Friday, September 09, 2011

Your Turn - Never Forget


Every year on September 11th, I post the image above and leave it at the top of the blog all day. I will do so again this year on Sunday as we mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The world changed that day at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time. Whether you knew someone who died or was affected by what happened, your life changed and the world changed. When it happened, I was in a car driving. I was not in Los Angeles that day and was headed to a meeting and I heard the news and then just turned around and went back to where I was staying and sat in front of the television for two days straight. I am sure people must have gone outside and run errands and did their normal routine, but everyone I speak to always says they stayed in front of their television for days, so I don't know if anyone was outside or not. My boss at the time actually had flown into New York that morning and I spoke to him when he landed at LaGuardia. He eventually got with some other people and drove back across the country. I tried to call all my New York friends to make sure they were ok. I called all my Washington D.C. friends to make sure they were ok. Even though cell networks were not as advanced, I don't remember getting too many all circuits are busy messages. I remember watching that video all the networks had that they kept recycling repeatedly.


I want to hear from you today. Tell me what you were doing, and your thoughts and reflections.

135 comments:

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I just woke up that morning and flipped on the news and saw it as it was happening. It was a pretty horrific sight and I will never forget the image of people jumping from the WTC. I also remember the slight sense of panic around Toronto, wherein people were avoiding the CN Tower incase something like that happened here.

When you're neighbours with the baddest bitches on the block (The US of A) and something like that happens to them, you feel really vulnerable all of a sudden.

What a horrible tragedy.

Doc Girl said...

I had just had my baby boy, and so was on maternity leave from work. For that reason, I was really out of the loop as far as world news went.

My husband called me around 9:30, and told me to turn on the radio or tv. He arrived home around 11 am, and we spent the day watching/listening to tv while I made baby food and my husband got to see what my day with a baby was like. What a weird day. The neighbourhood was very very quiet, as everyone was inside their homes watching tv.

We found out a week later that our neighbour across the street lost his mother that day, as she was on a flight from Boston that was hijacked and crashed.

I doubt I've since watched so much news within a 48 hour period as I did then.

Lady J said...

I was in college about to go to class (my college was in Westchester county, just outside of NYC) when the first plane hit. Me and my roommate just stood in shock and watched as the second plane hit a few moments later, and then when the towers came down. We sat in front of the TV for days. Classes were cancelled for a week. Everyone on my campus was a nervous wreck that day because ALL phones in NY were down, and alot of the people on my campus lived in, were from, or had family who worked in NYC.
One of my friend's mom worked at the WTC, she made it out thank God, but we didn't know for several hours. Her mom said she saw people diving out of windows and just pure panic. It was one of the scariest days, because NYC was absolutely silent.

Mama Theresa said...

what did I do that day? well, most of the morning was spent try to figure out if my then boyfriend was still alive and if all my co-workers got out alive.

By the time i found a way to make it back home to jersey, my now husband was there, arriving just minutes before i and then I spent the rest of the day picking out glass, plaster, and bits and pieces of the towers out of his head.

Only 2 people from the company were killed. Friends, neighbors,children and spouses of friends were not so lucky.

I don;t understand the "never forget" because, really, how could you? We can't.

SusanB said...

I was an x-ray tech working in an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta - a patient told me after both towers had been hit. We turned on a little radio we had and listened to the rock stations which had switched to CNN. I remember taking an elderly lady in to x-ray her wrist right after I heard about the Pentagon - when she saw my face she said "Did something else happen?" I told her and she said in this little scared voice "Are we being invaded?" At the time I didn't know what to tell her. We kept the clinic open all that day although a lot of patients cancelled appointments - only saw TV at night and on the weekend. Ever since then when I'm home unless I'm specifically watching a program, I leave the TV on a cable news channel all day - just paranoid something will happen and I won't know about it.

Sio said...

I was 16 and in my Lower 6th English Lit class. It was just after lunch and my teacher Mr.McGonnell got a phonecall from one of his daughters saying something had happened in New York-he had another daughter who was living there. We didn't know it was a terrorist attack at that point, but at the same time focusing on a Seamus Heaney play was the furthest thing from our minds. After school, I had barely walked in through the back door when the first tower collapsed. I will never forget that day for as long as I live. God bless all the victims that day.

azlee said...

I was waking up and doing the morning routine and the annoucement came out and I turned on the news. Later, I sat and talk to a person that crew was working on the computer system in the Tower. None made it out...the supervisor was going nuts...so sad and it was hard to hear him screaming no no no

Rita said...

When it happened, I was watching Katie Kouric and Matt Lauer while preparing for work.

The looks on their faces, the disbelief and the horror of it. Still feel every time someone speaks of that day. And when that plane hit the second tower. The end of the world was near.

I am originally from Lebanon. My parents had sacrificed all so we could leave the war behind in 1985, and go live the dream, build a safe life, live happy. Learn not to jump everyone shuts a door - for it always sounds like a bomb falling on a building, killing people, friends, family. That day, 10 years ago, for the first time in 15 years, my family and I started jumping again everyone shut a door loudly. That day, the war followed us to our new home. That day the fear came back in my parents' eyes.

They had sacrificed so much to see us live peacefully in a new country, but the war followed us here. So far away from our original home.

Wish it all to go far away. Far away from my brother and sister. Far away from Earth. For I truly with all my heart wish for peace on this very sad day.

Wish all to find some peace of mind, some ease of the heart, and to feel safe again.

Love to all, and prayers for those weeping the loss of a loved one.

Vicki Cupper said...

I was in college.

Is it ridiculous that I still struggle not to cry whenever people bring it up?

Worstcompanytoworkfor said...

I had just returned home from dropping my kids off at school.

I turned on the today show and the first plane had just hit.

I'm getting chills just typing this.

Katie Couric was talking about the first plane as an accident when another plane hit the other tower.

I cried and cried and cried for a long time.

Lauren said...

I was getting ready for school. I was in the 11th grade. I remember when it first happened, we didn't really understand. Its not that we thought it wasn't a big deal, but rather, we didn't grasp it, at least 16 year olds in LA didn't grasp it. We had the TV on all day, in every class. I will never forget watching the first building fall in my AP American History class.

How could anyone ever forget that day? The more I have grown the more I have come to understand.

sassyyankee said...

I was at work, at a mid-major university in Michigan. One of my co-workers came down the hall and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. In my mind, I immediately thought small Cessna-type plane. We all gathered in the videographers office to watch and one of my other co-workers said, "It is that bin Laden." And then, my boss came in and told me to get back to work because I had an event to put on at the President's house that evening. So my co-workers stayed and watched the events unfold and I made nametags and finalized the menu for an evening dinner and reception. And then I had to go calm down all the students who were working the event and greet all the guests at the front door of the idiot's home. I will never forget that ... the world was falling apart and this yahoo and his idiot wife had a party. Lovely. I did not see any more footage until late that night after the party was over (only a handful of guests came ... ) and I watched the coverage non-stop until the early hours of the next morning. My husband and child were safe and I was sobbing on the couch for all the lives lost.

sunnyside1213 said...

I worked for a small software company and we were going to attend a software show at Windows on the World on 9/11. (I don't remember if that was in the North Tower or the South.) As the trade show manager, I would have gone. However, were were acquired by Sybase in the spring. They wanted to send people from the NYC office and asked me to pick my replacement. When I got up that morning, the first thing I saw was someone talking to the President in a class room. I immediately called my replacement to see if she was alright. No answer for hours. Finally she called. She had been evacuated from her Battery Park home and was safe. Unfortunately, others we knew were not.

Lady J said...

@Vicki Cupper

Nothing wrong with crying. That was a tragic day that NO ONE was prepared for. I live in NY and today everything and everyone is on HIGH ALERT. Subways, highways, everything is being looked into because of the anniversary this weekend and because of the possible terrorist threat. Everyone be safe out there!!

Borg Queen said...

I worked at the Empire State Building at the time and saw from my office window the 1st tower fall. I also saw the 2nd plane fly into the 2nd tower and the eventual collapse. I ran out of my office and went straight to my mom's apartment about 1 mile away. My 1 yr nephew was in the same building with a babysitter so I ran up to her apt and sat with the rest of the lil kid the sitter had in the apartment so the sitter could run and pick her daughters from school.

My sister who worked 2 blocks from the WTC came home several hours later all covered in soot. She was traumatized by seeing all the people jumping out the windows and landing on the ground around her.

Angie said...

I was walking into work a little before 8am CST and the security guard said that a plane had flown into a building in NYC. He's a practical joker, no one believed him. I walked to the office and turned on the radio and heard it for myself. I was listening when the second plane hit. We spent the day gathered around the radio, listening. People would come in for business and were left standing at the counter, ignored. I don't know that I've ever felt so scared and helpless.

Mary Stewart-McGovern said...

I was in Greenwich, CT at the time and my boss had flown out of Newark (now know as Liberty Int'l Airport) earlier that morning. As the boss wasn't at work (and I was in charge), I figured I'd go in a few minutes late and would finish watching the Today show. I saw it happen on live TV, then freaked out because a year before, I had switched jobs. My previous job, as an accountant with a regional CPA firm, would have had me right down in the middle of it all. My regular Tuesday client was in "the canyon".

I managed to reach my boss' husband (who's office faced the towers directly) and he said she was fine and in international airways before it all started. He also told me to just send everyone home because he couldn't send his own employees home, as there was no way to get out of lower Manhattan at the time.

The rest of the week was a big blur. The creepy part was the lack of airplanes in the sky. I lived around the corner from a regional airport and the only sound coming from there were Black Hawk helicopters (the airport was the closest one to the Clintons' house in Chappaqua.)

Anyway, my mother said I was alive, twice, because I was lazy. I turned down a job in WTC back in '92 (a year before the bombing) because I was offered a similar job that was only 7 blocks from Grand Central. And I switched jobs in 2000 because I wanted to work close to home.

New Life and Attitude said...

I was working out of town and had woken up really early and was watching the news. At first I didn't believe it. I thought they were talking about when they had tried to blow it up years ago because the guys were just being sentenced. Then I saw where Pres. Bush was reading to the school kids and he was told. I immediately knew it was happening right then. I called my husband and woke him up to turn on the TV. Then I got dressed and met a couple of my co-workers down in the lobby of the hotel (we were in a small town just on the outside of the South enterance of Yosemite. The hotel was full of German tourists (who were supposed to be heading back to San Francisco to catch a plane back home - didn't happen that week) who were also in the lobby. We all just sat there watching in stunned silence. Those tourists cried with us. I will NEVER forget that.

I now work for a State agency and many of the employees in my building were actually in the World Trade Center that day for a bond sale. All of them made it out safely and ended up renting moving vans to drive across country to get home, but none of them were ever the same. Only one of them still works at the State. The rest of them have either retired or went out on stress leave.

It's funny (not really funny, but you know what I mean) that even though I wasn't there and I was in this small town that day, every time when I hear a bunch of sirens a chill runs up my spine and have a mini panic attack. I work in a highly public state agency and work directly across from our State Capitol. We've had several bomb threats in the past few years that have made us evacuate our building. Each time it happens I say a prayer for those people who died on 9/11.

sunnyside1213 said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you. My replacement overslept.

Vicki Cupper said...

Mary Stewart, I'd be living and working out of my basement if I were you. Wow.

Mary Stewart-McGovern said...

@sunnyside1213, a friend of mine's boyfriend at the time worked for Sybase. He was pulled from the Windows on the World job at the last minute and switched to leading a secretarial training class... at the White House.

It's taken him YEARS to get over the fact that, no matter where he was on 9/11, he was sitting in a targeted building.

Mary Stewart-McGovern said...

@Vicky, nope... we packed everything up and moved to Cleveland, OH in 2004. lol

the pants said...

I was, at this time, a sergeant in the NYPD. We worked for 2 months without a day off, 12 to 16 hours a day. I put on a brave face for my cops and the people of NY, but i cried myself to sleep everynight. I will never forget the sight or smell of Ground Zero.

Me said...

was just coming out of a string of personal tragedies. was in a LOT of therapy. when 9/11 happened i felt like the curse or spell or whatever that had been hanging over my head was gone. bad things happened to other people too. it had no connection to me at all. didn;t know anyone even in NY at the time.

i started living a little on that day. i know it sounds strange, but i had had so many bad things happen (including the death of a child) that i had had no control over AT ALL and i was just emotionally in quick sand. every time i tried to move forward something worse happened.

on 9/11 i was able to see that other people suffered, deeply and through no fault of their own. and while i still feel like srying when someone even says "9/11", i can hold it together for the last cuple of years.

telling my kids about 9/11 was different thasn i thought it would be. its history to them, like vietnam.

Someone Said said...

The day before we flew out of Long Island for our flight home to Ohio. We spent the 8th in Manhattan, were driven through Times Square in a convertible and saw a fireworks display from Sutton Place Park. It was one of the best days.

Got back to work on the 11th. We just opened the library when we found out a plane had hit the WTC. I thought it was a small plane, that it was a horrible accident. Then the other plane hit and we knew it was something much worse.

We brought a TV into the back room and watched the towers fall in silence, while finding out more about the catastrophies in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

Ten years later and it's turned into a political land grab instead of a lesson we can all learn from.

Sue (in MO) said...

I was managing a hotel and was working the front desk that morning. My mother called and told me to turn on the TV behind the counter, and my initial thoughts was that it was an accident or a student pilot.... I was watching NBC and had just turned around from checking someone out and explaining to them what was on when I saw the second plane hit on the screen behind Katie Couric. I think I stood there for a minute thinking - what the hell was that? and then they were all reporting that it WAS a second plane. I just knew then - like everyone else - that this wasn't a student pilot or a pilot error, or something accidental ...this was deliberate. The rest of the morning I had to tell people over and over again what had happened as they came in to check in or out... I know I stood there with tears pouring down my face and it was so surreal to keep going and doing what I had to do when so many people were dying. I lived in a tourist town and it was just odd to see people going on about their vacations when our world as we knew it was turning upside down. I was never so glad to see my desk clerks come in so I could go home as I was that day - I was glued to the television the rest of the night.

Ida Blankenship said...

I was in college. I had stayed up the previous night goofing around with friends -- dancing to Milli Vanilli songs (yep) and whatnot until about five in the morning. I was awakened from a deep sleep by a friend of mine who was banging on the door. My roommate and I had a T.V. on our dresser that was pretty much always on Lifetime (we watched as many episodes of the Golden Girls as possible), and my friend burst in the room and changed it to the morning news. As the second tower fell, I just remember saying over and over that "this is just like a movie. This can't be real." And then there were the bodies flinging themselves out of the burning buildings. I will NEVER forget those images. Those were the worst.

My family lives in Arlington and my Aunt works at the Pentagon, so I have to admit that the first few hours of that morning were full of pure, selfish panic until I reached my dad. But I really am glad I was on a college campus at the time; it was a really supportive, emotional, cathartic atmosphere.

You guys, it was terrible indeed, and I agree with the poster who questioned if we can, in fact, ever "forget." I mean, of COURSE not. But this thought popped in my head the morning of 9/11, and I think it's still valid: we are REALLY lucky that the only catastrophic attack on American soil has only occurred once in our lifetime. It was a gigantic and unprecedented tragedy, but other countries deal with, or have dealt with, similar horrors far too frequently.

I dunno. I'm NOT trying to trivialize it, but it also helps to keep in mind that other countries have been dealing with terror for decades, if not centuries. This is very, very new to us. And I don't think it's ever going to go away.

Goodgrief said...

I had to work that morning at my job at crate and barrel. I passed a delivery truck on the way in with a radio on and could tell something was going on. I even stopped and got a Starbucks and nothing was said about it in there. I didn't find out until I got to work. We had a meeting with one of our vendors that morning. About half through the meeting you could tell we all had NYC on our minds and wasn't getting a whole lot out of the meeting. We ended the meeting, then shortly after the store opened we were told to close up and go home. I stayed glued to the tv for 2 days crying. I was glad I had Wed off.

Syko said...

I was at work, on the phone trying to schedule a deposition with a Tampa law firm, and the guy I was talking to asked if we had a TV in the office - yes, but it's not hooked up to cable, we just use it to play videos, why? and he told me two planes had crashed into the WTC and I just didn't get it, my first thought was that there was a mid-air collision and it fell on the buildings, but then he told me that they thought it was terrorists and my mind's jaw dropped open, how can that be? A bunch of us went across the hall to another law firm that did have cable, and it was just mesmerizing to watch that second plane again and again. The managing partner of our firm was a real scrooge, a type-A workaholic who could not understand that other people aren't, and he made no move to close the office. By now the Pentagon had been hit, and the third plane crashed in PA, and it looked like they might be going to hit cities all along the east coast, so it didn't feel good to sit there on the 22nd floor of one of the two tallest buildings in this east coast city. I kept watching out the window for planes coming at us. Finally someone from the building stopped in and said they were locking the place down, so G. had to let us go home. I walked out into a beautiful early September Florida morning and kept thinking how impossible it was. Totally impossible that someone would have so little respect for human life. I knew then that we would never be the same, because so much of our freedom was lost.

I got home and watched TV like everyone else. The only time I have ever watched more TV was when Kennedy was killed, and that's because I had a three month old, and I'd get up to feed her and sit watching TV and holding her. She swears to this day that she remembers that assassination. Who knows? It could have imprinted in her brain.

Mary Ann said...

I was just out of ICU. I'd nearly died of sepsis. I wasn't able to see it on the TV but heard it on the radio. I watched coverage later, but I really think the images I created in my mind from the radio coverage were as horrific, maybe more, than the actual film.

Liz said...

I was at VA beach with my husband and some friends on vacation. I woke up early and turned on the today show out of boredom. Not 5 minutes after I did, they reported the fire in the North Tower and I went and woke my husband. I just knew something wasn't right. Then we watched "live" as the second plane hit. It was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen to this day. We watched the tv for 2 days, only venturing out for dinners because we had no food. We were living in the DC area at the time so we made lots of phone calls as well to make sure friends and family and coworkers were ok.

Maja. With a J. said...

I was in Sweden, and was glued to the TV for two or three days because I was sick and had a fever. I remember it all feeling extremely surreal, and I remember a lot of people being incredibly insensitive about it. I had returned home after living in the U.S. for a couple of years, I had friends in NYC, and a lot of people had this "they had it coming" - attitude about it which just seemed completely out of order to me.

iheartjacksparrow said...

I live in Los Angeles County, and on that day I got up at 5:55 a.m. (Pacific Time) as usual to get ready to go to work. I used to always turn on the TV to see the local news as at the time there seemed to be a plethora of high-speed chases going on on the freeways in the morning. I was heading to the bathroom when the guy I was living with yelled, "A plane crashed (something, something; I couldn't understand the rest)!" I was wondering why he sounded so stressed because planes do crash on occasion. I then sat down on the toilet and he yells, "Another plane crashed (something, something, again not hearing the rest)!" I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on out there?' I hurried out so see tape of the crashes, and then watched as the Towers fell. I took a little portable TV to the office that day, and the entire office hung around my desk all day to see the latest news.

Bnl1016 said...

I have to go against the grain a little on this subject. I think its wonderful that at the time it brought our country together, and that it still gives people a sense of patriotism.

But everywhere you turn this week there's 9/11 something. On tv, on the internet, on facebook. I get that its 10 years, but as someone else said, I don't think anyone will EVER forget that day. So I don't understand the big ta-do over its "anniversary".

For those of us who lost a parent, spouse or even a close friend all the media is making us do is relive the nightmare over and over.

I think people think they are showing respect by donating money or sharing their stories. But for people that don't want to relive that day, we don't want your money and your stories pale in comparison to ours. And as heartbreaking as it is for you to tell your story, imagine the struggle it would be for us to tell ours. The one thing we do want is to finally be free from it all and move on. But as long as everyone makes us relive it year after year, we are still being terrorized.

Diana said...

I was in my office - had flown home with my 3 month old baby THE NIGHT BEFORE from taking her to visit my Grandma. I was on hold, waiting to talk to a client, and the normal muzak was, I could tell, some sort of news story. So I turned around and looked at the TV in my office. And could not believe it. My Dad worked a lot at the Pentagon, and I had to first find out whether he was there or not. Thank God, no he was not.

I couldn't work anymore, and had to do something, so I went to the Red Cross to give blood for the injured. Waited in line for hours to give. All silent and watching the news on the monitors throughout the building. And sadly, they really did not need it after all as most everyone died.

When I was flying the night before, I had said to myself, "Never again will I carry so many extra bottles, diapers, baby clothing, WITH me. One bottle, two diapers - that's all we need." And then I had to think about all of the people stranded in airports the next morning...

I can still see it and feel it like it was yesterday.

KLM said...

I woke up late for work that morning in my apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I turned on the TV and was confused about why they were showing old footage from the '93 World Trade Center attack. I went outside on my balcony and saw that the world trade center was smoking. My boss called at that moment screaming to find out where I was to make sure I was okay - I worked at the Federal building - 90 Church Street - next door to the World Trade Center. He said people were jumping and to stay in Brooklyn. We were cut off and that was the last call I got for a long time because the cell towers had fallen.

My sister worked at a school in downtown Brooklyn - I knew I had to get there because the second tower had fallen and I knew she would be worried sick. I walked through the sea of ash-covered people to get to downtown - the opposite direction most people were headed. I got to her school and we both just lost it...

7 World Trade Center fell on my building. I had no office to go to for the next several weeks as people tried to find a new office space for us. We had none of our paperwork, nothing. It was such a dark time for me because I just sat on my couch watching the news. It evokes such strong memories for me. If I see the images, I lose it. I mean really lose it. Like anxiety inducing, crushing feeling, can't breathe.

In a weird twist of fate, my parents lived in Manhattan Beach (L.A.) at the time. My father was having an important meeting and requested 3 of his key people in Boston to come to LA for the meeting. One of the people was a friend of his - he had just had a baby with his wife. He didn't want to come, but my father convinced him that it was important. All three of the men were on AA flight 11, which crashed into the WTC. While I have an extremely tight connection with what happened, my father still feels extreme guilt over what happened to Peter and his family (and obviously we all do for all of the victims of 9/11).

Not forgetting isn't an option. Sorry for the long post.

Lauren said...

@thepants--Thank you. I wish I could give you a hug.

Krab said...

Bnl1016, I know how you feel. I had PTSD for a year after 9/11 and just thinking about it gives me an anxiety attack. I mostly skimmed these comments.

Amartel said...

First heard about it on the Howard Stern Show. (Yeah, I know.) Jumped in the car to do the usual commute into work at about 6:30 a.m. PST. At first I thought it was an extra lame Stern joke. Then realized, no, not a joke. Switched over to NPR for better reportage but actually Stern was a lot better informed and less bloodless than those NPRbots. Had to pull off the road at least once due to tears in my eyes. At the time I worked right next to the landing path at SFO and I remember looking out the window later that day and seeing a commercial airliner with a flower on its tail, probably Thai Airlines, being escorted in by one of our fighter jets. Thought, well, that's the way it's going to be for a while; trust no one, not even if they're swanning around with a ridiculous big pink flower on their tail.
Mark Bingham's mom used to live up the road from me. She had been in touch with her son on UA93. A very brave and very quick-thinking woman. Heartbreaking loss.

Dianne P said...

I'm so sorry for all of you who were personally affected by 9/11.

Janet296 said...

I worked in the warehouse at the Navy base here in New Orleans with my co-worker Danny. He got a call for us to check out CNN. He was told that a plane had hit the world trade center. I thought it was an accident by a student pilot or something. We could not get CNN to come up on our computers. We rolled the tv into our office and turned it on only to find out that another plane had hit the other building. I knew something was terribly wrong. I was watching Katie Couric when they announced that a plane had hit the pentagon. I called my sister to ask if she was watching all this. She lived near by but we always call each other everyday. We were speaking about how it was unbelievable. They flashed to the burning buildings when suddenly I gasped and said"Oh my god! The building collapsed!" I then said that the other one would as well. I remember telling her that all those people were trapped inside. Our jobs released us from work. I sat glued to the tv for days. I watched everything on it I could. Mayor Guilianai saying something about how New York needs to get back in business and light up broadway. I thought that he was right. I needed to stop obsessing and get on with it. I have done just that.

e said...

I had just started high school a week before Sept. 11th. I got up that morning and the tv was on, my mom told me what had happened. In every class that day, we either watched tv or talked about what was happening.

Most of the classrooms didn't have tvs, and I am grateful for that. I didn't see the towers fall in real time, although I saw the second plane crash over and over on the news that evening. It's one thing to know that people were jumping out of buildings, it's another to see it happen (which I didn't).

Rita said...

Dianne P - Thank you. God bless.

=joy= said...

i was walking into work when it happened. tvs set up in the lobby were fixed on the towers as the smoke started rising from the buildings. i was in morningside heights at the time. everyone convened in classrooms and watched. the first tower down, then the second. horror across faces as we could see detail of bodies falling from the towers. people in desperation trying to get out. my heart aches whenever i recall the memory.

days and weeks after, taking the 7 train to the city you could still see the smoke and heat rising from ground zero. years later my friend and i went to a store and followed directions that placed us right outside of ground zero. we ran the opposite direction when we realized where we were. it wasn't until 2 years ago i was able to visit ground zero without fear.

this year, my brother is getting married on the 18th. i've moved far, far away to a happier place where those memories don't haunt me. i'm flying into new york 2 days after the anniversary because i was scared of the date. and now there is a terrorist threat being reported. and as much as i don't want it to affect me... i'm terrified.

i'm not a religious person, but i will be praying during my flight out there.

Dianne P said...

I work at home and my husband was unemployed at the time. He found out about the first crash when someone he was on the phone with told him. He turned on CNN and after a few minutes I joined him to see the second plane hit the second tower.

I think I 'only' watched the TV coverage for a few hours. After that, I relied on NPR and saw very little of the footage. I read a lot about 9/11 at the time, and in the remaining years, but I avoided the news footage. This year I saw much of it for the first time on some TV special a few months ago, and I was shocked to my core all over again. All those poor people--the lucky ones--who made their way out of the WTC and the surrounding buildings, covered with soot and debris and having witnessed things no one should have to ever see.

In 10 years life has gone on, but so much remains the same. I don't think the US economy ever fully recovered (I know our psyches didn't), and my husband is unemployed again. My oldest daughter is in college in DC, and is worried about the latest alert. And people still kill each other every fucking day in the name of God.

brakewater said...
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Feisty said...

I was in college, woke up to a message on my computer to turn on the tv, there was something crazy going on. They thought that Sears Tower had been hit as well.

I just remember sitting with friends and watching people jump, the towers fall. It was more sad than anything at that moment. Then cnn cut to commentators, I think it was Newt Gingrich? and he was talking about WAR, and then it got really scary.

I've been extremely blessed in my life - I didn't know anyone who was killed in the attacks, and so far, none of my many friends in the military have been eaten by war.

What I remember most is the shock, and the knowledge that everything was going to change.

Mooshki said...

"I don't understand the "never forget" because, really, how could you? We can't."

I know no one will ever forget the tragedy, but it's disgusting how quickly people forgot what heroes the firemen and policemen were that day. Thank god Jon Stewart will never let their cause go. It isn't just the health problems the first responders are facing - it was only a year or two later that the NYC fire department faced major funding cuts and many forced layoffs. Regardless of how you feel politically, I don't understand how anyone can feel that our police and fire departments don't deserve full funding, even if it means, god forbid, raising taxes. I guess no one worries about it until they need them, and then they freak out if they don't get an immediate full response to their problem. I sometimes have issues with the police, but as far as I'm concerned, firemen are our saints. They risk their lives every time they go to a fire, and they are often the first people there when a medical emergency happens. Heroes, plain and simple.

DJS said...

Long time reader, first time poster. I was running late to work that morning in NYC, about a couple of miles north of where the Twin Towers stood. As I was approaching my office I noticed a ton of smoke and said to myself, wow that must be some fire, not knowing what was going on. Got to my office where my coworkers were standing around looking shell shocked. I asked what was going on and they said we're undergoing a terrorist attack. WTF? Then my phone rings and it's my parents who are retired NYers now living in Florida. We didn't have TV in the office, just a radio, so my parents filled me in on all the images. Got off the phone w/them when a friend of mine called and the Pentagon was attacked while we were on the phone. I told my friend I have to get off the phone with her to say goodbye to my parents b/c I really thought the world was coming to an end that day. A fair amount of my friends worked down there and made it out safely. One wasn't so lucky. Every year in the week leading up to 9/11I get very irritable and cranky and don't sleep. The constant coverage makes me so sad, but I can't tear myself away from all of it, much like the days right after 9/11. Thoughts and prayers to those all those affected by that horrific day.

Sylvia said...

I can't believe this happen 10 years ago.

I was at work when my boss's wife called telling me about this. At first I didn't understand what she was talking about. Than my boss came in from a meeting mumbling about it. So we borrow a TV and watched what was going on. I still couldn't believe what I was seeing. It felt like it was movie not for real.

It still saddens me when I hear news about this.

Spudette said...

I was a junior in college about 30 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island. I remember walking to class with my roommate that morning and commenting on what a beautiful day it was. Literally, not a cloud in the sky.

We had been in class for no more than 5 minutes when someone came in and said that the World Trade Center got hit by an airplane. At the time we weren't sure if it was a passenger jet or a private plane. Once someone told us that another plane hit the south tower, my prof suggested that we cancel class.

We all ran to the nearest TV (just so happened to be in the cafeteria) and we watched the towers fall with the rest of the student body. I cannot explain how horrific it was to watch those two towers fall with people who were screaming that they had parents working in the buildings.

I didn't know it at the time, but my family lost a very close friend that day who worked at Marsh. He normally worked out of the midtown office, but was on the 90-something floor of the North Tower for a meeting, where the first plane hit. The only peace we have with the whole thing was that he was, most likely, killed instantly and blissfully unaware of what was going on, unlike the people who were above the fire line and had to jump.

It took me quite some time to fully recover from that day (and from time to time, especially in early September, I still have trouble). I haven't been to the site and it really bothers me that "ground zero" has become a tourist attraction. Maybe I am being over sensitive, but I hate seeing the tour buses go by and people laughing it up taking pictures at a place that should be hallowed.

Now, 10 years later, I work only 2 blocks from the WTC site and can see the Freedom Tower being built from my office window.

I can't imagine ever forgetting how horrible that day was and wish that we could just go from 9/10 to 9/12.

SusanB said...

@bnl1016 - I'm so sorry for your pain but brakewater has it right - we can never forget. It's already going on - the forgetting why it happened, the whitewashing, the tangled stories, etc. etc. When we start to forget and start to let our guard down, it'll happen again - probably WORSE than 9/11.

I hope you find the peace you need and deserve.

J LO said...

WE CAN NEVER FORGET. I'll be spending the weekend and Sunday watching footage. I work for a firm that lost people in NYC that day (I am based in Philly) and rememeber like Enty said- sitting in front of the tv for days on end. It was the only time I wasn't glad to get days "off work" (I work for a brokerage firm)

Thanks Enty... JW

califblondy said...

Very sad stories.

I haven't decided yet whether I'll watch all the specials on Sunday or football. I will never forget, how could I, but I just don't know if I can handle it. Just reading the articles this week and seeing pictures has been very hard.

From that 9/11 Tuesday until Friday I was absolutey glued to CNN until I finally lost it and cried my eyes out. As regular TV shows slowly came back I had to get away from the news, I couldn't take it anymore.

Maja. With a J. said...

I was in NYC a few months ago and we went down to Ground Zero...it was strange. It felt colder there than the rest of Manhattan, and it was chillingly quiet, even with the construction going on and all the people walking around. We were there for maybe 5 minutes and then we left. It felt wrong somehow.

Basil said...

I was at work at the library when we heard about it. At first I thought it was some sort of accident, but when the second plane hit we all pretty much went into shock. The branch didn't have cable or satellite, but we jury rigged a TV and put it in the lobby. It wasn't the best reception, but it was all we could do.

I did notice two things that day. A muslim mother came into the library pushing her baby stroller, saw what was on the TV, and immediately turned around and left. I heard later that her neighbours had to bring her food since she was scared to leave her house.

I also remember the astonishing number of people who kept going about their business, running errands etc, as if nothing was happening, and quite frankly it pissed me off. I still had to work, they could have gone home where it was safe. Instead patrons would be complaining about a 25 cent fine for a late book, while the TV in the lobby was showing people jumping out of the buildings. I am really surprised I didn't hit someone that day.

Ida Blankenship said...

In reading these comments, I'm struck by the difference between those of us who are merely empathetic, and those of us who were and are genuinely tramautized by that day. It seems as if it's much harder to discuss your feelings if you actually witnessed those towers falling in person. That's understandable.

Any American can claim to be *changed* by 9/11, but people like bnl1016 were there to live through the actual, untelevised, real-life horror. I can understand how this time of year would trigger terrible memories, and wanting to escape from all these somber remembrances -- which, of course, is impossible.

My whole, entire heart goes out to any of you who were personally affected. Thanks for having the strength to share your stories. I can't even fathom it.

RocketQueen said...
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swedishfish said...

I just wrote my blog about it yesterday. It was really cathartic.

http://didiexpectangels.blogspot.com/2011/09/september-11_08.html

RocketQueen said...

I'm going to say something that people will totally think is crazy, but the topic has been brought up, and I'll say my truth. By the way, I should preface this by saying I do NOT believe in conspiracy theories at all. Ever. Moon landing being faked, all that crap? Nope. Take your crackpot theories elsewhere.

Woke up that morning and switched on the news and saw what was happening, immediately knew Bin Laden was responsible, like within 5 seconds. Two years previous I had written my Honours thesis on Middle Eastern terrorism and was waiting for his next big move. This was of course bigger than I thought it would be. Anyway, called a friend I went to school with and we watched together for a while, then I walked to work, listening to the radio on the way.

I DISTINCTLY remember hearing being reported on the radio that the U.S. had just shot down a third plane over Maryland that they believed was headed for another target site. Believe me or not, I heard it. That information was "corrected" about ten minutes later. About four months later, a co-worker was hanging out with some of the Canadian military guys who had rushed to help the U.S. that day, particularly with re-routing flights and providing aviation back-up. They were all drinking and she said, so what can you tell me about that day? The guy swallowed the rest of his beer, looked her in the eye and said, "You know that plane that the "heroic passengers" brought down? Yeah, that was shot down by the U.S." No matter what anyone says to me to this day, I firmly believe that plane was shot down, and I know I'm not the only one. I firmly believe that the story of the "heroes" of that plane is a cover-up, less to cover what the U.S. military did, but more to make the loss of the people on that plane more palatable.

Anyway, my condolences to Americans, particularly those who lost friends and relatives.

NYer said...

@thepants speaks the truth--the sight and smell cannot be forgotten. The rest is still too close to the bone. Condolences to those who lost friends and loved ones.

JasonBlueEyes said...

I was walking to work in my quiet city when I passed by a bunch of people sitting around a car listening to the radio - this is something you expect to see on a Friday or Saturday night but not at 9 in the morning on a Tuesday. I passed by the group and heard the voice of Peter Jennings reporting over the air. The first thing I heard was that something had happened at the pentagon. It sounded serious. I never knew anything about what was happening in NY. I went back home and turned on the TV. Time froze. I was stunned. Planes were making emergency landings at my local airport and stranding travelers. People I knew were opening their homes to these strangers until it was clear for planes to resume travel. That's the one thing I remember most. Others just helping others. We all did what we could however little it seemed - donating money at the local bank or grocery store or giving blood. That night I lit several candles in the memory of those that suffered that day and I'll be doing the same thing this weekend.

Amartel said...

I remember that plane shot down report. There was a lot of stuff about the planes because they thought there were more than four jacked planes for a while. (And there probably were hijackers on other planes in the air that day.) In the midst and immediate aftermath of this atrocity a lot of things got reported, often incorrectly. That does not make them true. Happens in any emergency. In the 1989 earthquake out here in SF, there were several news reports that one of the bridges had fallen into the Bay. Didn't happen. Having some dude come up to you in a bar and confirm your suspicion also doesn't make it true. Believe what you want to believe. For my part, I've hard the truther theories and they don't add up; there's no realistic alternate theory to account for everything that happened that day. And believing that Bush or whoever could pull off this massive operation without detection and no one would say a word is absurd. 90% of the truthers are looking for a reason to slag Americans (or JoooOoooz) and conspiracy theory is just a delivery-system for their hate.

ll0273 said...

I was supposed to fly that day to NC for training. I was standing in my living room watching the news and as I watched the first tower be engulfed in flames I saw the second plane hit the second tower, right there in front of my eyes. I was completely stunned. My sister who was coming to drive me to the airport came running through the front door and I remember saying to her, that wasn't an accident, that was on purpose. We watched for a minute and them we left. For the airport. We left for the airport. What the hell were we thinking? By the time we got there, all flights had been cancelled and grounded. We spent the next two days watching CNN.

I flew two weeks later on the 25th and it was, an experience let me say.

RocketQueen said...

Amartel - not asking you to believe or disbelieve, just telling you what *I* believe. I did a bunch of looking for information about it afterward, and I still believe it. In my opinion, there's a bunch of evidence and slipped words from officials out there to indicate that it happened. Just my opinion, and it has nothing to do with hate (?)

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I'll tell a different story. On 09/11/01, I lived in Los Angeles, and my parents were living in Las Vegas. My mother had a trip planned that week, and my sister and I were going to stay with our dad who was suffering from Alzheimer's while mom (his caretaker) was gone. Obviously, mom's trip was canceled, but my sister and I went out anyway and spent most of the week with them. One small blessing was that my dad's dementia prevented him from understanding what was really going on. He thought we were watching a movie, and he had no idea that images we watched nonstop on television were real.

Since the economy hadn't gone bust yet, Vegas was still hopping with trade shows and the like in 2001, thousands of attendees were stranded because of the suspended air travel. The local news reported car dealerships had huge sales that week. That's right, stranded conventioneers were purchasing cars and DRIVING home cross-country in the wake of not knowing when air travel would resume.

lauramart said...

RocketQueen, I remember hearing that the plane was shot down as well. I believe we are both in the Vancouver area, so maybe we both heard it on the radio. I also believe that it is true and the hero story was created.
Regarding this Sunday, I will probably go to bed early so my husband can watch all the 9/11 shows. I am way too disturbed by the images to watch it over and over every year. I wish I had never seen the pictures of people jumping/falling, it upsets me just thinking about it. Even reading these posts is causing me to tear up.
Driving in to work that day I remember hearing the radio announcer crying, and my first thought was "is this some bad April Fool's joke", so I changed the station to hear someone else crying on air.
When I got to work we turned on the tv and 5 or 6 of us stood there watching. One of our managers said "um I know something major is going on but I am really expecting an important phone call." I never had much respect for him after that. The rest of the morning was watching planes land out of our boardroom window that faced the airport. I have never seen so many planes land so quickly.
One thing that always makes me feel better about that day is how Gander helped all the stranded passengers. I try to focus on the feel good stories of that day, otherwise I get too depressed.

Unknown said...

I had just moved to the USA from another country and was woken up by a friend calling and yelling 'they've bombed the Pentagon, turn on the TV!' (this is not the ideal way to wake someone up, especially someone who is very new to the country and still in a tailspin of anxiety). I turned it on right as the plane hit the second tower and I wasn't sure what I was looking at. For the rest of the day, a few of us just walked around in a daze and cried. I wasn't sure if I'd ever get home again - that's how dazed I felt. I think many of us felt that end of an era feeling and it's never left me. Whenever I look up at the sky and see a plane banking and turning, I see it hit the tower. That image will never leave my mind.

Lissette said...

I was going to the gym that day. My son had just been born and I was intent on losing the baby weight. That day, my husband came home in a panic. We could not reach my brother for fear he was in the building because he worked there. We had stopped talking, needless to say, we went back to talking the moment I finally got through to him. I returned to work (even though I had resigned) and cried every day because I was miserable. My son had a crappy childhood, and developed speech issues, which I always felt guilty for. I remind myself daily that I did it for my family's finances and that I am blessed I lost no one. I am blessed, I know it.

sillyme said...

I was ill that day, so I slept in and did not drive into the city for work. My husband called me at around 11:00 a.m. to tell me what had happened and that my sister was fine (she lived in Manhattan at the time). He came home from work (in a city clogged with traffic made up of people wishing to leave Pittsburgh). At this point in time Flight 93 had not yet crashed and we in Pgh thought the Federal Courthouse was a possible target. My husband arrived home and we just held each other. Then we went together to pick up our child at her private school, the campus of which is very lush and beautiful. Our daughter was 10 at the time and she and her fellow students were afraid that their school would be attacked b/c it resembled an embassy. That thought of those young children broke my heart.

brakewater said...

I don't think you have to have witnessed 9/11 first hand to be "personally traumatized". I think by these comments, we were all personally traumatized. They released the Flight 93 tapes yesterday. Sounds like they were heroes. They sacrificed life for freedom. There were no US jets in the area to shoot anyone down, and it was witnessed by another plane. Hokey conspiracy theory.

mrsdahlke said...

I was just getting off work (night shift)and a co-worker in the same complex yelled over to me "Turn on your TV, something is going on in NYC" I did and could not believe what I saw. I stayed glued to the set for a few hrs but had to break away to sleep.
I still have a hard time with it, can't watch stuff about it especially if it involves the people that decided to jump off the building. I still have an amazingly hard time thinking about that. It really marked an end of innocence for me with regards to our enemies, the military and how freedom is not free.

califblondy said...

Maja, I felt the same way when I visited after the attack. I went to NYC in Dec. of 2001, but it was too soon and the city still smelled so strange. I couldn't bring myself to go until a couple of years later. I had been in the Towers before, but now it was like being on a different planet. It's hard to explain. I've been to NYC several times since, but haven't gone back to the WTC site.

emma yardy said...

I live in the UK, in an area full of RAF stations and US airbases. I was housesitting for my dad when he came home very early and rushed to the tv-my 2 year old daughter and I had been playing outside so we hadn't heard the news at all. When I saw the footage I sobbed and my dad was silently glued to the tv. We stayed there for hours, trying to glean a new detail or information although eventually my daughter and I had to walk across town to get home. It was utterly deserted, yet the sky was full of planes. Everytime I saw one, I ducked-I guess it's a natural reaction, but actually every time I see a military plane now, I wonder what has happened. So, although I'm British, I can say that our citizens were as shocked and panicked as the US. I think of those 3000 souls every single day, and pray that it never happens again x

RocketQueen said...

Think what you want, Brakewater. Take a minute to research, you'll find DOZENS of witness accounts of people in the Pennsylvania area saying they saw jets in the area right before the plane was shot down. /kanyeshrug

Yes, lauramart - I'm in Van ;)

bridget said...

Rocket queen my husband and I heard the same report on the canadian news ticker. There was never anything else said about it and we always thought it was very strange.

Jaiden_S said...

I was getting ready for work and heard Katie Couric on the Today Show say that one of the towers had been hit by a plane. I listened for a few minutes, went to get my toothbrush and right when I walked back into the den, the second plane hit. It was shown live on tv before they cut away. That image is going to be with me forever. I did go into work (I was the boss and had to) but we closed the office by 10 am. Everyone was paranoid that terrorists would hit Redstone Arsinal or NASA, but luckily that never happened.

Amartel said...

I heard that someone fell from the 55th Floor and survived. Didn't happen. The story had a lot of staying power, though, because people really wanted to believe it. You believe what you want to believe.

Suhyphen said...

I had recently moved to Seattle from the East Coast with my then boyfriend of years. We broke up and I found a job in Portland (3 hours south) that I was set to begin 9/12.
He woke me up early that morning (his boss had called him, also East Coaster who happened to have friends working in the Towers) and told me what was going on. Like others, I knew it was Bin Laden immediately. Ex worked for a news source, so he went in and I spent the day updating and emailing him every single thing I could find (they had limited amount of resources). Called new boss and asked if he still wanted me to drive down the following day (he did. The company was doing a charity drive for victims and the police and firefighters, they needed all the extra hands they could get). Keep in mind, this was when no one knew that most of the survivors got out within minutes/hour of the attacks.
I'll never forget the drive the next morning. No aircraft. Even though there were long stretches of highway that said 'speed monitored by aircraft' everyone respected the speed limit. You could tell they were glued to their radios as they drove. I was concerned that I would be stopped at the state line between WA and OR, but it didn't happen.
It was just such a sad and tragic thing. I cannot imagine how the families of those so senselessly taken cope with these reminders.

Bless every single one of you affected.

mazshad said...

I live just outside Vancouver, Canada. My daughter called to tell me to turn the tv on - I couldn't believe what I was seeing. We were on the flightpath into Vancouver Airport and as I drove to work, there was the eerie drone of aircraft one after another coming into land. Work was surreal - a busy travel agency, empty of customers - we just sat in front of the tv all day long. My heart still breaks for all the lives lost that day, and all the lives affected by it. Our world changed on 9/11 and it will never be the same.

Laurel said...

I was at work in NYC. I found out what happened while I was emailing a friend in Sweden. One of my co-workers rushed by and said a small plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I let my friend in Sweden know and went to see what was going on. I saw the first tower fall while standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue near Washington Sqaure Park. I saw the second fall from the roof of my office building.

I remember the ash in the air, the young soldier who looked like he was 15 years old holding a giant gun near the midtown tunnel standing there to keep cars from entering. Jet fighters occassionally were seen in the air. But I also remember how quiet it was with so many people walking. I walked from my office to my sister's apartment in Queens. The next day, I caught I train to my apartment on Long Island. I wondered how many of the cars at the train station were owned by people who died.

It was a relief when the first anniverssary passed. I moved out of NY about 3 years ago but I miss NY terribly. I wish I could be there this weekend.

ardleigh said...

I was outdating medications in the operating romm in the hospital where I work. A guy who is a practical joker told me about the first tower. I blew it off. I figured he was joking. Then he came back in and told us about the 2nd plane. We all stood around a small TV and stared shocked.

We could not stay and watch as the hospital was full. We heard about Shanksville. It was not far from us. I think everyone was numb and dazed.
Afterward,near where I am was CRAZY. We are a rural community that the FBI and the ATF rolled into because we are near where an anesthesiologist with terrorist ties lived. The mans car was abandoned in my family friends cornfield. The family friend;a war veteran; could not get the FBI to tell him anything more. Another anesthesiologist just literally disappeared. It was a bizarre time.

Pigtown-Design said...

On the way to work that morning, I though "I need to go to NYC to go shopping... this would have been a perfect day". After a not great weather weekend, things had finally broken and it was crisp and clear.

I was in a meeting and someone came to say that a plane had hoit the WTC in NYC. One of the women at the meeting literally went grey. Her father worked there and she kept trying to call him, but circuits were busy.

We rolled in a TV, and watched in horror as the events unfolded. I left for a few moments and came back to see images of smoke coming from behind a building, which I recognized at the Old Executive Office Building in DC. It was then that I fully realized that these were no accidents.

When I drove home from work later that day, there was no traffic, no one on the streets, and no planes. I went to walk the dog in the park near my house and someone told me that the church was having a service in memory of everyone who had died.

If I had taken the dog home, I would have missed the service, so I brought him and got him to lie under the pew in front of me... and he's a 110-lb labrador. He was so quiet the whole time, sort of understanding the seriousness of the event.

When I left the church, I was speaking to the priest, whose mini-pini dog was at his side, too.

It took a few months to get to NYC, and I finally got there in April of 2002. We had a late season snow shower, and all I could think of was when what was falling out of the sky was bits and pieces of everything from the towers. I just sobbed for what was lost.

PS A friend was saying she's a little freaked out to go to opening day of football because she's worried about terror attacks at the stadium. I scoffed at her, thinking if something happens, it will be at one of the memorial services.

Electric Warrior said...

I worked in DC and on my way in from Northern Virginia I listened to Howard Stern (when he was on regular radio) as the first plane hit. I remember being behind a car with NY plates in beltway traffic wondering if they knew what had happened.

I took 110 around the Pentagon and into the tunnel on 395 and by the time I got out onto C Street about 3 mins later the plane had hit. A guy ran up to my car window screaming a plane had just hit the Pentagon and I looked in my rearview mirror, I thought he was just another nut.

I got to work just in time to close and leave, we were next many of the embassies and had heard rumours of car bombs being set off infront of them, which was of course, untrue, but at the time, everything, everything was suspended.

The streets were like a mass exodus, and I remember wondering how I was going to get out of and then back into the city, I had a job and friends and a life not to mention a clinic I needed to visit daily in that city.

In short, it was cray. I got goosebumps remembering that in such detail, thanks for askin Enty.

ardleigh said...

@ RQ-- There were all sorts of military planes in that area. I am between Pittsburgh and Eire. The area had some BIZAARE activity.

Mooshki said...

"...she's worried about terror attacks at the stadium."

Actually, she's probably not that far off the mark. Remember how there was all that extra security around malls after 9/11? It's likely that terrorists will attack targets that are typically American, and what's more American than football? (Sorry, baseball fans, but I think you come in second nowadays.)

Ida Blankenship said...

I rolled my eyes at all the people who were afraid to do their weekly grocery shopping, but there IS a part of me that still feels a little bit of paranoia whenever I shop in the biggest mall outside of D.C. It is GINORMOUS. I can't even imagine all the people inside Tyson's Corner at any given time. There would be *many* casualties if it were to be targeted.

That's ridiculous, of course, but that's how paranoia works.

*gulp* One more thing...

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I've always thought that they'd target the Kodak Theater on Oscar night. They despise Western glamour, and annihilating a building containing Angelina, Brad, Jack, Meryl, etc. would kinda be like carrying out a mass assassination. Like it or not, those people are like royalty here in America.

I think there's really something to be said for the fact that we haven't had another attack here in the States in a decade. There are obviously some brilliant minds intercepting information and protecting us. Kudos to them. I'll never be ungrateful for that.

Oh, and which administration oversaw the capture and killing of bin Laden? Oh, yeah. That's right. ;-)

Shaina said...
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Shaina said...

I just read everyone's comments and I teared up at every single one.

I was in college ... had just woken up for an early class when I found one of my roommates in front of the TV. It was still the confused, unsure stage when we really didn't know what was happening. I ran back upstairs and woke up another roommate who was from New York, and we sat in front of the tv. I didn't know what to do, so I ended up going to class. When I got there, all classes had been cancelled so I immediately turned around and went home. I went to the University of Michigan, which has a really high east coast population, and walking through campus was scary. Everyone was in a panic, trying to call loved ones. I remember my cell phone wasn't working and I couldn't get in touch with my parents. They lived in Michigan and were not in any danger - but somehow, it was really important just to talk to them anyway.

I remember feeling scared, confused, and yet not totally grasping what had happened. I agree with the previous posters - how on earth could we possibly forget? The image of the second plane going into the WTC is forever burned into my mind. I still remember watching the building crumble.

And for the posters discussing sporting events - I remember how much security increased at Michigan Stadium after 9/11, and I remember being at football games in a stadium that holds over 110,000 people and thinking ... will we be next?

It's funny how life works ... my husband decided to enlist after college because of 9/11. We met because he was in the Army with one of my friend's then-boyfriend, now-husband. Had he not been in the Army, life never would have brought us together. I certainly had a lot of time to think about that last year during his deployment. I am so proud of him, and all of our brave soldiers who changed the course of their lives to do step up for our country after 9/11.

brakewater said...

"I think there's really something to be said for the fact that we haven't had another attack here in the States in a decade."

You are forgetting the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, Fort Hood, and other terrorist attacks on military installations.

Believe me, USA has been attacked since 9/11.

mloylo0182 said...

I was 18 yrs old and a freshman in college studying pre-law. I was just getting ready to leave for class when the first plane hit the tower and my mom stopped me. After an hour of being glued to the television I realized my dad had been flying out of the East Coast that day. After hours of panicked phone calls I finally reached him - he was fine.

One week later I joined the Air Force because I knew I needed to do something more. God Bless America and God Bless everyone who lost their lives or lost someone that day.

Cancan said...

I worked in tower 2 and evacuated after the plane hit Tower 1. God Bless Rick Rescorla for that - he ordered our company to evacuate even though the Port Authority said our tower was safe, and he lost his life that day. Spent the rest of the day trying to reach friends and family, both to check on them and to let them know I was okay. Not easy - my dad was in DC and my uncle was at work at the Pentagon.

I am going full radio silence on Sunday. It has been an emotional couple of days.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I was at my first "job" out of college, when my co-worker rushed over & pulled up CNN.com. Most of us spent the rest of the day in the cafeteria watching the coverage. I became news obsessed after that reading/watching whenever I could. I remember talking on the phone with my new "friend" (now husband), as we watched the footage together, just silent and absolutely horrified.

@RocketQueen - I remember hearing that report, also. I could totally buy that story & do not think it is at all off base. No one knew WTF was going on that day!

Anything related to 9/11 makes me have two reactions...cry and stomach flips. Whether it's these posts, specials on TV, etc. I know my sadness is NOTHING comparable with anyone that lost someone that day or experienced it first hand. My heart breaks for those that did.

NewYorkMoments said...

I worked at 140 Broadway, 1 block East of the World Trade Center. I loved working in the Wall St. area. It was bustling, charming, and festive all year long. That morning at about a quarter to nine, I was checking e-mail. It was the sound that initially caught my attention and inspired me to look out of my North facing window. The sound of a plane at full throttle. Heading South, I saw a very low-flying jetliner. And it was so loud-I was scared. I watched the plane until it was out of view, but I could still hear it. My heart was beating fast and I closed my eyes and held my breath, just waiting for it to pass, I was afraid it was going to fall on top of our building. And then I heard the loudest noise I'd ever heard in my life. It was the same sound that a dumptruck makes as it bounces down the street, but 2,000 times louder than that. And our building shook. I thought the plane grazed the top of our building. Then someone shouted, "Look out of Dick's window," which faced West.
We ran to the corner office and it looked like a tickertape parade. Paper was falling out of the sky as if the Yankee's World Series parade was passing down on Broadway. The paper never stopped falling, & black smoke was rising from WTC1.
Looking at the paper flying around, & realizing the plane had flown into the building, my mind instantly thought of the people. People must be hurt and killed; I tried to erase thoughts like that from my mind. Maybe everyone was OK. Several minutes later, we saw firetrucks from the firecompany across the street from the WTC drive over as first responders.
I ran into my office to call me family-let them know I was OK. While on the phone, the sound of another crash and explosion assaulted my ears. It was the same sound, but 10 times louder than the first. "What the f*ck was THAT?" I shouted as I slammed down the phone and ran to the window.
I was just in time to witness a huge fireball flying out of the middle of WTC2. Co-workers started to run into the office. They told us stories of watching people jump out of the towers & seeing the carnage on the streets& watching the planes fly into the towers. We all stood in the corner office, watching the paper fall, and WTC2 burn. The paper kept falling. Some of it was on fire.
A co-worker, announced that she was going to leave and go home, she was a cold, calculating, rational person. I realized that if SHE thought she needed to leave the building, then I should too. We took the elevator down, & walked across the courtyard to 120 Broadway to the subway. As we walked into the building, we saw thousands of people on the street all the way from the WTC to Chase Plaza. They were all looking up at the towers. The fires were so high up in the sky, far away from the ground and us. I was sure the firefighters would put out the flames, & all would be OK.We ran down the stairs into the subway and ran even faster through the tunnel onto the platform. We made it into the first car just as the doors were closing.I made it safely up to my stop on the Upper East Side. As I exited the subway I called my family to say I was safe. I spent about fifteen minutes watching TV with some neighbors at a pub on 1st Avenue then went to my apartment. I turned the corner onto my street, a doorman told me that WTC2 had collapsed.
My heart stopped. I asked him to repeat what he said. It wasn't a joke. I broke down. The tears began falling and didn't stop as I walked into my apartment, crying hysterically. I carried my dogs onto the bed and held them both tight as I sobbed uncontrollably.
My oldest friend called then. She had been watching TV, was worried about me. I told her I couldn't believe that one of the towers had collapsed. She told me that the other tower was gone as well.
Words can't begin to describe the shock and the sorrow that hit me all at once. I sobbed and turned on the TV, hoping that it was all a terrible mistake...But, of course, it wasn't.

CCFA Long Island said...

I was in 11th grade on Long Island, NY right outside the city. It was third period, US history, Mrs. Rice's class, when the principle came over the loud speaker and told us there had been a terrorist attack on the towers. In the class next door a scream was let out and a boy ran down the hall. His father was never found. People were crying and teachers and councelors were set up all day for us to talk. A lot of kids left school because of how close we are to the city. I will never forget that moment, that scream or the days that followed.

lunabelle said...

I was living in DC at the time and worked in Maryland. I was already at work when the first tower hit, listening to the radio. Of course, all work in the office had halted and then someoned scrounged up a TV and we watched the second airplane hit. Up until then, like many of you, we thought it was an accident. That the whole thing was a horrible mistake. When the second plane aimed and hit, we knew it was something horrific and on purpose.
From that point in it is srt of blurry. We were watching the TV and listening to the radio reports of the plane that hit the Pentagon and the field. I swear there were reports that one was heading for the white house and debates about jets being sent but, again, my memory is fuzzy.
We were all sent home early and all the young single "kids" hit a bar.
My most distinct memory is sitting outside getting hammered and thinking something was wrong because it was so quiet, no planes were flying, not even cars because the city was essentially shut down. I even had to show ID to get into the city (I lived 7 blocks from the White House). The next day i called in sick (morestayed traumatized) and stayed home, by myself, with the blinds closed and just stared at the TV. Before that day I don't think I had ever purposefully watched the news.
After that there were armed military at all the metro stops and DC was a different place. The world was different and so was I. I broke up with a guy I had been dating because I couldn't find him for days after it happened (he was a flake in so many ways) and I couldn't deal with someone like that. By the 1 year anniversary I had met my husband and moved to a new city. Almost all of my old peeps from back then are married and were quite soon after 9/11.
I think, if it had not happened we would all probably been care free and flaky free for longer but it seems to have made people want to find their someone, anyone else experience that themselves or with friends?
I have also found that people in NYC and DC seem to have experienced it in a way that in literally indescribable as opposed to those who saw it but did not see it that day or the next, does that make sense? Not minimizing anyones response just an observation.
I forgot we drove by the pentagon after, I think they closed the road rift after but it was somehow on our way (I think we were drinking at work, so, again, fuzzy.

uofazwildkitty said...

brace yourselves...
a contrarian view follows:

new yawkers, stop dwelling and whining.

bunches of folks have grown weary of your perpetual self-pity.

crap happens, everyday.

move along. nothing to see here.

a healing thought,
we honor the dead by cherishing the living.

just do it.

Ida Blankenship said...

"new yawkers, stop dwelling and whining.

bunches of folks have grown weary of your perpetual self-pity."

Oh. My. GOD.

"perpetual self-pity"?

I...have no words. That's so harsh it leaves me speechless. Which is rare.

Whateverkitty, I'm just guessing that you're NOT a native New Yorker.

For the love of fucking GOD, please grow some empathy and show some class.

DJS said...

As I watch Charlie Rose's 9/11 special (see can't stop watching coverage), it literally nauseates me that someone like wildkitty can post something like that. It's that cold hearted cruelty that just proves you can NEVER FORGET.

Henriette said...

I was in Berkeley, CA and just woken-up. For some bizarre reason, I had Fox News on and it was live coverage. I saw the second tower get hit, but it still seemed like a bad dream.

My mother came into my room to ask me if I was watching the news. She didn't want me to go to work, but there was no way to reach my boss.
I still got dressed and went to work. Even though San Francisco was on heightened alert.

I don't remember much of that day, but one memory really stood out was a girl who rode the bus with me was reading the Bible. The bus was so silent and downtown San Francisco was empty, since this happened early in the morning for us.

I was worried about my childhood friend who had just moved to NYC and was working at the Wardolf Astoria. No one could reach him.

A lot of that day just a blur.

uofazwildkitty said...

i stated that my view was contrarian...

"NOT a native New Yorker"?
kind, f-bomb ida, native for what emphasis? have you considered that new york embodies all that is loathed about the usa beyond our shores?

no, i didn't think so.

funny, i didn't read about similar commemorations for the pearl harbor attack back in december. then again, that was so 1941 ago and affected a broader cross-section of the american population; it wasn't all about you, eh?

when y'all get done with your collective navel gazing, perhaps plotting a path forward is in order. maybe some kubler-ross might be of help to get "un-stuck".

Ida Blankenship said...

@rfghgdfghfdgh5rtkitty -- Oh, God. That mention of Kubler-Ross was ALL I needed to disregard you.

Did you even notice/read all of the heartfelt stories that were posted earlier? This unpatriotic, sardonic bitch (*points to self*) wonders if you could have found a more appropriate forum to express your hypercynical views. You've never posted here before, and I just find it kinda revolting how your first posts to CDAN are anti-Manhattanite and cynical towards emotion displayed for 9/11.

"have you considered that new york embodies all that is loathed about the usa beyond our shores?"

First of all, I think this is an inarticulate statement -- and I still don't know exactly WHAT the hell you're talking about -- but I also believe that you CANNOT know what New Yorkers were feeling that morning. It's disrespectful as hell to trivialize their fear and panic.

You're obviously seeking attention, and you could have done it elsewhere, without hurting people.

If you're an *adult*, you should really be ashamed of yourself.

Bnl1016 said...

thank you to everyone that understood what i was trying to say.

i think its fine for people to sit in their homes and watch footage all day sunday if that's what they want. i understand ppl wanting to talk about it amoungst their friends and famiy. i also understand ppl that weren't directly affected being upset about the whole thing.

its the overkill the media is bringing that i have a problem with. because those of us that don't want to relive it because we were THERE covered in debris, barely making it out alive, knowing our family were so many floors above us and had no chance CAN'T escape it because of everyone that thinks they are 'helping' by telling their stories.

i just think its almost untactful to keep pressing so hard at this. and to call it an "anniversary" appalls me. what about my wedding "anniversary"? what about the people who lost thier entire future that day?

i'm sorry, but as traumatized as people were who weren't there, you can't even imagine what the rest of us went through. i know ppl who are still in therapy to this day. and all this attention the media brings sets them back years.

Ida Blankenship said...

@Bnl1016 -- A zillion hugs to you, though I know how that kind of demonstrative behavior doesn't really mean anything if it comes from a complete stranger.

Honestly, I can't even pretend to imagine your trauma. I'm just glad you're a survivor, and I really value your recollections. You hit a nerve, and it needed to happen.

Bnl1016 said...

thank you ida. i've since been remarried and i love my husband. but it never gets any easier.

we don't always see eye to eye in the blind items categoroy but know that i truly do appreciate your words. sometimes it means more coming from strangers than from friends who feel like they "have to say it". if that makes any sense.

Lelaina Pierce said...

@uofazwildkitty - WOW. WOW. WOW.

Ditto to pretty much all of what Ida Blankenship said.

It's the internet and you are free to post whatever you like, but I found your post completely insensitive, considering the 100+ posters who obviously do not feel the same way you do. I've never heard/met anyone with an attitude so cavalier about the fact that almost 3,000 people lost their lives that day.

I'm not saying you need to wear an American Flag t-shirt or blaze that God awful Toby Keith song but JESUS, show some respect!

Bnl1016 said...

@cancan - im with you. radio silence is the only thing I can do on sunday tht won't make me lose my mind

@wildkitty - you are out of line. its fine to have a contrarian point of view but if you know that from the gate you should have enough sense to keep it to yourself if you are going to flat out disrespect ppl. regardless of what ppl overseas think of us as a country or new york in general, ppl's lives where wrecked beyond belief that day. what you have said is completely insensitive and speaks volumes for your character. you don't have to believe the same notions anyone here believes, but empathy is part of human nature. try it sometime.

pilly said...

The days following---the newspapers had little biographies on the people who died. I can't explain why but I felt it was really important to read each and every one carefully. Those people were just at work--(or travelling) getting on with their life when it all stopped Stopped.

My office was on the flight pattern for the airport and the quiet was deafening.

My husband had proposed to me on the 9th and we decided to wait until the following summer to marry. Well we didn't wait. He came to me in the US and we got married on Christmas day.

I live in the UK now but every year on September 11th I put my American flag out. Yes I have patriotism. I feel it's a sign of respect and honour. Ten years on and my eyes drip

uofazwildkitty said...

kind, yet personal-attack prone, ida,

i have, in fact, posted before on this forum. i simply haven't raised your ire before this.

attention seeking? nope. yet, i am moderately amused that after one disregards someone, one continues one's attacks/observations for a few more 'graphs.

the post solicited "what you were doing, and your thoughts and reflections."

while i chose not to dwell on that day, that does not diminish my thoughts, nor my right to express them. in spite of everything, this is still america, dear. as such, i must tolerate your personal attacks.

i agree with bnl1016 that the media is forcing those directly affected by the terrorist attacks to relive the pain of that day every year, and that is odious.

tell me, when did folks stop holding pearl harbor in the same regard? after all, +/-4,000 folks were killed and injured in a similar attack.

i would ask why there isn't a monument to the firefighters who died that sad sept day at the wtc, but i'm sure that would be viewed as insensitive, uncivil and - my personal favorite, unpatriotic.

onward.

onetwothree said...

I was pregnant with my first child and not working, living in Seattle. My husband woke up and heard the news on the radio while he took a shower. He came back into our room and woke me up. I still remember exactly what he said "you should get up, something happened. A plane hit the WTC and another hit the Pentagon." I figured it was a small plane or something, we had no idea how bad it was.

Went downstairs and turned on the TV just in time to see one of the replays of the 2nd plane hitting the tower (being on the west coast we splept thru the whole thing in real time). I just remember saying "holy shit that's a passenger plane!!". Then the footage of the towers collapsing. We just sat there stunned watching it over and over on tv. I wanted him to stay home from work, but he ended up going in around 11am. I was just glued to the tv for the rest of the day.

I'm originally from Boston and my parents had been due to go to Florida that week. I wasn't sure exactly what day they were leaving (turns out it was supposed to be 9/12) and in the beginning I couldn't find out where the flights from Boston were going only that they started at Logan. Was worried until I got in touch with my parents. And, thankfully didn't know anyone on either of the Boston flights. My mom was at the hairdressers and said when they heard the news one of the women in the shop freaked out and ran out the door because she had someone flying to the west coast that day.

I live in Seattle still, and the area of the city I live in is in the flight path between the Boeing factory in Everett and Boeing field. Lately (well at least last spring) they've been flying the 787 from the factory either in test or down to the field. It's a huge plane and it's flying pretty low. All these years later (and knowing in the back of my mind that there are lots of flights here) when I hear that noise and see that big big plane flying so low I freak out a little.

Ida Blankenship said...

@ufofadkitty -- You only raised my ire because I cannot BELIEVE that you'd sully a post like this with your cynicism. Honestly. It couldn't have waited at *least* a few days?

I don't feel like fighting you -- but I definitely still think that you're an insensitive asshole.

nunaurbiz said...

My parents were staying with me because my mom was going through chemotherapy for an aggressive cancer. Eleven days later, she died. Two months previously, my sister had died from cancer. Even though I, of course, was attentive to 9/11 news, I was so deep in grief in 2000-2002, I don't remember large chunks of that timespan and what I do remember isn't good.

Green Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Green Tara said...

I have lived in Phoenix for fifteen years, geographically (but not emotionally) far from NYC & the events of 9/11. On that morning, I was getting ready to go to my classroom of preschoolers (at that time I was a Head Start teacher). While I wanted to stay home & watch the news, I couldn't. I went to work & buried myself in the joyful energy of 18 four-year-olds, who were not yet aware of the sadness growing amongst the adults around them. I had to wait several hours for word about some dear friends in NYC, all of whom were okay. Having those rambunctious, noisy, wonderful children to keep me occupied was the best distraction I could have asked for. They were a direct reminder that no matter what horrors were unfolding outside, there were plenty of reasons to stay focused on what was still good in the world.

Mooshki said...

"...tell me, when did folks stop holding pearl harbor in the same regard?"

Last I checked, Pearl Harbor Day was still a national holiday, and it often makes the news. No, not to the extent that the 9/11 anniversary has, but hey, it's been a long time. I lost my great uncle this year, who survived having his ship sunk that day. Believe me, the memory is still honored.

HudsonJoe said...

I live and lived in Jersey City New Jersey. For those of you who don't know the area Jersey City is just across the Hudson from lower Manhattan. Google Maps says my home is 2.2 miles from the WTC as the crow flies.

I remember waking that morning and looking through the skylight at an unbelievably clear blue sky. Because I had a 10:30 appointment closer to my home than the office, I was working my email listening to the local all news station. When the news comes in I switch to the TV and watch it in disbelief. I am a little worried about my brother who worked in the World Financial Center across West ST. from WTC. He was in one of the towers during the 1993 bombing. He was safe having meetings in Princeton that day.

I can't reach the sales guy I am making this call with so I packup and get in my car to make the meeting. I can see the two towers when I get in the street.

When I see the buildings with my own eyes, I am filled with a mix of thoughts The towers were goners alternating with if any department in the world can save them FDNY were the ones to do it. I anthropomorphized the towers in my thoughts looking at them fatally wounded but standing brave and unbowed giving their people every second they could to get out. When they did collapse they don't topple spreading the destruction they pancake protection others off site. brave and true to the end.

I drive west on state route 139 one of the two approaches to the Holland Tunnel between JC and NYC. It is locally known as the covered roadway. Well as I looked back over my shoulder the towers are both up standing true. In the two minutes before I could get far enough west to see them again the south tower was down.

It was at this time I got a call from my sales rep our meeting is canceled.

I pressed on to my office because I thought my skills might be needed. I worked for a company that builds large storage subsystems for computers. I was an expert in their data replication product and thought our downtown customers might need help flipping production to their disaster recovery sights. It was the only way I could think of to be useful that day. Well only 1 bank which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty had problems.

That night I could not go home access to Jersey City and Hoboken to the north was closed. Stayed with my brother and his family.

When I looked at the timeline of the day I cringed a little. The impact times for the two planes reflected my on time and slightly late times to be passing through the WTC when I commuted to 17 State St. I would have been exiting the southeast corner of the concourse.

I am lucky I no longer worked in the city and my brother was not in his office. Of my friends and coworkers from my time working downtown I lost only one. Julie you were a nice lady and good coworker you are missed.

I also lost two fellow alumni. Guys Essayons!

I knew one member of FDNY, really knew his wife who was a former coworker. He worked a downtown Brooklyn engine company. Tuesday was his day off. He did end up working on the Pile for months. He is now medically retired.

FDNY,NYPD, PAPD, New York State Court Officers thank you.

Wall Street is a part of the life blood of this city and region in a way that I don't think is understood else ware. It was with pleasure, joy and much soothing of the psyche when the Big Board opened big to the upside that following Tuesday.

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

When I was told to turn on the TV, I knew that America was going to war and the world was into upheaval.

Why not investigate what happened? Because it would be more unsettling to know that this was the Pearl Harbor to disguise a depression!

You are all allowing TPTB to destroy your country and enrich thems

The Effervescent Diva said...

I was in seminary. Found out what had happened during a break in Greek class. We all filed into the student lounge, shocked, stunned, crying, praying. No one knew what to do. After about an hour, the Vice President announced classes were canceled for the rest of the day. He reminded us that for those with parishes, our parishioners would be needing us in a way they had never needed us before. The pastoral care professor gave a short talk, giving us information and knowledge that would better prepare us to be better spiritual resources in the days ahead. We were dismissed.
At the time, I did not own a TV. On the way home, I bought a cheap TV because I knew the world had changed that day and I needed to witness all that was going on.

mngddess said...

The first thing I remember was that it was an absolutely beautiful day. I was on a mini-vacation with my family in Wildwood, NJ. My 9 year old son was flicking around the channels when I caught the sight of a building on fire. I, like many others, thought it was an tragic accident. My son continued his channel surfing and I caught another station reporting that a second plane crashed into the neighboring tower. That's when I said to my son, "This is no accident"..

Did you ever go through a fire drill where you passed people on the steps who refused to leave the building? Or some that ignored the alarm and stayed in their seats? That was never me. I couldn't get out fast enough. That thought was juxtaposed with another - the scariest movie I've ever watched - The Towering Inferno. I saw that movie and swore you would never catch me working on a floor that a fireman couldn't reach with a ladder. To this day, I get uneasy if I have to enter a tall building.

In conclusion, all I could do is watch the burning towers in stunned horror, murmuring two words over and over: "get out, get out"

mngddess said...

The other significant part for me was my 9 year old telling me that he wanted to send his allowance to help the victims, and my 7 year old, peanut of a daughter telling me she wanted to beat up the people who did this.

And Vicky C., anytime I see a story about 9/11 I tear up. It's almost impossible not to.

I was fortunate: no one I knew was in the vicinity when this tragedy occurred. I think of all those men and women as heroes and angels, and may God bless their families.

Nessie said...

I was still in college. I had decided to go to the gym, when the first tower was hit. I noticed a friend of mine repeatedly calling on my cell. When I got home I turned on the TV and there it was all over the news. I live in the Netherlands and I had a class that afternoon. Even though everybody was upset, things just went on as usual that day in school. I remember how strange it was how people would just sit numb in class, listening to the teacher, who said nothing about it.
Afterwards I went home, called my parents and friends, watched the news all day and the day after, everybody was afraid there would be more attacks. Some people thought there would be another world war, it was beyond imaginable that something like this could happen in our time.

Life changed for all of us, but not as much for those who were lost in the horrific attacks ten years ago.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their lives that day and their friends and family.
Bless you and rest in peace.

miznilknarf said...

I was just walking in the door from putting my daughter on the bus, when a friend from NY called and said a small plane had crashed into the WTC. I turned on the TV and watched as a 2nd one hit. I called my sister in DC and was talking to her when she saw the smoke from the Pentagon. I was glued to the TV for days, wondering if life would ever return to any semblance of normalcy. It did, but the world changed forever.

Kraymond19 said...

The last time I was in NYC was July 2001. Had a fairytale trip I can't even describe.

The weekend before 9/11, a friend was visiting from NYC & we were talking about the WTC bombing. He was about 5 minutes out of harm's way... Which made what happened next too unbelievable.

I woke up on Sept 11th & turned on CNN like I did every morning to wake up & saw the first tower on fire. It looked like a movie trailer & I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Then I saw the second plane hit & got a sickening feeling in my stomach. My employers & I sat in front of the TV for days as well. I finally reached one of my friends who worked for Capitol Records at the time & knew she was safe, but we were soon cut off. I was afraid they would hit Austin, TX, because of George W. My boyfriend at the time was in AZ & due to come back to TX the following weekend. I was planning on hitting the road on my own to get to AZ to be with him. I was scared to death!

I didn't reach my friend who just missed the WTC bombing in '92 for a while, but found out he was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge when it happened & saw it all live. He & so many others, frozen in silence. I will forever be horrified by everything we saw that day, filmed live. I'll never forget it. Ever. I pray still for the survivors, their families & those who are still suffering from illnesses due to 9/11.

Suhyphen said...

Re: Ida and 'President in office when Bin Laden was killed"

You DO know that Obama voted against the war, right? If he had his way those SEALS wouldn't even have been there to take Bin Laden out.

Do you really want to turn this into a political debate?

Funny, I saw a quote yesterday that seemed fitting.
IT'S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU

Ida Blankenship said...

Thank you for bringing your trademark kindness, maturity, and cheer to this thread, Suhyphen.

I hope you all are safe and relatively content tomorrow.

SCat07 said...

I worked @2 WTC (South Tower), 95th Floor. Woke-up late for work (was supposed to get there by 8:30am), so was on E train as it pulled into the WTC station minutes after the 2nd plane hit. Words cannot fully describe what it was like to see the towers on fire with the acrid, black smoke billowing out of the gaping holes. I started shaking @the sight of it & the shakes didn't go away for weeks. My mouth dropped open when I saw my tower collapse & pancake down into nothing, in a matter of seconds. I was so worried about my co-workers as I hadn't confirmed with anyone who was ok or not because the phones were all screwed-up.

The company I was at during this time just held a 10 year memorial svc last night. It was such a bittersweet night as we spent hours reminiscing about old times, cried together as the names of our 97 lost colleagues were read, remembering how close to death we all were, too. I will always be grateful for the chance to have worked at the WTC.

Mooshki said...

"You DO know that Obama voted against the war, right? If he had his way those SEALS wouldn't even have been there to take Bin Laden out."

Um, last time I checked, we weren't at war with Pakistan. His capture was a result of covert ops, not a war.

Marti said...

I checked out of the Marriott World Trade Center on Monday, September 10, 2011 -- after a long weekend and business in the city. My heart aches for the many, many victims and families. And I have yet to hear any press about the Marriott and its employees and guests. Too, too many casualties

fairylights said...

We had moved from New Jersey to Texas less than two weeks before 9/11. I had just dropped the kids at their new school, stopped at a local store for some coffee when the first one hit. I assumed it was a small private plane that got lost in fog or something. I was shocked when I got home and turned on Katie Couric and Matt Lauer and saw the second plane hit. I watched in horror as the buildings came down, talking to my husband who was at work and who was watching cnn their. It's odd, but my next move was to run to the school to be sure that the kids weren't being shown the news in their classrooms, they had friends whose Daddies worked there, I didn't want them seeing it without me being there. (The school wasn't, thankfully, not for elementary school kids at least). We were lucky and didn't lose anyone, but we didn't find out for several days because the phone lines were so screwy.

Blessings to all those who lost someone. I'll not be watching the retrospectives, the date is carried in my heart.

Ms. said...

I didn't know what was going on until about 10am that day. At the time, I worked from home and usually don't listen to the radio or turn on the TV in the morning.

A phone call to a business associate unleashed an angry tirade because I called him during this crisis to discuss a business matter. When he learned I had no idea what was going on, he became angrier at me. So I hung up and turned on the TV... My first thought was that I had been there at the WTC two weeks earlier and wondered about a young waitress in a cafe around the corner who had been so nice and helpful. I hoped she was okay.

Then I just sat there for a few hours and watched it unfold while on the phone with Jon Hendrick's wife Judith (Jon is a jazz singer). She was freaking because she couldn't get hold of her husband or her daughter. The Hendricks family owned an apartment across the street of WTC and had lived there until 2000 when the moved to Toledo where Jon began teaching at the University of Toledo. Jon was on campus somewhere and out of touch.

Their daughter Aria was getting ready in the morning and saw the first plane hit. The people jumping... then the second plane hit. Her last communication with her parents was that she was evacuating the apartment and area. Judith was absolutely devastated knowing her daughter was in the middle of the chaos and not knowing if she escaped the collapsing towers. Aria's cell number was a LA number, so with the busy circuits, she was still able to get through to her parents after several hours to let them know she was okay. She made it to the river and a tabloid TV rented boat took her and several others across to New Jersey. I think it was Inside Edition... Weeks later, I saw her being interviewed in the boat as it was crossing the river. The white soot covering her...

September 11th changed my life and and how I view the world. My arts project failed that day along with other North American arts festivals I had collaborated with - our artists couldn't enter North America in the aftermath of 9/11. No artists, no show. Tickets had to be refunded... Every penny I had, and then some, was gone.

However, I couldn't feel sorry for myself. My life and health was intact as well as the lives and health of my loved ones. A tragedy like this certainly puts things in perspective.

In the days that followed I was stuck by how many people I knew were affected by 9/11 even though I live in Canada.

A friend's uncle barely made it out of the towers alive. He was one of the few survivors from the floors above where the plane hit. He suffered burns and had a lot of embedded glass in his body that required several hours of surgery.

The flight attendant who switched shifts the night before, thus avoiding one of the doomed planes... I know her husband fairly well.

On and on it went and I was struck by how small the world is.

One of the other things that resonated with me is speaking with people who come from other areas of the world where there are a lot of terrorist attacks. One fellow from a region in India that suffers attacks spoke of regular bombing that kill 30 people or more at a time and the world ignores it. He understood that the degree of mass murder in this case contributed to the world-wide attentions, but six months later he was disheartened that the regular attacks on civilians outside of North America continued to be ignored by the media.

Ten years later, that's still the case. Terrorist attacks outside of North America merit a three sentence blip in the newspaper... it is sad that we can't figure out a way to come together to help them too.

Alicia said...

My daughter was in second grade I believe at the time. I live in Portland, OR and I too remember that day being especially sunny and bright..I had woken up before my daughter and made my coffee then turned on the Today Show. My stomach sinks at the recollection of seeing the first tower burning and the updates running along the bottom of the screen. Then I watched the second plane crash behind Katie Couric and I will never forget her face and the complete surrealism of that moment. I get the chills now thinking of it. I can't remember if my daughter woke up or I woke her up ..it really is a blur. What I do remember is watching those buildings in horror and in a mixture of shock, sadness and fright I couldn't help to wonder, like the rest of us , which city was next. I felt the kind of horror that I only had as a child when I woke up from a nightmare about being bombed after seeing Red Dawn. I felt like " this is it..oh my god this is it"...I called my childs school to see if they still planned on being open. They were. I informed them she wouldnt be in class that day. I found out the next day only one other parent at our school had done the same. I found that odd. I called my ex-fiance at the time and he, I and my girl went to a park by the river and just sat there and watched the skies. He brought his driving wedge. What I remember most is how eerily quiet the skies were. The river was a major sky traffic airway and there was not a plane, helicopter..nothing. I prayed ( which I never did at the time ) to whatever deity was listening for the families and victims. What I remember very specificly though was in the aftermath how Muslims were being treated. I recall so clearly this shocked Arab-Americans face crying as he was looking for his friends at the WTC and how he was being assaulted verbally and physically but fellow Americans. I remember going to the home depot with my friend Mohammad three days after the incident and getting hard stares. He was supposed to fly back to the middle east on the 13th and didnt end up flying out until the 25th. I went to see him off at the airport and for the very first time I couldnt walk someone to the gate without a ticket. He called me from O'Hare a couple of hours later to inform me that as he was waiting for his ticket he was approached by a suited FBI agent along with a couple of undercovers in airport janitor uniforms ( I am not making this up ) who interviewed him for five minutes before allowing him to fly. I was angry, however he was perfectly calm about it and said it had to be done. He was a political science major in Texas as well as an international businessman at the time and was very much agreeable about being on the side of caution. The aftermath of 9/11 taught us a lot about our country but as much as we "came together" in the aftermath we were very much dividing as well. So many people in detainee camps and what not..I am not trying to make this a political comment by any means! But, besides the horror of the day and the event, the treatment of Muslims also very much sticks out in my mind. But what do I know? I am just a blondie who lives in Oregon..

Alicia said...

One more thing I wanted to add.. I used the word 'incident' last post describing that day. That was wrong. It wasn't an incident but a horrible event. My thoughts and prayers have never left those directly effected that day and I will continue to do so today, tomorrow and forever ..

nikkiL said...

I worked on wall street, diagonal from the worl trade buildings... Only separated by a triangle park. I was late for work that day, the first plane had already hit. Initially, I thought my building was on fire. There were police in the street screaming for people to go up town to get out of the area.... I live in Brooklyn. I ran all the way to the manhattan bridge and had to jump a partition to get on the pedestrian walk bc police were trying to keep people off the bridges. Masses of people were walking and crying and speaking to one another which never happens in ny. Halfway to brooklyn the towers collapsed. Everyone on that bridge screamed and just stood still. It was really the worst experience of my life

MediaDarling said...

I was in college, in my dorm room and my roommate turned on the news. It didn't really hit me what had happened until I walked to my class to find they had all been cancelled. Instead, every classroom was playing the 9/11 news coverage on massive projectors. To see it on that scale was even more impactful. A few says later, Joe Biden came to speak to the students. It's funny that he's our VP 10 years later. Politically I don't always agree with him, but he gave us a great speech that I am very grateful for because the students needed to hear the right things from our leaders. I was away from home and being from the NJ/NY area, I craved being back so I went to my parents that following weekend and from their house you could still see the smoke in the sky from the bombs.

Biden's speech:
http://www.udel.edu/PR/UpDate/02/2/dont.html

uofazwildkitty said...

another view:

Let's forget 9/11
If we have any respect for history or humanity, we should remove 9/11 from our collective consciousness.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/09/2011910125513799497.html

about the author: Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's as well as The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, The United States of Fear (Haymarket Books), will be published in November.