9/11/01 - Your Stories

PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
I know most of you are European. But I thought it would be a good time to highlight one of the darkest days in American history.

I was only 6 on that Tuesday. But I remember it all very well. It started normally enough. Cereal for breakfast that day before going off to kindergarten class (reception school for those of you in Europe). Except that day wasn't normal at all. At 08:46:40 Eastern Daylight Time American Airlines Flight 11 (a Boeing 767) slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York after taking off from Boston Logan International 47 minutes earlier (bound for Los Angeles). The impact was cought on camera by amateur filmmaker Jules Naudet, his being the only footage to document the event from start to finish. News networks rapidly switched from the planned interviews and instead covered the impact of flight 11, speculating that it was perhaps a wayward Cessna, and that the crash was an accident. With all cameras now aimed at the two towers, it was only a matter of 17 minutes before United Airlines Flight 175 (another 767, bound for Los Angeles) rammed into the South Tower at 9:03:02 after taking off from the same airport as American 11 at 8:14.

This was the one that was captured by the news cameras. The one you all know. I myself was still eating my cereal. My brother thought that it was a film, as perhaps all young people did. (It, to this day, gives me a horrible feeling to watch that film) My mom switched off the TV just then. I don't remember much of the ride to school that day, but I do remember that the staff at my school had the students of the kindergarten class all line up against the first grade (Year 2) lockers and told us of the news, while trying to (most teachers failed and cried) remain calm. We didn't get to watch any more of the news coverage that day at school. Loads of crying, and that heavy feeling of sorrow remained for the rest of the week. It was only when I got home that fateful Tuesday that I learned of American 77, and the heroic passengers of United Airlines Flight 93. American 77 (a Boeing 757, going to Los Angeles) had taken off from Washington Dulles at 8:20 and impacted the Pentagon at 09:37:46, while United 93 had left Newark International Airport, now Newark Liberty International (destination San Francisco), at 8:42, 41 minutes after push back due to congestion at EWR, and was brought down by the passenger and crew rebellion at 10:03:11 near Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania. Sunday marks the dedication of the Tower of Voices monument at the impact site.

Passenger loads:
American 11 - 81 passengers, including 5 hijackers, 11 crew.

58.2 percent capacity, but higher than the average load factor for Flight 11 on Tuesday mornings of 39 percent in the months preceding September 11.

David Angell (creator ofFrasier) and his wife were onboard, as well as actress Berry Berenson, the widow of Anthony Perkins. Scheduled passengers that ended up changing plans at the last minute include Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg and Leighanne Littrell, wife of Backstreet Boys singer Brian Littrell.

United 175 - 56 passengers, 9 crew

33 percent load factor — well below the average load factor of 49 percent in the three months preceding September 11. Garnet "Ace" Bailey, the director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings and a former National Hockey League player was onboard.

American 77 - 58 passengers, 6 crew.

33 percent load factor. American Airlines said that Tuesdays were the least-traveled day of the week, with the same load factor seen on Tuesdays in the previous three months for Flight 77.

United 93 - 37 passengers, 7 crew

20 percent load factor, considerably below the 52 percent average Tuesday load factor for Flight 93.

Notable passengers include Todd Beamer, "Let's roll!" (on the phone to Verizon GTE Airfone operator Lisa Jefferson), and Tom Burnett, vice-president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corporation. The monument dedicated to him can be seen in the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Death tolls, not including hijackers

Towers (both North and South) - 2,753
Pentagon - 184
Shanksville, PA - 40

As of July 2018, 1,642 (or 60%) of 2,753 WTC victims' remains have been positively identified, according to the medical examiner's office

I'd like to close this rather long-winded post by saying a simple "Never Forget". A sentiment that perfectly sums up what all Americans, and, heck, even Europeans should do.

Remember all the victims today. And, if you're the religious sort, say a prayer. If you're not the religious sort, go about your day I guess.

I'd also be curious to hear what you remember about that day.

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Comments

  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    edited September 2018 Posts: 2,568
    FB_IMG_1536654142452-1.jpg
    This is me in NY way back in 91. Thankful i at least got to see the impressive WTC.
    When i saw the news that day i felt as if someone close to me had died. A terrible day in history.
    FB_IMG_1536654132453.jpg
    The view i took from (i think) tower 2
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The out of control room.
    Posts: 33,905
    I too have loads of pictures from the WTC. I was there with my sister in 1990.

    On that day 17 years ago, my work colleague had been listening to the radio and told me about it. Because of all the noise, I misheard him and thought a plane had crashed into a local shopping centre. Only when I got home that evening, did I get to see it on tv. It went on loop of course. It was surreal.
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing South Florida
    Posts: 3,193
    I was in 8th grade. Just got out of gym class on my way to math when someone told the teacher that he heard that someone bombed the Pentagon. We watched the news, then about 2 hours later, the school got a press release from the superintendent saying that we weren't allowed to watch it. She ended up on Good morning America to explain why.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    @LeonardPine, nice pictures. I especially love the one of the view. It's something I will never experience, unfortunately. Where are you from, again? It's always so hard to remember who's from where. Forgive me.

    @Thunderfinger, have you ever thought about returning to New York? I think that'll be my next trip.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The out of control room.
    Posts: 33,905
    @LeonardPine, nice pictures. I especially love the one of the view. It's something I will never experience, unfortunately. Where are you from, again? It's always so hard to remember who's from where. Forgive me.

    @Thunderfinger, have you ever thought about returning to New York? I think that'll be my next trip.

    It is one of those places I would love to see again.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 26,956
    One of my best friends was in the second building hit, first to fall. He made it out alive (all 350 pounds of him!). I was living about 3 hours from the city at the time. I went down a couple of days later to see if I could help out. Obviously, it led to much unintended misadventure.

    The on-line paper at the school that I teach at did this article about Me and my friend Paul (the one who was in the tower when it was hit) to commemorate the 10th anniversary. Here is the link to the story (we're both interviewed, I'm Jay Shelton, for this who don't know).

    https://elestoque.org/2011/09/11/special/through-a-survivors-eyes/
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    Who did he work for there? It's great that he got out okay. I can't even imagine how scary that must have been. Were you on a trip or working on the East coast?
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 26,956
    Morgan Stanley-Dean Whitter

    I was living and working there at the time.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    Oh, I see. You sure do get around. Cross country guy, you are.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 2,568
    @LeonardPine, nice pictures. I especially love the one of the view. It's something I will never experience, unfortunately. Where are you from, again? It's always so hard to remember who's from where. Forgive me.

    @Thunderfinger, have you ever thought about returning to New York? I think that'll be my next trip.

    Thanks @PropertyOfALady

    I'm from England. Loved New York when i was there. Hope to go back someday.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    I've never been.
  • Posts: 3,757
    Here's mine :

    At the time, I was living in the town of Coignières, near Paris. So I've got the news during what was for us the afternoon. And it happened in a peculiar way. This afternoon, I had one of my teeth capped. Coming home from the dentist, I decided to make a stop at the local convenience store to buy some groceries for the evening. There, the radio, normally airing music, was set on a news channel, which in itself was unusual. And while buying my stuff, I heard the talking heads saying words like "Attaque Terroriste sans précédent", "le World Trade center", "le Pentagone". I paid for my stuff, and went straight back home. There, I switched on my TV, put it on CNN... And I didn't move from my couch/bed for at least two to three hours. Since then, I've been wary of going to the dentist. Well, warier than usual, I'll say.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 15,976
    I lived about 40 miles from there. A few months prior to 9-11 my Wife and I escorted a bunch of transfer students from the UK to the observation deck- it was only my second time up there, and when I went to the bathroom, I saw the water in the toilet moving from side to side. A worker there told me the towers swayed 5 or so feet depending upon the wind. I told my Wife seriously the only way I could ever work in a building like that was if I had a parachute on the wall just in case...
  • Posts: 4,622
    I was sleeping in , being a nighthawk with oddball work hours during the week
    I think it was about 10:00am. I was listening to sports news on the radio, when the announcer suddenly, rather awkwardly, started attempting to describe what was happening at the world trade center.
    I could hardly follow him, but I knew something very bad was going down. So I padded into the living room, and turned on CNN and only then was able to grasp the magnitude of the event.
    Once I'd got the gist of it, I headed out the door.
    I was living downtown at the time. When I reached the main intersection, what struck me was the stunned looks on everyone's faces. It's like we were all sleepwalking, with the same thing on our minds.
    I remember thinking how odd it would be if suddenly a plane slammed into one of the Toronto skyscrapers.
    I didn't think it likely, but I wondered.
    The other thought that briefly hit me was, is this a Pearl Harbour event?
    Are we on the brink of a full out war. Will the Canada-USA mainland actually come under attack, much like England did in WW2.
    Very strange day.

    ==I didn't join this site until 2007.
    I wonder, was this site up and running in 2001.
    I know the internet was. I bought my first Windows 95 system in 1997. I think by 01, I had a high-speed connection and was using a Windows2000 machine.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    edited September 2018 Posts: 3,331
    0lsZNwF.jpg

    I was in Washington DC in 2012. This is Jules Naudet's camera. Below is the footage he shot with it.



    @LeonardPine, I know it was the 90s and image quality wasn't great, but I cleaned up your images a bit. Hope you don't mind. That first one was so blue!

    ec2PgE1.png

    SwyqlDZ.png
  • Posts: 665
    I was working as a contract journalist for the base newspaper at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here in Ohio at the time. I saw on the Internet that morning, just a small breaking news bulletin, that a plane had hit the WTC, nothing more, thinking maybe it was just an off-course small plane. Co-workers were watching the coverage at the time on a television in a conference room. I was in there too when the second plane hit. We all suddenly went into action. This was real.

    It was chaotic as leadership chose to let non-mission essential personnel to leave and the traffic was horrific. Our newspaper and public affairs staff were given the choice to leave or stay. Despite the circumstances, we chose to stay to try and get stories. As a journalist, those opportunities don't come along often. My colleagues and I went to a briefing for a disaster task force getting ready to leave for NY and interviewed people on how they were keeping the base safe during the time - we even almost had security forces on us as some people were a bit paranoid.

    We were told by our bosses we could take the next couple days off or work. We all chose to work. The thing I remember most on my way home in a neighboring town was seeing the huge lines for gasoline as the rumor was prices would go sky-high as a result. They didn't.

    We were all glued to our televisions for days as normal broadcasts were dominated by the coverage.

    The next day coming into work was very strange as the base was a bustling place during the week and the lack of anything going on or people felt creepy, like something out of Apocalypse Now. We continued to gather stories and we believe our publication, The Skywrighter, was the only military paper to publish that week. I had the privilege of having the page 1 story about how the base reacted to the disaster.

    Security measures around the base were changed as a result. I found out a couple years later that there was a credible threat against the base. This was one of those days people will always remember where they were when it happened.

  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    BT3366 wrote: »
    I was working as a contract journalist for the base newspaper at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base here in Ohio at the time. I saw on the Internet that morning, just a small breaking news bulletin, that a plane had hit the WTC, nothing more, thinking maybe it was just an off-course small plane. Co-workers were watching the coverage at the time on a television in a conference room. I was in there too when the second plane hit. We all suddenly went into action. This was real.

    It was chaotic as leadership chose to let non-mission essential personnel to leave and the traffic was horrific. Our newspaper and public affairs staff were given the choice to leave or stay. Despite the circumstances, we chose to stay to try and get stories. As a journalist, those opportunities don't come along often. My colleagues and I went to a briefing for a disaster task force getting ready to leave for NY and interviewed people on how they were keeping the base safe during the time - we even almost had security forces on us as some people were a bit paranoid.

    We were told by our bosses we could take the next couple days off or work. We all chose to work. The thing I remember most on my way home in a neighboring town was seeing the huge lines for gasoline as the rumor was prices would go sky-high as a result. They didn't.

    We were all glued to our televisions for days as normal broadcasts were dominated by the coverage.

    The next day coming into work was very strange as the base was a bustling place during the week and the lack of anything going on or people felt creepy, like something out of Apocalypse Now. We continued to gather stories and we believe our publication, The Skywrighter, was the only military paper to publish that week. I had the privilege of having the page 1 story about how the base reacted to the disaster.

    Security measures around the base were changed as a result. I found out a couple years later that there was a credible threat against the base. This was one of those days people will always remember where they were when it happened.

    Indeed. It's seared into our memories. I've been watching documentaries all day. One of these years I am going to do a United 93 real-time watch as the film goes in real-time I think.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 5,400
    I was a mid-career US Army soldier in Korea. That evening for me, the cable news started reporting the first crash into the tower and I watched the second one live. So events played out all night. My family was with me, very young kids asleep. The next day reporting for duty my own (unaccompanied) soldiers asked me if they should bring their family members to where it was safer. To Korea. A very surreal time.
  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    Posts: 2,860
    I was 6 at the time. My mother woke me up for school and said, “A plane flew into a building.” I vaguely remember thinking it was some sort of accident, not necessarily that unusual. As I ate breakfast I watched the news showing video of the first tower billowing smoke. It didn’t register when the second plane hit. I was either not watching when it happened or I simply thought it was footage being replayed of the first plane. I heard my parents saying that it happened a second time. I didn’t understand what was going on. I remember seeing at least one tower collapse and people running from the dust cloud. Once I finally learned and understood that it was intentional, that it was done to kill people, I was very angry. I wanted to kill whoever was responsible. Had I been older at the time I wonder if I would have enlisted, but it probably wouldn’t have been for the best as I’m not the type to respect authority if I disagree with their decisions (no wonder I’m a fan of a fictional spy that pretty much gets to do whatever he wants). The following days and weeks at school were strange. They were obviously concerned about how the kids were processing things. They had us write in our journals about what we were feeling and then draw something. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I drew a picture of the Twin Towers with an American flag stretched between them. My mom probably still has that journal tucked away somewhere.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 6,755
    September 11th is my birthday.

    On the morning of the disaster, I was driving my wife to the shops and clearly recall saying to her that nothing of any significance had ever happened on my birthday. By the time we returned and switched the TV on the most significant event of modern history had happened. On my birthday.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The out of control room.
    Posts: 33,905
    NicNac wrote: »
    September 11th is my birthday.

    On the morning of the disaster, I was driving my wife to the shops and clearly recall saying to her that nothing of any significance had ever happened on my birthday. By the time we returned and switched the TV on the most significant event of modern history had happened. On my birthday.

    Belated congratulations!

    Doesn t it suck that that terror event is always referenced to with the date. It is a symbolic date and maybe why it was chosen, but others have copied that. The Breivik attacks happened on 22 July, and are always just referenced to with the date here. I have a friend whose birthday is on that date, and there are of course many who have some kind of anniversary slightly ruined by the constant negativity hung on their specific day.
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 6,755
    NicNac wrote: »
    September 11th is my birthday.

    On the morning of the disaster, I was driving my wife to the shops and clearly recall saying to her that nothing of any significance had ever happened on my birthday. By the time we returned and switched the TV on the most significant event of modern history had happened. On my birthday.

    Belated congratulations!

    Doesn t it suck that that terror event is always referenced to with the date. It is a symbolic date and maybe why it was chosen, but others have copied that. The Breivik attacks happened on 22 July, and are always just referenced to with the date here. I have a friend whose birthday is on that date, and there are of course many who have some kind of anniversary slightly ruined by the constant negativity hung on their specific day.

    Thank you Thundy. I celebrate regardless. What else can I do?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The out of control room.
    Posts: 33,905
    Of course, take the day back.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    The Breivik attacks sound horrible.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger The out of control room.
    Posts: 33,905
    The Breivik attacks sound horrible.

    Blowing up the government is one thing, but killing all those kids is another matter entirely.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    To understand just how quick the US grounded planes on 9/11, here's a video.

  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 4,497
    My story: I first visited the WTC in 1978, IIRC in February. Here are three pictures from the occasion, the last one, again IIRC, is a view of Midtown Manhattan from the viewing platform on the top floor. (These are more or less automated scans from old slides, so forgive any quality deficits.)
    nyc1978_01008bearb05ixj.jpg
    nyc1978_01007bearbiucqm.jpg
    nyc1978_01018bearbsxf7a.jpg

    Then there is the following picture, and you will ask why:
    010911_17592014eao.jpg

    I took this photograph on the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean, where we were about to start an extensive (arranged) hiking tour the next day. The local time that the picture was taken was 17:59:20 on September 11, 2001. This must have been just thirteen minutes after the first plane crashed into the North Tower. We had a splendid evening with good food and wine, not knowing anything about that. The next morning the operators of the lodge where we stayed summoned us along with other guests and dragged us before their TV. You know the rest.
  • Seven_Point_Six_FiveSeven_Point_Six_Five Southern California
    Posts: 1,225
    My mother woke me up for school and said, “A plane flew into a building.” I vaguely remember thinking it was some sort of accident, not necessarily that unusual. As I ate breakfast I watched the news showing video of the first tower billowing smoke. It didn’t register when the second plane hit. I was either not watching when it happened or I simply thought it was footage being replayed of the first plane.

    Very similar to my morning. I was 13 at the time. My mom woke me up and told me to come downstairs and watch the news. That was our typical morning routine anyway so I didn't think anything was out of the ordinary until I saw what was on the TV. While eating breakfast, my sister mentioned a second plane had crashed. I told her it was just a replay but it became obvious I was wrong when I saw that both towers were smoking. It still wasn’t obvious to my naive little brain that this was intentional until the newscasters mentioned this was an attack. We watched the TV until we left for school.

    When I walked into my homeroom, my teacher had the TV on and we all watched the news together. Eventually, my principal came through the door and quietly spoke with my teacher before shutting off the TV. My principal then told the class that it was time to start class like usual. After my principal left the room, my teacher told us that my principal didn’t want us watching the coverage because they were showing footage of people jumping from the buildings.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,331
    My mother woke me up for school and said, “A plane flew into a building.” I vaguely remember thinking it was some sort of accident, not necessarily that unusual. As I ate breakfast I watched the news showing video of the first tower billowing smoke. It didn’t register when the second plane hit. I was either not watching when it happened or I simply thought it was footage being replayed of the first plane.

    Very similar to my morning. I was 13 at the time. My mom woke me up and told me to come downstairs and watch the news. That was our typical morning routine anyway so I didn't think anything was out of the ordinary until I saw what was on the TV. While eating breakfast, my sister mentioned a second plane had crashed. I told her it was just a replay but it became obvious I was wrong when I saw that both towers were smoking. It still wasn’t obvious to my naive little brain that this was intentional until the newscasters mentioned this was an attack. We watched the TV until we left for school.

    When I walked into my homeroom, my teacher had the TV on and we all watched the news together. Eventually, my principal came through the door and quietly spoke with my teacher before shutting off the TV. My principal then told the class that it was time to start class like usual. After my principal left the room, my teacher told us that my principal didn’t want us watching the coverage because they were showing footage of people jumping from the buildings.

    Wow. I am glad she actually had the courage to tell you what was happening.

    @j_w_pepper Wow. Those photos look like they were taken yesterday.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Hamburg, near the Atlantic Hotel
    Posts: 4,497
    @j_w_pepper Wow. Those photos look like they were taken yesterday.

    Thank you. I sort of improved them somewhat by way of my ancient Photoshop version, except the 2001 one which already was a digital image from the beginning.
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