Remembering 9/11/01

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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On 9/11, Luck Meant Everything - The Atlantic by Garrett M. Graff
Over millennia, we’ve called “luck” and “fate” by many names, often intertwining the concepts with the unseen hand of Providence. In mythology, the three Fates were goddesses who handed out destiny at birth, weaving a future that each mortal would be forced to live out inexorably—the concept of fate serving for many as a necessary explanation for the random cruelties, vicissitudes, and lucky breaks that determine so much of how life plays out. That individuals might just blunder into these events for no reason at all was, for the ancient Greeks, just too bleak a thought.

Yet it’s hard to come away from the stories of 9/11 with a sense of anything other than an appreciation for the role randomness plays in our daily existence—There but for the grace of God go I, as the 16th-century clergyman John Bradford is said to have phrased it—and how it can change the course of history.
 

Wyliefan

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Thanks for sharing those, @Sylvia. The part about the Pentagon really got me. One man from my church was killed at the Pentagon that day; another was badly burned but survived.
 

ilovepaydays

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One of the biggest things that I remember about 9/11 is being unsettled because I was convinced that we would be attacked like that again - and very soon. If you had told me we would spend (as of right now - crossed fingers) 18 years since without another attack like this, no way would I have believed you.
 

Zemgirl

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A few articles worth sharing - the first few are from USA Today's first anniversary series, so the formatting may be a bit wonky, but definitely worth reading:

Clearing the skies of air traffic on 9/11:

The people who were inside the towers during the collapse - and survived:

And from 2016 - "We're the Only Plane in the Sky", an oral history with those who were near President Bush on that day:
 
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Susan1

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And from 2016 - "We're the Only Plane in the Sky", an oral history with those who were near President Bush on that day:
There was a special about the President and Air Force One on 9/11 on t.v. last night.

I wasn't in New York nor have I ever been there or know anyone who was there that day, but talking about planes being grounded always reminds me how relieved I was when they grounded all air traffic. They had false reports on the local news that morning about a small plane going down in a field and stuff. How stupid was that. We were in the flight path of a local air park that had small planes going all the time (Snoopy and the Red Baron) and hot air balloons (I have a picture of a Famous Footwear high top balloon over my house), so I was used to that sound. It was weird without the sounds on such a clear day.

I was afraid to leave the house all day, glued to the t.v. I didn’t know what else to do so I made cookies - and ate cookies. And I took the trash out around the usual 5:30 and heard a plane. The car driving by me while I was standing at the curb stopped and they got out and looked up too. It was way, way high up and moving really fast. You could only see the sun glinting off of something, but you could hear it. I wasn’t going to be one of those people that call someone and cause a panic and get interviewed and everything, so I called my friend, Peggy, who had been sent home from Wright Patterson Air Force Base earlier in the day.

(She was a civilian but worked in a building without windows and all kinds of security. It was so secure that they had to use a different computer to send emails outside the base than the one they received it on. It’s not like I thought she would tell me what was happening, even if she knew. But she took the time to go to the other computer to email me that morning they were being sent home because the base might be a target.)

She said I probably just saw the President. That maybe he was going to Wright Patt. We found out later that he had been in Nebraska and that’s about the time he was flying back to DC - over Ohio! I never saw anything on the news about anybody else seeing or hearing the President’s plane.

Military helicopters had been flying over practically every half hour all afternoon too - from Wright Patt to somewhere south and back. I’d be on the phone with my mom or boyfriend and one of us would hear the helicopter overhead and two minutes later the other person would hear it, and they did that all night. Weirdness in the sky over Dayton, Ohio.
 

Moto Guzzi

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She said I probably just saw the President. That maybe he was going to Wright Patt. We found out later that he had been in Nebraska and that’s about the time he was flying back to DC - over Ohio! I never saw anything on the news about anybody else seeing or hearing the President’s plane.
A coworker was standing in his yard when Air Force One returned to DC. He said it came in fast with fighter jets at each wing tip. He cheered when he saw it.

I worked at the Washington Navy Yard and could see the smoke from the Pentagon. My sister worked there and we didn't know for hours whether she was alive. She survived but 41 of her coworkers were killed.

On September 7, we went to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial to join members of our DAR Chapter to lay a wreath and place red roses and carnations on each victim's bench. The Pentagon DAR Chapter was started as a result of 9/11. A man was filming in advance of 9/11, and a short video was shown the next day during the end credits of Face the Nation.

We spoke with a man who was also in the Pentagon that day and survived without injury. We also spoke with two women who wanted to know about the memorial. I explained that the benches were laid out along the path the plane took and their orientation indicated whether the victim was on the plane or in the Pentagon. They are placed according to the ages of the victims with the youngest closest to the entrance. I gave each woman a flower to place.

Two carpool members and I always email each other on the anniversary. It was a surreal experience when we were finally released to leave the Navy Yard. The only traffic we saw were the emergency and secret service vehicles. I was driving and thought I'd be stopped when we reached the Pentagon but we weren't.

I was a volunteer at the crisis center for the families of the victims and heard things I don't discuss with anybody other than a few other volunteers. It's still difficult for me to watch 9/11 coverage, but I am extremely grateful that my sister survived.

Today is the 6th anniversary of the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard. Twelve of my friends and colleagues died. I always remember those who were lost on 9/11 and 9/16 and say a prayer for them and those who loved them.
 

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