Sept 10th / 11th 2001 Where were you ?

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Joined
May 1, 2015
Messages
9,045
Location
Upstate N.Y.
At work when someone said a plane had just hit the Tower, all were talking about it when news of the second hit was broadcast. We had just dropped our daughter off at a dorm of NYU, about 3 blocks away from the Towers on Labor Day weekend. Both of us tried to reach her by phone which was a lost clause. Anxiety ran ramp in not knowing where she was at that Godless moment. It was late afternoon till we finaly made contact. She was out of the dorm at the library further uptown , but would not be allowed to go back to her dorm or get any of her things. She traveled back upstate by train at about 15 miles per hour restriction as no one knew if the tracks had been mined or whatever. It was the middle of the night or early morning before she arrived back to us. Our personal horror was piddles when you hear about it, but Mom and Dad said a lot of extra prayers that night. Weeks later when we took her back, we walked a little and were amazed as everything everywhere was still covered in ashes and pieces of paper. Retrived her belonging and moved her to a hotel that was being used as a dorm. May God help all the families and people who lost someone that terrible day. I know they will never forget. RIP
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,696
Location
Sarlat, France
I was at home in Sarlat, just going out to buy bread when I noticed a crowd of people standing in front of a little souvenir shop,
listening to a radio and heard the words...New York... airplane crash...I immediately turned around and went straight home,
switched on the TV and with my husband watched the unbelievable horror enfold. I used to work in New York during the 80ies and I still remember how I loved to see the setting sun gilding the Twin Towers upon exiting the Lincoln Tunnel on my way home to
New Jersey. Even 18 years later that day makes me so sad.
 

Mrs. V

First Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2017
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We were listening to the radio that morning, before taking my son to school. I thought it was a little plane, you know..then I went to the store, came home in time to see the other plane hit the second tower. My husband called and told me to go gas up the car.. I remembered being frightened, and seeing some ill advised highschool students running about “celebrating”...idiots. Our mayor at the time denied it happened..but I saw it.

When I was explaining to my son what had happened, about the planes hitting the towers, he looked up at me and said, “Oh, like the Kamikaze?” He was 8.
 

Mr King

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
692
I was driving to go to the gas station then Taco Bell to get some food, here in South Carolina, I saw something ahead as I drove on, people, fire trucks, it was americans getting together in honor of 9/ll. Firemen and families and friends and visitors together flying the American flags, there was a crane ahead that flew a huge American flag, I drove by slowly in awe and in love with what I saw, everyone together with American flags, I got choked up and teary eyed thinking...beautiful...beautiful...
 

major bill

Colonel
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Aug 25, 2012
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I was at work. I was also a part of the National Guard and was involved with emergency operations to include terrorist attacks, so wondered if I should prepare my gear as soon as I got home in case I had to go somewhere quickly. When I got home I put together my gear to be on the safe side. After I packed up my gear I could have been ready to go in 15 or 20 minutes if need be. At that time I usually kept my duffel back packed and ready to go 24 7.
 
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Joined
Sep 28, 2013
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13,527
Location
Mississippi
I will never forget that day !

Like many others, I first heard about a plane hitting one of the towers on the way to work (radio).
I also thought it was an accident . . . perhaps a small Cessna ?

For those not yet born back then, here's a fact:
During 2001, the internet was only starting to emerge as an information platform.

I was "glued" to the few major National News sites that had an internet presence, along with the television coverage.

After about six hours of watching the coverage.

I went home and actually cried myself to sleep.
I had no idea what was going on.

Our world had changed forever.

One thing was certain, I knew the United States of America would find the culprits.

That we did.

It took longer than expected, but Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden is no longer a threat to anyone.

About a week later, I was sitting on my patio one night trying to put everything into perspective.
Then for the first time in days, I noticed a commercial airliner flying overhead at about 30 K feet.

When the commercial flights started again and the Air Force F-15s were not as prevalent . . . I sensed the worst was over.
 
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Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,839
I started to hear sirens as local emergency units began to head to Manhattan. As the morning went on, the sky was clear of the ubiquitous passenger planes that circle over on their way to Kennedy and La Guardia. Fighter jets began to scream through the air in their place.
I was in a meeting in Northern Virginia with what I will call public safety officials. One of them was in charge of public safety at a refinery in northern New Jersey. He had what was called, an "alpha pager," popular at that time, before cell phones were ubiquitous. Those things sent text messages.

His pager went off and he looked at it during the meeting. His face quieted all of us for a moment and someone asked, "what's wrong?"

He looked up and said, "FDNY is calling for mutual aid."

Now, we all knew that the New York City Fire Department had never in its history asked its neighbors for help. Something catastrophic had happened in New York, we just didn't know yet what. We learned soon enough.

It is true that fire companies from all over Long Island raced into the City to help. They also stayed for days and weeks after the event, to man fire stations throughout New York City, with their own apparatus and equipment, to respond to routine fire and emergency calls, allowing FDNY to deal with lower Manhattan. Heroes, all of them.

I spent that day in absolute crisis mode with my coworkers and drove home around midnight, over the Roosevelt Bridge into Washington, DC. I will never forget the sky to the south, lit up with flame from the Pentagon.

I learned the next day that friends had died in New York, responding to the crisis. I'm still dealing and will probably never get over the PTSD from that time.

Thanks to @scone for the thread and to everyone whose posted.
 

scone

Sergeant Major
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
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Location
Tennessee - From the "The City Between The Lakes"
I learned the next day that friends had died in New York, responding to the crisis. I'm still dealing and will probably never get over the PTSD from that time.

Thanks to @scone for the thread and to everyone whose posted.
Sorry for your Loss... I sure I may still have family in PA. VA, and NY although very distant... But I do have friends there as well as upper NJ who had FD units go to there.. … I watched two much tv and saw to many photos . But recall it as if it just happened..
 
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Joined
Mar 7, 2009
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About 47 miles Northwest of the Canadian border
His pager went off and he looked at it during the meeting. His face quieted all of us for a moment and someone asked, "what's wrong?"

He looked up and said, "FDNY is calling for mutual aid."

Now, we all knew that the New York City Fire Department had never in its history asked its neighbors for help. Something catastrophic had happened in New York, we just didn't know yet what. We learned soon enough.

9-11-01 Mutual Aid.jpg
 

archieclement

1st Lieutenant
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mo
I was driving an 18 wheeler back then, pulling a 38ft end dump, rockhauler. We were at the quarry getting the first load of the day when it broke on the radio, when 2nd hit we all knew we are at war. After getting loaded we ran up to a truck stop and watched on TV for about a hour, and saw the towers fall.
 

Yankee Brooke

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Jun 8, 2018
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PA
I was at school. We were young enough that the news was not put on, and we mostly only heard about it through the whispers of our teachers. Some classmates were picked up by their parents. That's really all I remember, other than my class(Exploratory German) was trying to ask questions about what was happening, but my teacher was unsure how to answer and was trying to settle us down to continue our lesson.
 

22ndGa

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Oct 28, 2016
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Ocala, Florida
I was driving to work that morning in my police car when I was employed by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. I heard the report over the radio of a plane hitting a building in New York. My thoughts went to a time in WW2 when a B-25 hit the Empire State Building. I thought that bad weather was the cause this time. Soon I heard the comments as to why would an airplane hit the World Trade Center in such great weather. I assumed that the weather in New York was foggy as it was commonly the case. Pondering that, the news soon reported that a second airplane had hit the second tower. I knew then that it wasn't an accident.

By the time I got to the substation, it was pretty well known that this was an attack against America. As we worked through the day, getting information all along of the events in New York, we knew this was as an extraordinary event as the Pearl Harbor attack was back in 1941.

I made a copy of my patrol log that day and still have it. I hoped that my agency would send a crew to New York to help and I would volunteer. After a day or so I learned that a call was out for volunteers to respond to help with the rescue efforts in New York. I immediately volunteered.

13 officers volunteered to go to New York, and I was among them. As senior officer, I was elected team leader. A local business paid for the transportation, and a bus charter delivered us to the Javits Center. The le Parker Merdian hotel put us up for our stay, and we got to work providing personnel to work at various check points around Ground Zero. We worked under the NYPD and they assessed us as we went along to see who they could trust. Soon they assigned our team to work inside the pit. Of the 13 we came in with, only 4 of us met their criteria to actually go into Ground Zero. I was among them. We were issued special Ground Zero ID cards which had a conspicuous red Z on the card. No red Z, you didn't get into the RED Z.

Our shift began at 1800 (6PM) 8 days after 09/11. It ended at 0900, which made for a 15 hour shift. We were bussed in from the 4th precinct station. I worked that shift for the next 7 days.

My first night we worked in the area of the fountain. Below that was a parking garage. Our team recovered the body of a young woman. We put her in a body bag, and a large overhead crane lifter her up and out of the area. It was a solemn moment, silence all around. We went back to work in the bucket brigade, where we stood in line and passed the buckets which ended at the dumpster. My instructions were to put human remains that we identified in biohazard bags as we emptied the buckets into the dumpster. I did my duty filling several 5 gallon buckets with biobags because with my evidence experience I knew what human remains looked like. I was asked a couple of times why I was putting the remains into the bags and I responded that it was my job. My cohorts said that that was the job of those at the land fill. I wonder to this day how many remains were missed.

Every morning we went back to the hotel dog tired after an exhausting night on the bucket brigade. Sometimes I was at the dumpster end and sometimes I was at the shovel end. The nightmares were excruciating.

One early morning I found a fuel line that I knew was an airplane part. I was questioned as to how I knew that and I pointed out the NAS number on the part. NAS is National Aerospace. Helps being an airplane guy.

Years later I went to New York and they had a temporary victims center where they had photographs of the victims of the attacks on the wall. I discovered the photograph of the young woman that our team had recovered. As I stood there looking at her picture, remembering that early morning when we recovered her, a nice lady came up to me to ask why I was looking at that picture. That lady turned out to be a docent who volunteered to work at the memorial center. It was her daughter in the picture. I told her of the date of her recovery and the location. When she confirmed that it was her daughter, I told her that the body was complete and not fragmented as was so often the case. She confirmed that. I explained the process of the recovery of her daughter and how solemn and respectful the process was. She had never heard that and was most thankful. We hugged each other and it was a most amazing experience.
 

scone

Sergeant Major
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
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Location
Tennessee - From the "The City Between The Lakes"
Years later I went to New York and they had a temporary victims center where they had photographs of the victims of the attacks on the wall. I discovered the photograph of the young woman that our team had recovered. As I stood there looking at her picture, remembering that early morning when we recovered her, a nice lady came up to me to ask why I was looking at that picture. That lady turned out to be a docent who volunteered to work at the memorial center. It was her daughter in the picture. I told her of the date of her recovery and the location. When she confirmed that it was her daughter, I told her that the body was complete and not fragmented as was so often the case. She confirmed that. I explained the process of the recovery of her daughter and how solemn and respectful the process was. She had never heard that and was most thankful. We hugged each other and it was a most amazing experience.
Thank you sir touching and im in tears
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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I'm not sure I'll get through this. It's still surreal. To those in NYC, DC and that scorched field here in PA who were there, bless all of you. And then all of us.

Remember crying when the babies were born? Someone got all of them together for a photograph. The 9/11 babies. I think it gets to me as much as that forever image of the plane blurring past Tower One and vanishing inside Two.

What I remember is how blue the sky was that day. One of those perfect days after escaping summer's heat, remember? I'd just tied my shoes, waiting for a friend to call. She was late so I turned on the news. Katie Couric was saying something about ' We're not sure what happened, a small plane just hit the World Trade Center '. Then a discussion about how anyone could have gotten that disoriented. Camera just showed that first gash, smoke- remember thinking about how many people must have been killed. Then that blur- the second plane vanished. You couldn't wrap your head around what had to be happening inside those buildings..

Began getting calls from England, were we under attack? Where were the kids? Someone at the school made the decision to continue that day like everything was normal- no TV, no reports, no mention of our country's tragedy. I'm still angry about that. If ever our youngest citizens needed to witness History it was that day. Drove to the school and raised holy heck . I didn't think them in danger, thought them Americans whose fellow citizens needed them if just to bear witness.

Whenever we seem to be so divided there's no hope this country will ever glue itself together again, I remember sitting on my sofa tying my shoes. We rose to that together, buried the dead together, cried over those babies together and fall into communal silence whenever that day comes up. We're all under that rubble together.
 
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