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Where were you on this morning 5 years ago?

The ClayTaurus

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My grandfather told me awhile ago that a common bond his generation had was the phrase "where were you during Pearl Harbor?" It acted as an ice breaker and a unifier, providing an avenue to talk about and cope with the attrocity while preserving the memory and the significance of the event.

Unfortunately 9-11 looks to be my generation's "where were you during" event.

So, in the hopes of advancing the goals I just mentioned:

Where were you during 9-11?

I was at my girlfriend's apartment in college, we had just woken up to watch a little tv and have breakfast. Her roomates had CNN on which was VERY odd. They never watched the news.

The gf left for class before the reality of what was really going on set in, (she started 2 hours earlier than me that day) and I sat down on the couch. She was back 15 minutes later because class was cancelled, and then we sat on that couch for over 5 hours, at which point we got up and just walked, stunned. I don't think we spoke for most of the day.

The next memory I have is the campus-wide vigil that was the largest assembly of students I ever saw on campus.
 

Joan

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I was sitting at my desk on the tenth floor of a building in Piscataway, NJ, and watched the whole thing unfold! It was a horrible sight! I immediately tried calling Jim on his cell - knowing he worked in the city, but not sure where - waiting for him to return my call was the longest 45 minutes of my life!
 

fuzzykitten99

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I was working as a secretary at a small land and title survey company. One of my co-workers told me to turn the radio on and that some plane just hit the WTC. We kinda joked about the pilot being drunk, and if it was a Northwest Airlines plane (some pilots were cited for flying drunk a few years prior, it was a big joke around here) etc. Then we heard that another had hit, and we then turned on the meeting room TV... I don't think any work got done at all that day. It was about 830 am when we first heard about the first plane.
 

1549

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When I walked into Mrs. Lutz's 4th period Biology class, the TV was on and the towers were burning. It was a shocking image to walk in on. Mrs. Lutz's teaching aide, Mr. Z, said to the class: "this is your generation's pearl harbor". I live in a suburb of NYC, so a lot of kids left school early to be with family members that worked in the city.

After school my parents and I drove to a hill by my house. From the hill we could look down on the city and see the plume of smoke. I spent the entire night watching the news.
 

misterblu

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I stopped by my parent's house on the way to sign up for classes and get a new student ID. I hadn't turned on the TV that morning before leaving.

At first I thought my mom was joking when she told me what was going on.
 

CSM

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I was at work on an Air Force base. We heard about the first plane hitting the Towers and then the second. By the time the other two hit, the base was closed and I was on my way to get into my uniform and hit the Ops center as more and more Guard units were activated. Being an Intel/Ops kind of guy, I spent the next few days watching rumor control spin out of control; the news, intel, and operational reports as units got activated and sent to various locations throughout the US to provide not only airport security but disaster assitance, transportation and a host of other functions.

It was and still is one of the most horrible, fascinating and active periods in my life.
 

dmp

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I was in my car when it first came across the radio that a 'commuter' plane struck the first tower. I was here at work when the rest the stuff went down.

:(

I'll never forget the sound of the radio...my car's engine...traffic...how 'quiet' the world seemed. :(
 

Hobbit

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I was on my way to my government class when the first plane hit. I saw that it had happened on CNN, which is prepetually playing on one TV in the student union. By the time I got out of class, the other two planes had hit. I got back to my dorm just in time to see the first of the towers collapse and I just couldn't move. I spent most of the day watching CNN. My mom didn't believe me or my dad when we called saying that the U.S. had been attacked. My roommate freaked out when I woke him up to tell him that the WTC was gone. I even remember when the Afghani Northern Alliance made a huge assault that night and some of us thought we were already responding.
 

Bonnie

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I was getting ready to leave for work, my tv was off, my phone started to ring off the hook, my mom told me to turn on the TV she was very upset. I turned the TV on just in time to see the second plane hit the second tower, while watching the first tower burn. We both knew what it was. So I ran over to her house and watched TV endlessly all day, trying to call my Aunt, and some family friends that worked in that area of NY.
 

Bonnie

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I was in my car when it first came across the radio that a 'commuter' plane struck the first tower. I was here at work when the rest the stuff went down.

:(

I'll never forget the sound of the radio...my car's engine...traffic...how 'quiet' the world seemed. :(

That is so true. I remember how quiet the skies were the next few days as no planes were flying. It was eerie.
 

OCA

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I was in Chevy Chase, MD(DC border) at first listening to reports of the attack in NYC on the radio, then watching F-16 jets hauling ass by at about 1,000 feet every minute or so after the Pentagon got rocked, then I worked my way through what seemed like 50 military checkpoints in the district before I said fuck it, parked my car and walked home.
 

jillian

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I was getting my son ready for his first day of pre-K. I was supposed to drop him off and then head into work. He was fussy and didn't get his butt moving that morning, so I ended up still being at home, with the morning news on, when the first plane hit. After the second plane hit, I knew it was a terrorist attack and brought my son to school. I started to drive toward the city and could see the smoke from the towers (where I worked during school). At that point, my husband called me and told me to go pick up my son again because there was another plane that they couldn't account for (that was flight 93). So drove back toward the pre-K and brought him home. We spent the rest of the day trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to get phone calls out to family and could smell the smoke from our terrace. It was the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life.

Luckily, emails were working, and my husband could reach me by cell phone (although I couldn't reach him for some reason). My cousin worked in the 7 building, so we waited for word about whether he was safe (turned out he worked til midnight the night before and didn't go in that morning).

It pretty much sucked.... we were numb for weeks. F-16's buzzed us in the middle of the night for days.
 

Bonnie

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I was getting my son ready for his first day of pre-K. I was supposed to drop him off and then head into work. He was fussy and didn't get his butt moving that morning, so I ended up still being at home, with the morning news on, when the first plane hit. After the second plane hit, I knew it was a terrorist attack and brought my son to school. I started to drive toward the city and could see the smoke from the towers (where I worked during school). At that point, my husband called me and told me to go pick up my son again because there was another plane that they couldn't account for (that was flight 93). So drove back toward the pre-K and brought him home. We spent the rest of the day trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to get phone calls out to family and could smell the smoke from our terrace. It was the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life.
Luckily, emails were working, and my husband could reach me by cell phone (although I couldn't reach him for some reason). My cousin worked in the 7 building, so we waited for word about whether he was safe (turned out he worked til midnight the night before and didn't go in that morning).

It pretty much sucked.... we were numb for weeks. F-16's buzzed us in the middle of the night for days.

The smell of burning permeated the downtown NY area for weeks after. I won't soon forget that odor.
 

dmp

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YeahÂ…I remember where I was when it started. I was on State Route 16, just south/east of the Purdy/Key Center Exit, listening to KISS 106.1 FM Morning Show. I spent the first several hours of work in a coffee shop across the parking lot so I could watch the news.
Originally posted by BigProbe
12 September 2001

Beewding Fah Down?


There are times in life where we are tempted to raise our fists to the sky and shout “WHY, GOD???” We witness events happen beyond our control, imagination, and fears. We look to make reason out of insanity. We struggle with blame and cause.

Last night, while watching the never-ending broadcasts, they showed what was left of one section of the Pentagon. My thoughts drifted to MAJ Williams, a man I served in the Army with, who left Fort Lewis to work at the Pentagon. I wondered if he was safe. I wondered if his friends and loved ones were alive. I wondered if he was trapped under piles of burning rubble even I sat comfortably on my couch. As I started to cry, I lowered my head, slightly, so as not to disturb my 2 yr old daughter, Alaina. The disguise did not work. From across the living room, Alaina walked over to me and stood by me. She looked up at her mother and asked, “Daddy Cry?” I raised my head, and took her by the hand, bringing her close to me. I told her, “Yes, baby. Daddy is crying” Alaina put her arm around my neck and pulled my head close to her, comforting me with “Daddy, T’okay”.
At this point she looked up at the television to see the images of one of the World Trade Center buildings crash down upon itself. Alaina turned once again to me and said “Uh-Oh! Beewding Fah down?” I answered with, “Yes, love, Building Fall Down. That is why Daddy is crying.”
Alaina “oh Daddy…. T’okay Daddy…. I love yooo”.

With that, she released her hug and started walking towards her bedroom. I asked her if she wanted to watch more of the building. She replied, “Laina want color!” as she wobbled along down the hall to her room.

How refreshing it was to be around Alaina’s innocence, at a time like this. To hear her complete trust that, “everything would be okay”. And that even though the “beewding fah down” Alaina still loves her Daddy. Last night I couldn’t be away from Alaina more than a few minutes. I took solace from Alaina. Something about they way her little pony-tail would flop as she ran through the house helped me escape the horror of yesterday’s events, and find a still small place in my own mind. A place where I could just be 2 again. A place where people weren’t killed, planes were not crashed, and nobody hated anyone.

Alaina saved me last night. And the beauty of it is, she wasn’t even TRYING to. Once more I asked God, “Why? What did I do to ever deserve such a wonderful girl?”

My daughter is 4 years old now. I doubt very much she remembers much if anything about that day two years ago. She probably doesn’t know that one moment in time she changed her Daddy. She’ll probably live the rest of her life not knowing how I became a different person in a small way, because of her, and the events of that day. Sometimes I pray about what happened then. People tell me it’s too late – that God won’t change the past. I believe in God. I believe God can do just about anything. I believe God is not constrained by time. When I pray, I ask God to be with those people who suffered that day. I ask that God would have sent his Spirit to comfort them – provided them safety or companionship or warmth as they may have felt the cold steel and concrete fall around them. I ask that God hold them in his arms, as they passed on to the next life.

Today I have a son who has no concept of that day. In the last five years my life has had wild swings of 'good' and 'bad' - but through it all I've found strength in the words spoken by my little girl a half-decade ago.

4061alainapics.jpg
 

Mr. P

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Watching the whole thing unfold on live tv. From the first report of a “small plane” crashed into the WTC to actually seeing the second….glued to the tv all day and night wondering what I could do.
I almost loaded my truck with stuff and drove to NYC to help, but figured they had all they could handle and I might get turned away. Hindsight, I should have gone.
 

jillian

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The smell of burning permeated the downtown NY area for weeks after. I won't soon forget that odor.


Difficult smell to forget..... *sigh*

I also remember downtown being constantly wet for months because it took so long to put out the fires. The streets started to buckle cause of it.
 

Hagbard Celine

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I was in Philosophy class at GSU in downtown Atlanta. We cut class short to watch the towers fall on tv. Soon after they fell, but before the final attack on the Pentagon, classes were cancelled and Atlanta basically evacuated. Everybody left the city because no one knew where the next plane would hit. It was definately unnerving. I can't imagine what it would've been like to have been in NYC at the time. :eek:
 

Avatar4321

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We've had these threads before but its always good to remember.

I remember waking up that day and deciding that was getting behind in class so i was going to spend the morning studying. so i skipped breakfeast turned off everything and studied all morning. around noon i figured id check my email before class and i got bombarded by friends who were panicked and I had no clue why. I know I was completely stunned. But i still had class so i ran to my religion class and we discussed it in depth. it actually went along well with our discussion.
 

onedomino

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I was getting ready for class at UCLA. I did not leave the house for 2 days. F-15s flew CAP over LA. I was living in a time before I knew Osama Bin Landen was alive. Now I want to live in a time when I know he is dead.
 

nt250

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I was driving to work. I lived in Warwick, RI and I had a hour commute, on a good day, to my job in Marlboro, Mass. That Tuesday was a good day. It was an absolutely beautiful morning. The sky was so blue and clear. It was warm, almost still summer, but not hot. My air conditioning had died in my Plymouth Grand Voyager two years before and I couldn't afford to have it fixed, but I didn't need it that morning. It was pretty much as perfect a morning as you could ever hope for.

I was listening to Jones and Joan on the radio when, between songs, they said that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Not a big deal. They went back to their usual morning routine.

As I was backing into a parking space at work, David Jones came back on and said that another plane had hit the other tower. Just before I turned off the ignition I remember Joan saying "this is obviously not an accident". I got my stuff and walked into the lobby of my building.

As I walked into the building this stranger said to me "they just hit the Pentagon". I have no idea who he was. He just needed to tell someone I guess.

I walked to my desk. My boss was looking at the CNN home page. One co-worker had the radio on. Nobody knew what was happening. It was bad, but it didn't seem like a really big huge deal. We all pretty much settled into working. Whatever had happened was a long way from us.

Then my boss got a call from his daughter who told him that one of the towers had just fallen.

We went down to the cafeteria to see what the TV was showing. It was way too crowded. I couldn't even see the TV, there were so many people in the room. I decided to leave and work the rest of the day from home, just in case they closed the schools.

It seemed like the longest hour drive in my life. Jones and Joan were gone. The radio station was playing a live feed from CBS News. I listened to Dan Rather all the way home. At no time did he say the tower had fallen. He said "if" a lot. There were reports of car bombs. And a missing plane. Then, just before I got home, there was a report of a plane crashing in Pennsylvania. More car bombs.

I got home, walked into my living room, turned on the TV, and sat there in shock. I actually said, out loud to my empty living room, "Dan Rather is an idiot". Seeing it on TV was the first time I had confirmation that, yes, the World Trade Center was gone.

I spent the next 4 days doing nothing but watch TV.

I didn't lose anyone, and I don't know anyone who lost anyone, on 9/11. But I'm an American and I love my country. We didn't deserve what they did to all of us that day. And they did do it to all of us. Because when it comes right down to it, we're all the same as the hot shot stock brokers, and the suits at Cantor Fitzgerald. We're the secretaries and the clerks who were wiped out as they did nothing but sit at their desks. We're the parents and the children of those people on the planes, who did nothing but board the wrong plane at the wrong time. We're the bus boys and wait staff at Windows on the World, who did nothing but go to work that day.

And what a beautiful day it was. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. Of all the people who died on September 11, 2001, it's the people at Windows On The World that will forever haunt me. Going there, to such a special place, must have been an event. Everybody who walked into the restaurant that morning just had to look out the windows. Whether it was their first visit, or if they'd worked there for 20 years, they had to look that morning. There was no way they couldn't. Not that morning. It was such a beautiful day.

May all the victims of September 11, 2001 rest in peace.
 

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