1. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Living in my own little world Contributor

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    Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Stormsong07, Sep 11, 2017.

    September 11, 2001.

    Where were you? If you are not American, did it affect you?

    I was in high school, in Maryland. 45 minutes away from DC and the Pentagon.
    10th grade. I had just finished Geometry class and walked into my Medieval European History class. My teacher walked in and said, "Turn in your homework, then you may want to watch this." And he turned the news on.
    We all sat there in stunned disbelief. We saw the second plane hit the second tower. I remember everyone kind of crying out when that happened, a sort of mass "Oh my God!"
    It didn't really sink in for me until the Pentagon was hit. That was close to home. Students in my school had parents who worked in DC, some at the Pentagon. They ended school early, sent us all home. I remember seeing kids crying in the hallways. Got home and watched the news there all afternoon. We had no school on the 12th. On the 13th, we were back, but each teacher took some time out of class to let us talk about it.
    The school did a blood drive shortly after. I had my mom sign a permission slip saying I could donate since I was too young to do it on my own.
    6 years later, I joined the Army. (My parents made me do college first).

    How about you guys? I can't believe that was 16 years ago.
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I was volunteering at an adult model day care center for clients with memory disorders and dementia. We were in the dayroom watching TV. They started airing the information. We turned the TV off and announced that it was music time. Some of the clients complained, but only for a little bit. Thankfully (no snark), the nature of the situation made it easy to guide the clients onto other things.
     
  3. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    I was in 5th grade at the time. Watched it happen from my kitchen while eating my bowl of Lucky Charms. I remember the second plane and the distinct weight in the air. Only Father was home at the time. He's the strong silent type, but even his silence that morning was unsettling.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I was working as a ranger in Derbyshire . None of us had any idea what the world trade centre was when we heard the reports on the radio, we had mental pictures of a light plane crashing into a shop selling world trade goods. When we saw the news later we were a bit like "holy fuck" - that said being British, terrorism wasn't exactly a new thing so it wasn't exactly a world stops turning moment.
     
  5. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I just happened to turn the TV on, here in Scotland, to discover that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. The newsreaders were treating it as an accident, and while it looked bad, nobody was in a state of panic. What was bizarre is that the husband of our main news reader was there in New York at the time, staying somewhere nearby. So she had him on the phone and was getting updates at the same time the story was unfolding.

    Then the second plane hit ...and the whole aura changed. And we heard the Pentagon had been hit as well. And then the towers started to collapse. I remember just feeling sick at the horror that meant for the people trapped inside. And thinking about the people trapped in the two (later four) planes that went down.

    I remember trying to get my journalist husband to come and watch what was happening, but he was getting ready to teach a journalism class that night and told me he didn't have time to watch TV! I said I really think you should see this, but he refused and got annoyed at me for interrupting his preparations. So he went off to teach his journalism class that night, totally unaware of what had just taken place! He must have felt like a bit of a dill, standing in front of a journalism class as clueless as he was at the time, but he never admitted it, and I never said I told you so.

    It's a piece of history that still resonates with me. Like other events, such as the shooting of JFK, it marked a change in collective attitude that wouldn't ever change back.
     
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  6. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I hate to plug my own WF blog here, but I've just finished writing a bit about it. Not very long, but TL;DR: I was out drinking in front of a convenient store with friends, generally offending the local sense of decency, but within legal limits.
     
  7. gertegan

    gertegan Member

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    I was at work. Remember a co-worker running into my office saying "a plane hit the world trade center!" and my first thought was "haha, April Fool's," then I remembered it was September. The day was kind of a blur after that.
     
  8. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    I was sitting at home, with my 5 month old son and 6 month old niece, alone (besides them of course), desperately trying to get a hold of anyone who could tell me any damned thing. Two friends were killed, step-father was a first-responder, as was my uncle. This is a hard day for me, for many reasons (even beyond those). That's all I can really say about it.
     
  9. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    I was the same age, but a few thousand miles west of you. Because I was in Mountain time, by the time I woke up around 7am both planes had already hit the towers (I can't remember exactly when the other two planes crashed, but it was already well under way).

    Nobody in my house had any idea what was going on (man, the days before smartphones were weird). I got to school and the first thing I can definitively remember is seeing a bunch of students standing around a random TV, which usually wasn't turned on. I thought it was a bit odd but just went on with my day, then I got to my first class (gym), and people were talking about it. I picked up a vague impression that something terrible had happened, somebody referenced the towers collapsing, but honestly most of the students at my high school in Bumfuck USA had no idea how to even begin processing this. There was a lot of joking and laughing, actually. By the time I got to second period all the TVs were on and all we did was watch news coverage the rest of the day.
     
  10. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    The start of the school year had been delayed due to construction. That meant a longer summer vacation, so I was pretty cool with it. School didn't start until the middle of September. So I slept in--no reason to get up early if I didn't have to catch the bus.

    I came down the stairs about mid-morning. The first tower was already gone by then. My mother was crying on the couch, the news on the TV, smoke pouring out of the one remaining tower. My grandmother had called her earlier that morning, telling her to turn on the news. I vividly remember seeing silhouettes of people falling from the building. Don't think I'll ever forget that.

    We thought they were just replaying footage of the first tower when the second one fell. I don't really remember too much after that, but I remember watching the news all day.
     
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  11. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributor Contributor

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    Everything was so confusing, wasn't it? When CNN played footage of the second tower being hit, the camera was so positioned that the two towers were lined up one in front of the other. This led to me thinking, for quite a while, that one of the towers had been hit twice.
     
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  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll What do you mean, 'no more abductions'? :P Contributor

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    I was in an 8th grade computer class, and we got to see the clips of it.
    It was not an overly exciting day, and all we really knew is that something
    messed up had happened.
     
  13. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The age ranges here, and the way people viewed and had the opportunity to view things, are pretty interesting. In no way looking down on members younger than me, but I was in my freshman year of high school's history exam when the Space Shuttle Challenger (the one with the teacher on board) blew up. I'm trying to cross-reference my memories of that with 9/11 to get a feel and... it's an odd one.
     
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  14. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Living in my own little world Contributor

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    Whatever channel we were watching, they had just gone to a reporter on the street near the towers, and you could see the second plane zooming in and the explosion behind her head. You could hear everyone around her cry out, and she did too...I can still see it in my head.

    I had a incredibly vivid dream shortly after- I dreamt I was in the cockpit of the second plane, not as a pilot but as a passenger, as the tower grew closer and closer in the windows and I knew we were going to hit- that's a dream that I've never forgotten either. I still remember the sun shining on the windows of the building as the plane drew near. One of the most vivid dreams I've ever had.

    Me too.
     
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  15. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    I don't remember where I was, but I remember a few thoughts. The most prominent was: 'What are you all so surprised about? Terrorists have been around a long time, and it was bound to happen one day like that.'

    Yeah, sorry :meh:. I know I'm an insensitive bitch sometimes.

    @Iain Aschendale : Challenger. Oh yes. I was eleven years old. This was a moment I'll never forget, as it was the first time I made the distinction between journalistic writing to get the readers to feel emotions, and writing to transfer facts. I got into so much troubles with my parents, because I laughed at a completely inappropriate sentence.
     
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  16. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Living in my own little world Contributor

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    I just realized...it's been 16 years since 9/11. I was 16 years old when it happened. That kind of blows my mind a little bit.
     
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  17. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I find it fascinating that major and historical events like this stamp your activities at the time so firmly in your head.

    Anyway, I'd spent the day in the centre of Manchester, browsing the shops etc. On my return home I called in at a little newsagent to buy a bar of chocolate and the shopkeeper said, "You seen the news?"

    I can even remember my exact words.

    "What news?" I said.
    "A plane crashed into a tower block in America?"
    "Wow. A proper plane? Like an airliner type thing?"
    "Yeah. It's all over the news."

    I left the shop and spent the rest of the day and night watching it unfold.
     
  18. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    I was asleep. My roommate at the time woke me telling me "Someone just attacked us!". I looked at him and laughed, replying "Wake me when Bush & Cheney are arrested for it". He got upset, and then I explained that whatever story was going to come out was already wrong, and that I was not happy being told about something that I will have to hear about for the rest of my life and will probably become a drinking holiday.
    Not a popular stance but it is mine, has been, and will continue to be.
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I have to admit that among my ex army buddys thee was a certain ammount of discussion about the war on terror and the terrorists america had been funding for years whether by the state as with the contras in nicuragua, or by individuals as with the New york and Boston irish support for the IRA
     
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  20. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I was 14 at the time, so I was at school. I found out on the ride home when my mum told me and my response was a considered "That sure was an explosion".

    I didn't even realize it was 9/11 today actually. I genuinely just had to check my phone to realise why you decided to ask today.
     
  21. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I guess I'm one of the younger ones here. It was the year I'd turn eight, but I was seven at the time, and my older brother was nine. I remember him and my parents watching the news, and I knew that something bad had happened in NY, but no one would really explain it to me for days. We have family in the state, but nowhere nearby, so I was assured they were all safe and fine and that was it. I sort of pieced things together sitting down the hall, listening to the tv and them talking. I mostly remember the feeling of not knowing and not understanding.

    I still have the little journal I used to keep at that age, and there are several entries around that time of me just being confused and scared. It's when I learned the word 'crises'.

    I don't remember it, but apparently my mom delicately explained to my brother that this was real, not a movie.
     
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  22. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    Heh, you want a 9/11 story?

    I was 23 and working at Foxwoods Casino, which is maybe 150 miles from NYC. I worked room service in the hotels, running food carts and junkets and all sorts of crap up and down elevators all day. The first plane hit around, what, 8:30 am or something? People were just waking up and turning on the news in the hotel rooms so I must have had 20-30 mini conversations with people as I delivered breakfast. That's for the people who stayed. The others, many of them New Yorkers, were frantically packing up and trying to get out of the hotels. I'm talking people running down the hallways with clothes hanging out of their luggage like in a movie. It was fucking surreal. I heard at least three or four groups of people talking about how they had family in the Towers, and another couple of dudes who would have been there if they weren't blowing their paychecks at blackjack.

    Here's the kicker:

    I had an uncle who was a flight attendant for American Airlines, based out of Boston. He lived in the apartment upstairs from me so I was in charge of his itinerary for the family. He'd give me his schedule and his flight numbers and all that. Maybe a few hours after the attacks I got a really bad feeling. I saw the flight numbers of the hijacked planes on the news and checked the schedule in my pocket (he had left it under my door early that morning before he drove to Boston). Sure enough, he was on the plane that got hijacked on its way to Los Angeles. I called my mom and told her the news. She dropped the phone and started screaming... again, just like a fucking movie. I don't know if that was the scariest or craziest two hours of my life, but it was damn close.

    Here's the next kicker:

    Turns out he wasn't dead. He had given me the wrong flight number (he's a bit of a dumbass). And thankfully for everyone's sanity, it took one of my aunts less than half an hour to track him down and let everyone know that he was okay. What ended up happening was that he thought he was on the flight to Los Angeles, got the airport, climbed aboard the wrong plane, and went to work like nothing was out of the ordinary. He smiled at the hijackers and helped them secure their seats and luggage. Eventually, one of his coworkers tapped him on the shoulder and told him he was on the wrong plane. He was supposed to be at the next gate heading wherever. The flight crew laughed at him and said they'd see him later.

    He ended up going to a lot of funerals. You cannot make this shit up.

    (and as far as my uncle goes, this isn't even the craziest thing that has happened to him)

    (oh, and I had another uncle in the Pentagon when the plane hit that, but he was on the other side of the building... unfortunately that uncle isn't much of a storyteller, so I've got nothing to say about that)
     
  23. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I was just a bit younger than 10 years old, and I'd been waiting for weeks to watch a paleontology documentary Valley of the T-Rex. When I first heard about the planes being flown into the buildings, it didn't occur to me that any people had been hurt or killed, so I was just annoyed that the documentary wouldn't air.

    Then I saw the footage of one of the planes hitting one of the towers, and I realized how dangerous it was and I asked my parents how the people survived, and they told me a lot of people didn't.

    Suddenly I felt really ****ty that my first response had been "annoyed that a dinosaur documentary was canceled."

    I've been wondering all week when December 7th first started to get the same treatment.
     
  24. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, that's quite a story. My god. How does your uncle (the airplane one) feel about what happened?
     
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  25. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    Honestly? That there would have been a pile of dead terrorists at his feet if he had been there. Forget to mention it earlier, but he's a black belt with extensive weapons training. And he's a bit of a pugnacious meathead to boot... he totally would have hijacked the hijackers, hostages be damned. To this day he still says he would have fought them, like the they did in the last plane (Flight 93?), and that one of the Towers might still be standing if he had been onboard.

    That aside, he feels lucky to be alive, but that's not even his most notable near death experience. He was nearly killed by rebels in Uganda a year or two before that. He was on safari and had just left the base camp when the rebels hit it like 4 or 5 hours later. Killed 8 Brits and 3 Americans if I remember correctly. There's another part of that story I'm forgetting. Something about mercenaries that "escorted" them the rest of the way through the jungle, but I'm not sure of the specifics.

    Damn, I got to call him tonight.
     
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