Where were you nine years ago today? Looking back, I can remember all the pundits saying that " the world had changed " in a few terrible moments on a fall morning. And it had.
I was in a senior’s building with about 40 people, watching the live TV reports as they came in. The feeling was that our friends in America had been hurt and we wanted to help. Spontaneously, a hat was passed to collect money to send to someone / anyone and the American Flag was run up the flag pole to fly beside our own.
I was driving down East Robbin’s Ave in Newington, CT to go meet an Appraiser when I heard on the radio about a plane hitting the Trade Center and called my wife to turn on the TV, that (I assumed) some guy flying a Cessna crashed into the building and to see what the deal was.
I turned onto Maple Hill Ave and was immediately stopped as they had the road blocked off due to what was thought a toxic spill (someone put pool chemicals in the trash and the garbage truck made a mess when they crushed it) so I turned around and went back to my office, got online to see what was going on in NY and the rest as they say is history.
I am still pissed off about it, and want to know why there are not the tallest buildings in the world standing there 9 years later, complete and occupied, like a giant middle finger pointing to Mecca.
The USA I thought I grew up in would have had them done if this happened 50 years ago.
We had just moved to Florida and I was building my first house in the state and thought I had moved to heaven. Building on the beaches of Anna Maria Island .My wife was headed to the Sarasota Airport to see Air Force 1. I just left the office to check a job site while listening to Glenn Beck and laughing. He announced on the radio then I went right back to the office. I couldnt believe it till I saw it. Al I’m with you, what have we become ?
I was running on a treadmill, at our company gym, at between 7:30 AM, and 9:00 PM.
I will remember to this day, seeing the news reports showing the planes hitting the towers, and thinking, “wow, thats an incredible sight, I wonder if this is a movie or something we’re watching…”
but just as I thought this, all TV monitors started showing the same stuff,
and the talk in the gym started getting animated with “Do you believe this is happening?”
It was a frightening and horrific thing to watch…
Lest we never forget
I was on the computer in my office looking at the hotel I “would be” staying at the next day in San Juan. A co-worker stuck his head in the door and said an airplane had just hit the WTC. When I pulled up CNN the first thing that struck me was the crystal blue sky (this was not an accident!). Working at a major airline I was also struck by the look on the faces of our senior management (no doubt this was bad). I was amazed at how fast a command center was put together with spools of (communication) cable being rolled down the long halls. No one breathed a sigh of relief until all planes were on the ground and accounted for. Soon, we were all told to go home and be with our families. As I left, I saw planes at every imaginable angle parked on runways and taxi ways. The quiet was deafening. I was so glad to hear airplane noise again several days later.
I was the wing commander of the 147 FW in Houston, Tx. Thirty minutes after the second airplane hit the tower we were loading live missiles on 14 F-16s. Ninety minutes after we had two fully loaded F-16s in the air escorting Air Force One from Fl to La to Ne to DC. In what I think was a tremendous over reaction we kept 2 F-16s (supported by La F-15s) in the air 24 hours a day for 3 days.
Renovating a College Building when my Boss called and told me to go to the office and watch it on TV.
Saw the second plane hit the tower live, and sank in my chair. The thought of all the people in those buildings, was a scary and sad feeling.
At the time I worked at GE Aircraft Engines as a Customer Support Engineer. We worked 12 hour shifts 3 on 4 off then 4 on 3 off. I was on my day off and had just finished eating breakfast. I was watching CNN when they interrupted with breaking news about a plane flying into the WTC.I remember thinking, what the hell, it’s a crystal clear day. As the reporter was talking I saw what I thought was a helicopter flying around the area, then a huge fireball from the other tower. It made me sick to think of all the people that had just lost their lives & what the survivors must be dealing with. I remember it struck me as odd that at the time it seemed like it took about 10 seconds for the reporter to realize what had just happened as she just kept on talking with this huge fireball rising behind her, then she said something to the effect of, it appears the other tower has been hit. At that point I knew we where under attack & would be going to war. I called & woke up my Brother who was in the Navy stationed in Hawaii and & told him to turn on his TV that we were being attacked, I remember him asking, what channel & I told him any channel. Shortly thereafter he was re-deployed on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
It is one of those tragic day’s, just like the day the Challenger exploded, the day President Kennedy was assassinated and the day President Reagan was shot, that sticks with you for life.
I was in Atlanitc City, NJ working on a new hotel tower addition for Harrahs Casino. We all thought it was a small plane at first, since there is always an air traffic issue on the Hudson River. They sent us all home for the rest of the day at around 11:00 am.
The sobering thing about all of this for me is a year earlier I was working on 8 floors of renovations for Blue Cross- Blue Shield from the 80th to the 88th in the south tower. Having commuted by Path train to and from below both buildings, I can’t even fathom what it was like down in the train tubes. Also, I can’t imagine how bad it must have been when jumping was the better option.
Living in Jersey City, home packing for a European vacation which was postponed for 3-years. Watched the 2nd plane hit and both buildings fall. Two days later the wind shifted and you could smell death in the air throughout Jersey City. Both my wife and I knew people who died and just a few weeks before my wife had interviewed for a position at Aeon which took a direct hit from the 2nd plane. Probably how we are now living in Florida since the position with Aeon went down with the Tower. I’m also fairly sure it’s the day I renounced my religion.
I was still trucking then, I was being loaded in Trenton, Ont. with frozen food destined for the east coast. Not knowing how the day was going to pan out, I stopped in Brockville and gathered up the whole family. Melanie and I took all 4 kids in the truck to the New Brunswick border and switched trailers with another driver and turned around and drove back home. I didn’t see any of the footage until I got home at 4 am. And yes I drove about 1100 miles that day. (should have been 2 day trip) but for some reason I just didn’t feel tired.
A day and trip we will never forget.
I was in center city Philadelphia in a 57 story office building attending a United Way planning meeting. I noticed when security came in and ushered the CEO out of the room. I left the meeting just in time to see the second plane impact on an overhead monitor. It took a while to realize that those were 757s and not small planes.
I was in charge of IT operations there. Everyone went into a kind of state of lethargy and incomprehension as they listened to more news of additional planes and wondering how many more might be out there and where they might be heading. There was no official direction given to the employees so 5,000 people were just milling around and talking. I had my staff button down the IT facilities and make sure the day’s tapes were picked up by Iron Mountain and told them to leave. No one was working anyway and it didn’t seem wise for people to just be hanging out in the largest building in the city.
I had stayed in the Millennium Hilton just a few months prior.