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

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09-11-2011, 06:50 PM
I felt so sad for the many medical personnel who prepared to treat casualties that never arrived.

09-11-2011, 07:04 PM
I was 11 on 9/11 ten years ago, and my 6th grade history class was planning a trip to Ellis Island later on in September. We never got to go.

I wasn't really aware of the WTC; none of my family members worked there, or any of my friends' family either. I knew they existed, but I just had a vague idea of them. So it was very confusing when my science class was interrupted by a surprise fire drill. We stood outside for at least an hour, and the faculty all just kept telling the students to stay calm. Not easy to do when you see your teachers trying to hide the fact that they were crying.

It was another hour even after we went back outside before our principal came on the student news channel to tell us about the attacks. He also explained that because of our proximity to Millstone, a nuclear power plant, that the fire drill had been necessary in case we needed to evacuate. We are also very close to Electric Boat (which is where my Dad works, in southeastern CT), a division of the General Dynamics company that design and builds nuclear submarines for the navy. With how many attacks had happened that morning, they didn't know what was going to happen next.

We were dismissed early, and when I got home it became a little more real. My mom was sobbing when my brother and I walked in the door. Her dad had passed away the year before, and early that morning she had watched a video of my cousins' wedding from 10 years ago, so she could see him again. Once the video was over, she turned to the news and the North Tower collapsing was the first thing she saw. She still can't watch that video, she always says in her mind it's connected to the attacks now, and she can't break that. It was a few hours before we could get in touch with my Dad to make sure he was alright and that Electric Boat wasn't going to be hit.

I pray for the day when we don't have to live in fear anymore, and wars aren't thought to be necessary. My thoughts are with everyone who lost loved ones that day, and hopefully this day can remind us to put aside our differences and work together for a better, safe future.

09-11-2011, 07:20 PM
This (http://www.naebunny.net/~mommylemur/?p=2154) is one of the stories that has stayed with me since 2001. Such a series of tragic coincidences. :(

Sad but beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

09-11-2011, 07:53 PM
Thanks to everyone for telling their stories.

I was at home on the other side of the continent (three hour time difference from NYC) so by the time I got up that morning, a beautiful sunny fall morning here as well, it was about 11 am on the east coast. The first I knew that anything unusual was happening was when I checked the voicemail and there was a message for Mr. Overedge from an editor at the newspaper where he worked (the call came in while Mr. Overedge was on his way to work, before I got up). This editor was usually very calm and collected, but he somehow missed punching the phone button to hang up on the call, so the phone message was a few seconds of asking Mr. Overedge to call in, and a couple of minutes of general background noise.

Having no idea what this was about, I called Mr. Overedge (who by then was at work) to tell him that [editor] had phoned, and what a goof, he forgot to hang up and left this stupid message. Mr. Overedge told me in this very somber voice what had happened, and I couldn't believe it. So I turned on the TV and was :wideeyes: for about two hours.

When I finally went to work, no one was doing much of anything constructive. But then my assistant reminded me that one of our staff members (on sabbatical) was working at a financial services firm in Lower Manhattan. I can't describe how terrified and powerless I felt...hoping that maybe he was away at a meeting somewhere else, or took the day off, just something so that he wasn't at work that day. We couldn't get through to his home phone number or the firm's phone number, so we sent him urgent emails and hoped with our fingers crossed that he would respond. We thought about phoning the police or fire departments in NYC to see if they had any record of him, but given the chaos we were watching on TV, we knew even if we could get through there wouldn't be any reliable information.

He emailed us back in the late afternoon to say he had planned to go into work late that day so he was at home and safe when it happened. We cried with relief when we got that message. I don't know what he saw during that day and the days after, though, as he has never talked about it (and we don't want to ask).

Later that week I found out that a friend had been in San Francisco the weekend right before Sept. 11, interviewing a candidate for a job at his company, and the candidate was one of the people on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania. He lived in Boston and had come to SF for the job interview.

A few years ago I went to NYC for the first time, and went to look at Ground Zero. Although everyone knows that the Twin Towers were big buildings, I didn't really get a sense of just how big they were until I saw the size of that hole in the ground and how many city blocks had been damaged or affected. Even though Sept. 11 affected me personally, and I knew how many people had died in NYC, it wasn't until I saw Ground Zero that I really fully understood the magnitude and scope of how awful this was.

09-11-2011, 07:59 PM
I was a student in a summer break between semesters. A friend called and said `turn the tv on'. He had the same expression in his voice people usually have after the terrorists attack, so I assumed another bus or restaurant exploded in Jerusalem and turned the israeli TV on. A second later I switched to the CNN and it remained on for the rest of the day. One of my first thoughts was `Oh no, now in the US too? Is there any place on earth that is safe???'

09-11-2011, 08:06 PM
UMBS, I didn't know you were right there when it happened! How horrifying!!

I was getting ready to go to class during my first semester of college. I turned on the television very shortly after the first plane must have hit because I remember thinking it was a huge mistake by a novice flier. Then when the 2nd hit I even naively thought "wow, what are the chances! Another idiot?" It only took about 2 seconds to realize this wasn't an accident at all. I walked around feeling numb. I went to one class later in the day as I had to get away from the news. I wore my I Love NY shirt that I got in NYC just months before. I even found a picture I took of the WTC towers that I did not realize I took. I had been there in July of 2001.

09-11-2011, 08:41 PM
When the first plane hurt the WTC, I was on my way to work listenning to wqxr station.
They interrupted their program and reported about it.

Being an Israeli, I immediately thought to myself:
No way it's a lousy pilot, more like terror came to America.

When the second plane hurt, there was no more doubt on my mind that US is under the attack of fundamentalistic terrorism.

One of the first victims, BTW, was an ex Israeli Commando business man (Daniel Levin (http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=daniel_lewin)) who did fight the terrorists (some of the passangers on the first flight managed to report about his fight right before their plane hit the WTC).
He was stubbed to death by the hijackers. :(
At least he didn't die without a fight.

May all the WTC victims RIP {{{hugs to the families}}}

09-11-2011, 09:00 PM
Thank you for sharing that. It really does make one think about the fragility of life. Thirty seconds saved your life-- and we are glad that you are here among us.

We certainly are, UMBS Go Blue.
Blessings to you!

09-11-2011, 09:02 PM
UMBS thank you so much for sharing your story :( and Fred thanks for that link..

I was in NYC a few months after the event and was taken aback by the actual size of the area where the rubble was so was visualizing your story UMBS as I read it... When I was there it was heart breaking reading all the 'missing' posters all around the area.. When I first visited the States as teenager we went up the statue of liberty (when you could still climb up the ladders to the flame part) and we took a picture of the twin towers as then they were the tallest buildings in the world..

I was driving my car when the events of 9/11 unfolded and i will never forget it as usually when you are in a city driving your car you are in a bubble and nobody really looks at other drivers - that all changed that morning as the events unfolded - its the only time in my life where all of a sudden the people in the vehicles we all looked around at each other - searching and connecting with the devastation we were all hearing on the radio.. One of the only times in my life where I actually saw people crying in their vehicles.. I called my husband he was home and I told him to put CNN on and as he did that he watched the 2nd plane go into the building live and was yelling at the t.v... he gave me a tv play by play..:( Then later I watched it myself - stunned at the scenes on the T.V. My daughter's school closed early and building were evacuated even in our city..

Although I'm 8 or 10 hours away from NYC and in another country (Canada) that day it seemed like we were more than just good neighbours - it was like it was happening in my own city it felt so close.. I think a part of everyone's innocence died that day .. i know for me even the sound and site of a plane for a while became an emotion of fear - whereas before I had associated it as a symbol of going on vacation.. obviously that has changed now but i can imagine not for those who were directly impacted..

I was happy when the news also focused on the stories of survival and humanity and how brave the victims were helping one another.. sometimes I think tragedies like this make us much closer as a community of the world..

09-11-2011, 09:09 PM
I was still in school, and my morning class had been cancelled. So I was asleep when it all happened. I got up, went to take a shower, and when I turned the TV on in my bedroom, CMT was showing footage from CBS 2 in New York. My immediate thought was "Why is CMT showing news footage?" I immediately changed the channel to NBC, and started to watch. :(

There are several things that stand out in my mind, from that day. The absolute silence on the commuter bus into campus that day, and the beautiful sunset I saw that night are the two I think of first.

UMBS, thank you very much for sharing your story.

09-11-2011, 10:18 PM
I felt so sad for the many medical personnel who prepared to treat casualties that never arrived.

That was one of the most haunting memories - watching all the hospital people stand around with nothing to do. You walked away, or you died.

09-11-2011, 10:21 PM
UBMS-I also had no idea you were right there when everything happened. I'm very thankful that you're all right and thank you so much for sharing your story. ((HUGS))

I was working as a designer at the time for a company not far from where I live and myself and the other graphic artist were just chit chatting about life like we normally did in the morning when another coworker came in asking if we'd heard about the plane in NYC that clipped the WTC. We hadn't heard anything (didn't have a radio in our office) so we went online to try to find out what was going on and we couldn't get into any of the news websites. I logged into a random soap opera website message board that I visited at the time to see if I could find out anything there and people were posting about what they were seeing on TV which is how we learned that it was a passenger plane, not a small plane. :( We were totally stunned and because no one else could get into any news websites either, I remember having about half my department standing behind me at one point that morning reading things with me. We were doing that when the second tower was hit and when the news about the Pentegon and PA crashes broke on TV. Eventually they brought a TV near our area so we could come out and watch everything. I was standing with about twenty five coworkers when the first tower came down and it was just stunned silence from everyone. We couldn't believe what was happening and during my lunch break, I ran home to get our portable TV to bring back to our office and our area became my department's media center. Folks were in and out of there for the rest of the day watching the events continue to unfold on the TV and I still couldn't tell you a single thing that we actually did that day. It's a total blur and I don't think anyone I worked with at the time could tell you either. I brought that TV to work with me for the next two days until my boss finally said we needed to try to move on and stop letting this consume us so much (people were still coming in during breaks or lunch to watch even two days later). It was so somber and sad there and even though none of us lost anyone in the attacks, we were just so devastated about what had happened to our country. :(

At times I still can't believe what happened that day. I watched most of the broadcast on NBC this morning and I'm glad I did because it was kind of cathartic for me. I never want to forget what happened and seeing the memorial and the people finally having a place for their grief, it obviously made me cry (I've cried all weekend actually...I had to attend a funeral yesterday for my friend's grandmother) but it also reminded me that folks are still picking up the pieces of their lives because of this tragedy. They've never had an outlet for their sadness and loss and seeing them react to their loved ones names and especially seeing the flags, flowers, and signs being left near the pools was so beautiful even in it's sadness. I'm very glad that I watched and hopefully someday I'll be able to see the memorial in person. I visited NYC back in 1993 and remember seeing the Towers looming over the city and even have a few pictures from that trip. Then I came back in 2004 with our youth group for a mission trip where we visited Ground Zero and saw the giant hole and devastation there. I'd really like to see the area now and pay my respects to those we lost that day. It doesn't bring back all those people we lost but it's a beautiful tribute to them and a special place that I hope is always treated with respect.

RIP to our lost citizens and God bless the USA. :(

09-11-2011, 10:40 PM
The memorial structure at Ground Zero is amazing.

John 3 17
09-11-2011, 10:46 PM
I was a student in a summer break between semesters. A friend called and said `turn the tv on'. He had the same expression in his voice people usually have after the terrorists attack, so I assumed another bus or restaurant exploded in Jerusalem and turned the israeli TV on. A second later I switched to the CNN and it remained on for the rest of the day. One of my first thoughts was `Oh no, now in the US too? Is there any place on earth that is safe???'

One of my very first thoughts that morning after seeing what the terrorists had done to the US, I thought of Israel and felt like an Israeli.


09-11-2011, 10:54 PM
UMBS, your story chilled my blood. Thank God you were unhurt & are still with us.

My husband was really traumatized by the events of that day more than most of the people I know. He works for American Airlines in the cargo division & at the time it was his job among other things to book cargo space for animals. Almost every passenger plane that takes off has animals of all types, both zoo animals & pets, including the 2 AA planes that crashed. In addition, all the grounded planes had animals that had to be cared for. He had to find boarding for them & he had to talk to all the owners. The owners of the pets flying that day also all called up to find out if their pet was on those 2 planes.

So he had to deal with frantic people who to do them credit knew they were being petty worrying about an animal when so many people had been killed but not being able to stop themselves from finding out for sure about what most of us consider a family member. Plus of course the agony of knowing his coworkers had been killed. And this work continued until the planes started flying again & all the animals got to their destinations. (BTW, few people know this but American didn't charge any of those people the original freight charges or the boarding fees.)

And then when the victims started being flown to wherever they were going to be buried, my husband did a lot of those bookings too. There are a lot of regs involving the transporting of human remains & only a few people at AA do those bookings. I didn't learn about all this until about 6 mos after 9-11 & my husband still doesn't like to talk about that time.