10 Years Later – I remember…

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    The alarm went off (tuned to news radio) right about the time the 1st sketchy details were coming in about a plane hitting the WTC…turned on tv right away and my wife and I watched live footage of the 2nd plane… probably didn’t leave the set all that day and most of the night…wondering what / where would be next.

    We went to fight back in one location and then another (albeit under false pretences) and we’re still there…for some reason after getting one guy early on and finally getting “the guy”…more Americans continue to battle and die in the name of freedom. Wounded Warriers… true Heros…return home…battling physical challenges and dealing with internal wars to fight now. Families shattered…I can’t even begin to imagine…my heart goes to you!

    10 Years later…many questions remain unanswered..but there is no doubt… we cannot ever forget that day or take for granted any day since.

    Thoughts and prayers for all the families on this pending memorial anniversary…may peace come one day!



    I was pedaling to work when my phone rang, as soon as I answered my wife screamed “We’re being attacked, we’re being attacked!!!!”

    Such foreign words to hear in the Land of the Free.

    Once she calmed down and was able to explain what was happening, it still couldn’t be true (Orson Wells?!) and it remained unbelievable until I was able to find an espresso stand with a television near by. I clearly remember the 7 of us staring at that small black and white screen in amazement. Four of us were holding hands, complete strangers clasped together for support while we tried to grasp the horrors that were being played out in front of us, thousands of miles away.

    Telling our group that I need to get to work, I asked if anyone minded saying a prayer with me before I left. We all bowed our heads and took turns sharing the pain in our hearts, each saying their piece through sobs and tears.

    Since my discharge from active duty in the Marine Corps in 1987 I have flown ‘Ol Glory daily, and will continue to do so until one is laid over the urn that contains my ashes.

    Such a beautiful site to see, Stars and Stripes displayed everywhere I looked from Sept. 12th and after, a nation of immigrants in solitude with the threads that bind us together.

    Sadly those days, like many of the flags, have faded.

    In honor of those who died directly, indirectly and in any and all related acts since, I ask each and every one of you to PLEASE fly our nations colors on this coming Sunday, Sept. 11 (at the very least).

    Although I don’t always agree with who and what is going on in the White House, WE THE PEOPLE need to stay united and remember what sacrifices our fore-fathers and mothers made so we are able to live in a land as free as ours is today.

    For those of you who have a hard time understanding that last sentence, look around the world at how some countries and cultures exist, and the atrocities some people are facing at this very minute.

    Although ours is far from prefect it’s as free as your going to find, and the protections that that piece of paper called the Declaration of Independence provides us are some of the greatest gifts God has bestowed upon man-kind.

    Semper Fi ‘365Stairs’ and all others who are now or have ever worn an American military uniform.

    God bless us all.



    The list of local commemoration events is growing – they’re on the events calendar; just added a service at The Mount.

    The memory thread is a great idea. Thank you. I will share mine:

    I was executive producer of the morning newscast at Q13 that year. We started the show at 6 am back then. It all began just as we were going on the air. It was all a blur as news began to come in about what was happening; we took a live picture showing the smoke column after the first WTC hit, and I believe we were still on it when the second one hit.

    After a while, we gave up trying to report it ourselves and found a network breaking-news feed to put on the air live … and sat there in the control room just watching in horror, the live pictures of the burning towers, and so on.

    There also was erroneous information – I remember AP saying a car bomb had gone off at the State Department, which of course it had not. Our son was 5 then and in kindergarten at a West Seattle school; I remember calling my husband, waking him up, in the 6 am hour and saying “keep him home today” – it wasn’t clear what was happening, and as the information poured in, for a while it was easy to wonder if the entire country would soon be under siege.

    As a news department, we eventually got our act together and produced local cut-ins with information, as the network gave over several minutes each half-hour for those cut-ins. I finally went home sometime in the late afternoon, after about 14 hours at the station, and remember sitting down in front of the TV set – and seeing the Congressmembers singing “God Bless America.”

    (It breaks out spontaneously about 1 minute into this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izb459vJ-8Q )

    That was when I finally had a moment to truly think about what had happened, and I cried.



    To 365, sbre, kootchman, JanS and all other veterans on this Forum:

    THANK YOU for your service to our country!

    Like the bumper sticker says: “No Veterans, No USA”

    And you know what? If this thread doesn’t get at least as much play as the “Joy Anderson” one, it’s a damn shame.


    I was watching live TV on the morning of 9/11/01. Normally I would’ve been eating my breakfast in grumpy silence, but for some reason, my son had turned on the TV news that morning, so we sat and watched together.

    My head was on “instant replay” for months afterward. Like an endless loop of the Twin Towers falling, I kept running over the same two thoughts:


        1) I can’t believe I saw what I saw.

        2) How many people are gonna have to die for this?


    Ten years on, I still can’t believe what I saw that day.

    And I still don’t know how many people are gonna have to die.




    I got up to get my son ready for school, and flipped on the Today show for background noise. I had to find a different remote to turn on the sound, so all I had was picture for a few minutes. I was staring at the shot of the burning WTC, and thinking “Is this an anniversary of the truck bombing? I swear I remember that happening in winter, and I don’t remember the building being on fire so high up…” and a moment later the screen showed the second jet striking the tower. I shrieked, startled and horrified, and finally managed to grab the sound remote and turn up the volume. I decided to keep my son with me that day as well.

    I lived right under the SeaTac landing approach at the time, and was terrified every time I heard a plane. When the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crashes were reported, I thought the whole country was going to dive bombed by jets before the day ended.

    I remember too the sense of desperate denial…”ok, a plane crashed into the WTC…that’ s a really big mistake for a pilot to make, but maybe it was just an accident..ok, two planes now, really unlikely that it’s an accident, but still, who would do this? Oh god, a plane just crashed into the Pentagon…oh no, no way is that an accident…” I just wanted so badly for this not to be deliberate.



    I woke up late for work that morning. I got ready without turning on the news or radio. I remember my boyfriend was driving me in to work and we were looking at each other very confused because we couldn’t figure out why our rock station was talking about planes and buildings. I had just turned my phone on and had 3 new messages. The first message was a co-worker telling me to not come in to work because we were closed. I immediately called my co-worker. I remember not being able to understand anything he was saying… I thought the company we worked for had shut-down.

    There was a very distinct moment when he realized that I had no idea what was happening. He slowed his speaking pace down and told me that the Twin Towers in NY had been attacked. I repeated what he was saying to my boyfriend – we did an immediate U-turn and headed home. The radio was making more and more sense.

    When we got home and turned on the TV, what I was seeing didn’t make sense or seem real. My boyfriend went in to auto-protect mode – he drew all the curtains and made sure we stayed away from the windows. Then the first tower fell.

    I called my mom and told her to wake up my dad and turn on the news – “The US is under attack”. I was on the phone with her as she woke my dad up and turned on the news and I heard them both gasp.

    The rest of the day was glued to the TV, except for the moments when we felt like we just couldn’t watch anymore, so we sat and cried instead.

    A while later in the day, I listened to the other 2 messages on my phone, one was another message from a co-worker and the third message was from my then 8 year old nephew. What I heard the first time I listened was something along the lines of “Hi Aunt Mimi – I’m watching the Power rangers and people are hurt, I love you.” And when I listened the second time I realized that what he said was “Hi Aunt Mimi, the Twin Towers fell and people are hurt. I love you.” That’s when I realized that had my phone been turned on that morning – I would have gotten the first news about it from my 8 year old nephew.

    The last words I uttered that day were when we went to bed and I turned to my boyfriend and said “I just wish I knew how important yesterday was so that I could have appreciated the feeling of safety and freedom… I can’t even remember how that feels anymore.”



    Despite my paralyzing fear of flying, I had to go on a “roadshow” for work, stopping first in Detroit and then Chicago and NYC. I was sitting in the Detroit office that morning getting ready to start my presentation when everyone started gathering around the TV in the lobby. I went out to see what was going on and just caught the plane flying into the second tower, live.

    There was so much confusion about what was happening. No one knew if it was an accident or attack. My mom called (I was in my early 20’s) and I went outside to take the call – sobbing. People coming into the building stopped to ask if I was ok and I realized they had not heard the news yet.

    My co-worker and I rushed to a car rental place and got a car right before they ran out. We drove home, only stopping once for a quick nap, crossing our fingers as we passed the sears tower. There were no planes in the air, few cars on the road.

    We got back to Seattle and I sat in my tiny Capitol Hill apartment for a week, unable to sleep or turn off the news, thinking about all those people and families.

    I still can’t think about that day without tears in my eyes, but strangely, my fear of flying went away almost instantly.




    Thanks DP, ere add a B to that.

    Hard to get used to.


    Sept 11, 2001…

    I was going through “Chief’s Initiation” on board the USS Abraham Lincoln. I had duty the night before (10 Sept) and was just waking up when i heard someone saying a plane had crashed into the WTC.

    I knew a plane had crashed into the Empire State Building in bad weather a while ago, so I assumed that is what happened here. I went ahead and showered got dressed and went up to work in the trailer in the hanger deck that I was working out of. Looking back I knew something was wrong, but it didn’t register at the time, the hanger deck was quite and empty – something that NEVER happens when the ship was in the shipyard. I got to the trailer just as my phone was ringing.

    It was my wife and told me that planes had crashed it the WTC, I told her it was probably because of bad weather. All she said after that was to tell me to get to a TV.

    So I went up to the OPS Office where they had a Big Screen TV. I walked in just as they were replaying the second plane hit the tower. I think I stood there about 45 mins just watching, numb.

    After the shock passed we started figuring out just what work needed to get finished FAST so we could get underway. We didn’t even know if we were going to be allowed to go home that night. As it was we were.

    The next day it took us about 3-4 hours to get back to the ship as the guards at PSNS were checking EVERYONE.

    Two days later I learned that a good friend of mine who I worked with everyday had been killed in the attack on the Pentagon. She had transferred because she was finally had a baby after her and her husband had been trying for years.

    I have NO sympathy for terrorists and celebrate every time I hear of one being killed. They aren’t human.



    I will never forget, and will teach those who are young not to forget.

    Perhaps this deserves another thread, therapist, or both, but

    At 53 years of age, I am disturbed that my memory is perfectly clear of horrible events, but the good ones start to get fuzzy. I start each day, and work hard at having a positive impact on my world, so it is not like I am depressed.

    Crystal clear memories of where I was, when, etc.

    Assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK.

    Rhonda being told her brother was KIA in Nam, Jonestown suicide/murders, Challenger expolosion, 9/11 just to name a few.

    Good ones getting fuzzier: 1st kiss, 1st real girlfriend and dates, 1st car, 1st home purchase etc.

    Anyone else with the same issue? I keep a photo by my bed of me holding my baby right after she was born to start each day.

    Peace, love, and never forget.



    I had just pulled in to the car rental in the MN/St. Paul and heard the the radio commentary… I saw the second plane hit in the Hertz office… I called home and told my wife to stay home, keep my daughter home, and to stay away from public places. I managed to get a room in A Holiday Inn Express and watched for three days.. I ended up driving home four days later in a rental car. A lot of the world was very kind to us that week. Canadian air traffic parked hundred of US domestic flights in Canada.. and gave great comfort and sanctuary to thousands of US citizens.

    I also remember thinking if I could have done the acts that the NY police and fire departments did. Into the Valley they went..with too many others to follow… Semper Fi…



    I remember very clearly – waking up a bit late that day, not turning the tv or radio on at home. The radio is always on in the car, I remember hearing the dj’s talk about planes being grounded – and I thought to myself, that’s funny its not foggy this morning, why would the planes not be allowed to take off or land? They must have gone back to playing music.

    When I got to work I went over to one of the other buildings to get some breakfast and there was a tv in the dinning room showing a replay of the plane hitting the tower, I’m not sure if it was the 1st or 2nd one now. At this point they were still speculating about wether it was a mistake or intentional. I just could not wrap my mind around the fact that someone would do this, to themselves or anybody else. I just kept wanting to believe that it was some sort of horrible pilot error.

    I remember for days and weeks afterward feeling this sense of unease and the need to be surrounded by loved ones.



    I was driving to work; had NPR on the car radio. I, too, thought at first it was an Orson Wells-type radio hoax. Soon realized it was really happening. Repeatedly realized that my mouth was hanging open and kept shutting it, over and over on the drive to work. At work everyone was told that if they needed to leave, it was okay. I stayed. In the afternoon my boss came around to check on us. Then the vice president of my division came around to check on us. Then the CEO of my organization came around to check on us. We heard that the Columbia Center had been evacuated. A colleague and I worked on a deadline until 7 p.m. and then I drove him home, and drove myself home at the end of that beautiful clear day. We should have ignored the deadline because we made some awful mistakes!

    Things that are burned in my memory from watching all the TV coverage: the video of that poor doomed fire chaplain, looking very grave and concerned, with a sound track of loud WHUMPS as bodies hit the ground. The video of the second plane hitting the tower. The videos of the collapse of first one, then the other tower. The videos of people running in the streets, away from the avalanche? flash flood? can’t find the right metaphor! of smoke, dust, debris, and heat rushing toward them through street canyons. And the realization that somebody actually hated us enough, and had the power, to do this to us.










    I will never forget the horror of realizing what those thumps on the soundtrack were, and suddenly understanding that there were people up there who were still alive, but for whom there was no option other than death by flame, or death by falling. The sickening feeling of knowing that although these people had survived the initial impact and were still alive right now…they were, for all intents and purposes, already dead. They couldn’t, and wouldn’t be saved. That just hit me really hard, like a punch in the stomach. I think we all (I do, anyway. Well, DID.) see ourselves living our life, almost like a movie sometimes, where you think “this can’t be happening” and “surely there’s a way out of this, or someone will come and save me” and most of the time, whatever it is ends well, and we go on living…I just couldn’t stop thinking about these people, and how in their lifemovie, the credits were already rolling, because this WAS happening, there was no way out, and although there were people coming to save them, there was no way they would succeed. It still chokes me up.

    I remember that chaplain, and I felt such love for him, standing in danger to bring comfort. Then the towers fell, and my heart stopped for a second, because I knew no one would be pulled living from that pile. (I can’t remember…did any survivors come from the rubble?) I cried so hard when I saw the photo of the firefighters carrying the chaplain’s body out. It just seemed like the final straw, like the most unfair blow of a day filled with them.



    Halyn, I do remember one story about survivors. A group of guys were high-tailing it down the stairs of one tower. They happened upon a disabled woman who was struggling to get down. She urged them to go ahead without her but they refused. She slowed their pace considerably. When the tower collapsed, the group happened to be on a landing or some part of the structure that didn’t get completely squashed. Some time later, they all emerged from the rubble.



    I was working out of town in Bakersfield, CA. Like others I got up, turned on the Weather Channel and saw one of the burning towers, the other yet unscathed. I switched to another network. While there was a suspicion of terrorism it hadn’t solidified yet. Between getting ready for work I caught film of the second plane hitting the other tower and the first tower fall. I had to go to work because the equipment would be on $400/hour standby but it was surreal. The rest of the day I watched the skies and no planes were seen except for high altitude fighter jets. It was so weird to sit there working but at the same time wondering “WTF”?

    When I was ten our family toured around NY on a tourist boat. The World Trade Center was being constructed and one of the towers was up, and the second was rising. Both are in clear view of the old Super 8 movie camera lens that was recording the typical tourist movie. We just accepted it as “of course these are taller than the Empire State Building”…yawn. But to view the footage in hindsight is a reminder that things can change in an instant.



    On September 11th, 2001 I was a few days into my sophomore year at West Seattle High School. My family never watched the news in the morning so the first I heard of it was on the school bus. I thought it was very strange that anything was playing on the bus’s sound system because, us being high schoolers, we all had our CD players on most of the time so it was usually ambient silence in the morning.

    I remember having no idea how severe it was and was far from suspecting foul play of any kind. I don’t think I even knew what or where The World Trade Center was at that time. I just remember thinking “Well… if that pilot makes it out alive, he’ll lose his job for sure.” Everyone else on the bus had their heads down, no one was talking. Not hearing many details or the mention of terrorism I just put on my headphones thinking it was just a strange accident.

    It wasn’t until I got to school and it was virtually silent that I know something was seriously wrong. We spent most of the day watching live coverage in whatever class we were in. I had only one teacher that insisted on business as usual and by that time I was thankful, but not focused and this was the only time she excused it.

    I remember that one of my classmates had a family member in NY at the time and had already heard from them that they were alright and just being so relieved for her.

    The think I remember most though about 9/11 was the fact that there were no planes in the sky. NOTHING. For Seattle that is saying a lot; it was very eerie.

    By the first time I traveled by plane, went through a security line, visited New York or experienced any national tragedy at all, 9/11 had already happened so it has colored a great many experiences in my life. I’m still terrified to fly most of the time.

    In 2008 my friend and I visited New York and we walked past Ground Zero and almost missed it. Aside from a few modest commemorations, it looked like any other part of New York but I do remember how relatively tiny the footprint of both buildings was. I was glad for that, really. Not being sentimental ourselves, we stood in silence and looked at the construction for a while, watched people walk by and then headed to Little Italy. It wasn’t until we were halfway through dinner that we both sort of said “It was weird being there huh…” There wasn’t anything else you could really say.



    On September 11th I was on a plane that left Montreal at 7am. My flight made a landing in Chicago, and when i got off the plane, everyone was watching TV. I fly alot, so I went into the airline club room and was watching TV there. Just as the towers came down, a club official came over and turned off the TV. Everyone screamed at him, but he said “under orders of the federal government, we have been told that all TVs in the airport have to be turned off”. I was pretty upset before that but was pretty unnerved. I got on the phone to my family, my cell (which was just about out of power) and asked them to get me a hotel room in Chicago, as I knew that planes were not going to takeoff again that day. About an hour later, the TVs came back on. I sat there glued to the TV until around 2pm and then went to the hotel that my family managed to get me into. Took me 2 days to get a rental car, and I drove across county.

    Like others posting here, there are may sounds and sights of that day I will never forget — the sounds of the people jumping, that were replayed and replayed that day or the sounds of the NYFD officers personal alarms after the towers fell.

    Since then, I have met several Tower 2 survivors who heeded warnings and left as soon as the 1st plane hit.

    I lookforward to visiting the new memorial this fall and to seeing the Freedom Towers when completed.

    This week there are a series of specials on the National Georgraphic Channel…. and while I will never forget that day, it really brought back the memories of that awful day. Because of that, I am now reading the book “102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the FLight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers”.



    I got this from Ed Schramm, who says he is having trouble with his log-in. He has quite the story and asked if we could “cut and paste” it for him. So here it is, from Ed:



    When I tell some locals that I not only worked on the 102nd floor of

    World Trade Center #2, but also worked on the 101st floor of World

    Trade Center #1, I sometimes get a look of, ‘yea right’, but I did,

    over 20 years ago, before I moved to Seattle from New York.

    On the morning of 9/11, I was driving to SeaTac for a fight to NYC

    for a trade show that I was attending.

    I was also going to be getting together with an old friend that I

    knew back in my school days on Long Island. She had become widowed

    and I divorced and through the magic of classmates.com, we had found

    each other. E-mails had become phone calls and we had both felt a

    romance blossoming, so it was quite exciting for us both to

    know that, we’d soon be spending some time together.

    As I neared the airport, my best friend from Long Island called me,

    saying that someone had flown his plane into the WTC and that I

    should expect delays getting into JFK. Little did we know.

    After parking the car and entering Sea-Tac, I had heard that it was

    not a small plane at all, and that the pentagon had also been

    hit. Once I got to my gate, everyone was talking and rumors were flying.

    Eventually, an announcement was made that the airport was being

    evacuated. As I joined others, heading toward the exit, a bunch of

    us stopped to watch a TV that was on in one of the bars. As we all

    stood there, I had never felt so alone as I watched with others as

    the first tower collapsed. I not only had worked in this building,

    but I had a business appointment in it, the following day at 9:00 a.m.

    Where are the people that I am supposed to be meeting with tomorrow?

    What is going on? So many thoughts. It was one of the most surreal

    moments of my life.

    To make a long story short, I obviously did not fly anywhere that

    day, but did use my ticket 10 days later, once the airports opened,

    and flew out to see, my friend who, I can now happily say is my wife.

    I went to Groud Zero two days later with my friend who called me the

    morning of 9/11. The wreckage was still there. Still smoking. A

    smell like I had never experienced. Honestly, the smell of death.

    Everything was black and white. Storefront windows blown out. No

    color anywhere. Soot everywhere. No cars. No New York City hustle or

    bustle that I was so familiar with. No smiles on anyone. Tears.

    Thoughts. Stares.

    A day later we walked past a firehouse with pictures of their

    casualties on the firehouse door. Chief gone Captain gone, many

    others. Flowers left by strangers. Signs. Memories

    My wife and I plan on attending the memorial at the Statue of Liberty

    at Alki, one of our favorite spots.

    Thank you for listening





    Here’s a Mary Chapin Carpenter tribute song on YouTube:

    I’ve always loved this one.



    I will fly the flag at half-staff on 9/11 like I did after I got home from Bakersfield. That older flag was retired because it was so sun-faded.


    September 11th started out as a normal day for us. Or as normal as life was for us after losing my husband to cancer three years earlier. My oldest son headed out to college and my four youngest rushed to catch the bus to high school. I got some laundry in, did some housework and sat down to read the paper. My phone rang. I was told that a plane hit the Towers and to turn on the news. I watched horrified. I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to think. Suddenly a plane came from out of nowhere and hit the second tower. Then what none of us could have imagined became our reality. Here I was, sitting in my living room while 40 miles away…our lives were changing forever. All I could think of was getting to my kids. I was convinced we were going to die and I wanted us to be together when we did. I rushed to the school and there were kids outside screaming and crying. We lived in a small town on Long Island and the high school had less then 800 kids and I knew every one of them. Kids whose dads worked in the Towers, or somewhere in Lower Manhattan. Kids who didn’t know if they would see their parents again. The rest of the day was spent waiting. For news of a friend who was flying in from Seattle that day ( see my ‘friend’ Eds post above), for news of my Godson…a NYC Firefighter and for news of countless neighbors and friends. All of my loved ones were safe. Physically that is. My Godson will never be same after spending weeks digging out bit and pieces of his comrades from the rubble. I wasn’t willing to go with Ed the first time he went to the site. I did go two months later. We walked around Trinity Church looking at tributes. There was one sign that I found most heartbreaking of all. It had pictures of the two most beautiful little girls, about 2 and 3 years old. The sign said “We miss you Mommy”. New Yorkers became Heroes that day…and Americans from all over became New Yorkers.



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