911- 20 years later, where were you?

bykfixer

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Later that day, iirc after normal school hours I called my sons who lived with their mom to let them know that folks in their school from places like India or Pakistan were not to be feared or hated because a few people from that part of the world had attacked America. By then, although still pretty sketchy enough details were known to show it was not radicalized knucklehead Americans like the Oklahoma city bombing thing or the Iranian military.

I don't remember if anyone had claimed responsibility yet or if the US government had put it together based on information gathering. But I do remember hearing people near me were ready with pitch forks and arrows to take revenge on certain members of the community and I wanted to at least do my part to ensure my boys did not hate their neighbor just because they came from a region of planet earth.

In my community there were lots of doctors, engineers, scientists and so forth that had come to America from that part of the world and taken advantage of the American dream.

I also remember being chastized for saying "what a (f-bomb) genious plan, taking out America with simple box cutters"……"we have smart bombs, smart jets, the best bullets and the best intelligence and we were dropped to our knees with box cutters from Home Depot". It was like we were Goliath and had been whacked to submission by a rock to the forehead.

History shows we got back up and were not defeated, but there for a minute America had been knocked unconscious. That's the part I'll never forget.
 

Poppy

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I remember thinking that we are a large country, with a large population, and that we can take multiple hits like that and still survive. It did affect my thinking about going to large outdoor events like football games, or concerts.

My wife was very nervously impacted by the weeks of TV notices... "Yellow Alert!!!" "Orange Alert!!!" so much so, we created an evacuation plan with packed foods and water, gas masks, etc. The bicycles would be tied to the roof of the van, and a 5 HP mini-bike was purchased to be a tow vehicle for the bikes if necessary, once the roads became a parking lot.
 

knucklegary

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I wonder what the Mujahideen think of their Taliban brothers in control of Afghanistan.
Let's hope they cancel themselves out
 

thermal guy

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I remember being at work when the second tower was hit I thought ya this is not an accident. We’re under attack. It was horrible.Very very doubtful it went down the way most think but we as a people believe what we’re told. I’ll tell you this much. The incident could NEVER happen again with everyone having a camera on them today.🤔
 

bykfixer

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On the ride home the other day a radio program I was listening to was playing audio clips of media and interviews. It seemed like until the second plane hit most thought it was an accident.

One guy said "it was a missile. I know what missles sound like and I know it was a .....oh %#&@ another plane just hit the building" lol.

A lot has changed since that day including an entire generation that were born since then. Like Pearl Harbor was to my generation, the grown ups made sure we did not forget what happened yet not be mad at the people on the other side who played no part in the matter. We should do same.

I work with an Afgany who said his family was mad at Osama too, but rumor had it he lived in Pakistan when it happened. And that his daily life was not changed much after the US invaded his country until he got a job helping build airports and buildings for the US government. He said he had known war his whole life at that point.
 
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SCEMan

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I was getting ready to take the Metrolink train to work when I saw it on TV with my wife. We had just been in NYC a couple months before visiting her family. I was on the shuttle to my office when the 2nd tower fell. Our department spent the whole day at work watching the horrible events unfold on TV.

Bought this hat the next weekend and I wear it every year on 9/11

IMG_0108x.jpg
 
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bykfixer

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That year I lived next to a lake and after work would float on an inflatable chair up and down the lake. I'd have a giant slupree drink and would drift down the lake until my cup was empty watching airplanes fly over then split the cup in half and use it for paddles to go back up stream. If the water was up the current was toward a dam. If the water was down the current would be upstream.

Anyway I remember day after day no airplanes in the sky. None. Then one afternoon there were planes in the sky again. It was sureal knowing no airplanes were flying across America except military jets. Soon after I started seeing more and more military cargo crafts in the sky and on the road. I knew that soon our soldiers would be fighting somewhere. When the president announced we had invaded Afghanistan I figured Iraq would be next after reading about some stuff happening over there just prior to 911.

By the time Iraq was invaded I was living somewhere else. There folks were happy we invaded Iraq at first, but being a college town it wasn't long before protesters weren't standing out front of KFC in a bloody chicken suit, but were instead burning American flags. It was sad to see. I carried a laminated photo from a newspaper for a few years of a little kid smiling as he carried a bucket of water from a well over there, knowing freedom from a ruthless dictator for the first time in his young life. To this day I think of that little kid every time I vote.
 

Poppy

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Yes now that you mention it, I remember seeing no commercial jets in the sky .

Living only 10-15 miles from the WTC ground zero the only planes were military.
 

Monocrom

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Missed this topic the first time around. Was working as a Skip-Tracer (the financial kind, not the fugitive retrieval kind) at Tritium Card Services (Out of business for many years now). We worked in a very large, open room. Place was huge. The room made up 80% of the property. Boss and owner of the company several feet away from me and the other skip-tracers. He looks up from his computer desk and says to all of us, "Someone just flew into one of the twin towers."

I stop for a moment, and think to myself, Great. Some idiot flew the wrong way into Manhattan and crashed his single-engine plane into a building. I started wondering if he was drunk, when our boss informed us of another plane doing the same thing into the other tower. Okay, now it became clear what we were dealing with. Mitch, our boss, dismissed everyone for the day when it was clear we were under attack.

One of the mitigating factors is that the single story building we operated out of is actually twice as big as the space we occupied. A wall was built to separate TCS from our neighbor.... Lockheed Martin. Yes, that Lockheed Martin. Apparently they used the site as corporate offices. But oddly, decided to build the wall, and lay off half the staff a few years before we moved in. (Guess it made more financial sense to rent out half the property to another company.) So, Mitch figured our building would make for a juicy target. Everyone at the office just assumed it was the work of Muslim terrorists.

If you had a car, it wasn't too much of an issue getting home from Long island. If you didn't, you were screwed! No subway at all in Long Island. (NYC, subway was quickly shut down by the city and NYPD.) Bus service is a joke out on the Island. Taxi? Still running. Good luck getting one if you weren't one of the very first to hop into one after the first plane crashed.

Co-workers either left immediately or stayed for a few minutes to figure out what to do. I stayed. But soon enough was headed out in my silver 1998 Ford Escort sedan. I remember thinking I was glad it was compact and nimble. One co-worker, a young Black girl begged me if I could at least help her get halfway home. We were friends, so I agreed. Oddly, no one else asked me for a ride. Though I do remember others asking those who had vehicles for rides. We left.

Every route I tried to get on the expressway was blocked by very visibly armed (automatic rifles in hand) NYPD officers with riot helmets. I seriously considered heading back to the office to see if others had as well. Then I recalled a very out of the way and seldom used entrance to the Grand Central Parkway. Took a chance. If that was blocked off, we'd have to head back. It wasn't! Took a chance that I'd get stopped by the NYPD. But I figured if I did, it would be better than heading back. I just wanted to get home. I offered my travel buddy to stay at my apartment. She thanked me but made it clear she needed to get home.

Rest of the trip was uneventful. Was living in a different neighborhood at the time. Subway was on Main street. Main street was clearly blocked off to vehicle traffic. But from across where main street began, I parked and could see that foot-traffic had no issues getting in. Hated to do it, but told her she'd have to walk from here on out if she wanted to reach Main street. Again, I offered her safe haven at my place. She was determined to get home, and she took a chance at either getting onto a bus or the subway. I wished her well. Then turned around and headed home. (Several days later when we were all back to work, she didn't tell me anything about her trip after I had dropped her off. I didn't want to pry, and simply assumed she had indeed gotten home that day.) Yeah.... Never going to forget that day for as long as I live.

Edit: Due to a typo.
 
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Lumen83

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I was in college. We were watching on a TV in classroom and the professor had relatives in the tower. He let us all go home. He was in shock. We all were.

I am a firefighter now, and 9/11 means something a lot more or different to me now than it did at the time. It was personal back then because we were attacked on our own soil, but I also don't think I could really wrap my mind around it. I don't really know how to explain that. I guess now I still can't really imagine what it would be like to respond to/participate in what happened that day, but in some ways I feel like I can imagine what they might have been thinking or feeling going into it, and what was going through their minds. Some of it, particularly morbid.

I think its sad we can name people who played on a pro sports team that year or made millions lip synching some pop song they didn't write, in 2001, but we can't name any of the firefighters that died knowing they were never going to make it home that day, still managing to save others, or any of the people on flight 93 that fought back knowing they were going to die, or any of the men and women working in the towers that died saving others.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Heroic:

A passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, Todd Beamer helped lead a revolt against the terrorists who hijacked his plane on September 11, 2001 — and may have saved the U.S. Capitol.


Beamer explained the hijacking situation and told Jefferson that he and other passengers — including Mark Bingham, Jeremy Glick, and Tom Burnett — were planning to fight back against the hijackers. Flight attendants like Sandra Bradshaw and CeeCee Lyles also planned to bombard the cockpit with pitchers of boiling water and as many heavy objects as they could grab.

 

pnwoutdoors

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Was at work with a colleague, listening to the "emergency" alert interrupting the regular radio channel, informing us of the mess. Turned on a nearby mini-TV/radio and watched the replay of the first tower being hit ... when the second tower got hit. At which point, it was clear this was not unintentional.

Figured it'd be "extremists." Was aware of Bin Laden and the mess of the prior couple of years, but hadn't yet heard they'd positively identified any of the perpetrators. Soon, every broadcast was filled with nothing but, of course, as the details poured in.
 

bykfixer

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Mike Rowe posted the text of the last phone conversation between one of the heroes and his wife.
His last words were "we're to do something" meaning screw these guys man, we aint going to let them fly into another building.
 

alpg88

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I got off the bus in downtown Manhattan, Battery Park, at about 9,20am First tower was already on fire, papers were flying everywhere, then we were standing on Broadway looking at tower 1 burn, and the second one got hit, I felt the heatwave when the plane exploded. Then, an hour or so later, first one came down, Low rumble reminding a sound of a freight train passing right next to you was heard and felt for about 10-15 sec. then thick dust, smoke filled everything.
We went into a building on Broadway, and exchange line. after second tower came down, it was pitch black on the street for about an hour or so. Our building had glass front. from the inside it looked like darkest night, even thou it was around noon. then it started clearing up, gray snow was falling everywhere for few hours in downtown nyc. Walking over Manhattan bridge we saw/heard jet fighter flying over, lots of people were screaming in fear. they thought it is going into the bridge. then after we came to a Brooklyn side of the bridge, there was this huge policeman, a traffic police, aka meter maid, was loudly telling everyone, "We are new yorkers, we can handle it, panic will not help anything.. etc" Paper was still flying for the rest of the day, at very least.
Several das after, I was called in, got all necessary permits, and started cleaning up my cooling towers on the roof, All were clogged with dust and ash. First week only leo, first responders and building engineers were allowed downtown. i was there everyday since, for months.
 

sween1911

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I was on the phone with our customer, a guy in Texas, right when it happened, who said "Did you hear that a plane hit the world trade center?" I had just gotten my new pager at work, one of those snazzy One and Half Way Motorola jobbies with the news feed on it. The little ticker said "PLANE HITS WORLD TRADE CENTER".

I remember calling my parents who lived in South Jersey. My mom worked nights, they were both having breakfast and hadn't seen or heard yet.

I said "Hey Mom, turn on TV."​
"What channel?"​
"Any channel."​
 
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