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What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Posted by marie on 9/10/03 at 18:57 (129511)

On the eve of the gravest of days in American history I thought it'd be good for us to take time to remember. It'll be a day we will all remember the exact moment when we found out.

I was packing a suitcase that I had placed in front of our TV. I wasn't paying close attention at first to the news because I was distracted by my personal state of mind. We were getting ready to go to Detroit for my father's funeral service.

I looked up and I saw the explosion that had visited me in a dream 2 weeks prior to this day. My husband came in and put a video tape in and began recording. I was stunned. I called my sister to tell her to turn on her TV. There I shared with her the bulk of my dreams and told her this isn't it...there are more. I told her that there was a reporter named Barbara trying desperately to tell us there is a pilot in grave danger. At that point the second jet flew into the building.

We left for Detroit not knowing what to expect. We were concerned some of our family may end up in Canada. But luck was on our side and everyone made it into Detroit safely. On that day my two brothers and sister and I were together with our families. Call it fate or destiny I don't care but I am glad we were together.

My mother was burried in NC. So the original plan was too have a service in Detroit as it was closer to my father's sisters and brothers and the next day my father would be shipped by air to NC. Of course that didn't happen so the funeral director drove my father down and we drove to NC.

It will be a day I will nver forget.....my nephew's closest friend lost his brother who was one of the first firefighters to go in. One of my former students father is a pilot for United. After he finished his trip he got off and flew back to Indiana. The next pilot to get on that plane wasn't so lucky. He was killed and that same jet was the first one to fly into the WTC.

We all have our stories...I'd love to hear yours. It's just time for some rflection.

best wishes to you all, marie

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Suzanne D on 9/10/03 at 21:13 (129531)

Marie, my classroom in our old school building was right across the hall from the science lab. I opened the door to take my children to the restrooms and noticed one of our custodians standing in the doorway of the lab, staring with his mouth literally dropped open in the direction of the t.v. No one else was in the room.

I got my children to the restrooms and then went back and asked him what was happening. He seemed almost too stunned to speak. Then he told me what he had just seen on t.v. Fairly soon our principal came to each room to tell us privately what was happening and to ask that we not turn our t.v.s on or talk about it in front of the children. He said that of course the next day we would be dealing with it, but he felt the parents should be the ones to tell their children about the tragedy. So when we had our planning times, we teachers turned on the t.v.s or checked the internet to learn more.

Later, when the President asked everyone to join in prayer and remembrance at noon on a certain day, our entire school made a circle outside around the flagpole. The music teacher led in some patriotic songs and our principal prayed. That was a first, but he said since the President asked us to join at that time, he felt it was fitting and proper.

Last September 11th, our little community held a service of remembrance which was well attended. Tomorrow night, we will again meet - this time at our firehouse where a new flagpole will be dedicated. I am playing the keyboard along with a young man who will play his trumpet. It's just our way of remembering and honoring the lives of so many that were lost.

My daughter is a first-year teacher (4th grade) and asked her class today to share some thoughts which they have made into a hall display in the shape of two towers. One autistic student wrote a beautiful thought about the 'freedom in our souls' which was quite touching. It was his highest achievement this year. He likes to come up to me since he thinks it is neat that I am her mother. He memorized what he wrote and told it to me outside on the playground.

I am sure across America and the world there will be countless remembrances. It is good to stop and reflect...

Suzanne :)

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

wendyn on 9/10/03 at 21:35 (129532)

My son came to my bedroom door in the morning while I was getting ready for work - saying something about the WTC and a plane. I didn't know what he was talking about and I ignored him (thinking small plane/empire state building like a few years before). He was listening to the radio and came back a few minutes later insisting that something was really wrong.

We went down in the basement (our house was being painted so all our furniture was covered up) and couldn't believe what we saw on TV.

I had to call my mom (an American) and tell her to turn on the TV (one of the hardest phone calls I've had to make). What an awful day...it's hard to even think about it in detail. But - I'm pretty sure that I could repeat my entire day hour by hour.

The one thing I like to remember from that time is how people bonded together and supported each other...and how (at least for a short time) it put everything in perspective.

Marie - I appreciate the reminder today - I've had a stressful day..and it's good for me to remember the things that really matter.

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Sharon W on 9/10/03 at 22:14 (129539)


My hubby called me to tell me what was happening. As I turned on the TV the 2nd tower had just fallen... people were stunned, and chaos reigned supreme. Stunned beyond comprehension, I called my sister to see if she knew what was happening... she hadn't heard, but turned on the TV.

The rest of the morning I walked around in a daze, getting ready for work. I felt like I was just going through the motions, though, like the only thing real was what was happening on the TV screen.

At work, all the patients were watching it in their rooms... the hospital floor was way too quiet, except for the voices of the TV announcers. Almost everyone had their TV on. Some complained it was 'the only thing on' and they hated watching it over and over -- but somehow they just couldn't push the power button on their remotes, couldn't even look away. So I would volunteer to turn their TVs off, but most said, 'no'... It was just so surreal, so bizarre.


Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Rick R on 9/11/03 at 07:09 (129565)

I was at work and my frantic receiving clerk came storming through the plant with a big goofy grin on his face, not his fault he was sort stuck that way. He was listening to the radio and had heard of the first impact. Of course my mind flashed to a vision of a small private plane in an accidential scenario. The real shock came with the news of the sceond plane hitting the WTC. There was no doubt, we were under attack.

That evening we had a multi-denominational candle light service outstde of our church. The vision of the trees in that sunset against a quiet clear sky is a etched forever in my memory. Living near Chicago, I have become so accostomed to the sound of aircraft that silence was a stark haunting contrast. I know it would be too much for the economy but I wish we could remember this night with our planes on the ground.

Now we have that same service to remember every year the events of this day. However, in their infinite wisdom, the highschool my son attends decided tonight would be a good night for parent teacher conferences. Can you stinking believe the insensitivity?


Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Richard, C.Ped on 9/11/03 at 07:54 (129569)

I had set up a house call for a patient of mine at 9:30 that day. I remember my wife was in the shower when I was watching the Today show. They reported that the first plane hit the tower. I remember yelling at her that a small plane or something hit the tower...which was the first report. I went outside to put something in my truck, and when I came back in...the second plane just hit. I remember telling my wife about that as well.

I left to go to my customers house, and it was all over the radio. When I got to his house, they showed the hits over and over again. On the way back to the office, what is normally a very busy road was very silent. No one was on the road. We spent the rest of the day watching the news and cussing out Peter Jennings about how he was slamming the President for not making his presence known during this time.

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Necee on 9/11/03 at 14:05 (129596)

I was getting dressed for work, and as usual, had the tv turned on to Good Morning America, I was stunned just like everyone else. My husband had already left for work and so I was there all alone. After watching that second plane hit the other tower, I remember this very strong desire to be near someone....to hug them...and say 'I love you', but.... I was all alone. Since both my parents are deceased, I began calling loved ones who are near and dear to my heart. I called my brother, I called my cousin who is like a sister, and we prayed over the phone together.

Not wanting to go to work, I knew I had to. I did my best to get myself together, gather my thoughts and get out the door. I turned on the car radio and listened in shock as I drove.

Everyone was standing in front of the tv when I arrived at work. With tear filled eyes, we all grabbed each other and hugged.....for me that was the best feeling in the world at that moment, just to be able to hold on to someone.

Throughout the day, we watched and listened as the news reports constantly came in. I couldn't concentrate on my job, all I wanted to do was go home.

As everyone else....my feelings were of shock and disbelief. It's hard to comprehend something of this horrific magnitude happening in this great country.


Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

BrianG on 9/11/03 at 14:54 (129614)

I was working at a security 'control desk' that morning. I got relieved for a 15-20 minute break, and stuck my head out to the lobby, like I usually did, to see if the guard wanted anything from the cafe. He was the first to tell me a plane had hit the first tower. He had CNN.com on his computer, and I couldn't believe the damage.

I went up to the cafe, and got a coffee. Next I went into the seating area, where they had a big screen TV, normally used for company business only. I stood with about 75 other employees watching the first tower burn. All of a sudden, BOOM, we saw the airliner hit the second tower. It was then that I heard the first of two really stupid remarks. The CNN reporter also saw the 2nd hit, and said 'Somebody had better call the airport, they have a problem with their radar and they are sending planes into the towers. Beautiful blue sky, no clouds, I have no idea how she could ever come up with that conclusion.

Then I went back to my post, and my manager walked in a couple minutes later, to see what I had heard. He had only been listening to a radio. I told him I saw a 2nd plane hit the tower, and it was an airliner. I'll never forget, he said 'Don't be stupid Brian, I had the radio on, and it was only a small plane' !!!! I tried to tell him one one more time, but he really didn't like me, and there was no way he was going to take my word for what had happened. Two stupid people, in less than 5 minutes! We spent the rest of the day watching employees, leaving to go home and grieve. I doubt any work got done that day, or week for that matter. Oh, and I just remembered. I was usually the person to raise the flag in the morning, as the Co. was too cheap to put a light on it. The next morning I asked my supervisor if I could fly the flag at half staff. He said no, that word had not come down from management to do so. I told him the President had requested it, and I was not going to run it all the way up. He then told my co-worker to put it up. He was a retired police officer, and he refused also. That flag sat in storage until about noon, when someone in management finally had enough guts to tell us to raise it to half staff, geeeshhhhhh!!!!!!!


Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Dr. Z on 9/11/03 at 14:54 (129615)

My receptionist called me in my car as I was driving to the office. She told me that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. Wow, but still didn't think about a terrorist act.
At the office my ESWT tech was watching TV and started filling me in on the extend of the act. What I remember is the comment by the ESWT tech as tower one fell to the ground. We better go give Blood, alot of people are hurt. We did and started collecting food, medical supply all day to drop off at CVS pharmacy.
The last thing I remember is a patient still wanting us to come to New York to treat her foot with ESWT. The New Jersey Turnpike was closed.
All I though about was what was going on TV .Sorry heel pain just wasn't on my mind on that day

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Carole C in NOLA on 9/11/03 at 18:38 (129648)

I was rushing to get ready for work, and the television reported that what was probably a small private plane had crashed into the WTC. I switched off the TV, jumped in my car, and made the 7 minute drive to work. A few minutes later, our administrative helper told me that a second plane had crashed into the WTC. We both realized this was not an accident, then.

With horror I watched as each tower fell, and saw the Pentagon and heard about PA. It was so hard to accept the enormity of the tragedy we had just seen.

One part that is so easy to forget now, is that we didn't know if there would be four planes or fifty planes at the time, and all the rumors that were floating about concerning Sears tower, Los Angeles, the White House, the Capital, and possibly targets in every state. It was an uncomfortable time to be in a high rise federal building but of course it must have been much worse for our counterparts in the D.C. area.

My fellow federal employees behaved in an exemplary fashion despite everything, and I was proud to be among them.

Carole C

Re: What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Sandra D on 9/12/03 at 22:28 (129810)

My story is almost like everyone else who posted here. Getting ready for work and shocked and stunned when I looked at the TV and the second plane hit the towers. I was in shock just like everyone else in America. My husband drives a truck and did not learn of the tragedy until he picked up a load in south Charlotte, NC (near our home in NC). After loading and going back to the yard, he was traveling on I-77. Some Charlotte fire fighters had place a huge american flag across a bridge and all the big rigs began blowing their horns and flashing lights. My husband said that everyone on the interstate was cheering and many people were crying. I guess we will all have our memories.

Sandra D.