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Your Stories of 9-11-2001

#1 User is offline   Dublin5 

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  Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:28 PM

I'm starting this early so you all have time to put your accounts, anger, fears, rememberance of where you were at the time, or a tribute to a victim of 9-11. This is your thread to share them or whatever you feel to add to this thread.

I only ask a few things:

We keep it within guidelines on the rules of RN.

Noone is allowed to respond to each person's posts to take away from their stories or whatever they decide to post. I hope you all understand this rule not to respond to members posts. I will make your posts invisible so as not to take away from the stories to add a discussion in here.

God rest the innocent lives lost and God help us in this fight. God bless the military fighting for us and the brave men and women who risked their lives on that day to try and rescue. Thank you for participating.


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#2 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:16 PM





This post has been edited by Mollywalk: 10 September 2008 - 07:21 AM

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#3 User is offline   vectorsrule 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:22 PM

Dublin, I will start the ball rolling. I was working out of my home and just had a fight with my wife (about what who knows) before she left for school. She called me on the cell as she listened to the live report on the radio. I immediately turned on Fox to see one of the towers smoking. All the feelings of angst between my wife and I evaporated in an instant. We stayed on the phone and not long after that the second plane hit which of course immediately confirmed our suspicions this was a terrorist attack.

I watched the news all day. I had not done that since the beginning of the air war in the first Gulf War. When she got home we comforted each other and both were in shell shock all day long. It was definitely one of those "snapshots in time" kind of memories we have. I couldn't get anybody on the phone at my company except on their cell phone.

Our 1,200 person software company in San Diego was basically non functional. Customers did not call, nobody visited, no calls were returned. Most employees went home or stay glued to the TV's we had at the office.

I wanted the US to Nuke Mecca that day. I did not know a lot about Muslims before that day. I could just about answer any question anybody has about them today. I have read at least six different books about Muslims since then.

Thank god they gave us this wake up call. We know who they are now and the only way we will stop them is to kill them before they either out breed us and change our culture (Like Eurabia) or kill us. Strong words, I know, but that's how I feel.

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#4 User is offline   MADGestic 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:50 PM

I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens… and watched the WTC towers rise above the horizon as keenly as I watched the Moon landings, shuttle launches, and SSTs flying in and out of Kennedy airport. In the late-80s I worked in Tower-2 (40th floor) for about 18-months and have many fond memories… (and a handful of hard-copy photos)… about the experience.

It swayed on windy days.

My continuing career in the investment industry led me to the Boston environs in 1991, and my employer did considerable business with Cantor Fitzgerald. Afterwards, our primary contact… (who was running late that day)… called attention to the Holiday group-photo Greeting Card that the Cantor desk had sent out for Christmas 2000… and poignantly noted that she was the only person in that photo who was still alive.

Although I was not “personally” affect by The Atrocity, I certainly felt it; and my heart goes out to all who were traumatized by this.

A Memorial was just unveiled in Boston’s Logan Airport in Honor of those we lost.



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#5 User is offline   brah 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:52 PM

During the night of 9/11 after watching hours of Television coverage I needed a break so I took my dog for a walk and we were the only ones outside, there was no cars on the street, no one period just us, it was an odd feeling..
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#6 User is offline   Susancnw 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:16 PM

We were living in Raleigh, NC. I had lost my job 3 wks earlier, so I was on the computer job hunting. Suddenly the TV got came on and got really loud. It got louder and louder and I went into the den are to tell them to turn it down. We were homeschooling our boys at the time and I was wondering why the TV was even on! I went to the closed door to tell them to turn it off. My oldest son met me at the doorway and told me a plane had hit the Trade Towers. I looked up in time to see the instant replay of the first plane. My first thought was 'someone is going to lose his license"...and then I took in the utter devastation of it...and realized that it was not a small plane.

My husband was sitting on the sofa, horrified. He was in his shop working and heard it on the radio and hurried inside. I sat down next to him and didn't move for a long time. Our youngest had just turned 2, so there was some dealing with her during the day. I got on the phone to my old job and asked if our NY people had checked in...a couple of them had...so I told her that I'd call back. I asked how everyone there was and one of the sales guys was pretty much in shock. Most of his clients were in the WTC, so he had just watched a lot of them die...they ended up telling his wife (the receptionist) to take him to the dr. to get him drugs and then take him home. I think they treated it as a worker's compensation claim. Sometime within the next couple of hours the Baptist church on the corner started ringing its bells....they rang all day long...all those old gospels and hymns that are so comforting to the heart...I remember the eerie silence on the street all day.

I found out the next week that a couple of parents of kids at my daughter's school were killed...they did a lot of business in NYC...I remember sometime in the next few days and my youngest son was listening to the radio and playing the computer...he was 11...he stood up and threw the radio across the room yelling that he didn't want to listen to it any more....poor kid. So I just hugged him and let him be upset....

Don't remember sleeping much that night and fellowship that Sunday was a time of prayer and reflection.

I was thinking about Lisa Beamer a few weeks ago - does anyone know if she remarried?
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#7 User is offline   Dublin5 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:40 PM

I was getting off night shift as a supervisor for a nursing home. My friends and I were laughing in the parking lot and then I got into my car. I was a big Howard Stern fan and remember him saying a plane hit one of the Towers. I thought he was joking. I kept driving and then heard the Pentagon was hit. He wasn't joking and Robin started crying. I think he was too. I remember looking down at the radio at a stop light. The air looked yellow and I looked around at the cars around me. Everyone was looking at the radio in shock.

I got home and immediately tried to reach my father at NASA in Washington. I asked him if my sister, Lablove, was ok and he said she was. I then called my aunt in New York and we taked for hours it seemed like. She was working at a school and trying to get the children home.

I remember the Towers falling and seeing the plane hit the Towers again and again and again. When they fell, I was in tears. And I was angry. I thought of what those people went through. And then Flight 93 fell. I just kept thinking about the people in all of it.

I was born in New York in Queens. I remembered the Towers and haven't been back since. I remember driving to Washington and seeing the missle launchers up around the Pentagon. I remember my sister lost a friend in one of the Towers and all they found was her hand to bury. I remember my friend tell me her brother was doing construction that day in the Pentagon and was blown back. He was never the same. Divorced and on drugs. A complete mess.

I got a tattoo this year about 2 weeks ago with an angel coming out of the smoke in the damaged towers. One wing was wrapped around the first tower that was to fall and the other was beginning to envelope the second. She was made out of the smoke coming from both of them and looking down with a halo and a very serene and sad look---almost peaceful like she was going to take care of them in the afterlife. Above it is the date.

I remember writing about a victim of 9-11 and having a friend of hers respond back to me in my blog telling me thank you. I was so honored and humbled.

Mary Rubino Sperando

I spent the next few years gathering all the voice recording and anything I could find and listen to. I wanted to know they didn't suffer and to hear them.

I also remember how quiet it was since I live near Dulles Airport. Where some of the planes took off from and I felt a weird sense of guilt.

Please, remember to read Tilly's story in the pinned section and Ilja's thread in the pinned section.

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#8 User is offline   Hercules 

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  Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:07 PM

I was on jury duty for a rape trial and just as they moved us out to the courtroom there was something on the TV about an airplane but we didn't get the details.

All morning, during the trial, the Court Clerk and the Judge kept talking & talking & talking to the point the Jury Foreman stood up and asked why the Judge wasn't paying attention to the testimony in the trial. At that point he seemed to settle down. At the lunch break he informed us the WTC had been hit by terrorists, the Sears Tower ( not so ) and the Pentagon. Court was recessed for the day.

All we wanted to do was get to a radio or TV to find out what happened.

I lost two high school friends in the North Tower. I WILL NEVER FORGET!



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#9 User is offline   oda-bea 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:28 PM

I was the volunteer meal site manager for a local Meals-On-Wheels program. Someone turned on the television, and we watched in horror as another plane hit the second tower. And we knew that the first collision was as intentional as the second one. Then two more planes, one headed for the Pentagon and the other for Pennsylvania. These attacks were planned.

When the towers crumbled and fell, filled with thousands of helpless and helping souls, we watched as some were rescued, and many were not. The World Trade Center obliterated and the New York skyline changed forever. All of those lives destroyed...and our nation would never be the same again.

I, along with the mostly senior citizen volunteers, sent out meals and then served lunch to our on-site diners. We said an extra prayer for all those who perished and for those yet to be rescued. As soon as I got home, I took my dog for a walk. After our walk, I turned on the news and just cried all day and for days to come.

Everytime I hear stories and see film footage of that day in September, when the world stood still for us and our sadness reached depths we had never imagined, I still cry for the terrible things that happened and for the bravery and sacrifice of those who gave their lives for a cause greater than themselves.

God Bless America!



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#10 User is offline   Jax 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:42 PM

I remember so much about that day:

I was getting ready for work and had the radio on, a little before 8:00 a.m., CST. The DJ's mentioned something about a plane hitting the World Trade Tower and they were watching it on the Today Show. So I turned on the TV, and was watching the video of the first tower. And as I watched, live, I saw the second plane come in, low and slow, and thought, "Oh my God!" And it hit. And I dropped the brush out of my hand and fell on my knees with my mouth open. After about a minute of just staring at the TV with my hand over my mouth, I got up and went to the phone to call my then-husband. He was out of town for work, in Dallas, working at the airport there. He was still asleep, and I woke him up and told him to turn the TV on. Then realized -- his brother was a pilot for AA, and started getting really worried. He didn't think his brother was flying that day, but I told him I'd try to get ahold of him to be sure. I finished getting ready and left the house, got in the car and turned the radio on. I called my then-BIL and was able to get ahold of him. He was home, safe. So that was a relief. On the radio, they were saying that all flights were being grounded, and one or two were unaccounted for. My route took me past the STL airport, and as I drove east toward and past it, I could see the planes all lined up, heading west, coming in one right after the other. And all I could think was, "Get down, birds. Get down." I know that seems weird, but that was what was in my head.

I pulled into my parking garage around the time the Pentagon was hit. I got out of my car and walked toward my office, looking up at the bright blue September sky, which suddenly seemed empty. And, even though it was warm out, I got the chills. The TV was on in the office, of course. And we all just stood around it, watching. We'd try to go to our desks and do some work, but it was futile. My MIL called me in a panic, because she knew my office was located next to the Arch. I told her I was fine, but we'd gotten word they'd be shutting our building down, and we'd be heading back home. Watched in disbelief as the first tower came down. Then the second. Then left and started the drive back home, still in a state of shock.

Just so happens, I was 7 or 8 weeks pregnant at the time. Got home, and there was a message on the machine from my doctor's office, asking me to call them. I did, and they told me there was a problem with my hormone levels, and I was at risk for miscarrying, so I needed to go pick up a prescription. The realization that my husband was likely to be stuck in Dallas for an indefinite period at that point, and I was pretty much on my own, hit and made me feel very much alone. I got in the car and headed to the pharmacy, and remember thinking to myself how odd it was that it, and the grocery stores, and most businesses were still open and carrying on like it was a regular day. I know the people working there weren't FEELING that way -- it just struck me as odd that, even in the face of this evil, awful thing that was unfolding, we were still plodding ahead with our day. I picked up the prescription and read the warnings, which included all sorts of potential awful things that could happen to the baby, including some mutations. THAT freaked me out. So I called the doctor's office and they reassured me it was okay to take the medicine. So I did. And I sat down on the couch and watched the endless coverage, and wondered what kind of a world my child -- assuming he or she would be okay -- would be born into. And I cried.

I was thousands of miles away from the destruction of that day, but I -- just as everyone else -- was profoundly affected by it. And it's easy, almost 7 years later, to forget just how much, to forget all that was lost that day. We can quibble from now until the end of time over what actions since then were appropriate. And I'm sure we will. It is, perhaps, the largest political football of our lives. But we should never, ever, ever forget that day.

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#11 User is offline   Moderator T 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:11 PM

It was a week after I started afternoons. I was asleep when the phone rang. It was Tony, my crazy gay roommate. He exclaimed that I should turn the TV on because the world was ending and then hung up. Drama queen I thought. So I turned the TV on and watched for a few minutes. When I went to put the cordless away I saw a message. It was from work asking me to call, which I did. A coworker upon hearing it was me said they were too busy to talk and hung up on me. WTF I said. So figuring they were busy I showered, slapped my uniform on and ran out to work.

It was a mad house at work. We had to guard the local middle eastern population, assist several businesses in shutting down, and close down government buildings. I had CNN on and was reading that they were confirming a fourth plane down in PA. I go into an argument with one of our Lieutenants who wanted to watch Fox News. I had switched from it earlier because they were showing people jumping from the Twin Towers to their deaths and saw no purpose in that. He argued about the political slant of CNN but I ignored him. Who would play politics with this? It didn't make sense. We could get back to our idiot president, the son of the other President who let China embarrass us later, there was a crisis going and people would put their partisanship aside.

I took a minute then to thank whatever great power ruled the universe (if any) that this happened on that day and not a few days before. On that day the president and the president of Mexico who seemed to be a close friend of his were in my city speaking jointly on the importance of immigrants to the US and closer economic ties, all of which sounded like very reasonable ideas to me. It would be an important step towards uniting the civilized world into an more close world that would lead nations as the US leads states, where we would all get along better. Anyhow on that day the terrorists would have had an easy (well, easier) target in two world leaders who they could've killed with a plane.


Hey I thought suddenly, this reminds me of a Tom Clancy book I read.

Then I was back to work, the phone ringing off the hook as terrorists were apparently spying on people at the malls, driving in cars, taking pictures of the water treatment plant, and killing Mrs Loony McCrazy's flowers. Well, it was either terrorists or the shadow people.

After a long work day I went home. Wasn't much on TV. Even the cable channels were simulcasting news agencies of the attack. They were saying for most of the evening it was Usama bin Laden (well, Osama bin Ladin since I was watching CNN), that guy who blew up the Cole and some barracks. Apparently he worked for Reagan against the Russians. That was weird I thought, for such a cool president, that guy hung out with dirtbags. First those Columbian terrorists he was selling cocaine to so he could get guns for the Iranians and Oliver North, and now this guy. No matter I thought, the president would likely launch a few cruise missiles and kill him like the last president did any time there was a crisis. Oh well, time to go to bed.

A few weeks later some guy named Steven Emmerson was speaking at the local college. He was some sort of terrorism expert and people wanted to kill him. I didn't get to go see him. Fortunately he was interviewed the next day on televison. Some guy on Fox News (they finally stopped exploiting the 9/11 dead and weren't showing them dying anymore) named O'Reilly was going to interview him. I knew O'Reilly. He was that guy who was always complaining about rap music being bad for kids, which it was, and wanting someone to do something about it. Why didn't the government do something anyways? After all it was for the kids and the government didn't do enough to help the kids. Anyways it was a cool interview. Afterwards I went online and ordered his book along with a couple on US actions in the Soviet-Afghan War.

So I wanted revenge. But I wanted to learn about who exactly deserved our revenge. All kidding and liberalness aside, I wanted the US to obliterate those who attacked us and anyone who dared to get in our way.
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#12 User is offline   curlylouis1970122 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:50 PM

My memories from 9/11 are of watching the events unfold and not believing what I was seeing and going to the community college were I went to school at the time and doing nothing in my classes except talk about what was going on and then later going by my grandmothers house and talking about it with her and about if the events would cause my cousin's wedding that weekend to be postpone(it wasn't). My biggest memory of that day was the tragedy that occured that night when my neighbor suffered a massive heart attack and going with my mother to their house and waiting outside as my mother(who is a nurse) and the neighbor across the street(also a nurse) and the paramedics worked frantically to try to save him. But unfortunately he died soon after reaching the hospital, he was only 53 years old. So, on a personal note, 9/11 started out and ended tragic. I will never forget that day or the days after as for a moment we all dropped party lapels and became americans
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#13 User is offline   UFCaveman 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:12 AM

I was stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy at that time. It has always been said that you will remember where you were and what you were doing when something tragic happens, this is truly the case with me. I was out on the flight line working on some of our external drop tanks when one of my troops ran up to me and my assistant. He told us that the Commander wanted us to gather over at Operations because someone just flew a jet into the World Trade Center. This kid was known for his tall tails, my response to him was, “Ya, right!” The look on his face has forever been burned into my memory, I never seen him so serious, and my next response was, “Oh my God!”

I had been in the military ten years by that time, and I had never had the feeling of being so helpless before. Not really knowing what exactly to do, we did what any good military unit could do at that time, Our boss gave us the order, “Lets get ready for war!” In no time, we had six jets loaded up and ready to go. It was more to keep up busy than anything else, none of us wanted to be there, our hearts were with those in states that day.

I remember later on that day, after I returned home, I must have sat in front of my TV soaking in the images that I saw there, torn between horror and rage I mourned for the victims and a country in pain.

I was impressed with the sudden interest in patriotism that swept the nation over the following weeks, and was even more impressed when I got to see it for myself a few months later when I returned to the states. I saw American flags on peoples cars, bumper stickers that said things like ‘These colors never run’ and every house down the street had at least two to three flags waving in the breeze. But I did ask myself one question, How long will this last? Within a year, the flags were gone, the bumper stickers faded, peoples attitudes returned to normal. But, one thing has changed, being a Military member I end up wearing my uniform to the stores either going to work or heading home from, and I will still get someone who will walk up to me and shake my hand and thank me for my service. This never once has happened to me pre 9/11. I will always believe in my country, and if I have to give my life to protect her I will. Its just nice to see that there is people out there who are grateful for that, its just sad that it took something like 9/11 to wake most of them up.

911.gif
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#14 User is offline   searcher 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:33 AM

It was my day off. I'm on the west coast and when I woke up I was on the computer checking one of the bulliten boards I visit. Someone had posted about a plane hitting one of the towers but I was still half asleep and it didn't sink in. A few posts later was one about another plane hitting the other tower. I turned on the TV and watched for the rest of the day. I've been in Search and Rescue since 1978 and my heart was with the Police and Firefighters who were going into the buildings. I also watched them come down. A large piece of my heart died that day. One of my cousins was working at the Pentagon but was not in the building when it was hit. It was 23 hours later when I found out he was OK Lots of worrying and many prayers were said in those 23 hours, not all of them for him. So many people lost so much that day and now it seems like there is a movement to forget it happened or blame America for it. Years before it happened my philosophy was "See the terrorist, kill the terrorist." It has not changed. I don't want to understand or negotiate with them. Death to America? You first.
Mark
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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:30 AM

Born and raised in North Jersey, well within sight of my childhood buildings. They were always my favorites. They were my towers. I had just moved to Fairfax County, Virginia a few weeks before that day. I was 18 and graduated HS back in that June. I was attending school in DC and moved with my mom, brother, sister and step father to Herndon. I left my house around 8am. I had already gotten used to the roaring sounds out of nearby Dulles airport, so I paid no mind to the planes landing and taking off behind me as I wait for my bus to the Metro station to take me to school. The biggest news story that day was Michael Jordan planning a comeback with the Wizards when the season started. When I got to my station in upper Northwest DC, the attacks were well under way. One tower had already collapsed and the Pentagon was struck, but I had no clue. I noticed a lot of people were buzzing and running around a bit, but paid it no mind. An elevator cleared out in front of me and a woman mentioned a building in New York, a plane, and people dead over her cell phone. I froze. I found an office with a radio, and it confirmed what I had feared. Rumor were abound. Fire at the State Dept., Bombing at the White House, subways in New York were suicide bombed. I had to find a way home.

I met a lawyer who lived in Falls Church (ironically, he was a Brooklyn kid) who said that if we can make it to his house, he'd give me a ride to my house out in western Fairfax County. We took the red line to his office on K Street. Looking back, that may not have been the smartest thing to do (a very quiet, anxious ride to say the least) with what was going on. We got off on Farragut North which is a few blocks from the White House and it was what I can best describe as controlled chaos. People and cops everywhere, but no real panic. His office had a view of other buildings and I could have sworn I saw people on top of other buildings, possibly watching the sky for other planes (no conspiracy theorist here, but I can only assume thats what they were). A few of us from his law firm started to make our way towards the Key Bridge to make it to Arlington so we can bum a ride to the lawyers house. There was a TV in his office, but I couldn't bare to watch anything. Seeing my buildings damaged the way they were describing would have sent me into tears. I asked that the TV be turned all the way down. He gladly obliged saying from his mom's house in Brooklyn Heights, you can clearly see Manhattan.

From Georgetown, we can clearly see the black cloud from the Pentagon. It seemed to go as high as possible. Totally surreal. The roar of fighter planes overhead gave me some feel of comfort, but everyone walking across the bridge still felt uneasy. There was a mass exodus out the District. No one was being let across any bridge over the Potomac into the city. Total lock down. We get to about Clarendon before his wife comes through with his car and we get to his house. I didn't have a cell phone then, and I knew my mom was a mess. She lost some friends in Lower Manhattan. I called my house, and I never heard my mom so broken up. She had no idea how to contact me. No one was picking up the phone at my school. Everyone from my family and friends to classmates from my HS were asking where I was and was I alright. I broke down. My grandfather broke down, my grandmother broke down, my best friend broke down. I couldn't hold it in anymore. My towers were gone and my country was under attack. I was given a ride home and a friend to which I still speak to to this day. I never embraced my mom and brother and sister the way I did when I saw them. I was on the phone for hours with people who were here. I thought I would never get off the phone with the stories I was hearing. The smoke was visible from my mom's old bedroom. I spent the rest of the night in utter shock. Praying it was a horrible dream that I'd wake up from, still in High School, back in Jersey, 1 year younger. And that sound of roaring airplanes that I got used to, was replaced with total silence in the days after. It was unreal. No traffic into the airport plane or car, no activity at all. My innocence, my sense of security, my towers, gone in a 90 minutes on the nicest day I can ever remember.


I will never forget that day and how I felt. I just wish more people in this country felt that way.....
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#16 User is offline   Mooga 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 03:33 AM

You can believe me or not, but 9/11 began for me on 8/15. I was visiting San Francisco, as carefree and peaceful a city as I'd ever seen, and looking across Fisherman's Wharf at the Bay. It was a sunny day, the boardwalk was crowded with tourists. The sea lions on the floating docks were barking and basking and rutting away, probably as amused by our antics as we were by theirs.

But it was Alcatraz that caught my eye and held it. Gray, bare, hard and cruel, it looked like an insult in the midst of such festivity, like a surly gate-crasher ready to repel the most determined bum's rush. Gloom rose up from it like breath.

After a few minutes, a thought began to form. The thought made no sense, so I pushed it aside, denying it even the words to express itself. But like a dog nudges its distracted owner, the thought pressed against the walls of my consciousness until, finally, I allowed it in. It went like this:

Right now, life's a great big holiday. Very soon, something hard and evil is going to intrude, like Alcatraz intrudes into this scene, and <censored> it up for everyone.

Alcatraz is nothing if not inescapable. For the next three days, that thought, though divorced from any meaningful context, came to possess me. As I wandered the hills, gaping at the Victorian painted ladies, the prim grace of Japantown, it crouched in a corner of my mind, ducking and parrying as I tried to squash it. Its presence became all but physical. Even as my eyes took in the pavilions and flower beds of Golden Gate Park, I could sense something as dark and hard as Alcatraz just out of sight.

At some point, probably over sushi, or cannolis, or dim sum, or perhaps as I eyed the naked girls at Baker Beach (to my relief, there were quite a few), I found myself recalling snippets of a passage written by George Orwell about the England of his childhood:

It was...the age of diabolo and hobble skirts...of Peter Pan and Where the Rainbow Ends, an age when people talked about chocs and cigs and ripping and topping and heavenly...From the whole decade before 1914, there seems to breathe forth a smell of the more vulgar, un-grown-up kinds of luxury, a smell of brillantine and creme de menthe and soft-centered chocolates -- an atmosphere, as it were, of eating everlasting strawberry ices on green lawns to the tune of the Eton Boating Song.

The passage, which I remembered appeared in his essay "Such, Such Were the Joys," felt like the answer to something. But what? All around me, I could see opulence and comfort like the kind Orwell described. Our age was the age of the cell phone and the laptop and the SUV, of flavored vodka and organic fruit. I'd spent the last few days tripping over all of it.

Then I remembered that Orwell's age of plenty had ended with -- a war: the most hideous war mankind had ever seen; a war that left ten million dead on the battlefield and millions more dead from disease; a war that toppled governments, shredded empires, and ground whole social classes into the dirt. Its outbreak had also brought a sense of foreboding to an unfortunate few. After Britain reluctantly joined, one statesman remarked: "The lights are going out all over Europe, and I don't know if we shall see them come on again in our lifetime."

I will not say that this chain of thought led to the prediction that America would soon find itself at war. But as I looked around at the people typing furiously on their laptops, brandishing their digital cameras, paying for their meals with gold and platinum Visa cards with 0% introductory rates, presumably before heading back to their homes in Marin County to screw like rabbits, I thought, "How different they would look covered with the mud of a trench, or dying in the dirty corner of a crowded tuberculosis ward." And with that thought, came an odd sense of clarity.

In the end, the dark thing broke off pursuit, and I flew back to Phoenix. Four weeks later, when I stopped for a strawberry smoothie -- a kind of ice, take note -- on the way home from an early-morning bike ride, I saw on the TV above the counter that a plane had crashed into each of the Twin Towers, killing all hands. By the time I'd hauled ass home to dress for work, both towers had fallen, killing (so far) untold thousands.

At work, everyone was predicting nuclear war, mass outbreaks of anthrax or smallpox. The Russians or the Chinese would join with this guy, bin Laden, whoever he was, to blow us off the map. We were in a clash of civilizations, a struggle for survival. It was time to throw off the gloves and fight dirty.

It looked as though the lights would go out all over America.

Now, seven years later, it appears that they have not. Thanks to the efforts of the government and our armed forces, the terrorist threat has diminished markedly. Al-Qaeda’s leadership is stuck in the caves of the Hindu Kush. To everyone’s surprise including its own, Iraq is finding itself an increasingly peaceful place. We still have our cell phones and laptops, our pop stars and scandal sheets, the invigorating polarities of our politics.

To this day, I can’t say whether my epiphany was true or false. Rising oil prices may throw us all into darkness yet. Maybe the collapse of the housing market, following a boom which itself was a by product of the terrorist attacks, will leave our middle class scarred and skittish, as Orwell writes that the First World War left Britain’s. Whatever the case, we Americans will go on seeking out pleasure and novelty and opportunity. As I tried to do on that trip to San Francisco, we will dodge darkness as long as we can. And that counts for something.

This post has been edited by Mooga: 10 September 2008 - 09:18 AM

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#17 User is offline   lyria 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 09:03 AM

On 9/11/01, I worked in DC about two blocks from the White House. The only thing between me and the White House is the VA and Lafeyette Park. I say that to give the story context, because there's a lot of "ifs" that had they occured might have put my name on the victim list. Not nearly so close as the people who worked in the WTC but called in sick that day, but close enough to wake me up to the realities of working in DC. IF the fourth plane hadn't been taken down in PA, IF their target was the White House, IF they had missed.....

When the first tower was hit, word got around the building quickly. I worked with a lot of ex-pilots, ex-military, and ex-air traffic controllers at a federal agency offsite office (not the agency hq). I made it to the breakroom just after the second tower was hit. I walked into a crowd of stunned silence. Then it started: "That's no accident. How could two pilots make a navigation error like that? WTF were the controllers doing? It had to be a big plane, too. No Cesna, that. It can't be an error!" Then - "We're under attack". It didn't register with me yet. I understood the words, but not the meaning. I returned to the office to get back to work - my coworker had called in sick so I had to cover for her as well as do my own work that day - and the phone was ringing. It was my husband, asking if I knew. We chatted for a bit, agreed this was very bad, and then he had a work-related call and had to go. I started to work. After all, this attack - I still didn't grasp the import of the words - was in New York. That's miles and miles away from DC.

I hear someone outside the door calling "There's smoke downtown!" This turned out to be from the Pentagon, but from our vantage point the location was unclear. (I found out later that other coworkers, in a different building in the SW quadrant, could see it perfectly.) Nothing on Yahoo yet. I get up to find out what's going on and the phone rings again. It's my husband and he says with no preamble "The Pentagon has been hit. GET OUT NOW. Don't take the subway. Get to the border and I can arrange a ride." "Why can't I take Metro?" "Secondary attacks. Terrorists have planted secondary bombs before to kill fleeing people. They might have done that now. GET OUT NOW." It is this that finally shocks me into action and I realize that we really are under attack. That of this morning, we were at war with someone. That I am potentially in danger. I hang up and call my Dad, who works a block off the Mall, a few blocks from the Capital. At the same time, I've closed the door and grabbed my backpack. Thankfully, I had rode the motorcycle to the train station that morning so I had comfortable shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt to wear. Much better than my skirt and heels for walking. I'm ripping off my clothes as Dad picks up. I relay the info, he says he feels safe where he is and that he will go home as soon as he thinks he can. As I'm tying my shoes, I call another friend who works near the Verizon Center. He doesn't get it. He has to stay at work for an important telecon later that day. But another friend who also works there does get it and agrees to meet me at Dupont Circle. I picked that location almost at random, figuring it had no federal agencies, no controversial embassies, was well traveled (equalled safe in my mind), and was easy to get to from mine and his location. I try to reach my husband to relay the plan, but his cell phone seems to be down. I'm out the door five minutes after my husband's phone call, maybe 10 minutes after the Pentagon was hit.

The streets were starting to get crowded with people milling about. I started at a fast walk towards Dupont Circle, stopping at cafes periodically to try to reach my husband. I did not have a cell phone, so I knew that a coffee shop was the best bet (outside the Metro Stations, which I was avoiding) for a pay phone in the morning. Along the way I saw a lot of black towncars - those were agency heads, the Secretaries, Congressmen, and other VIPs being whisked away. I was on the way to the Circle when I saw the first tower come down. I don't know if it was live or replayed. But I stopped mid-dial and actually dropped the phone, I was so shocked. I watched for a bit, and the second tower came down (that was definitely live). It was dead silence in the cafe, then a collective gasp of horror. As the conversation picked up again, I grabbed the phone and dialed again. Still no response. I make it to the circle and stand dead center, on a bench, looking for my friend. The streets are really starting to fill now, with people and cars. Everyone is talking to everybody, and everyone has a new bit of rumor. "The Capitol is on fire!" "The is a crashed plane on the Mall!"

I see my friend, and we hug. I was so happy to see a friend's face! Just being with him alleviated some of the fear. I was not alone. We quickly discuss our options, and decide to walk along Connecticut Avenue to the Montgomery County border. From there, we should be able to reach somebody to give us a lift home (we live in the same town). At this time I become aware that there are a lot of military planes and helicopters flying overhead. Everytime we hear jet engines, my friend cringes. Later he tells me that being with me is what kept him from descending into panic. We had a plan; we stuck to the plan. Just having a plan made dealing with this much better, a lesson I've applied for future disasters. We stop at the Dupont Circle CVS for water and powerbars - very long lines - then get walking. Thankfully, he was in business casual dress that day, so neither of us were dragged down by uncomfortable clothes and shoes.

As we're walking out of town, things start to calm down a bit. We're walking faster than the traffic is flowing. We make it well past the zoo and take a water break on a nearby bench. We take stock and decide that if there was going to be a secondary bomb on the Metro, it would have happened already. It is now past noon. I finally get through to my husband. I tell him where I am, who I am with, and our plan at this point. He agrees the Metro should be safe now, and we get on the Red Line. The metro car is almost empty. We get off at Grosvenor, call his father (who had recently retired), and he picks us up and takes us home. I get home about 2pm and collapse into the couch. It took me a few minutes to even get my head around what happened. I pick up the phone to call my husband and there are a LOT of messages from concerned friends and family - even people I haven't heard from in years! I let my husband know I'm okay, ask when he is expected home (unknown - he is considered essential personnel at his job) and turn on the TV. It is at that point that I realize the potential death toll as I see the footage played over and over again. Most people recall 9/11 in terms of what they saw on TV. These are not my first memories - my first memory is that terrible, fearful, walk to Dupont Circle.

I call my parents. Dad had stayed at work for a bit, then left to go to a coworker's house near Union Station. When the rails opened back up again, he went home and ended up giving a few coworkers rides to their homes. Traffic was amazingly clear by early afternoon, so this was no trouble.

My husband arrives home around 9pm that night, having started work at 6am. I give him a big hug, and we just hold each other for a little while.

The next day, I go back to work. There are a lot of people absent! Some called in, others are the ex-air traffic controllers now recalled to the Command Center in Herndon where they work on the big problem of getting the planes back into the air. Getting them up was a lot harder than bringing them down! (If you want to read a good book about that, check out Ground Stop). My customer is one of those, and so I didn't have much to do for the next couple of weeks, except fight with my company who refuses at first to give us administrative time off for 9/11. They are insisting we have to make up the time or take vacation, since we "abandoned" our duties. Hmmm.... easy for you to say with your headquarters outside the Beltway. They are finally convinced. I had a lot of time to listen to people and what I heard was a lot of people coming to the same realization I was: We work in the freakin' capital of the most powerful country in the world. It is, as the army guys say, a target rich environment. This won't be the last time. Some vow to get new jobs and not work in DC anymore, my friend among them. I vow to get a plan. I won't be caught off-guard like that again. I'm at work writing this right now, let me open up my drawer..... Yup, there's my backpack all ready to go. Everything I need is there. There's my MRE and a bottle of water, in case I have to shelter in place. Next time, I will be out the door 1 minute after hearing the news. I know there are four different public transportation routes that will get me home or to a friendly place, and where to pick those up. I have researched the most direct walking routes. I have a cell phone. Most importantly: I have thought about what to do next time, if there is a next time, and worked out the details now so I don't have to later. I have a plan if the attack or disaster is North, South, East, or West of me, or in multiple locations.
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#18 User is offline   Riothouse 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:55 AM

If I get a little passionate at times about the War on Terror it is because I can still remember the feeling of sitting helplessly on my hotel bed watching the news that day. I remember sitting and knowing that we were only yards from the Capitol Building as they announced that Fight 93 had been hijacked.

I can hear the news anchors saying it is headed for us. It’s coming for the Capitol Building, and the only place to hide is under the bed.

It does something to your peace of mind for a while when you know how it feels to have a Boeing 757 aimed at you — loaded down with jet fuel, guided by murderous madmen, and traveling fast. I didn’t know until much later that the phrase “Let’s roll!” was being uttered as I was trying to figure out if I should stay inside or go out and stand in the street. What difference would it all make if we were going to be hit?

To this day I can’t even begin to contemplate what could have happened had the brave Americans on Flight 93 not fought back that day. I seriously can not. I also can not help but remember and honor them in the same way I would honor a fallen soldier. Their bravery and actions stopped that plane, and they stopped it from coming toward me that day. No one will ever know the lives that were spared because of their actions. They defended me… they defended us!

It was 7 years ago and I was sitting in my office planning a very long and much anticipated business trip. I was, at that time, the National Program Administrator for one of the largest funding bodies of pediatric brain tumor research in the world. The week starting September 10, 2001 was Childhood Cancer Awareness week, and we had huge plans. Neither my boss or myself had a clue of the events that were to unfold during that business trip. So, as normal, a few weeks before the event I was confirming our reservations, mailing off the reams of printed media resources I would need to the hotel where we were staying, and making sure that I had enough suits, pantyhose, and other uncomfortable and stiff things to wear to the various events.

I can’t wait to see the hotel! It’s just yards from the Capitol Building! We definitely need to take some tours. This is only my third time being in D.C. and I have a lot of sights to see!

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 very well. I woke up out of a groggy sleep. I have always been a very anxious flight passenger, so in order to deal with having a job that required me to fly all over the Country I would take a dose of Valium before my flights. I never took it for any other reason or at any other time, but it really took the edge off of my intense anxiety. I would book my flights so that I could just go to my hotel and crash for the night after my flight. I would wake up a little groggy, but after a cup of coffee and a shower the next day, I would be ready to go! We flew into Washington DC on September 10 so that we could be at the Capitol for the kick off of the week’s events. On the morning of September 11, my boss and I woke up early, got ready and headed down to the Senator’s Lounge, which was the restaurant located in our hotel. We could see the Capitol Building from just outside the door.

We had a full agenda for the day. The major childhood cancer serving foundations and agencies across the Country had agreed to join together and announce a major cooperative coalition that would allow us to more adequately utilize our resources, gain a “gestalt” in our power and influence, and move closer toward our common goal of eradicating various types of childhood cancers. It was to be a grand morning! The good news proclamation of our concerted efforts would not happen though.

It happened over coffee. It happened over breakfast. It happened while we were putting all of the finishing details on the speech to be given on the steps of the Capitol that morning. We were sitting in the Lounge and enjoying our breakfast when the News Flash of the first plane hitting the first Tower came over the screen. We watched in horror as the big screen television played the clip over, and over again. I leaned over a little to whisper to my boss.

“I will never fly out of LaGuardia Airport for that very reason. They fly way too close to the buildings!”

Then the second plane hit. Everyone in the Lounge gasped. I watched it. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was intentional! I grabbed my boss’ hand.

“We shouldn’t even be here! We can’t go to the Capitol Building this morning! We need to leave here now!”

We both sat there, eyes glued to the television for what felt like hours, when we learned of what happened just across the way at the Pentagon.

The Pentagon? Of all of the buildings in the world! The Pentagon is impenetrable! It is filled with Military might! It is filled with the resources we count on to keep us secure! How can this be?

My heart sank. My knees grew weak. The chaos of that morning in our Nation’s Capital was profound. I saw well groomed, tightly tailored professionals falling to pieces. I held the hand of a stranger as she hyperventilated. I saw a prominent brain surgeon cry, and heard another doctor make plans to buy a brand new car on the spot if that is what it would take to get him out of there and back home. I was taking it all in, and everything kind of moved in slow motion. If I remember correctly at some point a fire truck was trying to make it through the street. He couldn’t. The traffic was grid locked and people were every where. He actually gently used his truck to push parked cars out of the way.

Did I just see that? I think I did. There are figures on the rooftops. They appeared there so quickly. Did I see that? Are they snipers or photographers? Both? Are they here to protect us, or to harm us? What should I do? Hide? Stand?


When I tell my story I have a hard time remembering what happened next and how the sequence goes. I just tell it as I recall it each time. It is all jumbled still to a degree. I remember when it all first happened I tried to call my family. I couldn’t get a line out on my cell phone. I needed to hear that they were safe and that nothing was happening where they were. I wanted to touch the faces of my children so badly that I ached. I finally got through to the Foundation, and they relayed messages from family to us, and vice versa.

I remember frantically calling around when we were able to finally get a line. We had a brain tumor survivor — a young girl, who was flying into D.C. that morning. She was going to give her testimony about her battle with brain cancer. We couldn’t find her and we had no idea if she were on any of those flights. Finally her mother got through to our Foundation. She had been delayed that morning. Her plane was still on the tarmac. She was still grounded from the delay. She was safe.

Thank God! What about our supporters who had offices in the Towers in NY? Did they lose their lives? Are they injured? Will we see them again?

It took days for us to find out if they were safe — yes they all made it. How they made it is beyond us all, but they did.

What next? What are they saying? They are telling us to go back to our rooms. Why? Another plane? It’s heading here? Will we see it hit? Will we feel it? Are we going to die?


My boss and I looked at one another, and quietly went back up to our hotel room. At this point the hotel was under some kind of lock down. The elevators would only take you to your floor and you had to have a valid room key to operate them. I don’t even think the stairwells were open at this point. Once we were back in our room we watched the news broadcasts. They were tracking the plane and the news was “It’s headed for DC and probably for the White House or the Capitol Building.”

Gee, you don’t say! Thanks. I wish I were ignorant of it all right now. What difference does it make if I know?

Then we heard the plane was down, and that there were no other planes in the sky. We also learned that D.C. was heavily protected and we could breathe a little easier.

We started to make calls to try and find a way out of there. No cabs left to hail. No rentals left to rent. No one can come in to get us because the inbound roads are all closed — and for how long we didn’t know at this point. We were stuck.

Could all of this be real? This had to be a bad dream! There is no way in hell that all of this just happened! I could not have lived a lifetime’s worth of terror in such a short morning. It’s all to surreal.

I don’t remember at what point we watched the Towers collapse. I just remember being in my room and sitting on the edge of my bed. My hand was placed over my mouth. I may have sat there for minutes. I may have sat there for hours. Who knows?

We actually went out to eat after a period of time. It was so weird.

How can I sit in a restaurant full of people and eat quiche when lunatic terrorists just flew a plane into the Pentagon just across the way from us? Wait, I remember seeing people jumping from burning buildings on TV. I can’t think about this. I can’t eat. Are we weird or just crazy to even sit down to eat right now?

It still feels weird even thinking about eating that day. Neither of us were hungry, but we just did what you are supposed to do at that time of the day. Maybe it was a means of holding onto our sanity, or maybe we both craved a little normalcy so that we could have a few moments to pretend that what was going on outside was a huge mistake.

It didn’t really happen did it? It did. There is no denying it. You saw the chaos, smelled the fuel burning and heard the sirens. It’s real.


We stayed in D.C. that night, but not of our own volition. We had no choice. I don’t remember the rest of that day, other than the phone calls we kept getting from colleagues, friends, family, and others wanting to know if we were OK. I remember that after supper we both decided that a bottle of wine and a piece of cheesecake was needed. We didn’t touch the cheesecake, but the wine didn’t stand a chance.

Finally when the next morning’s sun appeared it was time for us to get out of dodge! We found a limo company that had an available car. The driver came over from Maryland, picked us up and took us back over to a suburb of Baltimore. We had a Foundation related event planned for the weekend. I was not scheduled to stay for it, but how would I get home? No one would even guess at this point as to when the planes would be able to fly again, and to be honest, at that point in time they simply did not manufacture enough Valium for me to step foot on one! Regardless of the details on how I was going to make it back to Western North Carolina, I was glad to be away from DC.

At this point in my story I had not shed a tear yet. I am a very stubborn stoic. When things are falling in around me I refuse to cave — it isn’t until things get quiet that I fall apart. We made it to Maryland, checked into our hotel and ate lunch. I later went to a small strip mall and bought a couple of pairs of jeans. All I had was business attire and sleeping clothes. After that little excursion I went back up to my room. I had my own room this time. All alone and to myself. It was odd. I walked in, looked around and fell to my knees and cried.

Sweet relief! Finally a moment to collapse.

I pulled myself together, but I had no idea that these episodes of intense crying had only just started, and they were not to end for quite some time.

I met my boss and her husband, who came up to join us that afternoon, for supper. It was a nice, quiet and normal supper. I said my “good night” to them and headed back up to my room. I was getting situated for the night when an alarm went off outside my door and all of the power for the whole area went out. I hunkered down in a corner in my room. I waited for something to happen. I waited for the explosion that I knew was imminent. I waited. I cried. I waited some more.

Nothing. Silence. No light, no noise, just silence. Dear God, what now? Will I see my kids again?


I am still not sure what caused the power outage that night. The timing could not have been any worse. I know that I am not the only person who was hiding in a corner when that happened. We were all on edge and a little hyper-vigilant. The next day came and all of the hours spent on the phone begging my travel agent to do whatever he could to find me a vehicle was about to pay off. I even told him at one point that if all he could find was a huge moving truck to book it for me! I didn’t care. I’d had enough. I was going home. One way or another, I was going home to be with my kids! Fortunately for me he found a nice little car instead of huge truck. I picked it up, went over some maps and started my drive from Maryland to home in North Carolina.

When I started out on the trip I was fine, but as time went on I had waves of tears over come me. They often came with such power that I had to pull over or I would wreck. I would weep until I could stop for a while, and then drive until the next wave. My trip wound up taking a few hours more than it normally would due to the need to stop a lot. I do remember at one point when I saw a sign and scoffed.

“Speed monitored by aircraft!” Ha! Not today boys!

I will admit that I sped. I wanted to get as far away from it all as I could, and as quickly as that little car would take me! I just wanted to get home. When I finally reached home I was able to peek in on my boys. They were down for the night. I just stared at them. Man, were they a sight for sore eyes!

The next few months were filled with more tears, and some very vivid dreams of plane crashes. One dream in particular was very disturbing because as the plane was going down I could feel the force of the descent pushing me into my mattress. I could barely breath.

God! We are going down! I smell smoke! I can’t breathe! I can’t move! What’s happening?

I sat straight up from a dead sleep, covered in sweat and gasping for breath. I had never had a dream like that before.

I quit my job a few months later. I quit for several reasons. Being a single mom and trying to hold down a job of that magnitude was wearing me out. I wouldn’t meet Mr. Hooah! until later that year. The main reason I left, though, I just couldn’t take getting on another plane. It would mean a drastic cut in pay for me, and letting go of what seemed to be that once in a lifetime “dream job.” It all seemed pretty unimportant to me any more. It still does, and I do not regret that decision in the least.

I will never know how much the events of that week played into my son’s decision to join the Army and fight in the War on Terror. I know that there are a lot reasons he and Mr. Hooah! joined. Supporting them is easy. Not only do I love them both with all that I am, but I am grateful, as a witness to terrorism, for all that they do everyday to try and stop it at all costs. Everyday our troops gear themselves up, stand up to the enemy at hand and bravely say “Let’s Roll!”


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#19 User is offline   amynruss 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:08 AM

My husband and I were in Australia celebrating our 20th anniversary with a 5-week vacation to the land Down-Under.

We were 2-weeks into our trip when we arrived in Cairns and found out about the attack. While walking thru the shopping area, we stopped by a 7-11 (yes, they have 7-11's). I just happened to notice on a newspaper stand with pictures of a plane hitting a building. I thought it was a "joke" newspaper, you know like the STAR or GLOBE, but no - I started noticing all the papers had the same pictures and recent time/date stamps. I was horrified!

I grabbed the paper and ran to my husband who had been purchasing some sodas. I showed the paper to him. We paid for the drinks and paper and started to head out of the store and get back to our hotel. My "Gotta Love Texas" t-shirt grabbed the attention of a Aussie nut-job. She came up to me and grabbed my shoulders and said, "Your President is going to start a Nuclear, Chemical war!" I gently shoved her away (though I wanted to punch her) and said, "They started it. The USA will finish it!"

We got back to our hotel and turned on the international news. We read the paper, cover to cover, and watched the news. We both were in total shock! I was crying and tissues could not keep up. My husband got me a wash cloth. The hotel staff came by as it seemed we were the only Americans in residence at the time. They kept us in newspapers and food for 2 days. The news channels started repeating the same data and showing the same pictures over-n-over.

Russ & I had a Great Barrier Reef tour that had already been scheduled and paid for that we had to go on while all this was happening. The Great Barrier Reef was marvelous, but I did not enjoy it. I was actually getting sick, both physically and to the very depths of my soul. I just wanted to get back home.

Most people’s comfort zone is having some sort of control of what is happening in their lives. That's the same with me! What would happen if we could not get back home? We might need to see what the Australian job situation was for us if we could not get back home? I started making lists - putting back some order into our lives. I called Alice Springs hotel that we had just left just three days before. I had them contact the US Air Force base located there and the Colonel called me back and said that if we were not able to get back to the US mainland, that he would get us back to Alice Springs where our computer skills & clearances would come in handy until the terror situation sorted itself out. Check Box - CHECK!

Russ was my strength! We were both so emotional, but I would cry at the drop of a hat and here comes Russ with a giant hug and squeeze.

Video's and songs bring back the heartache and ANGER of 11 Sept 2001. My anger is against the Islamists who feel that murder will get them to a higher level in their "Religion of Peace" {BS}. I will shoot first and ask questions later if I feel that my family or country is in danger.

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#20 User is offline   helton 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

I was working at 6 WTC, as I had done since 1989. It was the U.S. Customs building. I had been allowed to drive to work and park in the garage, since I was recovering from a back injury suffered in a car accident.

When the 1st plane hit, our building felt as if an enormous explosion had happened. It felt just like Feb 1993, when the WTC was first attacked. Since that was obviously bad news, I didn't wait for my bosses to tell me to leave. I knew it was bad. Fortunately, I was on the 4th floor, so I was out of the building and on to the WTC concourse in about 2 minutes.

When I looked up, I could see the black smoke coming from Tower 1, along with the flames. I also saw a gigantic hole in the side of the building. I had forgotten how immense the Towers were. I guess I had taken them, and their beauty for granted after all of those years.

In my gut, I felt that the Tower was coming down. Not to pancake as it ultimately did, but rather to topple over on its side. I figured that might take it all the way to Chambers St.

I could also see those poor souls starting to jump. Just imagine - jumping was a better option than their other choices.

I hustled down Vesey St, turned on to West St, and went to get my car. I wasn't waiting around! The guards tried to stop me. I told them to get out of my way. Since I was an early person (arriving at 6:30 AM), my car was in the front part of the garage. I got in my car and was at the garage exit in 45 seconds.

Since I was scared of the tower falling, I just wanted to make a right on to West St and get out of the area ASAP. A cop stopped me at that moment and told me to calm down. He was right. I hadn't realized how panicked I was.

I took a few breaths, and pulled out of the garage. I was out of there so fast that the emergency vehicles had not yet arrived. Once they did, cars would be unable to move out of the area. My supervisor did not move as fast as I did. His car remained in the garage for 6 months.

I headed north on West St, and, for a moment, I said "I'll make on right on Chambers St, and head to the Brooklyn Bridge". Then I reminded myself how crazy that idea was, since traffic to and from the bridge was always a nightmare.

I continued north, noticing that traffic heading south was at a standstill. I mean nothing moving at all! As I headed north, emergency vehicles were now on MY side of the highway, heading towards the WTC!

I had my car radio on, listening to 1010 WINS - the all news station. I then heard the broadcaster say that "I can't believe I'm saying this, but another plane has flown into the South Tower!"

I live in Queens, and I was so lucky that there was no traffic as I made it to the Cross Bronx Expy, to the Whitestone Bridge, and home to Flushing. ALL of the traffic was going in the opposite direction.

I wanted to get home and call my parents in Arizona. My father was undergoing a medical procedure, and I didn't want him to worry.

Because I was able to get out so fast, I was home at 9:45 AM. I called my folks, who had not yet turned on the TV, so they had not known what had happened.

I want to give a special shout out to my friend, Kenneth J. Marino. He was a member of the NYFD's elite Rescue 1 squad.

Ken - just know that I think of you every day. Your picture (with your family) is on my wall at the office.

I feel very funny inside at this moment. The sadness, the tears. Unfortunately, I also feel anger at the bastards who did this, not to mention the anger I feel towards the shameful Americans who somehow seem to have forgotten what happened 7 years ago.

Never forget!

God Bless America and everyone here at RN.

This post has been edited by helton: 10 September 2008 - 11:45 AM

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