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9/11/2001-Where were you(memories only, no politics)


Bruce B
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So it's hard to believe that its been just about 5 years since this terrible tragedy that will forever change the world we live in. There are few events that have happened where I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time. The one preceeding this is when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up.

I was at my desk at work listening to Howard Stern. I remember someone relaying to Howard that a plane had hit one of the towers. At that point no one really knew what to make of it. After the second one hit I think thats when peoples ears perked up and wondered whats going on along with the other chain of events elsewhere that morning. I do remember Howard mumbling something about terrorism, but I dismissed it as Howards paranoia. I thought, cmon not here, not in our country. Man was I wrong. Believe it or not Howard did a great job with the coverage because he spoke from human emotion instead of just reporting. I remember Stuttering John come in running in and saying "One of the towers just fell". I thought he was being dramatic and maybe just a part of it had been destroyed. I left my office and went over to the gym in another building and turned on the tv. To my astonishment and disdain, he was right. It was gone. At that point everyone working just stopped and a huge crowd of us gathered in front of the tv in complete silence.

When my wife got home we of course had the news on and she was holding my, at the time, 5 year old stepson who saw the video and said "boom" thinking he was watching a movie, oblivious to the world he was growing up in was going to be much different now.

One month later my wife and I had planned to go to Disney and we decided to follow through with the plan. I distinctly remember getting on the plane and scouring every single seat doing my very own racial profiling. I noticed a man across the aisle from me doing the exact same thing. When we were done, we looked at each othet giving each a knowing nod. We both knew what we meant by the nod.

I'm very curious to hear others stories especially from our LCVG brethren in NYC.

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At the risk of sidetracking the thread, you've typoed 2005 for some reason. On that day I was celebrating my (obviously about to be a 2-year-old) son's first birthday.

 

In 2001 we read the events with increasing disbelief at our desks over whichever news sites we could actually get bandwidth to, before getting really nervous as we're just under the main flightpath into London Heathrow.

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I was sitting in my office at work, wearing my baseball glove.

 

The Astros were playing that night, and my sis was taking me for my birthday. Since we planned on walking to the stadium from our downtown offices, we would get there early enough to catch batting practice, so I brought my glove. I was wearing it, pounding my fist into the glove as I surfed my favorite political website.

 

They broke the news within a minute or two of the first plane striking. We had IPTV available back then, so I immediately began streaming CNN to my desktop as I called my coworkers over. Naturally we were all nervous since we worked on the 17th floor of one of Houston's most prominent skyscrapers.

 

Something compelled me to call all of my family members to tell them I loved them, and I did just that. I watched in terror as the first tower fell, shouting expletives. I decided to leave work to be with my wife, and I was already in the car on the freeway when the 2nd tower fell. I spent the rest of the day watching the news, numb.

 

20 days later my best friends and I embarked on a baseball odyssey that we had pre-arranged months before. We flew into and out of Boston's Logan airport, and that was a surreal experience.

 

 

Carlos.

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I was in downtown Southeast DC, at the Washington Navy Yard, for my job. I heard the rumors from where I was, and came into the reality of it about an hour after the news. They locked the Yard down, and we weren't allowed to leave. You could see the smoke from the Pentagon (located about 4 miles away), and I just wanted to get to my wife, who was working in Alexandria.

 

All I could think about was how much it would change anything. Was it just the beginning? How close to anarchy were we going to get? How was I getting home (one of the rumors was that ALL bridges were shut down)? Seems quaint now, but it was deadly serious then.

 

In video game news, I had just imported Devil May Cry, and I tried to play that night, but it was completely hollow. I turned it off after three minutes. I called my parents looking for some focus or clarity to the day, but there was none. It was uncertain and terrifying. Nothing quite so awful as feeling useless, when there was so much need.

 

I am glad I saw United 93 in theaters this year. It was a stark reminder to the raw emotion and fear that day. I don't want to ever feel that way again, but I don't want to forget it either.

 

I hope the victims can rest in peace, and I hope the best for their survivors.

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I was at home, in bed. The wife woke me as she was getting ready for work, telling me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center; my first thought, a small plane, not a jet. I turned on the TV and the rest we all know. There are certain moments you will never forget the rest of your life, and sadly this was one of them.

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I remember every little thing about that day, and the weeks that followed. I was off from work , but woke up early to go vote in the mayoral primary. Got home, but instead of going back to sleep i decided to just check my e-mail (when all our family shared a computer in the den). Ended up staying on there for a good while. Phone rang, phil picked it up in his room (was mom). He walks into our den and says turn on the tv a plane just hit the WTC. So we both watch as the second plane hit, the plane hitting the Pentagon, crashing in PA, the towers falling, etc.. Sat silent for a little bit, realizing I would never see the towers standing again. We use to drive to Shea stadium a lot, and when you come off the parkway and look out over the Marina i would always take a look at the Towers. Always a great sight. Then I jumped online to see if some friends from the city were ok. People i knew from overseas Im'd me to see if everything was ok here. My Grandfather, and other people from out of state called to see if everything was alright as well. A friend from our block called, and phil talked to him as he walked from his school (Hunter) in the city over the bridge back into queens.

 

The weeks after were just as tough. A few people that shop in the store i work at had loved ones missing. I was friendly with a lot of them. A lot of firemen, cops and iron workers from our area went to the city everyday to search the rubble. A few firemen from nearby died in the collapse. The smell was horrid for a few days. For the weeks following we had a lot of military jets and helicopters flying over head. It was a very scary time to live in NYC.

 

However one thing that did help a lot of people was when baseball returned. Something to do besides watch the news all day. That mets vs braves game was the first one back. The ceremony before was very touching. Then the yanks vs arizona world series was a big thing as well.

 

I was almost in lower Manhatten that day. I was waiting for a call for a job interview that was supposed to take place that morning. Never got called.

 

With everything that happened, In the end we remember, yet live on .

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I had just got into work when all the TV's in the Merrill Lynch Canadian Trading floor was on CNN. When I sat down, my co-worker just informed me that a plane had hit one of the towers and they were saying it was an accident. Minutes later, the 2nd plane hit and that was when they realized it was not an accident. We were glued on to the TV and watched as both buildings fell. Everyone didn't think the stock markets would open. However, we were informed that they would be. But, when market open came nearer, we were told that they would not be open that day.

 

We were then told to go home as did everyone on Bay street in Toronto. The mood was quite sombre as everyone made their way to the transit services which operated on special schedules.

 

The next day, my friend told me that they setup a conference call with one of the companies that was near the top of one of the towers when everything went dead. They thought it was something wrong with their signal when someone pointed out the news on CNN. That small company ceased to exist as almost all their employees were killed that day.

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Oddly enough, I first heard about it via Howard Stern as well. I had pulled my first stop of the day and got back into my service truck to straighten out some paperwork and heard that cabby guy from Howard Stern spouting off about getting some neighborhood guys together and going after the "arabs". I was wondering what the hell he was talking about and when they finally mentioned the World Trade Center was hit I didn't believe it, had to switch stations a few times and hear it from more "credible" sources. By the time I made it to the office the second plane hit and word of the Pentagon being hit had come out as well. Didn't get much work done that day, couldn't pull myself away from the radio.

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I was waiting to catch the bus for school, when one of my friends came up to me (we're at the same stop) and said "A plane just flew into the World Trade Center". I called bullshit on him, and then we got to school and everyone was just watching tv in the classrooms.

 

One kid said made some rude comment about what was happening, so I punched him in the chest. The teacher looked over, and then looked back to the television.

 

The rest of the week there wasn't much schooling going on; to say the least.

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I'd just rolled into work. One of my coworkers IMed me and said "a plane just flew into the World Trade Center" moments after it happened. My initial reaction...? "Wow, an air traffic controller somewhere's getting fired."

 

When the second plane hit, I still assumed it was a set of several misaligned flights. The thought of terrorism didn't enter my mind until it was expressly mentioned in the news.

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Strolled into work late as usual, a guy in the elevator asked me if I had heard about the plane hitting a building in NYC, I hadn't yet at that time. Made it to my office, a co-worker comes in and says I need to come into the break room to watch the television as there are planes crashing into buildings all over. When they closed all the airports things at work got crazy and the rest was all just a blur.

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I was working 4 blocks away at 70 Pine St. Oddly enough, 70 Pine St. was the tallest building in the downtown area until the completion of the World Trade Center.

 

I remember hearing a huge bang and what sounded like the rattling of HVAC duct work as if someone just shut it down. Someone on my floor must have been surfing a news web site and announced that a plane struck the WTC. I immediately turned on a TV/radio I had at my desk. A few of us went out into the street. We had a clear sight to the WTC and watched in horror as flames and smoke were shooting out. Then the 2nd plane hit. By this time alot of people were in the street. Everyone was just stunned. Emotions were running ramped. It became obvious we were being attacked. My co-worker deceided to venture closer to the WTC while I went back to my office to call my wife and family. My wife wanted me to come home right away. I said I would but deceided to finish up a few emails. Then we started hearing a thunderous roar. Seconds later we heard the horrible news on my radio. My phone started ringing off the hook. My wife begged me to get the fuck off the island. Just as I was ready to comply, my co-workers were looking out the window down to the street and said, we ain't going no where. Clouds of debris were rushing down the street engulfing everything. Minutes later the co-worker that went closer to the WTC came back to the office covered from head to toe in soot. He was coughing and gaging really bad. We helped him to the bathroom. He ended up being ok. Then it was just a waiting game until the dust settled. Until of course the 2nd tower collapsed. I didn't end up leaving until about 2:00PM. The air quality was still bad. I used my shirt to cover my mouth. I walked straight ot the South Street seaport with a crowd of co-workers. We were taken off the island via tug boat. We got off at liberty state park. It was the most erie feeling as we sped away from the island. All you could see was dust completely covering downtown. From liberty state park we were transported by a shuttle bus to the light rail which then took us to a NJ transit bus depot where we each were able to find a bus to our local destinations.

 

My wife lost a friend who worked in the WTC. She still crys when ever she thinks about it.

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In bed asleep. Alarm was set to the usual hard rock station. When it went off, unlike the usual smart ass dj's or some pounding music, there was serious talk and the dj saying something about "...and this is being perceived as an act of war".

 

Was slightly awake, kind of intrigued.

 

Then he said, "If you've just joined us, both world trade towers have collapsed".

 

Needless to say I was wide awake. I think "what the fuck" was the first thing out of my mouth. Ran into the living room, turned on the news and stood with my jaw on the floor, which is where it stayed for I don't know how long.

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I was working 4 blocks away at 70 Pine St. Oddly enough, 70 Pine St. was the tallest building in the downtown area until the completion of the World Trade Center.

 

I remember hearing a huge bang and what sounded like the rattling of HVAC duct work as if someone just shut it down. Someone on my floor must have been surfing a news web site and announced that a plane struck the WTC. I immediately turned on a TV/radio I had at my desk. A few of us went out into the street. We had a clear sight to the WTC and watched in horror as flames and smoke were shooting out. Then the 2nd plane hit. By this time alot of people were in the street. Everyone was just stunned. Emotions were running ramped. It became obvious we were being attacked. My co-worker deceided to venture closer to the WTC while I went back to my office to call my wife and family. My wife wanted me to come home right away. I said I would but deceided to finish up a few emails. Then we started hearing a thunderous roar. Seconds later we heard the horrible news on my radio. My phone started ringing off the hook. My wife begged me to get the fuck off the island. Just as I was ready to comply, my co-workers were looking out the window down to the street and said, we ain't going no where. Clouds of debris were rushing down the street engulfing everything. Minutes later the co-worker that went closer to the WTC came back to the office covered from head to toe in soot. He was coughing and gaging really bad. We helped him to the bathroom. He ended up being ok. Then it was just a waiting game until the dust settled. Until of course the 2nd tower collapsed. I didn't end up leaving until about 2:00PM. The air quality was still bad. I used my shirt to cover my mouth. I walked straight ot the South Street seaport with a crowd of co-workers. We were taken off the island via tug boat. We got off at liberty state park. It was the most erie feeling as we sped away from the island. All you could see was dust completely covering downtown. From liberty state park we were transported by a shuttle bus to the light rail which then took us to a NJ transit bus depot where we each were able to find a bus to our local destinations.

 

My wife lost a friend who worked in the WTC. She still crys when ever she thinks about it.

 

 

Jeez, it was horrible to see on TV but everything felt so...distant. I'm just over in Michigan but it felt like it could have been half a world away, reading your account of that day is scary and kind of brings it a bit closer to home :(

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I've described the day on many occasions, but I was getting up for work, getting ready to head to my office downtown. I came out of the shower, and as usual, Annie is watching NY1 (the local NYC news channel).

 

"A plane hit the World Trade Center," she said.

 

"I guess I'm not going to that meeting today," I responded jokingly, assuming that it was a mistake by a small plane.

 

When I looked outside and could see the smoke coming from the tower, I had a good feeling that what had hit the tower wasn't a small plane at all. Staring downtown (I lived on 30th St., maybe a mile or two from the WTC), the second plane hit. Giant fireball.

 

"Yeah, this isn't an accident," I commented.

 

We went upstairs to the roof to get a better look. As each tower fell, I shouted expletives - I didn't know what else to say.

 

I tried to call a friend who was headed to the tower an hour before me, assuming he was dead. Fortunately, he was running a bit late, and when he stepped out of the subway and saw debris laying all over the street, turned around and went home. We all assumed he was gone since we didn't hear from him for several hours. He just had his first child this weekend.

 

I lost several friends and clients that day. The following days were pretty horrible, especially when the wind blew the smell north. Family and friends asked me if I was going to move away from the city.

 

The end of my street at Bellevue Medical Center was turned into a triage center with temporary trailers set up to go through bone fragments. Families and friends of those lost in the towers would line up every morning to see if anything had been identified. They posted pictures of their loved ones as if we might see one of them wandering the street, still covered in soot, weeks after the event. The pictures eventually faded along with their hopes. The lines got shorter.

 

The trailers are still there today - 30th Street now ends unnaturally at First Avenue rather than going all the way to the water.

 

"No fucking way am I moving," I replied each time with more determination than the last.

 

I now live in Brooklyn and take the Q train over the Manhattan bridge every morning. The hole in the downtown skyline will never heal as far as I am concerned. When I first moved to NYC 10 years ago, the twin towers were my compass - if I wanted to go North I would head the opposite direction of those ugly gray columns. Yeah, they were ugly, but they were part of the greatest city on earth.

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The hole in the downtown skyline will never heal as far as I am concerned.

 

Yea I agree with you.Its the empty feeling that everyone shares but for us New Yorkers its just a little more deeper..

 

Listening to all of this 5 years later brings me back to what Joey said in an earlier Post..Just after the plane hit we sat there silent for Hours.. the whole morning I tried contacting my best friend who went to Styvasent High School nearby.. Finally getting threw to him, he said there was huge amount of panic all over, and that they would not let anyone leave the school.While on the phone with him I heard in the background "We are getting the F*ck out of here" Then my friend said the rushing out of the school, so he'll call me back after he figures out how to get back to Queens. He called me back while walking home over 59th street bridge that was closed to all traffic and everyone was just walking home from Manhattan.

Cell phones were hard to receive and send calls from for days, I was just glad my friend and I got to keep in Touch twice on that day and that he was fine.

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I was living in Lexington, KY, but happened to be back in my hometown of Owensboro on business. I stayed the previous night with my Mom and Dad instead of a hotel, and awoke the next morning and walked downstairs. My mom said, "You need to come look at this" referring to the TV. It was the strangest feeling to be at home with my parents when this happened.

 

The conference I was in town for still went on, but no one paid any attention. I still visit the hotel where the conference was held frequently and every time I walk in, the smell immdiately takes me back to 9-11. I also remember that day was absolutely beautiful about 72* and bright, sunny skies. I talked to my wife later that day (still in Lexington), it was 3:00 and she still hadn't heard a thing, it was very hard to explain.

 

Fortunately, I didn't know a soul or really anyone affected by the events, but reading these first hand accounts gives a great perspective.

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I was working Technical Support for Earthlink in the Harrisburg Call Center at the time. When I got up in the morning, I heard what was happening on the radio.

When I got to work, the call boards were SILENT.

And hardly any voices were heard on the floor.

 

3/4 of the people in the call center were all huddled in the two large break rooms/cafeterias where there were about 4 TV's in each...all watching both towers on fire with blank stares on all of their faces.

Of course, I went on break as soon as I got in, and joined everyone in the one break room. Saw the first tower fall there. We had to get back on the phones, and of course, no one was calling in right away.

 

I was on the phone with a customer when the 2nd tower fell, and could hear the guy's daughter in the background screaming and crying that the 2nd tower went down. He started freaking out on the phone and hung up.

I RAN to the break room again, and saw the aftermath, and the replays.

Was a VERY surreal rest of the day, having to sit there, with those events in my head.

Didn't really get much work done that day.

I felt like getting up and going home.

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I didn't have school that day, but my fiancee (now wife) did. I woke up to the sound of her leaving and a phone ring. When I anwered it, a friend asked me if I'd heard. "Heard what?"

 

"Turn on the TV."

 

"Which channel?"

 

"Any channel."

 

The second tower had just fallen and after taking stock of what was happening, I rushed outside to flag my fiancee down. I got there just in time to see her drive off and as she saw me, she waved back, thinking I was wishing her a happy trip. She called me from her cell phone about 10 minutes later in tears.

 

She rushed back home and we stayed glued to the television set for the rest of the day, just as uncertain about what the next minute would bring as the people relaying the news.

 

We called all our family.

 

We even called all our friends. We called friends we hadn't talked to in ages. Hearing our friends' voices, sounding as unsure and scared as our own, brought us comfort.

 

It was strange. That day everyone felt like family.

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amen to that

 

Well I have posted my story in the pervious threads like this and in the United 93 one as well.

 

What I will share is the days after.

 

We lived in North Minneapolis at the time and I worked at Target down by the airport. The thing I remember to this day from the days after is how quiet it was. What I mean by this is that our place we were renting was right under a major flight path, and I would always see several Jets on my way to work and here them in the parking lot of Target on my way in and out of work. I don't know if there is words to describe it hearing that noise everyday and than suddenly there is silence it was like something out of Twilight Zone, The quietness. I remember being in church that Sunday they had a candle light memorial and we all stuck are candle in the sand I was pretty close to the beginning of the large group. After we got back to our seats, and the congregation was jut about though, seeing that representation really hit me and it sunk in. I just lost it and sobbed, you know the body shaking kind. I sobbed because I realized that our candles did not even account for half the people lost on that day and that really hit me hard.

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