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Old 09-11-2006, 09:41 AM   #16
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I remember where I was........

It was a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the sun was shining over the water which I could see through my bosses window. I was at my desk at my previous place of employment at a multi-purpose function hall in the port of Tel-Aviv. We had a charity function that evening and there were last minute things to organize - catering, tables and chairs, guest lists, entertainment, PA & lights, etc. In short it was a perfectly normal day.

Nothing in this lifetime prepared me for what was about to happen and I had no idea that by the time the day ended I would be witness to the worst act of terror in history.

At 15:45 pm, my colleague came rushing into my room saying that she'd just heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. My eyes went wide and I said: "Really??". I went into my bosses office and turned on CNN. The sight on my TV was surreal, one tower was burning and the news strip on the bottom said "Breaking News, plane hits WTC". I was thinking to myself - thank goodness it's only a small plane and only in one tower and that the building is more or less empty cos it was early morning.

I started to go back to my desk when suddenly I saw the second plane slam into the second tower. At that point I was literally paralyzed.....I was speechless and absolutely could not believe what had just happened. I realized at that second that I had just watched hundreds of people die on live TV.

From that point on I couldn't function, I stared at that TV like my life depended on it. At that point the reports came in about the planes at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania and that the White House was being evacuated. At that second the news strip read: "America under attack" and I turned to my colleague and said: "That's it....we are witnessing the start of World War III"....

As I watched the towers burn I kept thinking...well, they may be burning but at least they're still standing. I thought that because they were so tall the firefighters wouldn't be able to put out the fire and that the buildings wouldn't be usable for a few years, just like after the 1993 bombing when the building was closed for repairs. I figured that it would take a few months to repair....but at least they were standing.

I immediately phoned my two friends in NYC and asked if they were ok. They had no idea what I was talking about and we kind of laughed that I was 15,000 miles away in Israel telling them what was going on in their own back yard.....but soon the laughing stopped.

I kept my eyes glued to CNN (FOX news wasn't available in Israel yet) and watched Aaron Brown give the most chilling commentary from the rooftop overlooking the two towers.

Then came the moment that is burned in my brain forever.....the collapse of the first tower - my mouth dropped and I started palpitating and hyperventilating. I started crying hysterically and couldn't calm down.

When the second tower came down I screamed. My boss got up from his chair and closed the TV......which was the proper thing to do.

Needless to say, I couldn't function that day. I kept looking at the blank TV screen and I sat at my desk numb with pain.....and ANGER.

I saved the newspaper from that day and I look at it every once in a while....not to remind me of the evil in the world, but to remind me of the heroes of that day - the firefighters and policemen, the people of NYC and Mayor Guilianni, the brave passengers of United 93 and Donald Rumsfeld (among others) helping to evacuate the wounded from the Pentagon.

It was a day of extraordinary cruelty that turned into a day of bravery, patriotism and triumph of the spirit - New Yorkers didn't break, they mobilized to help their fellow citizens in trouble and comfort those who have lost loved ones in the towers, as did the citizens of Washington DC and Shanksville, PA.

The symbol of this day for me is the sight of the Liberty torch lifted high against the black smokey background of the collapsed towers. This to me represents the eventual triumph of good over evil, and it strengthens my belief that liberty and democracy will always win over tyranny.

My thoughts are with the American people today, people who I don't know but feel a bonding with. People who went to bed Monday night Sept.10th in one world and woke up Tuesday morning in a different one........

G-d bless America and may the brave souls of 9/11 rest in peace in the eternal blessed light of G-d's grace.

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Old 09-11-2006, 09:48 AM   #17
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I was at home in Melbourne, Australia, and it was nearing 11pm. My parents had gone to bed but were reading and my brother was in the shower. I was watching the late news on channel ten and they were just throwing to an ad break before coming back to do the weather. So during the ads I channel surfed. When I turned back to 10, the image of the first tower on fire was on the screen and I honest to god I thought I had the wrong channel and was watching a movie.

Next thing they cut back to our channel 10 anchor and she relayed what happened, and then she threw back to the cnn coverage. I saw the second plane hit live with all the anchors shouting "oh my god", and I knew in an instant it was a terrorist attack. Saddam Hussein came straight to my mind for some reason.

By this stage my dad and brother were watching. The coverage went back to our anchor and she said the words terrorist attack and looked completely ashen. I checked all the other networks and by now they all had the coverage.

My mum came downstairs after the pentagon was hit, and we all watched the coverage until about 3 or 4am in the morning.

The most surreal night of my life.

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Old 09-11-2006, 09:56 AM   #18
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I was in my Excel class in college. We couldn't access CNN's web site because it was so busy, so I came to Interference to read threads and keep my class informed. I had emailed my dad about it after the first plane hit, and he emailed me back as we got news of the second plane.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:57 AM   #19
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I was at work, and a friend of mine who works from home called me and said a plane just went into the WTC. At first I thought it was an accident. I remember going to my supervisor for something and mentioned how my friend called and told me about it. Nobody in the office had heard anything at this point.

I then went back to my desk. A few minutes later, my friend called back and said the second tower had been it. I tried going online to CNN and some other sites, and they were all down. We had no TV in the office, so I went over to someone who had a radio at their desk, told them what was going on, and he turned on the radio until we found a news station. We all crowded around his desk listening as they described what was going on.

At lunch, I went to the mall and into a Sears. I walked over to the TV section where tons of people were just staring away. That's when I saw the images for the first time...
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:35 AM   #20
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the first plane hit at exactly the time that I woke up for school, and I first heard about while my mom was driving me to school.

she asked if I wanted to hear the coverage and I said "I don't like sad stories, so no.".

at school none of the teachers talked about it and none of the coverage was shown on any T.V's, and only one parent took their kid home, so it was actually a normal day for me until I got home and realized how bad it was
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:47 AM   #21
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i was asleep, and i was on the east coast of the US (not terribly far from NYC). i had come back from europe a week or two earlier, and had actually just come back from new york that sunday night where i was visiting friends i hadn't seen in well over a year. i'd actually spent the night with a friend ( ) just a block or two from the WTC and i remember thinking that i was going to go up to the top of the towers the next time i was in NYC.

anyway, i had no idea what was going to happen that fall -- i'd had a small downpayment on a round-the-world plane ticket, and was planning to lie low and live at home and work during the fall, and then head out in January for another few months of traveling before coming back home and applying to graduate school.

anyway, i woke up around 9:45, and went to check my email. up on AOL there was a newstory about an airplane that had crashed into the WTC, and i remember thinking, "what kind of idiot in a Cessna flies into the freaking world trade center." i also hoped no one was killed, but was sure a few people probably would be due to the plane's impact.

i went downstairs, made coffee, made toast, flipped through the morning paper, totally oblivious, and then sat down and filpped on the TV right as the second tower was collapsing. i changed the channel. what was this? it seemed like a movie, a bad Bruckheimer/Michael Bay piece of crap. but it was on the next channel. then the next. then the next. it took at good 15 minutes to finally figure out what was going on. then the phone started ringing. one friend called to tell me that my friend and his girlfriend who were living in NYC were all right, and that another mutual friend who was in the Navy was pretty much awaiting orders to be sent somewhere. i remember thinking this was totally to be expected, that this was like Pearl Harbor, and we were going to be at war. then my mother called. nearly hysterical. her best friend's husband worked in one of the towers. and my best friend's brother-in-law (who'd just had a baby). and there were others. and i suddenly remembered a few classmates. in all, there were probably close to a dozen people we were worried about. she started listing all the rumors she had heard -- another airplane went down, there was an attack on the Pentagon, there were more airplanes up in the air that no one had any contact with. bridges were being shut down. other major towers evacuated. it was mind-boggling, and i remember feeling grateful to be in a quiet CT suburb, away from the action. and death.

the rest of the day was spent sending emails. making phone calls and checking in with people. i remember talking to Vanessa, my best friend's sister, and her husband was okay, barely, as he had been evacuated just in time and he literally sprinted down the street just a few feet ahead of the ashes and debris as the towers fell. she said she had been sitting in front of the TV all day, calling his cell phone, holding her baby. he had called to say that he had been evacuated, but that he was on the ground, and wasn't sure what to do. then he hung up. and then the towers fell, and she wasn't sure if he'd gotten far enough away from the building.

my mother's best friend's husband walked all the way home to Brooklyn, covered in ashes. one of my classmates from college died. gradually, a head count came in, and most of the people we knew were okay, but then the stories start of people who you didn't know you sort of knew, and now they were dead.

the two feelings i remember were both disbelief, and also clarity. it was incredibly surreal, completely unbelievable, yet there was a sense of duty and purpose. i had thought about giving blood, but then remembered that gay men aren't allowed to donate blood, so i made a financial donation to the red cross.

at dinner that night, my parents and my sister (my brother was in college) worked out a broadly worded plan to escape/flee should something else awful happen, especially something nuclear. that we'd agree to meet at the house, grab the dog, grab a few things, and then drive west to grab my brother. and then keep going?

we weren't sure what to do.

i stayed up late that night, watching TV, and trying to absorb the magnitude of what had happened.

5 years later, it's actually a bigger deal than i think anyone could have ever anticipated. not the event itself, but in what the event itself has inspired.

i wish it had never happened. but it was going to happen. in retrospect, it seems inevitable.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:56 AM   #22
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I was in my classroom teaching. The teacher from down the hall came and knocked on my door and told me we ( the US) were being attacked. We had limited communications at this school so it was about an hour before everyone knew what was happening. I remember just wanting to go home.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:58 AM   #23
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I was getting ready for school, I was in my second week of my sophomore year in college (which is one of the city colleges here in NYC). I was putting on my contacts and eye make-up, while listening to the radio, when suddenly the DJ announced that a plane had just crashed into one of the towers of the WTC. I was shocked and wondered if it was an accident. Once I finished getting ready, I went to the kitchen to tell my parents about what happened, and they were stunned. I put on the TV and saw all the smoke, and we were all just shocked and horrified. I turned my back at one point, and when I faced the TV again I saw a massive explosion and I said to my dad, "wow, can you believe that explosion?". My dad answered in this monotoned voice, "No, a second plane hit the other building." That was in it became obvious that it was a terrorist attack.

I somehow managed to eat breakfast, and as my mom and I were leaving to drive me to school, my dad called back to us that the Pentagon was on fire. I was shaking, and felt so numb. It was so unreal.

As we drove to school, we kept the radio on, listening to what was going on. We stopped at a gas station along the way, and as the gas was being pumped, my mom and I made eye contact with a woman on the other side of the pump, and we all exchanged looks of disbelief. Usually you wouldn't think to make eye contact with someone at a gas station, but that was different.
I made it to school somehow. I went to my poetry class, and the professor said we were going to try to make through the period, and we were free to leave. Some students were getting up to leave to answer cell phones or call someone. One came running back in to say that her boyfriend was in the towers. We all just stared at her, not knowing what to say or do. Halfway through the class, a classmate came in to say that all classes have been cancelled. It was a bit of a relief to leave because I didn't want to sit there in school while it felt like the whole world was falling apart.

Before I left, I stopped by the campus center to get the latest news. I was told about the Pentagon, and how no one knew where the President was. When I was told the WTC was gone, I thought it meant the floors above where the planes hit had fallen not the entire buildings. But when I got home, my dad said that they were both gone. When I watched a replay, it so surreal.

I have two sisters, both worked in Manhattan. One was taking the Staten Island ferry when the second plane struck, and the ferry had to turn around. My other sister was trapped in her building a few blocks from the WTC, and stuck there for several hours. When she got home, she had a face mask. I wonder if she still has, because I know she kept it to remember that day.

The first sister came to my house and we watched the news all day. My second sister's boyfriend was calling all day trying to find out about my sister, because they were unable to reach each other with the chaos and smoke from the site. He was part of the crowd that ran as the towers collapsed.

I wanted to cry so badly. But I had a lump in my throat that wouldn't let me. I also wanted to scream in fright and anger and horror and fear.

I remember being very eager to go to sleep that night. I knew that the world had changed, but I wanted to close my eyes and be away from it for a while.

It's just not fair what happened. Too many people lost their lives for no clear reason. It's unfair.
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #24
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We had just been at the WTC that Saturday. (At the time we lived in CT.)

Drove to work listening to NPR and between getting out of my car and getting into the office -- a lag of about a minute -- the whole world changed.

My wife called me with updates as they happened -- the second plane, the Pentagon, the downed flight in PA. We found a TV and watched TV as it happened. When the towers fell, I remember just dropping to my knees. Eventually -- when people started making partisan comments in the office -- I just left. It wasn't worth it. I went home and held my wife, and called my parents who lived in the UK and who were worried we were still in the city.

That night we organized a campus prayer meeting. Some Muslim students came. We prayed together, then we joined a campus event and at the end of it led a rendition of "Amazing Grace."
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:33 PM   #25
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I remember being at work and surfing Interference when I saw the thread about the towers being hit. I frantically scanned the news sites, and read the forum, as the girl who worked in front of me listened to the news on the radio. I called my mom and she told me they were being sent home. All of our supervisors were in a meeting, so we had to wait until they were out before they let us go for the day. We had a big tv in the lobby and all of us were crowded around it, our mouths gaping open in horror.

Driving home was very eerie, and when I got home I immediately called all of my friends and family to see if they had heard/were alright. Later that day, a friend of mine and I went to donate blood, but the lines were stretched all around the block.
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:53 PM   #26
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Re: Where were you on 9/11

Originally posted by europop2005
where were you when you heard about the attacks?

I was in second period when the principal came in and announced it...we turned on the TV and I felt my heart just drop...i knew someone who never made it out of those towers...theres not a day that I don't truly think about it, never forget!!!!
I was in Weight Training.

It pissed me off when a certain someone changed the radio station to listen to her Britney Spears while we had the first word on the attacks.
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:10 PM   #27
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I was working for a member of Congress in one of the House office buildings in Washington, DC. I started work at 8:30 while most of the other staffers started at 9, so most people were just arriving when the first plane hit. We had TVs on our computers at work (so we could watch floor proceedings or the news when Congress wasn't in session), and our press secretary (the only other person in at the time) told me to turn on my TV because she'd just seen on the news that a plane had hit the WTC. At first we thought it was a small plane piloted by a drunken/crazy/suicidal pilot until the second plane hit. As our colleagues came in, we told them what was happening and we all sat at our computers switching back and forth between news stations. After the plane hit the Pentagon, some of the smoke was carried up towards DC, and CNN reported that the White House had been hit as well and that the Mall was on fire. Since we worked in the Capitol complex, we were a bit worried, so the Congressman told us all to go before the Capitol was officially evacuated.

I phoned my dad in Kentucky (who was at work and so didn't know what was happening) and my mom in Indiana quickly to tell them I was leaving work in case something happened to the Capitol, and then all of us but two walked to our coworker's house near Union Station (I don't think any of us were too keen on trying to use the Metro at that moment). On the way we passed loads of very confused people trying to get home and to find out what was going on. While we were walking, we heard a loud explosion and someone driving past in a car said that a car bomb had gone off outside the State Department (we later speculated that the sound may have been a sonic boom caused by one of the jets).

We spent most of the day watching TV and trying to sort out what had happened, ordered pizza for lunch, and tried to get through to our families on the phone (our mobiles weren't working for most of the morning and it was really difficult to get a free line on the phone).
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:42 PM   #28
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I was just about to leave to take my 2 year old son to his first day of a mommy and me class. My husband called to say to turn on the tv and look what happened. I thought, like everyone else it was a small plane. But, I left the house and listen to the radio in the car. I heard about the second plane hit and while we were at the class trying to carry on thats when the towers came down. Some mothers in the class were worried about their husbands and relatives who worked in the towers. Everyone was all upset and cryingl. The class ended eary and I came home to be glued to the TV. I also had called my other sons school which is just down the street from me to see if I should pick him up, he had just started kindergarten. The school said only if I wanted to, so since I was so close to the school I let him finish the day. I called my husband and told him to come home early that they were using hospitals here to get the injured there and the roads would be jammed packed. He came home early. I remember before I would go to bed at night crying and thinking what if tonight was the last time I would every see my husband? I really felt for the people left behind and the people that had to make a split decision between the way they wanted to exit this world.

My brother in law is a NYFD and was not there that day due to a dentist appointment of having his wisdom tooth pulled.

My neighbor was there in response thank god he got out alive.

My brother had just quite a job on August 30th at 7 world trade center.

I knew a girl that is my age that myself and other friends used to go out clubbing with was in the building.

My husband also lost a very good client of his.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:42 PM   #29
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I walked into third period science class in eighth grade... my teacher just turned on the TV and we watched in silence the entire period. The next, too, I think. They didn't send us home because apparently we were "safer" in the school building.

I think we also had heard that one of the planes left from Logan Airport here, so it was a little bit surreal. But I didn't feel any fear or anything, just a kind of awe
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:59 PM   #30
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Sleeping. I was in my undergrad then and didn't have classes on Tuesdays. Somebody woke me up after the first plane hit and then I watched TV from that point on.

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