9/11 Stories (respectfully..)

trek7000 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I was eating my bagel and drinking my coffee on > the 77th floor of Two World Trade Center when the > first plane hit…it was a deafening blow and I > just looked up thinking, I am OK the ceiling isn’t > falling. Then someone told me 1 WTC is on fire. > You could feel the heat through the glass as > papers and fiery debris fell towards the ground. > Then a boss said everyone go. My friends and I > went to the 78th floor to catch the express > elevator down. People were just standing around, > I saw two elevators go down and told my friends, > let’s stand in the middle, and the next one up, > lets take down and get outta here. > Elevator came and we piled in. We walked through > the mall area heading out towards Century 21 and I > joked about running into the jewelry store to loot > it. It was all kinda surreal, we kept asking each > other “Do you think we will have to go back to > work?” We get outside and cross the street, > standing by Century 21 looking at 1 WTC in > disbelief at the damage. Then I see a white > streak and then watch as right about at my floor > in 2 WTC explodes. Everyone turns and runs down > the street. I ran to the end of the block and > just stopped to turn around and look at what has > happened. > It was then that I thought of my family and my > girlfriend, b/c she worked at Cablevision and > probably thought I was still in the building. My > cell phone didn’t work so I ducked into a deli to > ask to use their phone. The guy was giving me > crap and I said I was in 2 WTC and I need to let > my family know I am OK. His response “Make it > quick.” No lie he said that. So I got in touch > with the family and began my walk back up to 49th > and 2nd Ave. > I remember walking with two quarters in my hand > just rubbing them together, then I ended up at > South St. Seaport, walking the wrong way but I > guess my guardian angel was guiding me because I > saw a cop and asked him which was was north. Then > I found a subway, the F and for some reason, I > thought I would be able to take it up north > faster, no thinking they may not be running. well > I waited about 5 minutes and a train came and I > took it up north. Got to my apartment on 49th > when I heard that the tower had collapse and saw > the second one fall on the TV. > After that I went to the grocery store and bought > some water and a six pack of beer. > > Man, what a day! That’s nuts.

My coworker’s sister was on United Airlines Flight 93. I was not working here at the time but apparently the CEO of the company issued an internal email claiming that no one associated with our firm had been affected by 9-11. Someone quickly reminded him of my coworker’s sister and apparently it was an awkward backtracking he had to accomplish.

“My coworker’s sister was on United Airlines Flight 93…” My heart just sank at this sentence. It’s amazing that 7 years later, the fate of sister I don’t know of a co-worker I don’t know of a fellow poster I don’t really know can still move me deeply. This day has really shaped our identities and sense of who we are.

September 11, 2001 - I was IN THE AIR over the Atlantic on my way back to Chicago from Amsterdam. I was with my gf at the time and we had just spent three weeks traveling all around England, France, Ibiza, Germany, etc as a graduation present to ourselves. We were originally scheduled to fly out of Frankfurt direct to CHI two days earlier, but had extended our stay to spend a little extra time with my friends in Munich. In changing our ticket on Singapore Airlines, we had to go back via NEWARK. The flight from Amsterdam was mostly uneventful until we got about an hour off the coast of my homeland, Canada and I noticed on the GPS map thingy that our destination marker had changed from Newark to TORONTO. I thought that was odd and there had been no announcement from the pilot. So we land in TO and everybody starts asking questions. Not one word from the crew. They land us at Pearson and immediately start pulling up planes next to us from all over the world like they’re valeting cars. We sit on the tarmack for 2 HOURS before a bus comes to bring us to the terminal. Finally on the bus with an Air Canada rep we ask what the hell is going on. The woman proceeds to tell us that there’s been terrorist attacks in NYC and DC and we blurt out, almost laughingly, “yeah right?!” We seriously thought this woman was playing a sick joke on us or that they were filming some grand scene for a Hollywood movie. When we get into the terminal building, we’re greeted with SWAT teams everywhere with M16’s and army dogs parading all over the place. We are FREAKED THE F*CK OUT. Everyone off our plane (~350 people) and about 5,000 others are in the basement of this one terminal, people bleary-eyed, crying, some glued to TVs watching CNN and it is then that it hit us what had really happened. For the first time, we saw the video replays of the planes hitting the WTCs only 3-4 hours earlier (it was about 1pm EST) and I remember feeling sick to my stomach and shaking. Right away, I realized that I needed to call my parents back in Saskatoon, SK, as they knew that we had changed our flights and were flying that day. The whole place was chaos and when I went over to use the payphones, there were lines of about 50 people deep for each phone. I waited 2+ hrs to make a collect call back home, only to hear that my mom had been hysterically crying, as they knew that we were supposed to be in/around Newark to connect. The next few hours were somewhat of a blur as they bussed us to the Marriott by the airport and had hosting rooms for food/drinks with TVs set up for all the overflow of passengers that were being dumped in Toronto, causing all the hotels to be booked and overflowing with international passengers. Most of our plane had to be bussed out to Niagara Falls (1.5hrs away), as that’s where the ONLY vacant hotels in the GTA were. We got to stay (thankfully) because my gf had injured her leg when we jumped off a train in the 'Dam a few days earlier. We spent three days in the hotel and I luckily had friends in TO that I could call on to come visit. We met people from all over (mostly Americans) that had been on our flight and others that were stranded with us. I’ll never forget the genuine feeling of compassion and friendships that were made during those trying times among us and among other passengers with some of the Canadians that opened their houses and hosted them or waited on us while we spilled out of everywhere. We finally made it back to CHI and were the first or second plane to land at O’Hare after they had opened US airspace again. THe whole thing was pretty surreal and I still, to this day, can’t comprehend how close I was to this tragedy. I couldn’t even imagine what was going on in NYC, DC and PA or how I would’ve dealt with it. I will never forget this day in my life and one positive thing that I can take away from this all is how people of all backgrounds, beliefs and countries, put their differences aside for a few days to help each other when in need. We always bicker on this board and I always hear friends from both Canada and the US beak about each other and their various views, but when it came down to it, we were all people that needed help. Just as the Americans have opened up and come to the rescue in the past, us Canucks got the chance to in this situation and came shining through. Many of you have probably heard some of the other similar stories from 9/11 and friendships that were forged between Canadians and AMericans or Europeans during these times, especially in Gander, NL, where the whole town was over run with 5-10x its population. Many of these people still keep in touch with each other and will remain friends for life. So, through all the darkness of those few days, I personally witnessed the beauty of the human spirit and will always cherish that.

Really interesting read, thanks everyone for sharing so far.

Someone I knew died in one of the towers. This guy worked hard throughout his whole life to get to a good school. He continued to work hard in college, which landed him a good job on wall st. He wasn’t greedy either, but gave back a lot to the community and to others. My worldview was shaken up that day.

Bump - I like this thread. Some great stories here. What an amazing day.

Lost a college friend in the WTC. Was on one of the WTC flights (175) previous day out of boston. unrelated, but had 2 bombs detonate within 200 yrds of me while I lived in europe (different times within the same month).

Gecco Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > had 2 bombs detonate within 200 > yrds of me while I lived in europe (different > times within the same month). Something about that sounds fishy.

Even several years after it happened, this whole thing still haunts me like a perverse surreal scene from some wacko movie. Willy

chrismaths Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Gecco Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > had 2 bombs detonate within 200 > > yrds of me while I lived in europe (different > > times within the same month). > > Something about that sounds fishy. Blew up his garage twice!

trek7000… what…the…f… Good story man, glad to see you made it. Interesting how when things like that happen, you feel like youre watching yourself react from a distance. The other people standing around, wow, thats just like humans to always want to know whats going on. And here i am using the word “humans” like some being from outer space. well im not. Good post.

ditchdigger2CFA Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Another story; > > A pal of mine who manages a warehouse said that > many of the foreigners who are employees cheered > when the planes hit the towers. It’s a totally lack of judgment for those foreigners to cheer about the tragedy. On the other hand, the U.S. should always seriously treat this as a wake up call to see why people want to target us on such a horrible scale (don’t give me the “we are the beacons of democracy” shit) and why seemingly innocent bystanders choose to side with the terrorists.

We were on vacation in Portugal. I went back to my room at around 3.00pm, switched on CNN, the first plane had already hit, the tower was burning. I saw the second hit life on screen and never made it back to the beach that day as it took quite a while until the news really sank in. Dinner was strange: one could clearly distiguish those who had seen the news from those who had not switched on their teles. Zombies vs happy holidaymakers.

nope…IRA bombings in london. blew up a barracks in knightsbridge and placed several bombs in “rubbish bins” around the city.

My uncle is a senior VP for Cantor Fitzgerald out of New Canaan. He was literally on the squawk box talking to the doomed employees. His life took a turn for the worse after the attacks. Alchohol…Got divorced - 4 kids. Held on to his job though.

My cousin called from UK to inform us about the planes, as it was early in Colorado. The constant replay of those scenes on every channel, over the next 4 days, was mind numbing.

yep, that was a lousy period in the DC area. one of the sniper shootings was two miles from an office where i work. still get gas there sometimes. the hair on the back of my neck doesn’t stand up anymore tho. ~have a client who is an exec of a large company in DC area who got a call on 9/11 to verify his building was on fire. he told the reporter it wasn’t on fire. the reporter told him they had accounts that it was on fire. his response was “well, i’m here, and it’s not on fire.” lots of confusion that day. HS friend flew into Newark from Boston that morning and was in a towncar on his way into the city when they saw the plane go into the tower. he told the driver to turn around because they were driving back to Boston. And, that’s exactly what the driver did. ~I was sitting at my desk reading TheStreet or RealMoney or whatever when Todd Harrison posted on the blog that, “a bomb just went off in the WTC.” I jumped out of my chair like i had seen a ghost. At the time i thought I was overreacting. Later when we turned the tv on and saw the buildings fall all i could think was that we’re at war with someone, but i didn’t know who.~ If you ever take 395 into DC you will see just how surreal it must have been to watch a plane heading into the pentagon from that angle.

my old office was opposite the towers … dazed by seeing bodies jumping off - that just did it for me and after the second impact … I walked out of the building and thought I was going to die when the first building fell. Even to this day, I remember that whole day very clearly. I volunteered on 1st anniversary at ground zero to help the families get to the place they need to grief… that day was even more moving with some very miraculous things happening… that day made me really really realize that life can be over in seconds … and I live my life very much in the moment now …

I was working in Jersey City at the time and I was on my way to work in the basement of the towers when the first plane hit. On impact, I remember a noise not extremely loud, but noticeable – I remember a cloud of dust (not smoke) and a weird vibration throughout the entire building – the vibration reminded me of the sensation you feel when you hit a baseball off the end of an aluminum bat on a cold day. While I was startled, the sound of the impact and the cloud of dust didn’t stop me going to the PATH train. It wasn’t until I reached the main lobby and I saw that it was nearly empty that I started to get a little scared. I then turned and looked at some girl who looked at me and I guess the expressions on our faces scared us enough that we both decided to leave the building. I got out and watched in awe as the tower burned – the awe quickly turned to fear when the second plane hit… I ran out of there as fast as possible and spent the rest of the day roaming the city.