Where Were You Seven Years Ago Today?


Since it’s Sept. 11, 2008, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and share with you my experience of Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, 2001. I’d like to open up the site all day for DT readers — worldwide — to describe where you were, what you saw and your impressions were on 9/11. I’ll post the responses throughout the day…

I was eating breakfast in the National Press Club that morning when I saw the images of the first hit on the WTC playing on the news shows that morning in the dining room. At first I really thought this was a mistake, but when I realized it was a much larger plane, I began to suspect some sort of terrorist attack.

I ran down to my news office — at the time I worked for a defense industry newsletter called Defense Week — and by the time I got to the TVs in my office, the second plane had hit. Then I knew we were truly being attacked.

Then the Pentagon…

As a new news guy, I figured it was time for me to swing into action. I wasn’t sure what to do so I grabbed my things and headed toward what most people thought would be the next target…the White House.

The streets were jammed with cars and people, but it was orderly. No one was totally freaking out but there was a thick tension in the air. I got the sense that folks in that part of DC — near the White House and various other ‘executive office buildings” — were used to tension and stress. I walked quickly over to the park in front of the White House and was quickly shoved away by an MP5-wielding uniformed Secret Service. People were starting to freak.

Then all of a sudden, you could hear Air Force jets in the air, flying low. As if on cue, the Secret Service guys started running down Pennsylvania Ave. herding people west, away from the White House. Another plane was coming and its target was right where we were standing.

I walked fast, but not too far. The excitement of the stress kept me planted there. I was small fry so the Secret Service officers ignored me. No plane showed up (it turned out this was the Shanksville, Pa., plane), so I went back to the office and started banging the phones for colleagues in the Pentagon and elsewhere. My first series of stories was on the coming conflict in Afghanistan and an examination of the Soviet defeat there.

The next day, Sept. 12, I went to the Pentagon. It was incredibly emotional for me. The building gaped from the impact. The air was still thick with smoke. The rafters smoldered. But the building was open for business. A testament to the resilience of the American military.

I’ve spent the last seven years covering the “global war on terrorism” in one way or another. Truly 9/11 was the first life-changing event I’ve been a part of. And it reminds me of the “where were you when Kennedy was shot?” or “what were you doing when man set foot on the moon?” kind of questions. But 9/11 had far more impact than those events could have on my daily life. I’ve been shot at, risked explosive injury, met tribal elders in poppy fields, seen the “worst of the worst” in chain link cages, witnessed new alliances seen the best — and the worst — of our government’s capabilities and felt first hand the grief of loss than never wanes.

9/11 is the seminal event of this century. It has in many ways defined me — professionally and personally — and it’s something I wish away every time I think of it.

— Christian

  • Atkin

    Just finished signing into my new unit in the 101st Aviation on Campbell. Wife and Kid were actually due to fly in and I had just paid for a brand new apartment complex built just outside the entrance to gate 7. The one that now has the walk memorial. I was sitting down to eat lunch with some other people, and that’s when the whole Chowhall went silent.
    Never ever heard a place with around a hundred soldiers ever go quiet like that before.

  • Fred

    Was in back office of American Airlines at O’Hare doing the 2nd day of a wireless RF survey. Word immediately spread that at least one of their planes was involved. Word came through that we (consultants/contractors)had to leave. I went back to my hotel and called my boss indicating there was no way they would let us back on the tarmac to keep working. There were still seats available for the train from Chicago to Dallas at this point but the idiot couldn’t see past his nose to make a decision. We sat there for two more days until finally they said to come home. The two of us had one rental car but one was from Florida and the other from Texas. No additional cars were available in Chicago so we drove to Nashville, split up, and drove home.
    I now work in the disaster recovery industry after seeing the paralysis that this event caused.
    And you know what???????
    Most companies (even regulated ones) still don’t get it!!!!!

  • David

    I was a new RA in my college. Classes had just started a few weeks before. I was sitting in my room, getting ready for Chinese class, when my girlfriend called me and told me to watch the news. I didn’t have a TV, so I turned to a news website (don’t remember which now). I was so scared, but I had to be there for my students. I went down the hall, making sure everyone knew what was going on, then called my professor to let her know I wouldn’t be in class. (Shortly thereafter, classes were made “optional”; they wanted to provide some structure for those who needed it.) I spent the whole day on my hall helping students with families in DC and NY cope, and helping to defuse some of the wilder rumors.
    To this day I’ve never seen the video of either plane hitting the tower, and I’m thankful of that.

  • Mark

    Thank you for all you did for our country. I don’t know if you know how much you mean to us, but know this – if I see you walking along the side of the road and I can tell you were/are military you will have a ride and a cool drink to accompany you to your next destination.

  • Joe Blow

    Was catching a cab to the McCormick center for a Print trade show. TV’s on the show floor had it all over. Scary, watching the cessna’s land at the little strip out on the lake.

  • Jamie

    I was performing Jumpmaster Duties during a water jump aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk. We had just started our inbound heading over the drop zone, right before the leading edge of the drop zone, the aircraft veered off and began to decend, next thing we knew we were back at the landing zone with the crewmembers telling us to get off. We had no clue as to what was going on. Once we got back to the assembly point we were told of the first tower being struck. We then heard on someones car radio of the second attack.

  • Jober

    I was in my first week working in the Communications Department for an exclusive private school outside of Boston. Commercial air traffic was routed directly over our campus on final approach to Logan – you could often look up and watch them drop the landing gear as they crossed over the quad. I had just started working when I heard a commotion and was told to check out the TVs downstairs in Admission because ‘something big’ was going on. I arrived in time to see smoke pouring out of a massive hole in the first tower. As many of the students had family members who worked on Wall Street, I asked a coworker if we should alert my new boss. She agreed and pulled our boss out of a meeting. To her credit, my boss immediately implemented the campus’ emergency plan. I can’t say enough good things about how the school handled this crisis with regard to students and their families.

  • Mark

    I was at Ft. Dix in NJ trying to order 4 chemical toilets from the DOL for my unit(120 guys stuck on a .50 cal range with only one, overflowing toilet.). We were preparing to deploy to Bosnia and I was acting supply guy. When it happened my clerk came into the office (no internet, no tv, no radio, just a phone and a desk) and started freaking out. I though he was F***ing around so I had him doing pushups when the CO came in and dropped the bomb.. things got pretty serious after that.

  • JEFF

    This will show how long ago 9/11 was. I was a senior in high school in Enterprise, AL. I had wood working as my first class and didn’t hear anything until the break between 1st and 2nd block classes. I remember an erie awkward tension walking the halls, then somebody asked me if I’d seen the news, I was told a plane hit the World Trade Center. I went immediately to 2nd block math class and caught the 2nd plane hitting on the news. We then kept the news on and saw the buildings collapse later in the morning. I remember rumors swirling that Ft. Rucker might be attacked. But we went through the rest of the day and even had football practice. I remember being really upset that they made us practice but looking back I’m really glad we did, it definately helped us get through the day. I’ll never forget the uphoria of American Pride that Friday at the pep rally and the game. Everyone was united as Americans.
    My brother, a marine who had just went back to base from visiting us on leave, was scheduled to go to the mediterranean with his unit in the coming weeks. A couple weeks of silence and we suddenly saw a picture on CNN.com of a load of marines coming of a helo at Kandahar Int’l Airport, one of them looked just like my brother. Found out the day before Thanksgiving it was him.
    Since 9/11 I graduated high school, then college, and now work in the defense community. I’ll never forget the sick feeling in my stomach when I realized how many people were dying while I was sitting in school watching it all unfold on CNN.
    Sorry if I rambled a little, just had a lot on my mind when I really thought about everything from that week.

  • Rob

    I was with Task Force Rifles out of Mississippi, heading to Bosnia. We were sitting in the old Ranger barracks on Ft. Benning, GA after finishing up our final FTX’s and waiting for our flight overseas. A buddy out of our platoon, a real joker, came by and said that a plane had hit the WTC. All of us thought he was just kidding around again. Only a minute after he’d stuck his head in the room more people went hustling down the hall in the direction he’d left. I got up and went to investigate, just in case. You never knew with this guy. I went to the far end of the building to a large common area where someone had a small TV set up. There were a lot of us there already, just piled in. I got there just in time to see the second plane hit the adjacent tower. I ran back to the room, told the guys, and we all came back to watch.
    The Towers fell. I remember thinking it looked just like a scene from Independence Day. And normally I’d have gone with the “Once is an accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action,” rule, but my gut was telling me different. Once the Pentagon was hit there was no doubt it was an attack. I also knew that the White House had to be next on the list, and that when it was hit the world would be a totally different place. It never happened though. We heard the reports not too long after of the fourth plane going down in PA.
    We saw the Rangers lining up their vehicles across the street soon after. It took maybe an hour or so from then until they were gone, to the airfield some were saying, then off to who knows where. Days later we got clearance to fly out. We already had our mission, and the people we met were glad we came. But all the guys I was tight with there would rather have gone to the fight that was coming. Remembering C Co. 3rd Plt. 11Sep01

  • Sam Chady

    I was in a business meeting. The meeting ended, and someone in the office told me about the 1st plane, and I did not believe them. The president of the company set up a TV in a conference room and we packed about 100 people into a room made for 25. We were all in disbelief.
    I tried to call my Uncle and could not get him. He was in the subway underneath the towers when the 1st plane hit, and he had to walk out of the subway along the tracks. Thank goodness he did make it out. My cousin was not so lucky. He had started a new job in the towers a week before.

  • James S

    I was awakened from my nap on a transcontinental east-west flight by the plane’s captain announcing that someone had flown a jetliner into one of the World Trade Center towers, and that we would be landing. We went from around 35000 feet to landed in under 10 minutes.
    Due to confused reporting, my brother spent much of the morning thinking my airplane had hit the Pentagon… and when you get down to it, it’s basically pure luck that he was mistaken.

  • adw

    I was in Germany at a training course, building a mock up of a satellite (long story) and I came down to the cafeteria at lunchtime and it was empty. Usually it was buzzing and full. I asked where everybody had gone, and someone told me there’d been an attack in New York at the WTC. He said the pictures on the news were “quite bad”. A classic piece of English understatement.
    So I went onto the internet, and basically the internet in Germany had died. The BBC news website had been reduced to one paragraph of text, and apparently it still couldn’t cope.
    The Americans had all gone off together back to the hotel, and the Boeing employees had all been told to get on the next flight home. Then someone at Boeing thought about that for a moment, and decided it was a bad idea and told them to all stay put and away from planes.
    One of guys there was from New York, the best man at his wedding worked in the towers, to this day I don’t know if he made it or not.
    A couple of days later I was having lunch with an Aussie, and he said, “what’s worse, is that a lot of innocent people are going to die in the response to this.”
    And here we are 7 years later, and we’re on one side in two seperate civil wars, Osama’s not found, and the Saudi’s are pumping oil money into Wahabbi-ism just as fast as before.
    Roll on November…

  • Leeman

    I was actually in my american history class when it happened. Ironic in a way, I suppose. The principle came into the class and told us to put the TV on and “watch some history”. Most of us had never even been to New York, let alone heard of the WTC (little school in northern Michigan), so I don’t think a lot of the people fully understood just what was going on, untill the pentagon got hit. We convinced the teachers in every class to turn the news on, and as the day went on more and more people kept coming forward with family in the area, so it just kept hitting closer and closer to home, even way up in the middle of nowhere. when my class gratuated we had the highest percent of people go into the armed services, the state had seen. I was told later that it was in all the papers, I was already on my way through basic.

  • Korey

    I was a senior in high school in Northern Virginia when it happened. I heard two teachers talking in the hall and saying “a bomb went off in the Pentagon.” At the time, my father was in the Air Force stationed at the Pentagon so I instantly freaked out. Not, ten minutes later I got a letter from the calling me to the office. I just knew my father was dead. I ran straight from my class to my car and streaked out of the parking lot toward 495. At this time the radio blared that another plane had hit the WTC so I was not only confused

  • Kirk

    Just returned to work from picking up some parts. It was one of those what the h… moments where you think that what you just heard was either a mistake on the part of the radio announcer or you didn’t hear correctly. At the time I thought that it was either the PRC or muslims.
    That night my son was in a helo flying over the remains of the WTC on a SAR mission. At several thousand feet up he said he could still feel the heat from the fires. He didn’t have much to do that night, unfortunately. Norfolk sent everything that could move out to sea. They left many sailors landside in an attempt to keep the ships from being a target (Dec 7).

  • Foreign.Boy

    I was at college… people were drinking beer joyful of the bomb threats that shut down our schools. Mean while I was staring at the TVs waiting for them to announce a draft to fight whatever foreign power was waging war.
    However, to this day, I’m not sure who did it. The reports were all over the place as to ‘who done it’. I don’t believe the US attacking itself conspiracy… but I think truthfully, no one knows for sure.
    I’ll believe it when they catch Osama and bring him to the US.

  • dauntless

    I was 10 when it happened. I remember it well obviously. I was always homeschooled, and I used to get up every morning at 5:00 am to do schoolwork. But on that day I woke up at 8:00am, central time, and I was mad and told my little brother to do his school. Then he told me our Dad said we didn’t have to that day, because a plane crashed into a building. That didn’t make sense so we turned the TV on and saw it burning. That day when I saw F-15’s flying over the rubble, I decided I would go into the military. I’m still planning on going into it to ensure that nothing like it will happen again.

  • Stuart

    I was going to law school and working part-time at a law firm in Foggy Bottom. The night before, there were reports of Michael Jordan coming back to the NBA. The next day, I strolled into the office, and an office mate very much into sports excitedly asked me if I heard what happened. I naturally replied: “Oh…that Michael Jordan’s coming back?”
    Accross the Potomac, we could see the smoke billowing over the Pentagon from one side of our building. To this day, you could still see where the plane struck the Pentagon as the color of the new wall is slightly different.

  • Joe

    I was flying from Ft.Lauderdale to Boston Logan we apparently were approaching the airspace over New Jersey when the pilot said over the interncome “there’s been a major breech of security in the North East Air Corridor” and that we were diverting. We also noticed an F-16 off either wing. I’m assuming it was due to the fact that our flight path went over NYC and it was a large plane with a lot of fuel. We diverted (were forced to land?) at some remote airstrip in the middle of no where NJ and I remember thinking how on earth is this going to work because the wing tips must’ve been 10-20ft from the trees on either side of the runway. The plane just stopped at the end of the runway and we got off via one of those ladder trucks and were greeted at the bottom by all of the local police in this middle of no where town checking our ID’s etc. I drove the rest of the way to Boston and as the roads into NYC were closed, I had to drive around. I remember looking towards NYC that night and being amazed that it was pitch black. Not sure if you remember but they blacked out as much of NYC as possible fearing further attack that night.

  • Ptsfp

    I was on an onsite computer service call and heard them talking about the first plane hitting the WTC over a radio. The funny thing was everyone had their radios on, but it was like no one heard what happened. They thought it was an accident at that point.
    I listened to the radio all the way back to the office. By then the second tower was hit. Everything stopped. We set up a TV in the service center and everyone was watching it. People were glued to the radio or TV. It seemed like the whole world came to a stand still.

  • Tony

    I was sitting at my computer late at night here in Brisbane, Australia and I had a TV going in the corner of the room.
    When the News Flash came on saying that a plane had crashed into the first tower I thought it had to be a horrible accident, but then when the second plane hit (shown pretty much live on TV) my only thought was “We’re going to war….”. Not a question, just a statement of fact…
    There was never any doubt in my head that Australia would be with you in whatever needed to be done.
    Most of the people I know stayed up nearly all night watching the news. Everyone was late for work the next morning, and no work was done as my company set up TV’s all over the place so we could all keep up with the news.. It was all we talked about all day.
    It’s a day that effected us all.

  • Rich

    I was at work in the Watergate building. Saw the smoke from the Pentagon from my 8th floor office window.
    To this day the thing that I sticks with me is just how beautiful a day it had been which is always a nice thing in mid-September DC as the heat and humidity of the summer finally lets go. It started as just perfect and changed so fast.

  • Calvin

    I was in 6th grade, only 11 years old. In the morning when my mom dropped me off at school she told me that a plane had hit a tower in New York, that the President said it was terrorism but that she thought it was just an accident. When I got to school rumors were flying. My principle called an assembly and said that there had been a terrible attack, that thousands were dead. We had a moment of silence but school continued. When I got home my brother and father were glued to the tv watching the video over and over again, and soon so was I.

  • Brett

    i was showering for school got out and went to look for clothes and my dad was like “the world trade center just got hit by a plane” i was like whoa. then watched the 2nd one hit live. it was a very weird feeling. got to school hear all sorts of stuff on the radio on the bus. then all day we were hearing new stuff at school.
    it was scary but not for me. more for people in bigger cities then me.


    I was training some nato soldiers in Sarajevo, Bosnia.. ” Never will forget” when a Lt.. came in our meeting area.. and advised we have been attacked…and we had to secure from training.. We all were in disbelief! That same LT.. was from NYC… and got on line with his mother and she gave us the status minute to minute of the tragedy! Following that tour of duty.. my next duty operation (Operation Southern Watch) in Riyadh, Saudia.. In which I had assisted in the emergency relief for the USS Cole in which was attack in Yemen…

  • coviepresb1647

    I was simply doing engineering work at my desk in the Bethesda office. Around 9:00, my colleague’s wife called him and shared what was happening at the WTC and another plane in the air headed toward DC. Though he and his wife are certainly trustworthy people, my first reaction was disbelief and a thousand questions. Then, I heard about another plane in the air headed toward DC. I started to fear a little. I stayed in the office unlike the numerous people in DC. (That made for a nice evening rushhour.) I could get work done, but it was hard to do that. Being a Christian, I prayed several short prayers that that day for God’s comfort and mercy especially for those directly affected. I wanted to get out of DC, and that i was able to do since I had already planned business travel to the field in central VA. That field work enabled me to unwind.
    In light of our numerous national sins, we as nation deserve far more than what we got in the 9/11 incidents. Thankfully, God chose to restrain His full fury that day. History is starting to repeat itself where God allows enemies (His and our enemies in the case of the Muslim extremists) to attack as punishment for a nation’s sins.

  • Roland

    I was working in Ireland at Dublin Stock Exchange (currency exchange) when all of a sudden one of our price sources went dead. We thought it was an Internet / server problem and tried to call. They had their servers in WTC.
    Them when other colleagues – who had a little portable TV with them – showed us the news and we watched in horror the video as the first plane hit the tower. I thought it was a nice Hollywood trick and couldn’t believe it. Then came the second plane…

  • Dean Fitzgerald

    I’m from Australia & I remember it was about 10.30 @ night & when I first saw it I thought some shitty pilot had flown his plane into a large building in New York, but as it went on I thought hold on this isn’t right, that’s when the second plane hit & me & my brother said too each other thats it the world has changed as we know it, but do other people know. Even to this day we still don’t think people realise we live in a new world, a place where being a westener is dan gerous & we need to support those who are prepared to do violence on our behalf so we can sleep soundly at night. God Bless all the troops who defend our freedom, Australian, American & our allies.

  • sas


  • Aaron

    I had just come into work out at Camp Pendleton, CA to see that the first plane had flown into the WTC. We figured that it would be a normal day filled with pre-deployment preparations. We all stood in the ready-room at my squadron and tried to see what was going to happen for the rest of the day. When we saw the 2nd plan fly into the towers, we knew that it was terrorism. From there on out, my day got very interesting. I was placed on strip alert in one of two UH-1N hueys, along with two AH-1W cobras. Camp Pendleton became absolutely crazy that day…they even had an M1 Abrams at the front gate. I continually tried to call my brother who sometimes worked at the Pentagon. After about 6 hours, I was able to get word through family that he was not in the building that day. Needless to say, our deployment became much more important since we steamed directly to Afghanistan to introduce the bad guys to our friends: Hellfire; 20 mm; .50 cal; 7.62; and 2.75 inch rockets.
    I will never forget that day nor will I forget the sacrifices my comrades in arms made. We WILL defeat our enemy in the end and freedom will prevail.

  • Mike

    I was on the 5th floor when the plane hit. I thought that it was a truck bomb outside of corridor 2 by the bus stop. I was about to leave my office and go to the NMJIC (intel center) when I heard the blast and felt the buidling shake. My office evacted safely, but a lady that I worked with was recently promoted and transfered to the Navy Ops Center. She didn’t make it. God bless her.

  • John

    My wife and I live and work in mid-town Manhattan. We knew what was happening because we walk downtown on Avenue of the Americas every morning and we could see the North Tower burning. We left work around 1:00 PM walked down town ultimately got as close to the site about ten blocks north on West Street or as close as authorities would allow. As much as everyone there wanted to help – all we could do is provide bottles of water and moral support – as many hugs as we could, we were there though early next morning and went back for several days to do much of the same. I still can not get that of the burning out of my senses.
    We lost many friends and neighbors on that day among them Lt Robert Nagel of Engine 58 and many of our local East Side firefighters from the 10th Battalion Engine companies 22, 39 and 44 and Ladder companies 13 and 16. Our hearts sink everytime I pass those particular fire houses. What these men and women did for us on that day can never be repaid.
    I don’t care how many times you will see the images in the media – to my mind and I dare say the many who were there – you simply cannot describe it.

  • Scott

    I was attending DLI coming out of my room to head to class, guys were sitting in the dayroom and told me a plane had hit the WTC. I didn’t think much of it, since a small plane had hit Empire state building years earlier. I went out to wait for the shuttle, and upon getting on I heard the radio announce a second plane had hit and the pentagon had also been hit. I looked at all the faces of the young military members on the bus.

  • Tom Jones

    I was at work and my boss said a jet had hit a building and its on TV. They had a tiny old set in the back and I got there just in time to see the second plane hit. My stomach turned as I realized the first was not an accident. I mumbled, I hope we don’t start a war over this. An exec screamed at me about revenge. We went from a country with world respect and a very strong economy to this shell of our former selves. We have more extremeism both muslim and christian that is threating the security of the planet. Hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dead people later we have a police state with less actual security because of the muslims rallying to the jihad. We are buying peace for now in Iraq. But as soon as the money runs out it will be a blood bath.

  • jay

    I was sittin in history class i was in the 6th grade at the time and my teacher came in crying. and our whole school went to the gym and began to pray. We sang and had silence for those who had died

  • datguy

    I was about 12 blocks away, just up Washington Street, (in line of sight of the towers).
    (and as an aside: I’m getting really ‘tired’ of the History Channel showing me what I witnessed every year.. and whatever happened to nailing Osama, that rat?)

  • JEFF

    Tom Jones,
    I tried as hard as I could to not post in response to people’s politically biased opinions but I couldn’t let your’s go. Are you really niave enough to think we will be defeated by a bunch of cave dwelling muslim extremists? I am not underestimating our opponent but seriously, our country has defeated the British in their prime to gain independence, survived and flourished after a Civil War, supported democracy and freedom through 2 World Wars, and defeated the Soviets in the Cold War. We will defeat Religious Extremism on both sides, do you not remember right after 9/11 how you felt to be an American (assuming you are). I’m not as old as other posters on here but I’ll never forget the pride I felt when we all stood together as Americans, not blacks or white or mexicans or jews or chrisitians or muslims, but as Americans. If you weren’t part of that, maybe you should move on because that’s what America is all about, we aren’t all the same but we’re all Americans and support the country that gives us the opportunities to live our lives as we see fit. Ironic that with our country being built upon freedom, people like yourself are allowed to make senseless accusations like you did.

  • Andre

    I was getting ready to go to work when on the news I saw that one of the WTC towers was hit by a plane. I thought that must have been some pretty bad and messy accident.
    But soon the 2nd plane came crashing into another tower that’s when I realized this is not an accident.
    I remember that next week after that went by in a weird haze – no emotions, just blind anger.
    God bless our soldiers and their families and reign your displeasure at our leadership for allowing this to happen.

  • Ontos

    I was A Fish & Game Officer in the Rockies. We were going through our morning briefings when the head office gal came in and said that a plane hit the “twin towers”.
    All of us started saying the same thing, “Oh my god, how many students were in there? We should mobalize to help with EMS” As it turns out, that’s what people called the dorms for the local university. We had a couple of moments of confusion where we found a TV, and got that figured out. About 30 seconds after we found the news, we watched the second one hit. We, like most of America, were in complete shock.
    Being kind of a psuedo-law enforcement agency, we had no idea of what our responsibilities would be in an emergency. Should we report to the state, local PD, go home? Finally, we decided on this: Anyone who’s a reserve, should report immediatly to station, everybody else should go home and make sure their families are taken care of. After that, let’s meet back at the station and wait for word from the state or local authorities.
    There was a little confusion, but almost all of us were either reserve, national guard or ex-military, so we got a plan together pretty rapidly. After seeing the third aircraft go into the Pentagon, we were of the feeling that it was going to get worse as the day progressed. Thank god that never happened.

  • Eizu

    I was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, sitting on the curb waiting for a bus when it happened. I was supposed to be going to a chaplain’s retreat – white water rafting in New Mexico – but the other soldiers never showed up, and neither did the bus. It was between PT and work formation, and the streets were strangely silent.
    After about 20 minutes I went inside the nearest building, a gym, to see if the other soldiers had maybe gone in there. The place was deserted, but there was an action movie playing on the televisions above the cardio machines. A movie with explosions and chaos. Suddenly I realized that I was watching a live news feed. The horrified anchor explained that a second plane was descending toward the towers. I picked up my bags and ran back to the company headquarters.
    In the next weeks on post were chaotic. There was a two or three hour line to get through the security checkpoints at the gate.
    I felt incredibly lucky at the time, because my ex-girlfriend had just visited NYC for several days, including walking through the World Trade Center buildings. She had flown from New York to Los Angeles on American Airlines September 9th, and escaped being on one of those fateful planes by only two days.

  • Damon

    I was working on the Boise airport construction site when someone said a small plane had hit the Towers in New York. I wasn’t worried because planes had hit them before and it didn’t hurt them, much. Then we saw everyone leaving the airport, on FOOT! Which I thought was very odd indeed. Our stupid company didn’t release us from work until 5pm, which is when I found out about the seriousness of the attacks. I was pissed our company had held us up; my family was devastated and jumpy as hell and needed me! I never saw the people jumping out of the buildings, thank god.
    I greatly appreciate our ALLIES, especially the Brits and the Aussies, for their stalwart support during this war. Death to all radical muslims! Never forget 9/11…

  • Damon

    I was working on the Boise airport construction site when someone said a small plane had hit the Towers in New York. I wasn’t worried because planes had hit them before and it didn’t hurt them, much. Then we saw everyone leaving the airport, on FOOT! Which I thought was very odd indeed. Our stupid company didn’t release us from work until 5pm, which is when I found out about the seriousness of the attacks. I was pissed our company had held us up; my family was devastated and jumpy as hell and needed me! I never saw the people jumping out of the buildings, thank god.
    I greatly appreciate our ALLIES, especially the Brits and the Aussies, for their stalwart support during this war. Death to all radical muslims! Never forget 9/11…

  • Refunk

    Was working in the woods on the left coast, observing something, radio playing quietly. Kinda split my attention when a radio voice got all excited and interrupted the music, then I wasn’t sure it wasn’t some stunt like Orson Wells played with War Of The Worlds in ’38, – a hoax – until I found the story on most channels.
    Reasoning there was nothing I could personally do at the moment, I continued my thing (which was unexciting for about six more hours) until I could leave that position. Stopped in the first small burg I came to and checked out the TV in a bar. Drove directly to the Red Cross office on my way home, volunteered anything I could do: “No thanks, pretty sure we won’t need any help…” Uh-huh.
    When I parked and walked up my front steps, I was stricken by how eerily silent the closely-packed neighborhood was: no auto traffic, no one chattering in yards, and no aircraft providing white noise from a normally busy int’l airport nearby. Inside, my son asked what I thought was going to happen to whoever had done this. I replied that when we figured out “who” that was (I remembered the earlier attack on the WTC, as well as solicitation to conduct further strikes thereon), several entire family lines were going to be completely obliterated from the gene pool along with anybody and their camel who happened to be standing too close.
    I have profound respect for those who have worn the same battle dress as I once did. Remember, too, that men & women in the military do not cut their own orders. No one can convince me that a committed presidency couldn’t have found OBL in seven goddamned years and also cleansed the Earth of his relatives, accomplices, resources, and favorite goat.
    When that happens, things can’t help but improve a little in all our lives (I invite anyone directing sermons to me against vengeance to STFU).


    i was in grade 2 when they hit and i everyone being sent home though i didnt fully understand it at the time i knew the world was a very different place

  • jim

    I was there,i worked in the 88 pct at the time and left work earliy to see my daughter off to her first day of school. Inever made it,……
    did 2 tours in Iraq and have no regrets,even with all my injuries I would do it today if i could

  • Andrew

    I had taken the 10th, 11th, and 12th off for my annual pilgrimage to the local Jimmy Buffett concert. I stayed up late that Monday night getting everything ready, turning in around 2am. Then at around 10 the next morning I hear the answering machine kicking on in the living room. Pretty much all my friends knew I worked late shift and didn’t normally rise until around sunset so I figured it was a wrong number. Until it kicked on again right away, then again a third time. At that point I knew something was up so I rolled out of bed and checked the message. It was my Mom, sounding a little frantic, telling me to be careful because the terrorists were out and that they had blown up the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV, thinking it was another bombing like the one in 93′. I then spent the next 30 minutes sitting on the end of my bed in stunned disbelief. Watching the towers collapse, the reports from the Pentagon, and all the while a message crawled across the bottom of the screen, stating that Indianapolis Center reported the skies were clear. I called my best friend and co-worker who was also in the National Guard to see if he had heard anything, and decided to head down to his place. Heeding my Mother’s advice, I strapped on my Browning Hi-Power instead of my normal pocket pistol. By the time I got to his place, huge lines were forming at the gas stations. That night, instead of swaying away on the lawn of the local ampitheater to Jimmy, we sat in the dim light of a candle on my friends balcony, sipping beer and trying to wrap our brains around everything. The Guard called him the next day, and after a long stint doing airport security and training exercises, he is in the middle of his first tour in Iraq. His younger brother, a newly minted Lt. in the USMC, is heading back for his second tour in Nov.
    Despite all the changes that have taken place since 2001, one thing has not changed. My feelings while watching the archived footage from that day. The shock and anger still persists, along with the bewilderment of how a day that was supposed to be spent partying with friends could turn so tragic in a matter of hours.

  • Josh

    I was only in my freshman year of highschool in my first class of the day, Art major 1, when another teacher ran in the room and turned on the TV and then we all just sat there and watched it. My art teacher said, “Everything will change” and after the past 7 years she was right.

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