9/11 Memories

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smudgersmissingleg

Preferred Member
Jun 9, 2018
2,685
8,777
121
England
As it's the 20th anniversary of that terrible day I thought i'd ask what your memories of it are. When did you find out? Were you alone or with others? Were you at work?

I was working as a croupier at the time here in England but I was on a 2 week holiday. I was alone and I'd just finished watching a video of Family Guy when I switched the telly on to the BBC and saw the footage of the twin towers ablaze. To say I was shocked is an understatement but when the first tower collapsed I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. The whole thing seemed like some crazy disaster movie but unfortunately it was real life.

There's no need for politics or conspiracy theories, just your memories of when and how you found out what was happening.

Prayers to all the people who lost their lives and their families?.
 

JOHN72

Preferred Member
Sep 12, 2020
2,610
26,470
49
SPAIN
I was watching formula one. Suddenly they cut and put the tremendous images of the first impact. Shortly after the second impact. From the first impact I had no doubt that it was a terrorist attack. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. And those who support and finance terror, I neither forgive nor forget these terrorist butchers. And I wish them eternal hell...............I think another wave of terrorism will return. These satan butchers, they only have one goal, the destruction of the west. Indoctrinate the new generations, in hatred and barbarism. God bless the deceased and their relatives...............???♥️
 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
2,662
2,320
I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on Governors Island, off the tip of lower Manhatten, from Dec. 1985 until June 1986. The lower levels of the Trade Center were like a small shopping center and we used to shop there. Anyway, in addition to my primary duties, I was also involved in a number of military training exercises and was conversant with the readiness plans.

The wife and I were on the way to work and had just dropped our oldest daughter at the University of New Orleans when the first report came on the radio.

My first words to my wife, "That's not an accident."
 

PipesRock

Preferred Member
Jan 21, 2020
514
3,908
Florida
I was managing our 911 communications center. Staff told me about the 1st tower hit and we began watching the news. I was dumbfounded as to how it could happen on such a clear day. I was of course hoping accident. Then we watched live as the 2nd plane hit. I remember clearly telling my people "We're at war with someone... I'm not sure who yet but we are at war!" Then I said the best we can do is our jobs to the best of our ability. People will call in scared and we need to assure them we're here for them and fully operational and not to engage in speculation.
 

Streeper541

Preferred Member
Jun 16, 2021
796
3,590
41
Spencer, OH
I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on Governors Island, off the tip of lower Manhatten, from Dec. 1985 until June 1986. The lower levels of the Trade Center were like a small shopping center and we used to shop there. Anyway, in addition to my primary duties, I was also involved in a number of military training exercises and was conversant with the readiness plans.

The wife and I were on the way to work and had just dropped our oldest daughter at the University of New Orleans when the first report came on the radio.

My first words to my wife, "That's not an accident."
Semper Paratus brother.
 

condorlover1

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
6,104
14,449
New York
I was due to meet a friend Raymond down town that morning. I rang him to tell him I was going to be late when he told me that a plane had hit the WTC. As we were talking number 2 came in and then everything was a crazy mess. I was living in Astoria, Queens but I had previously lived down the street from the WTC in an apartment on Maiden Lane so thankfully I missed all the toxic dust and everything else!
 

Streeper541

Preferred Member
Jun 16, 2021
796
3,590
41
Spencer, OH
I was aboard a Coast Guard Cutter. We deployed for regular operations the day prior and were out to sea headed south along the Pacific Coast, and found out on the mess deck while preparing the morning meal for the crew. (The messcooks had the crew TV tuned to the morning news). We were diverted from our mission to stand guard near the Golden Gate Bridge.

My wife (who just retired from active duty) was in week 6 of Coast Guard boot camp in Cape May, NJ. My little brother was at Ft. Knox in week 5 of Army basic.
 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
8,348
35,937
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Vegas Baby!!!
I was living a small rural area outside Las Vegas and had just walked into my house after a 60 mile bike ride. My wife said we’re under attack. Honestly my first thought was WTF, is alfalfa so expensive that bandits are stealing it.

Innocence and obliviousness was lost that day.

I also lost three acquaintances that day and several friends since because of that day.

Always remember, but don’t live in fear.
 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,732
7,746
Austin, TX
I was in college, (Texas State). I was sleeping in, probably due to a hang over from a raging party the night before. My brother (we lived together) barged in yelling, “we’re going to war!!!!” He just came back from the bank where he saw it on the news in the lobby. He bought some bunny ears so we could watch it. I woke up in a panicked state thinking the sky would be black with planes as if the war was right outside, I’m glad that was just the imagination of a hungover college student. We got the bunny ears working in time to watch both towers crumble in real time. What a surreal time that was.
 

boston

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2018
317
697
Boston
Yes very sad time and I do recall hearing that the first plane hit while I was dropping my son off at preschool. He's a college grad now and that memory of that day is still very clear in my mind. I have no 'Tribute' tobacco remaining but I used to smoke that once a year on this occasion.
 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
8,600
7,297
Southwest Louisiana
I was haveing a boat lift installed at my camp, wife comes out and says you got to see this, went inside and first plane hit, my military background says this is not a accident, knocked the crew off told them To come inside and watch history Being made. My son-in-law at Belle Chase was activated to guard President Bush’s house in his F-15, found that out later.
 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,245
5,253
Maryland
postimg.cc
We're an hour from DC, so tensions were high when the planes were still in the area. One of my restaurants is right outside Fort Detrick, a US Army fort and suspected target, until the the Pentagon plane hit. I was off, washing my car and listening on 98 Rock on the radio, when the news broke. Later I moved inside to the TV, gut wrenching.

I have a restaurant on the NJ Turnpike Travel Plaza in Secaucus NJ, right across from Manhattan. From their front windows, you could see the Twin Towers and now WTC One and the Empire State Building. I vividly remember the emotions on not seeing those buildings the first trip there a week or so later, with NYC still smoldering on the skyline. The store had a penny machine that pressed out coin with the Twin Towers, still have one of those pennies.

We have a family picture of everyone on top of one of the towers, taken in the Spring of 2001. It's in our hallway and when it catches my eye, it makes my stomach take a turn.
 

--dante--

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2020
813
5,115
Pittsburgh, PA USA
I was at work, oblivious to it for a while, then got a call from my unit (I was in the National Guard at the time) to prepare for a possible call-up. My manager came in shortly afterwards, surprised I was still there, and advised me I should probably head home. It was a full two and a half years later that I finally actually deployed (Iraq war).
 

DAR

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2020
355
1,085
Tiburon, California
I was listening to Howard Stern on my way to work from Petaluma Ca to San Francisco to start another what seemed like a routine, normal day. By the time I got to the Golden Gate Bridge, they were talking about a possibility of a hit on another national landmark........ and there I was on the Golden Gate Bridge...... Stuck in traffic. Fighter planes cruised up and down the San Francisco Bay and awfully close to the bridge before I could get off of it.
S.F. practically closed down by mid morning and I went back home. My wife was going nuts thinking about friends that worked in Manhattan.

I immediately wanted to go back into the military but I knew that I was a few years past the acceptable age. The next best illogical and whacky thing I could think of was to shave my head and promise to keep it shaved until justice was served. I have no idea why that meant anything and it was probably a crazy thing to do but it was done out of desperation of not being able to help and being so far away.

I do remember a feeling of patriotism, safety and gratitude when seeing military planes cruise the Golden Gate bridge. My day was no where near bad compared to what others went through.
 

Kilgore Trout

Preferred Member
Nov 5, 2019
584
4,544
I was in the shower in my apartment on 1st street in Hoboken NJ, listening to Howard Stern when Ralph called in to say that a plane had hit one of the towers and that it was on fire. So I finished up and went over to the TV to see what was going on, figuring it would impact my commute into Manhattan. I was just in time to see the 2nd plane hit on live TV. My initial thought was something like, "HOLY SHIT WTF IS GOING ON". So I got dressed really fast and was going to run down the street to the water front and see it, since the WTC was directly across the river. As I was running down the stairs a maintenance guy was coming up and somehow it was communicated that I should follow him to the roof. On the roof were, maybe 6 other people. We stood there and watched the towers belching massive clouds of black smoke and huge orange flames. Through a shared telephoto camera lens and a pair of binoculars we got a nice, close up view, which included seeing some small "things" falling out of the building. Turns out those were probably people.

At some point we all noticed that the top of one of the towers seemed to me slightly off kilter. A few moments later that tower collapsed into a gigantic, flowering, cloud of dust & smoke. Shortly afterwards the other tower did the same thing. I don't think anyone was able to fully process what we had just watched. but two things really stood out. The first was a young woman on a cell phone, trying to get ahold of someone who was evidently in the WTC; she was having a meltdown. The second was maybe 5 minutes after this all went down everyone was violently startled and we all physically ducked, as at least two military jets came SCREAMING in & flew around lower Manhattan. Oh and looking behind us we could see the top of the palisades, where Jersey City Heights are, was lined with hundreds of people.

Later that day we all went to St Mary's hospital to donate blood, but were turned away, because so many people were trying to donate that they had no more room to store blood. Later on a bunch of people went down to the ferry to help bring injured people to the hospital, since all the hospitals were preparing to treat the injured. It was a creepy slap of reality when there were no injured people, because people hadn't been injured, they had just been killed.

The last thing I really remember from that day was walking up to Stevens university, which stands on a high point, and allows you to look south almost straight down Manhattan from Midtown to the battery, and seeing a huge, smoky, wound in lower Manhattan that reminded me of a WWII photo of London after a bombing. I remember for several days after that every night my head would replay the whole thing over and over and it was really weird & disturbing and made it hard to sleep. Oh and for a while after that, when the wind blew in the right direction you could smell it. It smelled like an electrical fire.

In the weeks & months that followed they put up huge, blue, bulletin boards in the 34th street PATH station, and I would guess elsewhere, so that people could post flyers looking for missing loved ones. It was surreal, since everyone knew that there were no missing people. The missing people were just dead. But these "flyers" were everywhere, and they mostly seemed to be 8.5x11 photocopies, I guess because the people posting them had just run off hundreds of them. Also all throughout that fall & winter there were bicycles locked to the racks outside the Hoboken PATH that just sat there and slowly started to rust/weather, etc., until they were removed. I'm guessing that these were owned by people who died. Also, there were several cars that we noticed parked on the street and in the lots that suffered the same fate. There were also HUGE barges in the Hudson that they piled the debris on. That debris must have contained the remains of people. They sat there for a little while and then were carted away to... somewhere. I've often wondered what they did with all of that material. I remember thinking that someone should document all of this, but at the time it seemed immoral, or unethical, or like some kind of invasive, desecrating act to take pictures of it all. I've actually never seen photos of any of this, which is weird because I would have thought that SOMEONE would have documented it all.

I don't know what else... there was a guy in my office that everyone liked, but I don't remember his name. He was an IT guy. He was engaged to a girl, they were probably in their 20s, and she was killed in the whole mess. I heard that she died in an elevator. It filled with smoke & dust and she suffocated or something. The guy never came back to work so I didn't hear it directly, but that was what we all learned somehow. I think about that more often than anything else from that time. A young girl I didn't even know, choking to death, terrified in a dark, dusty, smoky, elevator. I don't know why, it's weird.
 

Kilgore Trout

Preferred Member
Nov 5, 2019
584
4,544
I was due to meet a friend Raymond down town that morning. I rang him to tell him I was going to be late when he told me that a plane had hit the WTC. As we were talking number 2 came in and then everything was a crazy mess. I was living in Astoria, Queens but I had previously lived down the street from the WTC in an apartment on Maiden Lane so thankfully I missed all the toxic dust and everything else!
Over the years I've noticed that people who were in NY at the time don't really talk about it. This is actually the first time I've ever talked about almost any of that.
 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
3,419
3,566
Central Ohio
I was at work in Delaware Ohio........ Everyone started talking about it.......... I saw the first plane hit, and thought it was an accident...........
When that second plane hit, I puked, then went outside and cried...........
I had 3 young children.............. I knew this would change the Great America as we know it, and it did....... for the worse........... FUCK THOSE BASTARDS!!!
Too many great people fought for this Great Country, and I'll be Damned if I let those Fuckers take away my Freeedom............ God Bless the USA!!!!............
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
9,279
17,257
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
You know what I remember is that thought a lot of people just found out they live in the real world and they're going to want to retreat back into fiction. My second thought was we're not going to think this through too good, we're going to react and do what has to be done but rashly and without considering that we might end up with a quagmire if we rush into things.
Now I think the same thing I always think when people use religion to justify evil. It be nice if they actually read the books they claim gives them authority. You know books that say one of the worst things you can do is kill people. Books that say people have to find their own way to God, you can help but you can't make it happen. They always use that excuse but the fact is it's always somewhere that has some sort of resources they can use to get their dirty mitts on power.
It be really nice if it was a very long time before people treat each other so terribly.