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Thread: 9/11 18 years ago-Where were you and what were you doing?

  1. #1
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    9/11 18 years ago-Where were you and what were you doing?

    It is so hard to believe that it has been 18 years since our world changed forever when the first plane hit the WTC. The time between 8:46 and 10:28, a mere 102 minutes which altered world forever. Every baby born up until that time is now an adult.

    I was in my 3rd grade classroom. It was my first year out of a self-contained Special Education classroom and my first year in team teaching(also know as in-class support, inclusion, in class resource room) and my first and only year co teaching with Carmen(she had planned to retire). It was the first full we of school and we were starting a new program where the entire school had reading first thing in the morning. We had no idea what was happening(teachers had to been in the classroom by 8:55 and kids came in at 9:00). A basic skills teacher came into our classroom and whispered that an airplane hit the WTC. We figured it was a small plane-like a two or four seater. Then others basic skills teachers starting coming in and whispering to us that it was much more. After reading our students had special subjects and we had our prep time. Since the kids remained in our classroom that day we went into the adjacent classroom which was empty, sat on the kids desk and turned on the TV to see the second tower fall. Carmen and I grabbed each other in horror. Other teacher came and watched with us until our prep time was over. Then we went back to teaching until lunchtime with strict orders not to reveal what was happening. At lunch we all sat in one room watching the TV. We put our classes together in one room to watch a movie and took turns watching the TV in the adjacent classroom(it was a quad situation-you entered through one door and the huge room was divided in half by a wall then the two rooms on either side were divided by cabinet but no door-yes, you had to walk through one room to get to the other room). Parents were picking up kids. Carmen's son was on a plane and she did not know where his plane was other than it was not one involved. Another teacher's son and dil worked in buildings neighboring the WTC. Another had a daughter at NYU. We kept tabs on everyone that day.

    It was also the first year my boys came home after school by themselves. I called home and spoke to my older son who was in 5th grade. We discussed what had happened-the middle schools did not follow the district directive not to reveal what was happening. Plus they knew something was up because so many kids were being picked up by their parents. My son's biggest questions: Will the come after us next since we were not far away? and the second was sorta funny"Why is the president talking to his closet?" I didn't understand his question at first, then I realized he meant the president's cabinet, and to a 10 year old is where the dishes go. We all left school as soon as the last bus was gone and I made it home as my younger son(4th grade) was getting off the bus and my older one was trying to shout out the door to him what happened. We talked and then put up the flag outside, then watched TV, with each boy on either side of me. We only stopped watching to go to back to school night because my son's elementary school principal did not have the common sense to postpone it.




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  2. #2
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    When the plane hit the first tower, I was on my way to work.
    When the South tower was struck at 9:03, I had just turned on my music and hopped into the pool to lead a deep water aerobics class.

    The rest of the day was spent in and out of my office watching the news...........our broker was killed as was most of the staff in his office, husband's Raytheon co-worker killed as he was on one of the planes, a high school classmate was killed as he was also on one of the planes.

    Our swim team opening night welcome banquet was scheduled for that evening and we (the staff and parents on committee) decided to go ahead and continue the planned event. It was a wonderful event and more came than expected. It was just what we needed...a 2 hour distraction and a fun event for the kids.
    Not one complaint about it being held.

    It is hard to believe that it has been 18 years.

  3. #3
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    We were on our 2nd week in Paris celebrating our 5 year anniversary.

    We didn't find out what happened until about 2pm on Wed. Paris time. Thursday we joined others outside the U.S. Embassy where people brought signs/cards in all languages and flowers. Met people from all over the world there who were in shock and offered condolences. On Friday we traveled to Reims, France and attended the moment of silence inside the Reims Cathedral (this cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is famous for being the traditional location for the coronation of the kings of France) along with the French citizens of Reims.

    Our flight was due to depart back home on Saturday but we had no idea what would happen. All we could do was show up at the airport. Miraculously, our flight (Dutch - KLM) was one of the first they were allowing back into the U.S.Flight crew was unbelievable and basically let us eat/drink anything we wanted on the way home. Our seats were near the galley and the flight attendant told us to help ourselves to snacks, ice cream, wine, Heineken, etc. from the galley drawers if she wasn’t available. I always will remember the Captain saying (halfway through the flight) “Don’t worry, we will get you home safely.”
    Last edited by ~Amy~®; 09-11-2019 at 11:53 AM.
    ~Amy~® -- 37th trip to Aruba: New Year's Eve 2018/2019 -- Napa: March 2019 -- 38th trip to Aruba: April/May 2019 -- Boston: July 2019 -- Paris: Sept/Oct 2019 -- 39th trip to Aruba: Nov. 2019


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    That morning I was to make a presentation to a customer in downtown Toronto. That customer was the Sun Newspaper Group and my presentation was on technology. The room for the presentation was in the newsroom. I was there when all hell broke loose. In the absence of clear information, the building immediately went into lockdown. I ended up locked in for over 8 hours. For me, it was both fascinating and horrifying to watch how the whole newsroom went into action. Phones went crazy, there were TVs everywhere on different feeds.

    Something I will never forget.
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    I was on the phone with my broker because we were closing on our house that Friday and we needed to transfer money. He said are you watching this? I turned on the television and saw what was happening. Unfortunately his brother in law was in one of the towers. Naturally we had to delay our closing since the government froze all transfer of funds. And it took me two days to get an update on my friend who lives by there. She finally got a message across.

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    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    It is interesting to hear what everyone's experience was on that awful day in our history.

    Andrea, I am so sorry for everyone you lost. I was lucky-everyone I knew in the city and all of my co-workers families were okay. One of our teacher's son was in a building on a block on one side of the WTC and his wife was in one on the other side. He ran to her building crossing between the two towers-he was under those walkways when the second plane hit and a piece of landing gear fell right outside of the walkway in front of him. I have since met two families who lost their son and cousin.

    Amy, you brought up getting back into the country. I know that was difficult. My mother-in-law was in a nursing home (hospice care) and on 9/12 they informed Stu that it was time to get his sister down from Canada and the borders were closed. His sister worked to bring freight into Canada and knew people in customs and people at the border. She was one of the first people across the border once it opened and they searched her car. I think she came across at the small bridge near the rapids that is now closed because that is what knowing who she knew told her to do. My MIL passed away 5 days after 9/11.




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    Super Moderator WaltVB's Avatar
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    I was at work when we heard. The base went to maximum security and was locked down. We were able to leave, but wouldn't be allowed back on base for two days. It just so happened we were scheduled to leave the next day. We left for Maine on 9/12 with two vans full of equipment and drove right by the city on the turnpike. We could see the smoke, smoldering ruins and the altered skyline. It was sobering. When we got to Maine the lobster industry was in turmoil. With all flights in the US grounded they couldn't get the lobster shipped out, they were dying in the pens. We went to our local guy up there and bought 2+ pound lobsters for two dollars each and we tipped VERY well. We always brought a huge pot and burner with us, so our team of 14 ate lobster every night for almost two weeks. The merchant was so grateful that we always got a deal on lobster every time we returned.

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    I was at work in Greenwich, CT, on that fateful day. Our office was literally at the train station. For those of you not familiar with this area, we are only 30 miles from NYC and a bedroom community for commuters. We had quite a few clients that worked at the WTC. Lawyers in our office were getting phone calls all day about the whereabouts (and unfortunately passings) of a number of clients. It was such a feeling of helplessness to watch it all on television. I needed to do something. Our office closed early, but I stuck around waiting to hear when the trains would start running again. Once that happened, I went down to the train platform and waited (with a lot of other people). That first train that pulled in was heart wrenching. I really can't adequately describe the faces of the people stumbling off the train. Finally, a couple of hours later, a man stepped out of the train completely covered in ash, just looking like his world had come to an end (which for him it had in a way). Without even consciously thinking about it, I went up and put my hand on his arm to get his attention and asked if there was anything at all I could do to help him, could I call his family, etc. He had lost his phone but was able to give me his wife's number. I will never forget her reaction when I just blurted out "I'm here with your husband at the train station, he's okay." I took him home to her and his children. Then I went home to cry but thankful I was able to do just a little something to make that horrible day better for one family.


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    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    I was in work preparing for a meeting when one of the engineers came down the hall to tell us what was going on. I thought it had to be a terrible accident. It was incomprehensible to me that it could be terrorist related. Conference rooms were set up with televisions and people drifted in and out. Not much work done for sure. I worked for a company that wrote and published fire safety codes so there were associates and committee people who work in NY. One individual who had worked for us and then accepted a position in
    NY on the Fire Department was a member of the department who responded first. He was off that day and while we were glad he was safe, he lost his coworkers and spent the weeks afterwards working to go through the rubble. It was especially difficult for him.

    Our department received an overwhelming amount of emails and correspondence from all over the world who wanted to express their condolences. It helped to see there was still good in the world.

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    Senior Member Bri's Avatar
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    A much different perspective and experience from most here.

    I was in school at the time. 4th grade. We were doing our morning assignments when the principal made the announcement. Parents came to pull their kids from school and take them home shortly after. We all knew what happened and understood how terrible it was, but we didn’t quite grasp the devastation right away. Especially since we weren’t near a tv to se the news coverage until we were home. Wow.

    I grew up in Jersey City and used to be able to see the twin towers daily. It was so strange to look at that skyline and not see them anymore.
    Last edited by Bri; 09-11-2019 at 04:56 PM.


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