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rob
09-11-2009, 04:00 AM
Hi everyone,

I was sitting here pondering the events of this day eight years ago, and was wondering where all of you were on 9/11/01, and what you were doing on that day. This is where I was-

I was in my office when one of my employees came in and said something really odd had just happened in NYC. A couple of my guys were taking a break and turned on the TV in the break area. The first tower had been hit, and being a pilot myself, I found it very unlikely that what I was seeing was an accident. I had recently written an article in a defense publication analyzing the Bin laden terrorist group Al-Qaeda. I spoke of their adoption of the tactic where they hit two targets simultaneously as was done in the embassy bombings in Central Africa.

It crossed my mind that if this is a terrorist attack, and it's Al-Qaeda, then this is only the first target. I just started to convince myself that I was just reading too much into this when the second plane hit on live tv with every camera in New York trained on the WTC towers. Never before have I ever wanted to be so very wrong about something, but unfortunately, I wasn't. The phone rang and it was my father. He was one of the founding members of the Skymarshals and spent much of his career as an undercover armed Federal Air Marshal traveling on what were considered high risk passenger flights in various parts of the world. He was shocked to say the least.

As the day unfolded, and we could see this was bigger than just NYC, my phone rang and it was the head of security at a local Govt. facility who had recently hired my company to refit and refurbish all the firearms that their security forces used. We had more than half of their equipment at the shop and it was needed by them ASAP. Luckily, we had not started any of the work yet, so we loaded everything up in the truck and drove it out to the site.

At this point, all civillian planes had been grounded, and it was not known if it was over yet, and just how many targets could still be hit. The facility I was going to was a nuclear power plant and had always been a high security area, but on that day, I was stopped at a checkpoint quite a distance from the main gate. I offloaded the equipment into a Hummvee when we heard the sound of a jet approaching. My first thought was that this was a hijacked airliner and it's going to fly into the reactor domes of the plant. It only took a few seconds and I could see that it was a pair of USAF F-16 fighters on combat air patrol. All I could think was thank you USAF.

On my way back to the shop, I thought about how my friends and I played army when we were kids, and how we always had fun when an airplane would fly over. We would duck for cover and look to see if it was "one of ours" or not. Sometimes we'd decide they were the good guys and cheer, and sometimes it was an enemy plane which we would shoot at with our cap guns. It occured to me what a surreal event I had just experienced. I never imagined I would ever actually look up into the sky and wonder if the plane in the sky was ours, or the enemy.

Let us never forget the thousands of people who's lives ended that day, as well as the families and friends of those victims.

Rob

Angel Oliver
09-11-2009, 05:39 AM
Oh wow Rob,

What a story and thanks for remembering the people who lost their lives that day,it was terrifying and thanks for sharing your story.

For me, 9/11/01 i was in Florida.I was on holiday and going to downtown Disney that morning.This morning was the first time i didnt have the news on,i think i was watching a programme on Aliyah's funeral as she'd just died in an air crash also.

We went outside got in the car to drive to downtown disney. As we pulled off, a HUGE helicopter flew over with others near it,it was so low and fast and the first time id seen this.I put the radio on.The words i heard was ''THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN EVACUATED''. I thought what the hell is going on.Then i heard they said 'a small aircraft has gone into the tower. I knew it was a big thing but it had just happened.We continued to Downtown Disney.(i think it was the President being evacuated in that helicopter,as he was in Florida...could be wrong).

When we got there i knew something was wrong.People were crying and i heard 1 lady frantic on the phone. We went in Disney shop to buy a teddy and i could hear someone shouting and i looked and the sheriffs were running and shouting something. I asked what was going on and the sherrif said, please leave and go back to your hotel.We are closing Disney down as 2 jets have hit the towers in New York and the Pentigon has been hit and we dont know for sure if we are a target. OMG i panicked. Immediately i called home to the UK to inform my Mam.But she already knew and she told me how bad it really was.So we went back to the hotel.

What we saw that day was devastating and i was so upset watching people around me frantic trying to make calls and some were crying as their loved ones were in New York.
In my head as i watched i was sure the people would be saved on the roof.But then after the towers fell i was sure they all were underground.As time went on i realised it wasnt gonna happen.

On the way,as i was afraid of flying,i had spent half an hour in the cockpit with 2 pilots as 1 was doing some sort of flying time thing so i was with 2 first pilots,both captains on the flight.It had been arranged for me to fly with them as to overcome my fear.They were so nice to me and pointed out Canada and then i watched a plane miles in front and they helped me over come the fear.
What a different story on the way home. We were transfered to the hotel ajoining Sea World for the next few days as all flights had been cancelled.So USA took care of us for free as we had no money left.
The plane home was very quiet and i was so scared.We couldnt fly over Washington so it was a long flight.Everybody was so still.You could hear a pin drop.Seat belts were worn for 2 hours after take off.Then we watched a film which began to ease everyone.I had looked into going home by sea as i really thought i could never get back on a plane but i did it.

What happened in New York was something i hoped id never witness.When i got home and watched it all from the UK's view.....it hit home fully .I was so very sad for all those people who was killed that day.

Today on telly is all programmes on 9/11 later to remember them all.
This is where i was that day!!

Amanda.xxxxxx

iseedeadmonkeys
09-11-2009, 06:52 AM
I was gonna do summin like this, glad you did!

I was working in a factory for Molton Brown putting caps on bottles (boring but good fun)
that day we were singing all morning mostly disney songs the factory noise was so loud we had the chance to sing louder.

We went for our lunch and i had a chicken and salad sandwich from the deli bar, when we got back we were all pulled into the office, and told a plane had crashed into the world trade centre (in shock i said what was the world trade centre, even tho i had been up one of them about 4 years prior) when my boss was having a go at me saying blah blah u dont know what it is etc, tbh with you i was in shock...so there was no need for all that, anyway she explained the twin towers in NY, i was flabbergasted! so we were told to go back to work, and the morral in the factory had completely changed from happy singing to everyone making silly mistakes, it was obvious none of us could work properly so we were all sent home, when i got the train back to the town the eeriness of ppl on the train was so mental u could cut the atmosphere with a knife...yet none of us realised by then the severity of the events that was about to come.

I got home and ran inside to my nans room strangly, turned on the tv and by that time another plane had hit the second tower, as i carried on watching the news the first tower collapsed i just held my hands on my face trying not to look but human instinct got the better of me and i did watch it collapse, i was in tears i think most of us were my nan hadnt seen anything like it since the 2 world wars!

That day since i got home i was just flickin from one news prog to another, getting in a right state i couldnt face anyone and was soo angry, we couldnt for obv reasons get thru to my family in new england so we were still none the wiser if my older cuz was in work that day or not (it turned out he wasnt he took a day off).

The next day i went into work sat at the train station and bought a paper the whole of the front was blacked out with the towers on the front page, i still have this paper somewhere, also i was clearing out my boxes from my move to my new house and found my ticket to visit the world trade centre...i will always keep this close to my heart.

Thanx Rob

ISDM
xxx

leaann
09-11-2009, 07:56 AM
I was in a small town called beech island SC near Savannah River nucler site.... I had just got out of the bed and walked to the bathroom when my husband had the tv going... I stopped just in time to see the first tower go down... ask My husband what was going on I noticed he was getting dresses and told me to hurry up we needed to leave... something bad was going on there were reports of them locking down the road that leads to the nucler site... thats the road that leads towards our house.... I went to bathroom when I came back the was more news of what was going on.... we could hear air planes at that time going over head to the nucler site....

I was horrible... after awhile the planes stopped and I remeber there was a no fly zone on place over the town due to the nucler site.... I remember we watched a lot of movies that week cause of the news and I just couldn't keep watching the horror of what had happen....

I didn't know any one personaly that was effected but i felt bad for all those people and what they were going through....
It's something that you never forget even if you were not right in it...

mountaindreamer
09-11-2009, 09:21 AM
thanks rob....we must always remember the thousands of people affected by the events of 9/11.....the horror of a terrorist attack, the bravery of the rescue responders, the pain of the familes searching for loved ones, and the stories of people who were supposed to be there, but weren't.

i was home and watching "good morning america". The report came on about the first tower, then they went live.....i don't rememer anything else that day...i was glued to the tv.

9/11 is one of the "life changing events" of my life.

BonusMom
09-11-2009, 09:57 AM
I will never forget the horrid events of 9/11. I was up early getting ready for work (I'm on the West coast) and had the news on. I hadn't awakened the kids for school when I heard about a plane striking the Twin Towers. Speculation, at first, was that it was a horrific accident. Then, the second plane struck and it dawned on everyone that America was under attack.

I woke the children and told them what had happened and they were in disbelief, especially my daughter, who turned 10 years old on 9/11/01.

Every birthday for my daughter, who is 18 today, is overshadowed with the memories of people needlessly dying and of loss. I cherish 9/11 as I celebrate the birth of my last child and as a reminder to live life to the fullest because you never know when a random act of violence could end it all.

God Bless America and Happy Birthday, Lexi (the middle child in the Avatar, if you couldn't guess).

magistramarla
09-11-2009, 10:31 AM
Rob,
Thanks for this thread.
I was on my way to a substitute teaching job at O'Connor High School, when I heard about the first plane on the radio. I was assigned a classroom, and we all had the news on when the second plane hit. Every teacher in the school spent the day calming down students, since San Antonio is highly military, and so many of our kids had parents in the military. They knew what this meant for them.
One Spanish teacher, Zenda Gutierrez, was half-carried into the teacher's lounge. She had just found out that her sister and brother-in-law were on one of those flights. She later became my friend and colleague at Warren H.S. The poor thing had just lost her husband to a heart attack two months earlier.
I was fairly frantic myself until I reached Jeff. He was on temporary duty at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio that day. The base went into lockdown, so he was doing what he could to help there. Because all flights were canceled, he couldn't get home when he was scheduled, but since his office does computer security, he was put on a high priority list to fly back to Texas ASAP. I was never so glad to pick him up at the airport!
Our son Tom was in the Marines at the time, so I was worried about what it would mean for him. As it turned out, he was with some of the first Marines to enter Iraq.
As a military wife and mother, I was very thankful for both the USAF and the US Marines at that time.
Sept. 11, 2001 will always be one of those days that we will always remember what we were doing on that day. It is good for us never to forget.
Marla

rob
09-11-2009, 10:34 AM
I was in a small town called beech island SC near Savannah River nucler site.... I had just got out of the bed and walked to the bathroom when my husband had the tv going... I stopped just in time to see the first tower go down... ask My husband what was going on I noticed he was getting dresses and told me to hurry up we needed to leave... something bad was going on there were reports of them locking down the road that leads to the nucler site... thats the road that leads towards our house.... I went to bathroom when I came back the was more news of what was going on.... we could hear air planes at that time going over head to the nucler site....

I was horrible... after awhile the planes stopped and I remeber there was a no fly zone on place over the town due to the nucler site.... I remember we watched a lot of movies that week cause of the news and I just couldn't keep watching the horror of what had happen....

I didn't know any one personaly that was effected but i felt bad for all those people and what they were going through....
It's something that you never forget even if you were not right in it...

Wow, I wasn't the only person here near a nuclear plant that day. The facility I had to go to was the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona. It's the largest nuclear plant in the US, and a prime target. The National Guard had deployed surface to air missile batteries around the outer perimeter. The F-16's overhead were carrying live ordinance. These are two things you never see. I wondered if there was a possibility of terrorist teams on the ground hitting targets. There was a false report on the news about a car bomb at the State Dept Building in D.C.. As a rule, I always carried a handgun when transporting govt. property like weapons. But that day, I actually took an M-4 asssault rifle, spare magazines, and kevlar vest with me. It was absolutely surreal.

Rob

mountaindreamer
09-11-2009, 12:54 PM
wow, rob,

it is comforting to know that we had you to protect us if needed....thanks.

pandagirl
09-11-2009, 02:07 PM
I was at work in Fort Lee ,NJ which is directly the opposite side of the George Washington Bridge/Hudson River..across from NYC. I had just pulled into the parking lot of my office and noticed the beautiful blue sky and a small two seat-er plane near by and thought it was strange because it wasn't over the river. I went inside to find out the first tower had just been hit(I now know the small plane was sent back to the Teterboro airport..two towns from where I live.) Dismay unfolded and patients were screaming in the waiting room because a lot of clientele are in the financial/business world in NYC.My boss was on a plane to France..so I Was very worried about her...my daughter was in HS and my little one in daycare.I helped at the office til we got things wrapped up and left to get my 2 1/2 yr old home safe with me....an 8 min ride took me 1/2 hr due to the bridge getting shut down...my husband is a vol fireman and went to 'stand by" at the bridge to cover NYC firehouses if needed. Deafening Fighter jets flew overhead for days..the smell of death came across quickly..it was a very difficult time that went on and on..we had families come to us to duplicate dental records...children who's parents didn't come home,pregnant moms who lost husbands...ok I'm teary now...I will never forget.

debbie-b
09-11-2009, 02:50 PM
First I have to tell you, what I have seen today. I was on my way to work and drove by our local firestation ( it was the same time as the first plane flew into the first tower) ALL the fire fighters were standing outside, saluting the flag, which was raised at that time and my car radio was playing the star spangelt banner. Needless to say, I had the biggest lump in my throat.

On 9/11/01 I was in Dallas, at work, I was Restaurant Manager, I had the radio on and all of a sudden,I have heard the morning dj say, " America is under attack". I called my husband, he was at work as well, but hadn't heard anything yet, I told him and I said that I was scared. Then I called one of the employees and asked her to bring a tv, she did and all of us, including the customers, where watching the horrible events on tv. Nobody talked, I have never heard a restaurant this silent before.

Debbie

tiggerlishus - Heidi
09-11-2009, 03:00 PM
well that day i was actually working shock horror i was once had a job!!!
i was working for a national bank behind the sceen checking cheques for fraud signatures and such like, it was just after lunch whe we heard about a terrioust attack on a plane from usa but no details as of yet well my dad was fling that day can't remember where he was flying to now but just remember at the time think omg not being able to considtrate at all trying to ring my bro or sis to find out info finally thhey allowed me to go home and i got in to a flat i was sharing with my sister to find my my sister and mum watching the news and video photoage of the towers going i remember just standing there in complete shock then managing to finally get out of my mouth has any one heard from dad??? finally we heard from dad he was ok and that he knew of all my family were ok!! i remember having mixed emotions of phew but god howsad those poor people and thier families till this day i still find it hard to watch programes about it!! it will most certainly be one of those occassion in life you will never forget and will always remember where you are like the 7/7 bombing over here things that truely shock you to the core and makes you rethink life!!!
if anyone ever dowt why we went to war they should really replay history i think thanks the women, men and thier families that have gone and put thier lifes on the line for all our safety it means sooo much thanks for thread rob xxx

rob
09-11-2009, 04:21 PM
wow, rob,

it is comforting to know that we had you to protect us if needed....thanks.

I just built the guns, it was other people who did the actual protecting.

Spanglishqueen
09-11-2009, 04:38 PM
I was working at JC Penny that summer while I studied for the bar exam and Tuesday was my day off. I remember it well because the phone rang at 8am waking me up, it was my husband and he told a plane had crashed into the towers and they didn't have TV so I turned on the TV and then I sat and watched and told him oh my goodness another plane hit and then oh my goodness the Pentagon was hit too. I just sat glued to the TV the entire day still not believing what was happening was real...I felt like we were in RED DAWN or something it was just so unreal. I always try to remember that day and all the loss and I always try my best to support our country..in 2005 I joined the Army to try to contribute to our Nation's defense. Thanks ROB and everyone else for sharing.

Angel Oliver
09-11-2009, 07:49 PM
Oh Andrea,

Wow so close to it.......thanks for sharing your story.

love Amanda.xx

SandyR
09-11-2009, 10:08 PM
In September of 2001 I was a first year first grade teacher at Charles City Elementary School located about 30 miles east of Richmond, VA. That morning began like most before it. I welcomed my children into the room, took attendance, sent a child down to the office to submit the attendence and was starting the daily morning writing excersize when the first grade aide, Terry, rushed into the room, eyes wild and told me, "They just bombed New York!". I wanted to run to call my mom, my brother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins but first I wanted to know what she was talking about. I couldn't leave my students. I asked her what she meant and she said she didn't know but they had the tv on in the office and the secratary just told her that NY was bombed. I sent her back to the office because I needed to know what she meant. Upstate? Manhatten? Long Island? Where??? I am from NY. Had lived on Long Island since right before I was three until I went to college. Almost all my family on my mom's side still lived in the NYC suburbs. My uncles worked in Manhatten. My brother was supposed to take the train down from his college to hang out with friends in the city that day. My father and his family were all living and working in Queens. You could see the towers from the football field of my highschool on a clear day. Even a shady day, you knew their strong presence was there and there was comfort in it.
Terry came back and told me that the first plane had hit the Towers. There was flames and fire coming from the top of the building. My planning period was still hours away and all I wanted was to call home and see what was going on, how was everyone doing? The rest of the school day was spent comforting the children. Even young children realize immediately when tragedy has struck their lives and altered it forever. They heard whispers throughout the halls from the other children and the adults. The started asking me questions that I didn't know how to answer. what it meant when planes hit buildings and why bad men would want to kill people and why the planes (from the nearby military bases) were suddenly flying so low by the school?
As soon as I was able to break away from my room, I used the office phone to try and call home. It was the first time that the principal didn't make fun of me for being a "Yankee northerner". The phone lines were busy for hours. All of them. I couldn't get through until much later in the day and when I did, I was so glad to hear my mother's voice. No word yet from my brother. My uncle was evacuated from his building at 1 Penn Plaza (Madison Square Garden is there) and was trying to find a way home. 3 of my step uncles (I have 4) were going to Manhatten to work (2 police officers and a firefighter).
I remember that on the drive home that day everyone was polite. Never before had I seen so many people yield to others on the roadway. I had only lived in my apartment a few days at that time and didn't even have a tv yet. I spent hours listening to what happened back home and cry my eyes out.
Thankfully, I did not lose anyone that day. That in itself was a miracle when I had so many ties to NYC, and knew many people who worked in the Pentagon building. The small town in PA where the plane went down was the hometown of some college friends. Since I have learned of many people, relatives of friends, old coworkers and acquaintences who were not so lucky that day.
Shortly after, I came back home. 9/11 changed my life in many ways. It brought my father the ability to apologize and start a new relationship with me. It also prompted him to come out of retirement from the USAF. It made me realize that the people we love in this world are the most important things to cherish. It made me greatful that I had actually seen the top of that beautiful building and had walked it's halls and grounds. The towers were majestic, even to someone with a jaded eye that saw it every day and gave it less then a second thought on most of those. I haven't been back since it has become ground zero. It's too raw still. It doesn't feel right. I am not strong or brave enough to go, but not matter that I haben't been I have never forgotten and never will forget.
God bless those who lost their lives that day and everyday since in honor of our country and God bless those who serve to fight for our country's freedom every day before and since. Never forget.

porchy
09-11-2009, 11:40 PM
I was actually getting ready to go see my rheumy (now retired) when my husband called me from work, "Planes just hit the Twin Towers, they think it's terrorists"...... I gasped in horror and picked up the remote.

Saw the images that are now burned into our brains forever, and I'll never forget the utter shock of it.

I called the rheumy's office and said, Have you heard? They said Yes. I said I don't want to come to the appointment, I want to stay home and watch this. They said That was fine. No one knew what to do or what to think. We were momentarily paralyzed with incomprehension. I felt frozen. I called my mother. We wept.

abbasgirl
09-12-2009, 06:10 AM
9/11 changed my life in many ways. It brought my father the ability to apologize and start a new relationship with me.

I've been reading along...all that is shared...9/11 shook the world. So beyond tragic. Then you read the good that came out of it...and hear the nation still healing. Very emotional. I think it always will be.

Sandy...I read that sentence in what you shared and am feeling thankful for you sweetie.

Hubby worked second shift back then, so we were both together at home watching the news and saw it all unfold on live tv. We reacted like so many others...trying to figure out if that was a plane that hit the first tower, waiting to hear confirmation that it was a plane and was it by accident? When the second tower was hit, I could feel every part of my body shake. I remember that vividly. I forget a lot of things but that's too huge and horrible for anyone to forget. My little family stayed glued to the tv and radio praying and praying.