Posted by: shannynmoore | September 10, 2009

Remembering 9/11…

I got a phone call on the morning of 9/11/2001. I saw the second plane hit on television. I had no idea, though I felt huge grief, how big the scale of impact was. Pop Moore was moose hunting and didn’t find out for several weeks what happened. I’m sure he was one of the last to know.

When AKM and I were in NYC last month we went to Ground Zero…I got it…and I wept again…for that day and for all the deaths that followed. Where were you?



  1. I got a phone call in CA and saw the second plane hit and heard the story of the PA plane. I was crying and wishing that I could help in some way. Soon after, I began to wonder where W was hiding, because he WAS hiding. We’re rewriting history by describing his behavior as unifying or as anything positive on that day. He was appalling as a leader of a country that had been attacked. Also, what is it exactly that Rudy did? Survived?

    • In all fairness- on that day (those horrible first days) I thought Rudy was stellar. I don’t like his shifty politics- BUT on THAT DAY- his words and actions held us all together. While Bush was paralyzed- Rudy was a clear voice of strength and reason. For that and that alone- I shall always give him a pass- for the rest of his BS.

  2. Ah! I was in my car on the way to pick my boys up from school here in France in the Paris suburbs. Turned on the French radio and was awfully confused. Airplanes over the Twin Towers? I turned it on just as the first plane hit. I listened to it unravel as I drove towards school. My brother’s office windows looked out onto the towers and they watched the whole thing happen; I have cousins who work in the Towers and luckily weren’t there at the time. I have two cousins who both work for Morgan Stanley – one in Hong Kong the other in Denver, each one was on the phone talking to a colleague in the Towers office when the first plane hit. Horrible and shockin, even all these years later.

  3. I was in Cincinnati at the time working a cable/internet installer job as a contract employee. I had turned on CNN about 8:30 while waiting for the rest of the emails with my day’s work schedule. I saw the second plane hit live but was getting breakfast when the first one hit. It stunned me, and the next day all our contracts were canceled since nobody was interested in buying anything for a few days. Since then things definitely haven’t been the same!

  4. I was at home in Germany. My husband called and said “Now don´t panic, but there has been an attack..” I switched on the TV. My kids were at home. I felt like collecting them to make sure they were safe.
    I was afraid there would be more attacks and all the world would sink into chaos. It felt like the world stood still. Since then there was Madrid, London, closer to my home and all places I know and love dearly. I still fear there will be more. What can we do? We can remember.

  5. I was on my way to work at NPR and passed the Pentagon just 15 minutes before the plane struck there. It was an eerie day in DC. Traffic snarled to a standstill; people milling in the streets with wild rumors running rife. NPR held a special news meeting, pulled all of us off stories we were working on and assigned us to this. I headed down to the Mall, walking against the steady stream of humanity headed away from The Capitol. One woman saw my US Capitol press pass and told me to hide it, that “they” were killing people with official credentials. It was more than eerie. The next days, weeks, and months produced some of the best journalism I have ever witnessed, though. It was an honor to be a part of it.

  6. On my way to University of Alaska Anchorage; I heard what happen but the commentary was filled with revenage and hate. I was appalled by this response and have aways questioned the reason for this response. As many went in to revenage mode, fear mode, blind following gw bush to invade 2 countries mode; I turned around to put my sign back back on my car that read “If you give government enough rope they will hang you.” If you can find it I wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Anchorage Daily News a few days later that really says how I felt that day.

  7. On September 10, I was headed to the Denver Int’l Airport for a flight home to Alaska. I forgot about the Monday Night football game in Denver. Traffic was a mess. No way I could get to DIA in time for my flight. I went back to my sister’s house in Colorado Springs and watched the game. The next morning, I got up and my brother-in-law had the television on CNN. One of the towers had been hit by a small aircraft…Then the 2nd plane hit right before our eyes. I ended up staying in the Springs for an extra week.

  8. Thirty miles north of Seattle

    Richard woke me up on the morning of 9/11/2001. He told me I needed to come into the living room. The TV was on and second plane was yet to hit. I remember Arron Brown, then a CNN journalist. Somehow his voice was soothing through the horror. ..he day was filled with horror…. Our grown children and their families gathered here throughout the day.

    Our grandson, then nearly 3, said at one point, “again and again, it happened again and again,” as he pointed to the TV.

    I hate that our country has bombed Afghanistan and Iraq for the last 8 years.

  9. I was a freshman in high school and had just gotten to school that morning. Even though class hadn’t started yet, no one was in the hallways. At first I thought it was eerie and had no idea what was going on. Then I started peeking into the open doors of classrooms as I passed them. Everybody was glued to a television. Finally, I got to my own classroom. I watched in horror as the second plane hit. I remember the screen showing the flames and the panic. I remember all the sheets of paper raining down from the towers. Most of all, I remember the terrible sense of loss. I was fortunate not to have lost anyone I loved that day but that didn’t stop my heart from grieving for all those who did.

    My mom talked to me afterward. She told me there’s a moment in everyone’s life that when asked, they can always tell you exactly what they were doing, where they were, etc. She said most of the time it’s something tragic because very little binds people in that way like tragedy. Her’s of course was the news of JFK’s assassination. She was almost my age when it happened and remembers it perfectly. Now, so many Americans are bound together in this tragedy.

  10. My husband had just dropped our 6 yo son off for school in Albuquerque, NM.He called me and told me to turn on the TV. I thought I had left the TV on a movie channel because how can this be happening?? I called my mom who was living in Monterey, CA at the time and immediately asked “what do I tell Nate?”. She said “keep him away from it as much as possible so he doesn’t get scared”. Thank god for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. I thought “is this the kind of world he will have to live in forever?”. He has seen much in his young life..the good (election night) and the bad (wars and economic collapse) however, he also knows that life goes on and that he lives in a country that can come back and that TOGETHER we can do great things.

  11. I was on my way to the airport to get on a flight bound for Washington, DC when the attacks happened. Needless to say, i didn’t go anywhere that day.

  12. A college friend called me that morning – he and his two friends had finally moved into their new office after years of steadily moving their. They already had several clients for their new web design firm. Toe in the door, he told me, but man! What a view! We laughed about our wild days in NYC together, I congratulated him on his new digs in WTC-SouthTower & he promised to email photos of his Room With A View. . . . I had the news on in my office when the reports came on. . .I was frantically trying to reach him on his cell phone when the South Tower disappeared

  13. I had broken my wrist a few days before, (had surgery and pins inserted), and was taking perocet for the pain. My mother was staying with us to help with me and the baby, and my husband, who worked nights, had just gotten home. I remember turning on the TV, seeing an office tower in NYC with this sort of surreal orangy glow behind it, and thinking “Wow, what beautiful color” It slowly became apparent when had happened and as we were watching, the second plane hit.

    My mother recalled Pearl Harbor as a young teen, I remembered watching the Kennedy assassination coverage as a small child, and my baby was too young to remember 9/11. I wonder what the defining national tragedy will be that she remembers?

  14. I was driving when I heard about the first tower; I saw the second tower hit on teevee. Horrific day in our history as a nation.

    First tower hit at 8:46am, 102 minutes later collapsed
    Second tower hit at 9:03am, 56 minutes later collapsed
    Building 7 not hit, 5:20pm, collapsed in 7 seconds

    I am a “truther” according to those who laugh at the idea that our government was involved in a cover-up. I ask that everyone visit the patriotsquestion911 website and read what professionals have said about the collapsed of those three buildings. And then view the 911 Blueprint for Truth videos (13) on youtube and see forensic science applied.

    Building 7 collapsed without a plane hitting it in 7 seconds demolition style. At the time of that collapse, 23 core columns and 57 perimeter columns fell within 1/10th of a second of each other beginning with Column #79. That building housed an SEC office which housed the Enron and Worldcom files. There was also a CIA, IRS and other government offices in that building. Silverstein discussing the collapse on a PBS program said they pulled the building. He later tried to say pulled the firefighters from the building. Yet, there were no firefighters in the building at 5:20pm, when the building collapsed demolition style in 7 seconds. How could that be?

    The twin towers were designed like a structure within a structure. And designed to withstand a Boeing 707 crashing into them. There were 47 columns in the center of the buildings. Not one floor panel was found in the rubble. Concrete was polarized into dust. Physics applied said the towers fell 50x gravitational energy of the buildings, like a volcano erupting in small particles. Trusses flew at the speed of sound.

    Witnesses said they saw molten steel, the lower levels burned for three months after the collapse of the towers. Thermite reaches 4500F in seconds, and can burn under water. Dr. Steven Jones (physics) tested dust from the towers and found Thermitic material in each dust sample. Explosions took those buildings down, all three, all on the same day, all owned by the same man, all fell the same way. Marvin Bush previously had connections with the security of those buildings. Bomb dogs were removed from the buildings the week before the towers collapsed.

    Hundreds of FEMA people arrived in NYC the day before for a training drill. Cheney was in control of a terrorist drill that very day. And why didn’t the secret service grab President Bush immediately when an airport was within four miles of that school building? Rudy is on video walking fast saying the building was going to collapse before it did. All the documentation does not support the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report. The report does not mention any explosions. And that report does not cover the collapse of Building 7. Further, why were no engines found at the Pentagon site?

    Bush had planned to go after bin Laden before that day.

    Take the time to investigate and judge for yourself; watch the video of Building 7 collapse and read what professionals said. Please don’t let those victims die in vain. The Bush/Cheney regime deceived this nation.

    • I have examined the great amount of evidence that exists that this is an inside job in an effort to dispute it, but have instead been convinced of it due to the factual data and expert analysis in many of the sources. Some is purely fictitious, but much is valid. I understand around half of those living in NYC don’t agree with the government’s version of events. Many others refuse to believe that anyone could be capable of such planning against their own people to advance a political agenda. Welcome to the new world order.

  15. I was in Colorado. My sister had called me at 6am that morning to tell me that my mom in Texas was being taken to the hospital.
    I had the television on and was astounded at the news from New York. Then even more when I saw the second plane hit!
    I remember days afterward waiting in line to get fuel. That was scary, too.
    I pray that nothing like this happens again. God Bless America.

  16. LOL….GW has the book upside down!

  17. I was sitting on a plane getting ready to go to NYC. We sat on the ground until the pilots came on and asked everyone to deplane; that there had been an incident in New York and we wouldn’t be flying. Walked past a bar in the airport and saw a TV just as the second plane hit. Went to ground zero one week later and you could still smell death in the air. I’ll never forget the sight of that flood-lit smoking hole in the ground.

  18. I had worked on the 70th floor of the WTC for 10 years. I was there for the bombing in 1993. My son was born in 1997 and he had a disability so I got a job closer to home. That morning I was just about to head out the door to work when I saw the news. I tried calling my friends who still worked at the WTC but calls wouldn’t go through. I spent the day watching the news and hoping for my friends to be OK. It turned out that the man who was responsible for my company’s security, Richard Rescorla, made sure that everyone was safe. After the 1993 bombing he had made sure that we were always prepared for an emergency evacuation. He died returning to make sure that there were no stragglers.

  19. I was drinking my coffee and watching the news. I too saw the second plane hit. I remember setting down my cup and going to wake my wife. As i put on my uniform, and with tears in my eyes, I expalined what was going on. “War has begun, tell the children I love them and I wilt be home as soon as I can” was the gist of what I said as I headed off the maelstrom that was starting up at the base.

  20. “LOL….GW has the book upside down!”

    Yes, it would be funny but the picture is photo-shopped. Dubya may have been stupid but he wasn’t THAT stupid.

    • yes he was

  21. It was certainly a day that I will never foget. I was working in a high rise building where my office window looked at an angle across Route 395 over to the pentagon. I work for the Government and had already been informed that the first plane had hit a tower in NY and another could be on it’s way to DC. My desk faced the windows and I noticed a moment later a large, unusual shadow pass very low overhead – planes only passed by the building behind me since Reagan airport runways are along the Potomac river. A huge explosion that shook my computer monitor and office windows could be heard seconds later with volumes of black smoke and flames rising from the Pentagon. We knew immediately what had happened.

    Many scrambled to exit the building since we were unsure if or when another plane would strike. Confused Pentagon employees were running from the building across the 14th Street bridge or anywhere for shelter. I drove through masses of people on the street – I gave a stranger a ride to a bus stop on my way home.
    I was on the George Washington Parkway and will never forget how warm, clear and bright the sky was that day when the radio reporter said the towers had fallen.

    Living near DC was erie for the next several days. In an area where trains, metro, buses and planes buzz around constantly, to hear complete silence in the air was almost frightening. The only noise came from military jets roaring over once in a while for the next several days so loudly they would wake us in a suburb 30 miles from DC but overall, there was silence in Washington.

    Although our building was very close to the site, we were asked to return to work the next morning to show that our Government would not be shut down. I passed by the Pentagon at 5:30AM the next morning which was still smoldering and was brightly lit with massive flood lights. I wasn’t sure if it was the gaping hole in the building or the stench of flesh and burning jet fuel that me sick to my stomach. I and many of my colleagues walked to the building that next morning curious to see the destruction but ended up on a grassy hillside overlooking the Pentagon crying, hold hands and praying with folks waiting for final word about their loved ones who were still unaccounted for. We lost neighbors that day. One of my staff members was in a car on Route 395 coming in to work a bit late from dropping his daughter off to school when the landing gear hit a light post that crashed onto his car. He narrowly escaped without injury but looked up as the plane was crashing into the building, a lot changed for him that day.

    It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed. Much has changed here. New roads around the pentagon keep traffic farther away, the childcare building in the parking lot is still there but never reopened after that morning. You can still see brightly colored windows that look as if kids could still walk right in…

    As I sit in my office on this 8 year anniversary and although rain is coming down pretty steady, I plan to join others later this morning as President Obama is scheduled to place a wreath honoring those who lost their lives that day. Lest we forget…

  22. I’ve been to Ground Zero twice. Both visits evoking powerful emotions of grief, horror, and anger. Memories of groggily turning on the radio that morning in September ’01. KNBA and a distraught yet even-keeled Camile Conte reporting that a second plane had just crashed into another NYC building.
    Paper skyscrapers…

    When I brought my 14 year old daughter to Ground Zero last month, I steeled myself for another affecting blow. When I caught my first glimpse, I was quite surprised to see find how much had changed from when I had last seen it on Election Day of last year. In November, there had been a 2-3 story pit, not gaping and piled with the destruction of that day, but cleared out and reinforced with a skeleton of intricate interlays of cement walls and steel girders. There were enormous ramps set up to transport the many huge construction vehicles down into the pit.
    I admit I was relieved to see the busyness of construction and not the carnage of those two collapsed giants. I had once stood on the deck of one of those towers on a high school photography field trip taking photos of that fantastic city and beyond. Incomprehensible to think of them both coming down…
    When I returned with my daughter the pit was gone. What we saw from our vantage point was the ground floor of the future. Solid. Stable. They had just that morning lowered into place a 60 ft long, 7o ton girder shaped like a crucifix, one of 24 forming the core of the new skyscraper.
    Sure…NO physical structure is indestructible. We are engulfed in impermanence. But what remains and endures is the collective human spirit and the drive and strength to forge on. I think of our friend who survived to go on and marry and live a wonderful life with a beautiful child… I see brutally gouged earth and hearts rising from the ashes…
    September 11th 2001, and the brief weeks after was the last time I felt America united, partisanship aside, embracing one another. I hope to feel that unity once again someday. Under joyful circumstance.

  23. 9-11-2001 the day Americans started losing thier civil liberties. And by doing so the Terrorist won.
    It was very tramatic and tragic. I watched it unfold live before my eyes. To this day I believe it could have been avoided. By not having it be avoided the Administrtaion at the time had good reason to go to war. To bad we went to the wrong Country to do so. These people were Saudies. But we can not upset them or our oil may dry up. 9-11-2001 brought about the TSA, the Patriot Act, The Dept. Of Homeland Security, and spying on Americans. NOTHING was learned from this tadgic event in our history. The failures are many.

    “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.” Ben franklin

  24. mexico city. switched the tv to cnn like every morning just after the first plane had hit with live pictures from the site. the news guy was interviewing a caller, a witness, trying to figure out the size of the first plane, speculating what might have happened, underestimating. i had called another colleague upstairs, we stayed on the phone together watching when the second plane flew across the screen from the right, followed by the explosion in the second tower, and confusion on the news; then the endless repeats of the second airplane hitting, zooming in on the plane, the explosion in the tower. airliner jet from the right, huge explosion in the second tower, no plane on the left. i still didnt get what was going on until my colleague started shouting on the phone ‘we are under attack!’. we rushed to work, found a tv there and got it running in time to watch the second tower fall. the people jumping from iz windows. the reports about the other flights.

  25. I was home. Husband who was then the fiance called from a CA hotel he was at for work. I hadn’t turned on the TV until he called. I tuned in shortly after the second plane had hit. His parents where on an AK cruise, funny enough. They got word from the captain but weren’t able to see any of the images until they came home a week later.

    I remember driving through town with the windows down. Everyone’s radio dial was on. Everyone looked heartbroken. Everyone looked…lost. Radios on in every store. Hugs offered to every stranger in pain. Not enough to do. Not enough on where to go to help. Not enough to stop the pain. But in that moment we were so thick with compassion and connectedness that I thought my heart would break a thousand times before it would beat once.

    Everytime the digital clocks, the VCR, the microwave, the clock on the car radio hits 9:11, I think of that day without even having to think about remembering. Cable media became my life line to the outside world, and to this day I have to tune in to my world. I have to see how my fellow Americans are doing — even if some of them are misbehaving. I have to tap into the pulse of my country, if for no other reason than to try to recapture that moment of universal compassion and connectedness.

    Funny enough, the only time I’ve felt it since was during this presidential campaign. And when I arrived at the welcome mat of AK blogs.

    Peace & love, Shannyn.

  26. … I had to have to drive someone to JFK airport in New York City on September 11, 2001, so they could catch a very early AM International flight. As I began to drive out of the airport in the early morning, I tuned on the radio to get a quick update on traffic … and there it was. I frantically changed channels on the radio to verify what I was hearing. I was told first that reports were that a small plane had apparently hit one of the Twin Towers. What? OMG … terrible news. I continued my drive up the Van Wyck Expressway and the news became worse … there were reports of another plane crash in Washington DC … reports of another plane hitting the other tower. Then, by the time I approached the Whitestone Bridge … word that jet airliners have hit both towers and reports were off additional crashes in DC and Pennsylvania.

    The airport was closed shortly after I drove away from it and traffic was light but moving in stunned slowness as reality creeped into the cabin of each vehicle. I made it to the Whitestone Bridge before it was closed down and drove very slowly over the bridge, not due to traffic, but due to the horror I, and others, saw on our left on this crystal clear day … both Towers were spewing dark, black smoke while the rest of the NYC skyline glistened on this sunny day. What? The unimaginable view is etched in my mind and I think of it often … especially when I drive over the Whitestone Bridge. I do that fairly often as I suffer at NY Mets games or visit my kids,who both work in Manhattan (one close to ‘ground zero’)and live in Astoria.

    I drove home in stunned disbelief up the Hutch, onto 684 to 84 … listening to the worsening reports on the radio. At home, the my view on the Whitestone Bridge was on TV. Shortly after that, one tower went down and then the other, bring thousands to their deaths.

    Forget the politic for a moment … we lost thousands on that morning, and etched 9/11 into our minds forever … especially that view from the Whitestone Bridge.

  27. My wife & I spent the weekend in NY with our kids & grandkids. We left LaGuardia at 8:32 am 4 home in Ft. Lauderdale Fla. At 9:45 the stewardess would not let my wife use the restroom. I got up & went 2 her & said what r u doing. She said we r going 2 land I said she was wrong by 2 hrs. She ok let her go quick. I helped 2 the restroom. 10 minutes later
    the pilot came on & said “there is no problem with our plane but we have been asked prepare 4 a landing. I had been flying 4 35 yrs never heard o’s such a thing. I assured my wife it was routine.
    We started 2 descend. 1/2 hour later pilot
    says we r going2 land at Jacksonville Fla. Lots of buzzing among everyone but pilot said everything is ok. Clear day no problem. we landed safely 2 applause. Pilot then said he was sorry but we would have 2 wait 4 a gate 4 at least one hour. He said we could put on cell phones and drinks would be served.
    I turned on my cell phone as did everyone else.
    My phone rang instantly it was my 31 yr old son who was a school teacher. He was sobbing so much he could not stop or catch his breath. I thought I was having a heart attack. My first thought was that the kids or grandkids had a terrible tragedy.
    I could console him 4 5 minutes. I raised my voice 2 tell him 2 stop crying I could understand what he was saying. Others on the plane were staring at us. No other passenger could get through on cell phone.
    He finally stopped crying & said I am so happy 2 hear ur voice. I’m thinking what the hell is that.
    He then starts crying again & says planes hut WTC & Washington & Pa & many planes r in the skies & they think there r more hijackings. I gasped! The passengers asked what happened & I just said it was personal. I did not want 2 b the 1 2 say.
    I told my son hang up now & call his sisters 2 tell them we were ok & we would call as soon as we could. We finally got 2 the gate & there were 1000’s
    of people in the terminal all tv’s off.
    I told my wife 2 stay close I was going 2 hertz gold
    when I got there. There were 300 people on a line that usually would have 3 people. I quickly
    moved onto the garage 2 hertz 2 find 500 people waiting 4 cars. Told my wife 2 get on line. I walked about 50 feet 2 budget rental. There was one girl at a window. I asked if she had cars. She said only if u have a reservation anywhere in US. I said I didn’t but I would give her $100. “you really would” I gave her a $100 bill. She said pick out whatever u want. I got in picked up my wife & we r off. It took us 12 hours 2 drive home. We could not use cell phone all the way home no service. We got home near midnight and had 20 messages just from our daughters. Mom dad please call where r u.
    We finally got 2 them and fell into bed.

  28. Because we live in Alaska, we were asleep when it happened. When the radio alarm went off at 6:45, it took us a few seconds to decifer what was being said, and then we rushed out to turn on the TV and watch. By then I think we were just seeing replayed footage. I have a dear friend from college who is with the FDNY; he survived with just a scratched cornea.

  29. I was living overseas at the time and was so shocked when I heard the news that at first I didn’t take it all in. Soon after I leaned that the people who I was currently working with had been on the 110th floor of WT 2. I had worked on the 60th floor of WT 2 prior to that. Other co-workers were in New Jersey at offices that boasted an amazing view of the towers. Sadly, on that day, their view turned into a living nightmare. The terrible stories that have since been told to me by the survivors of the day will forever haunt me.

    The US came together on that day to help heal and move forward. It was wonderful and admired the world over. And it worked for a while. But something changed soon afterward and I’m afraid it changed for the worse. At first not many noticed as people cheered on their patriotic soap boxes. “You’re either with us or against us” was the rallying cry.

    I returned to the US for a visit and was truly frightened at the level of patriotic pride turned to fear and hatred of other people and countries. Dick Cheney’s minions were stocking the flames of fear and hatred and the conservative right used those emotions to fuel their own political fires. (Remember the hatred thrown at the French?)

    It’s been eight years but that hatred and division has not died, it has intensified to a dangerous (not just annoying) level. The right has used this horrendous episode of history to promote their agenda of phony patriotism and will do nothing short of destroying the very democracy they say they support just to regain control of the Congress and the White House.

    A lot has happened since 9/11…some good and a lot bad. Two wars are raging, thousands of people are dying. People have been tortured at the hands of the US and others imprisoned without charge. Even wire tapping and survelence of American citizens was considered OK. Americans should be appalled but many in the far right are not. Instead they defend the actions as within our rights to protect ourselves and defend our freedoms (at the expense of…?).

    The country now has a President who is strong and thoughtful and who can take the country in the direction that it should go. He has the intelligence to use the lessons learned from 9/11
    to build a stronger, safer republic, safeguarding its freedoms and returning its pride. That is if we stand behind him and help.

    Sadly, there are many in the country who will not help and are bent on obstructing even the simplest of plans to move the country forward, namely the Lindbaughs and Palins and Becks and Lingrahams who want the President to fail at whatever he does. The far right will stop at little in their quest to return to the good old days of Republican control (that helped put the country at risk in the first place).

    It’s time the we all realize that the far right in the country are really no different than the terrorists that they say they are against. They are becoming America’s own Taliban.

  30. I was riveted to the TV watching in horror, while talking to my girlfriend on the phone, through most of the day.

    I think of that day as the beginning of the horrors.

    I do not in any way diminish the value of every single life lost there that day, over three thousand souls.

    Not any more than I could diminish the value of the MILLIONS of Iraqi lives lost, in an illegitimate war that the republicans created to satisfy their blood lust and greed.

  31. I was teaching. The V.P stuck his head in the door and told me. I dismissed it as the guy was a jokester and I thought it was a prank.

    But when the kids left for their P.E. class I went next door to where the science teacher had the T.V. on. And there were the towers, burning.

    When the kids came back we discussed it and I asked them if they wanted to watch. They said no, they’d rather continue with class. I think that was a wise decision on their part.

    It kept their minds off of it. And they were overdosed on those sights in the following months. I think it also said a lot for their priorities. they could learn about it later on the evening news. This was school time and they were here to learn.

  32. I was in Tokyo on 9/11/01 where I had lived since 1990 and married into a wonderful Japanese family. My wife and I had lived with her family until the year before and had moved into our own high-rise apartment in 1999 with our two sons.

    I had just arrived home late after a working dinner with clients when my cell phone rang and a dear friend of mine in Osaka told me to turn on CNN. I told him I needed call him back but he was insistent, almost angry with me, and he said in rough Japanese “look, just do it dumbass!” which shocked me into silence. I turned on the TV to see the first tower smoking on a brilliant clear New York morning.

    My family and I watched in horror as 2 minutes later the 2nd plane smashed into Tower 2. My older son, 9 at the time, saw me cry for the first time in his life. My wife took our 3-year old son into the other room and rocked him to sleep, and the older boy finally asked me in a breaking voice “Is this the end of the world?” and began to cry himself. Dinner, baths, homework, dishes…brushing teeth…all daily routine was forgotten.

    I told him “no son, not the end, but our world has just changed forever”.

    “Why are you afraid? You’re crying…” he asked, tearing up more.

    I immediately gained composure, and my resolve became clear. I realized he was crying because I was.

    “Yes son, I am afraid a little, and I should be. This is an act of war.”

    I found my voice and continued, my fists clenching and un-clenching.

    “But more than fear, I am angry, and these tears are tears of rage because I can’t do anything to stop this from happening right now. But I swear to you I will protect you and your mother and brother and we will be ok.”

    I tried in vain to get through to the US on the phone for the next hour, and my son wandered in to sleep next to his mother and brother in our bed. We all slept (what sleep we could get) in one bed that night…and for several more.

    The phone lines from Japan were not working to anywhere in the USA until about three hours later when I got through to my brother in Poughkeepsie, then my mother in Oregon. Things were still not clear about who was responsible or whether the US was expecting more attacks. The Japanese government was also on high alert, and my the president of the Japanese company I worked for called to express sympathy and tell me he understood if I didn’t go to work in the morning.

    I called my father, who was living in Mexico, something I never would do on a normal day. My father and I did not get along well, but we had at least been on speaking terms since I’d gotten married and he’d made the effort to come to visit us in Tokyo after the wedding. It was the first time since I was a small child that I felt comforted to hear his voice. He told me later that it was the first time in his life he ever felt comforted by mine.

    I went in to work the next morning anyway to the most surreal office experience of my life even more surreal than my first day on the job as the only full time foreign staffer in a mid-sized consulting firm near the heart of Tokyo. People I thought I knew well avoided conversation, some even avoided looking at me. People I had never spoken to before came up and offered their nervous condolences.

    The company president spent half a day to come all the way from Yokohama to talk to me and tell me that he would give me his “support if I needed any special time to myself” which I assured him I did not. He then urged me to cancel a business trip I had planned the next week to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. I refused to cancel.

    The people of Malaysia, mostly Muslims, treated me extremely well on that trip. For unknown reasons, my client in Indonesia canceled our meetings, but the people in Thailand and Singapore were also very very kind. On my return from the business trip I attended a weekly management meeting and discussed my trip and the need to continue as I would have before 9/11.

    Life went on. I refused to let fear win. For my sons. For my wife. For my self. For my friends in the office.

    But as you all know, things changed after that day, even for me living in Tokyo. People’s responses to me on first meeting were different, measured, cautious. With each news cycle, the Bushies were making it clear that this was to become the excuse for a crusade. Sure I wanted a response. I wanted Bin Laden’s frigging head. But not this. Not the paranoia and the lies. Not the theopolitical prosyletization. Not the racism and the cowardice of the attack on Iraq. Certainly not the curtailment of civil liberties for American citizens. And certainly not the misguided hatred of Americans for other Americans.

    Thus far the terrorists have won and Bush/Cheney were their weapon of choice. Sarah Palin and the remaining WingNuts are what remains of their arsenal. The terrorists have co-opted that hatred they incited and scorched so deeply into our collective hearts with the jet fuel of 9/11and made sure that we Americans have channeled the HATE inward in a special political and theological mixture of national self-loathing that has the potential to turn we Americans to violence upon one another, American upon American.

    Put the HATE where it belongs. Hate that genocidal maniac Bin Laden and his murderous band of terrorists, but wake up and for the grace and good of the United States of America, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR!!!!

  33. My cousin was a firefighter with 21 Truck. He died, probably the way he would have wished to, but not when he would have wished to, as he was not done fishing. Not by a long shot.

    I didn’t know he had died for two days. It was that confused. We hoped he was in a hospital.

    My cousin says that on her block on Long Island there was a funeral almost every day for two weeks as firemen and policemen were laid to rest. So many kids without fathers.

    On my block, we lost just one person, on flight 93. I left flowers at the base of a tree we planted for her. Last year there were almost no flowers, this year there were many. She is not forgotten.

    We invaded Iraq without a plan and had to learn that they were people. We are doing the same in Afghanistan. Will we ever trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored?

    Each year I fly the flag I flew on 9-11. It is getting very tattered. Some day I hope to lay it to rest when Bin Laden is no more and I can see closure. I hope there will be a few tatters left.

  34. I was in my living room on a day off to see the first plane hit, live, then to have my house shake when they hit the Pentagon.
    Frantically calling friends in DT DC to see if the first reports of the state department being hit were true.
    I watch traffic almost instantly multiply so many times I could not even think and then grind to a halt at both ends of my block.
    To then watching to see if my neighbors returned home.
    Then to having a house FULL of stranded international travelers for more than a week.
    Letting family on the west coast know I was OK.
    To hearing my 90+ y/o grandma cry when I reached her and to hear her say “Now we go to war!!”
    So many memories, so many lives effected!!

  35. I live outside of Boston. I remember I was walking my dog on that beautiful crisp, clear morning and thought what a grand morning it was. I went to work and then the news framed the rest of the day. Days later after so much information came out I found myself wondering if it wasn’t been such a crystal clear morning, if it had been cloudy, rainy, foggy, if it would of have made a difference in their plans. It really doesn’t matter – things happened and our country’s leadership reacted and here we are 8 years later. There was a Univ of NH professor on the second plane that hit the towers. His wife is a veterinarian and I and my dog have been loyal clients of hers for many many years. She has been very involved in the whole process, traveling to NYC and DC for a variety of hearings, meetings, and dedications. She and I have had many conversations about what she has been told, who to believe, who to blame. I have heard things told to the inner circles of the victums families and friends and it is heart breaking. None of us can even come close to imagine and the words are not available to even make sentences that are understandable. All I can try to say is that, what someone was commenting before, the religious fanatics that are driven by the anti govt, hate speech fear groups of today – Fox, Burke, Palin, Prevo – aren’t very different from the groups that were successful in the terror 8 years ago. They were driven by the hatred of the US and their belief in that their God was the greatest – the simularities are unsettling, change a few words and who is saying what and it gets creepy. We have to continue to speak out against Palin, Burke, Beck, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Prevo – they are killing the country from within.

  36. I was sitting at home with my husband who just happened to be off work. Our son was just 2 months old. My mother called and said turn on the TV. We caught the news in time to hear the Pentagon had been hit. He worked across the River in Texas. The Dam was closed off cause it was a federal-run facility.

    I agree. Sept.11 means many things to many Americans. Many stories are told about that day filled with kindness and compassion between strangers. After the towers fell the thick cloud of dust made all the faces look the same. It was a truly unifying day.

    But Bush said, “The terrorist hate us for our freedoms”. So, due to the patriot act, we lost them. Americans have never been so spied upon, lied to and manipulated.
    Do I think Bush orchestrated 9/11, no. He isn’t that smart. Do I think it was allowed to happen as a gateway to war with Iraq? Yes.
    There is a line in the movie JFK. Lyndon Johnson says “just get me elected and I’ll give you your damn war”. Sometimes I feel that line was said many times prior to the Bush administration. Defense was cut by the Clinton Administration and the Republicans hated it. Contractors made huge amounts of money, friends of Bush owned these companies. The Carlisle Group for instance.
    I really think this was the highest time for the true American spirit, yet the lowest time in our government’s integrity.

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