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Thread: 9/11 Where were you 20 years ago today?

  1. #1
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    9/11 Where were you 20 years ago today?

    I can't watch the broadcast from NY. Just watching a little is just too difficult.

    20 years ago today, I was in my 3rd grade classroom. It was the first year of doing Team Teaching. The whole school did reading first thing in the morning. A Basic Skills teacher came in around 9:30 and whispered to us a plane it the WTC. We thought someone flew a small personal plane into the building-never thought it would be a commercial plane. Slowly people came in and whispered things to us. We had specials subjects next, however; our special subject teacher came into our classroom. Carmen and I went into the classroom next to ours(we were quads and twins, not individual rooms-the old open classroom set up) and turned on the tv to see the tower come down. We grabbed each other in shock as the rest of our third grade team and other joined us. It was very difficult to go back and pretend like nothing had happened(we were instructed not to say anything to the students). We got through the rest of the am and watched the tv during lunch. After lunch, we put two classes together on either side of the quad and showed them a movie-we just couldn't go on teaching, meanwhile we had the tvs on in the empty classrooms and we took turns watching. Kids were being picked up by parents left and right. Yes, the remaining figured out something was up, but we kept quiet as we were instructed. It was difficult-one teacher in our building had a son and dil who worked in buildings on either side of the WTC. Carmen's son was in the air when the planes hit. Everyone was okay, but it took awhile to find out.

    My boys were in 4th and 5th grade. It was the first year they were not going to the afterschool program because they did not have one for 5th grade which was in middle school. I called my son when I knew he'd be home and told him not to turn on the tv, but he already knew. We talked for a while-he was concerned they'd come here and did not understand why the president was "meeting with his closet". It took me a few second to figure out that he meant the Cabinet. I had to explain to him that the President's Cabinet was his advisors.

    We were allowed to leave once the last kid was on the bus. They even signed us out, so we could all leave right away. I got home as my younger son was getting off the bus. He too knew(so much for district policy). I sat with my boys on either side of me, arms around each other watching the tv after we put out the flag. Sadly, the idiot principle of my younger son's school did not cancel or postpone Back-to-School Night. I was not shy about letting her know my feelings.

    My MIL was dying of lung cancer at that time and was in a nursing home because her needs could not be managed at home. The day after 9/11 they told Stu it was time to get his sister in from Canada and the borders were closed. Through her connections doing import and export, she was one of the first people to cross the border once it was open. My MIL passed away on 9/16. Thankfully, she never knew what transpired on 9/11.






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  2. #2
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    My parents were deceased so I was thankful that they were not witness to the sadness.

    I was at work with a parent/ baby swim group.

    Our stock broker and 3 of Paul’s coworkers and one of my high school classmates were killed on the first flight that hit.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    My parents were deceased so I was thankful that they were not witness to the sadness.

    I was at work with a parent/ baby swim group.

    Our stock broker and 3 of Paul’s coworkers and one of my high school classmates were killed on the first flight that hit.
    Wow..... that's close to home. Terrible losses.

    I was pulling into my driveway after a Home Depot trip when I heard the news on WBZ AM radio. I remember listening to the commentary of Andy Card (I was in the same high school with Andy) speaking into President Bush's ear during that elementary school visit...... and then the President's quick exit....
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!
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    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    I was at work, preparing for a meeting. One of the engineers came running down the hall saying that a plane had gone into the towers. We all thought what a horrendous accident that was. Then as the news started to come out, reality hit. We spent the day going in and out of conference rooms where TVs had been set up to watch the updates. A former employee had recently moved to New York and was working for the fire department that first responded. We later found out that he had been on vacation and safe. He later spent weeks working with others to find survivors in the rubble.

    This morning there was a fly over in Boston. I normally would go down to the beach to watch but today I decided not to. They were pretty loud when they passed over on the way to Boston. Boy did that trigger memories of the weeks following 9/11, twenty years ago. No commercial airlines were flying but we would hear the jets flying low over the area all through the night.

    Today we remember all those who lost their lives and pray for a better world.

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    We live in a bedroom community 22 miles from midtown Manhattan, just north of the Bronx. Our village and town lost about a dozen people on that day. Personally we knew three of them. Many of the residents here commuted to NYC for work. The commute by railroad is 29 minutes to Grand Central Station. It was anguishing for so many to wait for loved ones to come home. My cousin worked in midtown Manhattan and walked home with other commuters. It took all day. A friend whose office was near the Trade Center was covered in ashes as he made his way home. Another friend’s husband was a Fire Marshall. He never came home.
    ‘My husband worked for NYS at the time. He often went to meetings at the WTC and even has a pass to get through security (remember the Trade Center parking garage had a car bomb go off only a few years prior so security was tight). He still has the pass.
    I worked at a school. One teacher’s husband worked directly across the street from the buildings. She was frantic and sobbing. We put her in the principals office until she finally heard from him. Cell phone service was spotty.
    A parent whose husband worked for Cantor Fitzgerald came running into the school looking for her daughter. She knew he had perished.
    Another friend also lost her spouse. She was left with three small children under the age of 7.
    This morning I sent a text message to the woman who was the school secretary at the time, letting her know I am thinking of her. She worked the entire day in her usual calm, professional manner. It was only at the end of the day, as we were leaving that she told us her brother was in the towers and no one had heard from him. He too died that day.
    Every year two beams of light rise upward to the sky in a symbolic gesture to remind us of that horrible day. We can see the ghostly beams from my yard.
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    We live in NJ about 20 miles from NYC. We happened to be on vacation in Florida. We had started in Pittsburgh over Labor Day as my husband had a convention. We left there on Monday and started heading south. We were both still working so I know we were gone for 2 weeks. I don’t remember where we went but we were finishing our trip in Key West. 9/11 was our last full day so at 8am we sailed to the Dry Tortugas to tour the civil war fort there and to snorkel. When we arrived they told us what had happened. My husband didn’t believe it. We didn’t get back till 5pm and it took forever to get in touch with my mom. Then I called work to find out if all our drivers were OK. I worked for a wine wholesaler and many customers were in NYC, including Windows on the World at the top of one of the twin towers. Everyone was accounted for. We were lucky we had driven because with no flights there were no rentals.
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    I was working in a high rise in Boston, MA. I was in the lobby waiting for the elevator so I could go down to the cafeteria, when Katie Couric said a plane hit the WTC.... We got on the elevator thinking it was a puddle jumper type plane. Came back up to see the horror and watched the 2nd plane hit!!! I live about an hour outside of Boston and trains, etc all stopped running.... No cell service. We were one of the last offices to get sent home, luckily a guy in my office lived 15 min from me and drove me home... We drove down the MA Pike and it was deserted -- not one car headed into Boston... all we could see was blue lights and cruisers, state police, racing down the MA Pike to Logan I remember my dad calling my cell and getting through to me when we were in Natick, telling me that the towers fell and that FDNY lost all their Firefighters in the building..... I come from a family of firefighters...
    Today was a very emotional day for me.... I cried ALL DAY!!!!! TV was so depressing, very emotional..... Tough day, can't imagine the families..
    I wish everyone would come together... realize that the police officers, firefighters, paramedics, are people too... Just doing their jobs, saving people they don't even know... LIfe is so short, live now & most of all don't go to bed mad at anyone and always hug those you love and tell them you love them... before its too late..
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    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    There was one man from our town that died that day in the towers. When I bought our condo at the shore, there was a family who lost their son/brother that day. Thankfully, cousins in NY were safe. My cousins in North Jersey had just retired as school psychologist and did a lot of grief counseling in their community and neighboring communities.

    There was story about a local businessman who was in a hotel right near the towers at a conference. When the first plane hit, he went up to his room, threw everything in his suitcase and got out of the city before they shut down the bridges and tunnels.

    As I said earlier, someone I worked with son and dil worked in the area. Her son went to get his wife after the first plane hit. As he crossed under the walkway between the two towers, the second plane hit-he said landing gear came down next to him. A few seconds later, he may have been hit by it.

    Within a year or two, there were people who decided to get out of the city and moved to South Jersey. I know several people who relocated to various communities, one being the guy I taught with for 15 years. We are about 125 miles from that end of NY.






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    I had just came out of the Sierra Mountains after a remote camping/fishing trip on the 10th. We had been 12 miles from the nearest road. The morning of the 11th I was watching the weather channel from California & getting ready to fly home. They broke the news to me. It took me a week to get to NY. My Commercial Van was parked on Broadway, about 4 blocks South of the WTC. One of my cars was parked in a lot on John Street as my Son was going to pick me up. Both vehicles were there for weeks. I had two employees working on the roof of 26 Broadway. The heard the first plane hit and were still watching the fire when the 2nd one hit. They are from NJ and dropped everything and never came back to work in NYC. My Son and his future wife worked on Water Street, about a 1/2 mile away. Their boss told everyone to stay put in the office. They and many others ignored that command and had just left the building when the 2nd building collapsed sending debris and dust down John Street that covered everyone and everything. . Another Son was due to be in one of the Trade center buildings for a 10AM meeting. He was still on the train when it happened. My next door neighbor from when we lived in Tuckahoe took the day off from her job at the Trade center. Within 3 weeks my small Company was hired by some of the telecom companies to help restore service. I have pictures of the pit taken from the roof of the Woolworth Building, which is a block to where the towers stood. We now ( and did then ) live 3/4 mile below one of the upstate NYC reservoir Dams and 5 miles from a nuclear power plant. To say my wife was a bit nervous is an understatement.
    5 years later I got cancer. I have no idea if it is related to the smoke that rose up to the rooftops for at least a year but I do have a case still pending with the WTC compensation board. One last note. Security was still very light after the attacks. We were issued ID's to work in the immediate zone of the damage but more than once were were just waved thru the check points. Today in NYC you need a picture ID to enter pretty much every commercial building. I know multiple people who knew people who died that day. I am lucky to not known anyone directly. My Son and I still talk occasionally about his meeting being at 10AM and not 8AM. That would have been devastating.
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    We were on vacation in Hamburg,Germany. We had been out shopping and when we walked into our hotel we were greeted with the news. We watched the news for the remainder of the day. It really put a damper on our trip. We went by the US embassy in Berlin and there were so many flowers and candles. It was very moving. We were able to fly home on the first day that they were allowing international flights.
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