View Full Version : What's your 9-11 Story?

09-11-2008, 08:11 AM
Take a few minutes and share your stories from 911 - what moved you? Have any instances you'd care to share on this infamous day?

12 September 2001

Beewding Fah Down?

There are times in life where we are tempted to raise our fists to the sky and shout “WHY, GOD???” We witness events happen beyond our control, imagination, and fears. We look to make reason out of insanity. We struggle with blame and cause.

Last night, while watching the never-ending broadcasts, they showed what was left of one section of the Pentagon. My thoughts drifted to MAJ Williams, a man I served in the Army with, who left Fort Lewis to work at the Pentagon. I wondered if he was safe. I wondered if his friends and loved ones were alive. I wondered if he was trapped under piles of burning rubble even I sat comfortably on my couch. As I started to cry, I lowered my head, slightly, so as not to disturb my 2 yr old daughter, Alaina. The disguise did not work. From across the living room, Alaina walked over to me and stood by me. She looked up at her mother and asked, “Daddy Cry?” I raised my head, and took her by the hand, bringing her close to me. I told her, “Yes, baby. Daddy is crying” Alaina put her arm around my neck and pulled my head close to her, comforting me with “Daddy, T’okay”.
At this point she looked up at the television to see the images of one of the World Trade Center buildings crash down upon itself. Alaina turned once again to me and said “Uh-Oh! Beewding Fah down?” I answered with, “Yes, love, Building Fall Down. That is why Daddy is crying.”
Alaina “oh Daddy…. T’okay Daddy…. I love yooo”.

With that, she released her hug and started walking towards her bedroom. I asked her if she wanted to watch more of the building. She replied, “Laina want color!” as she wobbled along down the hall to her room.

How refreshing it was to be around Alaina’s innocence, at a time like this. To hear her complete trust that, “everything would be okay”. And that even though the “beewding fah down” Alaina still loves her Daddy. Last night I couldn’t be away from Alaina more than a few minutes. I took solace from Alaina. Something about they way her little pony-tail would flop as she ran through the house helped me escape the horror of yesterday’s events, and find a still small place in my own mind. A place where I could just be 2 again. A place where people weren’t killed, planes were not crashed, and nobody hated anyone.

Alaina saved me last night. And the beauty of it is, she wasn’t even TRYING to. Once more I asked God, “Why? What did I do to ever deserve such a wonderful girl?”

My daughter is 9 years old now. I doubt very much she remembers much if anything about that day, years ago. She probably doesn’t know that one moment in time she changed her Daddy. She’ll probably live the rest of her life not knowing how I became a different person in a small way, because of her, and the events of that day. Sometimes I pray about what happened then. People tell me it’s too late – that God won’t change the past. I believe in God. I believe God can do just about anything. I believe God is not constrained by time. When I pray, I ask God to be with those people who suffered that day. I ask that God would have sent his Spirit to comfort them – provided them safety or companionship or warmth as they may have felt the cold steel and concrete fall around them. I ask that God hold them in his arms, as they passed on to the next life.

I have a son who has no concept of that day. In the last seven years my life has had wild swings of 'good' and 'bad' - but through it all I've found strength in the words spoken by my little girl more than a half-decade ago.

09-11-2008, 08:37 AM
I was unemployed at the time having been laid off in May. My wife and I had just taken my daughter to school and we came in the house. I went to my computer to start preparing resumes and my wife turned the tv on.

She said, "A plane has hit the World Trade Center." I thought what the hell was a small plane flying so low in that area for. What kind of moron would get himself in that kind of position? I turned the news on in my den just before the second plane hit and realized that it was no accident. At that point in time, my day stopped. I didn't finish a single resume that day.

The most touching moment for me was when the first building came down. Until I was laid off, I had worked in a skyscrapper in Tampa and I must admit to thinking at times, what if this thing comes down or topples over?

When that first "building fah down" I too cried. I cried and I prayed for those who were caught in that first collapse and for those who were trapped in the other building that was soon to fah down as well. I wasn't so much thinking about the brave men and women who entered that building after the attack knowing the dangers (that came later) I was thinking about everyone that was there and the horror they must have been enduring.


09-11-2008, 09:56 AM
I've told this story so many times but will give a condensed version for those who might be interested.

Was working in a law firm with Jackass aka Chuck that day. First heard that a Cessna hit one of the towers and quickly looked it up on CNN, which wasn't telling much more just yet. We all went on a smoke break right after this. CBS was located in our building (old GM Building, now another Trump building), so they had huge screens in the windows and a ton of people were all watching the events unfold. We were all talking about possibilities of what was taking place when the 2nd plane hit. We knew it was terrorist related, or some sort of war. Next we were back on the 24th floor and all kinds of rumors were flying around and chaos was breaking out. They called the entire department in for a meeting and told everyone to stay put on the floor and not to leave the building. Naturally, Chuck, myself and a bunch of others got the hell out of there within a couple of minutes. I drove to NYC that day and got my car end headed North. Chuck and the others were walking to the West side of Manhattan towards the ferries, which was the only way out.

I'm sure thousands have connections and I'm no different. My wife had meetings there every week, and some of her friends were lost that day in meetings, even though they didn't work there. I've done extensive work in both towers while working at "Clean Air Co." out of NJ that worked on machines that "cleaned the air", or better known as smoke eaters. While doing work at Cantor Fitzgerald a few years back, I became friendly with the VP, who was the only other idiot like myself in his office at 4am. He ultimately offered me a job in the IT department there, which I turned down because I didn't want to work downtown. Had I worked there, my employment would have been on the 104th floor.

The fear, chaos, uncertainty, rumors... It was a 12-24 hour period that went in slow motion.

Watching the world, and more specifically NYC, all bond together as one is what I remember the most. I was never more proud as an American than watching everyone give their all for a City that just experienced such a severe loss. It's a shame that people can't be that way all the time, without a nudge of a tragedy.

09-11-2008, 05:47 PM
Just another day on this orb.

09-11-2008, 06:27 PM
I'll keep this personal and not political.

I was off work with knee surgery and I was up with the family to spend time with them before they went to school. Surgery was on my right knee so I was unable to drive. I think it was about 6:30am when I got the call.

When the phone rings at odd hours I immediately cringe expecting that a loved one has been hurt, killed or died. My mom started that trend when she called at about 1:30am to tell me my brother had been shot in the mouth down in Galveston, TX several years earlier. She always calls everyone as soon as something happens instead of getting actual information first. Additionally my mom was still struggling with cancer and still wasn't doing to well.

So when my phone rang that early and I saw it was my mom on caller id I expected bad news. I answered and my mom said quick turn on the TV were under attack. She gave me a quick rundown as to what was known.

I spent the next couple weeks glued to the TV, I think I was in shock to some degree. I just couldn't believe that we were hit like that. I also live about 15 miles from downtown L.A. by freeway, closer in a straight line. I began to worry about L.A. being hit because of my family and friends. I was injured and wasn't going to be able to help my family if something did happen. Regardless of what happens my mind starts planning to take care of my family.

I hate it most times, but I'm the type that runs into a building after an explosion to help instead of the other way from the danger. I went through an electrical explosion at a job site. So I had images in my head of what burned bodies looked like, what their screaming sounded like, how their burnt flesh smelled, the darkness that surrounds them after the power goes out, the smoke choking off your breath and gagging you to the point of nausea, and the sheer panic of the proceeding moments. I had nightmares of the one guy screaming every time I closed my eyes for months to follow.

For me It was very difficult to watch in part because I understood a little of what those people that were trapped, injured and hurt were going through. I just couldn't believe we were actually attacked on our own soil.

09-11-2008, 06:42 PM
I don't have too much of a story as I was only 11 at the time, I just memo being in an emglish class about 2 o'clock or so, when a teacher came in and told Mrs. Kerr what happened, so she told us that something terrible had happened, so she wheeled in the tv and we watched the news for the rest of that school day, though none of us really knew what to make of it all.

09-11-2008, 08:32 PM
Like Jim, I've told this story so many times. Selfishly it was the day I realized I was a better teacher than person.

I'd arrived at school before 6am. It was a beautiful morning in Chicago, as we'd discover it was in NY too. Around 7 I went out my classroom door for a cig, noticing the yellow hue to the treetops, we're surrounded with forest preserves. Just gorgeous, not enough adjectives for the clearness, blue of the sky. The temps were warm. I actually thanked God for such a beautiful day, not a normal occurrence for me I'm sorry to say. Only remembered because of what would shortly unfold.

There were a couple of girls in my class around 7:40, they'd been in the library helping shelve books and were done. We were shooting the breeze when the 'ping' went off on my IM. It was my friend, the 'old' teacher who's position I'd filled. She told me to turn on CNN and tell her wtf was going on in NYC. She didn't have a tv. I did, we saw the first building on fire, listening to 'small plane' hit. Obviously was not a small plane. Two of the girls said, 'Al Queda', the spring before we'd sent a petition to Colin Powell to condemn the Taleban for the destruction of the Budda icons and the tags on the homosexuals that were required.

I wasn't there, the kids were ahead of me. Then the second plane hit, just before the student body was entering at 8. My reaction, "Oh shit!" The girls' heads were twisting between the tv and me. I hit the off button. I told them I needed to talk to the principal, leave the tv off till I came back.

After conferring with the principal, it was decided that the 6-8 grades would come into my room and watch the coverage. Lower grades would proceed as normal. I told the 5th and 3rd grade teachers, what was happening, the others didn't find out until after 10am, (recess). After that the 4th grade teacher turned on her tv for the day, with no background, those students were still traumatized when I first had them 2 years later.

Many of the parents of younger students came and brought them home. Our school is about 15 minutes from O'Hare terminals, 3 minutes from the airstrips. The older students' parents called, some of them, they were comfortable with what we were doing, none left early.

7 years later, 8th graders were in 1st grade. They had a basic idea of what happened, they knew 4 planes. 7th grade, well they laughed during the minute of silence today. I showed the video of 9/11, stills of attacks, they were shocked. 6th? Well they thought there was 1 plane, in NYC and millions died. I showed the video and we talked of what had happened, they were 3/4 at the time.

It came home for many of us today, the younger generation was shielded and really have to be taught 9/11, every bit as much as Pearl Harbor.

09-13-2008, 10:44 AM
I was at my home in San Diego. I watched it unfold on TV. Tried to stay in touch with my family as best as possible to make sure they were ok. My cousin Jackie was on the 89th floor of tower #2. She called my aunt Marion to tell her she loved her before her cell phone lost connection and she was murdered. My cousin John was a fireman that entered the towers to help others. He also died that day. My friend Terry was at a breakfast business meeting that morning. Didn't even work at the towers. He left behind a wife and two daughters. He was also murdered that day. My friend Jimmy lost his son Jimmy Jr. that day as well. Another one who was murdered by muslim extremists. My friend Leslie suffered a broken ankle running from the scene and has respritory problems to this day. Me... I still have a lot of anger and hatred toward the muslim community for this.

09-13-2008, 02:10 PM
I was at my home in San Diego. I watched it unfold on TV. Tried to stay in touch with my family as best as possible to make sure they were ok. My cousin Jackie was on the 89th floor of tower #2. She called my aunt Marion to tell her she loved her before her cell phone lost connection and she was murdered. My cousin John was a fireman that entered the towers to help others. He also died that day. My friend Terry was at a breakfast business meeting that morning. Didn't even work at the towers. He left behind a wife and two daughters. He was also murdered that day. My friend Jimmy lost his son Jimmy Jr. that day as well. Another one who was murdered by muslim extremists. My friend Leslie suffered a broken ankle running from the scene and has respritory problems to this day. Me... I still have a lot of anger and hatred toward the muslim community for this.

I am so sorry for your loses. Seems too much to bear.

09-13-2008, 05:57 PM
I remember I was working as a temp secretary at a small engineering/surveying company that had their office right on Lake Minnetonka.

I was listening to the KQ Morning show when they said something about the first tower being hit with a commercial plane. It sounds callous and wrong (ok it *was* callous and wrong), but myself and two other engineers heard it and immediately started jokingly taking bets on whether it was a Northwest Airlines plane and bets on the pilots BAL numbers and what the drink of choice was before takeoff. Yeah, it sounded like a tragic accident, but one that was not as serious as it turned out to be.

We didn't have a TV in the office, so the radio was all we had. Then they said a 2nd plane hit... and that is when it got serious and we (as well as the radio hosts) knew then the first one was no accident. After that, there was nothing we could do but talk about it-little to no work was getting done. The owner of the company came in the door (he usually got breakfast for us when he came in) said it was ok if we wanted to go home and be with family. I said I would get everything done that absolutely had to be that day, and the rest I would leave for the next day. All the others did the same thing. So I stayed to about 12/1pm and left. I stopped to fill up my car, only because I had to, not because of the panic of fuel shortages. After that, I don't remember anything specific, other than a seething hatred of anyone of the muslim faith, solely because they refused to stand up against the extremists. I don't hate them as much now, but I am leery and suspicious of many of them, especially the females covered head-to-toe, including their faces.

Here's the audio of the broadcast if anyone wants to hear it:
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09-13-2008, 07:29 PM
I was in the front seat of a repo truck asleep when my son called me to tell me that the tower had been struck by an airplane. I went inside the store where I had parked in the lot to nap half asleep and groggy. I saw the coverage of the second plane hitting the building and just stood basically dumbfounded.

The owner of the store was a muslim. Inside there were a random array of folks. Two black utility workers, a lady who had stopped in for something, an Asplundh tree trimming crew and a businessman who had stopped in for coffee. We all were still there at 2:00 pm. By that time the room had swelled to 16 or 18 people. Many came and went. Everyone was exactly the same...stunned and concerned.

I have never again felt such a sense of unity as was present in that little store that day. In an ironic way the terrorists had given us this by their actions. Something we couldn't do for ourselves had been caused by this horrible attack. I think still that we had something those days afterward that would lend great attribute to our society but unfortunately.....we lost it!

In seven short years we have continued to the ways of the past...only worse. The fact is we passed by our opportunity to make a positive out of a negative in this regard. Attitudes since have ranged from total support for our retaliation to wild conspiracy theories of how our president planted a bomb in the buildings.

Our opportunity to unify in the effort of being civil warriors together has come and gone. Hopefully we will never get that opportunity again in that way. We might have gained the edge in Iraq, ridded the world of Suddam Hussein and made much progress in fighting back terrorism but we lost the most important battle of all. The one we have right here at home with ourselves. We didn't remain unified!!!!

We have no respect for one another. While we live in a country that transforms power from one political enemy to another without war, have more freedom than anywhere on the globe and experience a pretty good quality of life, we have an enemy that lurks among us in every corner.......ourselves.

The terrorists didn't take our liberty that day, we've been doing that to ourselves ever since the day we set the standards for how our liberties would be interpreted and experienced. The terrorists failed in their to tear us apart, we united as a result of that day. It was afterwards that when the influence of that event began to fade that we got back to the work of destroying ourselves. We in America have become our own worst enemies.

Now before one of you goons twists what I have said into something it is not let me make it perfectly clear to you that I in no way feel what happened to our nation on September 11, 2001 was anything that resembled good, for a breif time we displayed the characteristics necessary in dedication to our fellow Americans to show that we have it in us to love one another, pull together and overcome the adversity that our country faces. If we were able to do it at a time such as that.......WHY THE HELL THEN...CAN WE NOT DO IT NOW?