Where were you on 9/11/2001

Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 5 years, 10 months ago to History
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I recall 9/11, as if I could ever forget, because it was the beginning of the end of so many things in my life. It was the beginning of the failure of my IT consulting company, it was the awakening of my countrymen to the truth about the world we live in, it was beginning of the acidic cynicism in my heart that will no doubt be my eventual demise.

I awoke from my couch at the prodding of my 12 year old son. The television was on - FOX News. The cobwebs cleared to see one of the towers with a gaping gash. Debris spewing out of its wound, papers littered the sky line huge snowflakes. The news was still speculating that it may have been an accident when a second jet flew into the second tower.

My heart dropped. I wished ALL Muslims dead. Yes, I knew before they said it that Islam was responsible. I recall saying, and now regret, that "Millions of Muslims have to die to avenge what they have done" - be careful what you wish for.

As time went on I watched in horror as people leapt from the windows, preferring the fall to the fire - I can't blame them. Stunned I watched this massive World Trade Center collapsed, knowing that thousands of AMERICANS, men and women who just went to work, had died before my eyes.

Time passed. I called my children's schools - they wouldn't be going for the foreseeable future. I told my wife to take off from work - she did. My family wouldn't be leaving the house until we knew that at least the world around us was secure.

I drove to my office 3 hours late and dismissed everyone for the day - I told them to be home with their families. We didn't know what was going to happen next and I didn't expect many calls for service (how right I was). I remember sitting in my silent office and crying in anger.

My business failed as clients held tight their wallets for several months- uncertainty breeds caution, no one is to blame.

I am still angry.

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  • Posted by lmarrott 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was in the Navy at the time. We were doing an ammunition onload in Southern California. The plan was to be in port for a week while we brought it on, but instead they craned things that went into the ships magazines to the flight deck and stuff that had to be loaded into systems immediately we did as fast as we could (RAM for example). After this we took off straight out to sea and hand carried all the ammo cans around the ship.

    Good times.
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    • Posted by ronmon 5 years, 10 months ago
      Thanks for your service. We wondered where all the ships went that morning. I had taken my WWII veteran dad from Ohio to a reunion of his tank bn in downtown San Diego. 911 was supposed to be the 2nd full day of the reunion. Dad and I woke up at 6:45 in the morning and turned on the TV. Then thought someone must be playing a big joke on us. After watching for a while and getting dressed we went down to the common room where they had a buffet breakfast for us. We got some food and joined the rest of the reunion nibbling and watching the coverage on a big screen in the common room. Sat there for 2 or 3 hours with the vets just watching and shaking our heads. What a crazy week 2000+ miles from home. As the only ones at the reunion who traveled by AMTRAK to S. Cal., we were the only ones that returned home on schedule (albeit - with some AMTRAK crazy time bumps in the road).

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  • Posted by UncommonSense 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was in the Air Force, and completed my PT test that morning and knew something was up when 2 guys were still talking about "that was no accident". When I left the mens locker room, and entered the main gym area, nobody was working out, everyone was watching both towers smoke. I knew we were under attack (thanks to my experiences while stationed in the middle east for 2 years) and headed out to work, knowing it was going to be a long day.
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  • Posted by westcoastie 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was working as a firefighter on the busiest engine in my department... after running 20 calls I remember sitting in front of the bay doors by myself on a metal fold out chair around 1am. You could here a pin drop... except for the twin Hornets flying patrol overhead. I grew up back east and wanted to leave that morning and head to NYC but my Captain refused, and rightfully so, pointing out I was the only Paramedic on the Engine on 9/11.

    My wife, a police officer on 9/11/01, was supposed to get off shift that morning but didn't come home until 5pm because nobody left her agency until exhaustion set in. I wouldn't see her for almost another full day as I was held over on my 24hr shift for another 12hours.

    Finally being able to see one another on the morning of September 13th when she got off shift was... moving.

    We are both retired from Public Safety and are deep into the third chapter of our lives.

    I am sad for all of my friends who lost family that day. One of my closest friends lost his father on 9/11 - a PAPD ESU cop - he is now a NYC firefighter. Another friend just had to retire because of the damage to his lungs from the dust... he can barely speak 5 words without coughing.

    We all manage to laugh every day, even today, even though it is masking the pain.

    That's where we were... and where we are now.

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  • Posted by  $  johnrobert2 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was working as a substitute teacher at a local high school and watched quietly as the scenes unfolded. As the towers came crashing down, and the responsibility became fixed, I thought that retribution should be swift, massive, and indiscriminate. You don't f**k with the US and escape with a minor scratch.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was at work. My office manager told me to come quickly and watch the TV. As I watched the mayhem, glued to the screen, I witnessed the second plane smash into the second tower. It was horrifying. The people throwing themselves from the buildings, the people in the streets running in terror and soon after the collapse, the people in the streets covered in dust like ash... I watched with great sadness at what occurred and at my own helplessness. I thought, if only I was younger I would have considered giving up my life as I knew it for a bit of Justice and the chance to join the military and offer some small contribution... such was the outrage and patriotism of one old dog... We must never forget or allow others to.
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  • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was at my son's second day of preschool. He was three, my daughter, one. Here was coffee and other refreshments for the parents. One of my friends came in and said a plane had hit one of the Trade Center towers. Rumor was it was a small plane. Then another parent came in and said a second plane had slammed into the other tower. I tried to call my husband, who for the first time ever had taken the day off sick. We lived in White Plains, NY, and he worked in mid town Manhattan. The cell service was out/overwhelmed. In the meantime, the director offered to have us come into her office, where we watched in utter horror the first tower collapse in on itself. By this time, the Pentagon had been hit. I used to live 1/4 mile away from it when I was a girl. Then the second tower fell, and people were openly weeping, trying to reach loved ones who worked in the Trade Center. My dad had meanwhile reached my husband who had no idea what was going on. My Dad lives outside of Pittsburgh, and flight 93 flew right over his house. My sister in law was on her way to work in DC when the pentagon was hit.
    The most amazing thing was a couple whose daughter was in her first day of preschool, both worked at 7 World Trade, which was demolished by he collapse of the Twin Towers. They decided they would both see her brought her first day of school.
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  • Posted by Falcon66 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was on duty in the Pentagon not far from where the terrorist airplane hit the building. My family thought I was dead as they did not hear from me for over 5 hours afterwards. After evacuation, I was involved with rescue and aid efforts throughout the day. Several weeks later a lady stopped me in the hallway and said: "You saved my life that day." At one point during the day I was in the inner "park" when we were told to take cover as the fourth plane which later crashed in Pennsylvania was headed inbound to D.C. Parts of the airplane which hit the Pentagon were scattered all around us. But, for my family, the day would have even longer-range tragic effects; my son was killed in 2005 during the War on Terror. How grateful I am that President Bush was President when this tragedy occurred. He was a true Commander-in-Chief.

    Just one last thought. Twelve years have passed, but we as a nation have not learned from the tragedy of 9-11-01. Even as our enemies then thought America was weak because our leadership in the years since the first attack in 1993 on the World Trade Center and, then the bombings of American embassies had not responded, our enemies now know that once again American leadership is weak. Throughout history, American presidents and congressional leadership have stood strong against enemy attacks against freedom: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, War Against Tripoli Pirates, Texas War for Freedom from Mexico, American Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Granada, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan. But, no longer. The president of today and the congressional leadership have told the world: you can do whatever you want to destroy freedom, and America will not respond: Benghazi is the prime example of presidential leadership that will only lead to another 9-11-01. Do not be surprised when it happens again!

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  • Posted by iroseland 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was working as a Systems Admin at an ASP downtown. My wife at the time called right after the news of the first plane. So, I checked the TV. Then I knocked on my cube mates apartment door downstairs and we sat stunned through the second plane, the pentagon one and the collapse. Then, we drove to work. The rest of the day was pretty much a zombie walk. The streets were empty, the sky was empty. At least I managed to convince my wife to go fill the gas tank on the car before the buildings had fallen. These days it seems like we need a 9/10 movement to take back the country because since then this place has become like a less creative Wiemar Republic.
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  • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
    If History continues on its present course, historians of the future will say that Western values died on 9/11/2001.
    NSA scandals makes 1984 look tame by comparison.
    ”Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”
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    • Posted by lmarrott 5 years, 10 months ago
      Quote from the book I'm reading. "The Art of Power" about Thomas Jefferson. I don't think this is a direct quote of Thomas Jefferson but an inferences based on things happening at that point in Jeffersons life.

      "It was not the last time Americans would curb civil liberties for the sake of national security." Page 313

      I add this quote because this has always happened and I think one of the best ways to combat it is to be educated about these things and then try to fight them.
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      • Posted by  $  5 years, 10 months ago
        See Sedition Acts of 1798 and 1918. The suspension of civil liberties to quell foreign influence in America. Liberties were paused but not fundamentally altered or removed.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was at work that day. My mom called and said a plane had hit the world trade center. I assumed a small plane had gone off coarse. Called my wife and told her then went on with my day. Shortly after my mom called back and told me to turn on the TV that it was no accident and we were under attack. My in-laws live in Shanksville PA. and were luckily on vacation that day. When news broke of the plane crashing there I assumed the town was destroyed. Never forget.
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    • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
      We lived next door to NORAD. 5 military installations prepared prepared for Air force 1 to arrive. The drone of military planes overhead was nonstop for weeks after. We sat in front of the television until late in the night, the shock of horror and frustration! I kept wiping at hot tears that wouldn't stop welling up. I felt useless to help.
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      • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 5 years, 10 months ago
        It was shattering. I know what you mean by the tears, ceaseless tears, welling up from my anguish, and ANGER!! The only thing in he skies were fighter jets, which we cheered every time they flew over.
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  • Posted by kellogg1950 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was out of town and just calling my wife to wish her a happy 30th anniversary (we were married 9/11/71) when the second plan crashed into the second tower. It is an anniversary we will never forget. And, like those who were around on Dec 7th, 1941, you will never forget where you were and what you were doing.

    It's too bad that some people in this world have forgotten that this is an ATTACK on America, but as one country song asks "Have you forgotten..." and my answer is Absolutely Not.
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  • Posted by golemkeeper 5 years, 10 months ago
    I live in New Jersey, and the towers could be seen from my hometown, but I did not looked much. I worked evening shifts, and I was getting up that morning, when my neighboor told me to look at TV. I was glued to the screen for five minutes. I did not know it at the time, but my company would lose business as a result and I would lose my job as a direct consequence. I did not have cable, I got TV reception from antenna, and I lost it that day. Surprising how we are all connected.
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  • Posted by readsall 5 years, 10 months ago
    I live on the West Coast. I would have my coffee and watch some news before getting ready for work. The first thing I saw was smoke pouring out of the WTC. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And then just moments later, the second plane crashed into the second tower. My friend & I turned the TV on in our conference room as soon as we got into work. I will never forget the sick feeling and shock I felt when I realized that the sound I was hearing was bodies hitting the pavement.
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  • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 10 months ago
    Lying in bed, thinking about getting ready to go to work, when my wife's son phoned us and said "TURN ON THE TV!"

    Why? I answered. He just repeated, "Just turn on the TV."

    We sat for hours in front of the screen and I don't even remember if I went to work that day.
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  • Posted by motorhead 5 years, 10 months ago
    The America I knew and loved died that day.

    I woke up that morning around 1000 hours and turned on my shortwave radio to listen to the BBC. While puttering around the apartment I heard that the Twin Towers were hit. Perplexed, I turned on the television and watched my world fall.

    I called loved ones to make sure they were OK. I finally got a hold of my lover at the time and reassured her.

    When I got to work later that week, I remember how quiet the skies were and saw the cars festooned with American flags.

    To think my brother was at the Twin Towers the Monday before still gives me great pause.

    We're still in NYC, still trying to leave, buffeted by creative destruction.

    Hope to see you at the Gulch.
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  • Posted by lukeasacher 5 years, 10 months ago
    I lived on Sullivan Street between Prince and Spring... but was at my home in Live Free or Die Fitzwilliam NH that morning (I'm a member of the Free State Project)... the famous footage of the first plane hitting the north tower... in front of the pizza shop? I ate there all the time. My mother lived on Canal Street between Canal and Grand at the time- but we both own homes in Fitzie. It was a fortunate accident that we both were 200 miles away. We didn't return to NYC for three weeks for fear of being poisoned by the asbestos. My oldest friend on the Planet is Richard Roth. His Father's firm, Emery Roth and Sons, built almost every major building in Manhattan, including the WTC. Howard Roark incarnate...
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  • Posted by flanap 5 years, 10 months ago
    Since we are all Objectivists here, perhaps I can ask this without evoking much vitriol.

    Why is this question asked every annivesary of 9/11/2001? Seems rather selfish to me, but since that is the point of Objectivism, perhaps it is most suitable in this forum.


    Why does it matter at all where "I" was...isn't it more important to understand what happened and prevent such in the future if possible?
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    • Posted by khalling 5 years, 10 months ago
      1. flanap you are not an Objectivist
      2. If you don't like peoples' personal stories, don't read them. There is no big philosophical dilemma here.
      3. My comment in this post addresses those two concerns
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  • Posted by Desmond 5 years, 10 months ago
    I think I was the last person in the US to know. I went to sleep after working a night shift, I woke up to my radio saying, "The Twin Towers have collapsed, a plane has been flown into the Pentagon and another plane has come down in a field in Pensylvannia." It was a strange radio station and I thought it was a "what if" scenario, I remember thinking to myself as I turned it off, "Someone else might be waking up and actually believe that". Then I rolled over and went right back to sleep!

    Later I woke up (about 3 pm Mountain time zone) and turned the radio on and they were announcing that blood donors were lined up around the block for "this terrible tragedy", I was living in Las Vegas so my first thought was that there had been a hotel fire. I turned on the tv...
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  • Posted by dcnotpc 5 years, 10 months ago
    I had a job interview with a local newspaper for 10am.
    I got the job. It was a local weekly and I spent a year writing about school fundraisers and how families found ways to deal.
    My first day as a stock broker was Black Monday.
    I now tell friends and family if ever taking a job. Late 2007 I went to work for a large real estate developer.
    huh... don't worry, I just work for myself now and don't see any other path:)
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  • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was living in Reno at the time. I was on a surveillance in Carson City and my mom called and asked if I had my radio on. I didn't because a radio on in the truck isn't very stealthy. She told me a plane had flown into a tower. She called back a few minutes later to say the other tower had been hit. I followed the subject to work, then picked up the second subject who instead of going where they were supposed to headed back toward home. Boss said call it off so I stopped at a local restaurant and watched the towers fall over coffee. The strange thing was that I told the few other people in the restaurant that the towers were falling and they seemed indifferent. Shock maybe? They wouldn't even watch. A few days later on another surveillance near the Reno airport it was eerily quite. They had cancelled the Reno Air Races and no commercial planes were flying either. Boss figured that we'd get a lot of business after the attack from insurance companies trying to clear their books. Nope. Work ceased.
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  • Posted by soft_cheesebri8 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was in 7th grade and there was a sudden flurry of activity in the hallways. The teachers were instructed to go on with lectures and turn off all TV's. The next class period, I had US History. The teachers had every TV on and most of us stood in the middle of the classroom shocked (they were also instructed to let our parents tell us what happened... and to NOT discuss anything). The students were all dismissed from school early, and I walked my brother home as quickly as I could. We spent the rest of the day in the basement with the doors locked watching footage of the attack until my parents got home. I could have never even begun to imagine the changes that 9/11 could bring to the world.
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  • Posted by MattFranke 5 years, 9 months ago
    9/11 WAS an inside job. It is the Rubicon of our governments march towards tyranny. It was the declaration of open warfare against the American people by their own government. That was the moment for me that my "(not) well-structured" world view started falling apart. I have been personally rebuilding ever since.
    This topic has probably awoken more people than any other. I would bet that less than 20% of the people I know would support the official story, and only because they know absolutely nothing other than what they saw on TV that day. The brain-washed never wonder.
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  • Posted by  $  Flootus5 5 years, 10 months ago
    I was at work that morning in my office at a coal mine in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. I received a phone call from a close friend describing what was going on. What mutually struck us was the eerie similarity between what was happening and what had been laid out in various scenarios in the Report on Terrorism Preparedness that had been authored and submitted by Newt Gingrich and Gary Hart early in 2001. That report had already called for the creation of a DHS. All that was needed was an opportune crisis. I went out into the field on the high prairie and related to my drillers what was happening. It took a while for them to believe me.
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