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OT - 19 years ago

Aniki's picture

19 years ago today, people  began what they thought would be just another day. 

246 boarded morning flights.

2606 entered the World Trade Center (and surrounding area).

125 went to work at the Pentagon.

343 firefighters began their shifts.

71 police officers started their morning patrol.

8 paramedics began morning shifts.

None of them went home.


8:46 AM North Tower Struck

9:03 AM South Tower Struck

9:37 AM Pentagon Struck

9:59 AM South Tower Collapses

10:07AM Flight 93 Crashes in PA

10:28AM North Tower Collapses


I was at work. My boss came in and said he'd heard on the radio that a plane had struck one of the twin towers. He turned on his radio, and we gathered in his office to talk and listen. As the horrific news was given, we stopped speaking. We had no words. Everyone cried - women AND men. When the report came that the South Tower had collapsed, my boss turned off the radio and choked out, "Go home. Go to your families. Go."

Enjoy every breath you take today. Before you go to sleep tonight, kiss the people love, hold them close, and never take one second of your life for granted. <3

I will never forget. 9/11/2001



ETA: I understand some comments were deleted by Admin. Please, if you want to get political, create your own blog. 


Winterglow's picture

We were driving home from grocery shopping when we heard an emergency news flash on the radio. It just didn't seem possible. And the news flashes kept on coming ... What seemed impossible was, in fact, tragically real. So many lives, so many loved ones, so much horror.

All over the world today, people are remembering the awfulness and the loss of what happened 19 years ago. We may not be American nor even in the US but we mourn with you.

Show the people you care about how much you love them because today is sure but tomorrow never is.

Aniki's picture

Winterglow, while this happened in the US, I consider it a worldwide tragedy because people from other countries were visiting and lost their lives, too. 

My only wish is that everyone would try their best to remember or try and understand that we were brothers and sisters without boundaries. Humans reached out to help simply because humans were in need. We are very much in need of instinctive compassion. 

Crspyew's picture

I, along with coworkers watched the 2nd plane fly into the towers and I remember thinking this is not an accident, it is something more. We immediately  went to a lockdown posture.  Cell phone circuits were full and we were locked into our building as we heard planes flying overhead.  By the time of the Pentagon attack most of us were in tears and in a state of shock.  My kids were tweens at the time and DH was try.  It was early evening before  could reach my kids by phone and even later until I could hug them.

so many lives were lost, and many more were and will be impacted for years to come.  What I think of most are the selfless actions of many people that day and in the months to follow., and how we, as a country, came together for  (for the most part) the common good. I am longing for that same sense of oneness, the willingness to act in ways that protect the common good, with less focus on "my rights".

Aniki's picture

Crspyew, that must have been horribly stressul to not be able to talk to your kids. Sad

To this day, that sense of oneness chokes me up. You did not stop to think; you instinctively HELPED. I miss that. 

strugglingSM's picture

I was at a meeting with my boss. It was my first job out of college. At the start of the meeting, someone mentioned that a plane flew into one of the towers. We all assumed it was an accident and kept going on with our meeting. Then the second plane hit. Our meeting was at a decommissioned army base that still had a National Guard installation, so it was shut down immediately. My boss, being a practical midwesterner, wanted to keep going with the rest of our meetings for the day, so we did and then I went home. I was living in Boston at the time and two of the planes left from Boston, which felt surreal, especially since I had just recently flown from that airport. 

A friend's husband was at work in the south tower. He was told to evacuate after the north tower was hit and then when they reached the ground floor, they were all told "everything's fine, you can go back upstairs." He decided he didn't agree with that advice and left work at that time, fortunately for him, since he made it home. He was a native New Yorker and I still don't know if he's been back into the city. 

Aniki's picture

Thank God your friend's husband did not agree!!! I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for someone who lived through that horror or was directly affected by it to revisit the area. 

futurobrillante99's picture

I hope we never "get over" this day. Unless I get dementia, I cannot forget the horror. I cried this morning reading Tom Burnett's conversations with his wife on flight 93.

Aniki's picture

FB, I hope so, too, but we have a generation who has no memory of 9/11 and too many have forgotten or no longer care. 

"Don't worry. We're going to do something."   Cray 2

thinkthrice's picture

normally the giant screens with calls coming in from US and Canada were in the thousands.  They had 3 in queue from Canada only.  

The country actually unified. 

Aniki's picture

Only 3 when there were normally thousands. Wow.

We could use some unification.

Cover1W's picture

I had just got out of bed and was getting ready for work, listening to NPR on the radio. Something was very wrong and their voices were different and so I turned on the tv, right in time to watch the second plane hit. I'm not sure what I said but my BF at the time came running out of the bedroom and we watched the first tower collapse. Just awful.

I did go to work that day - I worked as office manager/HR so knew I had to be there to tell people to leave and go home if they wanted to.

The office atmosphere was just grim and that night I just cried, couldn't watch the news at all.

Found out one of my former grad-school mates lost her father who was working in one of the top floor offices. He had time to call and tell his family good bye. One of my friends lived close enough that she got covered in ash and was afraid to leave her apartment for weeks afterwards; I'll never forget her description of the horror.


Aniki's picture

I have a friend who lives in NY and could see the towers and showed me pictures she'd taken. She knows a number of people who, like your former schoolmate, were afraid to leave their homes for weeks after 9/11. 

MissK03's picture

I was 15 starting my sophomore year of high school. I was in my US history class and who knew that those events would be re writing our books that day. At 15 we didn't fully grasp what was happening but, I remember teachers setting up TVs in the library. Class pretty much stopped after the first plane. As students though, we knew this was something of horrific level. 

I think it's sad as a country though the "moments of silence" have seemed to stop through out the years. That is something that should have lived on for forever. IMO. 

Aniki's picture

MissK03, I agree that this is something that should have lived on forever. Not just the horror, but also the nation coming together.

advice.only2's picture

BS was a year old and we were watching cartoons I had no clue what was happening. I was living with my parents at the time and my mother was on her way to a meeting back in DC. Suddenly the doorbell rang and it was my mom. I asked her why she was home shouldn't she be on a plane. Her response was are you kidding me? The country is under attach terrorists have been ramming planes into buildings. I raced to turn on the news and saw the devastation of the first tower falling and then the second. I grabbed BS and held him close and cried and wondered what kind of world had I brought a child into.

ICanMakeIt's picture

I was at work for the local electric/gas company call center.

We had tvs that also displayed calls in queue. I noticed a big sudden drop and thought it was a great time to take a quick break being at work for 2.5 hours already.

I ran into our newly reconstructed breakroom with nicer televisions and a small group was watching the smoke from the 1st plane. I took note of the perfectly sunny blue skies and thought, "wow, that must have been a big pilot error or medical event"....right about the time the 2nd plane hit. 

Instantly everyone gasped and a collective feeling of knowing it wasn't an accident came over us all. I know I was late going back on the phones but everyone sort of zombie like went through the motions. 

I remember trying to get CNN, FOXNEWS, any new like website to come up but the traffic on our system was glitchy at best. 

I had a meeting scheduled and we went into the meeting. I don't remember feeling scared yet...until the HR lady raced in and told us the Pentagon had been hit. 

As a military brat and living in military town, for some reason the PENTAGON seemed untouchable and if "they" could hit the PENTAGON...well, it must be the End of The World. 

The people with kids on base in childcare were let go because the base was locking down. I had lunch scheduled and again like a zombie went through the motions never realizing I should just go home.

I remember going through the drive thru of Fast Food place and listening to the radio and me and the drive thru lady just taking an extra second to smile at one another and be extra friendly. I know a dumb thing to remember but it was poignant to me at 26 years old.

The amount of American Flags flying after 9/11 will always make me choke up and that feeling of togetherness. 

I never wish another horrendous event like this, but that was the one bright spot. More blood was donated after 9/11 than any other time. It was so nice people dreaming up any way they could to help. 

Aniki's picture

ICMI, I am also a military brat. My grandfather immigrated to the US from Finland and, a few years later, fought for his new country in WWI. My uncles, my Dad, my DH, one of my nephews... all war veterans. An American flag, waving in the breeze, chokes me up every single time. 

I wish people would make more of an effort to do things to help. It doesn't have to be a huge effort. Donating blood, giving someone a meal or gloves, taking time to listen... A few minutes of your time can mean a lifetime of difference to someone else.

ESMOD's picture

We had coworkers flying out of Boston for the west coast that day.  It was incredibly difficult to reach anyone. Cell service was just overrun.  In the end, after hours of waiting we finally found them.  They had been locked in the airport forever.  Obviously there was no flight going out any time soon.. they were lucky enough to secure a rental car and one of them had a dad who was a long haul truck driver and he gave them a route home to VA which would avoid the worst congestion on main highways. 

It was horrifying and heartbreaking.  

Aniki's picture

The circuits must have been so overwhelmed with worried/scared people desperately trying to reach loved ones. Sad

Horrifying and heartbreaking... exactly that. 

Cover1W's picture

My sister and  her husband (his birthday is on 9/11) were on vacation in FL at the time. I think they were stuck there for 2 weeks until flights resumed again. The hotel ended up not charging them but a pittance in the end. They were very grateful.

And my BF and I had friends getting married the next weekend after; no family could get to our area. They had to reschedule the entire wedding for another location a month later. Which likely ended up being more fun than the first plan!

Aniki's picture

I'd been in my job just a few months. My previous job had me traveling all over the US, often running to make connecting flights. I cannot begin to imagine the obstacles people faced that day or in the weeks that followed. Sad

DPW's picture

I was living in Toronto but at a work conference about 2 hours north. I had not turned on my TV that morning and went into the conference and couldn't understand why everyone was being rude to the speaker because they were whispering while the speaker was trying to give her presentation. I turned back and looked at a coworker with a bewildered look on my face and she looked scared. Our VP then stood up and explained what was going on, that there was a TV in the bar at the resort we could watch to get updated and that we could go home and not finish the conference to get back to our families. People started panicking because Toronto is the largest city in Canada and we were worried that something might happen there. We drove home listening to the radio and crying and scared about what was next to happen. Stayed in front of the tv for days watching the news. The world has never been the same. 

ETA: I was also supposed to fly to Ireland on the 14th of September for a 3 week backpacking trip with two friends across Ireland, Scotland and Britain. Obviously our trip was cancelled and never rescheduled, unfortunately. I still have not been to Europe.

Aniki's picture

Thousands were panicking. I was so thankful to no longer be in my previous job because I would not have been near home.

halo1998's picture

I was 8 months pregnant with DD.  The VI walked out of Manhattan with his co-workers since they couldn't take the train etc.  The VI got home three days laters after finally finding a rental car he could drive home to Ohio.  The VI couldn't get a call through to me because the cell line were flooded.  For awhile I had no idea if and when he would come home.

My parents were stranded in Lake Tahoe on vacation with my aunt and uncle.  They too had to drive home to Ohio  from Lake Tahoe with the rental car they refused to turn in.  

The company I worked for at the time had private jets we used to fly from Ohio to NY.  Those jets were scrambled as soon as the airways were opened to retrieve people stranded in Middle East or Europe.  We had many people stranded all over the world at our manufacturing sites.  All were brought home on the private jets. 

I had just been in NY that July with the VI and DS to see NY.  I have a picture of us with the twin towers behind us.  Little did we know in 8 weeks those towers would be gone and many many lives lost.   

Aniki's picture

It was a nightmare of epic proportion that kept growing. I'm still somewhat leery of flying.