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9/11/01
Old 09-10-2010, 09:16 PM   #1
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9/11/01

I was at work. We heard the news. It was confusing and we didn't understand what was happening at first. I went on the roof of our building with some coworkers and we saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon. We went back down to the office and someone had pulled out a little TV. We huddled around it and saw the towers go down. I decided at that moment to head home. Lots and lots of traffic. Tried to call DH on his cell but couldn't get through to him. Worried and worried about DH. Finally he got home. We watched the TV news all night.

The world changed.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Purron View Post
I was at work. We heard the news. It was confusing and we didn't understand what was happening at first. I went on the roof of our building with some coworkers and we saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon. We went back down to the office and someone had pulled out a little TV. We huddled around it and saw the towers go down. I decided at that moment to head home. Lots and lots of traffic. Tried to call DH on his cell but couldn't get through to him. Worried and worried about DH. Finally he got home. We watched the TV news all night.

The world changed.
Yes, it was quite something. I also watched the Pentagon smoke from the roof of our Alexandria building. My wife was working in downtown DC, and she walked about seven miles north before getting a lift to Silver Spring and a co-workers house. I went around on the Beltway later than day to get her -- it was almost deserted during what would normally be heavy rush hour traffic. The only other day which brings back such strong memories was the Kennedy asassination.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
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I was preparing to go to the middle east for a joint military exercise...I had gotten back from a late night planning session, and was still asleep when a buddy called and told me to turn on the television. We conducted the exercise two months after 9-11, which was an interesting time to be in that part of the world. It was before the war in Iraq kicked off, and there was still some small amount of sympathy towards the US as a result of the attacks. I'm spending this 9-11 in Afghanistan, which is also an interesting experience. It is hard to believe that it has already been 9 years.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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I was sleeping in late as usual when the phone rang. It was my DH, I thought he was telling me goodbye again before he left for the airport; he had a 12:00 flight to Chicago. He said “Turn the tv on.” I could tell by his voice something was very wrong. I turned the tv on, saw the Towers burning and fell to my knees. I kept repeating, “What’s happening? Why is this happening?” over and over again.

I stayed glued to the tv and a few minutes later called my parents to see if they were ok. After I got off the phone with them, I had an overwhelming emotion...I wanted to gather everyone I loved around me to make sure they were safe.

However, I didn’t know where safe was. I was living in a nightmare.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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I was at home. After I took the kids to school I came home and was browsing online. On Yahoo I saw a little item about a plane hitting the WTC. I went to another page thinking I'd come back and read about that later, probably a small plane, might be interesting.

By the time I got back to read the article the 2nd plane had hit the other tower and it was clear that these were deliberate. I turned on the TV news and started following CNN, NBC and ABC.

When I saw the replay of the 2nd plane I was horrified. I called or emailed DH at work and told him to get the TV or radio news on in his office. He didn't have access to a TV at work so he came home at lunch and took our 5" portable in so that they could follow it.

So I sat here all morning watching in horror. All the people running and the huge dust clouds consuming everything. The worst memory for me is the people jumping. And the beeping alarms from the firefighters.

I had never seen an event where all planes had to land immediately. After that I heard a plane nearby that must have been military. I was on my way to the kitchen and I almost dove under the dining room table.

After my kids came home from school I found out that they were told about what was happening but weren't given access to TV or radio. How stupid, this was a public high school and they acted like the kids shouldn't know.

The next morning I drove them to school and we saw military plane contrails in the sky. Huge zigzag patterns like we had never seen before.

My neighbors were out of town. They had a delay in getting home. I bought them a newspaper so that they could have their hometown special edition that came out.

The next few days were so awful, watching all the stories about people looking for their loved ones. Was their person stuck in traffic? Injured in a hospital? Or were they dead? I felt such sadness for the families. People who just went to work or got on a plane like any other day and this horror happens to them.

I've watched the footage in real time on previous anniversaries. It doesn't feel the same, we know how it ends this time. In 2001 we couldn't have anticipated it to be as awful as it was.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:53 PM   #6
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I was at work, and when the second plane hit we gathered around a small TV in a conference room and watched. I had to leave several times to compose myself as did some of my fellow federal employees. Frank was working just outside of NYC. We e-mailed back and forth that day.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:40 PM   #7
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I was listening to my favorite radio show on the way to work. They were talking about the World Trade Center and I thought it must be the anniversary of the first bombing or something. It was still early on the west coast and not much was known. By the time I got to work things were becoming clearer. I remember you couldn't get anything to come up on the internet because so many people were trying to use it at the office to get news. I called my wife and told her not to take my son to school. There were still rumors of twenty plane unaccounted for flying around possibly looking for targets and suicide bombers and such. There was talk of sending us home because we were in a government building. Then I went home at lunch and finally got to see what I had been hearing about.

I had friends stuck half way across the country at a conference because of the grounding of all the planes. They rented a van and drove home.

I remember the airports guarded by armed National Guardsmen. I almost reported a guy to them. He was Middle Eastern and was pacing and checking his watch every few minutes. I watched him for ten minutes and then his wife arrived. Maybe a few days after 9/11 a National Guardsman pulled up next to me at a traffic signal. He had his weapon secured standing up on the seat in plain view. Surreal.

I had a horrible doubt with depression and anxiety in the following months. I was building a house so I was stressed out anyway. 9/11 put me over the top. My doctor told me lots of people had similar reactions.

A few weeks later, my wife and I were going to breakfast and all the televisions in the sports book of the casino were tuned to the news. We had just gone to war. Seems like a lifetime ago.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:51 PM   #8
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I was really busy at work that morning with a tight time deadline. My paralegal came in my office and told me a plane had hit one of the towers. I didn't process it and asked a question or assigned a task, I don't remember now, relating to the work I was doing.

A few minutes later I ran to the breakroom to get something to drink and saw what was happening. I always felt bad for ignoring what my paralegal was saying.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by av8er View Post
I was preparing to go to the middle east for a joint military exercise...I had gotten back from a late night planning session, and was still asleep when a buddy called and told me to turn on the television. We conducted the exercise two months after 9-11, which was an interesting time to be in that part of the world. It was before the war in Iraq kicked off, and there was still some small amount of sympathy towards the US as a result of the attacks. I'm spending this 9-11 in Afghanistan, which is also an interesting experience. It is hard to believe that it has already been 9 years.
Stay safe and thanks for your service. [moderator edit: Soapbox content]
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:19 AM   #10
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I was in a training class in Leesburg, VA for computer forensic software. Someone mentioned that a plane had hit the WTC but at first I figured it was a small plane accident, and when told it was an airliner I wondered if that was also an accident (pilot had a heart attack? structural failure?). When the second one hit it was clear that was no accident.

One of the guys in the training class had a sister who worked in the WTC. She didn't make it, but it was days before he knew for sure.

Normally the skies around Leesburg (near Dulles airport) are full of contrails. A few hours later, just clear blue skies and no jet engine sounds. That was strange.

DW worked at Food & Drug Administration, I finally got a line through and she was leaving work early, it turned out 20 minutes before the mass exodus began. It took some people two hours just to get out of the parking lot, feeling like a target the whole time.

By the end of the day it was clear the world was going to be a different place. We didn't know how much it would change.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:21 AM   #11
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I was in my office at work when someone stuck their head in the door to say a plane had hit one of the towers. Our corporate HQ had 200 employees and not one TV. Those of us who had internet access were glued to the CNN and MSNBC websites and others gathered in my office to watch the news reports over my shoulder. Everyone was stunned by what they were seeing - not one iota of work got done that day and the office was closed at 3 pm.

Our two grown daughters worked for different companies but by coincidence were both in LA on business. They shared a hotel room and were both scheduled to fly out that morning and return home to TX. Their flights were a couple hours apart so the oldest daughter, never looking at the news, got on the hotel shuttle and went to LAX. It was a madhouse when she got there as all flights had been grounded. When she saw the commotion she called me. I explained what had happened and told her to get back on the shuttle and return to the hotel and hang out with her sister.

After waiting two days and still having no idea when they could get a flight home, they gave the Hertz guy a sob story (literally) and drove their rental car from LA back to TX.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:36 AM   #12
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I was at work also. The building where I worked at the time was evacuated. Walked back home, turned CNN on. To this day some of these images still haunt me.

Yes the world changed that day.

My thoughts and prayers to all those affected.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:39 AM   #13
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I was at work and my wife called me. Our son had called her from college to tell her a plane had hit the World Trade Center, and while he was talking to her he saw the 2nd one hit.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #14
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I was at home and my son called me and told me to turn on the TV. I was shocked at what I was seeing.

In the end I had 5 people I knew die that day.

My DD's BFF's Dad was a NYC fireman who died there. We were living on LI at the time and could see the smoke from the towers as they were burning.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:00 AM   #15
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I was on my way to the allergist's when I heard the news . My Son lived in Manhattan at the time so I was crazy until I finally got to contact him . It was awhile since the cell phones were not working . That day changed America forever .
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:02 AM   #16
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I was driving to one of our branches in another town. Heard it on the radio. I remember the dj's saying the first plane was probably due to an accident, but when the 2nd hit it was then obvious these were intentional. When I arrived at my destination, everyone was watching on TV. That's mostly all we did that day, watch TV.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:59 AM   #17
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I was w*rking nights back then just like now. I got to sleep about 7am and woke up at 3pm. I turned the tv on to watch my usual show but there was 'some news thing' on instead so I turned it off and got ready for w*rk.
I went to w*rk and did my 12 hours without anyone saying anything about the attack. Then I went home and went straight to bed. Woke up in mid afternoon. It was my day off so I spent more time watching tv(didn't have internet yet) and realized what had happened. I got a computer soon after and I always check the news online after I wake up and at least 2 other times during the day/night. Still do that now after 9 years.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:17 AM   #18
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I was at the university getting ready to give a lecture in my building safety law class. the topic was the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and how close we came to losing the building. It still creeps me out.

I had been on a program with the WTC director of security 6 months before. He died in the collapse. Later that day I found out I lost a colleague and her entire family in the Pentagon crash.

Very very very bad day
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:19 AM   #19
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I had just begun telecommuting a month earlier, but I had to report to my office in Jersey City, New Jersey on Tuesdays. I was on the LIRR and could see the smoking towers from 20 miles away on the elevated tracks in Queens between 9 AM and 9:30 AM.

We made it into Penn Station without incident but other passengers on the train had walkman radios and announced to everyone what was happening. From midtown, I could see the smoking North tower which had not yet collapsed. I made it to my Jersey City office by 10 AM but by then the building had been evacuated. I tried to return to Manhattan but the lockdown had begun and I was stranded in NJ, unable to cross the Hudson River. After wandering around Hoboken (NJ) for a while, I stayed overnight with a friend/coworker who lived in Jersey City before returning home to LI the next morning. I had dozens of emails and phone messages from people who knew I worked on Tuesdays in the general area.

I would soon learn of a few people I knew (a little, not well) who had died that day as well as some wild stories from others who were in the immediate area but avoided any serious injury. One friend of mine was supposed to attend an earlier breakfast meeting in the North tower but was busy and stayed in his office nearby, saving his life. He got chased around by a dust cloud after the first tower came down.

A sad, horrible day.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:35 AM   #20
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I woke up a bit early, in the PDT time zone, hearing someone outside my window saying the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been hit by planes. Turned on the TV in time to see the towers go down. The tallest skyscrapers near my job were battened down and closed for the day. Since I had no other plans, I went into work but a couple of hours late. There were only a couple of sad-faced bus riders wondering if their offices were open, mine was open and we put in an otherwise normal day. The canyons of the Financial District were deserted and I found only one place open for lunch. My lasting symbol of that time was the sadness on commutersí faces in the weeks/months that followed. They are normally vibrant sexy young professionals, dressed to the nines, women in impractical high heels.
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