Where were you on 9/11?

Montoya

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Its hard to believe its been 20yrs, but here we are!

What were you doing when you first heard the news?

I was at home getting ready for school. I remember seeing the footage of the first plane thinking "Oh no! Those poor people on the plane!".

I ran to wake up my younger brother, by the time we got back to the TV the first tower was in flames and we both watched in horror as the second plane hit!

The images are still so vivid.
 

Texelis

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I was flying a Cessna up towards Pender Harbor. I remember air traffic control broadcasting that all aircraft needed to land because there had been an attack on the US. Not too long after we could see fighter jets patrolling the border. The airport we had left from was nearly socked in with weather. I didn't have the qualifications to fly IFR, so I dove thru an opening in the cloud right above the runway. It was a first date with this new girl I was seeing. After hearing that news, and now we're plummeting towards the earth, she was looking very scared. We landed safety and watched the entire thing unfold in an airport. It was surreal.
 

vahadar

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A very strange experience, very vivid in my memory. When it happened I was one day of entering my first year at journalism school and I was watching TV right before it happened to prepare some notes for the next day.
I was getting calls from all my apprentice journalists friends during the first crash, it was crazy. One french team of journalists was doing a reportage embedded with firefighters in NY exactly at that moment, that was terrible.
 

Shadow Reaper

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I was working from home in a beautiful resort community in North Western NJ. I had contacts every day in NE Bergen county, where a couple million people each day commute into Manhattan, so literally everyone you met knew someone who was killed.

One of the most startling things I recall was sitting around at lunch with a dozen blue collar guys, and listening to them all agree the US needed to nuke someone. I was shocked. The thing affected me as deeply as any of these guys but I could not believe they wanted blood so badly they were willing to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Yet that was the unanimous position (all but me.)

When people recall those days they often resort to revisionist history. So just to be sure all those too young to know better have heard it at least once, let me recount some simple facts.

Bush explained over more than an hour, the 21 reasons he had to go to war with both Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike all the "military actions" the US has seen where POTUS initiates a war without calling it a war, Congress voted unanimously with one abstention. No one voted against either of those wars, and they were authentic wars, voted on by Congress.

Two weeks into the military campaign in Iraq, the US and its large group of allies had flown thousands of sorties--something that had never happened in human history--and completely destroyed Iraq's ability to resist. On the deck of one of the mighty Nimitz aircraft carriers, Bush did a photo op with a banner stating "Mission Accomplished!" Despite everyone knew this meant the air war, not the ground war, the press started asking if that meant the war was over. From that moment, the US press was entirely antagonistic toward all US military force. This was a shameful and disgusting manipulation.

What concerns me the most today, is we can see this hateful and bitter manipulation for political purposes at work all around us all the time. For some unknown reason, powerful political forces seek to undo every good the US has ever accomplished through military means--all except in Libya, which to this date still no one knows why we were there at all. The good wars are bad and the bad wars are good---that's what American media says to its people every day since Vietnam.

Why the whining? I'm deeply troubled by the recent events in Afghanistan. I was unlucky enough to watch a couple hours video on youtube of Lara Logan explaining to whomever will listen, that the Afghan military is still fighting for freedom. The stories that they quit are apparently all lies. Since she was there for years and can recount thousands of intricate details off the top of her head, I'm inclined to believe her. Yet what seems is, the same people who dared argue on the deck of a Nimitz class carrier that the war in Iraq should be over just two weeks after it started, are today lying to We The People and pretending we didn't abandon our brothers in arms, when they know damn well that we did. We not only abandoned them, we armed their enemies and made sure no nation will trust the word of the US for the next few decades.

So where is the outrage about killing thousands of innocent civilians as we watch the Taliban drag friends from their homes and behead them in the streets? Where is the outrage?
 
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Ayeteeone

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I was still on active duty at NAS Lemoore. The family's morning routine didn't include TV, so we found out when a buddy called on the phone, yelling for us to turn it on, turn it on! Like many, we watched the second hit, and the collapse.

One thing that stands out in the days afterward, were the Marines who set up a watchpost on top of the base school. For more than a year they watched over that school and the surrounding housing. I never once heard them complain about being on that post, which in summer could reach over 120 F.

One of the officers killed at the Pentagon had been a JO in my squadron years prior.
 
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Ayeteeone

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So where is the outrage about killing thousands of innocent civilians as we watch the Taliban drag friends from their homes and behead them in the streets? Where is the outrage?

I don't have an answer for you. I worked several projects in Kabul over 2013 and 2014; of the guys and gals I worked with only a few got out before the collapse and I've only heard of 2 making it out in the aftermath.
 

Richard Bong

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Its hard to believe its been 20yrs, but here we are!

What were you doing when you first heard the news?

I was at home getting ready for school. I remember seeing the footage of the first plane thinking "Oh no! Those poor people on the plane!".

I ran to wake up my younger brother, by the time we got back to the TV the first tower was in flames and we both watched in horror as the second plane hit!

The images are still so vivid.
In the living room in Indiana with the news on while getting ready for work.

I saw the live shot of the second plane hitting the towers.

I grew up in Brooklyn, my local fire department was home of Rescue 2. On that day Rescue 2 lost the entire squad and the brand new truck.
 

Shadow Reaper

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I don't have an answer for you. I worked several projects in Kabul over 2013 and 2014; of the guys and gals I worked with only a few got out before the collapse and I've only heard of 2 making it out in the aftermath.
God bless you for your service.

I had a long conversation today with an old business partner. Bill is a recently retired Brigadier General. (We were in business together in aerospace during his first couple years in retirement, but we've both moved on.) He was a test pilot for USAF for years, and served as Commander at Wright Patterson and Edwards AFB, where he also trained test pilots for USAF. He's a Rand Fellow and a White House Fellow, and one of the most humble and honest men I have ever met. Certainly, he's the greatest leader I have ever met.

When we talk about Afghanistan it sounded like he was choking back tears. What he said was "this is what is. The Generals at the Pentagon aren't there to defend the country. Most of them hate this country."

Hence, why I am a bit emotional.
 

stockish

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A very strange experience, very vivid in my memory. When it happened I was one day of entering my first year at journalism school and I was watching TV right before it happened to prepare some notes for the next day.
I was getting calls from all my apprentice journalists friends during the first crash, it was crazy. One french team of journalists was doing a reportage embedded with firefighters in NY exactly at that moment, that was terrible.

I still watch that documentary when I can, those two brothers were so set on doing what would be the best first person accounting of that day. Anyone interested in watching it, despite how tough it get, search for Naudet brothers, it is about two hours long and starts off like most other stories you hear with it being a nice sunny day in NY.
 
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DirectorGunner

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I was at home on my PC in the living room, I don't remember if I was browsing or if someone told me to turn on the TV, but I watched trying to understand what happened with the first tower. Then I watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower. I was angry and thinking we need to go to war, that was deliberate. My heart sank when I saw the tower crumble. It's a distant memory and slightly foggy, but it's not something I should forget. Violent extremism is the antithesis of a globally connected civilization.
 

Cyril

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I was active duty army working in IT at NSA/CSS Georgia. It was my day off and when I got back from the credit union when someone on the stairs told me about the first plane. I turned on the TV maybe 10 minutes before the second plane. At that point I put on my uniform and went into the shop before anyone even had the chance to call. I spent the next 18 hours helping to set up ways to transfer data between different intelligence and law enforcement entities that previously had no way to send information directly. The previous shop IOC had just recently transferred to the Pentagon and it took a few ours for us to verify that it was a different section.
 

Shadow Reaper

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God bless you for your service.

While I'm waxing all dramatic, let's also remember Benghazi. 9 years ago on 9/11, another hateful government abandoned its Ambassador and military and waited while they were all killed mercilessly--and did NOTHING (except fabricate lies about the cause to save their next election).

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Vavrik

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I still lived in Canada back then. I was working from home that day, the phone rang. It was one of my neighbors calling to tell me that a plane had hit one of the towers. I turned on the TV for long enough to realize that by "Plane" she didn't mean a Cessna, when the second plane hit. Inside the next 60 seconds, my phone rang again. One of my partners. What he said rang true. He said, "The last time this happened, the US went to war in both the Atlantic and Pacific, and didn't stop until they had won in both theaters. This is bigger."
My oldest was in high school at the time, probably grade 10. He came home and told me they'd watched it on TV, and when the towers fell there were a few kids in his class that cheered. This really upset and confused him. We spent the rest of the day and most of that night trying to sort out his emotions, but by the end he had decided to go into the Army so he could protect others from things like this. In reality he ended up in the Navy.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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The UK is 5 hours ahead of that part of the US.

I had a week off work and was searching for a new TV (cathode ray tube era). I didn't drive but my older sister offered me a lift over to the nearest city, we made a day of it. She drove an old Mini ('60s design version bit 90's built) which was basic - didnt even have a radio built in to it. She had a portable FM radio which we tried but the batteries were flat. We went about 10am, and had exhausted the options by 12 noon.

We hit another couple of shops and then stopped off off at a McDonalds in the city for lunch which is when it must have happened. We left the joint and... The roads were empty... like deserted empty. We commented on how strange it was and tried the portable radio again but of course we had forgotten to get any new batteries for it.

We drove back to town on empty roads, the distance making it about a 45 minute jourrney and, having not found a suitable TV in the city, I decided to go for a model I had seen in the shop in town.

My sister was done at this point, so she dropped me off right outside the shop door on the high street and went on her way.

I went in to look at the TV I wanted again and saw the staff all huddled in a small group beind the counter looking over at the 20+ screens.

On every one of them, footage of it must have been the second plane flying into the tower, playing over and over a wall of atrocity every single screen in perfect synchronisation.

I looked at the staff. They looked at me. I didnt say anything. They didn't say anything. I left.

Walking home it occured to me I had an FM radio in my mobile phone. I took the earphones from my CD Walkman and plugged them in to the telephone, thinking about it the first time I had ever done that.

The news was playing on a loop, no music, no other articles, just rolling report of the unfolding disaster.

I got home, put on the telly, and watched the towers fall down.
 
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Jolly_Green_Giant

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I was in highschool sitting in class when we had a schoolwide announcement to turn on the news. The entire school stopped to watch what was going on live. I remember watching the people standing at the ledge of their office floor, or positioned in the frame of a window surrounded by flames. I watched them make their decisions to jump. For days, the news was nothing but clips of the planes running into the buildings, the destruction from the collapse and of course the people jumping from the towers. I recall flight 93 and 77 getting air time, but not as much as the towers. The constant news cycle of all of this non stop was exhausting, the repetition of it makes it hard to forget now.

Kids around me were of mixed emotions. Lots of crying from some girls, lots of silence from everyone else.

I couldnt comprehend the loss of life like I can now, so at the time I just thought to my edgy teenage self "man this is crazy" and shortly after: "im tired of hearing this on the news so much".

George Bush was about an hour and a half away in sarasota, I remember them airing that clip where he first heard the attacks.

I remember how unified the country felt after that. I also remember everyone and their neighbor begging for a war of revenge.
 
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Mich Angel

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Just got home from a photo session and was uploading the pictures to the computers with TV on in the background when the broadcast was interrupted over to NEWS.
Then I watch it all go down live as it happen and was horrified what I was seeing.
Threw myself on the phone trying to reach a friend that I knew were or was on a business trip for his job in the towers didn't know witch one.
And number couldn't be reached at the moment, that totally freaked me out, tho I was able to reach him later and he was already back home.
Lucky He had left two days earlier so he could take a direct flight home and not have to do a switch with double the travel time.
Then I watch the horror go down with sadness, anger and frustration, I was so angry I puked up my dinner.
That is a day I never forget and it still bring tear to my eyes when I think about it!
 
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