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9/11, ten years after.


valerie Inshan
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I remember my Mom telling me she would remember for the rest of her life where she was and exactly what she was doing when President Kennedy was shot.

Almost 40 years later, before our very eyes on all TVs of the world, we were the desperate and astounded witnesses of the 9/11 tragedy. I am sure none of us will ever forget this until we die.

I was on vacation in the south of France, laying lazily by a swimming pool on a bright an sunny day. I had forgotten my mobile phone in the house and went to take it. I don't why I turned on the TV at that time of the day (it was around 3:00 pm for me). At first, I thought it was another of these bad special effects movie. Then the second plane hit the other tower and I just sat knocked out. I remember I watched TV until 5:00 am that day, and could not stop crying.

Where were you at that time? Do you remember precisely what you were doing at this very moment? Please share and have a prayer if you are inclined to do so.

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I was in 8th grade science. They'd kept quiet the whole day; rumors were flying, but no one was taking them seriously. The administration didn't want us to know. My science teacher was silent for a while, told us to put our heads on our desks and be quiet, and stepped outside. A few minutes later, she came back in and said that she really wasn't supposed to tell us, but there would be an announcement over the intercom soon, anyway. She said two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, and another into the Pentagon - on purpose. Then she turned on the news, and we watched the replay silently, over and over. Got on the bus, went home, found Mom trying to call Dad, who was supposed to go to the Pentagon that day. His work had sent him somewhere else instead, which we finally found out when we reached him.

 

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i was working in the computer, and my dad came and wanted me to see what was on TV, then i saw the second plane hit the towers, i saw the footage and a banner under it "america under attack", i was not sure what to think, surely the US had many enemies, but surely this wasnt an attack that would bring the US down, it was more like a provocation, if a country wants to have a war with another country they usually send their armies, so it was probably someone like the oklahoma bombing or wacco, someone who was frustrated about something and wanted to make a point, many thoughts crossed my mind, i was sure that the US was strong enough to stand these attacks and more, one thing i was sure is that things were going to change, the US was going to do something about it and they surely did.

the 9/11 attack is an impacting tragedy of our times.

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valerie Inshan wrote:

I remember my Mom telling me she would remember for the rest of her life where she was and exactly what she was doing when President Kennedy was shot.

Almost 40 years later, before our very eyes on all TVs of the world, we were the desperate and astounded witnesses of the 9/11 tragedy. I am sure none of us will ever forget this until we die.

I was on vacation in the south of France, laying lazily by a swimming pool on a bright an sunny day. I had forgotten my mobile phone in the house and went to take it. I don't why I turned on the TV at that time of the day (it was around 3:00 pm for me). At first, I thought it was another of these bad special effects movie. Then the second plane hit the other tower and I just sat knocked out. I remember I watched TV until 5:00 am that day, and could not stop crying.

Where were you at that time? Do you remember precisely what you were doing at this very moment? Please share and have a prayer if you are inclined to do so.

I was in a meeting when someone flung the door open abruptly, tears streaming down their cheeks,and turned the TV on as they could hardly articulate what it was we were about to see.  The second plane hit not even a full minute after the TV came on.  I was eight months pregnant at the time, my baby girl was born Nov 12, and like most overly emotional pregnant women, I cried for hours.  We all sat in that conference room like we were nailed to the floor for nearly 12 straight hours.  I remember rubbing my very swollen tummy and suddenly being very fearful of bringing new life into this world.  You are right, it is not a day that will ever be forgotten. 

 

 

 

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I too remember my mom talking about where she was and what she was doing when JFK was killed.  I thought the Challenger explosion was my generation's tragedy up until that day. 

I had gotten up early that day awakened by my boy who was going on 2.  He was watching Sesame Street and I was doing dishes when my mom called me.  She said to turn on the news and that a plane had accidentally flown into the World Trade Center Building.  I walked out to the living room and changed the channel and stood there mesmerized as the second plane crashed.  I was glued to the television in tears, as Val said, until the early morning hours.  I vaguely remember my mom coming over and sitting there with me while we watched together. 

Just as haunting as seeing those images, was walking outside and looking up into a crystal clear blue September sky and not seeing a single airplane when we lived less than a mile from the airport.  It was eerie how quiet it was. 

My son will be 12 in January, and I pray that he will never see something like that in his lifetime.  He is very interested in the stories of that day, and seeing images and hearing stories still brings me to tears. 

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Drove to work that morning. Installation of hardware at a police station. Was located near royal palace of my country. Arrived at police station to watch the 2nd plane crash into the 2nd tower on CNN Live. Nobody said a word. Many just put a hand over their mouth in shock.

Arrived home later that day to watch the towers come down.

It was surreal. Like watching another reality from afar. Like watching stuff from movies indeed.

It all seemed .. useless to me. I felt useless. I found us as a whole useless.

I thought : Why ? There is no point at all doing this. Why ?

I still think so.

ETA : This arrived a couple of days later by mail :

 kscan_0006.jpeg

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We were waiting for my sons schoolbus.  My husband called and said put the tv on, he had told me that a plane had flown into the WTC.  As I watched, I thought I was watching a replay of the first plane hitting the tower, until I realized I was watching a second one hit :(   The only thing I could think of was those poor, poor people on the plane, how horrified they must have been, how helpless...Of course, as the day wore on, it only got worse. 

Lillie, I too remember how quiet it was in the skies for the next few days...we live less then an hour from the two chicago airports and air traffic was frequent usually.

I suffer migraines...got one that day from the emotional upset, I suppose...after the third day of my meds not helping, I ended up in the ER to get help.  Thank God for morphine.  I still think about that day frequently as the years have passed.  It's not something I will ever forget :(

 

 

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On 11 September 2001,  I  was a Naval Aviator sitting in my squadron's ready room at the Oceana Master Jet Base in Virginia Beach being briefed for a training flight.  My section was scheduled to fly four F-18Ds on a routine exercise, an over-water navigation and airborne refueling hop out over the Atlantic.   We were halfway through our mission brief when, just after 0915, the Squadron AirOps Officer ran and in told us we'd been placed on15 minute alert status and it wasn't a drill.   It was then that we learned what had happened so far and were re-briefed for a Combat Air Patrol mission. 

Our section was tasked to patrol an area covering the Mid-Atlantic section of the  East Coast to protect Strategic targets.   We would fly in pairs in a race track pattern between Cape Charles, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA.   We arrived on the flight line and watched the ordinance crewmen loading our aircraft with live AIM-9 and AIM-120 air to air missiles, extra drop tanks and 20mm cannon rounds into the magazines as we performed our preflight walk-arounds.   My section went wheels up at 1018 and our initial patrol that day lasted until early evening.

It was just the first of several days and nights flying the same mission.   Several times that day we performed intercepts on inbound civilian airliners making their approach to Norfolk International Air Port.   With it's close proximity to both the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and Norfolk Naval Base, the very real possibility of having to shoot down a commandeered airliner was always in the back of our minds. 

It wasn't until we got on the ground that evening and had finished our debriefing that I learned the full extent of what had occurred.  During the following six and a half years I flew over Afghanistan off carriers in  the Arabian Sea, and over Iraq off carriers in the Persian Gulf.   I spent my time flying Close Air Support for ground troops,  Iron Hand missions searching out and destroying possible enemy anti-air assets or strikes against tactical targets.

I was medically retired from flying in 2008 just as I was starting work-ups for another deployment to Afghanistan.    Since then I've started teaching college.   And  I'm still an  Officer in the Naval Reserves, though now in a stateside staff job.   But many of my freinds are still deployed and flying missions every day.  My nephew and several of his friends, whom I watched grow up into young men, are currently serving in the military. 

Most of them have made more than one deployment to Afghanistan.  And I've met and befriended a lot of the young Marines he serves with too. They're slated to re-deploy to Afghanistan in December, just before Christmas.   It makes me feel guilty that I couldn't keep flying and stay on to do more.   I'll always feel I've left something unfinished.

I hope we'll never forget.   And that we'll never rest and never give up.

There I hope they'll find not the promised of 72 virgins, who would all probably be as ugly as a mud fence. Instead, I hope they're forced to spend eternity surrounded by 72 vengeful Virginians.   What a pleasant thought.

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Thank you, Val. I was up earlier than usual that morning; I was to take a family member to the airport for a trip to visit friends. I walked into the living room to see the first tower in flames; the second strike happened as I watched. I don't think I'll ever really be able to think about that day without emotion.

I remember how utterly surreal it was a couple weeks later (when we finally exhanged the ticket—they still had paper tickets then in many cases) to see that date printed on the original: Sept. 11, 2001.

 

Added 9/10/11. 9/11 Timeline. This is very tough to read.

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I remember exactly what I was doing. I was sitting in a hospital room at the children's hospital with my 4 month old babygirl watching her cling to life and praying for a miracle. There wasn't anyone else in the world more important than her at the time. I remember watching what happened, because the tv interrupted what was on. But I can honestly say at those particular moments my emotions were focused elsewhere. My babygirl needed me to be there, all of me, not half focused on her and half focused on the tragedy I couldn't do anything to stop. I said a prayer for those invoved and went back to focusing my energies on her.

I know it sounds terribly selfish and most people have some not so nice things to say about people who weren't utterly stupified by the tragedy of the day.  Not saying I didn't care, didn't(and don't) mourn the losses(I lost family in the 9/11 attacks as well).  I'm just always honest when asked what I was doing the moment I found out.

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It was 6am local time.  My girls were 2,4 and 6 years old.  I was getting the oldest ready for school with the news on in the background.  My then husband worked for the army as a civilian maintaining computer networks and security.  He got the call to head in to work early.  I remember throwing together as much food and snacks as I could find in the house for him, knowing that I might not see him again for a while.  The kids were too young to realize the immensity of what had happened, but they knew something was wrong.  I held it together until I saw the first tower fall.  I was able to detach and function until that happened.  I knew there was no way they could have gotten everybody out of the buildings.  I knew emergency personel would surrounding the buildings.  I knew another 2 planes had crashed.

It still seems a bit surreal and hard to grasp that so many people are gone...

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@Val, I hope that you do not mind if I reprint what I wrote last year in the forum in remembering 9-11:

I live on the East Coast USA but was in the London area on 9/11 participating in a meeting at my firm (which is HQ in the UK).  We had taken a late lunch and one colleague, who had gone to the cnn.com website exclaimed 'the World Trade Center has collapsed'.  I thought he was kidding but the shock on his face told me differently.  All of us, US and UK colleagues, began viewing various reports on different websites to try to put together what was happening.  As we also had a heavy agenda for this meeting, we had to break away after about 40 minutes to resume it.  It was nearly impossible to do so.  We muddled through for the next few hours but, clearly most of our minds weren't on the meeting.

In the van on the way back to our hotel, we (US colleagues) were silent. The van driver had the news on the radio and all they could talk about was what was happening in the US.  While the news of the planes crashing and the deaths and destruction were horrifying in themselves, the news that air traffic was grounded for some unknown number of days was mind numbing, too.  I desperately wanted to be home.  My flight wasn't scheduled to leave until Friday of that week and 11 Sept was Tuesday.  I spent many hours in the hotel bar with two colleagues watching MSNBC and the videos of the crashes, the destruction, the horror..it was mind numbing.  I couldn't sleep.

For the next two days, our UK colleages were incredibly charitable to us.  They, too, were shocked at what had transpired and they offered us accomodation in their homes if we were not able to depart as scheduled.

As it turned out, my flight was the first trans-Atlantic flight to leave from London to the US on Friday.  I left from Gatwick and the officials asked for several minutes of silence in tribute to the 9/11 victims while we stood in line at the gate waiting to be inspected.  It was incredibly touching.  I thought of those caught in the horror and how relieved I was to be able to travel home.

Our plane was packed and we were informed that there were security marshals on board.  While the 7-hour flight was uneventful, once we entered US airspace, someone noticed we were shadowed by two fighter planes.  We realized later that they were there to shoot us down if our plane threatened anything.  Sobering.

Once we landed, we erupted in a round of applause..for the pilots, for our crew, for us all.  We were relieved to be home.  We needed to be home.

I have a close, dear friend who lived through 9/11 in NYC, who lost many friends.  My thoughts are with him today.

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Tari Landar wrote:

I remember exactly what I was doing. I was sitting in a hospital room at the children's hospital with my 4 month old babygirl watching her cling to life and praying for a miracle. There wasn't anyone else in the world more important than her at the time. I remember watching what happened, because the tv interrupted what was on. But I can honestly say at those particular moments my emotions were focused elsewhere. My babygirl needed me to be there, all of me, not half focused on her and half focused on the tragedy I couldn't do anything to stop. I said a prayer for those invoved and went back to focusing my energies on her.

I know it sounds terribly selfish and most people have some not so nice things to say about people who weren't utterly stupified by the tragedy of the day.  Not saying I didn't care, didn't(and don't) mourn the losses(I lost family in the 9/11 attacks as well).  I'm just always honest when asked what I was doing the moment I found out.

Tari, it doesn't sound selfish at all.  It's all about priorities, even in a national emergency...for a lot of people, time stood still that day, for others, life went on.  I'm glad you were there for your daughter in her time of need :)

 

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Yes, I was up watching CNBC when the first plane went into the World Trade Center.  I was in shock, and didn't know what to think, but I kept saying "the building is going to come down, get out"!  I watched the whole thing from the floor of the New York Stock exchange.  Mark Haines was remembered this morning on CNBC when Haines said after the second building went down.... "I've been in this business for thirty years, and I don't know what to do". 

Mark Haines was one of the heros of 9/11 reporting live on CNBC the whole morning from the floor of Wall Street, without a script.  Me and my family were glued to the TV news for at least two weeks.  I also was watching live when Maria Bartiromo, another famous wall street anchor was down at tower level and was still speaking to the television even though where she was inside a building, it was covered with dust smoke and unbreathable air.   We didn't know, live, if she was going to die or get out of there.  It was a miracle that Maria Bartiromo got out. 

No, I will never forget. 

People blame America for things when sometimes some American's don't even vote for the people in power.  American's also have no control over war related or UN related things.  Actually, American's have little control over anything; some of us were simply born here, but I do love America and some of it's freedoms. 

They sang "God Bless America" this morning for an hour of silence.  Some atheist's for example protest God related to anything in America, but I'm glad and almost cried that "God Bless America" got sang this morning for a moment of silence of today's remembrance together. 

May this never repeat. 

I was sitting outside on my porch today just being thankful that I can have a Bible in my house if I so chose.  In some other countries, they have killed people for having a Bible.  That's crazy. 

ETA:  Yes, I prayed this morning.  Prayers for the world and my family, etc...

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I was at work when it happened, and chatting with a friend in California at the time (who obviously wasn't sleeping well (I lived in EST) - it was early) and I got a page from a friend (wow, 10 years ago we were using pagers!) and a quick back to my Yahoo home page or whatever and saw the first plane ... and then the second one ... and inbetween I'm telling my friend "Turn on the TV now!" Because since I was at work I couldn't see what was going on so I had her on the phone and we were talking back & forth and it was pretty weird.

Ofc, you need to realize I also remember the day that NIxon resigned, and the day that Elvis died and the Challenger exploded... I remember where I was and what I was doing during all of those too.

 

But still, it's a bit hard to believe it's ten years now.

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