9/11 - What were you doing when it happened?

Montoya

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I can't believe its been 18yrs already.

Few events in one's life leave such moments of perfect recall.

For me, I was living with my brother, he was still asleep. I was getting ready in the morning and turned on the TV to see the first tower fall.

I remember being so confused that such a permanent feature of the NY skyline could just be gone! It all seemed so surreal.

I ran to my brothers room to wake him up shouting "ONE OF THE TWIN TOWERS COLLAPSED!"

I can imaging how strange that must have sounded with absolutely no context as he woke up, he came running to the TV and we both sat and stared in complete disbelief at the images unfolding before us.

What seemed like mere minutes passed, then the second tower fell!

Then phones start ringing and family and friends start checking in. My sister worked for a major airline, she was not flying that day so she was fine, but she knew employees of other airlines and she was frantically calling around to check on everybody.

Im curious to know from some of you younger guys that have no memory of the event, what have you studied or learned about it?

It is weird to me that some people see the NY skyline as "normal" the way it is. For so many of us that NY skyline will never feel "right".
 

Black Sunder

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I was in high school walking to class with some people when this guy in a grade below us came up and started saying a plane had hit the towers. We didn't believe it. Got to English class where the TV was on and we pretty much for the whole day in each class watched the TV.
 

Deroth

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I was in the Army, we were scheduled for field training for a about a week so I was in my communications vault issuing out equipment when someone came in asking if I could turn on the radio I rigged up to get a signal.
Many non-leadership personnel congregated just outside of my vault so they could listen in when the XO came around to tell everybody the CO ordered all equipment to be turned in and the training was cancelled until DC made a decision as to whether/when they'd send us.
The training got rescheduled by a couple days and a few weeks later I got my combat jump into Afghanistan.
 

AccidentProne8

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I was in elementary school. We knew something bad had happened. All the teachers kept sneaking away to the lounge, to watch the tv presumably. I think they eventually decided to tell us - or my teacher did anyway. Told us some bad people had attacked the United States. Then they put us out to recess. I'm not sure if it was normal recess or they decided they couldn't teach. I sat on the swings with one of my friends, wondering why they didn't dismiss us and send us home. I got called in - my mom had come to pull me out of class, with my sisters. I spent the rest of the day watching the news. I still remember Dan Rather's broadcast on the CBS Evening News that night. Can't believe it's been 18 years.
 

Thalstan

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I was working 12 hour night shifts in the Chicagoland area and had just gone to sleep about an hour beforehand. My wife called and woke me up telling me to turn on the TV. We were worried because my sis-in-law worked near the Sears Tower (yes, I know the name changed to Willis tower, but it will always be the Sears tower to me).

Needless to say, I didn't get anymore sleep that day. I was called back in to work around noon because some were concerned about attacks that might occur on infrastructure. I got to go back home a few days later.

A few people I know who worked in Princeton NJ were caught at a meeting in Vancouver, BC. They ended up having to rent a car and drive home.
 

Lonewollf

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I was getting ready for school, for I was in high school. My mother had just come out and had told me about it, and allowed me to stay home for the day. I was glued to the tv, watching things unfold, and was dumbfounded that something like that was happening. My local fire department was on stand by to travel to New York City for disaster relief efforts, but was never deployed. Today, I proudly serve my community, with 11 years of service, as a Lieutenant for my local fire department.
 

Mich Angel

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I was home just started watching a movie on TV and they broke for commercial I thought, there was this video showing first plane hitting tower.
Oh a commercial for a new movie or series I thought and change channel and there it was again, and change channel and there it was once again.
Now my hair started to stand out on my neck and a chill spread over me, realize what I was seeing was live and very much real.
I just sat down and was horrified of what I was seeing then the second hit came and I freaked out, I was so sad and angry.
A horror I wish I never had to see and one I never forget, have just happen 😢
 

Vavrik

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Some truly amazing stories here.

I have two stories. I lived in Canada at the time. My oldest was in high school, grade 11. He came home and told me something that affected me for years. In his school, they stopped everything and showed the news broadcast on TV, starting when the second plane impacted Tower 1. The kids saw that, with Tower 2 burning in the background. But when the first tower collapsed, some kids in his class cheered. When they released them from school, he came home confused and more than a little angry about what he saw. The kids who cheered were just kids, idealistic and did not understand what was going on. Most of them were from Muslim families. It took him years to overcome that. He's now a proud member of the (Canadian) Navy.

I was in my office thinking about a big project we were working on. A friend called to tell me a plane had crashed into Tower 2. We started watching the news. thought it was a small plane like a Cessna or something for a while. Then, the second plane hit. I lost a few friends who worked in an office in Tower 2. Including a venture capitalist that took my company under his wing as an advisor. One person in his office survived, she was at the doctor. Her husband was a firefighter. Her child is born in December, good kid but he doesn't know his father. They are American, but also Moslem. They were victims of a madman.
 

ThomSirveaux

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It was my Junior year of high school and we got word of the attack as we were getting ready for school. In my first period class, my teacher just had the news on TV.

At lunch and during baseball practice, I remember how weird it was not seeing or hearing any air traffic, since LA is usually abuzz with helicopters and planes.
 

Carlos Spicyweiner

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I had just retired from the U.S. Coast Guard a few months earlier, and scored a job at the local Harley Davidson dealer. I was doing some paperwork when the GM wheeled a TV out of one of the conference rooms, plugged it in went back to his office without a word. Didn't get a lot of work done that day. Customers and employee were glued to that TV all day. The next day, I went down to the recruiting office and put my name on a list of prior service people who wanted back in, still waiting for them to call.
 

Blind Owl

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I was working in the oilfield outside of Tumbler Ridge, in Northern BC (Yeah, I know, everything in Canada is North). We we're driving to location a couple hours out of town when we heard on the radio about a plane hitting the first tower. Once we got to location we went over to the consultants trailer and started watching it live on TV.

I remember distinctly that as every other crew on location rolled in that day, they all came over. No work got done that day. Everyone just sat in horror and sorrow watching the events unfold.

It's strange how little things that would usually get flushed from you memory instead become etched there.
There were a bunch of planes that rerouted to Canada and the passengers were taken in by families for a few days.
Gander, Newfoundland. Tiny little town with an amazingly huge heart.
Edit: Gander Airport after 9/11.
 
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