View Full Version : Remembering September 11, 2001, ten years later (Threads merged)

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09-11-2011, 03:41 PM
I was in an information systems planning meeting in one of the meeting rooms of a Sheraton hotel about a mile from my home just outside Richmond, VA - the company's offices were about 5 miles away, but they wanted to have this meeting offsite so that we wouldn't be distracted by office events (ironic indeed).

We were just getting ready for our second day of planning when someone came into the meeting room and announced that something had hit the first WTC tower. I remember people commenting that this was a very bad joke when the person said that no, the TV news was announcing it.

We went out to the hotel lobby and several of us watched the news coverage on the hotel lounge's TV - by that time, the second plane had hit the other tower. We all watched for a while in a mixture of shock and horror, trying like everyone else to make sense of what was happening. After what seemed like an hour or so, the rest of the day's meetings were cancelled, and we got word that our company was closing the office for the day.

I drove the short distance back to my home. When I got home, I found my companion watching the coverage. He had been up very late the night before and was still asleep when everything started. When he turned on the TV upon awakening, he thought at first that he was seeing a very strange TV movie or documentary showing what if we were attacked. With everything else going on, I had forgotten that it was also his birthday.

Like the rest of the people posting here, what happened that day, whether being literally in the midst of the horror in NYC or at varying distances from it, changed all of our lives in one way or another. This may seem petty or selfish, and I apologize if it does, but the one bright spot on that day was Bob's birthday, but even in following years, it wasn't celebrated without remembering all the losses that occurred in 2001.

He died 3 years ago this summer, 4 weeks before his 61st birthday. So I remember him and his life today, as well as all the victims and families and friends of those who left us on the 11th of September in 2001.

09-11-2011, 03:44 PM
Dame Judi Dench reading "Remember" by Christina Rossetti in London.

purple skates
09-11-2011, 03:55 PM
I was at my desk here in SE Michigan, just checking my email, when Mike Bradley who was then working for WNIC in Detroit came on the air and said thet a small plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. Now, I didn't really think that much about it - I had vaguely heard of the World Trade Center, but it didn't sound like it was too much of a big thing. Then he came on the radio again, and said that another plane had hit the second tower of the World Trade Center, and that these were large passenger planes, not small planes.

We all went into the break room and turned on CNN. We watched in disbelief as first one, then the other tower fell. We were horrified hearing about the Pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania. Working for a goverment, we were concerned about being a target of some sort.

We decided to close our offices and I went to the elementary school to get my son out of school early. Irrational, I know, but you want people close to you. They wouldn't let me get him out of school, which I remember made me very angry - and under normal conditions I probably would have read them the riot act - but I accepted it and went home. I live across the street from the school.

So I sat on the couch in my living room by myself and just watched things unfold on the tv. It reminded me of the day when I sat at home (I was in college at the time and doing homework) and watched Oklahoma City unfold. I remember calling my mother in law in Pennsylvania to make sure family there was ok.

In the days following, I remember days and days of clear blue skies. It has often been bright blue on September 11th in the past ten years, and I'm always kind of glad when it is cloudy like it is here today. I remember the fighter jets zooming over head. I remember trying to give blood and being told I couldn't because I had lived on the UK (because of Mad Cow disease), and the Sheriffs who had gone to New York to help coming back with stories of great bravery and horrible sadness. I remember everyone having one or two American flags on their cars and people wearing American flags on their business clothes for months and months following. I remember a colleague telling us how he was in a hotel in DC and saw a low flying plane pass his hotel window, and then hearing the hit on the Pentagon, and how they had to try to get back home.

My son, who was six when it happened, says he remembers it. It was interesting in the days following to watch him cope with what had happened. There weren't nightmares or anything, but in the first days there were a lot of drawings of planes flying into buildings. Then he switched to drawing lots of American flags. They were everywhere when he drew. The last one I remember is that he drew a big boot and an American flag and wrote one of the verses from that Toby Keith song (I was tempted to send it to the singer).

My husband's nephew was in the Navy at the time and of course, there were worries about him. He ended up serving on board in the Persion Gulf, and later in Afghanistan.

09-11-2011, 04:03 PM
I remember the silence of no airplanes overhead for weeks while all flights were grounded. Eery. I remember being happy and nervous when they were heard flying again.

I was 12 at the time. My dad took me outside around 5 PM that night and told me to look up at the sky. He said there will never be a time in your life that there won't be any planes in the sky. I was young, but I was old enough to understand what was going on.

At school, I remember coming back from first period PE to history. I walked in with my best friend and my teacher had the television turned on, and there was a picture of the Pentagon. My first thought was that there had a been a bomb threat - then they showed the flames, the smoke, then the WTC. It was a blur that first hour.

A couple hours on, a friend and I snuck out of class to go watch the news at the library since many of the teachers had been told not to let us watch. We normally would have been kicked out and admonished for skipping, but no one cared, and I think the librarians knew that whatever we were suppose to be learning in our classes was irrelevant that day. I can even remember walking home - I only lived a half-mile away - and the weather was just perfect. It was probably 85 degrees (cool for Texas), sunny, clear and the sun had that distance that is reminiscent of early fall. Both of my parents were already home, which never happened. I opened the door and they were sitting on the couch, just watching the news. We did that the whole night.

I will never, EVER, forget the moment when a CNN journalist was interviewing a Russian immigrant and her child who lived in an apartment near the WTC. They were in downtown Manhattan, and it was utter chaos. Then there was a huge collapse of whatever was remaining of the North Tower, I think, and all this debris was flying towards them and people were running and screaming. The anchor threw down her microphone and grabbed the woman and screamed "Your baby!" and they ran to reach cover, with the screen being cut off to the CNN station.

I just know at that point there was no estimate of how many were dead. It was chaos, and no one knew anything. It was so scary, and all I could think of were all of those families and friends at home, trying to call their loved ones, and not knowing....

09-11-2011, 04:11 PM
I had awakened and switched on the television seconds before the first plane struck.
My mother was already getting ready for work in the other end of the house.
I hurried to let her know what had happened. We spent the rest of the day watching the horror on television.

As a young woman, my mother experienced another pivotal day in the World's history:
As events unfolded, she said that our generation had just experienced it's "Pearl Harbor".
She was correct.

09-11-2011, 04:14 PM
I was in my office in Central New Jersey when I heard screams from the operation down the hall. All of the blinds on the windows had been drawn up and there was an unobstructed view of smoke coming out of a hole one of the World Trade Center Towers. It was being reported that a plane had struck it. My first voiced reaction was, "This has got to be terrorism", sparked by the fact that many of the fllights I had taken up to New England from NewarK airport had flown up the Hudson, directly passing the Trade Center. It felt like you could reach out and touch the Towers; no competent pilot could had accidentally flown into them. I then saw a plane go into those towers.

I then saw a plane make a direct hit with the second tower. I couldn't watch the rest. There were people in my company who watched the towers go down. The sister-in-law of one of my colleagues had been at the Trade Center that mornign for a training course, and since they had no information about her whereabouts, they feared that she was one of the dead. Having gotten to there about an hour early, she decided to go down and get some breakfast elsewhere. As she was crossing the plaza between the two plazas, she was hit by debris from the first impact and knocked unconscious. Since she lost her purse, the hospital to which she was taken could not identify her. When she finally came to about a week later, it was only then that they could figure out who she was.

I remember those towers going up in the early 70's and being there as a medic at an anti-Viet Nam war demonstration in Wall Street. There was a melee between the construction workers and the demonstrators, the former feeling that the latter group were being anti-patriotic. I also remember people with cracked open bleeding heads being carried down the aisles of Tinrity Church during the noon mass to the sacristy which we were using for a minor surgery.

Both experiences left me shaken to the core.

09-11-2011, 04:34 PM
They've gotten on to the Macs and Mcs. :(

09-11-2011, 04:48 PM
...... l\__\
. . . l\l l
___ l\l l___
l\___\l l___\
\l____ ____l
. .. .l\l l
. .. .l\l l
. .. .l\l l
. .. .l\l l
.. . .l\l l
.. . .l\l l
. .. .\l___l ․Remembering
all those who lost their lives
as a result of September 11, 2001
& all of those whose lives were
forever changed

09-11-2011, 04:49 PM
They've gotten on to the Macs and Mcs. :(

To be sure, you'll be hearing some O's as well. RIP to them all.

09-11-2011, 04:52 PM
I was 12, and I most certainly did not fully understand the gravity of the situation.

I remember, a week later, writing a journal entry for an English class saying that I didn't feel sad. I didn't know any of those people, I didn't quite get what had happened, and I was worried because everyone else was so upset about it and I felt I should be, too. My teacher wrote back that I didn't need to worry about not feeling sad, and that I would understand one day. I'm grateful to her. The thing that upset me most was that I knew something bigger than what I imagined had occurred and that I knew I wasn't grasping it fully, but couldn't see what I was missing.

Of course, as I grew up, we entered a war that, by then, I knew was wrong and against the wrong faction. And I spent most of my most-formative years watching people died in Iraq for no apparent reason, and growing increasingly angry with my own country for sending all these soldiers off to die and never focusing on OBL, who was the person who masterminded it all in the first place. And feeling confused, still, because all these people on TV told me that feeling that the war was wrong and being angry with America was unpatriotic, and yet I was so sure that it was wrong and that I should be angry.

Of course, 10 years on, I'm much older. I still feel like I'll never quite grasp the significance of what occurred that day, or in its aftermath - not until I'm much, much older than I am now. Not until it's all over and I can look back on it with a clearer head. I mostly just remember feeling endlessly confused about it all, and hoping we would go back to normal classes soon because I loved to learn. And my parents crying, and feeling alarmed because my dad never cried. And the other kids in school, who also didn't get it, crowing amongst each other, "maybe we'll be next, with all this fresh water in the Great Lakes, we'd be a prime spot for terrorism!" because to so many of us, at that age, it was a game. And the teachers yelling at us for our inability to grasp how many people had died, how horrible it all was, and my schoolmates looking chastened but confessing, in the corners of the room, that they really didn't understand.

09-11-2011, 05:01 PM
I was working at home and my husband called to tell me to put the tv on. Both towers were burning by then. I with everyone else watched in shocked disbelief as events unfolded that whole day.

I got through to my dad pretty quickly, who lived about 20 blocks north of the WTC, and made sure he was ok - although his whole area was being showered with smoke and ash. I was also able to ascertain that my cousin, who was with Lehman Bros in a neighboring building, was not in his office or even in NY at the time. A steel girder ended up crashed in through his office window.

I had just gotten my new puppy on Sunday, Sept 9th, and I spent the whole day holding her on my chest, watching, or just walking around, in complete shock, disbelief, and fear about what was going on in NY and the other sites.

I grew up in NYC, on the lower east side of Manhattan. But however many times I'd travelled back up to the city over the years, I never failed to get excited at my first glimpse of the WTC from the NJ turnpike. And I still miss it every time. :(

09-11-2011, 05:23 PM
I'd also like to give a huge THANK YOU to Transport Canada & Nav Canada for "Operation Yellow Ribbon" and to the Canadian people for the selfless hospitality given to the many airline passengers rerouted to their country.

My uncle's plane landed in Vancouver and he was there for several days. He told us representatives from schools, churches, civic organizations, and even private citizens brought food, blankets, stuffed animals for the kids, and most special of all, hugs and emotional support.

09-11-2011, 06:14 PM
Thank you for sharing your story, UMBS Go Blue.

I went to NYC in 1999 and I remember walking past both towers at dusk with a friend of mine and thinking that we didn't have enough time to visit this time, but "Next time I'm in New York I definitely will." I couldn't have known that by that time the towers would no longer exist.

I was glued to my TV for a week after 9/11 and there was a price to pay for that. That's why I don't watch or read too much about it now. I remember what happened very vividly, I don't need to be reminded.

I find it sad to see all those snipers on the roofs and the president behind a bulletproof glass. I guess the human race will never cease to amaze me, both in a good way and in a bad way.

09-11-2011, 06:23 PM
UMBS GoBlue,

Thanks for sharing your story. I had no idea you had come that close to the disaster location on that fateful day. I am so glad you made it back to your home that day.

For those of us living thousands of miles away, it seemed almost surreal when we first heard the news/saw it on the the TV screen. I was only semi-employed at that time, having been laid off from work by my previous employer. I was teaching part time at the local university (ASU), and it was my day off, so I was home. When I logged into my computer that morning, I saw a picture of the twin towers with smoke, and thought it was some kind of a movie. Then I went to check my email. My friend in NY had written-" in the light of what happened in NY this morning, it's impossible to talk of anything else." I was shocked...."What happened?" I rushed to turn on the TV. I was glued to the TV the next several days, except when I was at my part time job.

From thousands of miles away I could still feel the horror and the pain of those who had suffered losses of life or of family members. This is a day we will never forget because it changed the way we think of our lives in the USA and in the world.

Wishing peace to the world. May this madness end forever.

09-11-2011, 06:34 PM
I live in Yonkers. I was woken up that morning by the sound of sirens - my apartment building is right near a highway. I didn't put the TV on, I guessed that there was some big traffic accident on the highway and that was why I was hearing all the emergency vehicles.
I went online and immediately saw what was going on. I turned on my TV just as the secong tower collapsed.
My best friend worked in the WTC. I tried to call her but the phones weren't working.
I had to get out of my apartment. I work in a hospital laboratory and normally work the evening shift. But I knew I had to get to work. I threw some clothes on and ran outside to catch the bus. The bus was nowhere in sight, but I couldn't stand still and wait for it. I started walking the mile and a half, but I ended up running most of the way. I have to walk right alongside the higway and I was freaking out, because there were no cars, only emergency vehicles. Some as far away as Connecticut and New Hampshire.
When I got to the hospital a disaster code had been declared. All scheduled surgery had been cancelled and all the outpatient clinics closed. We aren't in Manhattan and aren't a trauma center, so we didn't expect to get any victims.
Instead we were sending medical staff and supplies downtown, in ambulances.
The laboratory staff who weren't helping load supplies didn't have much to do.
The blood bank director came to us and said there were dozens of people from the community in the lobby, asking about donating blood, what did we think about setting up a donor station down there?
We were all for it. We spent the rest on the day collecting blood...I think we got over 100 units. We didn't know then that all of those units would end up being discarded because nobody needed them.