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9/11 memories
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 10, 2021 02:51PM
The forum tends to be on the more "mature" level when it comes to age. We can remember historic events and sometimes associate those events with unrelated activities. I think it is safe to say that we all remember where we were and what we were doing 20 years ago Saturday. It can sometimes help us cope by sharing those memories. It lets us be part of a group and not feel isolated in our thoughts.

So share your memories or thoughts with us as we look back at a day none of us want to remember but can never forget.

------------------

I was on a photo assignment in a remote area where cell signals did not exist. I had no idea what was taking place until a sheriff's spokesperson made a passing comment, but even then it wasn't enough to understand the magnitude of the situation. It wasn't until a few hours later that I found out that the world had changed in ways we are still trying to understand.

What I do remember is the assignment I was on. An 18-yer-old boy had confessed the night before to killing a high school classmate. He buried her body in the forest behind his parent's house and I was there as she was removed and the investigation began. It was a story that was soon forgotten in the greater tragedy. Still, I'll always remember Lori Hawes. She would have been 38 now, likely having children of her own, maybe some would be my students today. It is sad that the world has forgotten her simply because she was found on the same day that so many others were lost.

In some ways the hijackers took her life too.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 10, 2021 03:04PM
I was at home durung summer break. My wife, a teacher, and two kids had just started back to school. At about 9AM my wife called me to tell me about the attacks. My first thought was that she was mistaken, but I turned on the TV and saw it was true. I shed a tear for the loss of personal safety for the country, my family and me. I was glued to the TV for two days. The hardest part was explaining to my kids what had happened.



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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: neophyte
Date: September 10, 2021 03:24PM
I came into work around 9am that morning to find my office mate watching CNN coverage on her computer and wondering if her brother, a member of the NYFD, was at the Towers. After the first tower fell, she began frantically phoning all her relatives to find out if her brother was OK. It took until late afternoon to find out he was OK. Never before nor after had I seen her so distraught.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Frank
Date: September 10, 2021 03:31PM
I was laying in bed with my wife watching tv for some reason in the wee hours, around 3am I think. The first thing my wife said was "I'm going to New York". She was a Disaster Services Nurse volunteer for the Red Cross. Sure enough, she got a call a few days later. She responded, working with residents returning to their apartments near the World Trade Center. She worked there for two weeks, came home to Kauai, and then went back again to NY to work with patients in a local hospital. While she was gone on her third callout for the Red Cross, I entered a United Airlines contest where I wrote an essay nominating her for my personal hero. She was selected as one of 25 grand prize winners and four of us were awarded an all expenses paid trip to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 10, 2021 03:47PM
My then 80-something mother, who at that time had already been foggy in the brain for going on a couple of years, called me somewhat frantically that morning, asking WTF was happening w/ a plane flying into the WTC towers. We didn't watch morning news back then, so at first I was in disbelief, and was mostly concerned w/ calming her down while Mrs. Buzz was fiddling for a news channel to check things out. Mom wasn't foggy that time after all.

Next thing we know, another plane is crashing into the other tower, and it kept getting worse. Flight attendant Mrs. Buzz was in all kinds mental gymnastics hell, so I had crazy ladies in both ears while trying to digest what was happening. That was the beginning of AM news for us.

Mom's brain fog kept getting worse, along w/ some other health issues, and a few months later, after a hospitalization and rehab stint (while on hospice), she ended up in an assisted living facility for two and half years until she passed on Rosh Hashanah 2004, just a few days past three years after 9/11. Mom set some kind of a hospice record, as every time she went on hospice she got better, then as soon as she was off hospice she got worse and was back on it again.

We did our best to shield Baby Buzz from the news for awhile as we tried to sort out what was happening in the world. My first flight after that was up to the Bay Area for MWSF a few months later. Mrs. Buzz, in her stewardess job, was still avoiding all the then new TSA crap, by getting shuttled in, to/from the tarmac, and had no compassion for me when I told her how brutal flying as a passenger was. I had flown up to my mother's house a couple of days early, and then when Mrs. Buzz hopped a Southwest flight, as a passenger, to meet us up in OAK, she was wholly unprepared for what she encountered.

Life, as we knew it, changed forever that fateful day.
==
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Michael
Date: September 10, 2021 03:50PM
I was teaching class that started at 8:55 and some students came in and said a plane had just hit the tower. I went over to the student center after that class at 10:20 and saw that both towers had been hit and then saw the second tower collapse at 10:28. There was no announcements of any sort from our college administrators and I taught class at noon, pretty sure that we'd had a terrorist attack. We talked about that possibility for a while and had a moment of silence for what was clearly a huge loss of life and then continued on with class. When that class met a couple of days later, I was asked why I hadn't cancelled our class on 9/11 when I had seen the tower collapse. I told the students that we didn't know at the time what had happened and since we didn't have broadcast or cable television in our classrooms there was simply no way to find out what was going on live. And that having a sense of normalcy in stressful times is important. We spent the rest of that class in a wide-ranging discussion about the implications of that statement. Some students were very afraid that terrorists were going to hit our rather small college town in Georgia. I suggested that terrorists were very unlikely to hit us because we were simply too small to make any sort of big point, although certainly Atlanta or one of the nuclear power plants nearish us was possible.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 10, 2021 04:08PM
first thought: like Empire State building being hit by airplane (July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber - 14 dead)

then I turned on the TV.... to see it-saw it. Went to work after phoning girlfriend to put on her TV

then the TV went out when the antennas came down

all cell phone networks went down

later that day, when the wind shifted we could smell the burnt electronics and plastic

bulletins about Pentagon and Flight 93

then the news got worse
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: JoeM
Date: September 10, 2021 04:13PM
9-11-2001: I was asked to work a 12 hour shift and go down and work at the site. I declined because I had been to the top of towers with my brother when he worked up there for Verizon. He had told me you don’t want to be near this building if it ever catches fire. It’s full of asbestos. That was the last day I worked in television news and the last day I worked in NYC.



JoeM
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: RgrF
Date: September 10, 2021 04:17PM
This was as close I've ever come to re-experiencing the feelings I had the day and week following the Kennedy assassination. It wasn't of the same intensity (I was only 19 back then) but it almost duplicated those feelings - something my older, wiser, jaded self denied I still had in me.

Like my younger self I was glued to TV while my older self was, at the same time, thinking someone's going to pay an awful price for this.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: MikeF
Date: September 10, 2021 04:28PM
Was sitting with coworkers in a plane at Orange County (SNA) airport on the tarmac. Getting ready for the first leg of a business trip. They had closed the door and started to pressure the plane. All of a sudden they reopen the door and ask everyone to leave the plane but remain at the gate area. We thought possible plane issue. While sitting there, someone at one of the bars/restaurants mentioned that a plane hit the world trade center. We figured some small private plane or something. Then the P/A announced that everyone had to leave the airport and evacuate. Fortunately, one of the coworkers managed to contact another coworker on their way to work and stopped and got us and took us to work. There, we found out what really happened.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: September 10, 2021 05:22PM
A friend was flying from Boston to LA that morning. She must likely was in the airport at the same time as the fothermuckers.
Anyway, her plane was ordered to make it to the first available airport, somewhere still on the east coast.
She ended up hoping up an Amtrak, and stayed at my place in FL for a while, until flying was resumed.
Very sad, hurtful memories.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: graylocks
Date: September 10, 2021 05:52PM
The night before my son and I had driven to meet up with my girlfriend and her son where they were vacationing on the western florida gulf coast. I honestly don't remember the town. It was a few days before my son's 8th birthday and when we arrived my friend's son had us look out the hotel window to the beach where he had written "Happy Birthday" in the sand large enough to be visible from the room's 5th floor window. That morning as the boys were playing and my girlfriend was making breakfast I opened up my laptop to check my AOL mail account. There was a photo of the towers burning and at first I laughed and said "Hey - someone is pranking AOL!" Then I read further and realized it wasn't a joke and told her to turn on the TV. We watched in horror for about an hour until we realized that this was undoubted traumatizing our 8 and 12 year old boys so we turned off the TV and went down to the beach.

My brother was in the air returning from a trip to Paris. I kept trying to find out what was happening with his flight and it took me a day or so to find out his plane was diverted to Nova Scotia. It was at least three days before we were able to make phone contact. I think he was up there at least two weeks before the airlines got him home.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: rgG
Date: September 10, 2021 06:04PM
9/11 is my SIL’s birthday. sad smiley
My in-laws were in Norfolk, VA visiting her for the occasion.
I remember that my MIL was quick thinking enough to find a rental car, so they could drive back to Atlanta, as their flight home had obviously been cancelled with no idea when it would take off.

I remember the days after when I would walk outside and it was so quiet with no airplanes at all in the air.

I also remember putting little American flag window decals on my car, as did many others. It was a rare time when people seemed united in a common bond of sorrow and patriotism.

My dad had died suddenly just a month before.

Our 10 year old daughter had to face a lot of harsh adult realities that year. sad smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 10, 2021 06:12PM
Not mine, but here is a powerful account of one person's recollections of and reaction to 9/11: [www.latimes.com]



It is what it is.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: lost in space
Date: September 10, 2021 06:18PM
Another thing I remember from that day, or a few days after. There's a Greek resaurant in town that we frequented, owned and run by a Jordanian family. A few days after the attacks we drove past their restaurant and saw American flags in their windows. We decided to show our support for the family and have dinner there. The place was packed. It was heartwarming to see, since they could have easily been targets for retaliation. They looked like they could have been Muslims to the less aware gun and torch toters of the area.



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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: modelamac
Date: September 10, 2021 06:21PM
I was repairing an appliance in a customer's home. Don't remember what or where. I just remember having to turn on my radio on my way home (or to the parts store/next customer) to make sense of what the customer was saying.

The magnitude of the events didn't hit me until that evening when I could sit down in front of the TV.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 10, 2021 06:21PM
I had recently moved into an apt in Harlem with a friend of mine and we didn't yet have internet or cable tv. I learned what happened when my mom called me from Wisconsin.

I had a great set of negatives that I was eager to print that would be the backbone of my (relatively short) photography career.

I'll never understand how scared the nation was while NYC was strong. If we could have rebuilt the towers brick by brick we would have. As a nation we reacted swiftly and without forethought. We lost our focus and suffered many self inflicted wounds. I'm not sure we've learned the lessons we should have.



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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 10, 2021 06:22PM
Quote
rich in distress
A friend was flying from Boston to LA that morning.

I had quit my job two months prior to 9/11 and was living a life of leisure. As it happens, one of the passengers on the Boston-to-L.A. flight had the same name and was roughly the same age as me and lived in the SFV, as I did at the time.

Many of my friends knew I have family in Boston and had been traveling since leaving my job. I took a few calls that day from people checking to make sure I wasn't the Daniel Lee onboard AA Flight 11.



It is what it is.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: September 10, 2021 06:44PM
I still lived with my mom - she always has the TV on. I saw the first plane hit, and assumed it was an accident. I got on the phone with now-Mr. RFD who was at the ambulance corps, having slept there as we were the previous night's crew. While on the phone with him, the second plane hit, but I was certain that it was a different angle replay of the first one. I absolutely couldn’t get through my head that it could be another plane. Of course, once I did, never mind the accident idea.

We spent the rest of the day packing and preparing to go to GZ with our ambulance corps. They never ended up needing us. Lots of things changed forever - we had to take a WMD course, we received a mass casualty trailer….
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: September 10, 2021 08:18PM
Quote
lost in space
I was at home durung summer break. My wife, a teacher, and two kids had just started back to school. At about 9AM my wife called me to tell me about the attacks. My first thought was that she was mistaken, but I turned on the TV and saw it was true. I shed a tear for the loss of personal safety for the country, my family and me. I was glued to the TV for two days. The hardest part was explaining to my kids what had happened.

I am almost an exact copy to Lost in Space.
My wife was a director at a preschool at the time. I worked mostly afternoon into evenings at a restaurant. Usually in the morning I'd have CNN or something on TV while simultaneously reading a newspaper, magazine, whatever. Fo r some reason, I did not turn on the TV, my wife called asking about things parents were saying about being attacked. I was home until my kids got off the school bus so I gingerly tried to inform and relax them so they would be traumatized. Then I went to work when my wife came home. We were ordered to close early, and I was home again by 9 pm. It was all very shocking. Having to stay calm and explain to the kids probably made us calm down too.

Dave



Welcome to Dave's BBQ!

Many have eaten here....

Few have died
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 10, 2021 08:40PM
I was on my way to an audition about an hour and a half away from home. I happened to decide to listed to a CD rather than the radio, so it wasn't until the CD ended and I went to the radio that I heard what had happened. At that point, the thinking was still that it was an accident with a small private plane. Then the layers started coming undone.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 10, 2021 09:33PM
I'll keep mine to myself, except to say I was both very angry and very sad for a very long time.

I had no tolerance for people I knew or knew of who thought this wasn't much more than a four-car crash on a highway, nor the countless replays of the planes crashing into the Towers.

There there were a few posts by morons at dealmac that made me want to reach out punch somebodies.

I can only imagine how people in NY were feeing, and those who lost friends and family members.

Every September 11, I remember what happened, what I saw and heard, what idiots were saying.

I'm not trying to relive any of that, it just happens.

The anger has lessened over time, but it's still deeply saddening when I think about it.

Let's roll.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 10, 2021 09:36PM
I was working steady overnight shifts so, at ~ 09:00, I was home sleeping.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 10, 2021 11:17PM
Quote
RecipeForDisaster
I still lived with my mom - she always has the TV on. I saw the first plane hit, and assumed it was an accident.

...How? My understanding has always been there was no footage of the first plane hitting available that day. AFAIK, to this day the only footage of the first plane hitting was captured by the French brothers filming a documentary the morning of the attack - I know for a fact that didn't make it to broadcast on September 11.



It is what it is.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: September 11, 2021 02:32AM
The phone rang at 6:45 AM west coast time. It was my stepson who was, at the time, in his first year as a commercial airline pilot with a commuter line which flew between New England, DC, Cincinnati, and a few other places. His first words to me were that he was OK, but we should turn on the television because something had happened involving a plane hitting the WTC in New York. I told him to talk to his mother and let her hear his voice, and I handed her the phone.

I remember reading personal accounts from New Yorkers on Deal Mac for days and then weeks afterwards. I remember things about the locals explaining where they were writing from and what they were seeing at the time. It was all quite horrifying and it had the effect, I think, of turning the Deal Mac group into a community. I do not remember even one DM participant trying to make a joke of anything.

Curiously, after the Concorde crashed in Paris, there was a page of jokes that was passed around among other airline pilots. I guess this is one way to deal with the stress and fear of realization that it could happen to you, but I don't remember seeing anything at all similar from the pilot community after 911.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: September 11, 2021 05:16AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
RecipeForDisaster
I still lived with my mom - she always has the TV on. I saw the first plane hit, and assumed it was an accident.

...How? My understanding has always been there was no footage of the first plane hitting available that day. AFAIK, to this day the only footage of the first plane hitting was captured by the French brothers filming a documentary the morning of the attack - I know for a fact that didn't make it to broadcast on September 11.

Huh. Maybe it was just the aftermath? I really thought I saw the first plane hit. I bet I’m not the only one.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: archipirata
Date: September 11, 2021 08:09AM
I was with my wife vacationing on the coast of Maine. We were in a little pottery store on the main square in Bar Harbor and there was a radio playing music. While we were there the music stopped for a breaking news announcement that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. Only later did we realize the magnitude of the events unfolding.

We had a flight back to Ohio booked a couple of days later which was canceled. So we kept our rental car and drove back. On the 2 day drive it seemed like every overpass on the highway had people gathered waving flags.



Athens, OH
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: September 11, 2021 09:09AM
Over 2 hours after the attacks I was still blissfully unaware, at home north of Seattle having breakfast with my young sons, going over spelling words with my 2nd grader. The phone rang and it was my 80-something year old grandfather calling from South Carolina to say he wouldn't be flying out to visit us later that week because of the attacks. And I said "what attacks?"

First and only time I got yelled at by him, the gentle giant church elder..."turn on your TV right now."
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 11, 2021 10:17AM
As I sit here reading this, two F-? fly overhead, right over my house scant miles from Logan Airport, surely back from some commemoration ceremony. The hollowness of that day will be forever with me, the stopping of time as I had known it up to that point in life. That's what I will never forget.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 11, 2021 11:34AM
I was doing my postdoctoral fellowship at the time -- working in a hospital / research setting where the majority of people on my floor were from foreign countries. I saw the news that morning on the TV, but the reality of it didn't really sink into me because, at the time, I was so focused on research and getting into work on time. Once I got there, of course everyone was asking me if I'd heard about it, and I was (stupidly) very dismissive... the gravity of what happened just didn't sink in for me.

In the hours that followed, I heard all manner of things coming from the people on my floor ... ranging from honest expressions of shock and sympathy, to thoughts along the lines of, "well, America deserved it, you finally got the punch in the face you were owed" (!), to one Pakistani guy who kept insisting that there was no possible way that ObL could have been responsible. It wasn't until that point that I'd really understood how much anti-American sentiment there was on my floor, which was ironic considering that most of these people had come here because of the better living conditions and career opportunities that existed here, compared to their own countries.

Also in the hours that followed, it sank in that we had some family friends who worked not in the towers themselves, but in buildings a couple over ... and of course no one could get ahold of them for many hours afterwards because of the lack of cell reception. That was a very long 12-24 hours or so. Luckily, they were all eventually found safe, though profoundly shook up.

Like many here, I also recall the relative unity that occurred in the immediate days and weeks afterwards, when it seemed like the country was coming together and putting aside (at least for the moment) our differences, in order to focus on grieving and what needed to be done. Then I noticed the grief and unity being replaced by -- of all things -- a plethora/overload of reality TV shows. Looking back at it, I'm sure that was partly because people just didn't want to think of or dwell on it, so the media/networks apparently decided that it was time to change the subject and try to get all of our collective minds off of it ... but I didn't (and still don't) think that was particularly healthy. And again as others here also have, I came to the conclusion that we didn't really learn the lessons of what we needed to from that awful day.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2021 11:35AM by PeterB.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 11, 2021 03:00PM
I was working evenings, so I had just dropped my girlfriend (now wife) off at college. She hated talk radio, so I had a music CD on (I think the Doors). It was about 730am.

After I dropped her off, I decided I was hungry, so I headed over to my parents house, knowing my mom would make me breakfast...

I got home, my mom opened the door, grabbed me and hugged me. She shouted in ear, "A plane hit the World trade center!"

I said "what, a Cessna? Did it break a few windows? Those buildings are gigantic!"

Then I saw the TV....a gaping hole in the side with smoke pouring out.

Then we saw what we thought was a replay...but it was the 2nd plane hitting.

"This was not an accident, Mom" I said. I saw tears in her eyes.

Then we heard about the Pentagon on TV.... "Are we in a war?" She said.

"I think we are. I think we are."

My girlfriend called me, her college was cancelling classes at noon. I stopped by daughter's school. They were keeping the kids and not telling them, but I could take her if I wanted. I decided to let her have a few more hours of innocence.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Eli Weisel

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt (1918)

"I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it." - Billy Graham 1981

"Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise" - Barry Goldwater
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: d4
Date: September 11, 2021 03:28PM
Twenty years ago today, the weather in Manhattan was cool, breezy, sunny, clear, bright blue skies. It was such a beautiful, beautiful morning.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2021 03:29PM by d4.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 11, 2021 03:40PM
I was doing outdoor programs at an elementary school in Pittsburgh, near the flight path of Flight 93. On the short drive there, the morning drive guy on the radio was reporting the first hit. At the time, the thought was a small private plane. As we led the programs one after the other, we could feel tension building, but we didn't know why. At lunch time, we learned that the towers had fallen and all sorts of hell had broken loose.

We proceeded with the afternoon. No one from the school told us to stop and we had no easy access to news to really grasp the scope ourselves. A few parents came to get their kids early, but the school kept its normal hours. At some point, a fighter jet went overhead.

Afterward I realized we may well have been able to see Flight 93 in the air had we known to look at the right time.

Flight 93 crashed just over the hill from where my colleague was operating our remote education program at a camp there. In days before 9/11, they (and myself on one occasion) would hike to the top of the hill to view the strip mine. Now you see the memorial from that vantage point.
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: September 11, 2021 05:54PM
I was off work that day and my wife wanted to go a flea market one county over that's only open on Tuesday mornings. So we went early and were walking around and on the way out there were some TV's playing that were for sale and we noticed Bush on one of the TVs and one of us said, can't remember which, "what's that idiot doing on TV this time of day". Not thinking too much about it we left and turned on the radio in the car and heard what was going on and I felt sick on my stomach when I heard it. We got home and turned on the TV and saw it playing out live. It still gives me goosebumps.

I'll say this, for a while I felt like the country was more united after 9/11 than anytime in my life.

We live right in the flight path from the NE to Charlotte. With all the planes grounded we would go out at night and it was so eerily quiet it was freaky. Planes usually start throttling down over our home and sometimes it's very noticeable.



Grateful11
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Re: 9/11 memories
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: September 13, 2021 12:53PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Over 2 hours after the attacks I was still blissfully unaware

Wife & I were semi-blissfully unaware.

We were returning from London, en route to Dulles.

Captain said we had to land in Gander, but no explanation why. Just said that the plane was fine.

I don't remember when (in flight or waiting on the Gander tarmac) he finally told us what he knew: both towers hit/collapsed, Pentagon hit, fourth plane down near Pittsburgh. But it was much later. We didn't deplane until 12 hours after landing (about half what the last plane had to wait).

Didn't really sink in until the school bus dropped us off at Gander Academy with our Red Cross care packages and we saw it on TV.
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