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Author Topic: Memories of 9/11  (Read 958 times)

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Offline Top CatTopic starter

Memories of 9/11
« on: March 05, 2013, 02:37:52 PM »
For no particular reason, this morning I found myself remembering the morning of 9/11/2001, and the terrorist attacks of that day. I felt that I needed to share these memories.

I was up late, playing games on Pogo. It was 4:30 AM, and I had the TV on, as much for noise as anything else. And when it changed from entertainment to news, I didn't care enough to change the channel.

The news people started talking excitedly about a plane in New York that had deviated from its flight plan - this was big news for a quiet, sleepy morning. They got their traffic helicopter diverted so that they could follow this anomaly. At this point, nobody knew what was going on; they were making speculations that the pilot had lost control of the plane, or something.

This was somewhat interesting, so I split my attention between the game and the TV. The plane went into a steep turn, and I could see the Twin Towers ahead. My immediate thought was that he had performed a maneuver to avoid hitting something. And then the plane plowed into the World Trade Center, glass spraying out from all directions. A few moments later, the shockwave from the impact rocked the news helicopter.

Still thinking that this was some tragic accident, I turned back to Pogo, and typed into chat, "Everyone turn the news on. A plane just hit the World Trade Center." One of the regulars thought I was playing some sort of practical joke, and said so. I angrily replied, "I don't care if you believe me, just turn your damn TV on."

Watching tensely as the building burned... and then the news person's voice got excited and tense, the camera swiveled... just in time to catch the second plane hit the other tower, utterly dispelling any idea that it could have been an accident. A second later, and they would have missed it.

Everything else played out as we now know; both towers eventually collapsing under the enormous stresses; the other planes and their fates. I wasn't particularly emotional about it at the time, but I can't remember that without crying, these days. I can discuss the whole thing in the abstract, talk about the motives of the terrorists, argue with conspiracy theorists who hadn't watched it as it unfolded, like I had. But if I start remembering from my perspective... I just can't make it through the account without crying. And it bothers me that I'm still annoyed at that woman for suggesting that I was trolling them, when I know good and well that trolls can and would do something like that.

So, that's my little perspective on that one day in history. Why I was remembering it today... I have no idea. But I needed to get this written down, hopefully shed a little of the pain attached to it. If you've read this far... thank you.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 02:39:15 PM by Top Cat »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 02:47:28 PM »
My brother was interviewing for an airline staff job with WestJet that very day. For real.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 02:50:55 PM »
Frankly its a bad thing that happened but its been over a decade maybe its time to let the families and all get passed this by not having more memorials for the dead, but get on with living. And note not forget what happened so as to allow it to be repeated treat it like other horrors like the Holocaust and use it as a learning experience for the human species.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 03:06:42 PM »
Agreed, Ruby... still, totally one of those lifelong "you remember where you were when" moments for the generation that witnessed it. (For me, I was walking through a department store when I heard people talking about an "accident" or something in New York; one of the sales clerks had switched one of their display sets to the news, and we saw the second plane hit. I remember so many people describing the surreality of it, that it was like watching a movie come to life.)

Of course, I have a lot of "I remember where I was when" moments from the years after that, too.

Offline Blythe

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 03:13:26 PM »
I always feel sad when I remember that day. I was in middle school, and my parents came to pick me up, because I was in a private school that accepted a multitude of international students (and the teachers were Middle Eastern, so my parents got very frightened and paranoid). It was Spanish class, and I was taken out of school. I went home.

And the first thing I saw was that awful footage.

*shudder*

Anyone alive and old enough to recall will recall where they were that moment.

I hope that the victims rest in peace, that the survivors and their families may find some balm for their souls.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 04:23:46 PM »
I was on the way to university. When I got off the bus at the student center, my boyfriend met me there and told me school was closed for the day. When I asked him why, he told me. I went back home before the buses came off the road and the whole city shut down for a bit to watch TV. Our city was one of the ones to take in international flights.

And personally I feel that, while it has indeed been over a decade and has been wildly commercialized in some ways, it is never wrong to talk about where we were or how we felt that day. No one is forcing themselves on the families here; and it's only by remembering that we can never truly forget.

Online SweetSerenade

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 04:36:40 PM »
I was in school, middle school. I had just gotten into school, it was a really early morning. We went to school pretty early, I lived in florida. I had been up since 3am, because of nightmares... I had these weird as all get up nightmares. About flames, and screaming... the sounds of crying children. I have always had rather vivid dreams, since I was young. The night of Sep 10th, I woke up screaming at midnight, from a nightmare I didn't understand. I realized later, as an adult, the nightmare was a premonition. I had them several times in the past.

I dragged myself to school, had breakfast at school, and even was sitting in Homeroom. I was sleepy, and just kind of dozing off. Heard a scream, I don't know from where. Then my head came up, military brat training kicked in. I was on alert, adrenaline pulsing through me. My teacher turned on the tv, after she got a call at her desk. She was frantic, I could feel how frantic it made the glass. It was like the emotion was palatable... My teacher turned on the TV, we were seeing the first crash... then the second plane hit.

My world spun out rapidly, my head was ringing. I could feel the crush of the people around me, as students started crying and screaming. A lot of them were military brats, with family in new york, like me. I just realized I sat there numbly. Then I passed out.

I woke up later in the nurses office, apparently I had passed out in class... a puddle of blood coming from my head. I had started to bleed from my face... from the various orifices the face has. I went to the hospital that day, nothing was wrong with me. They couldn't explain it.

That day... it just changed me... it made me realize, what people were truly strong... and who only played at being strong.

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 05:20:57 PM »
I had phone watch and since we were deployed in Katherine Australia at the time, it was like midnight to 1 am... I can't remember exactly. I was reading like usual and my friend Francis was in talking with his father. Same old boring watch right? Then Francis comes and tells me that the towers were hit and like most people I thought he was just pulling my leg. Then he tells me the other plane hit and moments later the phone rang....

It was the base CO from Iwakuni wanting to talk to my CO. Well none of our officer's were on base, they got nice hotel rooms in town while we got stuck in the underground barracks on base. So totally fair right? Well at least they were nice and cool for being in Australia in September. I got instructions and then it was being on the phone for the rest of the morning until Captain Santare took over at 5 in the morning. It really didn't hit me until I got to the barracks for a muster... But you know us Marines duty first and personal feelings come later. Or it could just have been I was so busy that I didn't have time to think.

That came later when they locked down the base for a week.... Then it was off to Iwakuni... The part I found funny was that if I remember correctly Britteny Spears was complaining because she was stuck in Sydney and couldn't leave....

Offline Torch

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 06:32:08 PM »
I know I posted this before, on the 10th anniversary of 09/11, so repost:

From 1993-1995, I worked on the 38th floor of Two World Trade (South Tower). Mr. Torch worked at 7 World Trade Center, one of the smaller buildings in the complex. We both worked in financial services (Wall Street firms), although I quit when Demon Spawn #1 was born. Two years later, in 1997, we moved to Texas.

On 9/11, we were living in San Antonio, and I was home with Demon Spawn #2, who was 7 months old at the time. Mr. Torch called me from work, and told me to turn on the TV, that the WTC was on fire. I did so and just as I did the first tower collapsed. I remember staring in shock at the TV, and just yelling at him on the phone "It's gone, it's gone, the whole tower is just gone!".

Although I did not personally know anyone who died (the firm I worked for had moved to midtown Manhattan by that time), Mr. Torch knew several business acquaintances who lost their lives. He grew up in NYC, and lost over 30 alumni from his high school on that day alone. My MIL, who lives in Brooklyn, spent the day watching the smoke cloud from the window of her home.

Offline Ryven

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 09:31:28 PM »
I don't recall anything personally extraordinary about it other than the shock of watching two of the most recognizable buildings in the country get attacked and the fall.  I remember being shocked and astonished, mostly that something like that was actually happening.  I can't say that I was scared though.  I've always been more of a realist, so the possibility has always been there for me.  It is still shocking to see it happen, and what was most shocking was watching people fall from the top levels.

I was at my sister's apartment that day, helping her watch my nephew.  I think I was 17 at the time.  I remember every detail about the moments that I was watching it.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 09:37:01 PM »
what was most shocking was watching people fall from the top levels.

Yes. This. It's what sticks with me the most.

I later saw a documentary about the firefighters who tried to get up the burning towers on that day. As they're strategizing, you can hear periodic, really loud crashing sounds... bodies falling. I can't imagine what those guys must have been feeling.

Online SweetSerenade

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 10:05:19 PM »
I want to say something else, knowledge that I have of metals and the like. But it is often considered conspiracy theory, so I'm not sure if I should really say anything. Except this, even as a child... something didn't seem right to me. But I always look at the world from a different perspective than others. But for anyone that wants to know, I'll provide what details I can.

I will always remember that day. I had family in that building, my fathers family. My mothers adopted family. My adopted maternal grandfather, had family in that building. This was shortly after his death, I know my grandfather would have had a heart attack watching it. I just remember how many people died, how many eyes were opened that day. I just wish this country didn't have to experience something like that, to see the world as it is.

Sorry if I upset anyone...

Offline elone

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 10:10:30 PM »
Was home and saw it on TV. Could not believe it. Then heard a big blast and my house shook, it was the Pentagon about 5 miles from my home as the crow flies. I remember another plane being reported still missing and heading for Washington, DC. At least that was the thought. People were trying to get out of the city, was a complete mess. called my wife and she said they were trying to get out of the office (close to the White House), a prime target. Spent hours trying to get to her to pick her up to get her home. Will never forget it.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 10:17:28 PM »
"I think it's a good call to keep the speculations off-thread"
(Props to SweetSerenade for bringing up the elephant in the room. Which no doubt is part of why RubySlippers said what she did. It's very divisive.)

I've seen a lot of the pro '9-11 was an inside job' theories and also a lot of the material attempting to refute it. In general, there's no context in which I understand suspicion better, given how venal and insane and generally fucked-up in every way that the White House of the day proved to be... but I don't on the whole think the current crop of conspiracy theorists get the better of the argument, and in a great many cases I think they themselves are frauds selling fake dissent in the same way (but with less honesty) that Vincent McMahon sells fake wrestling. That doesn't, however, mean I think we know the whole story yet.

Online Oniya

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 09:58:25 AM »
Was home and saw it on TV. Could not believe it. Then heard a big blast and my house shook, it was the Pentagon about 5 miles from my home as the crow flies.

I was living in Annandale at the time.  The little Oni was only a few months old, and Mr. Oniya woke me up to tell me the news.  I remember thinking that my daughter would grow up in a world that would never have the Twin Towers, and how the next few days were eerily quiet without the usual planes from Dulles and National flying overhead.  That said, I think that there's been a little too much 'commercialization' of the incident.  Almost every year since then, towards the end of summer, we get the commemorative coins, 'made from actual precious metal from Ground Zero' cropping up, and every year I hope that they finally sell out.

Offline Amor

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 10:04:13 AM »
I was at a mathematics private lesson, getting ready for an exam. My tutor got a phone call from her sister-in-law and returned to the table, said "A plane crashed into the Twin Towers". We returned to quadratic equations.

It only really sunk in on the ride back home, because my mother was really anxious about it. We got inside and sat down in front of the TV. I was spared the footage happening in real time, but I do remember it being played (and watching it) on a loop, over and over and over again on every channel for a week or so. It was quite traumatic.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 11:15:10 AM »
I was working the flight line at NAS Jacksonville and walked into the duty office to update our supervisor (who was standing watch) and Divsion Officer (ditto) on an on-going issue. I walked in just in time to see the live footage of the 2nd tower taking it's hit. Needless to say it is something that will stick with us for a long long long time. I know that damn near everyone in service at the time can tell you what they were doing at that time.

I got 3 days off as they shut down the field, mustered the assets and lined up folks to send around to cover the needs of the deployed assets in the gulf. We had over a dozen techs get sent overseas and another two dozen of us were told to have a 'to go' bag ready to go on six hours (or less) notice.

Offline Moraline

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 12:17:03 PM »
I was home for some reason that I don't remember on this day. I turned on the TV to see the horror of the first building smoking. Then a short while later I watched as people screamed seeing the 2nd plane crash into the second tower. I watched in a state of complete shock every minute of it until the towers crashed. I was glued to the TV all day with the phone on my ear talking to people about what was going on and stuff.

I remember thinking: "So, this is what it's like to watch as a live act of terrorism unfolds." 

I had never seen anything like it before. I remember in the news about some plane hostage crises but I had never watched it unfold live and with such raw emotion pouring from people. It was all unedited, live, and streaming into our homes. Since that I've seen a lot of stuff similar to it on the internet but this was my first really major moment.

Something that's always occurred to me though is...  What's next? And When?

After I read this thread I looked something up that I remembered seeing:

1 1/2 hr Video about what will happen if a Nuclear bomb is used in Washington DC (by History Channel)

A lot of interesting insights in that video about the emergency plans that went into affect during the 9/11 attack and what's been done since that to change plans.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2013, 07:06:35 AM »
My condolences to those who lost friends or loved ones and those who felt fear or a loss of safety when they saw that attack. It was one of many such tragedies that have happened around the world, but like all of those tragedies it takes on a new dimension to those involved.

I was mostly too young, sheltered and self-centered at the time to think much of it. I saw it on the news when it happened, but things that happened on the news weren't real to me back then. I didn't pay it much attention.

Now that I think on it much later, I am saddened by the loss of life and pain that it caused people.

Offline Oneiros

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 05:54:00 AM »
I'm not sure why I'm posting here, because I normally don't frequent this board. I guess 9/11 is something of a... delicate subject for me. I didn't know anyone who was killed in 9/11, it's the aftermath that's still going on that's affected my life the most.

I had dropped out of school the year before, I believe. I was supposed to graduate in '02, so I should've been a senior that year. I was very depressed and spent most of my time sleeping, that day was no different in that respect. My mom didn't wake me up until after the towers had fallen. She pounded on my door and woke me from a dead sleep, telling me that the world trade center towers had collapsed. That's exactly how she told me, just that the buildings had collapsed, and I only vaguely had any idea what the WTC was, so I had no idea what was going on. I was groggy and bleary and I got up to come to the living room and see what was going on.

By this point people were talking about how it was some kind of attack, and that the president was going to a secure location - which happened to be Omaha, Nebraska, where I lived. At this point, I was getting pretty nervous, and I logged on to AIM to talk to my fiance about what was going on. I was really upset by the images of the people fleeing and falling from the buildings, to this day if I think about it too hard I still get really upset. I have very strong empathetic reactions to things, and I don't feel like most people actually understand how strongly I feel when I empathize with someone. But I'm digressing.

I logged onto AIM, told my fiance about it, he said they were hearing about it in Norway (long-distance relationship), and I told him how the president was hiding in Omaha. That really upset him, he felt like the president was a "giant walking target" at that time, and I remember him asking if we had someplace safe to go. I reassured him I'd be fine. We spent the next several weeks glued to the TV, finding out more details.

Now, I mentioned at the beginning of this post that the aftermath is what affected my life the most. My mom became obsessed with 9/11. She became absorbed into the internet, poring over every minute detail she could find about it. She became obsessed with the conspiracy theories, and insists that the US knew, that they planned this, that they detonated the towers to make them collapse, that it was a missile and not a plane that hit the pentagon... she stopped cooking, stopped cleaning, stopped taking care of her children, drove my dad away because of this (though to be fair he was a terrible husband - a cheater and emotionally abusive, so it was only a matter of time before that would've fallen apart anyway). I moved out during this time because I couldn't live there with her like this. There was a period of about two years where the house had no heat, no running water, and was filled with garbage because she was obsessed with pursuing this (and some other things, but mostly 9/11). She and my three youngest siblings were kicked out of not one, but two houses because she had allowed them to get so bad, the county condemned them.

Though things have gotten a bit better with her (she no longer allows the house to deteriorate now that she has grandchildren), this is still going on to this day with her. I have her as my friend on Facebook but I have to keep her hidden, because she never stops posting these outlandish things, demanding "the truth", and bemoaning the fact that the general population doesn't believe her and the other people who believe these things. She's one of those people you'd imagine screaming into a megaphone about how the government is out to get us, the president is a pedophile appointed by the Illuminati, et cetera. Once she got a weird virus on her computer (gee, I wonder how that happened, all the highly trustworthy websites she visited...) and she was dead convinced it was the government trying to remote-wipe her computer because she 'knows too much'.

So... yeah. It feels kind of selfish, but my main thoughts these days about 9/11 are how it marks the point when my family began to fall apart, and how it's still such a huge part of my mom's life in a very bad way.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 05:56:49 AM by Fedora »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2013, 04:56:26 AM »
Wow, so sorry about that, Fedora. That's horrible.

Offline Sho

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 02:46:08 AM »
I agree with Cyrano, I'm so sorry to hear that, Fedora.

The entire event was just...horrific, if that word can even describe 9/11. While I agree that it has been commercialized, it's hard to forget. My father lived very close to the Pentagon and my mother worked on Capitol Hill. I distinctly remember calling my father and getting no answer (he was actually on his way to a business trip in New York, but he had turned around last minute because he had forgotten some files and his secretary had no idea where he was), and my mother was MIA, since she'd been evacuated. I remember thinking that, since we had so little information about the scope of the damage (in middle school I thought it might be much larger than any particular buildings), I might be an orphan.

Luckily both my parents ended up being absolutely fine, and life went on, at least for us...but I remember that sinking feeling, and I can't help but think of the families who ACTUALLY lost parents and siblings and children. That was quite possibly the only time in my life that I've felt that America, where I had always thought I could travel safely, and visit safely, was unsafe. I remember sitting in Washington and wondering what was going to be hit next and since we WERE the capital and had remained relatively unscathed, when the next attack would be. It was terrible.

It was, obviously, far less terrible than what the families who lost loved ones went through. Still, though...I remember it being the moment when my sense of utmost safety and security was shattered in a way that I don't suppose can ever fully be repaired. Luckily, our family was able to heal and move on and mourn those that we lost in New York (quite a few family friends), but I know that it is not so easy for all.

Offline Top CatTopic starter

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2013, 02:57:19 AM »
I'd like to thank everyone who has shared their memories, and encourage others to do the same. I think it's good to do it now, when it's not the anniversary, so that we're not caught up in the media frenzy that can sweep up those around us.

My condolences for your problems, Fedora. In some ways, that's worse than losing a loved one. A death is final, closure of sorts. What you've got is still an open wound, so to speak.

Offline vin26m

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2013, 06:39:54 AM »
I worked in Manhattan on 9/11.  I was on my way to my job all the way downtown by subway, and the subway has a stop under the World Trade Center.  My train stopped before that station, and the commuters were told that service would stop running.  I went up to the street level and walked past the Twin Towers.

Everyone on the street was looking up at the top of one of the towers.  Black smoke was coming from it.  I started to continue walking downtown when I heard the roar of a low flying plane.  I looked up, saw the second plane heading toward the other tower halfway up the tower.  There was a plane, then a ball of fire, then a gaping hole in the building.

People started running and crying.  It didn't seem real to me and I remember feeling kind of numb to everything.  If there was something I could have done, I would have, but there wasn't anything, so I continued walking to work, rather slowly and calmly.

At my job, everyone was on the street.  There was a woman I was attracted to who otherwise barely gave me the time of day, but she was bawling and she hugged me like she was happy to see me.

I ordered a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from a curbside truck that serves breakfast.  It was the best tasting sandwich I ever ate.

I went inside my building and everyone was gathered around the TVs.  I decided to go outside for some air.  While I was outside, it seemed like it started to snow, but it was actually dust kicked up from the towers falling.  I was choking on dust as I went back into the building.

We were eventually told to go home, but there was no bus or subway service of any kind.  I had to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge along with herds of other commuters and take a train from there.  It took me four hours to get home when it usually would have taken one hour.

My dad also worked in the city and he saw people jumping from the roofs of the burning buildings.

I didn't lose anyone, but one of my college friends lost her fiance.

For a couple of weeks after that, every time I heard a jet I would look up when I usually wouldn't pay any attention to it.

My co-workers and I worked from home for a couple of months. 

Soon after that the economy went south and I got laid off, which I was actually very happy about.  I had had enough of the city.


Offline Serephino

Re: Memories of 9/11
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2013, 11:47:00 AM »
I was in Driver's Ed class.  A few of my classmates came in and said they were watching the news in the class they came from, and a plane hit a building in New York.  They got the teacher to turn on the news instead of having class.  We saw the second plane hit, and that was when we knew something big was going on.  By that time the whole school was pretty much watching the news.  I went to study hall, then by lunch everyone was talking about a plane hitting somewhere nearby, but no one was sure where.  Then we finally figured out it was near Shankesville, where I have family, so that worried me a little.

After lunch we were sent to 5th period class, but we were supposed to stay there the rest of the day.  Parents were coming to get their kids, so there weren't many of us anyway.  My mom was in Pittsburgh for something, so I was stuck.  That teacher wouldn't put on the news, so we just kind of entertained ourselves for a few hours.  Someone had Uno cards, so we played that for a while until it was time to go home.

I knew it was a big thing, but I was a little annoyed that TV stations had nothing but news coverage about it for over a week.  I really hate that they pick apart every little detail over and over and over again.  I'm sensitive to things too, and it was hard having it shoved in my face constantly.  It wasn't even any new information most of the time.