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September 11th, 2001 - Where were you that morning?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
As in, "What were you doing and how did you find out what had happened?"

I was in bed. Sleeping, well, not exactly, I had been suffering from insomnia for about a month and had finally managed to go to sleep that morning instead of trying to stay up through the night and the following day, as usual, in an attempt to wear myself out and get on a "normal" schedule.

I wake up around 11:15 am EST. Very late by my standards. Usually up around 6:30 most days when I'm not sleepless the night before. Anyway, my eyes open, I look at the clock on the cable box on top of my TV and the sunlight streaming in the windows. It's a nice, wonderful morning, and I've finally managed to have a good nights sleep for the first time in a long time.

I remark to myself what a beautiful day it is, then I look over at my phone - it rings at once.

I wonder who would be calling me at such an early hour. Everyone I know is either at work, school or sleeping like me!

I pick it up, it's my Mom. Hmmmm...she's usually unable to get near a phone during most days, much less call me, so I realize the moment I hear her voice that there is something important she has to tell me, and it has nothing to do with what she will be bringing home for dinner.

She asked me a question like "How are you?" and I replied that I was fine, and it dawned on her that I simply didn't know.

Mom: "Two planes were hijacked out of Logan this morning, they were flown into the World Trade Center."

Me: "Oh, My God....But they're designed to withstand the impact of a commercial aircraft!" (this is something I had picked up from a WTC documentary earlier in the year)

Mom: "They've collapsed"

(I repeat "Oh my God" like 50 times after this and my Mom mentions the Pentagon).

I quickly say goodbye and run to the living room, where I turn on the TV to see Aaron Brown reporting. Apparently 5,000 people died 3 hours from my house in one of the places I loved most in this world and I had managed to sleep through it that day. Any other day and I might still be up from the night before or have awakened at 6:30am, but that morning I had managed to sleep through it all. The WTC had become nothing but a pile of rubble hours before I even opened my eyes.

*sigh*
post #2 of 44
I was actually having a party at the time it happened (other timezone)
After we heard of the tragedy (a call from parents) the party soon became more something of a funeral.
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post #3 of 44
I was sitting in my room here @ Georgetown. I live on the top floor of the tallest building on campus, and I have a lovely bay window with view of all of Washington, including the Potomac and half of the Pentagon- the other half is obscured behind the USA Today building in Arlington.

Anyway, I turned on my computer and saw that the WTC was on fire. Turned on the TV- saw that. Just as I heard Tom Brokaw or whoever say that all planes had been grounded, we saw a plane flying off the normal approach into National - normally, they come over top of my building and follow the river, this one was in the wrong spot. We then saw the smoke billow up from the Pentagon

Needless to say, my room was disaster watch central- there must have been about 30 people in here for most of the day.
post #4 of 44
I was attending my second year British literature class from 10:00 to noon. Toward the end of the lecture, word started to circulate that the WTC had been attacked.

On my way home from class, the unversity became a strange place. It's rare for everyone to be thinking about the same thing at once.

The first thing I did when I got to my suite was turn on CNN, where those horrifying video clips were replayed again and again...

The rest of my day was spent on the couch in front of my TV.
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post #5 of 44
For some reason I got to work early that day and I was one of the only ones in the back office. I had the radio on they said that "something horrible" had happened to the WTC but they really didn't know what. I tried to log on to CNN.com but no luck, tried CNET, no luck etc... EVERYTHING was down... we have a TV in the break room but the only news station we got was a spanish one so we were watching film and listening to the radio.

We got a bunch of wire out of the networking closet and built a receiver and finally got CNN.

I left work early to go be with my wife instead of going to school.

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post #6 of 44
I was in Orchestra class... I didn't hear about it until like 50 minutes after it happened. I walked into my American History classroom to learn that history had just been altered. I was so shocked and in awe that the WTC had actually been targetted.
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post #7 of 44
I was at work, it was 2PM here in the UK, a newsflash came on the radio about 2.10, and I couldn't believe it, I was trying to think what the wtc looked like, as I don't remember seeing it before, was wondering wether it was a 'big' building! About 2.30 there was another newsflash for the second plane, along with details of 2 other planes gone AWOL, I pondered for a few minutes, and as I work with a bunch of very young shoolleaving retards who seemed completely disinterested, I decided to leave work. I jumped on my Yamaha FZR400 and raced the 3 miles home, RIGHT at the end of my road was a bloody POLICE CAR!. I Got pulled over, talked myself out of it, and fortunately not fined. I then watched the TV until 3AM in the morning, It didn't matter how many times they showed the footage, I didn't believe It was real, and when the towers collapsed I was in utter disbelief. This is something that I will never forget-ever. I skived off the next two days simply to watch the drama unfold, still in disbelief, I remember when they found footage of the first crash, that fireman looking up and watching then saying Holyshit when it hit, and there was that guy stood below in the second attack, who just dived for cover behind the cameraman. Do you remember the footage of that guy with a camcorder then the towers collapsed who hid behind a car while the dustcloud engulfed him?
post #8 of 44
i was sleeping. My dad called me right after the second plane hit. He actually told me that the white house was being bombed. So i turned on the TV to Fox News. And just sat in my chair until i had to go to work at 11. Oddly, that was also the day i got my PowerBook Duo 280 in the mail.

we were pretty much glued to the TV at work. i called my dad an hour before i left. He said, " i hope you don't need gas, because its $2.40."
I about went nuts. because i did need gas. Well by the time i got off at 5 it was down to $1.99. But still i needed gas. So i put whatever 20 bucks could get me. I refuse to pay more than 20 bucks for gas at one time.
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post #9 of 44
I was woken up by my friend Nancy who lives upstairs right after the first building collapsed. She was hysterical and yelling about planes and the world trade center. I rolled over to look out my window, and sure enough, one tower had been replaced by a plume of dark smoke and the other was smoldering. I live about a mile north (about 15 blocks) of where the twin towers once were. We went up to the roof and waited for the second tower to fall. We didn't want it to fall, but it seemed inevitable. It was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen. Then my building was evacuated.
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post #10 of 44
I was getting ready for class when the first plane hit and doing the morning e-mail thing and got the news alert e-mail from the BBC.

I flipped on CNN just in time to see thousands more people die as the second plane hit.

The campus was eerie, it really is weird (like said above) to know that your campus of 50,000+ is talking about the same thing. Normal social interaction is entirely superseded as you ask the nearest person if there's anything new. I walked into class while the Pentagon story broke and we watched it on the in-class television for about an hour and then left.

A somber day, to be sure, the only smile I got was earlier, before I had turned on CNN and while I still assumed it was an accident of some kind, rather, the severity had not hit me. A poster at Ars said something to the effect of, "I had been playing Tribes 2 and then found out I wasn't the only one getting base raped."

This will be the thing you tell your children about. Like my father being in gym class doing sit-ups when they announced over the PA system that JFK had been shot.
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post #11 of 44
I was asleep. I didn't wake up until about 1:00 or so. Just about everybody was dead by then. I checked my email. A friend had sent me something: "This is one of those things. I think we seriously underestimate the mentality of terrorists. I also think that these people seriously underestimate how this action will effect us. I think it will have the exact opposite effect. People are not going to get scared. They are going to get pissed beyond all recognition." I didn't know what he was talking about but I needed to take a leak. I'd find out soon enough.

Another friend had left a couple of messages on the answering machine - if I was awake I needed to turn on the TV. "There's some awful, crazy stuff that's happening." He didn't know it then but maybe he already suspected it: his cousin was in one of the towers. He was a bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald.

I was on my way to the bathroom and my roommate told me that we had lost the World Trade Towers. It sounded crazy. I thought he was exagerating. The TV was on...

After a little while I went outside. It was such a beautiful september day. I felt guilty because everything seemed so normal to me. I live on a busy street. Cars were going past. I wondered if there was even one of them didn't have the radio turned to the terrible news...

Strange how much the world can change while one dreams.
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post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 
roger_ramjet did you freak out as much as I did a few days later when you saw the transformer explosion at the Civic Center?
post #13 of 44
I was in my chorus class and someone who had TV production the period before told me about the WTC and the Pantago and I thought he was kidding and I said "What happened? Bin Laden's trying to get us" And it turned out to be true.
post #14 of 44
I was waiting for a bus when it actually happened. I found out when I got into work and my officemate was huddled over her radio.

I had picked that day to dress in all black.

It took a long time to sink in. The office was much more subdued that day than it normally is.
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post #15 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:
roger_ramjet did you freak out as much as I did a few days later when you saw the transformer explosion at the Civic Center?<hr></blockquote>

Not really. It was certainly a fairly big deal and I was concerned about the extent of the damage but it didn't seem like a likely terrorist target. I have a friend who is a paralegal in an office downtown and he described the amount of smoke from the fire. It surprised me. If I had seen that cloud of smoke on TV or in person wafting above CityPlace it probably would have freaked me but I first heard about it on WTIC radio and they were pretty much on top of the story. Also, I don't live that far away so later on I was able to see it for myself. It helps a lot when you have good information. If it had been in CityPlace however, I think that would have been really scary.
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post #16 of 44
I got off of working the 3rd shift, and with the radio on next to my computer, they came on with the announcement and then I went to the TV and watched the events unfold. Very sad.

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: br0ck ]</p>
post #17 of 44
I was in my geometry class (yuck) in high school, and someone mentioned to me that a plane had hit the WTC.

And in reply I thought that they were joking.

As I transfered to my next class spanish (yuck again), I realised the unthinkable.
post #18 of 44
I was planning a canoe trip during gym class. People who had spare first period said that somethign had happened, but @ the time i didn't realize how serious this was.

At the end of that period our principal made an announcement explaining that the US had been attacked. It was a very quiet lunch hour, most people went home or to friend's houses to watch CNN. I tried the school computers but all news sits were down, CNN was displaying a simple page explaining events.

The strangest thign was standing out side at lunch. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. It amazed me how calm everything seemed. A very erie calm. After school i went right home and turned on CNN
post #19 of 44
I was in math class when the headmaster came on the PA and announced it. The rest of the day was a blur with rumors spreading about car bombings in LA, the captial dome being hit, etc. I got home around 2 and watched CNN till about 11 PM.
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post #20 of 44
I was in Health class 1st block (7:40-9:10), and, well, my teacher is obsessed with the Today show. So we were watching that before it had even happened, and then we heard (and saw) Katie Couric come on the screen to tell about the incident (at the time). Everyone was devastated. We pretty much continued to watch CNN/MSNBC for the rest of the day in each of our classes (we've got wall-mount TVs in every room).
post #21 of 44
I was in class. We stopped instruction to watch the news. It was scary.
post #22 of 44
I teach a class in the morning, and I had just vaguely heard about it from the radio that woke me up. I don't think by the time I turned off the radio that they knew what was going on - only one plane had crashed, and no Pentagon yet (I'm in Mountain time - two hours earlier than Eastern).

I actually made a stupid off-hand comment about it at the beginning of class like "looks like there was another plane crash today." I still feel crappy about that, because I think some of the people in class knew what was really going on by that time, but I didn't, and I wasn't very serious about it when I mentioned it.
:o

When I got back , people had a TV in the front office and were watching. The towers had collapsed while I was in class, and it just seemed like we were at war. I realized how wrong my first impression was.
post #23 of 44
I was on the phone at work with someone in our NY office. He saw the first plane hit out his window (he was uptown from it). Spent the next two hours trying to first get an internet connection to CNN or other site, calling my sister (who was not in NY, just had to make sure), and then standing by a co-worker's desk who had a reliable video stream. One thing I won't forget was how beautiful the weather was.
post #24 of 44
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>I actually made a stupid off-hand comment about it at the beginning of class like "looks like there was another plane crash today." I still feel crappy about that, because I think some of the people in class knew what was really going on by that time, but I didn't, and I wasn't very serious about it when I mentioned it.
:o
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I too felt so bad after I found out exactly what was going on. After seeing people in the halls on cell phones trying to call they're loved ones, seeing my Global teacher cry for all the people, and just in general seeing everyone so down and serious just made me feel very bad about the tragedy and that I made a stupid comment. And I always thought that we in the US never had to worry about someone attacking us at home.
post #25 of 44
In my dorm room IM'ing everyone I knew to get up and turn on their TV's. I skipped classes with some of my friends to watch everything go down, figuratively and then literally.
post #26 of 44
BuonRotto, neither will I... forget the beautiful weather. Same with yesterday and the jet crash, beautiful weather also.

I was sleeping but woke up by the phones ringing, ran up on the roof and saw the second plane hit one tower. Not a very nice sight. Stood up there for the next hour and then went down to the area with my aunt, who's a photographer.
post #27 of 44
IIRC, I was in english class, and we were playing a vocabulary review game, and the bell didn't ring (9:40). Then after a few minutes, the principal came on and explained what had happened so far, and dismissed us to our next block (Español). In Español, we watched the TV during almost the whole class trying to figure out what was going on. What made it really hard was the fact that the sound was really bad for some reason. After lunch in History, we watched it and discussed it some (interestingally, my teacher is from NY, and has friencs that worked at the WTC. In science, we worked and turned on the TV at the end of class to get the latest news. We had the next day of school off ( live in northern VA).
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post #28 of 44
I was about to walk out the door to take my sis to school when my dad showed me on the t.v. By the time I got back the second plane had hit. I watched/recorded t.v. all that day.
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post #29 of 44
I broke my toe late the night before, so I drove home to have my dad look at it. I slept the night at home. My mom wakes me up and says, "The World Trade Center collapsed!"

Then she mentions the hijacks, and my dad adds the bit about the Pentagon, except he exaggerated and said one *whole* side of the Pentagon was destroyed.

The first thing that popped into my mind was an image of the Pentagon with one side as rubble and a plume of smoke...a 3/4 aerial view a la the destruction/aftermath footage in Armageddon.

I throw on some clothes and go out to the living room to watch the TV and see footage of the tower's still standing, which confused me. I thought my mom was mistaken. They finally show the collapse after 10 minutes and all I say of any consequence is "We're going to war."
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post #30 of 44
I was in class. It was the middle of the afternoon here in Switzerland.

As I am in a computing school I was logged on AIM and a friend who was watching TV told me what happened. It was only about 4 or 5 minutes after the first plane crashed. Then I spent most of the time trying to gather some news on different websites, and keeping my classmates up to date. At the end of the class we went on a pub to watch TV (US websites were sooo slow). The towers were still up. Then I drove back to my home and saw the second tower collapsing. I was shocked. I spent the entire evening watching TV, surfing news websites on my PowerBook.
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post #31 of 44
...sitting in front of my television, trying to pick my jaw off the floor. I didn't see either plane hit live, but I saw both towers collapse live. Worst thing I've ever seen (and hopefully the worst I will *ever* see).

I have a color copy of the Time Magazine cover pinned on my Boone Board...still doesn't seem real to me in some ways.

[ 11-14-2001: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #32 of 44
Woke up around 8:15 EST and went online. Clicked over to my personal Excite start page and the top story was reporting that a commercial plane had struck the WTC...of course at first I didn't believe it. I went to CNN and they were reporting that the Pentagon was struck too...

I turned on the TV to MSNBC and there it was smoldering and in flames. The second plane had just struck. The announcer was in shock and disbelief. Myself included.

The first person I contacted was my Mom. I knew she would always be up around this time and she was watching the telecast in disbelief. We talked on the phone while the fires continued. Then, the first tower collapsed...a reporter live at the towers was screaming as the tower collapsed only blocks away. It reminded me of the footage of the Hindenburg...but this was happening now. I was shaking all over saying "Oh God...oh god..."

I am in a major city (Philly) and after being glued to the set for five straight hours I decided to see how the city here was like. All around I could hear police sirens and frantic people walking by with their cell phones glued to their ears. You could see the tension, nervousness and apprehension on people's faces. If someone fired a gun everybody would have freaked.

Later that day I went and gave blood at Jefferson Hospital. Must have been 200 people waiting in line. I felt a little better after that...less helpless. The one thing I will never forget in the days that followed was that in the sky...there were no aircraft...and if there were...everyone looked up nervously...
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post #33 of 44
I had just stepped out of the shower, put my robe on and was puttering around the house like I do in the morning. I went to MacNN to check the Lounge forum to kill a few minutes and the first thread I saw was "WTC Attacked!!!" or something like that.

I went "huh?". Then below it I saw another thread that had a nother titel along those lines. I didn't click on them to read the content, but rather I jumped up from the desk, went to my TV and flipped it on to CNN and saw the smoke. I knew it was serious when EVERY channel local, national, etc. were covering it.

At this point, I didn't know about the planes, although that was coming in. I just sat there and was going "this isn't happening...TOO Hollywoodish!"

I'm on the West Coast, so it was about 7:00 my time. I'm not sure if both towers were still standing. I never saw the live image of the second plane attack (I'm glad) and on my way to work, the news guy busted in and said "The second tower is falling...the second tower is falling! Oh my God!"

I work at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego and the line to get on to base that morning was totally backed up about a mile or so (usually, it's a straight shot). Instead of the two or three MPs standing guard and checking for IDs, there were about 16 MPs in helmets, flak jackets, German Shepherds and toting M-16s. They were pulling TONS of people over (including me) and checking trunks, backseats, asking where we worked and so forth.

I ended up getting to work almost an hour late. When I got here, they were making the employees move their cars to the center of the parking lot and they were putting up barricades around our office buildings. Then I went inside and the TV in the conference room was on and the entire Marketing Deptartment and Headquarters personnel from the other side of the building pretty much hovered around there all day, or congregated in cubicles in small groups talking about it.

I distinctly remember no one doing any actual work that day. A couple of times I teared up listen to reports on the radio in my cubicle. Then on the way home, I pulled off to the side of the road and cried for about 3 or 4 minutes, just getting it al out.

I went home and watched the news on all channels until about 3:30am.

I'll never forget that day, as I'm sure most of you won't either.
post #34 of 44
i was shooting it on video tape live as it was happening.



there is a whole section of the website devoted to it :
<a href="http://www.itelevise.com/" target="_blank">http://www.itelevise.com/</a>

click on WTC coverage. there is some video and some photos.
post #35 of 44
My physics prof said it had been a real f-upped morning and let us out of lecture.
post #36 of 44
At 8:20 the morning of 9/11 I was voting in the NYC Mayor Primaries and running about 15 minutes late.

The bus I take from Staten Island to Manhattan was approaching the Verrazano Bridge and thought it was going to be another beautiful day. There is a flagpole right before the Verrazano and the stars and stripes were blowing strong. Radiohead Amnesiac was in my CD player. Song 2 had just started.

A man a few seats up said "oh my god" and pointed across the harbor at the WTC. Turning to look, I saw that one of the buildings was smoking - heavily. A lady listening to the radio on her headphones said that a plane had crashed but they didn't know if it was an accident or not. My first thought was that it was intentional. The sky was too clear and even though the WTC is big, it isn't so big that it can't be avoided in all that sky.

Everyone started punching the keypads on their cellphones. Most were getting busy signals.

The bus drove on, getting closer to the city. About 10 minutes after we first saw the WTC building smoking I saw an silver airliner come streking really low right past us. I wondered out loud what the hell the pilot was doing so low and aiming so close to the WTC, didn't he see that it was on fire, what was he doing trying to get a better look or...BOOM! Suddenly the airliner had smashed right into the south building.

A woman immediately stood up and demanded to be let off the bus. The bus driver told everyone not to panic that he would try to radio in and find out what was happening. I was in shock pretty much. All I could think about were the poor people on those planes and in the building I'd just seen hit. It was the most horrible thing I'd ever seen in my life.

The bus driver couldn't get through to anyone. Traffic was going nowhere fast. People were yelling for him to turn the bus around; take us back to Staten Island - myself included. Hell had just broken loose and for all we knew more planes were headed for the city. And did they have some sort of nerve gas on them? Would they target the Verrazano bridge on our way back across it? The lady with the radio mentioned that Washington D.C. was on fire. I punched keys on my own cellphone to call my girlfriend at home. Circuits all in use.

The bus driver took the next brooklyn exit and turned us around. We made it back to Staten Island about 20 minutes later due to slow traffic.

I got off at my normal stop and ran all the way home. I don't know why. I just did. Tears had welled up in my eyes. Tears I didn't want to show while on the bus.

As I ran in the house I yelled for my girlfriend to "wake up! Terrorists are flying planes into the city!".

She got up, saw the news and became horrified.

We tried to call our relatives and let them know we were okay. Circuits all busy.

I jumped on my Mac and emailed a friend of mine who works for Sprint in K.C. Actually, I replied to an email he had already sent asking if I was ok. I told him I was fine but to please call my mom and let her know I was okay. He was glad to help. My mom was relieved. Apparently my little brother had even called her and thought she knew something but wouldn't tell him.

I went back to the TV and saw the building crumble, live, along with most everyone else.

I rubbed my eyes but it was real. Too real. I stood right there in my living room, crying.
post #37 of 44
It was shortly after lunch and I was sitting in the offices of the Galloway Gazette in Newton Stewart, Scotland, talking to a Yorkshire press photographer with an attitude problem about when he was going to go the nearby wildlife park and take a photograph of the recently arrived Tasmanian maned wolf for our next edition. "Have you hear the news?'", he said. "Terrorists have attacked America!"
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post #38 of 44
After I got up I and got ready I went to school. Everything normal so far. I go to my 1st class which was Physics, I think everything was normal, maybe some people knew, I wasn't sure. The whole class the teacher was showing us how do a physics question. If it was more of a working period I'm sure I would've found out.

Anyway, right after that it was my homeroom "class" (just 10 min.)

I get in, and I here some people talking about some airplanes crashing, and I ask them what are they talking about.

That's when I hear that two airplanes crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon and that thousands were dead.

I was in total shock.

My next class was Chemistry. I think we were (supposed) to do work in that class, but I know I sure didn't. I just couldn't stop thinking about what happend.

After that class I had a spair, actually a double block spair, that means the class before lunch and after (3 hours total.)

I went home and watched the news. Then I came back last period for Math class. Didn't get much work done, if any.

I went home and watched news for the rest of the day.

I remember thinking that day, oh my god, we're at war. That's when I thought it was the beginning of the end.

I will never forget that day and how my life changed after that.
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post #39 of 44
I was walking to work in the morning when the first plane hit. I got into my office, sat down at my computer and tried to load CNN as I always do, but nothing came up. Tried MSNBC, AOL News, Fox, nada. Eventually I gave up and decided to see what was going on around the office.

I walked down the hall and noticed a big crowd in one of the conference rooms, so I peaked my head in and saw everyone was watching the TV. The news was pure chaos for that first hours... false reports of bombs going off at all different memorials, office buildings, etc. I ended up going home and watching the news and calling loved ones until I fell asleep.

I'm not sure that I've ever let the pain and hurt sink in. I'm still too damn angry for that.
post #40 of 44
I was at work already, and had not heard about it on the car radio because it hadn't happened yet. But one of my coworkers arrived just after it happened, and he had heard about it while driving to work. I turned on my radio to a Fox news feed, and listened all day. When someone else heard that the first tower had collapsed, I didn't believe it. Then I really started paying attention to the radio. An office down the hall had a TV on, and I stopped to see the pictures they were showing of the impact of each plane. It was a very surreal day, to say the least.
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AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › September 11th, 2001 - Where were you that morning?