Thursday, 8 September 2011

Where were you on 9/11?

With the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy in New York City coming up in a few days, I wonder where you were and what you were doing on that morning.

I searched the internet looking for a suitable photo to illustrate that awful day, but the pictures of the planes and the fires and the rubble are still too upsetting, so I found a picture of the World Trade Centre towers before life changed for the world, and the USA in particular.

I was driving to work listening to CBC Radio when the news announcer broke in with a bulletin saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. My minds eye saw a small 2 or 4 seater plane getting lost above Manhattan, and taking a wrong turn, but when I got to work, I found I could not have been more wrong.

I tried to access the internet but nothing was working and I couldn't find out any more news, and then someone in the office said a second airliner had hit the other tower. I couldn't believe it. And then I realised.... it was deliberate! And then news of a third plane, and a fourth. Nobody got much work done that morning. A TV was set up in one of the conference rooms, and people spent most of the day in shock, listening to the news reports and viewing horrifying footage of the story that was unfolding in New York City and Washington.

That evening, most television programs were cancelled in favour of coverage of the news from NYC and DC. I watched for a while, then turned it off. I just couldn't watch any more, too horrible. But within a few minutes, I was compelled to turn it on again.... too horrible to ignore, I suppose. I couldn't comprehend how such a monstrous thing could happen, but it did.... and it could again. Let's hope and pray that it doesn't.

Where were you on 9/11?


  1. When I first heard the news, I was of a similar mind as you. I figured it was a small private plane. Later, when a co-worker told me, with tears in her eyes, that one of the towers had fallen, I said, "No, you must have heard wrong. It must be a piece of a wall that fell or something like that; not a whole tower." Of course, she was right. Then the other one, also.

    My brother-in-law worked in a financial publishing house located about a block away from Ground Zero. He was in the area prior to the attacks. We knew this, and were concerned for his safety. We were unable to contact him until very late that evening. Fortunately, he was unhurt.

    To this day, he does not talk at any length about the experience. If asked if he was there, he will say, "Yes", but that's usually as far as he'll go in talking about it.

    He's an erudite man, a former freelancer for The Boston Phoenix newspaper when he resided here, so it's not a matter of his being unable to express himself. We respect his wishes, and don't push him for stories about his day. We figure he'll open up about it when he feels comfortable.

  2. I was on my own at home at the time, pottering about and listening to the radio. When I turned on the television, I watched in horror at it all unfolding. My best friend and I had visited the top of one of those towers only two short years before, and I knew how many thousands of lives I'd now witnessed destroyed.

    I don't think the numbness will ever go away for any of us.

  3. I sure hope this anniversary is trouble free! I'm a bit worried.

  4. I know, Sham. I know. I was already at work in Atlanta when we first heard the news, and like you, we all started gathering in the only conference room that had a TV. Just like when Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, my first year of college, all I wanted to do was go home and have my family all around me. Grandson Nicholas was only 1 year old.

    It all still breaks my heart, of course. Watching the memeorial service at Ground Zero yesterday, here on CNN Int'l, I cried tears again, as though it all had just happened.

    We will never forget. Hopefully it will never happen again anywhere!

  5. I am back from our latest trip and reading all my friends’ blogs – I enjoyed young Callum’s humor, your dogs pictures and your beautiful quilt. I think you could sell them commercially – they are beautiful. I just bought some yarn to make another blanket for a friend of my daughter who is expecting a baby soon. I went to only one quilt show, in Ohio, two years ago – I think you saw my post on it, and would like to visit another one some day.

    I was at work that fateful day, hurrying to finish things before going home at lunch to pack my suitcases to fly to Europe – a trip that was cancelled. I just wrote a post about it. It is an event that will never leave the mind of those who watched it that day - so much pain.

  6. It was before midnight at our time. Rumors were running wild, one of them was that America was being attacked simultaneously in many places. It was too horrible to believe but later I was amzed people acted orderly in such a chaos. NY looks revitalized, but I know there are many people who still have the scar that won't heal. My thoughts are with them.

    Thank you for your nice and encouraging comment. Have a nice week, shammickite.


  7. I worked at the Javits Convention Center in NYC just one week before 9/11.
    Part of our floor management crew were off duty firemen.
    We didn't know till several weeks afterward that our Firemen friends had survived. Louie was taking a group of 50 people down a stairwell in the first tower when it started to collaspe. The people made it out and Louie ran for his life, took off his air tank to run faster, fell in the debris and choking dust. He thought that they were his last breaths here on earth. He put his hand out to try to get up again and his hand touched another air tank with just enough air to save his life. He feels that was a miracle. Louie is retired from Ladder 47 FDNY now and has compromised lungs and damaged eyes from all the horrible stuff in the air.
    We were back working at the Convention center about 8 months later. The memory and horror of the day was still in the air.
    Where were we on that day?
    Doing a trade show in Las Vegas.
    Couldn't get a flight back home to California for 5 days. the hotel we were staying in was very accomodating and didn't charge us for additional days, managed to get meds to those who were running out and fed us pretty well.
    It was so strange to have no planes in the air. Very eerie.

  8. What a tragic and sad day...
    I was at home and I saw the first news on TV. What an awful day...

  9. I remember it very clearly!
    I had just ordered Kiki to me by phone and we were with my husband talking, when we will get that small thing to us, when my daughter phoned and said "mother,turn TV" on.
    We were sitting on the balcony of our summer cottage and enjoyed last warm days until we saw from TV what was happening. it was something unintelligible cruel.

    Sorry, I am so late for thanking your beautiful photos about those sweet twins! I have been watching those pictures again and again wondering how they can be so beautiful both babies and photos. Thank you again! Bblessings to them!


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