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To all of those who lost loved ones on this date, whether they were in the planes, buildings or first responders the thoughts and prayers of the nation and abroad are with you today. I only have a few personal things to share about this day….
I'd just moved to Norcal from Southern NJ/Philly area in February 2001 to be with Monkette. At the time I was working about 25-30 miles away south from where we were living and I was up getting ready for work. Monkette had just graduated college and wasn't working fulltime yet so she was still in bed. I had the news station on to get a bead on traffic as I was warming the car up and scraping the frost off the windows. From outside the car I could hear the broadcasters saying something about a plane hitting a building in NYC but couldn't quite make out what was going on, but just shrugged at the strange news. I'd gone to college in the NY/Metro area and had heard stories of the occasional tourist vehicle having a mishap. When I finished and actually got IN the car to leave and could HEAR the report…this sounded a little more serious, but the reports coming in initially were just so confused/confusing. I don't know why I did it, but I did something then I hadn't done in a loooong time, I put on the Howard Stern show. If he wasn't on vacation he'd be right there in Manhatten and probably give the best coverage….I was right. I was listening to Stern when the second tower AND Pentagon was hit. For those of you who may not know, his 9/11 AND 9/12 broadcasts ARE EPIC (you can find them on youtube.com). You don't have to be a fan to see what an incredible service he did for the country on those days. He went from speaking about a night out with Pam Anderson to war correspondant in a matter of moments and there was a humanity in his voice as he relayed the horrible news and the ongoing saga. As I began my commute they were reporting on the North tower being hit and then the South tower got hit as well. That's when I had one of the grandest OSM (oh sh*t moments) combined with a WTF chaser. The second hit clarified for me that it was terrorism. As I drove along the freeway, the traffic was sparse which was VERY RARE for a Tuesday morning and the few people on the road all shared the same comatose expression and head shaking, some were actually crying as they drove.
I called back home and woke up Monkette's mom and told her to turn on the TV, she asked what channel and I said I don't think it matters. I was at the drive through for Jack in the Box when the Pentagon got smoked. The ladies there didn't know what was going on but immediately turned on the outside radios to listen. The facility I worked in was near the Oakland Airport and was in the path of imbound traffic so half of the staff refused to enter the building and went home. Our supervisor at the time forced the rest of us to work and made us stay the entire shift, I snuck a radio in and people wandered in to my office to hear what was going on. That supervisor came into my office and confiscated my radio saying that she felt that I was ruining the morale of the workers. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but notice that SHE was listening behind closed doors but okay. On my lunch break, I tried calling home twice and couldn't get through. The commute home was just as light as most people opted to stay home, but there was a TON of unmarked black SUVs and panel vans with tinted out glass convoying up and down the freeways at high speeds. Never seen them before or since but I do know that I'd never seen those kind of California license plates before. Just so you know, the SF bay area is similar to NYC in the way access into the city is by bridge or tunnel and it would be easy to isolate it so everyone locally feared that SF would be targeted next. Just as heads up, that supervisor was FIRED a couple of months later and her behavior on 9/11 was listed as one of the reasons for her ouster.
Because I went to college in the NY metro area, most kids who went to my college found work in Manhatten and I really wasn't keen on calling back east to get the bad news and didn't do so for some time. When I finally did track down one of my old buddies from college, he told me that HE knew a few people who perished on that day, but he told me that one of our close friends survived. Apparently this friend was in the South tower doing business with England. Because of the time difference (England is 5 or 6 hours ahead) he and a few other office workers would come in extra early to compensate. So this friend was talking on the phone w/their English customers when the first plane hit, he was looking out his window and saw a fireball climbing up the side of the North tower. He hung up quickly with the client, grabbed his coat and briefcase, ran through the office grabbing his coworkers and just said it's time to go. DON'T FORGET that terrorists tried to bomb the WTC before 9/11. They were down by the lower floors when a plane hit his building by the time they found way out and were a block or two away their building went down, though the South tower was hit second it was the first one to collapse.
I don't know how others dealt with things but I had bad nightmares for a long time and was horrified by how vile my thoughts were towards others. Especially when I saw on CNN the Palestinians dancing in the streets with glee at the tragedy that befell us that day.
I'm not sure if we're any safer now but hopefully we never forget the sacrifices made by so many to ensure the continuance of our way of life. Who knows if we'll ever get all the answers or the complete story but our world changed forever that day.
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I'll never forget that day as long as I live. I still can't look at pictures – I get physically sick to my stomach and very upset. I'll never get over it.
I also can't watch live TV coverage anymore. I turned on the TV in time to see the second plane fly into the tower live and I never want to see anything like that without being prepared for it again. It has really traumatized me.
We were living in Wales at the time, so we had a bunch of Americans who couldn't fly home with us for a while. We spent three days watching TV and feeling very far from home.
The people in the UK were wonderful. All the papers printed American flags as the cover pages so people could put them in their windows as a sign of support. They were in every window, both of residences and businesses.
My husband and I got hugged by complete strangers on the streets, in restaurants, etc. Brits are famous for not being huggers, but as soon as they heard our American accents, they came over to hug us and tell us how much they were with us.
The Queen even attended the memorial service and sang for the first time, ever. I went to London just to stand outside and listen over the speakers. The crowd was huge.
It was the same at the American Embassy. I went there to sign up to be a place for Americans who couldn't get home to stay and there were thousands of Brits there to do the same thing. It was wonderful and so, so sad, all at the same time.
We had three good friends who worked in the towers but all three survived because they weren't in their offices for random reasons. One was taking his child to school, one was picking up a pair of glasses and one missed her train. She got there in time to see the chaos after the first plane hit and just got on a train to go home. She'd been there for the truck bombing and knew that she wouldn't be able to get to her office. She had no idea what had happened until she got home.
That day reinforced my belief in destiny. Some people who were there every day weren't there and other people who had never been there before were. It makes me believe that we all have a destiny and a fated end. Just my opinion of course. I don't expect anyone else to agree with me.
Thanks for posting this Monk. I was going to add a new post under one I started last year for those who passed but just didn't do it.
9/11/01 was just four months before my retirenment date in January of '02. I was off that day and my mother was up visiting from Florida and staying over when she woke me after the first plane hit. She said turn on the TV and I did at the exact time the second plane hit. Getting up I went downstairs and watched the news in half a daze and got the call to come in. I quickly took care of a couple of things (sending out a couple of quick e-mails to friends saying I was ok (neither tower had fallen yet but for some reason I had a voice telling me to let people I knew that I was OK). The rest now is history.
The smell of the smoke, dust and I won't get in to to much other detail of the other smells. are still with me today, as I am sure are with the others.
I can't be PC about those that caused the events of that day because they tried it once before and are still trying to do it today and honestly I wish they will join bin Laden in hell. Because to this day rescue workers and those that worked there in the months following are still dying. I don't care what anybody says…this country is not bad enough to have what happened that day to have happened.
My thoughts and prayers are with those who died, are suffering the aftereffects of theie injuries and the such.
God bless them and their families.
Here are some pictures I took when Monkette came East to meet me. We were on the ferry that went around Liberty Island. There was a storm coming down the Hudson River and some guys in a replica Viking boat rowing around. They're not the greatest pictures in the world BUT they're significant because almost exactly a year later the WTC was gone, these photos are from Sept. 2000. As a person who was born else where and came to America, Monkette was emphatic about seeing the Statue of LIberty because unlike some, she has a deep rooted appreciation for what this country represents still!
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I know I am Canadian but that tragedy still haunts me to this day. I, too, remember where I was when I found out. I remember taking the bus home on that day and hearing an F18 fighter jet fly over head fast and low and feeling the blood drain from my face, feeling like I was going to faint. I volunteer with St John Ambulance and was called out to a a local High School to help with the passengers of the stranded flights. They set up TV's in several locations in the school and I remember the passengers coming in on busses and asking what was going on. I remember not wanting to give them details and directing them to the TV's. At that point I wasnt totally sure what had happened either. I remember the hundreds of people in the school and I remember the silence. I, too, have difficulty watching coverage. On the anniversary they played audio clips on the radio stations here and I cried again. I remember being in a different school the next day and they had put a map up in the medical room and we were pointing out to the passengers where they were. I remember how our city came together to help. I also remember watching footage and seeing a side of NY I had never seen before. Oh yes, I remember.
Monkette was totally into watching all of that stuff, I can't do it for alot of the reasons other people say it's just too much. It's even harder watching it now, if that's even possible when you think about all the lives lost needlessly. It makes me extremely sad but also volcanically angry. I try NOT to watch that stuff because it upsets me too much.
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I was in New York City once. It was October 2000. The towers were still standing. We didn't visit that day, but I was elated just to see them.
I watched. I watched everything that I found on 9/11, even dvr'd it in case I wanted to watch it again.
I watched to remember, to feel the pit in my stomach, to feel the sadness…and the anger of the moment I stepped out of the shower after my mom yelled into the bathroom: "A plane flew into the World Trade Center!" just to see the second plane hit the South Tower. We watched it together, my mom and me. It is the biggest news moment my mom and I shared.
I also watched to realize that with all the airport "patdowns" there are still terrorists in our country. Some of them are of our own making.
I do not believe, unlike The Big Wolf and others I know, that the bombing was a conspiracy carried out by our government. I do, however, believe that our government was lax and is partially responsible for this tragedy.
I watched, in awe, 10 years after the fact via a show called "102 Minutes That Changed America" (broadcast at 8:46 a.m est Sunday, September 11, 2011) and did so to remember that my heart still aches.
I just got to see the pictures, they were blocked at work. Even 10 years later I feel nauseous and dizzy when I see them. The most significant moment for me was when I saw an individual jump from one of the towers. That image is burned in my memory forever. That was one person who went to work that day, just like I went to school. It was routine and you come to expect and trust routine. Then, in a New York Minute, he had to make a decision. I hope like hell I, or any of my loved ones, NEVER have to make such a decision. My brother was working in a call center for a cell phone company that day and I heard stories of his co workers getting 911 calls. They were dialing 811 (or 611, I cant remember) instead of 911 and getting their Cell Phone carriers help line. That day changed the whole continent. I felt safe before then. My dad was in the Canadian Navy and I remember asking him when I was young if we would ever be attacked. He told me no because that if a missle was even pointed in our direction we (as in the Canadians AND Americans) have the technology to know about it and head it off at the pass. We wernt counting on terrorists with box cutters. I don't feel safe as safe anymore.
I think that most of us thought something like this would never happen. At least I never imagined it.
I have alot of friends and family who travel abroad and they all used to say to a person that compared to many other countries our airport and mass transportation security was really below the norm. Someone I was talking to actually mentioned they were suprised that there were trash cans on the platforms as a lot of places they did away with them as they were favored targets for placing bombs.
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I still fell safe in this country despite the attacks on 9/11 and the first time on the WTC and in Oklahoma. All considering this is still a safe place to be. Though I don't go into NYC as often as I did I still do at times and have after the attacks, rode the subways, went to areas where 'tourists' or large gatherings took place and just go about my business. The one thing these terorists want is to put fear into us and make us stay home. NYC is such a big place that anything can happen but fortunatly over thepast 10 years numerous plots were stopped…both those we have heard about and those we haven't.
The horrors of that day and others like it will be with us forever. It just shows us that we are living our lives the best we can and will continue to despite some radicals who wish we wouldn't. The fact that they still want to do us harm just shows how great a country we are.
I still fell safe in this country despite the attacks on 9/11 and the first time on the WTC and in Oklahoma. All considering this is still a safe place to be. Though I don't go into NYC as often as I did I still do at times and have after the attacks, rode the subways, went to areas where 'tourists' or large gatherings took place and just go about my business. The one thing these terorists want is to put fear into us and make us stay home. NYC is such a big place that anything can happen but fortunatly over thepast 10 years numerous plots were stopped…both those we have heard about and those we haven't. The horrors of that day and others like it will be with us forever. It just shows us that we are living our lives the best we can and will continue to despite some radicals who wish we wouldn't. The fact that they still want to do us harm just shows how great a country we are.
My name is Norcalmonkey67 and I approve of the preceding post!
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