9/11 remembered - where were you?

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#1
9/11/01 was 17 years ago today.

I remember it a clear as day despite being 10. I had just started 5th Grade and was a curious little kid looking forward to watching the NYC Election results after school (I was rooting for Mark Green) but everything changed by time 2nd period had ended.

We lost a family friend that day, many of my friends lost parents. Even at 10 I was deathly afraid of what was coming next, because I knew it meant WAR.

My uncle (NYPD) was on the scene by 10AM and spent the next few months on Ground Zero and later landfill duty identifying remains. He has pictures of him looking like a snowman in the aftermath, thank god his respirator worked and he doesn't have mesothelioma.

Rest in Power to all we lost that Tuesday.
 

Maister

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#2
Moderator note:
split from RTDNTOTO

9/11 affected folks in the Big Apple in a way that others were not.

I remember being at work in City Hall when it happened. Most departments had a television that was used primarily for watching training videos. Not so that day. Everyone had the tv's on and were watching the news in a state of suspended disbelief. The world changed that day.
 
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#3
I was just outside of Baltimore at a monthly smart growth leadership program with others from around the state. It was a huge campus like place and word started trickling in and eventually we went across the hall to a huge auditorium. They had the news feed on the jumbo movie screen. I saw the first tower fall on like a 50 foot movie screen which it made it all the more terrible/impressive. They sent us home after that. I remember driving west on I-70 toward home. The 4th plane was still missing and you could see every driver scanning the skies every few seconds. I also remember that every station on the radio dial no matter the format had news reports on. It really did feel like we'd never laugh again that day.
 

AG74683

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#4
I was in 7th grade, 13 years old. Everything basically stopped that day and we watched TV. I remember the teacher turning off the TV because we were getting loud or something, and by the time she turned it back on, one tower had fallen and within 2 minutes the other fell.

We were watching when the second plane hit.
 

dvdneal

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#5
I was driving to my low pay drafting job in Phoenix when I heard the news. Got to work and the whole factory was crammed in the conference room watching the only tv. It was a sad day.
 

Gedunker

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#6
Upon hearing that "a plane flew into the WTC" I remember imagining a Cessna on a cloudy, overcast NYC day. When I saw the replay of the second jet striking the tower under that gorgeous blue sky, the disbelief was intense. To this day, I have trouble processing the images of the planes striking the towers.

Growing up in Jersey in the late 70s/early 80s, humping furniture for a moving company, I was all over the NY metro for a couple of years. The towers were always a landmark that oriented me toward home. I haven't seen NYC since they came down.

I know the 9/11 Memorial and museum would be too intense for me.:-x
 
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#7
I was sitting in a classroom waiting for our professor and the start of an econ class. She arrived just a few minutes after the first plane hit the WTC and said something to the effect of, "Did any of you hear on the radio about a plane flying into a skyscraper in New York? That's crazy!" And then we went on with class as normal. I remember making a comment that it was probably just some small private propeller plane or prop-jet. After class I went over to the union to get an early lunch and saw all the TVs with the news on in there and realized it was a much different situation than we imagined. I decided to skip lunch and go to a computer lab to read the news online and while I was in there they announced that they were cancelling classes for the day.

I had actually just moved back to Michigan a few weeks earlier after getting out of the Marines early to go back to college and wasn't originally supposed to be released from active duty until the end of September. The unit I had just been released from (the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit) was already working up for a deployment to the Med in October but was quickly re-ordered for a faster deployment and about a week or 10 days later they were enroute to Afghanistan as the first full American unit deployed there. From the afternoon of September 11th until they left for deployment and embarked on the ships I fully expected to receive a call that I was being recalled to active duty... but that came about 2 years later.


________________________________________________

Additional:
Another Marine I worked with after I got recalled in '03 was in boot camp at Parris Island on September 11th. One of the things that is different about Marine Corps boot camp compared to the other branches is that you are there twice as long and that generally you have absolutely no idea what is going on in the outside world. The DIs do not talk politics or current events, you do not see news or hear the radio, mail (which is intentionally slowed) is limited to letters and newspapers and magazines are not allowed through for the most part, and there are no phone calls. My friend who was there on Sept 11th recalls sitting in a classroom with the rest of his company that day and the Company 1st Sergeant and CO told all the recruits from NYC, NJ, Connecticut and that area to stand up and took them into another room where they explained what had happened. My friend said he and the other recruits thought they were just playing some mind game until finally somebody brought in a radio and turned on the news. Any recruit who had family in that area or somebody who worked in the financial district in Manhattan was afforded an opportunity to call home and check in to make sure everybody was alright. The Drill Instructors didn't tell the rest of the recruits for a few more days.
 
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gtpeach

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#8
I was in my first senior year of college and was an RA in a freshmen dorm. I had just gotten out of the shower and was walking back to my room and another RA was panicking in the hall and told me that a plane had crashed into the mall in DC. I had a hard time understanding her, so I turned on the news on my tiny 13" tv and we just started watching the plane crash over and over again. I wasn't able to process what was happening for a few hours.

Classes were cancelled for the day, and I remember going to my boyfriend's dorm room and we just sat glued to the tv while various people were in and out of his room in different states of shock and panic. One guy started packing up his stuff to get out of the area because he was sure the CDC was going to be the next target.
 

TOFB

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#9
I most vividly remember watching AF-1 with fighter escort flying overhead from Offutt AFB back to DC in an otherwise quiet, empty sky.
 

JNA

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#10
9/11 affected folks in the Big Apple in a way that others were not.

I remember being at work in City Hall when it happened. Most departments had a television that was used primarily for watching training videos. Not so that day. Everyone had the tv's on and were watching the news in a state of suspended disbelief. The world changed that day.
Upon hearing that "a plane flew into the WTC" I remember imagining a Cessna on a cloudy, overcast NYC day. When I saw the replay of the second jet striking the tower under that gorgeous blue sky, the disbelief was intense. To this day, I have trouble processing the images of the planes striking the towers.

Growing up in Jersey in the late 70s/early 80s, humping furniture for a moving company, I was all over the NY metro for a couple of years. The towers were always a landmark that oriented me toward home. I haven't seen NYC since they came down.

I know the 9/11 Memorial and museum would be too intense for me.:-x
1. That is where I was, in our break room.
2 . I grew up slightly east of Gedunker in Jersey, they were a landmark.

I have posted several times before my multiple connections to/with the Towers.
 

Planit

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#11
We were in council chambers holding a Downtown Merchants meeting. My GIS guy walked in and handed me a note that said a small plane hit WTC. He came back a minute or 2 later and said it was an airliner. We quickly ended the meeting and turned on the TV in chambers and watched the rest of the day on & off.

My wife & I had tickets to fly to Montreal about a week or more later. We were actually flying on the 3rd day after air travel resumed and landed in Newark to change planes. We saw the WTC site was still smoldering. Unreal image.
 
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#12
I was living in an apartment about 20 miles from the my Undergrad University where was in my 5th (and last) year. I heard something about an accident on the radio as I was finishing up my shower, but did not think anything about it until I sat down to eat cereal and watch the news before going to class. A second after I sat down I watched the second plane fly into the towers live on TV. I quickly realized that it was not an accident.

I drove onto campus and it was strange because you could tell that half the people were talking about it, the other half had no idea. I stopped off to see the girl that I was dating at the time because I had forgotten my cell phone at her dorm and discovered that I had missed several messages from my dad who was in radio. I called him and he told he what was going on and that the US was under attack and to stay put at school. I then went to my American History Class where the professor and the class talked about it for 10 minutes and dismissed us with an assignment on what happened, has it happened before, and how will it change America.The teacher tried to pull up websites like CNN but the internet was still young at the time and it was just getting overloaded as people were seeking information.

I had a preseason managers meeting at the ski hill that I was working at and one of the other managers that ran the maintenance dept was a member of the local national guard unit and had already been contacted to be prepared if needed. We discussed hill operations, grabbed a beer and sat on the side deck noticing the lack of panes in the sky when several black impalas and a couple SUVs sped past the parking lot, going way too fast for it to be a coincidence. Later we found out that a passenger on one of the planes that was flying from Boston to LA landed at our local airport and the guy, not knowing what happened, flipped out and threatened the flight crew. Turns out he was just an angry business person who was going to miss his meeting on the west coast.

I then headed back to campus. At the time, I was on student government and we were called into an emergency meeting to discuss how we can help the students deal with it. Best line was spoken by a pre-law major who simply said “I am all for helping other students deal with it, but who the hell is going to help us deal with it? None of us have ever had to cope with a situation as profound as this and I think that we are way over our heads.” It was then decided to contact all the counselors on staff who teamed up with us to have open "Town Meeting" events that night in the lobbies of each of the dorm halls where we just moderated the events and provided a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen with. Later I found out that a freshman in our group lost her dad that day.

In retrospect, I think that for a moment America changed. On my way home to my apartment that night, I remember seeing American Flags everywhere and there was a sense of patriotism that I had only read about. The party that one voted for didn't matter, nor did their economic or racial backgrounds. For at least a moment, we were a unified America determined not to let the attacks break our spirit.

Unfortunately, I feel that we are more divided now than ever. There is nothing that we really rally around as a nation. We have overwhelming violence in schools, streets, our homes, and at all levels of society. I fear that things will get worse before they get better.
 

kjel

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#13
I lived in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon and 27, my husband at the time was Palestinian and my mom lived with us. We woke up to her beating on our bedroom door screaming at us to turn on the news at 5:45 am. Then she started screaming at him that is people did this :-$

We watched horrified as the rest unfolded. I had a portable hand held tv that I took with me on the train to downtown Portland. People sitting near me huddled around to watch the news as we were on our way to work. I was 3,000 miles removed from NYC and had never visited so I didn't have any personal connection to the tragedy.

Little did I know a few years later I would be on the hunt for graduate schools which ultimately brought me to NJ. I had visited Columbia, NYU, and Rutger in 2005 and I did go to the WTC site and see the ruins of the WTC complex. It was very hard and still raw for the city. Over the 12 years I've seen the PATH station rebuilt into The Oculus https://ny.curbed.com/2018/9/10/17841472/world-trade-center-oculus-skylight-9-11-memorial and the new Freedom Tower constructed. The day the needle was installed on top of the new tower, I grabbed a cup of coffee and parked on the hill where the Sacred Heart Basilica in Newark is and watched as it was hoisted into place. Later I would take a job in Jersey City and my office was one block from the Hudson River with a spectacular view of the Freedom Tower.

I've been several times to the memorial which are two square fountains that pour into the foundation holes of WTC 1 & 2. The fountains are surrounded by bronze inscribed with all the names of those who were killed. It is somber, but it is befitting and the myriad of visitors and New Yorkers just passing through are a reminder that life continues on.

Jersey City has a beautiful memorial called Empty Sky. Many residents did and still do commute to NYC for work and so many were lost that day. I took this photo about 5 years ago at sunset.

 

Michele Zone

     
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#14
We were living in an apartment in Fairfield, CA. The ex was stationed at Travis AFB at some tiny Army unit that did training for part-timers (because the ex was awesome at his job and this was special duty assignment number umpteen).

This was during the very brief two or three weeks when my youngest son was enrolled in a private Waldorf elementary school because we had starting homeschooling at Irwin, which is middle of fuck nowhere so not a lot of options if the schools sucked -- and, boy, did they suck -- and he didn't adore my teaching style the way his brother did. So we tried private school and he was soon begging to come home and swearing he would try harder to work with mom.

I called the school and kept him home that day. We were career military, so potential targets. I played it safe.

That fall, I was running into folks at planning related public meetings who were just not sleeping and stuff because they were terrified Travis would be blown up or something. Yeah, it's strategically a big deal as it is (or was) the only air hub of its kind on the entire West Coast and yadda and it was the largest employer in the county and blah blah.

I remember some of this because of the (student) research for my Solano Rail Plan, which still exists, though I no longer have the .com domain name.

I was told they probably wouldn't build the new stations until gas his $4/gallon. I think it it still a bit under that.

Maybe I will yet figure out some way to promote my plan. The window of opportunity appears to still be open.

(I think I have had four hours of sleep. Rambling and tangents happen. :-$)
 
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#15
Sitting in the County's Attorney's office trying to get an enforcement case resolved. I literally did not believe what I saw on TV. 9/11 drastically changed our society.
 

Bubba

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#16
At work (two firms ago). My team had mostly interior office spaces, so radio reception was spotty at best - worked better in the morning, and a couple of folks picked up on the news of the first plane hit (like others on this board, we all pictured a Cessna hitting the tower). The internets crashed fairly quickly that morning...the admin folks managed to get a TV feed around noon. I made it home right at 5 that afternoon; by then, only the BBC world feed was running a good recap of everything that had happened.

We lived within four miles of Dobbin Air Reserve Base at the time; fighter planes were scrambling all night. I grew up in an Air Force town, and I'd never heard anything close to that...
 
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#17
I had just moved out here a month before and didn't have a temp job lined up for that day (was still on the full-time job hunt) so was woken up by my MIL on the east coast, telling us to turn on the TV. I was thankful I didn't have to go anywhere that day. My uncle was (is) retired Air Force and was doing intelligence work at the time so we were concerned that he was in the Pentagon but he was safe. We had plans to see "Apocolypse Now: Redux" in the theater that evening with friends but we all agreed to reschedule for some future day when the world wasn't falling apart.
 
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