Where were you on 9.11.01 ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by flyingdawg, Aug 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. flyingdawg
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    flyingdawg Gold Member

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    I was sitting on my couch at home on my second or third cup of coffee watching Imus In The Morning on MSNBC. I remember it it being a Tuesday morning and how unusual it was for me to be at home, as Tuesday's are my normal get-away-day for business trips.

    The regular anchors broke into the Imus broadcast. They appeared to be perched atop a roof in NYC with the burning World Trade Center in the background. As they were trying to explain what they thougt had happened, I will never forget the image of the second airliner banking and flying directly into the second tower on live tv. I was surprised by the lack of reaction from the MSNBC anchors who were not aware of what happned until a producer must have told them in their earpiece.

    The days following were spent directly in front of the tv. But I do remember vividly sitting on the front porch of my house in the evenings in complete silence. I live in a rural area but directly below the flight path of a major airport, and adjancent to CSX rail line. For many days everything was silent, not even much road traffic noise as most transportation in the US stopped.

    God Bless America.
     
  2. SQ LPP
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    I was in Paris.
    :(
     
  3. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I was in the Brazilian Naval Academy, where I never thought I'd fly so much!!!
     
  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I was in my office. My secretary came in and said an aircraft hit a building........about a half hour later, she told me a second aircraft hit another building. I knew then that this second accident was not a coincidence.;)
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    I was in a hotel in Pittsburgh, about to give a presentation. It was a high rise hotel and if a plane had followed the river, there was a natural arrow toward the building, almost like a bulls-eye.
     
  6. ACMM
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    Makuhari, Japan. Had just finished work for the day. Watched it unfold on CNN.
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    DC, I wasn't flying that day, travel the next week was havoc though as DCA remained closed.

    I remember getting an email, before anyone in the office had seen anything, "terrorists are bombing us with airplanes!" I thought it was a bad joke, this was before the second plane hit the World Trade Center.

    Left work early as did everyone else. Traffic in DC was a nightmare. It was a surreal evening.

    My birthday is September 12th. I got one perfect birthday card. The outside read, "Your birthday has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances." (The inside said something like 'you're too young', but the card was still perfect for the day.)
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    I ended up getting back home on the first flight that NW actually flew into MSP, I think on Friday evening, after a day of hanging out in a WC with a handful of grim looking business travellers. Check in and security were painfully slow even though there were no lines; no one was travelling. They kept doing rolling cancellations of one flight after another, but I stayed in FC (kept my upgrade) and my luggage was on my flight. My DC-9 has 25-30 passengers that day, although IIRC every FC seat was occupied, so that it was the FFs who were flying then.
     
  9. doc
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    doc Silver Member

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    Well, FWIW, I was posting the unfolding tragic events on a Flyertalk.com thread that I'd started .. a heartwrenching thread that was subsequentlly moved over to their "Travelbuzz" section .. Just prior to that, I was on my way into Manhattan for a meeting at the Waldorf Astoria hotel with Steve Forbes & many others.. it is still such a VERY painful day.. I've moved past it, but I will certainly NEVER forget!
     
  10. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    At my sister's in Arlington, watching her wither away; I was scheduled
    out on 9/12, as that was her chemo day at Sloan.

    Her husband called and said "Turn on the television. Now." We thought
    he was on Meet the Press or something again. Rumors were rife on the
    air - the White House attacked; the Capitol attacked; trucks with bombs
    on the Mall. Until the rumors got squelched and a clear picture came
    together, it was very disquieting as well as distressing.

    Turns out the nephew of a colleague was on one of the Boston flights;
    we didn't lose any other acquaintances despite having several working
    in the WTC at the time and the brother of a friend being a fire captain
    in the area.

    Where have I been every 9/11 since? On an airplane. I recommend this
    gesture to everyone.
     
  11. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I was sitting on a Southwest jet waiting to leave SDF for MDW. We boarded just as the first plane struck, were told to expect a short delay and then about 45 minutes later told to leave the plane and await word in the terminal. After an hour watching the news, I went home. I was too upset to go to my office.

    I hate taking my shoes off. Less high tech and more dogs sniffing is what we need.

    Saw a drug dog corner a young woman once. She should not have put her burger in the outside pocket of her carry-on.
     
  12. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    I was living in Florida and had a lengthy dentist's appointment that morning to get some orthodontia taken out. I didn't own or watch TV at the time, so I caught a news clip that a plane had crashed into the WTC on my way out the door, but didn't hear the details until I was in the dentist's chair. The hygienists had the radio on in the background and we were all listening to Peter Jennings narrate the events on the ground, all the way up to the towers falling down, in between various drills, buffs and scrapes. Listening to it without actually seeing it probably lowered the shock factor for me a lot in comparison to all the people who had seen it happen in person or live (and with repeated playbacks) on TV.

    The only major news event I've actually "lived through" is the big earthquake in Japan earlier this year. I was at work in Tokyo when it struck, on the 17th floor of a brand-new office building, and we had a colossal shake -- enough to make me think that we might get hurled out the windows. I started pulling up news sites as the shakes subsided, and maybe a minute or two after the quake the Nikkei website posted a giant headline warning about a 10-meter tsunami about to hit to the north of us. We didn't have a TV in the office, but I managed to find a live video feed on our Bloomberg terminal just in time to see the water come in and wash everything away in slow motion. And then, of course, there was the nuclear meltdown which became obvious a day or two later. But those of us in the country, watching the domestic media at a distance from the epicenter, didn't really have to worry too much; it was our hapless friends and relatives, getting sensationalist coverage from CNN and Fox News, who were absolutely freaking out. That coverage completely stopped around the time the US attacked Libya, and on my most recent trip to the US in May, several friends asked "Oh yeah, you guys had an earthquake, didn't you?"

    To bring the story around a bit, though, NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC) recently did a special about Norman Mineta, who some of you may remember as Bush's transportation secretary and the overseer of the FAA, TSA, etc. during the time surrounding 9/11. The show was focused on his stance against racial profiling in the wake of the attack and how it was influenced by his experiences with internment during WWII. I was honestly shocked to look back and see and hear some of the asinine comments that respected politicians and media figures made about Arabs and Muslims back then. The whole country was off its rocker and I can't help but think that the TV was a huge part of that. In retrospect I'm grateful that I experienced 9/11 over the radio.
     
  13. doc
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    doc Silver Member

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    For any who might be interested, here is a link to that gutwrenching flyertalk thread I'd mentioned above, from nearly 10 years ago now..

    Plane crashes into the World Trade Ctr

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/295858-plane-crashes-into-world-trade-ctr.html

    Please note that it can be VERY painful to read, and also it was subsequently moved out of the then "Buzz" over to "TravelBuzz" by 'TravelAssist', so its rather cumbersome to read due to the transfer and format. Also, the times are two hours earlier than NYC time.

    Again, I still do not like to use the WTC station when downtown .. it's just too darn painful .. while I've moved on and kinda' gotten over it, I will NEVER, EVER forgot it.. perhaps when the new building on that site is finally completed, so will my personal healing process be completed .. that is my hope at least.

    Warmest regards to everyone. Hope your all having a great weekend :)
     
  14. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    I was in college at the time, so I was still in bed sleeping. I remember my parents calling me and telling me to turn on the TV. I turned it to the Today Show and remember trying to get my eyes to focus fast enough to see what was happening. Retrospectively, I don't think it was actually my eyes not focusing quickly, it was my brain not processing what it was seeing. I think I started watching right after the plane hit the second tower. I went in to classes that day, but they were quickly cancelled. A few years later, when I moved to NYC, 9/11 took on a whole new meaning. It means one thing to see it on TV from thousands of miles away, but quite another to those who were in NYC, DC, or were personally impacted in another way. Can't believe it's been ten years. I have no doubt that Flyertalk thread would bring me to tears.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I was in DC on a project, having flown down on Sunday from NYC just like every week for the prior couple months. The office was on the river in Georgetown and we had a pretty clear view of smoke coming up off the Pentagon. I spent the first couple hours doing my job - shutting down the computer systems and preparing to evacuate them from the building - and then once things stabilized helping get it all back online. I then proceeded to Mr. Smiths and drank a few pints rather earlier than I probably should have. I still have the glass I lifted from the bar that day.

    My boss and another colleague had come down from NYC on a day trip, meaning no other supplies with them. We wandered Georgetown to find a shop that was open so they could buy clean clothes and then headed to the CVS to stock up on beverage (beer and juice) and snacks as we didn't know how long we'd be stuck.

    I also distinctly remember not being able to make calls from my cell phone because the systems were overloaded (or shut down) but being able to use the land line in the hotel to call the office in NYC and then use that system to patch me back out to other calls I needed to make to track people down and report in.

    Taking the train back up to NYC the following day and seeing the smoldering ruins was a pretty emotional moment. So was the first time I flew over a couple weeks later after DCA was open again.
    I made a point of walking across the old floor each and every time I commuted to a client at the WFC up until the day they closed off access for the reconstruction effort. That small bit of floor was some of the only remains from the original concourse and the buildings in general to survive. Walking across it as I headed over West Ave to the office made me feel good, still connected to the past but also able to move forward.

    This year I'll spend the day traveling, first on the beach in Waikiki and then flying to LAX.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Asleep (in CA) and waking up from the TV coming on automatically just as every day. But what was going on on TV just didn't seem to make any sense in that state of partial awakeness.

    I ended up going to the office and watched a few planes on final approach into SFO, escorted by flighter jets (my office faces the bay and I can watch planes all day long... on normal days).

    My first flight after 9/11 was on 9/18 -- UA 900 SFO-FRA, as far as I recall.
     
  17. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    I was stuck in the subway- then got out saw the flaming buildings about a half mile away- watched them fall- was part of the "zone" that was evacuated and walked home from downtown like a zombie
     
  18. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Driving to work in NJ, I remember hearing it on NJ 101.5 right at the 287/78 junction in central jersey.
     
  19. dgreen12
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    I was in Los Angeles, waking up and saw the news. At the time, I worked for a large international public accounting firm --- our two downtown LA offices were next to, and across the street from, LA's tallest office building.

    No word from the firm on "what to do" (that was well before anybody had disaster recovery plans in advance), so I drove into downtown (only 20 mins away from home via surface streets). Once I got in, grabbed a departmental telephone list and drove home. Worked with another employee to call my team to advise them to stay at home. There was a real fear at the time that the tallest building in LA was also going to be targeted (similar to Chicago).

    Afterwards, discovered that one of my partners, his domestic partner and their young son were on UA175 --- and that a former colleague in Philly lost her fiance, who was attending a breakfast seminar in Windows on the World in the WTC.

    Sad, scary times.
     
  20. gobluetwo
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    Driving into the office in Atlanta. Heard on AM750 that a plane hit the WTC. Initial speculation was that it might've been a small commuter plane. Wasn't until I actually got up to my office that I learned what had actually happened. People had the radio on and CNN.com on constant refresh. I called my gf (now wife) in chicago and woke her up after a 12 hour shift at the hospital to turn on the TV, who kept me up to date for over an hour. It was just an utterly surreal day and difficult for anyone to get any work done.
     
  21. Bluto
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    I was in New York City. I had just arrived at work, which was on the 36th floor of an office building in midtown Manhattan. Our high-yield bond trader told me as I came in that a plane had hit the WTC. I listened and went into my office to drop off my things. He followed me there because my office faced South, with a view of the WTC area. We saw smoke that was visible from the first tower. We then went back into the trading floor area, where a bunch of our colleagues at the hedge fund had gathered and were marveling at the accident (the assumption at the time). That was also where all the TVs at the firm were located.

    The second plane then hit the second tower, and I distinctly remember our head equities trader telling an assistant to immediately sell futures; he had processed that event instantly and realized it was a terrorist attack. The market wasn't open but I could see the index futures drop quickly after that.

    I went back to my office and started to work, and made a decision to try my best not to get caught up in the frenzy so that I could analyze the impact on my positions. I heard a few workers at the firm decided to evacuate and go home early, which in retrospect was rational because there were numerous rumors and news reports throughout the day that many planes were still unaccounted for. I ended up staying at the office til 8pm that day and then I walked home, which I almost never did, and I recall how eerily quiet the streets were. There were a lot fewer cars and a lot fewer people walking the streets. I think everyone that could have cleared out of Manhattan by then had done so.

    I lived in Manhattan for four more years but I never went down to the WTC area again, even though I had worked downtown at a previous job, and had been to the towers many times, sometimes for interviews at investment banks located there. The idea of rubber-necking the scene of the accident crime just never had any appeal to me.
     
  22. doc
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  23. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Working @ my insurance job in VA (first job out of college) when someone came in and likened the first strike at the WTC to the movie "Independence Day." Two weeks before, I'd come back into the Navy Reserve...little did know how much my military career was about to change!

    I remember watching the TV in shock that night.

    This year, I am running the Adidas Women' Challenge 5k in Hyde Park, London.
     
  24. jmrich1432
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    I was in English class as a freshman in highschool in Florida. We were in an area of the school that didn't have TVs and after hearing about what was going on the teacher brought us all into another room to watch. I remember watching the coverage in some classes, in others the teachers were acting like nothing had happened. School was not cancelled and I definitely did not understand what was happening as well as I thought I did at the time.

    I appreciate people posting what they were doing on that day. Because I was so young when it happened, these accounts help me put together a picture of how things were all around the country that day.
     
  25. slice19
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    Freshman year of college, in my dorm sleeping (bottom bunk). My mom called because she saw the crash on the Today show. Within minutes of waking up, it became clear that the entire dorm wasgetting the same message as phones rand and TVs were turned on. I'll never forget how my roomate was at an 8am class and her boyfriend who went to NYU desperately tried to get a hold of her on the room phone as she had her cell turned off in class. She came back about an hour later and had no idea what was going on but couldn't understand why campus was so quiet. It was certainly a strange feeling and having moved away from home only 2 weeks prior, it was like no one knew what to do.
     

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