where were you when...

Old Sep 11th 2007, 6:14 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

I was at home in SW England, about 34 weeks pregnant, my husband had just turned the TV on to watch Tony Blair's speech at the Labour Party conference. Instead there was the live news report about a plane crashing into one of the twin towers and then another plane crashed into the second tower as we were watching. It was horrifying.

My husbands parents had been due to fly back from their holiday in Vegas to PA that day too, but their flight was cancelled (of course), but he was really worried for a time until he could find out where they were and that the rest of his family were safe.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 7:03 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

At about 8:30 a.m., we were boarding a plane from New York to Toronto, but the plane never took off, instead, we were evacuated from both, plane and airport and of course without our luggage, except our carry on, it was unbelievably chaotic & frightening when we found out the real reason for the evacuation.

Had been in New York for a weekend of tennis....the finals of the US Open and was to have returned on Sept.10th, but due to bad weather, our flight had been cancelled and we opted to stay at the airport hoping to catch the 7 a.m. flight the next morning, but instead, we got the 9 a.m. flight which never took off. We eventually made it back to Toronto on Sept. 13th by train...I felt so lucky that nothing had happened to us and so sad for all the victims.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 7:18 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

I was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Boise to Seattle where I was to connect to a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Hawaii. Didn't hear of anything on the flight of course, but when we landed I overheard two businessmen remarking that nothing was likely to fly. I thought that strange as it was a beautiful sunny calm day. Later on walking past one of the airport bars I saw video of the towers burning. I didn't really twig what had happened nor was I particularly interested. I just wanted to get on my flight and get back to Hawai'i.
Of course all of the flights were grounded. Fortunately I have a brother in Seattle and I was able to ring him to have him come pick me up at the airport. While waiting for my brother I listened to some radio station that someone in the airport had put on and some silly cow was blathering on about how nervous she was as the station was next to the Space Needle and how airliners may next fly into that.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 7:27 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

My husband had been to Kuwait with his Nat. Guard Unit for two weeks,and they were 4 days late coming home,I remember wondering what was going on,especially knowing where they were...9/11 happened 3 or 4 days after he got home,he was on the computer and I was watching the 'Today Show' and watched the second plane hit...horrifying...I couldn't believe what I was seeing at first...I did wonder if that had anything to do with them being late coming home,it was SO terrible,but I really don't think it could've been prevented even if there had been warnings....all those poor people....so,so sad...
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 8:11 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

Driving from Orlando to Miami on a family holiday. We didn't have the radio on and as we drove through Fort Lauderdale looking for a spot of lunch we noticed that virtually every house had a flag outside and those with a pole had them at half-mast. Still not thinking to turn the radio on we wondered if maybe Ronald Reagan had passed away. We walked along a near-deserted beach into a near-deserted diner. In the corner was a soundless television showing pictures of people running and huge dust clouds. I thought maybe there had been an earthquake somewhere, perhaps in Los Angeles - it was too small and too far away to read the ticker - until we saw the footage of the second plane.

We were due to return back the the UK two days later. In the end we stayed in Florida for an extra week.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 8:12 am
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I was running late and got out of the subway at about 9.05 at 53rd and Lexington, back when I worked at the Citigroup Center. As i was getting the elevators I overheard some people mentioning that a light aircraft had hit the WTC. I got upstairs and switched on my computer and the news of the second plane reached our floor. We pegged to a conference room and started watching it on TV. We were totally stunned. We were on the 20th floor, but couldn't actually see downtown from where we were. I managed to call my wife, who worked on 19th and Broadway, and she had been calling her mom, who hadn't seen anything. Then she called my mum, as the lines in our building were getting too jammed to make calls.

At about 10.30 we were told to go to the cafeteria in the basement of the building. By 11, we were told to evacuate the building and go home. I got outside and realized the cellphones were all tied up and I couldn't call my wife, so I decided to walk down to her office, hoping that I would see her walking up. The streets were packed. Cars couldn't move. The subways had been shut down. Everyone was crowding around cars with the radios blaring or standing in front electrical shops and bars to watch the TVs. It was so quiet, almost serene, hardly New York at all. Then the towers started collapsing and picked up my pace, getting pretty frantic that I wouldn't get to see my wife. Neither of us were in danger, but I just wanted her to know that I was okay.

When I got there, I found out her company had told everyone to stay there. Thankfully. So we met up there, someone ordered pizza, which we thought was weird, but someone was out there still delivering pizza while all this was going on. And we watched it all on the TV's in her office until about 2pm, when we managed to get through to a friend of hers who lived on 56th street. So we walked up there, and by now you could see people covered in dust who had walked up from Wall Street. We got to the apartment, grabbed a bottle of brandy and went up to the rooftop of her apartment block to watch the smoke pouring out of downtown where the towers used to be. Got back to where I used to live in Queens about 6-ish after the 7 train started running again.

It was two weeks before I heard a voice raised in anger, a car honk its horn, or someone cross the street on a red light. For two weeks, New York was the nicest, most polite place to live in the world. I guess we'd all realized that day that some things in life aren't worth getting angry about.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 8:51 am
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Unhappy Re: where were you when...

Sorry - this is a long post!

I had just stepped out of the shower (approx 8.55am) as I was due to attend the local Newcomer's club board meeting, when the phone rang.

It was my husband. He had left home very early that morning to have a meeting with clients from an investment bank at the World Trade Center. They had finished their meeting and at about 8.35am left the WTC and were travelling out to his company's technical development centre in Long Island. The car radio wasn't working and he phoned to say that they could see smoke coming out of one of the towers and did I know what was going on?

In the background our bedroom's radio had a reporter saying that it appeared that a plane had gone into the tower but they didn't know what kind of plane, but very odd and perhaps an air traffic control or pilot error as it was such a lovely, clear day. I said to my husband that it was probably one of those small Cessna sightseeing planes and he said "no, there's too much smoke and a large hole in the side of the building. Put the TV on". I did and saw the large hole.....then the TV reporter said that it may have been a Boeing 737.

I continued to get ready to go out but had both TV and radio on....I spoke with my husband again and a moment after the second plane went into the south tower, the clients decided to try and get to their disaster recovery facility in Midtown and he would head back to his office in Times Square.

I got to the (now abandoned) meeting at someone's house and it was chaos; women were crying as their mobile phones weren't working and a couple of them had spouses working at the WTC, so they rushed home to use their landlines. We just sat in shock watching the scenes on the TV and the towers collapsing, plus the reports about the Pentagon and hijacked plane in PA. I was personally relieved that I knew my husband had already left the WTC, but of course all the phones were out.

I got home and there were a couple of messages on our answerphone from family and friends in England and Singapore, but I couldn't phone back. What I didn't know was that our daughter was in the sick bay at her boarding school in Oxford and the matron came rushing in to put the TV on. Our poor daughter was in hysterics wondering if her dad was dead or alive and the school not being able to communicate with us. (She didn't get to speak with him until the next day and truly believed he had perished).

Back in NY my husband and clients had abandoned the rented limo and were trying to walk across the Williamsburg bridge in Brooklyn to get back westwards into Manhatten. Thousands of people - many covered in dust - were heading the opposite direction and it was difficult to make any headway. He was on the bridge when he saw the second tower fall. It took him ages to walk to Times Square and it was mobbed with tourists, locals and office workers all watching the huge TV screens on the buildings, including the one he works in. He works for the Reuters news agency and all the journalists were busy trying to file their reports but everyone else had left the building.

There were no trains running to New Jersey so he decided to stay at work for a while.....but then there were fears in the media that the Empire State Building might be attacked, then the security at his building decided to evacuate their tower too so he had to leave. All of the schools in our town closed and we were asked to collect our children (which I thought odd as many parents would have been stuck in NYC).

My husband's company lost six staff at the WTC; they were attending the Risk Waters conference at the Windows on the World restaurant at the top of one of the towers and they just didn't stand a chance. My husband's boss called Alex was due to attend but was sick and sent a deputy in his place, also called Alex.....

Five men died in our town (it was incredible that the number was so low TBH) and there is a memorial stone at the train station. For weeks afterwards there were posters up locally in shops and lamp posts for the 'missing' loved ones funerals at the RC church a few blocks from my house (mainly for the firefighters and Port Authority police) and I heard the single bell toll so many times. The two train stations in our town have this same memorial:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheenachi/465707928/

It is so sad to read their profiles underneath the photos on the link

My next door neighbours are both psychiatrists and the wife turned up on my doorstep crying; her husband's step-brother was missing, presumed dead.

One guy across the street works for Eurobrokers (which I think is a British company). His office was on the 84th floor of the South tower and was aware that something was going on in the north tower. Their floor was evacuated and he told me that he got down to the 51st floor when a tannoy announcement said that they could return to their offices. Most of the Japanese workers returned, but he and a friend decided to get out - he remembered the bomb in the carpark in 1993. Just as well....the second plane actually hit the tower between levels 84-86... He spent the whole night going to various hospitals looking for colleagues in vain. His company lost 60 colleagues and for weeks he and his wife were going to numerous funerals and memorial services.

I did have nightmares for a few nights afterwards....and was very clingy with my husband as I was so relieved not to have lost him.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 9:41 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

was at work watching the TV in the Pro Shop, when they were showing the 1st tower burning and then the second bing hit I thought there must have been an almighty flight control tower failure or something .... and then all the players and members just gathered in the shop, not going out to play, and we just watched for the next 4 hours or so - in virtual silence - about 50 people.

Rang my parents who were driving through France, dad at the time was a 747 skipper, and reached them in the evening when they checked into their hotel, they hadnt heard about it by that point and he laughed when I said planes had hit the towers and the Pentagon .... took a few seconds to get it into him.

and then I just spent the next 3 days crying with all the emotional stuff they started showing with the families posting messages etc..

watched a thing on HBO this morning with a guy telling his young son his mum was dead from the attack .... only managed about 5 minutes of it, was too heartbreaking.

sad though that we seem to feel more for this event than something like the Tsunami which killed HUNDREDS of thousands of people .....

Last edited by username 34; Sep 11th 2007 at 9:53 am.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 10:40 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

Originally Posted by islandmom
sad though that we seem to feel more for this event than something like the Tsunami which killed HUNDREDS of thousands of people .....
I guess everybody we know in America seems to have been touched in some way by 9/11 - although I had a friend who went missing for about a month after the tsunami. He was a scuba instructor on one of the worst effected islands. I thought he'd bought it - in fact he'd been off that morning and wound up helping out for about two months after.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 11:22 am
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Default Re: where were you when...

Originally Posted by islandmom
sad though that we seem to feel more for this event than something like the Tsunami which killed HUNDREDS of thousands of people .....

I think the main reason for this is probably that sense that what happened on 9/11 could, in theory, happen anywhere at any time (or something similar). The tsunami was a natural event (which can be explained scientifically) whereas 9/11 was a very unnatural event. It's probably not so much the loss of life that has the lasting impact in the case of 9/11.

I actually moved over to NJ on the 22nd September that year. I was in the offices of a publishing company just outside Oxford on 9/11 - it was my last day working for the UK branch (I went on holiday to the south of France on the 12th, got back on the 21st and then flew out again on the 22nd). My dad called me on my mobile because he had just heard about the first plane, and then the news just spread around the office. There was a tv in the workout room of the office I was at so there was a group gathered there watching the surreal events unfold. All my family and friends kept asking if I was still going over to the US but it never even crossed my mind that I wouldn't. I managed to get a flight to France the next day even though the one I was supposed to be on was cancelled and was a bit isolated from the news until I got back to the UK so I didn't even know if I was even going to be able to get a flight to the US (I had already rented out my flat and just had a floor to sleep on for one night before heading out) but it all worked out. The flight I was on was almost empty - there were as many cabin crew as there were passengers which felt very strange (I had 3 rows to myself and they had to load extra weight on before take off). When I got over here it seemed everyone I met was so surprised that I had flown so soon after 9/11 but to me it seemed like the safest time to fly ever (not that flying is ever really unsafe in comparison to other forms of transport).

I met a lot of people in that first year who were directly affected by it. Someone I knew from university was in a nearby building and was evacuated - he had to leave his stuff behind including his wallet and his apartment nearby was inaccessible for a long time after. Luckily his company put him up in a hotel until he could get back and sort everything out - his stuff was all covered in dust because he had the windows open. A friend of a girlfriend I had in that first year apparently had an arguement with her boyfriend that morning and decided not to go to work - they both worked for the same company and he went in and died. It seems everyone around here was directly affected or knows someone directly affected by what happened.

I didn't know my wife then but she lived and worked in Jersey City and she could see the smoke on her way to work. Her office is right on the waterfront on the 9th floor and she saw many of the events unfold that day from that vantage point directly across the hudson river from the wtc. She doesn't really talk about it much and I don't blame her really.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: where were you when...

I should apologise - the last line of my post was not meant to minimise the truly horrific and terrible events of 9/11 and I hope that nobody took it that way.

As Englishmums amazing post described how so many of her immediate and extended acquaintances were involved.

I think through the full on media coverage which exposed us to every detail, including watching people actually dying (as in the fallers) in a place accessible to us all, known to us all in one way or another, makes it feel so personal.

My hubby went to Ground Zero last year, he doesnt know why he visited the site, he just went and looked at the wall of names and he said it brought a huge sense of mortality to him to be there. He didnt take pictures or do the tour - he just stood there and thought about life.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: where were you when...

My wife & I were both at home 6th Ave downtown NYC, our son had left for his Middle school. Previous week I had been in WTC, 2 times for early am meeting.
My wife, a nurse (Her day off) ran from the apt to her hospital expecting to help with the huge influx of casualties. Problem was very few casualties, actually came. Every day when she came & went from the hospital, grieving relatives would shove photos of their loved ones in her face "Have you seen my my son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, father or mother etc". Very sad.
I watched as thousands of people ran uptown on 6th Ave.
I can still smell the stench of death in the air, the streets were full of dust & smoke. My neighbors dog would come outside the building, sniff the air & run back in. The EPA, lied thats for sure.
For a long time we were not allowed to leave the city.
Very sad time.
Reg. Frank R.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: where were you when...

I was in the bathroom at home and I heard Kate shout "F**kin hell"
I shout down the passage to ask what was wrong and she said "It looks like a plane has hit one of the twin towers" ... She was obviously watching the news.
I walked to the living room and watched the screen stunned as the second plane hit, I then had to rush to the post office for something, after driving a short while I heard about the Pentagon hit. I came home to hear about the one going down in PA.
My Son phoned fromEngland to ask if everyone was ok ?
I didn't go to work that day as Kate had a cousin who worked in the south tower..... He couldn't be contacted for 36 hours but turned up at his mums in Florida after walking out of the tower and catching the first available train south.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: where were you when...

I watched a film last night about one of the high-jacked planes, where the passengers fought back. It was surreal. So upsetting to feel and see what they must have gone through.
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Old Sep 11th 2007, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: where were you when...

I was just going off duty from my job as a check in security personel for United Airlines at Logan Airport.
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