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Old Sep 11, 14, 3:04 pm   #166
  
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Great thread, I hadn't seen it before.

My story on 9/11 isn't unique, but I felt like it writing it out today. I was just pulling into my office building complex outside Chicago when the news announcer on the radio said a small plane had crashed into the WTC. As I listened, he started screaming "Another plane just hit, this is not an accident, we're under attack!"

It was chilling. I walked into the office, where people had rigged the conference room TV's used for showing videos with antennas and were just standing in front of the TV watching, like zombies.

I called my parents pretty quickly, as my Dad was a frequent flyer at the time, not yet retired. My mom answered. Dad was indeed flying that day, but fortunately was leaving MCI. He was on the tarmac when they were called back and he had called my mom from the terminal to let her know he was fine and heading home.

The rest of the day is hazy. Years later, I had my first 9/11 flight...LGA-ORD. I was nervous until about half way through that flight.

My family was very fortunate. Every year I think of those who weren't. My hope, as it applies to this forum, is that we remember despite all the debates and arguments that happen here, that we're all in this together.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 4:18 pm   #167
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I was a Junior in High School at the time in Rye, New York maybe 30 miles north of the WTC. I didn't find out until around 9:30 when I went to my second class. The teacher said two planes had hit the World Trade Center and that "we were under attack". He was always a blowhard but he was enough to stop talking and turn on the TV after that.

I called home around Noon to make sure my Father who worked in New York City was fine and he was. Unfortunately, his best friend's wife worked for Fred Alger Management and she never made it home. Neither did four graduates of my high school.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 5:22 pm   #168
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I was a Junior in High School at the time in Rye, New York maybe 30 miles north of the WTC. I didn't find out until around 9:30 when I went to my second class. The teacher said two planes had hit the World Trade Center and that "we were under attack". He was always a blowhard but he was enough to stop talking and turn on the TV after that.

I called home around Noon to make sure my Father who worked in New York City was fine and he was. Unfortunately, his best friend's wife worked for Fred Alger Management and she never made it home. Neither did four graduates of my high school.
We similar stories. I grew up in Northern NJ, about 50 minutes away from Manhattan.

It was the first week of high school for me as a freshman. I remember I was biology class when the principal made an annoucment about how two planes hit the WTC. However, our classroom had a broken intercom speaker in the room, so while the rest of the school found out about it around the 9-10am hour, our classroom didn't.

I then had gym after that class, but started noticing a few girls running up and down the halls crying and running into the office. I thought something might had been up at the time, but didn't know what was going on just yet.

I then went back into gym, which was essentially an assembly (teachers didn't start actual gym cirriculum until like 2-3 weeks into the school year.) I went up to this kid in my class and said I noticed a some people crying in the hallway and asked if something happened (someone famous died? regional school shooting? etc.) He then remarked to me (and this had to be around 10:30-10:45am) "Oh something happened where airplanes hit the WTC, but not sure if it was private or commerical." It was so preliminary that it didn't seem to bother him all that much.

Thankfully, I had my CD player in my bag at the time which was FM radio equipped. I heard the events unfold right then and there. But with gym and then lunch afterwards (lots of kids, high volume), I couldn't get a read that they were UA and AA flights until around 7th period, or like 12:30pm-1pm. One rumor that circulated around lunch was it was a TWA flight, which 800 still somewhat fresh on everyone's minds.

By 8th period, there was no communication from either of my parents, I started to worry. My dad was on a flight from EWR to DTW on CO that morning, and my mom worked in downtown Newark. No cell phones at this point yet, so by the time XC practice rolled around, our coach asked if anyone needed to use his office phone to get in touch with parents.

I called my dad's cell, with no answer. I tried several times and my coach started to get frustrated. He then said to me, "Tommy, there were FOUR planes that went down today..." almost in a downplay lecture form and I said "I know, but my dad was on a flight to Detroit, he could have been diverted..." and cut me off middle of sentence. He told me to return to practice

He and I had a very bad relationship for those four years. Yet on 9/11, one week into the school year, I knew he was a bad dude. A very impersonal and unaccomodating person.

Turns out, my Dad's plane never left EWR, and he was sitting in F and the F/A pulled the galley door open and he had a firsthand view of the WTC on fire. Literally standing in the galley of a CO 737 and seeing it all go down from an EWR taxiway. My Mom said the ashes of the WTC made it all the way to Downtown Newark.

Yet on that night, we somehow all ended up back home and had dinner together. 9/11 was the start of some very difficult family and personal challenges to overcome during my high school career and I remember it as if it were just yesterday.



Rest in peace to the 16 people from my hometown that died in the World Trade Center 13 years ago. This monument located at the local train station as a memorial.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 5:24 pm   #169
  
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I was working in midtown NYC on that day. After the second plane struck, we realized this was a significant event. We left our office to go home to NJ and walked to Penn Station. The station was closed and we stood outside for an hour or so, watching fighter jets zipping by overhead, using our cell phones to mostly no avail to call family.

Penn Station re-opened about 1PM after the facility and tunnels were deemed safe. The train conductor said we were on the first train out of the station. I swallowed hard.

We made it home safely and without incident. Nobody said a word for 45 minutes.

Never forget...

Last edited by milesmilesmiles; Sep 11, 14 at 7:01 pm
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Old Sep 11, 14, 5:30 pm   #170
  
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I come back to this thread every year since I joined flyertalk. And every year I'm close to tears.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 6:16 pm   #171
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And every year I'm close to tears.
Tonight I took my family out to dinner - and for the first time had to explain to my 7 year old daughters what today meant, what happened, and why - today they saw it on TV news and didnt understand -- all they know is that their Daddy is in planes every week... Next month I am taking my family to the memorial on our trip to NYC - I'm not sure how I will handle it yet.

I grew up in NYC, I have family there, I lost friends that day, and I will never forget it - and in my opinion it was one of our finest hours as a nation. I shed tears every year on this day - and I am so greatful I live here and in this country.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 7:11 pm   #172
  
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I try to remember, not the worst of humanity that was displayed that day, but the best. Operation Yellow Ribbon resulted in 255 aircraft being landed at 17 airports across Canada, many of them in communities which were not of the scale to receive that many stranded people. Gander, Newfoundland found their population almost doubled in just a few hours. Halifax, Nova Scotia received 47 planeloads of passengers.

The Canadian people demonstrated the best of humanity that day and in the days that followed, taking people into their homes and their hearts, feeding them, housing them, comforting them, providing communication links home.

This is what I choose to remember every September 11.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 7:17 pm   #173
  
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Posted this on my blog today....

Thirteen years ago today, my morning began much like any other early fall day. I was roaming the airport in search of coffee and a bagel, mentally celebrating a successful morning launch of kick-off flights at Washington National Airport (DCA) on September 11, 2001. I was one of the Customer Service Managers at DCA on duty for American Airlines that day.

During a visit with our operations agent, I heard a radio call from our first inbound flight of the day. The crew had a question, “had we heard anything about an incident in New York involving a United flight?” The operations agent and I both looked at each other in agreement that we had not, but I immediately got on the nearest computer to find cnn.com. I’ll never forget the picture of smoke billowing from the first tower, and the caption “Aircraft Hits World Trade Center. Details to Follow.” I immediately went to our conference room where I knew I would find access to a television. By the time I arrived there, the second tower had been struck, and the newscasters were spinning replays of the aircraft striking each tower.

By this time phones were ringing and my boss, the station general manager had arrived in the conference room. He took a call, while other managers from flight, flight service and maintenance began to gather. Upon hanging up the phone, he stated that they think 77 from Dulles is involved. And with that, things got real. I immediately returned to operations where our ops agent informed me that two flights that had just pushed were returning to the gate. He’d just gotten off the phone with dispatch, and learned that American was grounding all of its flights and that we may have had an airplane involved in New York.

I proceeded out to the gates to assist as our flights returned. The first passengers were coming off and I was immediately stopped by one of them who wanted to know about the possibility of getting rebooked on another airline. No, I’m not making that up! She was nice enough about it, but wasn’t interested in giving me a minute to figure out what was going on. As we stood there discussing the situation at DCA’s gate 28, she happened to glance out towards the north, and immediately asked “what’s that?” I turned to see the strangest color of smoke rising just above the tree line in the direction of the Pentagon. I responded that I wasn’t sure, but that I thought that it might be a good idea to leave. Within seconds, an announcement was made throughout the terminal to evacuate the building. I didn’t know it at the time, but our flight 77 had just crashed into the Pentagon.

I could tell you a lot more about that day, and the weeks that followed. The mass exodus from the airport on foot as F-16s criss-crossed the skies above, and the sick smell of burning jet fuel wafting through the air. I was certain more aircraft would follow at this point, and half expected to see one plow into the Washington Monument, the Capitol or for that matter, our airport at any minute. I could tell you about taking a team of airport agents to Dulles to stand in while the folks at Dulles grieved for the loss of one of their beloved colleagues, a 45 year AA employee, not to mention the shock of being the origin of flight 77. I could also talk about walking through an empty National Airport terminal at 5:30am a few weeks later. It was an eerie place with most of the lights turned off and none of the escalators running, the silence only broken by the sound of my shoes hitting the floor as I walked through on my way to pick up the lay off packages I would have to deliver to people that didn’t deserve it. I could say a lot, but I won’t. I think I’ve made my point.

I remember.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 7:23 pm   #174
  
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Amazing thread..

I live in the USA now.. 13 years ago I was in Canberra Australia doing my PhD. I was pretty tech savvy at the time, living in a small one bedroom bachelor pad on the outskirts of town (now married with a 9 year old). On checking my email in the morning I knocked on my neighbor's door, a young woman with a fiancee in the Australian officer training core. We made tea and sat and discussed what we had heard and what it meant. We both felt numb and horrified but I think only she felt scared.

Today MSNBC showed historical footage in displaced real time.. Watching and hearing the anchors ponder as to what has had happened... Today a car backfires and we think of terrorism.. Call it a cliche but the USA lost it's innocence that day.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 7:42 pm   #175
  
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Here you go, though the FT TR I linked to above is a bit longer-winded.

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/co...ow_did/cc5cb7k
Thank you for posting both links.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 8:49 pm   #176
  
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I come back to this thread every year since I joined flyertalk. And every year I'm close to tears.
Ya - me too - but not close for me.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 8:57 pm   #177
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Two other compelling threads should be on your list for 9/11...

--The original thread on FT created to report the news:
Two Planes Crash Into World Trade Center

--A five-year anniversary thread that contains many other stories of people and how they handled that horrible day:
Where Were You 11 September 2001?

My story's in that second thread.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 9:24 pm   #178
  
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I observed this day by flying United--LAS to IAH, then IAH to DCA. Three years ago, I marked the 10th anniversary by flying from IAD to SFO. Doing my little part to take back the skies seems a fitting way to honor the day, and if 9/11/15 involves air travel I will be proud to have United once again be my airline.
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Old Sep 11, 14, 9:31 pm   #179
  
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I remember. I was working at John Hancock in Boston (largest building in Boston). Someone had Howard Stern on a radio and mentioned a small plane had crashed into the WTC. I went down to the lobby where they usually broadcasted news from a cluster of tvs when the second plane hit as I was watching. A reporter walked into the building and was taking pictures of us with our mouths gaped open, hands coving our mouths. Security rushed them out.

I went back up to my floor feeling really uneasy. News was filtering in about the planes coming out of Boston. Someone passed me and said the Pentagon's been hit. I went to my desk and grabbed my bag, got in my car and drove home. The sky, normally filled with sounds of planes was eerily silent with exception of fighter jets.

I called my dad who was a general in the air force. He said "go home- get out of there". I've never been so confused and scared....I can't imagine how bad it was for all who went through it directly.
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Old Sep 12, 14, 11:35 am   #180
  
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I was on a UA flight SFO-EWR yesterday evening, remembering UA 93 going in the other direction as well the other three flights thirteen years ago. Saw the Tribute In Light as we were crossing the Delaware river and heading out over northern NJ. As we were flying along the Manhattan skyline, the captain announced (I'm paraphrasing), "On the left-hand side you can see the WTC memorial lights, as we remember our colleagues and customers on United flights 175 and 93". We then banked left to get even closer, and ended with a sharp right turn to land on runway 29. Surely the choice of runway was based on wind direction, but it was a nice touch regardless.
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