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9-11, Where were you 5 years ago?

Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:06 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I first learned of the attack from a co-worker. Tried to get info from the internet but servers were overwhelmed. Our building gets terrible tv and radio reception. My brother Mike worked next to the WTC and used the subway stop there. Spent hours trying to get in touch with him and as the hours wore on with no contact I became more and more concerned. I remember several things..

pacing my office like a caged animal in between trying to call his cell phone, office and home phone numbers.

calling my kids school and getting a hysterical teacher on the phone. She concerned about her daughter in NYC. We had a brief conversation and I was able to tell her that the UN building (where her daughter worked) was no where near the attack. I think it helped her.

finally getting a call from another brother saying Mike was okay, that he witnessed it all but was relatively unhurt.

got a voicemail from Mike saying he was okay, you can hear the sirens screaming in the background.

a coworker's wife worked at AA in Boston and we knew very early on that one of their planes was missing.

My office overlooks Logan Airport and it is still haunts me to know that I probably saw those planes take off. I've never watched planes take off again with out worry.

God bless all who lost loved ones and those who were injured. Never lose hope. And thank you to all the firemen, police officers, emts and others who respond. And thank you to all the service men and women who sacrifice for us as well.

What was set in motion that day - the number of lives lost and ruined - I wish it made sense.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:14 AM
  #42  
 
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I was in Las Vegas for a conference to last all week. What I remember was not being able to get a cell phone call to my wife in MA because all the lines were jammed all day. When I finally did get her, there were all kinds of rumours as to where Bush's plan was, how they were worried DC was going to be nuked....all in all a very worrysome time. All the rental cars were gone by 3 in the afternoon and with no flights, I was stranded away from home until they opened the airports on saturday. With no flights comming in and the hotels emptying there was a very eerie feeling being there. Obviously, security at the hotels was hightened and rumours were rampant. I remember getting to the airport saturday night for a midnite flight and seeing enormous lines waiting to get through security. What seems normal now was unusual then and I couldnt help but feeling like a refugee fleeing Vegas. The flight was scary in a different way. Our crew was in the air too long and had to be relieved so the plane was cancelled. We were put into 3 different groups to a different connecting city and I couldnt help but wonder if I made the "wrong choice" of planes. Ended up in Orlando. When we finally made it back to Boston the entire plane began clapping as we landed. Everyone was on tenderhooks during the flights. I was never so happy to be home safe and sound 5 long days after 9/11. My heart goes out to the families who had losses that day and I hope we never forget.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:15 AM
  #43  
 
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DH and I had just come in from a run here on our island and I sat down at my computer to check email. DH put on the news and began eating an orange. He called out to me in the other room that a plane hit a building in Manhattan. I went in to see what he was talking about and figured that it was an accident similar to when a small plane hit the Empire State Buidling many years ago. We kept hearing it was a small commuter plane by the media at that time.

I called my best friend who was nearby and told her what was on the news. She stopped by my house to see what was going on since she and I were headed to NYC the next week on business. We were horrified at the smoking tower and realized at that point that the plane must have been larger than a commuter aircraft. What happened next I will never forget.

We were standing there watching and saw the second plane hit the other tower without the news casters even immediately knowing what had happened. That image will be etched in my brain forever. She and I just stood there in front of the television and said to one another, "Did you see that? Another plane just hit the other building. Oh my God. Mayber not....maybe they're showing the same shot again. Not that can't be....there is already smoke." It was awful and frightening, even for those of us so far away.

She, my DH and I sat there glued to the televsion the rest of the day in silence and tears, and I don't think I personally slept for the next two nights. It was such a horrific day in world history.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:17 AM
  #44  
 
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MSNBC is playing the Today Shows broadcast from five years ago. Its sad to see all of the confusion.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:28 AM
  #45  
 
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I was on my way into work when I heard the news over the radio. Our company lost a few employees, due to the 911 attacks; as a result, our office was completely chaotic for the entire day. I remember that because of the chaos and confusion/worry, that I didn't have time to process what was happening until the end of the day. The saddness hit me on the commute home and it was completely overwhelming.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:32 AM
  #46  
mms
 
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emd--I could feel your adrenaline in your post.

As most of you know, my husband was a career military officer. He was in Alaska for a planned exercise during the time around and including 9/11. That morning, I got up to get the kids ready for school, when I turned on the tv and saw what was happening. Literally seconds after turning it on, he called. We both were stunned.

He was stranded for a couple days, but as soon as flights started again, he went to the aiport and explained what his job was and why he needed to be on the first plane out. He was.

But back to that morning...we lived in a neighborhood where the school was in the center of it, and everyone walked. There were always lots of moms walking the kids, but that morning I think every mother walked their children to school. Our children were young, but old enough to know that this would impact their dad. DD was ok, but DS got worried. Any time after this day when DH traveled, DS would withdraw and teachers noticed. Anyway, the kids went to school, and us moms just huddled and cried and then were glued to the tv together.

When DH finally got home, he literally ran in the house, used his secure phone that he was able to do classified stuff on, threw some clothes together and as he was flying out of the house to get to the base, he told me he didnt know how long he would be gone. He also told me not to go anywhere til he said it was ok. I didn't see him for just over a week.

I remember watching the Pentagon and seeing people we knew coming out. It was good to see them, but still with such mixed emotions. One person we did not see we heard later that he risked his life to pull people out. He was one of my DH's Admirals, and it did not surprise us at all that this man stayed to help.

Our thoughts are with everyone who lost family and friends that day.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:36 AM
  #47  
 
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I was in my car at my on ramp when the guys on the radio were talking about the small plane that had hit one of the towers.
All of a sudden, they both gasped and there was about 30 seconds of silence. I started yelling at the radio "What, what, we can't see!!" Then in a choked voice one of the guys said another plane had hit the second tower. I knew right then it was not an accident and hurried to work.

On the way I called my middle child who was away at college (he was still asleep). Then I called my oldest who was in LA recording. My youngest was still in high school. I could not call him, but I sure wanted to. I called DH who was glued to the TV - he saw it all. He also saw things that have since been edited out of the footage.

All I could think was that I wanted them all home with me. My oldest actually managed to get his hands on a car and drove out into the dessert. He did not want to be in a big city that day.

When I got to work everyone was clustered around the tv watching the towers burn. Gradually one by one they went back to work. I just sat there with another woman wondering how they could possibly work. Then I heard her whisper, "The firemen are still going up, why are they going up they have to get out of there!" (Pause to dab my eyes and blow my nose.) Shortly thereafter the first tower fell, and then the second.

I did end up going back to my desk, gettng very little work done and monitoring the internet the entire day. DH called me every hour to talk. I spoke to son number two a couple of times that day, son number one only once, and son number three got a big long hug when I got home.

I remember how empty the skies were and how weird that was. We flew to Santa Fe for our 20th wedding anniversary on September 18th. I will never know if everyone in Santa Fe is really that friendly and open, or if it was still because we were all in that suspended state. I love the camraderie I felt with every single person I spoke to stranger or not. I miss that and wonder where it went. It just faded away.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:37 AM
  #48  
JJ5
 
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At the time I was working afternoons and nights running an off-campus Nursing school library and classroom complex in Chicago. I didn't start work until 3pm, so that morning being exceptionally warm and beautiful weather I was out on the I&M canal bicycle trails, not the usual at all.

At one of the rest stops I say a young man upset that there had been a bad "accident" (he was listening to the radio with earset) and then about 5 or 6 of us rode back to the car park in Frankfurt all together and listened to the radio from his truck and our car. The second plane hit almost seconds after we turned the radio on. All I could say was, we are being attacked, this is an act of war. The young man said, "No, it has to be some kind of radar mixup or something."

We went home and I went to work and closed the facility officially. I cried the whole time I was driving on all those trips, because I knew that the world had changed and my grandkids would only know the new one. And also because it brought back bad memories of fire and chaos- like they were only months old instead of many decades. I knew something of what those survivors were going through as well- seeing death in front of them to that degree. And the scale of this was larger and longer than riot. Each building was a city in itself, more than just 5 or 10 blocks or a neighborhood. I pray for the survivors every day and the 20,000 who did get down. You don't forget what you see or experience, although you might seem to do so. It stays with you as long as you yourself are alive. The innocence of belief in basic human goodness and intent is most often forever removed.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #49  
 
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On my way to work and my now husband on his way to a meeting at the WTC with a gentleman from Aramark. I thank God every day that my husband was running late. Although he was caught in the dust cloud from the first collapse, he survived. I cannot say the same for the other gentleman.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 07:02 AM
  #50  
 
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I was in my last semester of college - and I was doing my student art teaching at an elementary school in rural NY state. It was only my second week of teaching. I was optimistic and enjoying the new experience.
Driving into work, I remember it being the most beautiful, clear day -- a perfect fall morning.

I was teaching a class of 3rd graders, a unit on expressing feelings with color -- and had no idea any of it was happening. When the 4th grade teacher dropped her class off she told us that airplanes had hit the twin towers, and they were "gone". Of course, I and my mentor teacher thought she must be exaggerating. The world trade center could not be "gone". We taught another class of 5th graders and then at lunch walked down to the teachers conference room. Through the small window into the conference room, I could see a television had been set up and a large group of teachers were sitting and standing all over the room. As we walked in - it was silent. Noone even looked away from the footage - and we saw for ourselves that the towers really were "gone".

The principal came in and told us that we were not to tell the kids what was happening. We had to pretend nothing was happening, and go on with our lessons as normal. But all day the intercom would go off "john doe, please collect your things...your mother is here to pick you up". By the end of the day our classes were less than half full.

Many people doing their student teaching that semester, including myself, decided NOT to become teachers - and I often wonder if the impact of 9/11 had something to do with that.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 07:36 AM
  #51  
 
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My husband and I were getting ready to go to class (I was in law school and my husband was in grad school). We were listening/watching to the Today show as we were getting ready and eating breakfast. We watched as the second plane hit.

We went to school and spent the rest of the day in the student lounge watching T.V. Most of our classes were cancelled that day and the next.

My sincere condolences to those of you who lost loved ones.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #52  
 
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Reading everyone's responses so far, i am once again moved by how truly united we are as a nation. That while there may be many differences and diversity, we are connected by our great love our our precious country, the UNITED States of America.

Before i hit the road that morning as a sales rep, i was on line as i'd recently discovered this site and was 'quickly' reseaching something for our next summers' road trip. At that point we'd already covered much of the west so i was researching Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Olympic Nat'l Park for our july 02 adventure. The tv wasn't on in the study because this was going to be a quick check, but then i heard unusual noises coming from the little TV in the kitchen.

Needless to say, i didn't go out to work that day, nor did i do any further research on line. Fast forward to our trip in july 02 ~ and certainly 9/11 has had a continuing, ripple affect on everyone. We took that trip west, our 7th, but under the shadow of 9/11 - especially for me the planner. Much of my planning was done right here on line in the study, with the continuation of 9/11 on the news behind me. Crossing into Canada from Montana was somehat delayed. We were in glorious Banff on July 4 and looked for other american tourists all day; we just needed to commiserate and celebrate with others who loved our great country. Then, altho its known for its long delays, crossing back into america thru washington state took almost 4 hours - with incredibly intense scrutiny. Much of that time was spent reflecting on 9/11. We were also happy we'd brought our passports (our kids had recently gotten their first ones for our recent trip to europe) but we were still deeply saddened by what had caused this additional security. It was also interesting, while it had been a very cloudy day in Canada, as we re-entered America the clouds totally cleared and the sun came out! It was one of those VERY special moments shared that we will never forget... we were speechless and greatly moved....

May God bless those who lost loved ones that day, may God bless the fearless heros who valiantly worked tirelessly and who gave us hope, and may God bless our servicemen and women who continue working to keep us safe. And may God bless America, land that we love.

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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 07:58 AM
  #53  
Tess
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I posted last night after watching the CBS show. Today, after several hours of seeing the NBC Today show rebroadcast, my heart is racing and those same feelings of panic and dread from 5 years ago are resurfacing.

I can only imagine how those of you who witnessed this firsthand must be feeling. My prayers are with you all and with those who lost loved ones.

emd and others who talked about the impact on children--that made me cry *again* We live in the Mountain Time Zone so the attacks happened as my children were eating breakfast. I know I was in shock, plus we really didn't comprehend yet what was happening because I took them to school like normal. Not a smart thing to do. Two hours later, my 12 year old son called from school and asked to come home. He had a horrible stomachache and spent the rest of the day glued to the tv--it seemed to be his way of coping. Since we'd been in NYC just the week before, I think this whole event was just too much for the poor kid. Our family trip to New York was our first--we had a list made of things we wanted to do. Going to the top of the WTC was on the list but we ran out of time--we said "next trip." My son is now 17 and has flown many many times since then but he's a nervous flyer now.

DH was due to fly from Kansas City to Denver on Sept. 12. Of course, that didn't happen. Instead he rented a car and drove to Denver to pick up his car at the airport. Military personnel were stationed by the parking lot and drew their weapons as he pulled up to the lot. Tension was very very high, needless to say. I was never so happy to see him walk through the door that day--I remember hugging him and crying and crying.
 
Old Sep 11th, 2006, 07:59 AM
  #54  
 
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I was at work in Toronto, in the outpatient clinic office I shared with a close friend and co-worker. Her daughter had stayed home from high school that day with a sore throat, so she called her daughter to see how she was feeling. Daughter was on the couch watching TV, and while they were on the phone she saw the first bits of news about the first plane. My colleague said to me "A plane has just hit the WTC." We all assumed it was a small plane and that there had been an accident, but I was immediately worried because my daughter lives in NYC and had been working at the WTC when the bomb went off there a few years previously.

I e-mailed my daughter right away, telling her I knew I was just being an overprotective mom but I needed reassurance at that moment that she was OK. She normally e-mails back within minutes. I heard nothing.

Then, as things unfolded, I got more and more panicky. My son works in the news department at CBC and I knew there was no way he would be able to stay on the phone with me - way too much going on - but I called him anyway. He was as worried as I was.

There was a TV set in the clinic and we turned it on. We were horror-stricken and there was no way I could get in touch with my daughter. I finally had a voice mail message from my son-in-law who somehow had managed to get a line out - they lived in Larchmont at the time so the circuits cleared a bit from time to time that day. He said my daughter had left earlier than usual and most likely was stranded on the train or in the subway. He was concerned but tried not to sound terrified, and promised to let me know the minute he heard from her.

A few hours later I got a call from my daughter's dad, who lives on the Upper West Side. He had come home from picking up one of his young children at school, and saw my daughter's coat on a chair in their living-room, so he assumed she had gone with his partner to pick up the other child from school. Of course they had to walk, and it was a lengthy trek - and he had no idea how she would even have reached his apartment in all the confusion. He had also thought she was probably stranded on the subway. In any case he promised to have her get in touch as soon as she could; the phones were intermittent, nobody's cel phone worked, and e-mail wasn't working either.

I went home and sat staring at the telephone. It finally rang at 5:30 PM, and the sweetest sound I've ever heard was my daughter's voice saying "I'm OK, mom!" She had got out of the subway in Manhattan moments before they stopped all the trains, only to find complete chaos on the streets. She soon learned what had happened and stood staring down the street with a clear view of the fallen tower - and then watched as the second tower fell. She walked all the way uptown to her dad's, and was eventually able to get home to her husband by the end of the day. Unforgettable. I watch those images over and over again; it's painful to realize that she had to see it while it was actually happening. She had good friends that were firefighters, who died that day.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 08:04 AM
  #55  
 
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Didn't we have this thread before?
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 08:44 AM
  #56  
 
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My best friend and I were on vacation in Cancun. I was watching the Today Show while getting ready to go snorkeling. Katy Couric came on showing images of what they thought was a small plane that had hit the WTC. We watched the rest of the events unfold on tv, my friend and I, totally speechless.
Because of the flights being cancelled, we came home 3 days later than scheduled. People said that we should have been glad to have to spend extra time in such a beautiful place, but the truth is, everyone at our resort just wanted to get home and be with family, and be in the U.S. The days before, everyone was hanging out at the beach bar drinking and enjoying their vacations. After the morning of 9-11, everyone was at the beach bar huddled around the television, asking each other when they were going to get to go home.
I'll never forget the flight home. My friend and I did not get to sit next to each other, so I sat next to this kind couple that was about my parent's age. The entire flight was silent, except when we the pilot announced "We have just passed over Galveston, we are now flying over Texas." Everyone on that flight clapped and cheered, happy to be at least flying in the skies of the U.S. When preparing to land, the lady seated next to me noticed I was a bit nervous, and offered to hold my hand. It was just like having my mother there with me and I'll always remember that and the kindess of everyone during that time. Once we landed, everyone cheered once again.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 09:06 AM
  #57  
OO
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This year more than the other anniversaries, for some reason, I've felt the need to grieve again, and truly have. Lots of tears last night and this morning, and reading these as well...all poignant. "Which child to pick up first"...gosh. It's incredible how all the little details of the day have stayed with us...such as Statia's memory of her husband eating an orange. And I remember where I was in that aerobics class, and the faces around as I walked in. Bigger memories too...so many of us had the same feeling, that we just couldn't be alone, and we needed to be with family. I hurried home from the health club, but home meant our casita in a hotel, with no "neighbors". I went to my husband's office in the hotel, where his exec committee was all clustered around a TV in his office. We wondered what this Taliban was and where it was from, but we were all sort of vague on the facts.

This is such an ugly scar we all have, and so easily re-inflamed!
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 09:28 AM
  #58  
 
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I always wake up to the news on NPR. That morning, I woke up about ten minutes before the first plane hit, because they were talking about perfectly ordinary news stories and I turned off the alarm. I remember it was a lovely morning, and I felt great getting up, and when I was in the shower, I suddenly felt horrible, sick, like I wanted to go back to bed and stay there. I was literally holding onto the wall. Later, when I knew what happened, a line from ‘Star Wars’ flashed into my head – there was ‘an incredible disturbance in the Force’. That’s exactly what it felt like. But still I didn’t know. It passed, I got ready for work, didn’t turn on the TV or radio, my husband got up, my daughter who was 4 was still asleep. As I was driving up the hill to the office, Bob Edwards was saying something about the Pentagon crash, and then said ‘Planes have crashed into both towers of the World Trade Center.’ I remember thinking ‘Wow, what a freaky coincidence!’ and supposing it was something like that small plane that crashed into the side of the Empire State Building back in the 30s or 40s. My drive to work is about 8 minutes, but as I got to the top of the hill and turned the corner, it was all becoming clear to me, the magnitude of what had happened, it made no sense. And it was a very long eight minute drive. When I got to my office, I immediately called my DH and he picked up the phone without either of us even saying ‘Hello’ and said ‘I’m watching it.’ He had gone to turn on cartoons for our daughter and had found this. Someone at work found a TV, one of my coworkers came in sobbing, DH kept calling with bulletins, as to when the towers fell, and I can hear Dan Rather’s voice in my head saying “It’s September 11, 2001 and the World Trade Center is no more.” And my own voice in my head saying, “How can that be?”

I had clients in from Boston, who were frantic about their colleagues who had been traveling that day (all were fine). Needless to say, our meeting was cancelled, and they rented a car with one of our sales guys to drive back to Boston. There were so many people who had friends and relations with miraculous close calls. Nothing got done that day. At home that night, we heard a plane in the sky and I remember feeling scared – I said to DH, “I thought no one was supposed to be flying”. And I cuddled on the couch with my little girl.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2001, I was in NYC and met a lot of happy firefighters on 3rd Avenue. I wondered how many of them were still around. And I recall a comment someone reported on an evacuee from the towers going down the stairs saying to the firefighters going up the stairs that they were angels. And then they were.

I recall how considerate strangers were to each other in the days afterwards, and wished it would last forever, knowing it wouldn’t.

The evening before, she and I had taken a lovely walk on a new trail as the sun was going down. I have never been able to walk on that path since. And I found a different way to work the next day, and rarely drive the same route. But along that route, there’s a statue of a bicyclist, and someone put a giant American flag in the statues hand on 9/11/01. It stayed there untouched for over a month.

I’m not sure I’ve ever said any of this in its entirety before.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 09:41 AM
  #59  
 
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I was brushing my teeth, watching Today. Then the news reports came on. I stared at the image of the burning tower. Then I popped up my windowshade and saw the smoke. I continued to watch the report and stare out the window. From two miles away, the smoke looked incredible, awful, a horrible color. Then, from two miles away, I heard the second crash. If I hadn't had the image to go with it, I would have thought it was just a street noise--but I knew it wasn't. It had been a beautiful day, just like today.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 09:47 AM
  #60  
 
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I was where I am now - in front of my computer, ordering something by phone. The operator told me she was told a plane hit the WTC, but I thought she meant a small plane, like a Cessna. Nothing in her voice told me it was anything major.

My husband was in Boston, where his company was headquartered. He was scheduled to fly home later that day. He ended up renting a car and driving home. People started to call me frantic b/c they know my husband travels a lot and to Boston.

When I watched the United 93 movie on TV a while back, I was struck by how many young moms were at home awaiting news of their husbands who were on that plane. I thought of how easily it could have been me, a stay at home mom, with a husband who travels.
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