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Old 09-11-2010, 10:45 AM   #21
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I was at w*rk, and happened to be having breakfast at the time. There was a big-screen tv, usually tuned to Headline News, but that particular morning was on ABC. I noticed a small PIP view of the first tower, and, like many, assumed it was an accident. Watched as the second plane hit...

Not much work got done that day, or the next couple, though after day two, I was on overload, and turned it off...

I remember a manager yelling to the manufacturing people to "get back to work". This "person" was a perpetual candidate for strangling, but I really wanted to rip out her vocal cords at that moment. She wasn't my boss, so I ignored her, but the sheer inhumanity of that action still sticks with me.

Yes, the world changed that day, and not for the better.

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #22
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We had just moved back to Canada from the U.S. about two weeks prior to 9/11. DH had just started his new job and I was sleeping in when DH called me to tell me to turn on the news. The most shocking thing I remember was seeing people deliberately jump out of the towers and seeing all of that smoke and destruction.

My sister was in Houston for a conference that day and I remember her being stuck there (along with everyone else) due to the planes being grounded. Her company hired a private bus to drive her and all her co-workers back home to Calgary. What would have normally been a 4 hour flight home turned into a 4 day journey. Once they hit the Canadian border, she said the amount of Security was amazing.

DH's (who is from Boston) best friend's boss was on a flight out of Logan, and another friend's mom was on the flight that crashed in PA.

I can only be nice to one person today! Today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:36 PM   #23
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It was a beautiful, sunny and cool late summer morning in NYC. The sky was bright blue, without a cloud, and the air was dry and clear. (just like today, in fact) As I did every day, I took the train into Manhattan and walked from Grand Central to my midtown office. Just as I went through the door from the elevator lobby on the 39th floor to our offices, I heard my colleague Alex yell out "Holy sh*t!". As on most mornings, he and I were the first ones in the office.

I ran down to Alex's office to see what was wrong and he pointed out the south-facing window, from which we had a clear view of the top half of the WTC. Smoke was just starting to come out of a big gash in the north tower. He said "a plane just hit the building". I said "what, like one of the traffic report planes? That's a mighty big hole". He said "no, it was a a big plane, like an airliner." I couldn't really believe that a plane could run into the building; it was a clear day with perfect visibility.

We immediately fired up the computer and tried to find out what had happened, but within those first few minutes, it was impossible to get online in NYC. Another guy, Blake, arrived in the office. As soon as we told him what happened, he went to the law library in search of one of the TV's on carts that they had there, while Alex and I continued to watch out the window. The smoke became darker and thicker, trailing off to the east over Brooklyn.

While we were watching and wondering what happened, we suddenly saw a big fireball erupt lower down on the south tower. We hadn't seen the plane, since it came in over the harbor from the south, so we didn't know precisely what caused the fireball, but at that moment I realized that this was no accident.

Eventually, a TV was found and we learned what the rest of the country was learning. More and more people started to arrive in the offices. We all just stood in front of the windows and watched in dumbstruck horror. Many people were sobbing, and as each tower crumbled in turn, shrieks and gasps erupted from the crowd lining the windows, followed by more sobs and moans. There was virtually no talking.

After the second tower fell, people started to leave the office to get home. The subways were stopped, as were the commuter trains, and all the bridges and tunnels were closed to traffic, so people set out on foot. From our east facing windows, we saw massive throngs of pedestrians streaming out of Manhattan over the 59th street bridge into Queens. People were also jamming the avenues, all walking north.

I heard that they were taking blood donations at the blood center under the Citigroup building at 53rd and Lex. By the time I got there, the line was estimated to be 4 hours long. Someone told me they were also setting up to take donations at the Lenox Hill hospital, so I walked up there, but, again, the line was several times around the block. People wanted to do something, anything, to help. But, as we sadly learned later, they really did not need all that blood.

As I walked back to my office, I stopped to pray for a few minutes in one of the churches that had opened its doors. There were a couple of others who also felt the need to come in. Continuing on, I saw that people were gathered in knots on the sidewalk, clustered around cars listening to the radio. I saw the first of the people who had walked all the way up from downtown. Bedraggled suits covered in white dust, trudging slowly north, eyes down and looking numb.

A friend called and invited me to his apartment on 1st Ave (I couldn't go home because all the trains were stopped). We sat in his living room and watched the TV until we heard that the trains were running out of 125th Street.

When I left his building at about 5pm, the streets were deserted. You could have safely lain down in the middle of one of the avenues, it was so empty. There was not a cab in sight, so I started walking north on 1st Ave. A boy who said he was 13 fell in with me and we walked up the avenue together. He had been in school downtown and was walking home to Harlem. He had a million questions about what happened and who did it and why did they do it and how did they do it and why couldn't the military stop them. I figured he needed to process everything and just let him talk and talk. Really, all I could do was say "I don't know". But I don't believe he cared whether I could answer or not. He just needed to talk.

As I was walking on 125th street over to the station, I heard the roar of a jet engine overhead. I looked up to one of the saddest things I have ever seen -- a U.S. military fighter plane flying combat air patrol over an American city. I rode the train home in silence.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:59 PM   #24
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #25
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I was at work on the top floor of a high rise In Roslyn, VA. We were watching the coverage of the Twin Towers when a plane came in from an odd direction and went in to the Pentagon. There was stunned silence for maybe 30 seconds and then we all ran to leave the building. On the way home I heard our building had been hit but I could see that was not the case. DH (already ER'ed) had heard nothing and was surprised to see me home at 9:30 am.

The next morning I went in early as usual and watched and cried watching the Pentagon still burning in the dark. It was a number of days before we didn't see smoldering in the early morning dark.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:52 PM   #26
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Night of Sept 11

Coincidentally a friend's mother had died that day. We had to go his apartment to feed the cat. The apartment was near the Israeli Embassy. It was eerie going down an empty major thoroughfare in DC. Large numbers of heavily armed military personnel were present at major intersections. It was all so surreal. AWACs were the only sounds in the sky that night.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:06 PM   #27
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I was at work. An IT consultant learned about it first and showed me an online video of a collapsing tower. It was hard to believe it had really happened.

The [Moderator edit: non-FIRE-related political link] about it is predictable.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:55 PM   #28
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Some of the vivid descriptions on this thread make me quiet emotional.

I'm on the west coast and don't usually get to work till 9 am. My best friend woke me up and we talked for a while. DW and I talked quite a bit afterwards. I couldn't bear to watch TV coverage after a few days of being glued to it.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #29
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The husband of one of my girlfriends died on 9/11. He had gone to the airport to leave on a business trip but of course no one was flying anywhere that day so he turned around and went back to the office. A few hours later he dropped over dead at his desk. She was a widow at 35 and he had lived far longer (50?) than the doctors expected as he was one of the first (if not THE first) child in Seattle to have open heart surgery to correct a major heart defect.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:51 PM   #30
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We were in the middle of an IG inspection which was immediately terminated. IG inspections had a habit of being very weird at Cavalier; we were in one when the Challenger disaster happened.

"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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