Post # 47
I was a law student in DC. I’d been sitting on my bed, preparing for class with the Today show on in the background when the first plane hit. My roommate came into my room and as we talked about what was happening, the second tower was hit. For whatever reason, I still went to class. I remember listening to what was happening on NPR on the drive in, and flipping through other stations to see how they were covering it. One pop station said “we’ll have more on the trade center after this from Dave Matthews.” On the way in, the radio was reporting that the mall was on fire, the capitol was on fire, the white house was on fire (pentagon smoke, but with camera angles, they didn’t know that yet). I remember exactly what part of the traffic circle I was in when I heard the pentagon was hit. Once I got to school, we were all just huddled in front of TVs. People with family in NYC were really scared. All the phones and internet was down. I lived just outside DC proper in Maryland, and was offering that whoever lived in DC and wanted a spot outside of downtown was welcome to stay with me. It was usually a 10-15 minute commute, and it took hours to get home. I remember a guy in a car next to me striking up a conversation through our open windows (beautiful day). Like he was just trying to stay in touch with humanity. My then-boyfriend lived in Pentagon City, and his apartment filled with Pentagon smoke. When I would go visit him, I’d wave at the soldiers in their humvees by the highway.
I’d never been to NYC until 1/12. Even then, people were taking smiling photos with the wreckage, which struck me as so wrong even then. They found bodies even after I was there.
DH is a first responder. He worked late the night before, so he was asleep when the planes hit. He was awoken by calls asking if he was ok. When he went down to “the pile,” the streets were empty, and he had no idea where he was because the air was so full of dust and smoke so he couldn’t see any signs or landmarks that would clue him into where he was. He worked on the pile helping with the “bucket brigade” as they looked for survivors and bodies (body parts to be more accurate).
With all the talk about cutting budgets and demonizing public workers, it drives me INSANE how people can forget the bravery of our firefighters and cops. And when republicans played games to prevent the James Zadroga bill from passing, I. was. livid! They deserve full medical care for their rest of their lives. I was glad to hear that cancer was just added to the list of covered illnesses.
Post # 48
I was in ninth grade and as I was leaving 1st period Advanced Biology with Mr King, I heard some of the other students in the hallway talking about how a plane had hit the world trade center and they had been watching it in History class. I figured they were talking about some historical event I’d never heard of and went on my merry way to 2nd period.
Between 2nd and 3rd period, my school always had a daily congregation of all the students (they called it chapel but it was totally non-religious). As I headed to chapel, I heard more and more people talking about this plane crash but still had little clue what was going on. Then our headmaster got up front and told us all how terrorists had hijacked a plane and flown it into the world trade center in NYC. I was shocked and kind of numb because I just could hardly wrap my head around something like that happening.
The rest of the day, all of my teachers kept teaching like normal. I didn’t get to see any news coverage until I got home (which pissed my off because many of my friends had teachers who just let them watch coverage all day instead of lecturing like mine did). I guess the teachers wanted to give us a sense of normalcy but I wanted to know what was going on and hear the updates as they unfolded. I hated feeling so disconnected from what was happening. The local newspaper dropped off hundreds of copies of the afternoon edition so I did read all about it between periods.
Once I got home, I spent all evening watching to coverage while laying in my parents’ bed. I spent so much time crying because my heart just ached for all of those families who’d lost loved ones or who were still trying to find out if those they knew and cared for were okay.
Post # 49
I was in 6th grade. We were sitting in an assembly when it was cut short and we were taken back to our classrooms. Teachers all over the school turned on the TVs so we could see what was going on. I don’t really remember a lot about the rest of that day–I think I was in shock, because it didn’t seem like it was possible for planes to crash into buildings and kill thousands. I was also terrified because my aunt and uncle live in New York, and I didn’t know if they were ok.
My mom was at home when I got back from school (she usually didn’t come home that early), and was really worried. Apparently, my aunt (who had been just blocks from the WTC buildings) had left a message, half sobbing, about how she didn’t know what was going on or if she would ever see us again, but that she loved us so much.
I was so relieved when I found out my aunt and uncle were both ok.
A year or so ago, my aunt randomly brought up 9/11. She never talked about it before that, but she showed me a video she had taken. It was so scary to be in her shoes, watching it instead of just seeing images on the news—she was up in a skyscraper, seeing another skyscraper blocks away burn down and crumble. So devestating and tragic for those who died and their families. And for our country as a whole.
Post # 50
I was 28…sleeping when the first plane hit. My alarm had gone off and I hit snooze. I used to have my alarm go off on the radio station KIIS FM because I hated it. In my daze I guess I heard Rick Dees talking about the first plane, but pretty much went back to sleep immediately.
I had a terrifying dream about it, and it was one of those that you don’t fully remember, but still feel uneasy. I got up, and took my shower, but something in the back of my mind was telling me to turn on the TV, which I NEVER did before I went to work.
I was watching the news coverage before I left, and saw the second plane hit. It was so surreal.
When I got to work, I immediately started trying to reach one of my besties. She worked near WTC, in the Embassy building. It took a while, but I finally got her. Turns out she was on a train that ran under WTC, and was walking through the mall that was underground, window shopping outside of Ann Taylor. She had no clue.
Her boyfriend was at home waiting for a new couch to be delivered in Brooklyn. After the first plane hit, and he saw that one the news, he went out to the waterfront with his camera. He held it up to take a picture of the first tower burning, and at that exact moment the second plane pretty much punched through the second tower from the other side. So weird to see that moment frozen in time.
Post # 51
I was a freshman in high school. I was in my history class, and despite living 30 minutes from DC, I didn’t know what the Pentagon or the World Trace Center were. I was confused and didn’t realize how big of a deal it was at first.
Then, when I found out that the Pentagon was a government building, I realized that my mother and stepfather may be there. My stepdad was at the Pentagon frequently, and my mom was also in D.C. all the time, and I just didn’t know.
Our schools were all closed early. I went home and was alone until my very young brother came home (he must’ve been 5 or 6). I was calling and calling trying to reach my mom, but the phone lines weren’t working. I remember I’d never ever experienced that before — phones being too busy to work.
Then, I remember the no-fly order and my dad telling me I’d probably never again see the skies as empty as I did in those following days.
The story kind of just goes on and on… I happened to go to high school with the Prime Minister of Afghanistan’s nieces, and so when those shootings started happening in Maryland, I was terrified that our school might be a target.
Post # 52
Working in London – we were told that there were numerous planes unaccounted for and may be heading out way.
On my way home I stopped at Harvey Nicks and watched the towers go down on 50 big screen TV’s. There were about 40 of us and everyone was totally silent. I walked home rather than taking the tube.
Post # 53
And our skies were busier as the planes were diverted here.