9/11 Ten years later, where were you that day?

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9/11 Ten years later, where were you that day?

I woke up 20 minutes after the second tower was hit.  It was unbelievable and horrifying. The sense of helplessness was so strong. I knew we had been attacked.

But I do remember talking to my x-landlord who was a retired fire fighter. He said based on the intensity of the flames and the corrupted structures of the towers, he knew they would collapse and could not believe that the city was sending in rescue workers.

In reality NYC did try to send the message to get out, but by the time they figured it out it was too late. My x landlord said someone SHOULD have been able to make that determination much quicker, someone on the ground in the fire units.

Weeks later I ran into a woman who had been on the streets of NYC when the towers were hit. It still haunts me today to see the look of fear in her face and her stuttering voice when she described what she saw.

Sometime during that same month I was walking across a strip mall parking lot and spotted a Muslim woman . I went up to her and as I approached her, I saw that same look of fear as if she thought I was going to attack her. But I simply tried to say to her that I did not blame all Muslims for what those few did. I don't know if she understood me, but I did see the fear in her face subside because of my calm tone. But I could still see that pain of uncertainty and the future that I know both she and I were feeling.

That was a horrible day, especially for the the survivors and direct witnesses. The message I would like people to get out of that day is that human history is mired with the needless carnage we inflict on each other. That day should not be about one nation, or one religion, but a lesson to our species as what we should avoid when we have conflicts with others.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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I was in Downtown Manhattan

I was in Downtown Manhattan that day. My wife and I worked there, and we both lived in NY at the time.... My recollections are as if I were viewing my memories in the 3rd person. It's a very odd sensation.

 


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I woke up in the morning

I woke up in the morning over here in Australia, and turned on my bed-side TV to the morning News program, to see a replay of the first plane strike...

A distant, shocking, unbelievable event. But I also recalled that in 1999, I had been walking around the roof gantry of one of those buildings, taking in the panorama of NYC and the harbour. That made it just that bit more real to me. Not just something happening way over on the other side of the planet. I had been there less than three years earlier. If I had timed my travels differently, I might have been one of the victims...

I also recall a video shot I took from the flight from LA, as it circled to land at Kennedy - which captured the glint of early morning sunlight reflecting off the towers....

 

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I was on my way to work that morning. As is usual, I called the restaurant where I bought breakfast from a few minutes ahead of getting there. When I got in, they were listening to the radio way louder than normal. The owner told me that a plane had hit the WTC. I said that that sucks but I also noted that a bomber had hit the Empire State Building in WW2.

 

Work was a couple of blocks up from there and when I walked in, everyone was gathered around the satellite TV watching what was going on. I got there just in time to see the second plane go in. The thing is that one plane would have been a fucking tragedy (like the bomber in WW2) but the second plane, wow, it was that thing where you don 't even hear the words in your mind, you just know that the world has changed.

 

The rest of the day was not any better. I had spent six years previously in a department all my own but I had been rotated out a couple of years prior. But the person who had that job also had an uncle who was a janitor in the WTC, so I did her job that day.

 

Not that bad of a thing for me as it put me at a desk that day. As it happens, dad lived right near the Pentagon. I spent a couple of hours hitting his number on speed dial. I could not get through that way though. Who knew that the WTC was a hub for the national phone system? I finally called him on his satellite phone (yes, that was before people knew they existed. Dad was a rock star in the telecom industry so I grew up having cool stuff). When I finally got through, it turned out that he had felt the impact but at first he had attributed it to a truck hitting the loading dock for his building.

 

Now, I am also just under a hour form NYC on one of the three train lines in and out. My first smoke break was greeted by a fleet of buses headed for the train station. My second smoke break was graced with fighter jets at tree top level.

 

Past that, I will now provide proof that it was not a conspiracy. My brother was working 911 (the phone number, not the date) dispatch that morning. He has access to serious resources. One of which is a special telephone that is hard wired to NORAD. He tried to call in a code CHECKERBOARD. His captain would not allow him because while that code is for a military attack, the general assumption is that it is a nuclear attack. He would have caused the missile crews to verify launch codes and made Bush open the FOOTBALL.

 

Which is kind of incidental to the matter but he got the info on the attack from ATC radio. Flight 93 was shot down. However, it is not clear on who did the job. Air law follows maritime law. A mayday is responded to by anyone who hears it. There were two groups of fighters in the area at the time. It could have have been the Canadians or it could have been the Russians.

 

That much can be swept under the rug but only to the extent that sooner or later, someone will talk.

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It would be bereft of me to

It would be bereft of me to not post the tribute video made by a friend of mine who is a disabled veteran from the first gulf war.

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Sitting on the couch eating

Sitting on the couch eating a bowl of corn flakes watching bozo the worlds most famous clown. Then it got interupted and some boring news  came on so I turned off the tv and walked to my friends house to play cricket.

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I was on the way to work -

I was on the way to work - PDT - when the news coverage geared up.  My husband called from home, and I hadn't made it in to my office yet.  At the office, we watched the coverage on the internet, until someone finally set up the TV in the big conference room.  I guess they figured they might as well, given that no one was doing anything else anyway.

I remember being concerned.  Would the terrorists hit the west coast?  What would the target be?  Some of my friends and co-workers were really worried that Portland would be hit as well. I couldn't see that - we aren't a large enough city to make a big media splash.  And that is what terrorism is all about - getting your cause on the air.  I have met people who honestly believe terrorist acts will gain them sympathy for their cause.  And they are surprised when I tell them most people are not empathetic with people who kill total strangers for a cause most of us don't give a rat's ass about.

And I don't give the RA for their cause.  Sure, they are probably oppressed by someone - even very probably my own government.  I have no illusions about any government - mine, yours, any in the world - being perfectly kind and generous to all people everywhere.  It just isn't possible.  But I have problems of my own and a life of my own.  That takes up all of my time and energy.  Someone else will have to care.

In the meantime, I will do my best to not forget the heroes of that day who risked their lives for others.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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I was in grade 11, in class,

I was in grade 11, in class, after word got out, the teachers brought in a radio to listen to.


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Packing up to go home from

Packing up to go home from my night-shift at a community based child rehabilitation center.

I looked at the TV (which was muted) and saw a high-rise/skyscraper on fire. I thought to myself "Wow, that building looks a lot like the world trade center towers."

Then I read on the graphic that it was one of the WTC towers. Then the second plane hit. I stayed at work for the next 5 hours being astonished that it was happening, and trying to help the kids understand that they were still safe there.

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 I was a little late

 I was a little late finding out about it. I was caribou hunting with my father outside of Iliamna, Alaska. We were in the field and our first clue that something was amiss was the absence of planes on the 11th. We had an animal down and set up our tarp to signal our pilot when he did his flyover. The pilot didn't show and we didn't see any other planes either. When there were no planes on the 12th we got concerned and spent the night coming up with theories on why our pilot didn't show. We were discussing how long we would wait before we attempted to start hiking back towards civilization. They allowed the planes to come out and pick us up on the 13th and that is when we learned what happened.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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I first saw it on the early

I first saw it on the early morning news in Australia. I work for an Australian border security agency, so obviously this was (and continues to be) a pretty big deal in my professional life. Personally, my wife and her family are American, and she took it pretty hard, even though she has little contact with her family there. There was some trouble contacting family in Virginia and Illinois, but no real sense of 'danger' as we didn't have any friends or family living in NYC or Washington DC. 

Work that day was spent in training, but we didn't train - we just watched the ongoing TV coverage. 

I think it was in the aftermath of this event that I changed my attitude from a passive 'religion is fine, just keep it to yourself' view to an active 'religion is harmful' view. No change to the rights of people, but much more clarity in the risks that blind faith poses, and the inconsistencies in the stories that rational observers should notice. I've only watched a minute or two of the 10-year-anniversary coverage, and it made my stomach turn to hear Obama and Bush talk about god and how wonderful he is. How much comfort he provides. The fact that they can't see that their god is any different to the imaginary friend the blokes on the planes were thinking about when they ploughed into the buildings makes me wonder if this irrational argument is ever going to end. 

My deepest sympathies to those who lost friends or family in the events 10 years ago. 

 


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I was asleep. When I woke

I was asleep.
When I woke up I thought it was a movie preview, since I was watching a sports station.
After I realised it was live, I remember thinking maybe, finally, this was the wakeup call the US needed, and that just maybe the US would stop fucking with the world. Sadly, the lesson was lost, and the US has nearly bankrupted itself in desire for revenge, making more enemies in the process than they ever had before. That's the sadness I feel.
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I was relaxing in bed with

I was relaxing in bed with my wife just talking when the phone rang. It was her mom telling us something was going on in NY and we needed to turn on the TV. I got up and after a couple minutes turned on the TV and about 60 seconds of not being sure what I was seeing the second plane hit the tower. I spent the next few hours glued to the TV. My wife went out shopping after a couple hours because she couldn't handle the constant news coverage.

I had to work that night at Best Buy and alot of the TVs were on what was going on and I have to say I have never seen the store that dead ever. We sent almost everyone home several hours before the store closed.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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Please tell me that you don't work for Geek Squad.

 

I am a serious hardware nerd and I go to my local beast buy like once a year and only if there is a part I need that I can't wait for the shipping on, such as a PSU. The last time I was there, my friend was looking for a SATA to PATA adapter and the kid sales guy could not find one. So on the way out, we stop buy the geek squad desk and he asks the manager if he knows about them.

 

He got the actual department manager and when the guy was obviously clueless, I offered that since it was a standard product, I would just make one for him. It would take a little bit of googling to do but as before, if it exists, it can be created.

 

Manager dude then went into sales mode and pointed out that it was a risk to expensive hardware (really doubtful on a +5v line but whatever). Then he offered that he could probably get one for “about $80 or $90”. Oh man! I totally unloaded on him to the point that I had to get out before I got banned from the store.

 

They can be had online for $5 to $10 and it would probably take me like 15 minutes on google to figure out what to connect to what. Not only was he both useless and insufferable but he was trying to maximize his commission at the expense of all potential customers. This is not how moral men operate.

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Please tell me that you don't work for Geek Squad.

 

 

Nope I had lots of positions mostly in the Inventory side of things. I am actually now a Union laborer. Haven't worked there since 05.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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Sunday while I was at a bar

Sunday while I was at a bar watching the Skins beat the Giants, and there were many Giants fans there. I talked to a couple that watched the towers go down from NJ. I was scared shitless myself and I wasn't near any of it in central Va. I really cannot begin to imagine what they went through.

My thoughts go out to all the victims and survivors.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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I was on a US Navy Cruiser

I was on a US Navy Cruiser just getting off of the previous day's duty.  I was anxious for the day to be over with so I could go home and have a few beers.  We were scheduled to go on a six month deployment on September 18th.  So we were all loaded up and ready for war.

Instead I found myself locking and loading my .50 cal machine gun on the bullnose of the ship as we sped up the east coast from Norfolk, VA to NYC.  We sat there and watched it smoke for four days.

Then we went overseas to assist in the invasion of Afghanistan.

My ship had just visited NYC 10 months earlier.

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Honestly, I can't for the

Honestly, I can't for the life of me remember where I was or what I was doing that day. On 09/11/11, I acknowledged the event that occurred on 09/11/01 was a terrible human tragedy and simply moved on. And I find that it is so politically incorrect to say that out loud. Everyone has to be so hypersensitive or at least pretend to be. My heart genuinely goes out to the victims and their families. But every single channel and every single photo in the media displayed was 9-11 this and 9-11 that ad nauseum. I tuned out and instead did something enjoyable like watching a sci-fi DVD. Sorry folks but overall 09/11/11 was really like any other day of the week for me. Instead of wallowing in un-ending grief and spending so much money on ceremonies, our politicians should concentrate on solving what Bin Laden dreamt of the most--the collapse of the American economy.

And if 09/11 ever became a holiday, I can guarantee that most people would likely be carefree, enjoy themselves and go on vacation if that day landed on a Friday or Monday.


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School, than home. With the

School, than home. With the news bombarding the airwaves about the Pentagon and Christ Trade Center 24/7, I was actually nonchalant about it. I couldn't comprehend the blow to EVERYONE's ego, including people who lost absolutely nothing other than some nationalistic pride. I sure as hell don't understand why it is so symbolic to other Americans as something other than the loss of a false sense of safety nor do I understand the wave of irrational behavior that followed in the years afterwards. Yes, a lot of good people died on that day. Lot's of good people die daily! A few thousand deaths doesn't strike me as impressive nor does it shatter my illusion(s) of safety, whatever they may be, maybe because I'm already nihilistic as an individual to begin with.

 

And yeah, I'm almost positive that I would catch hell from other conservatives/right-wingers if I said this on their forums or in their face. So be it... I was an already an asshole to begin with.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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ragdish wrote:Honestly, I

ragdish wrote:

Honestly, I can't for the life of me remember where I was or what I was doing that day. On 09/11/11, I acknowledged the event that occurred on 09/11/01 was a terrible human tragedy and simply moved on. And I find that it is so politically incorrect to say that out loud. Everyone has to be so hypersensitive or at least pretend to be. My heart genuinely goes out to the victims and their families. But every single channel and every single photo in the media displayed was 9-11 this and 9-11 that ad nauseum. I tuned out and instead did something enjoyable like watching a sci-fi DVD. Sorry folks but overall 09/11/11 was really like any other day of the week for me. Instead of wallowing in un-ending grief and spending so much money on ceremonies, our politicians should concentrate on solving what Bin Laden dreamt of the most--the collapse of the American economy.

And if 09/11 ever became a holiday, I can guarantee that most people would likely be carefree, enjoy themselves and go on vacation if that day landed on a Friday or Monday.

Not necessarily true in my case, but I second most of these notions. How the fuck does a nation/kingdom become so self-absorbed that the loss of several hundred lives of the native population bothers them, but an even greater and self-destructive loss of liberty and foresight hardly makes anyone flinch?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)