September 11th 2001 Where Were You When the Planes Went Down

neesaki

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I was working at home that day, didn't have on the news or television so had no idea until my husband called me that morning and said "something happened" check it out and get back to him, about a plane hitting a building in New York. So I turned on the television...... I couldn't think of much of anything else for a week or two, I just watched, listened, and cried. When my dentist asked me today if I remembered where I was 17 years ago, I thought a moment and got cold chills all over, all those same feelings came up as if it was then.
I wondered if my son remembered, he was 18 years old at the time. Only because I know him let's just say I was a little surprised he actually remembers exactly where he was and what he was doing on that day 17 years ago.

I can't imagine being someone that lost a loved one, not to mention all the first responders who lost their lives.
 
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G.Keelie

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I was still asleep (California). I worked from home but it was my day off. My sister called from New Orleans to tell me. My mum and her friend were flying from Los Angeles to London that day and their flight had left early. My poor dad started calling me and didn’t know what to do. However, I was apparently the only one who knew that they were not going through customs in New York and would go through customs in London. They were already away from the US by the time of the attacks.

My husband and I spent the next few days in front of the TV watching the horror of it all.

An employee of my company was on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. She and her daughter had been at a wedding and our employee had to return early for work. I didn’t know her..she worked in another office in another state. This was the closest I came to knowing anyone lost that day and I just can’t begin to imagine the suffering of their families. It’s 17 years later and people are still dying off 9/11 related causes.

The air crew did not tell the passengers on my mum’s plane what had happened. When my mum and her friend got to London they noticed a lot of noise and crowds, but my mum was deaf and her and her friend were so busy talking they still did not know what had happened. They caught a connecting flight to Glasgow and when they arrived nobody was waiting at the gate for arrivals, they were all in the concourse watching television. My mum just wanted to come home but we encouraged her to stay..she had not been home for 20 years. She stayed two weeks and did enjoy her trip, but I was a nervous wreck until I could see her again. That trip was the last trip she was able to make home before she passed away in 2015 so I am glad she did finish her trip. She did say that the Scottish friends and strangers she met during that trip were very kind and supportive about the tragedy.

I’m a naturalized citizen and I’m very proud of my country, the USA, and how the country responded to the tragedy.
 

neesaki

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Home, in Utah. It was surreal to watch the news that morning. The economy sure took a hit after that.

The economy really did take a hit, didn't it. I remember we had been to Disney World three years in a row before 9/11. It was such a beautiful place, surprisingly good food, upbeat, thriving, from the restaurants to the theme parks to the hotels / resorts that were there. That's why we fell in love with it. We went back the following spring after 9/11, and it was like the difference in night and day. Several of our favorite restaurants had completely closed, others were suffering terribly. There were a lot less people, it was in such a depressed state. Really nothing was the same, it was disappointing but more than that it was sad.
 

TeaTime

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I had driven to New Orleans from Saskatchewan, arriving in the early morning hours when my telephone rang and woke me. It was my mother telling my sleepy ears that a plane crashed into one of the WTC towers. Surely, it was a commuter plane with a disabled pilot or something and thought "well, how sad. Another commuter plane down. I hope no one on the ground was hurt." My dad got on the phone and said "turn on the tv, this was not a commuter plane". I stumble-fumbled down the stairs, turned on the television, made coffee and sat down to watch, periodically calling my parents as updates came in. Then the second plane hit. I asked my mom, who was a teen in WWII, "are we at war?" She thought perhaps we were, but we should just remain calm until the President spoke. Then the Pentagon and United 93 crashed and I was quite sure that I had just witnessed the start of war in the homeland and wondered how many more planes would be crashing into targets across the country.

Then the towers came down in their own footprints, as designed. It looked exactly like scheduled detonations of buildings I personally observed come down in a cloud of smoke and I marveled at the accuracy. It never occurred to me that everyone had not escaped the towers.

I wanted to go to get my parents, gather all the nieces, nephews, dogs, cats, lizards and goldfish and head for Kansas. My thought was that it is in the middle of the country and any threatening plane would be shot down before reaching there. And, without casting any dispersion against Kansas (I love Kansas), there was nothing there to bomb but stockyards and cornfields so it would be an unlikely target AND have plenty of food. I was still packed from my trip to Canada, so I was ready to leave.

No one else was, so we stayed.

I wondered who could possibly be responsible for this. More importantly, WHY?

Eventually, I remembered the middle eastern men that sat around me on April 19, 2001 on a flight to Paris and the things they said to me at that time. For months, I searched for the photos I took on the plane with my disposable camera thinking I was dreaming. I found the photos and with much trepidation, called the FBI. The FBI took down all the details and never contacted me again. I am quite sure they brushed me off as a kook.
 

crhedBngr

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Hubby and I were driving to work (we worked at the same company). We usually turned the radio on to one of the news stations out here, and heard, "All airports are now closed".

My first thought was one of disbelief, until we heard that the second tower was gone.

Going into work, of course, nobody was getting anything done. One of my friends, a Vietnamese guy, told me, "I am not here today. This reminds me of my mother and I, running to escape the bombs in Vietnam". (He is older than 60). Some people went home from work; they just weren't productive that day. It was a major struggle just to keep focused on what I was doing.

Then, we heard that my niece was in Lower Manhattan, at a financial seminar(!). Frantic emails went back and forth, and she sent several, stating that she was okay. She and her coworkers were frantically arranging places to stay for those who had flown into New York for the seminar, because no-one knew for sure if their hotels were still standing.

She was a bit exasperated with the person conducting the seminar, as he decided to finish his presentation "while the Financial District lay in ruins", as she put it.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Weirdly enough, we had visited her in New York City in May, 2001 (she was renting in Midtown), and we walked by the Twin Towers. I remember looking at them and thinking that they looked surreal to me; they were shimmering in the sunlight, almost like an illusion. Most of the other buildings surrounding them at that time were more substantial--built out of bricks, cement or stone.

During that May 2001 visit, I took a photo from the Brooklyn Bridge that has the Twin Towers in it. Also, I bought a snow globe, which had the original Twin Towers. It still sits on my entertainment center.
 

crhedBngr

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Hubby and I were driving to work (we worked at the same company). We usually turned the radio on to one of the news stations out here, and heard, "All airports are now closed".

My first thought was one of disbelief, until we heard that the second tower was gone.

At work, of course, nobody was getting anything done. We were all glued to the radio. One of my friends, a Vietnamese guy, told me, "I am not here today. This reminds me of my mother and I, running to escape the bombs in Vietnam". (He is older than 60). Some people went home from work; they just weren't productive that day. It was a major struggle just to keep focused on what I was doing.

Then, we heard that my niece was in Lower Manhattan, at a financial seminar(!). Frantic emails went back and forth, and she sent several, stating that she was okay. She and her coworkers were frantically arranging places to stay for those who had flown into New York for the seminar, because no-one knew for sure if their hotels were still standing.

She was a bit exasperated with the person conducting the seminar, as he decided to finish his presentation "while the Financial District lay in ruins", as she put it.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Weirdly enough, we had visited her in New York City (she was renting in Midtown), and we walked by the Twin Towers. I remember looking at them and thinking that they looked surreal to me; they were shimmering in the sunlight, almost like an illusion. Most of the other buildings surrounding them at that time were more substantial--built out of bricks, cement or stone.

I took a photo from the Brooklyn Bridge that has the Twin Towers in it. Also, I bought a snow globe, which had the original Twin Towers. It still sits on my entertainment center.
 

AdorableOrca96

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I wish I remembered more than what I have been told. I was five years old, living in North Dakota with my mom and dad. My dad had just been officially honorably discharged from the Air Force 2 days earlier. I was awake and ready to go to school in a few hours (I went to PM kindergarten at noon). My mom and dad had the TV on and my mom was crying, my dad just staring at the TV. I think I remember seeing the towers fall live.
Then my mom heard a plane hit the Pentagon and she panicked. Her dad (my grandpa) worked at the Pentagon and we had no idea if he was okay or if he was even there. She tried calling him for hours and didn’t get ahold of him until the early morning hours the next day. Turns out he wasn’t supposed to be there that day, but he was there delivering something when the plane hit the wing next to him. I don’t remember what his reaction was, and unfortunately he’s been gone 10 years now so I can’t ask him. He assured us he was okay and the family (his wife and his 13-year-old daughter) was fine too.
I really just remember having an America-themed week at school the next few days, but I was confused because it wasn’t the 4th of July.

Despite me not being old enough to remember a lot of those details, and despite my age, I still feel very profoundly affected by 9/11. I wish I had an answer as to why that is. I guess it’s because I had a close family member that was there, but he survived. He knew a lot of people that died that day though.
I went to Ground Zero during Thanksgiving Break 5 years ago when I went to NYC with my choir. I was so heartbroken and felt the gravity and sadness of the space. But it was an absolutely STUNNING memorial and I feel it did justice to those who lost their lives on the day everything changed.
 
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Never forget. I was awake (Texas) and the phone rang. It was my mother. "Are you watching TV?" she asked. "No," I replied. "I'm making coffee."
"Turn it on," she said. "What channel?" I asked. Her voice was very strange. A pause...
"I don't think it matters," she replied.
We watched the second plane hit in complete silence. It shocked me into action. "I'll call you later." And I hung up the phone. I did not call her later. My husband was in Las Vegas, of all places, on business for one day. As an architect, I knew those buildings were doomed to collapse before they did. Living in the shadow of DFW airport, my neighbors all employees of airlines - the consequences were swift and horrible. Time-zones involved, I called my husband first. "Turn on the TV." HUH? "Did you rent a car?" No. "Get to McClarren immediately and rent a car before they are all gone. You are going to have to drive home. "That's crazy, my flight is at 3:15." The planes are all going to be grounded in the next 20 minutes. The FAA will have no choice. There are two jets whereabouts unknown. "What??? That's crazy. Who told you that?" They will have no choice. Please go to the airport and rent a car. Come home! "I need to call my office." There were no cars to rent by the time he understood the magnitude of the situation. I begged him to buy a car and start driving. "I'm never going to get a good deal on a car today." No one in this country was in its right mind. I gave up, the world ending, and wept, alone. The planes were grounded. The acres of suburbs conditioned to the constant white noise provided by 900 jets per day taking off and landing went silent. The quiet was surprising and disturbing. For a long time. Never forget the horror and shock. I focused on the buildings, I think, because the human toll was more than I could cope with. The buildings fell perfectly; according to design. And on schedule. It broke my heart. I love NYC. I hope we never see a thing like that in real time again, ever. That under 3,000 people died (that day) was the most shocking thing in the following weeks. Where were the other 57,000 people that should have been there? Those are the stories I would collect if I knew how to do it.
 

Angleterre

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I was in my car in the UK on the way to see my dad who had undergone Heart surgery at Broadgreen Cardio Thoracic Hospital
My Dad and I were avid news readers and watchers and as I walked into his room at the hospital having just heard about the first plane hitting the Twin towers , he was just awakening from his anathesia and as I told him what he had just missed whilst ‘under’, the TV was turned in and the second plane hit ! Totally unbelievable.
I’m 48, born 1970 , and the most memorable occurrences to me whereby I’ve known exactly what I was doing when it happened are :
Twin Towers 9/11
Death of Princess Diana
Challenger Shuttle disaster
Death of Elvis
Death of John Lennon
Saddam Hussein being toppled
Tianaman Square
Lockerbie Air crash disaster
 

Elley Mae

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Watching the news, katie couric/matt laurer. They broke to a guy on the street reporting about a plane hitting the world trade center. As the camera panned up Katie said, “it appears a small plane has hit world trade building.”

When I saw the hole I knew it was no small plane. After the second building was hit and then the pentagon I went to get daughter. Meade high school- bout 5 miles from nsa. Got her out before staff knew what was going on. By time I got off lot MP’s shut down base.

amtrac 100 feet in from of house and bwi airport 2 1/2 miles away, It was eerily quiet.
 

Laughing

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I remember, and remember trying to figure out what to tell my first-grader.

Salty and Roselle, guide dogs who brought their handlers -- with large groups of other people -- safely out of the Towers that day!
 

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JustJo

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Aw bless those dogs! They must have been so scared.

I remember hearing about the atrocities on the school bus on the way home. I live in the UK. I was 17 and one of the drama queen types in my class was trying not to cry because the World Trade Centre and Pentagon had been blown up. She was upset because she had visited the WTC on holiday. She said thousands were dead. I was shocked but was sure she was over reacting.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what the WTC or Pentagon were :oops: but as soon as I got home I put on the news and watched till bed time. I then listened to the radio in bed as I fell asleep.

I also had never heard of Bin Laden or al Qaeda :oops:

The next day in our English class our teacher had brought in loads of newspapers and let us read about what had happened.

Despite it being in a different country it made me feel sick. I couldn't imagine how awful it would be to be involved :(

One of the weird things for me is that still now, 17 years later, if I hear a siren, it makes me think of 9-11. The sirens in the UK sound different to the US ones (I think) but it reminds me of seeing the fire trucks trying to get through New York. Especially when response vehicles toot their horns I get images of those fire trucks.....
 

Livness

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It was about 3pm here I think - in the UK.

I was 12, so in Year 8 and at school. It was the first I remember ever hearing about terrorism. The first thing I knew about it was when my mum got home from school - she was a primary school teacher - earlier than usual (she usually stayed until 5pm-ish to do marking and planning) and turned the TV straight on.

I remember 7/7 very clearly too.
 

smarties

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I remember going to work the day after 7/7 and there were cops in the subway, more than usual...I was like what's up with that? Then I realized.
I was in the hospital for surgery when the Madrid bombing happened. I didn't know about it until the next morning and asked "what the hell happened?" and the nurse told me!
Then I remember when I was home recovering, I watched live coverage of the 9-11 commission hearings while I was doped on Dilaudid.
 

burblestein

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So, 18 years on...

My experiences in Vietnam taught me there are no good wars, only bad ones. However, some wars are necessary. World War II was necessary. The Global War in Terror is necessary. And necessary wars either must be fought to a conclusion, or lost. The only possible conclusion to this one is the death of anyone and everyone who conspired in the largest mass murder in American history, and anyone plotting to repeat it. Al Quaida is trying their damnedest to hit us again, and for America's safety, they must be extinguished.

That's quite a stretch for a late-blooming pacifist to admit, but reality can't be ignored.
 

BlackCloud

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I remember I was abroad, in Europe. I was there for work...
18 years and nobody knows the truth...the real truth...because the official explanation is good for an episode of Ironman the animated series not for the real world o_O
(maybe it's a little bit off topic but I was thinking....what the hell....18 years have passed since 9/11...time really flies... :()
 
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