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Old 09-12-2017, 11:55 AM
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shovelhd shovelhd is offline
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I was on my second day of a new job in Springfield, MA. I had no desk phone, no computer, and an analog cellphone. When the first plane hit, I found out by overhearing coworkers talking about it. When the second plane hit, I was called into a senior VP's office who had a tv. From that moment forward, I was on a DR/BC team whose mission was to set up a temporary workplace for the 300+ Oppenheimer Funds workers on the 10th floor of the South Tower. Fortunately, they all got out. I managed to reach my wife on the cell before lunch. It was a tough time for all of us.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:11 PM
dbnm dbnm is offline
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I was just waking up in Albuquerque. I moved there from NY about 18 months earlier.

The alarm clock radio was usually set for music but that morning, instead of music, it was Tom Brokaw saying a plane had hit the towers.

I ran downstairs to turn on TV and witnessed the horror of the second plane hitting.

All of my family and friends were still in NY. I could not reach anyone for hours. By the end of the day I learned everyone was okay.

The images are burned on my brain.

I cried for days.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:19 PM
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cderalow cderalow is online now
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I was in my 1st class of the day at WPI in Worcester MA. about halfway into my first quarter of freshman year of college.

I recall getting out of class and someone saying that a plane had hit the WTC and thinking, well that's happened a couple of times before in NYC with small planes hitting tall buildings there.

Went back to my dorm room and watched all of it unfold live on TV with an entire floors worth of my peers on the TV in the triple across the hall.

I later worked as a student assistant for one of the Materials guys they used to help determine why the towers fell (inclusive of his bit on TV), and the company my mother worked for helped transport debris from downtown across the river to Fresh Kills on Staten where they further sorted and searched it by barge.

I went to the memorial for the first time earlier this summer. My kids are too young to understand what a monumental change to our world it made. It was hard to explain anything to them without almost breaking down there in the memorial museum. some of the video and audio clippings were absolutely haunting and I still can't watch any of the video of the 2nd plane hitting or the tower falling without feeling violently ill, so the museum was a bit tough for me.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:36 PM
93legendti 93legendti is offline
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Caribou Coffee. Saw a friend from elementary school, who asked if I saw what happened. I told her that I had and I told her who did it.
(according to my semi anonymous opinion)
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:18 PM
Matthew Matthew is offline
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I was in Ludington, Michigan. About to head out for a ride before work when my wife called. She said I had to turn on the news asap. I did and sat there thinking this can't possibly be happening. Flipped through the various news channels for a few hours just in shock. So incredibly sad to watch. I still watch some of the coverage that comes on every year. And the fact that a handful of you actually lived or worked so close to this makes it hit home again. I hope our country never sees anything like this again.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:10 PM
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onekgguy onekgguy is offline
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I was just going back into the sector at work (air traffic controller) when I passed a TV monitor where a few guys were commenting on a plane that had just hit one of the towers. I assumed it was a smaller type aircraft.

I did a short stint in the sector working low altitude traffic in the Grand Island (GRI), Omaha (OMA), Nebraska sector. Before being relieved from the position a "ground-stop" had been issued that forbid us from releasing any additional traffic into the system. I had no idea then that the ground-stop was related to the aircraft that hit the tower. The supervisor that gave the order wasn't clear as to why. I just did what I was told then went out on break and saw for myself the reason why. Twenty minutes later the order to get all the aircraft on the gound was issued and the airspace soon was empty with the exception of some military aircraft spinning circles over some of the more populated areas.

A few hours later Air Force 1 (the president's aircraft) came through my airspace and landed at Offutt Air Force Base. The interesting thing about it was that the aircraft's data tag wasn't the typical data tag we'd use to track an aircraft, rather, it was void of anything identifying it as Air Force 1. We used only a discreet 4 digit transponder code.

Kevin g
Say What?
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:44 AM
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Hmmm very close to home....
I was an E5 in the Army at Fort Benning I was in the S3 Plans section watching it unfold on an old school TV
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:14 AM
Gummee Gummee is offline
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The people across from me at the Hub Labels CX had a Transit Connect passenger version.

Tall enough to 'just about*' stand up in, but big enough to haul a ton of gear. They had a rack on the roof and an awning.

If you want bigger, there's always the NV series from Nissan.

Bigger still: Transit or Sprinter. I'm still leaning Sprinter 'cause I want to be able to stand up straight and change clothes inside out of the weather.

...but those are my needs/wants...


*had to tilt my head sideways and stoop some. I'm 5'8"
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:38 AM
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texbike texbike is offline
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We were out on the Oregon coast for vacation. We awoke and turned on the TV to the news reports. The first image after turning on the TV was of the planes hitting the towers. My immediate reaction was - "That's a cool/interesting special effect. I wonder what movie that's from?", not realizing that it was an actual event occurring until a minute or so later when the we heard the actual news of what was going on. It was surreal. We ended up staying on the Coast and in Portland for a few days longer than originally planned and ended up being on the VERY 1st commercial flight out of PDX once the airport was reopened. We had a layover in Dallas before heading down to Austin. As we waited for our Austin flight at DFW, police and military rushed through the terminal and cleared/evacuated it yelling at everyone to get out and that there's a bomb about to go off. It was insane pandemonium! We ended up renting a car and drove to Austin along with 3 strangers that were waiting on the same flight.

Honestly, the terrorists (whomever you feel they are) won that day. Not only did they take innocent lives in that strike, but they irrevocably changed the U.S., cost our country 100s of billions of dollars, and led us down a path that has detrimentally impacted our standing in the world since. SOBs!


Last edited by texbike; 09-13-2017 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:51 AM
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Here in AZ PDT, I was waking up, drinking coffee and watched the second plane hit the towers. Just couldn't believe it! I was part of an international law practice then and had traveling friends and colleagues spread out around the world. I sat there for rest of the day txting them (txt pager) as they rented cars or bummed rides on corporate jets trying to get home. I was due to fly the Friday after to give a law school lecture and couldn't find a flying plane. Even from my point of safety (unlike those in the area) the world was never the same again.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:44 AM
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weisan weisan is offline
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Got to work earlier than usual here in Austin. A few weeks ago, the boss decided that we ought to be "tuned in" with what's going on around the world and came up with the brilliant idea to have the entire office plastered with wide screen TVs mounted everywhere and CNN News blaring at us non-stop 24/7. So when 9/11 happened, we all knew almost immediately because we were bombarded from all sides with the news reporting. We all stopped what we were doing and were just glued to the TV screens. It was silence and just plain shell-shocked for the most part. I remembered thinking to myself (and I say this without any malice or prejudice), "What a bunch of cowards! I was not surprised they would stoop this low but what surprised me was, it didn't happen more often or sooner." As someone with an outside perspective, I guess I was always aware and sensitive to the seething hatred harbored by certain people around the world towards the US, it was just a matter of time and opportunity that something like this would happen. No matter what, it doesn't change the fact that this is evil in one of the many expressions going on around us on a daily basis but because of its impact and geo location, it got us to sit up and pay attention.

Last edited by weisan; 09-13-2017 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:46 AM
martinez martinez is offline
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This was two days after my first nephew was born.
Was still on summer break before starting the 7th grade. I remember waking up to watch MTV or whatever other tv shows I used to watch at the time and beeing bombarded with clips of a burning tower. Every channel I would change to would be covering the horrible events.
I remember being so young and thinking that this was somehow fake, that something like this could never happen here within US borders. A catastrophe of this magnitude not caused by a natural disaster? A terrorist attack? I remember just sitting on the floor watching the footage like a deer in headlights.
Won't ever forget that day
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:00 PM
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carpediemracing carpediemracing is offline
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Was working in Manhattan at the time. Heard a doorman saying something about "someone hit one of the Twin Towers with a plane" as I was walking from Grand Central to the office (2? blocks away). In the ground floor of our building (on 3rd Ave I think) I waited in line for my egg sandwich, said something about the plane to the woman waiting on me, went up stairs. I remember thinking "didn't a football player just fly his plane into a skyscraper or something?" and thought maybe it was a Cessna. Beautiful day so no way it was a visibility thing. I figured it was a private pilot that had a mechanical or a heart attack or something.

Opened the doors to the office (double doors) and it was ab-so-lute pandemonium. I thought maybe the company just lost all its money or something, like we were going under. I realized everyone was freaking out, crying, etc. A lot of us had friends in the southern Manhattan area, I just didn't realize what was going on yet. I asked someone what was happening, they yelled that a jet had flown into one of the towers. It took me a while to process that they were talking about a full size passenger plane, not a jet or a little whatever Gulfstream. Shortly after I got there the second plane hit and the whole office (100 people?) gasped in unison, swearing, crying, etc.

We couldn't see the Towers from where we were but I could see this brown smoke drifting across the otherwise perfectly blue sky. Reminded me of the movie Independence Day at the end when there's smoke drifting at a glacial pace across the sky after the aliens got shot down.

I couldn't get any .com sites to work so started randomly hitting .ca versions of the same sites. I found that was working. They were doing some kind of semi-live feed (I saved a gif or or two, emailed them to myself) and I got an idea of what was happening. Radio was on super loud. Buildings burning. People jumping. It seemed totally surreal.

Then the buildings fell. I know a bunch of people at work knew folks out there. One's fiancee was a Cantor Fitzgerald (sp?) senior guy, but he was stuck in the PATH train under the river. He made it because of that, but the couple lost a lot of friends that day, lots of close ones.

A cycling friend for many years worked in one of the Towers. He was late for work, got annoyed that some police turned him away (he just wanted to get his laptop), went home, totally clueless, and I finally got through to him a few hours later. "You're alive!" "What are you talking about?" "Don't you work in the World Trade Center?" "Yeah, why?" "OMG!! Are you the most clueless person around?!"

The guy that got me my first IT job in NYC was on his way there for some training thing. He got out, bodies were hitting the ground, he turned away. He still won't talk about it, other than that one bit, his voice just trails away when he says that bit.

One of our guy's wife was in CT, TV on, and she called as soon as the train station opened up. They divided Grand Central into two - upper floor goes the Hudson line (up the river), lower floor to the Metro North (CT) line. We had to go downstairs to get on the trains. Everyone got on, jammed really tight, elderly and such got the seats. Everyone cooperated. We were squeezed in like you see in those Japanese train clips where they shove everyone on. Then we got moving.

We went pretty slowly, people trading stories at first but then it got quiet. People shuffled around so that those getting off next could get closer to the doors. Got to the first stop (I think it was Fordham), which looked normal. Then we got into the next few stops, closer to CT. The platforms were lined with EMTs and such. I think all the emergency personnel from NYC went directly to the Towers. The ones further away went to the platforms to "help the survivors". It was really sad because there were no survivors, just us. To see those EMTs frantically scanning the windows for wounded and then realizing that, wait, there were no wounded... it was heartbreaking.

Our company was indirectly involved after. We processed a lot of Verizon's supply chain orders at the time and their data center in Manhattan was destroyed, removing a lot of messaging capacity. They ordered some mobile data center things (trailers or something) through their supply chain, meaning through us, but our data center was also destroyed. The orders were delayed due to that. Since we closed that day on 9/11, and I think we were closed 9/12, it took a while to resolve that.

My mom was staying at my house, ill with cancer (she'd pass in 2003). I saw the aircraft carrier in the Long Island Sound from the train so I took her for a drive one night to see it. It was lit up like crazy, water around it was green from all the lights in the water. The beach near my house was the staging area for supply runs or something so it was closed, so we just drove to the next beach to look at the ship. Jets (F-18s I think) flew back and forth regularly. I don't remember what we talked about but I distinctly remember nothing about the actual attacks. I think for her it was a 2 hour drive in the car and being able to talk with her son.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:17 PM
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fiamme red fiamme red is offline
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Originally Posted by fiamme red View Post
I was too close at the time to see the events in perspective. I was shopping at the farmer's market on Liberty St, 1/2 block away from the Twin Towers, about to make my purchase and go down to the PATH train to get to work in Jersey City. I had no idea what happened, and only left after the second plane hit.
Another few things came to mind after reading this thread. It's not a day that I care to revisit much in my memory. It was at least a year and a half after 9/11 before I felt comfortable being in that area again. I've never visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum and have no intention of ever doing so.

I would normally have already have taken the PATH and been at my office in Jersey City at the time the first plane hit. Or I might have been stuck in a train under the river. But that Tuesday was primary election day in NYC, and I decided to vote before work, rather than in the evening, as I almost always have done.

After the first plane hit, it felt like millions of documents falling from the sky around me, and there was some heavier debris like glass and concrete not far away.

I locked my commuter bike up on Liberty Street when I went to the farmer's market. In the general confusion, I left it there after the second plane hit, and of course never saw it again.

I was watching TV later in the day at a friend's apartment, and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw video of 7 WTC collapsing in seconds. I worked in that building until June 2001.
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that certain je ne sais quoi.
--Peter Schickele

Last edited by fiamme red; 09-14-2017 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:07 AM
marciero marciero is offline
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It's been good reading this thread. Thanks all for sharing. I cant say that I've had a reflective remembrance of 9/11 since the early aftermath of the event.

I was on the east side of the Hudson River about an hour north of the city, riding north on my bike. I had just moved to Cornwall-on-Hudson for a job at USMA West Point, on the other side of the river. I passed a very slow-moving cyclist on a beater bike headed south who mumbled something about a plane crash, and may have mentioned WTC. I dismissed it as just weird. To complete my circuit I needed to cross the Newburgh-Beacon bridge to get back on the west side of the river, but the bridge was closed. An officer told me it was because of the plane crash but still in my mind I was not making the connection, and was unaware it was a terrorist attack, nor did I know any details at all. So I spent the immediate aftermath in solitude wondering what was going on, on the bike getting back home the way I came, via the Bear Mountain bridge to the south, which was not closed. As I rode by West Point I saw that it was in complete lock down. Previously an open campus, it was months before cars were even allowed back on "post". Even then the entrance points were, and as far as I know still are, all cement barricades and car inspections.
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