter didn't say a word, just sat mute, watching the tv. I knew he had gone to school and in our rural Wisconsin location, I logically knew that he was fine, but I was still frantic.
He finally came home several hours late. I ran up to him and hugged him then I screamed, "Where in the HELL were you???" He calmly looked at me and told me he had enlisted in the Army (the Delayed Entry Program) and would be leaving for basic training immediately after his graduation.

3 days later my husband would be called up for active duty.

I remember the lives lost on 9-11. I remember it as a day of sorrow and tears. I remember it as a day of rage at the terrorists. I remember it as a day of heroism.

I remember it as the day my daughter had to grow up too fast.

I remember it as the day my son became a man.

Our world changed that day and I mourn for what we have all lost.

aanjheni said...
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Garden Keeper said...

It was the day of the first game for the varsity soccer team. My son was one of the captains so it was a big day.

A friend of mine worked for a high tech company with offices around the country. His son was starting for the varsity for the first time and he really wanted to see the game. His son was smaller and had worked hard to crack the varsity team. His office - six guys - were all working on a project with their California counterparts. They had to fly out to finalize the project.

He asked for permission to take a red-eye late on the 11th - while the other five guys flew to California early that day. He got permission.

He is the only one who survived the day. His office - all five guys - were on the two American planes.

Being a good parent can save your life.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I was at a friends house in a far away suburb and we had just gotten up. We switched on the t.v while we were eating breakfast and saw the coverage of the first plane hitting. At first we, and everyone else, thought that it had been an accident until we saw the second plane hit. We sat there, mezmerized, until I spoke to my mom who demanded I come home because she was worried that the location I was in wasn't safe due to the nuclear plant located in the town I was in. I remember that in the days and weeks that followed my mom gave me strict orders to not go near the CN Tower cause she, and a lot of other people, thought that that would be an excellent location for another attack. It seems silly now, but at the time everyone was in a complete frenzy and unsure of when or where another attack would happen, or if it would happen. It's funny how badly this affected all of us in Canada and America when stuff like this happens on the daily in other places in the world. Maybe they are desensitized by it, I don't know.

Lisa said...

I am late in this post but I was flying home from New York City when the first tower was hit. My sister and I had been vacationing there and she took a different flight home (she doesn't live around me) and my flight was cancelled. I got to my parents house and my sister had called over there looking for me, thinking I was just sleeping. We had gone up in the towers two days before they fell.

Jin13 said...

I am from Boston and had, just the day before, Monday Sept.10 flew out of Logan Airport from the same AA terminal that flight 11 would be taking off the next morning. I flew from Boston to Milwaukee to train new clients, on Tuesday morning I was driving to my second client for a 9am meeting,and heard on the radio that a small plan had hit a building in NY. For about 5 minutes I scanned all the channels to find out what was going on. My husband called me just before 9am as I was walking into the elevator at my client's building, he told me that a jet flew into one of the towers. I opened the door to my clients office to see the waiting room filled will patients and doctors watching tv. I sat with them and watched the second plan hit the other tower, I cant even put into words the terror, fear, confusion and utter sadness that had overcome me.
I went into a private office with the women I was supposed to train that day, but obviously didn't work. One of the women had a son that was working at the Sears tower in Chicago and was so overcome with fear for him she couldnt do anything but continuously call him. The building that we were in was being evacuated because it was considered a high rise so I headed back to my hotel. When I got back to the hotel I went straight for the restaurant/bar area, I just couldnt stand the thought of being alone at this time, I needed to be with people and witness this together. There were only a few people there at first but soon many started coming in. Sitting right behind me were to stewardess in their uniforms and a pilot.... two of them were crying.
I started driving home to Boston on Thursday morning.... I was on the road by 4am and stopped in Toledo, OH that afternoon. The next day left for home, I dont really remember much of anything for that whole ride, I had the radio on the whole time switching channels to see if there were anymore rescues or information. There were no plans in the sky for those days, it was so eerie and so quiet. while driving across MA. that day I saw many caravans of military personal as well as Police cars and Fire trucks from so many towns making their way to NY.
I pulled into my driveway just in time to hug my 9 year old when he got off the school bus.
I was glued to the tv for days watching all the coverage, I still cry to this day when I see these images.
I will never forget.

RouxGirl said...

Scooby Dubious.
How dare you.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I realise this is a touchy subject and I mean no disrespect to anyone, especially Robyn, the poster who posted the comment, but I don't think it's fair to say that people who question the validity of it being terrorists are making fun of what happened. I think it's more likely that they don't feel they know the truth, and would like to know. I don't see it as mocking the situation.

kimmypie1 said...

I am a little late on this, had friday off, but here goes...

I am on the West Coast so I would have normally missed it all. I was just out of college and waiting tables so I would have been sleeping for sure.

But that morning I had a job interview so I woke up early. I turned on the news and saw the aftermath of the first plane. I remember calling my parents, waking them up and telling them that we were being attacked by terrorists. My roommate was at her boyfriend's and I was there all alone - terrified. I watched as the second plane hit and just sobbed.

I didn't know what to do about the interview so I went anyway. The man my interview was with sort of went thru the motions for a few minutes and then he just said something like, 'I don't think this is the time for an interview. We will be in touch'. Obviously I never heard from them...

The thing I remember most about that day was the God awful sound of the firemen's alarm. That loud ear-piercing sound that signals that a fireman is not moving. I knew by the chorus of those alarms that there were many fallen heroes.

RIP Lisa Frost, my schoolmate in high school - United Airlines Flight 175

Jasmine said...

Hey Scooby Dubious, why dont you have something like this happen in your profession that threats the lives of everyone around you and probably kills coworkers that you may have known/worked with and see how you feel?!
I dont blame the flight attendent at all for carrying around pig oil. And I thought that for her to share her feelings so intensely and for you to be so flippant was completly fucked up. Way to keep the feeling of community going jerk.

Scooby Dubious said...

Well, Jasmine—my comment was not intended to be flippant. The stewardess' feelings about the events of 9/11, as intense they may be, are a separate matter from her ability to perform appropriately as a DHS officer or any other public safety officer. OK for a Chuck Norris or Geraldo Rivera, but a sworn pubic safety specialist? Not so much.

But neither she (nor you) should take my word for it; therefore, my original comment stands: Your friend should simply share with DHS officials—just as she has shared with a group of anonymous strangers here, the bit about the vial of pork oil—during the interview process. And then see what happens.

That she is still serving cocktails and fetching pillows for drunken businessmen—nearly a decade after originally applying for DHS, perhaps speaks for itself.

As for your gratuitous name-calling, etc. I could respond in kind, but so what? Your photograph shows that life may have already given you plenty to contend with.

wenx said...

I dunno if anyone will see this, since I'm so late in posting....ironic, considering that on 9/11/01 I got out of work early to run home & be safe; whereas this past Friday, 8 years later, I left work early (again) to go to my sick grandmother's bedside.

I remember so many things:
- I remember driving from the dentist in to work, hearing about the planes and speeding so I could get to the office & actually SEE what was going on, via our TVs.
- I remember how everyone was gathered around, quiet, watching, when I got there. I remember the horror I felt when I finally saw.
- I remember the way I felt when the first reports started coming in from the local newscasters, breaking in to the national coverage, to say that there had been an explosion in DC (I worked in northern VA just nearby). Even though I joked to a co-worker that "I hope it was those manhole covers blowing again!", the sick feeling in my stomach was already telling me it was more.
- I remember standing out on the balcony (our office was on the 5th/top floor) and seeing the black plume of smoke from the Pentagon rising into the sky, and thinking "I am an actual witness to history."
- I remember management telling us we could go home, and how everyone put down the phones they'd been using to contact loved ones, and rushed out of the building. I remember the utter fear that seemed to permeate our entire floor, like a haze in the air.
-I remember calling my parents at home before I left the office; trying not to betray how scared I was as I left a message on their machine, and thinking of how they would feel when they heard the message and the terror in my voice. I knew they'd be worried because I worked so close to DC.
- I remember speeding around the Beltway, desperate to get home...no one knew exactly what was happening, and the DJs on the radio were talking of reports coming in of bombs going off at the Justice Dept., and other places in DC. I thought that soon the roads would be gridlocked from people trying to flee the city.
- I remember getting home; managing to talk to my parents in Richmond before the phones went down; and hearing them tell how they sat in a fast food restaurant eating breakfast when they saw the 2nd plane hit on the TV there.
- I remember sitting on the couch for the rest of the day, glued to the TV, hardly able to process the magnitude of what I was seeing and heartbroken at the thought of so many lives lost.
- I remember hearing later from a friend how he had to throw a guy out of his car as he was driving out of DC, because the guy tried to climb into his car window at a stoplight....there were so many people in the streets trying to get out, and there was a great deal of panic.
- I always remember...and I will never, EVER forget.