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9/11/2001 memories

I didn't have an LJ account on that fateful day, so I'll try to recount what I did:

I woke up at the usual time, 6:30am, to catch the opening of the stock market. When I turned the TV on, I was greeted by the sight of smoke coming out of one of the towers. The CNBC newscasters didn't seem to know much about what had caused the fire – they thought it was a small plane but didn't have much more information. So I thought this was either an accident or someone had intentionally crashed into the tower (perhaps a suicide), but didn't immediately think of terrorism. So I figured I'd go out to get some donuts and there would be more news when I got back.

I had the news on while I was out driving, but there wasn't much information beyond what had already been reported. So when I arrived home I turned CNBC on again and saw the tower was still smoking. The reporters had started to discuss the possibility of terrorism, when the second tower was hit. Both towers were ablaze, and it was pretty clear that something serious had happened. There were reporters on the ground (outside the NYSE) covering the event, when both towers fell. One of them saw what happened, screamed "Oh my God!" and took off (along with everyone else). The cameras showed people fleeing from the falling debris.

When I got to work about an hour later (1070 Arastradero in PA), people were talking about what had happened. At that time, my boss (who also graduated from Stuy) asked me if I had any relatives who worked in or near the WTC. I told him my sister worked in midtown NYC, far from the attack, so I figured she would be ok. (I found out later that she was let out of work early, but walked home, because the subways were halted.) There was various talk of terrorist attacks, and looking at logs to see what types of attack-related queries were being made. (I vaguely recall variations on [Osama bin Laden] occurred fairly frequently.) I think we were allowed to go home early that day, but I stayed a little later just to keep an eye on things and see if there were any new developments.

That's about all I remember offhand. The other (sad) news of the day was that layoffs had been announced, but were postponed to give people some time to recover from the impact of the attacks.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
nhowells91
Sep. 12th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
I remember that time-frame a little too sharply as well. Bruce and I had been on the Cape the week before, and I was at work, where we had 150 senior citizens for a luncheon event. The news started to come in, and there was much panic, because a large number of people from the congregation (I was working as a church administrator for a large Lutheran church at the time) were supposed to be on planes headed for the west coast, and in fact, a number of them were. As it turned out, there had been a church council meeting the night before that had run really late, because there were several emergency issues, and those who were supposed to be on the flights in question had rebooked for later in the day. There was a United flight attendant who was supposed to have worked that day, too, and she had gotten sick, and so hadn't worked. No one I knew personally was involved, except for Bruce's aunt T, who is a US Marshall, and was near the Pentagon at the time of the events there.

I recall being in utter denial throughout the day, and on coming home, realizing that it was true, and that the US had lost its innocence. That particular moment led me to get off my butt, and start living again - I figured that, if I was gonna die anyway, I should do something in the interim. I was right.
gregbo
Sep. 13th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
I think you've got that right. We lost our innocence on 9/11/2001. Arguably, we should have been more security-conscious.

Terrorists don't even need to attack us. All they need to do is generate some buzz that suggests they are up to something, and it will raise all sorts of alerts. But if we were on a constant state of high alert, we'd be used to it by now.

(That said, I don't like to fly much anymore, due to the way TSA security checking is handled. I feel rushed and worried that either I will lose valuables or they will be damaged.)
nhowells91
Sep. 13th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
I think, in some ways, we are our own worst enemies. I dislike flying anymore, not because of fear, but because of the people around me who argue the security points, and make the staff cranky with everyone. And I dislike the general bigotry and ignorance I see from time to time (I fly mainly to and from Detroit) when someone who looks like they could be, or really are, Islamic boards. There were two clerics (obvious from dress) on a flight I took, and there were ugly things that happened to them.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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