Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you on 9/11/01?


I've told the not so interesting tale of where I was on 9/11. I was living in Marina del Rey. For some reason, I woke up early and turned on the news. As I was drifting back to sleep, I remember thinking that it was odd that they were filming a sequel to Independence Day and it was on the news. And then I woke up. And wished it was all a dream.

My sister was stranded in Atlanta, one of my friends from high school had to be located in DC and another friend who was a frequent traveler took six hours to check in. Thankfully, no one I knew was endangered. Thoughts and prayers out to the souls lost and those that loved them on this somber day.

Where were you on 9/11? Any memories you care to share?

42 comments:

James B. said...

I was in McComb, MS of all places, setting up a computer network at a nursing home there. I was watching the news, as I do every morning, shocked that a plane had hid the World Trade. NBC were then reporting it might have been a small plane. This story was just developing. I called my boss and then went to work. Called him back later and asked for an update and he said "They're gone. Both towers".  I said what do you mean by gone? he said "Rubble". There is like only 2 gas stations in McComb and their were long lines to get gas and they were in danger of running out. I was like totally in shock. I will never forget.

Moni said...

I was only a few weeks into was my freshman year of college, in Atlanta.  This was my first time living in the US, though I had visited throughout my childhood.  I was in the dorm showers (one room sectioned into six shower partions with a communal drain, so the water from the person next to you would run under your stall unless you grabbed a stall next to the window) when someone came in and said something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center.  I went to my room and watched the news while I got ready to go to my health class.  At first we just thought it was an accident until the second plane hit.  In class they told us about the second plane and that classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.  I spent the rest of the day with friends, just trying to process it all. 

My parents were in Australia at the time, and scheduled to fly back that day or the next, so I was anxious about where they were and whether they were ok.  We didn't know the extent of the attacks, so I had no idea if they might be affected.  My uncle was also in New York that week, but fortunately he flew out of New York that morning, before the attacks started.

Reads4Pleasure said...

I was at work stunned by what I was seeing on my computer and blown away by the fact that my co-workers just kept on working as if what was happening in New York didn't affect them.  I ended up leaving work, picking up my kid and going home for the day.

thinklikeRiley said...

I was in LA. And like you, Chele, I got up early for some reason. I remember how panicked everyone was because the planes were headed for California. If you were in MDR, you remember they wouldn't let you down certain streets to the airport. It was crazy.

OneChele said...

Yeah, I had to show something that proved I lived there. And the address on my checks and DL was a PO box. Luckily, I found a phone bill in the trunk and showed that to the officer and he let me through.

Trey Charles said...

I was in a Chicago hotel about to head to the airport to fly to Atlanta. I remember telling the front desk to hold my room in case I couldn't get out. I was in Chicago for 3 more days .The woman I was dating at the time was on a flight from New York and strange enough, her flight was forced to land in Chicago. Just a weird time. It was tense to say the least. 

Nandiewe said...

I was sitting in my office 3 blocks from the White House wanting to get as far away from the city as possible especially after the plane crashed into the Pentagon and rumors about another one headed for the White House. 

invectiva said...

That weekend, I had been on a 4 day motorcycle trip to Canada, and was returning my friend's CBR1100XX to him in the morning before work, intending to pick up my bike from his place. My friend didn't answer the door, and when I tried to call him, my cell phone wouldn't connect.  I kept trying, multiple times, and finally got through. He mumbled something incomprehensible into the phone, and then his front door swung open. As I walked up to it, he wasn't even there. I stepped tentatively into his house, and headed for the living room, where he was staring at the TV in shock. As I tried to make sense of what I was seeing (one tower smoking - wait, what?!), another plane headed for the second tower and my legs went nerveless. I sat down with a thunk, and said, "Oh My God, we've been hacked."

I sat there stunned until the towers came down, and then I said, "I can't stay here!" and beat it home. The rest of the day was spent in my home office, with two metro racks full of computers and screens open to every news outlet and chat room / bulletin board / internet connection to all my people all over the planet, trying to determine what else was happening in the world, who was missing, and accounting for everyone's safety as best I and my high-tech peers collectively could. It took hours to hear from coworkers and friends in NY and DC. And when my roommate came home from work at his Interesting Tech Company, he was almost in tears, and said, "Danny was on that  plane."  (Friend, CTO, and "the guy with the idea" at work.)

Right this minute I am working from home, avoiding the morning ceremony for that same CTO, because I work at that  company now and half my immediate coworkers still have his picture on their desks. Every year they stand in the courtyard outside our building, honoring his memory, and weeping with grief that just won't ease. I didn't know him personally, and I feel as though I'm intruding, so I stay home on 9/11.

God bless the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the attacks, and in the aftermath.

Only1DivaC said...

I was in my junior year in college working a couple of hours before I went to my first class for the day. A professor came in and said a plane had flown into the WTC. I got on the internet to check it out and just assumed that it was a commuter plane that had lost its way since it was just breaking news at that point. By the time I started my first class, the second plane had crashed into the WTC and the third one had made its way over Cleveland airspace. Needless to say, the Dean came over the PA system and said everyone needed to evacuate the bldg immediately. Just imagine seeing top level adiminstration at your school literally directing traffic out of the student parking garage because it was pure chaos at that moment. As I left the city, I could hear the bells toll. Once, I got home I watched as the WTC collapsed with my Dad. I still remember that day vividly.

JaymeC said...

I was in Jersey City, NJ getting ready to go into Manhattan for a speaking engagement. I remember looking out the window of the hotel wondering what in the world was going on. They moved all of us down to the hotel basement for a few hours and we all sat watching the news in disbelief. It's still surreal to go to New York and not see the towers.

bashowell said...

I was at work.  Someone upstairs came running down and said a plane had hit one of the World Trade towers.  Like everyone else, I thought nothing of it and that some poor commuter plane had flown off-course.  Then we heard it was a commercial airliner.  Everyone in the building went upstairs where there was a TV and watched CNN or something.  We were watching as the second plane hit.  We were still watching as a plane hit the Pentagon.  I work for the federal government in the DC metro area - at that point they locked us down.  Within a short amount of time, they decided we would be safer in our own homes and advised us to leave federal buildings as fast as possible and stay away from work until they said we could come back.  I think we were out at least another two days.  There are several catastrophes I will never forget because for some reason I always happened to be watching TV as they occurred - Challenger, Columbia, and now 9/11.

Whitney said...

I was at the dentist with my oldest daughter, the doctor came in and told us what happened and well all went to a conference room and started watching.  My thoughts were everywhere, mind racing.  My youngest daughter had to interview me for her social studies assignment last night, she was just 15 months old when it happened.  She was amazed and scared, I Googled the event and we had an amazing discussion.

EvolvingElle said...

I was a sophomore in college. I had gone to my first class, where it was announced that a plane had hit the first tower.  My second class (with the same professor in the same room) was cancelled.  I walked to the student government office and was stunned to find out a second plane hit the second tower.  It was so surreal standing in front of the tv with my classmates, some who knew students that were on internship in NYC, and watching everything unfold.  I was in denial for awhile, not even believing what my eyes saw.  Every September 11 since, I always see myself walking up the steps to student government.  I've always heard you never forget where you were the moment it happened, and that could not be closer to the truth. 

TrulyPC said...

Prayers for those that were lost and for those that lost someone that day.

I was at work and living in Dallas, TX.  I was listening to the radio as I usually did and then the news of attack was broadcast and the entire office went to the conference room and turned on the television.  It was shocking and  horrific.  I remember all of us joining hands and praying.  We were all terrified and had business trips scheduled for the following week but they were postponed until the following month.  I have been edgy on an airplane ever since and I was never like that before.  

OwenCinDallas said...

What I remember is that cell phones were down and I couldn't get through for six hours and all I knew was that you were somewhere near those towers. Terrible day for everybody.

blackprofessor said...

I was in Philly at the time and first heard it on the Tom Joyner show.  When I got to my destination, everyone was watching it on TV.  I felt numb and in total shock because I had once lived in NYC and knew that area well.  I frantically drove back to my apartment.  I spent the whole day tracking down my brother (who was supposed to fly that day) and my cousin (who worked in Lower Manhattan). Cell phones and texts weren't working but somehow emails were going through.  I finally discovered that both were safe.  I will never forget that day but I hope to never relive it again!

Carey Jackson said...

I was actually starting my first day of work out of college that day. It was a financial services company that had offices in the Twin Towers and it was complete and utter chaos. I remember all of us in orientation looking at each other like what do do now? Us, the company, the nation, we had no idea what would happen next.

I also recall waiting and waiting for the then President to say something reassuring. I know they were trying to keep him safe but those hours where you weren't sure where he was and what he was going to do? Ridiculous.

William Martin said...

I had been in the lab (undergrad) the night before until 3:00am so I slept late. When I woke up, I was so disoriented. Took awhile for the reality to sink in

MsJamie14 said...

I was living in Oakland at the time, interning in San Franciso. Because of the time difference, when I woke up, both towers had already been hit and were on fire. The plane in PA was still in the air and had not gone down yet.

I called into work, and they told me I still needed to come in. :-/ To get to work, I had to cross the Bay Bridge. Since we didn't know if/when more attacks were going to happen, we were advised to stay off all bridges. I got dressed and went to work as directed and as I crossed the Bay Bridge, there were fighter helicopters hovering on the bridge, prepared to blow it up or counter attack if the need arose. There was probably all of 5 cars going across the bridge when I did.

A co-worker of mine had a sister who was a flight attendent. She was on the plane that departed from Boston and hit the first tower. :-( 

mojitochica said...

I was asleep in my college apartment.  I woke up around noon to find just about every channel showing the rubble.

Leon X said...

I was in the World Trade Center (WTC) an hour and a half before it went down. I used to work in Newark, NJ and I took the PATH train from the WTC to get to work. I remember being at work and someone was listening to the radio and told the office that an airplane had ran into one of the towers. My first thought was "What idiot done ran their plane into the World Trade Center? How could they not avoid such a big object like that?" I looked out a window and could see smoke coming from the direction of New York City but couldn't see the towers themselves because a building was blocking my view. Then another plane ran into the other tower. More people in the office started chattering about it. My boss finally called it a day and said we should all go home.

Since the PATH train was the only way I knew how to get home from Newark I had no idea how that would be possible. I walked around the office building and stopped by a bar where they were showing the towers going down. I couldn't get in touch with my family to let them know I was OK. A few hours later people started coming into Newark from the WTC area. Most of them were covered in ash and looked stunned.

I wasn't able to get home until 11 PM that night. I didn't even go into work the next day. I went to work the day after and I could smell the smoke from WTC area. That smell lingered for weeks. To this day I don't know if there was anyone I knew who might have died when the towers went down. I don't think I ever want to know.

Jubi The Great said...

I was a sophmore in college, and I had a 930AM lab for multivariable calc that morning. I got up & turned on the TV & saw the reports abt the plane crashes at the WTC, but that was when everyone thought it was a freak accident. I went to lab & during class is when we learned abt the Pentagon & the other plane. After my class ended, school was cancelled for the day & I went back to the dorm & watched the coverage with my roommates.

Lady4Real said...

I live in Baltimore, MD. I was 18 and pregnant with my youngest son, due to deliver at any moment. I was a senior in high school and my school was located in downtown Baltimore. I was in between classes. I was heading to my second class and while walking I noticed a television on in one of the classrooms and it was playing some crazy action movie, when I got to my class our teacher was in tears, that was not a movie I watched it was the news, WTC had just been attacked and I watched the second plane hit not realizing what I was witnessing. School was cancelled for the remainder of the day and when we got outside everything was hectic. I stood on the steps of my school, held my belly and looked to the sky. I asked myself, what kind of world am I bringing my son into? A moment that I will never forget.

CaliGirlED said...

 Wow!

Marioned said...

At my desk looking at the computer at the first plane hitting the first of the Twin Towers then the second, not realizing it was happening before my eyes!  Then I turned around and looked out my office window to see the black smoke coming from the Pentagon!  Being in DC and thinking it was ground zero, panic erupted.  Fighter jets were flying overhead and it was quite terrifying.  It took me 4 hours to drive 8 miles home.

CaliGirlED said...

 "What idiot done ran their plane into the World Trade Center? How could they not avoid such a big object like that?"...I remember this same thought before the second one hit!

CaliGirlED said...

I was driving to work, in Santa Monica, when I realized the first "accident" was no accident at all! Got to work to see the confirmation on the news. All the drivers, supervisors, managers, (EVERYBODY) were in the drivers' room staring at the TV! Because it was public transit, all kinds of emergency preparation began to take place.

Then it hit me, Where is my best friend??? All I knew is that she worked for a radio station in NY, but lived in New Jersey. Was she home, at work, on her way to work and WHERE was work?!! Couldn't get a hold of her! Luckily I was able to contact another friend, in NY. I asked him if he knew where that radio station was and he told me it wasn't in the immediate area of the towers. It might have been a day or two later before I heard from her! She was on the ferry going into NY and saw it all happen. Totally devastated and distraught! After the "I'm so glad you're ok!" drill, I laid into her for taking so long to check in with me! But of course with power outages and dead phone lines she was trying to check on her folks on that end, once she got back to NJ.

CaliGirlED said...

Later that evening I was watching the news and seeing people running and screaming and crying. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. And then I saw a man running with a baby and I lost it! My eyes are filling up now as I think about it!

Also remember trying to explain all of that to my 4 year old.

invectiva said...

Oh, Owen. :(

Chree Carr said...

It was a few weeks into my freshman year of college.  While dressing for class, I was flipping through some channels and came across it.  At first I thought it was some guy being crazy (a few days before a man climbed some high building without a net or a rope), but then my roommate called and told me class was cancelled because of the tragedy in NYC.  At that point the other plane hit the building so I just stayed in front of my television and watched.  I'll never forget that day. 

Despite all that tragedy I loved seeing our country come together and help each other grieve and heal.  It's sad that we seem to only unite in disasters. 

Angel on a Quest said...

I was working in the Office of Campus Ministry at Georgetown University, thinking it was some massive joke, until we saw the plane hit the Pentagon, just across the Key Bridge, which we could see easily from our offices...and then we went into crisis management mode, working to ensure we had everyone in place to help students cope with this unprecedented event.  This was followed by rumors of planes headed toward DC

I remember thinking, though, that the day was amazingly beautiful, with the leaves of the trees bright green against the richest blue sky we'd seen in a long time, and the temps were low with very low humidity.  In other words, a perfect day until just after 9:00 am, when all hell broke loose.

The phone lines were jammed, and neither my mother or daughter had cell phones, so we were able to connect only intermittently.  I was so relieved when they got back home and were able to get through on the landlines.  My family was adamant about me coming home, but I thought I could be of better use coordinating prayer services, vigils, counseling sessions, etc.  It was, and is, my passion, my calling...

Regina said...

(Telling my age here) I was a sophomore in high school on 9/11. We had first period home room, then English was my second period class. My teacher was still outside the hallway when the bell rang, then rushed in to turn on one of those old school TV monitors we had in every classroom. Of course the whole class was loud and talking, acting like kids do, then she yelled at us to shut up, told us the WTC had been attacked. We watched the news that whole class period. Then the next one. And the next one.

I remember just not knowing what to think about it. I was a kid. New York was thousands of miles away. I didn't know a soul there, so my immediate thought was that it didn't affect me. I was wrong. The next day, the rest of the week I just remember realizing that everything had changed all of a sudden. The U.S. would be different. We were at war, and I didn't know what to expect. Not knowing what to expect is what made it scary. The uncertainty. The vulnerability, that naked feeling that we'd been hit by an angry enemy in our own house. That's what I remember.

C Nelson said...

 I
was house-sitting in Jamaica NY, chatting with a friend on IRC. He,
an Australian, told me to turn on my television. I did, just in time to
catch the replay of the first plane and
see the second plane hit. I walked outside and there was already smoke
in the air; I came back and sat there stunned while the rest of it
played out. I briefly tried to get into Manhattan that afternoon; there was so much chaos that I decided not to, and spent an hour finding somewhere to give blood nearer home instead.

Anonymous said...

I was a stay-at-home Mom, with two small children in school. I lived a short train ride outside of NYC. Many of my friends worked in NY and a couple of my friends worked in the WTC. One friend worked for a company within the WTC but called out that day... had a doctor's appointment. Another friend was conducting a training in building 2 but managed to get his trainees out just before the building collapsed. Many of my children's classmates had parents who worked in NYC. The children at the school were told that there was just an 'accident'.. so as not to panic the children. They called out of class the children whose parents worked in the city and were unaccounted for. My husband at the time worked for a delivery service and some of the clients on his route lost loved ones. However, another disturbing thing to happen within the following days was to have the FBI knock on my door and ask about the middle-eastern man who lived next door... The one who moved in a hurry just before the attacks!!! This event was a life-changer, for sure.

Singlelif said...

I was there. As a first responder. That is all.

rozb said...

I was on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, watching it all unfold on satellite TV with a couple hundred Sailors and Marines. I remember feeling helpless and wanting to go help at the same time. I remember watching it over and over again and not turning the TV off for days. And I do remember that when we returned to the US, everything was changed - our security, our daily interactions, our whole lives.

aishao1122 said...

it's funny that's what i thought when i first turned on the tv, oh cool independence day is on. 
I was at home in CT getting ready for work, my parents both work in NYC, My mom had a meeting in midtown for her school, she was delayed that morning because she couldn't find her keys, by time she made into NYC the first tower had been struck and she was stuck in the train station; cellphones were down and I became the defacto operator with everyone calling home to get news. We have an aunt who worked in DC who couldn't be found for hours, and a cousin who worked in one of the towers, It took us five hours to learn his company had downsized three weeks before and his department was cut (jobs sent overseas) I don't think I was so happy to hear someone was laid off as I was that day.  I have two high school friends who are NY firefighters, they were of the lucky few to come home. 

ASmith said...

I was in Geometry class.

The dean of boarding came in and whispered to the teacher that we were to go to the chapel for an all school assembly immediately following class (I sat in the 2nd row so I heard him).

The week before we'd had an all school assembly because the administration wanted to address a school-wide issue (inappropriate drawings found on bathroom walls depicting members of the administration performing sexual acts on one another).  I assumed it was more of the same.

It wasn't until I got to the chapel (probably 30 - 45 minutes after the attacks had occurred) that I began hearing fellow students who'd been in classes with televisions on talk about planes flying into buildings and it wasn't until our headmaster told us exactly what had happened that I realized this wasn't a joke.

Jasmin said...

It's so odd--I'm now a teacher, and on Facebook, my teacher when it happened--7th grade, 2nd period Spanish--posted about remembering where we were. I said, "In your class", and it was like it happened yesterday. Our principal came on the intercom, but we didn't watch the news, we didn't leave early...it was like a regular school day. I'm sure they had no idea what to do with 1000 middle schoolers, but it didn't really hit me until I got home and saw my mom there (she worked across the street from the Sears Tower, and that whole area had been evacuated).

CorettaJG said...

Was at my parent's house in Baton Rouge getting ready to go into the law firm I was working at while awaiting coming on active duty as an Air Force JAG on 2 Jan. I was watching the Today Show and just stood stunned. Didn't know what to do. Then there was talk that the Exxon refinery in Baton Rouge might be a target. I couldn't get ahold of anyone at work to decide if I should go in (downtown isn't that far from Exxon). Finally I went in around noon and there were a few attorneys working on insurance defense and real estate like it was a normal day. I went home and was glued to the television. Who knew I'd later be living in DC with Navy & Marine neighbors who were in the Pentagon at the time or working with 9/11 victims and families as part of the Victim Witness Assistance team for the Office of Military Commissions. Speaking with the Beamers and Glicks after knowing their stories among others from the news & countless documentaries & anniversary specials, the world seems a much smaller place. #neverforget

Brneyed1 said...

I was on vacation in Maui.  By the time I woke up that morning, both towers were down, the Pentagon had been hit, and the plane had crashed in PA.  Turned on my cellphone and there were 20+ frantic phone calls from friends & family recounting the incident and asking if I was anywhere near a plane.  My mom (bless her heart!) didn't want me to fly home and begged me to find "some kind of boat" to get back to the mainland and then drive the rest of the way to Chi.


I turned on the tv and watched the news reports for hours, trying to process what had happened.  I still didn't fully believe it.  Went down to the hotel bar to sit, drink, and process with a bunch of other people who looked just as dazed and confused as I was. Not a single plane left or arrived on the island for three days.  Lots of people who were expecting to fly home were stranded.  By the time flights were allowed off the island, tensions were high and lines were long.  I got to the airport 5 hours before my flight was supposed to depart.   I ended up spending 12 hours in the airport that day just trying to determine if I could get on a flight home that day.

Eshe said...

I was in law school, in my Criminal Law class when the first tower was hit, but we didn't know it yet. When class was over, I headed for the student lounge like I always did, and people were overflowing out of the double doors. We had a big flat screen TV mounted on a wall and I think it was turned to CNN. We saw the second plane hit and the towers collapse. I remember thinking "Oh, God! There are people in there!" I was just stunned into silence.

Then I thought about my husband. His work took him all over Manhattan (I went to law school in a different city). I couldn't get through to him, and I was a nervous wreck. The law school held a prayer in a conference room for anyone who wanted to attend, and I went. The decision was made not to cancel classes, so I had to go to the rest of the ones I had that day. Afterwards, I went straight home and watched TV from my bed, while trying to get through to my husband. I ended up dozing, fitfully, with the telephone on my stomach. About 9 or 10 PM, the phone rang and it was my husband. He was okay. It wasn't until I knew he was alright that I could let myself react.

I can say that the constant replays of everything, especially of the people who fell/jumped out of windows, really traumatized me for a long time. I don't know if it rose to the level of PTSD, but it was bad. Even to this day, I avoid the news, TV, and social media on 9/11. I don't want to see the images, again.

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