where were you on 9/11?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
its almost a year (wow time flies) and we're all getting reminded of this everywhere we look and listen. This obviously made me think of when it happened and where I was and doing. Kinda wondering what all you were doing at the time as well.

I was at work in my cubicle working at Honeywell (in Brussels) and finishing up some competition reports. It was a semi-lazy afternoon (3pm). All of a sudden I got an email from a friend who forwarded a "CNN Breaking News email" he had recieved. Just the words "One of the Twin Towers in New York City hit by plane. Details to follow". I immediately thought of when a small cessna type plane had done the same thing. I said to myself "How can these stupid kinda of accidents happen? I thought they closed off all airspace around there". I didnt really think much of it.

A minute later about 3 people at a time pop up on my MSN Messenger with the same news. I figured "what the hell! its just a plane!". No one had mentioned it was commercial jet liner. No one in the office knew yet either. I was the only one.

I tried getting on to CNN amd after a 3 minute wait, i got the chilling picture of the fireball explosion. Oh sh!t.

I pieced some info together from friends that had a TV and could actually tell me wtf was going on CNN. No one had a TV. So I logged onto Quicktime and the BBC Live stream.

I sent around an email with some snippets and pics to about 300 people in my office. I was suddenly the eyes and ears of the whole place.

Also at the time there were reports of car bombs going off in front of the State Department, the Sears tower also being hit, along with Pentagon. Even something about a helicopter crashing into the Pentagon, not a plane.

Jesus... I was the only American in the whole office, but everyone was just aghast.. in shock... it seemed like a massive coordinated attack. Plus for me, it was my hometown getting hit.. and who knows what else was next. Empire State Building?

My cubicle was getting way full of people so I just started yelling all the latest news I was getting... sometimes my voice cracking at the emotion and things starting to hit.

We also started expecting hits in Europe. When that sunk in too, I realized that, fvcking hell, my office was 500 yards from NATO headquarters!!! What better frikken target!

I sent a note to everyone saying that it "might be a good idea" to call it a day and I promptly left the office to go home.

While waiting for my train I was talking with my Dad who had a TV and told me at a certain point... "oh jeez... Lorenzo... Im sorry but one of the towers just fell". For a moment I couldnt relate to what he said. One of the Towers fell? No way! Thats impossible... towers.. which towers? huh? What the hell is on about? "Which tower?" "Lorenzo, one of the WTC towers fell... I cant believe it".

All my life in my beloved Manhattan flashed and all the times I had gone to see the WTC... and that was gone now. NO wait.. whaaaaaat? Jesus, this IS real isnt it?

In shock and daze I made it home and found a bunch of friends already at my place watching TV.

The next 3 days was just watching TV replays over and over and over again... wishing I was there... I wanted to be there so badly. The explosions... from so many different angles.. it was a hollywood movie... but sh!t, it wasnt.

And so folks... thats where I was during 9-11.

I have yet to return to NYC... I hope it will be soon.

[ 09-03-2002: Message edited by: ZO ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 55
    I was at home,I didn't hear about it until after both towers fell,my brother told me about it.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    I was in my computer graphic's class and when it was announced over the PA, we all went to CNN.com to see what was happening... I think I could not calculate or feel the magnitude of what was going on... it was just such a big thing,,, i had not really being able to let it all in...

    during the day, kids left, but i did not, i stayed (parent had to come and pick you up).. i watched the TV, and it was so bizarre and surreal

    nothing has been the same since
  • Reply 3 of 55
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    I was in UK. Finishing my MSc thesis, that day home, just writing and navigating... it was my modem turn (we were 3 for a modem 24 7 so i surfed the days and the housemates evenings and nights) but i was typing the ends of the thesis, feeling rather sick for not having eaten properly for some weeks.

    I got an SMS from Italy, a friend told what had happened. Then some 3 minutes later a friend from Finland sent the same thing. Then i went to the page of La Repubblica (newspaper) to see what was going on. Too many users, dead slow. Then NY Times.. screamed to friends at home, the Greek was laughing 'cool' and so was the German ..

    Some 10 minutes later we realised that there could be something even in telly. There was. All UK was SO USA friendly ... the day after they started collecting money for the people who died in WTC. And i remember for a long time i saw the firemen in UK collecting money for them.

    One of my thoughts were that if the same thing would have happened elsewhere it would have got much less attention. Or if it fell in Bronx the same thing. If it fell in a city as big but poorer, like Cairo, it should have had to kill lets say 100 000 people to get THAT much of attention in the global medias.

    Now i think i'll try to fly to paris 11 ...
  • Reply 4 of 55
    Instead of waking up around 6 or 7am as usual, I woke up at 11:16 for some reason.

    It was my first good night's sleep in a long time. Ever since the time just prior to a family vacation the month before, I had been suffering from extreme insomnia.

    Rolled over, looked at the clock on the cable box, rolled back and looked around my room. The sunlight was streaming in, and the tempature was ideal. I was finally well-rested and just lay there thinking about how wonderful it all was.

    I happened to peer at the phone, and it rang almost instantly.

    It was my Mom. Considering her job, it is very unusual to hear her call at such an hour. She never gets a chance to be near the phone. So I was rather surprised to hear her of all people.

    And she told me.

    And I flew into the living room, and saw all there was to see.

    And realized that just 3 hours down the road so much had happened. And to look out, you couldn't tell. It seemed like NYC and I were in two seperate worlds. I might have been comforted to see some dust fly by for the one and only reason that it would have convinced me of the reality of the situation.

    But there was nothing but dead silence.

    Not a car, not a plane.

    All this had happened, and I simply slept through it.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    I was also at school. It was school picture day, and we were all standing in line to get our pictures taken, when the kid in front of me got a call on his cell phone from his cousin, who told him the news. Nobody believed it, because it sounded so far-fetched...a plane hitting the Pentagon. I figured that the Pentagon would have pretty good protection. And the WTC towers falling? No way.

    On the way to my next class, the principal came on the PA and explained the whole situation. I remember talking about it with my chemistry class. The teacher said that since the year had just started, he didn't really know us well enough to know how to approach the matter, so we just talked about how we felt.

    There was a TV in the upperclassman lounge, so my friends and I (and pretty much everyone that was allowed in there) watched the replays of the planes during lunch. It was then that it hit me. I could never have imagined such an event, but seeing it with my own eyes helped me to realize that this was for real.

  • Reply 6 of 55
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I had gone to bed about 30 minutes before the attack actually. I was nursing a broken toe from about 3 hours earlier...was doing some acrobatics while at the computer...long story...

    I was woken up around 9 AM Pacific time with the news.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    I was at NCSU in my dorm when it happened. I had just woke up and my roommate told me that someone on the radio had just said a plane crashed in downtown New York. I turned on the TV and we just sat and watched in awe. I had brought in the biggest TV around; so, all the guys in my suite were hanging out with us. I IMed a couple of my buddies around campus and then just called them to wake up their lazy asses. Heh.

    When the airplane/helicopter/truck/bomb/WHATEVER went off at the Pentagon, after thinking the worst was over, my roommate and I simultaneously yelled, "oh shit!" The other guys in the suite that had stepped out of our room bolted back in and we were once again glued to the TV. The same happened again when the towers finally fell.

    Suffice it to say, not many people went to class that day. I know my suitemates and I just hung out in my room until the mid afternoon because I had plenty of food and drinks to snack on.

    It was a surreal day.

    No one really knew what to think or to say or to do.

    [ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: Brad ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 55
    jrcjrc Posts: 806member
    Like all good breadwinners, I was at WORK.

    Specifically, sitting down at my desk.

    Specifically, doing work.

    Work stopped for the rest of the week shortly thereafter.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    I was in school. I had walked in to my chorus class and I overheard a kid saying that they had the TVs on in the TV production room and they were reporting that the WTC was hit by 2 planes. Then the kid also had mentioned the Pentagon getting hit. I didn't believe it and joked around with him saying "Oh no, Osama Bin Laden's attacking us!" Unfortunately it was nothing to joke around about.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    phew... I'll never forget that day. Easily the worst day in my life.

    It was the 2nd full day of school. I was in English class. My English teacher is an old huge man, red faced. He's notorious for being an ass and one of the strictest most serious teachers I've ever had. I was in the front seat, 3rd row from door. About 9:15 or so, can't really remember, didn't look at the clock, principal gets on the PA system and announced that 2 planes have crashed over Manhattan and struck the World Trade Center. I'm at a loss of words to describe the reaction in the classroom. it was sort of like a collective gasp and then just an eerie silence. My principal sounded shaken up. He said they weren't sure what was going to happen and that if anyone may have family or friends in the towers to immediately come down to the library. He then said he would get back to us with more info as soon as he could. After he got off the whole class kind of just sat there and I could tell that everyone was just trying to imagine how massive this could possibly be, how this could possibly happen. My teacher, the guy notorius for being like an army general was nearly in tears. He said somewords but then just admitted he didn't know what to say and we said a prayer. Tried to continue with work but no one wanted to.

    Our principal told us we would continue with our usual schedule. So that class ended and we changed classes. The hallways were so strange. Everyone didn't know what was going on or what to do or what exactly happened. We got to our next class. We couldn't get any more info. The TV stations were knocked out. Internet sites were all jammed. We were left with a radio. Listening to WCBS AM. The descriptions that those reporters provided will last forever in my mind. Hearing of peopel jumping, the towers being sliced by commercial jets. the screams and the sirens. And we weren't able to see it so it was just left to our imaginations. Not every classroom has a radio so we went a few hours at a time without hearing anything. Throughout the day you'd here bits and pieces from kids in the halls and teachers. heard the pentagon was hit.. at that point I was scared shit because it was clearly no accident and a planned attack. Lunchroom was dead silent. After lunch we had religion class. He had a radio, and its that point that we heard the news of both towers collapsing and preliminary numbers of the dead and the numbers of firefighters missing. I'll never forget being in classroom with 30 17 year old boys and not one of them with a dry eye.

    After school I was stranded there. They had shut down buses, subways and bridges. I had to wait at my school until 6PM for the Throggs neck Bridge to reopen so my mother could come and get me. When I walked into the car we didn't even say anything. Just listened to the radio. Then we got to the bridge. I looked to my left and saw the familiar city skyline, and then all you could see is a huge black smoke cloud.... no towers.... this is the first time I saw anything of the disaster. My house has the same view of the city. And we were faced with the site of that black cloud... where the towers once were.

    Then I turned on the tv, we have satelite, and just watched in horror as they replayed the events of the day. It was nothing like I had imagined. it was horrible. Shortly after, my dad came home in tears, carrying a hand written list he and friends at the bar had compiled.... a list of people missing in the neighborhood.... it was about 14 long.

    I hope I never have to live through something like that again. It was torture. Maybe that's why I think anyone who makes jokes about that day or anything related to it is such an asshole. If you had to live through that and you had to go to your friend's father's funeral I don't think you would be making jokes about it.

    This is a picture of my friend's father. The first tower had collasped. And this is a picture of him walking into the 2nd tower. The last time anyone saw him.

    [ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: applenut ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 55
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Oddly enough, I first found out about the attacks right here at AppleInsider!

    My alarm went off and I got up, showered and was getting dressed and all and got on real quick to check e-mail and give the AI forums a quick once-over and saw where someone had started a thread in AppleOutsider called "TERRORISTS!" or something like that (can't remember exactly, but it was intriguing enough to make me click and read the thread).

    And immediately I saw all this talk of the World Trade Center being "hit by passenger planes" and so forth. And everyone was posting follow-up threads about D.C. and mayhem in the city and how "okay, ONE plane might be an accident, but BOTH towers were hit!!!"

    I remember, to this day, this awful knot in my stomach. I just thought "oh no...please don't..."

    I was literally kinda afraid to turn the TV on because I didn't want it to really be true, you know?

    And I clicked my TV on and put in on CNN and saw the two towers smoking and on fire, and a little inset with footage of the Pentagon smoking and on fire.

    I immediately started flipping through all the channels (Fox News, MSNBC, the networks, etc.) and it was on everywhere.

    Just a horrible, sick feeling came over me. The phrase/image that immediately came to mind was "this is like a Bruce Willis movie...".

    I drove to work to Camp Pendleton and listened to the radio and halfway to work, the tower fell and the guy doing the morning show was freaking out and going "OHMIGOD, the tower is collapsing! Ohmigod, this is unreal..." and so on.

    Needless to say, the base was buckled down HARDCORE and I sat in traffic for over an hour getting onto the base that morning.

    Also, needless to say, NOBODY actually did any work that day. We all gathered around TVs and radios throughout the building and just talked and discussed things. We stayed all day and everything just seemed to get worse.

    I drove home that afternoon and pulled off to the side of the road and was just completely weirded-out and numb. I couldn't cry, I couldn't clear my throat and I remember my right hand just quivering uncontrollably on the gear shift.

    That night, I got home and watched news coverage until about 3am.

    I finally turned off the TV and the lights and TOTALLY broke down and cried there alone in bed for about 10 minutes, just letting it all out.

    That was the first, and last, time I did that.

    The next day (and for the weeks and so following), I was simply angry and agitated.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I came into the living room after a long sleep right after the first plane hit and watched the second plane hit as my roomie sat like a bump on a log (didn't bother to yell "Hey Adam, a plane just hit the WTC." or something while I loafed around in my room) on the couch.

    I was glued to the TV until about 11:30ish when I had to go to class. We just sat in the room and watched the news for an hour and went home, class was cancelled for the day. My mother called to ask if I was alright, and I remember thinking that even though she calls to make sure I'm all right after an earthquake in Peru, I'm really glad she did even though it was not logical. Times like that really make you understand what it's like to be a mother. She called my brother-in-law at 6 a.m. that morning and begged him to not go to work (he works at a high-rise in Dallas) because she said she had a bad feeling.

    I was in shock for hours and I saw a picture of an English woman crying a the gates of (what I assume is) the American Embassy. Seeing that broke me down. I still can't look at that picture without tearing up.

  • Reply 13 of 55
    applenut, i know i cannot relate to what u went through in any way, but yer account struck me very deep, and is the closest i have come to tears in a long time...
  • Reply 14 of 55
    ibrowseibrowse Posts: 1,749member
    I was in my Typography class, the first day of the second week of class. I got out of class at 9:20 and walked down to this little area where I hung out with people and there was about 30 people sitting around a TV that never was on. I went up to see what it was and saw the second plane hit as I stood there. Just then my friend came around and asked if I'd go to his girlfriends house with him. We went there and watched the news. At almost 11 he took me back to school for my Death and Dying class. I walked in and the teacher told me she was canceling class A) because she had family that worked there and B) she didn't want to teach a class called death and dying right then. On my way to my car I heard an announcement that all classes were cancelled. I went to my friends house and we watched TV. Then I went to work at the mall. It was empty, we closed 5 hours early. The next morning nobody in the halls was talking.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    i was asleep

    i had been up all night helping people on the web. there were alot of angry depressed people out there and they seem to trust opening up to me, say im a good listener, compassionate, and make them feel better etc. so i didn't wake up until like 11 am 12? or so and i went online and was amazed that my homepage said "world trade centers destroyed" so i thought whats this? my browser must be stuck on the 1990's bombing page! i thought it was some weird delayed y2k issue or something.

    so i thought "ill just reload netscape and remove these old offending pages and get todays news" well i did that and it was still there! so i reloaded a couple more times then i looked at the date september 11,2001 i looked at the tiny print news story again "world trade center DESTROYED" and i thought wait-a-minute in the 90's blast they were only damaged...

    then i remembered usamas warning that spring that there would be an "UNPRECEDENTED" attack on america shortly. i thought "we have fighter jets patrolling this country 24 hours a day what could they do? (WRONG)

    then i clicked on the link...
  • Reply 16 of 55
    i had organic chem and philosophy of technology in the morning, and neither prof told us a thing about what was going on. so...i didnt find out until after everything was over. ironically enough, our topic in philosophy that day was destruction of technology using terrorist w/ the unabomber as the primary example. the next time we had class two days later, the prof was very apologetic, especially considering that we were discussing terrorism at such a significant time. apparently he didnt know about what was going on, just as i didnt.

    the rest of the day i spent in a dazy in front of my tv.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    I looked for that original thread "TERRORISTS' but apparently the archives only go back to November.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Thanks for that, applenut.

    The sky was falling and streaked with blood

    I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher

    Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

    May your strength give us strength

    May your faith give us faith

    May your hope give us hope

    May your love give us love


    You gave your love to see, in fields of red and autumn brown

    You gave your love to me and lay your young body down

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    I need you near, but love and duty called you someplace higher

    Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

    May your strength give us strength

    May your faith give us faith

    May your hope give us hope

    May your love give us love


    It was dark, too dark to see, you held me in the light you gave

    You lay your hand on me

    Then walked into the darkness of your smokey grave

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    Up the stairs, into the fire

    I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher

    Somewhere up the stairs, into the fire

    May your strength give us strength

    May your faith give us faith

    May your hope give us hope

    May your love bring us love...

    May your love bring us love

    "Into the Fire" - Bruce Springsteen

    [ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 55
    It was like any other day... however such a nice day the weather and all.

    I was driving to work and planned on getting a coffee at Starbucks. I was listening to Public Radio NPR in my vehicle and it was announced that a plane crashed into a tower at the WTC.

    I had just arrived at the parking lot of Starbucks off of University Drive in Fort Worth Texas by TCU. I walk in to get a cafe mocha and everyone is still... listening to a radio that had been turned on and the normal Starbucks Jazz Cd had been stopped.

    My mother has a home near TCU and I went to her house directly after leaving Starbucks.

    I turned on her TV and watched her Cable channels and I saw this coverage of the damage and smoke to the first tower hit.

    I then see the second tower hit live...

    I I am distressed at this point.. trying to call my mom at work to let her know. At that Time I had my dad living I called him too.

    I then watched all the events unravel.

    I saw the buildings collapse and that brought tears to me.

    Thinking of it gives me tears as I write now.

    The pentagon.

    It is so sad


    On our local news scrolled across the bottom as would school closings during ice storms Churches that were holding services. Fellowship Church had a service just unplanned of course but it was put together.

    Fellowship Church had a service that night.

    The place holds 5,000 people in the auditorium.

    Our Church normally has 5 identical weekend services to service as many as 25,000 a week.

    we had 16,000 there that night..

    [ 09-02-2002: Message edited by: FellowshipChurch iBook ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 55
    yes it is so very sad

    i get these "feelings" sometimes dreams,visions, whatever you wanna call them, and im feeling strange about mount rushmore, and the statue of liberty. what could they hit next? i certainly hope there are people in washington thinking and planing for future actions like this.

    if you're him, what are you doing next?

    we've got to be ready...
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