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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Where were you when... 72

Yeah, this is a sept 11th entry, but not mourning or anything like that (you can find that everywhere else), more of a new culture thing.

Our parents had "where were you when JFK was shot?" or "where were you Neil Armstrong made his fateful leap for mankind?"

So where were you when you found out about the trade centers?

(No need to get super-long-winded about the whole day, just what was going on in life and where you doing anything rememberable at the time)?
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Where were you when...

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  • My wife, the night before, took a pregnancy test to find out she was pregnant (that'd be Joey). It was late so I waited till the morning to tell my mom. I turned on the news and watched the second plane hit in live time.
    Dad was on a plane from NJ to home.

    So that day was quite a tangle of mixed emotions (btw - my dad actually knew my wife was pregnant and told my sister-in-law a week beforehand... kinda wierd, but my dad has always been able to know stuff like that).

    Another 'culture memory' I have wou
    • Oddly, last night my wife was pannicked that she would go into labor and that the baby would have a "9-11" birthday. I tend to think that with time it will fade. People born on December 9th don't feel any stigma these days, do they? Of course there isn't a name for 9-11 other than 9-11, which might cause it to linger longer in the public's consceince.
    • Funny story about the Cincinnati tornado - my family had a membership to the Trihealth Pavilion, which does free consultations to work out an exercise plan for members.

      For about six months, Dad and I had avoided getting ours, and were catching hell from Mum about it. So, she finally just booked us in for a Saturday appointment.

      Friday evening, the tornado hit and tore the roof off the building and basically vacuumed all the papers and whatnot out the top. Our appointment was included in that, apparently.
  • When somebody came into lab, they casually mentioned that a plane had hit the WTC. I thought it was some personal single engine plane that got lost or had engine trouble- silly person I thought.

    When I came out of lab at 12:30 it seemed that there was something really big going on, and I was the last to know.

    Then my afternoon P-chem lab was canceled. Then I read my online newsources to figure out what the heck was going on.

  • I had been up too late the night before putting bugs in a program and typos in a paper I was writting. I decided to sneak up on them with a big mug of coffee and beat them into submission. As part of my personal P.O.S.T. I started going through my messages. One was from my wife, telling me to check the news...

    -- MarkusQ

  • The ending strains of Train's "Drops of Jupiter" were playing out and I heard the guy on the radio (KFOG) say something to the effect of "Well, we're not quite sure how to say this, but it appears that the United States is under attack..." That's pretty much all I remember before I turned the TV on. This was about 6.30 Pacific, so 9.30 Eastern.
    • And my dad, being a United Airlines pilot, was over the Atlantic, headed from San Francisco to Sydney.
      • Weird. When I flew SFO to Sydney, we went over the Pacific. I guess UA does things differently. *duck*
        • HOLY CRAP.

          I should never live that down.

          ddave is correct. SFO direct to Sydney is typically (if not always) flown over the Pacific Ocean, located just off (and mostly responsible for) the West coast of both North and South America. You can also find it directly East of Japan, the Phillipines, and somewhere northeast of Australia.

          Thanks ddave. Thanks for pointing out my obvious error. I must have been thinking of MonTemplar or Tet or someone as I wrote. :)

  • we just returned from a boat trip to an island. one of our women shouted "america is being attacked" all over.. we switched on the radio, and we heard the news. nothing was clear yet, the journalists "heard" of a plane and maybe a bomb in new york.. pentagon being attacked.. well you know the rest :)
  • I still remember just how surreal that day was for me. I had started the day installing something at a company location about half an hour from my office. I went to ask someone if there was anything else I needed to check before I left, and saw a group of people staring at the big screen TV in the facility's lobby. I started watching and listening to the talking heads and about that time the 2nd plane crashed into the 2nd tower. Before I left the third plane crashed into the Pentagon. This facility is
  • We were headed to a La Leche League meeting, and I had volunteered to bring snacks, so I had to stop by the grocery to pick up some fruit on the way.

    It was just by coincidence that I *happened* to be listening to the radio that day, instead of the CD player, and heard the report. My first instinct was "War of the Worlds" cynicism. I remember being really pissed, because the person was just talking about smoke and fire, and not saying where it was or what had happened, and in 25 minutes they never did menti
  • When I found out, I was sat in a friends bedroom, with a ducktaped vocal mic setup, chilling while they recorded an album, and played with effects settings.

    About halfway through, someone else came round to record, and mentioned it, so we all ran downstairs to watch the TV, and saw the second plane hit.
  • Reading /.


  • I was in the Health & Saftey department of the chemical company [thermoset.com] that I used to work at. I was getting some specs on a program that I was writing to keep track of safety information of our products.

    The guys that work in that office listen to the Bob and Tom Show [bobandtom.com], which I normally refrain from listening to because I find them vial and disgusting. Bob and Tom came on the radio and said something about a plane crashing into a building in NY. They weren't sure what building it was. I didn't pay much attenti
  • She was in the hospital, and she was watching television. She told me to turn it on, and we both saw the 2nd plane hit live.
  • My wife came in and turned the TV to CNN and I saw the first tower burning. The news said that a plane had hit the tower only a few minutes previous.

    I thought "what a terrible accident..." And then I saw the second plane hit. At first I thought it was a replay of the first... but no. Then, I thought what the hell is wrong with the air traffic controllers in NY...

    Then a cold chill hit me and my wife as we both realised that this was not an accident. And there were 50,000 people living and working in t
  • The job I had at the time, I worked from home, and I had just come down from a shower and had the TV on to CNBC, it was about 8:35 a.m. and I was watching David Faber doing his report, then after a few minutes, they cut to a helicopter cam real quick and Faber mentioned something like "it appears one of the WTC towers is on fire"

    I think, and this is just my opinion, that Sept 11 2001 eclipses November 23rd 1963 pretty significantly.

    • I think, and this is just my opinion, that Sept 11 2001 eclipses November 23rd 1963 pretty significantly.

      I wouldn't say eclipses, but that it signalled the end of a different kind of innocence. I wasn't alive in '63, but I can only imagine the disarray that people felt. But it was different than this one.

      • Yeah, I see what you are saying... I still had 10 more years before the world was cursed with my birth... but I was talking to my dad a few days ago, and we got on this subject... and his feeling is that Sept 11 is more significant than Nov 23 1963 (and trust me, my dad was a huge Kennedy supporter) in that as much shock and horror as there was surrounding the assisnation, there wasn't the intense personal connection to the event as there was for 9/11.

        But really, there are so many parrallels here, in 1963,
        • Not to sound callous, because I was as pissed and emotionally distraught as I've been either in a long time or ever that day, but I'm wondering if it's got that "personal" connection because you're on the East Coast? I'm not sure that us out West feel that. I mean, I've been to NYC and have a pic looking up between the towers, but 2 years on...Sure, it's significant. Yes, it's a watershed event in human history. I'm trying not to belittle it, and it can't be. I've almost gone to tears a couple times this mo
          • this is the difference to me. kennedy was one significantly known person killed while president of the US. 911 was thousands of everyman killed while going about their business. i think people connect with 911 differently than kennedy's death because most people don't worry about being the victim of a political assassination, but (at least now) people do think they could be a victim of a terrorist attack aimed at anyone of a particular nationality.
  • Just lost my job as a consultant due to a down turn in the local markets. I was sitting on the couch, eating breakfast and watching CNN. I was formulating a job search plan when I watched the live feed of the second plane hitting the towers.

    I don't think I'm getting any interviews today.

    I spent the rest of the day in my apartment watching TV. Things didn't really hit home until I drove around the city later that evening.
  • I was working at GM's Warren Technical Center in Warren, MI. (Hmmm..World Trade Center == WTC, Warren Technical Center == WTC...coincidence? I think not!)

    I hit the Internet and set about my morning scan of the CNN headlines. Only CNN was like Slashdotted. My first reaction was, okay, what? Did Slashdot run an article on CNN announcement of the release of Duke Nukem Forever or what? Then my dad calls and was like, "A plane crashed into the WTC! Go find a TV."

    I hit CNN again and managed to harness the
  • I was at work surfing the web. Not much work got done that day.......
  • I was leaving the house. I don't watch TV as part of my morning ritual, and I didn't have the radio on that day, so I didn't find out about the first plane until I said goodbye to my mom. I was in the car for the other tower, the Pentagon, and a call from a New York-born friend best summed up with the phrase "This is f***ed up." I got to work just as reports of a plane crash near Pittsburgh started coming in.

  • for HR at the Local College Job Fair, as there is a Large percentage of NYC kids at this college all of a sudden cell phones started going crazy and then all the Company representatives at the fair were told to leave Campus, and they basically locked the College down. We had no clue what was going on till we got back to work and were able to watch the TV in the lobby that is always on CNN. Typically enough a few weeks later hiring was frozen and they laid a bunch of people off. Also strange the First airlin
  • One of our customers is based in the Docklands area in the centre of London, and called to say that they were being evacuated from their offices due to a security alert in the area. Oh, and something about an attack on the world trade centre.

    Was just about able to get through to the BBC News website to get a brief headline (we were still stuck with ISDN at the time, ADSL was installed at Christmas that year).

    When I reached the train station, the trains were disrupted due to the same security alert groundi
  • ...turning onto Delaney Road from 173. I was listening to ESPN radio and they had just gotten back from a commercial and Greenberg mentioned that a plane had apparantly crashed into one of the towers. I called my wift to have her turn on the TV.

    They came back on after the top of the hour after the second plane hit and struggled to proceed. Soon they switched over to ABC news.

    Didn't get a whole lot done at work that day. Most of it was spent listening to a radio, and reloading /. and BBC as they seemed to
  • ...spent rest of day trying to understand.

    I answered your question in more detail in my /. journal [slashdot.org] and in the essay linked there that I wrote the day after the attack [nasw.org].
    • in the essay linked there that I wrote the day after the attack.

      I don't mean any disrespect, but it saddens me when I see things like this. The world didn't change on that day. Not a single bit. Perhaps the only real change was that the American public finally got it into their heads that terrorism was real, and that it wasn't pleasant. The rest of the world had been living with it for years (here in the UK, much of it being funded by American money).

      • I didn't say *the* world changed. I said *my* world changed. I went from being reasonably optimistic about the future to the other pole of thought that day. And every time I think about it my response is reinforced.

        My world is now a different one than it was. I guess yours didn't need any adjustment to deal with crap like that.
  • I was trying to get my partner (in a then owned private tech-support business) to get out the door. We were supposed to be at a client site by 9am and he was like, "Dude, a plane just crashed into the WTC." I replied, "well, the airports are on the other side of the river and the approach is over the buildings, something probably mal... HOLY SHIT!" as we watched the second one hit.

    "Guess not."


    ps. that was the beginning of the end for us. We were profitable our first 2 months in business, then we ha
    • We did make it to the job site (a small motorcycle dealership) and were finalizing the network we had installed for them so their computers and registers could talk with their parts database machine. Then we heard about the PA flight. Originally they said it hit in Pittsburgh. I'm from the are originally, but decided not to panic and call all my freinds/realtives etc. I figured, "It's like a lightning strike. There are several MILLION people in the greater Pittsburgh area, what are the chances." Then
  • My radio alarm went off about 10 minutes after the first plane hit. The radio announcer said something like "Due to the tragedy, our normal radio schedule has been cancelled". I was still in the half-awake daze, so I was thinking, what kind of media promotion is this?

    Then they said what happened. I think the first words out of my mouth were something like "Holy shit!", then I was on the phone, calling my then-fiancee in Winnipeg. I figured that her lab whould probably be a high-rated target (she works

  • just a few blocks north of Ground Zero. I used to live in that area.
  • As a startup company, we were just about to launch. Our launch project manager came up to the IT area and told us that a plane had hit the WTC. A few minutes later we heard about the second plane. No one got much work done for the rest of the day. Sat watching the news web sites (mostly Slashdot and Sky News, since they were the only ones that were still available most of the time). Left work early, 'coz I was working next to a prime target in the centre of London, and thought it wise, just in case...
  • I got an SMS message from a friend that said a plane had hit WTC. Some time later another friend called (it was between classes) and asked if i had heard the news. I was like "Oh that accident where a plane hit the WTC? Yeah, freaky, but the news is like SO 15 minutes ago."

    Then he said that at least one other plane had hit the other tower, and people are saying that possibly 2 more had also hit the towers. Then I think I (loudly) said something to the effect of "WTF? Okay, that's no accident" and relayed t
  • Short answer: at work.
    Long answer here [slashdot.org].
  • I had a class that morning, I was in transit to school when the first plane hit. I came out of class and had to walk past the student lounge/cafeteria/thingy (most if not all of you know what I'm talking about) and they had a big screen TV. Tons of students where crowded around it, and I did this hopping up trying to see what was going on thing. I asked someone what was going on, and they told me the WTC had been hit by two planes... it struck me as exactly like that scene from Starship Troopers... bunc
  • It was a Tuesday and I had a large assignment due that evening at 6PM so I got up early and planned to turn off all communications devices (IRC, AIM, phone, cell, email, TV, etc...) and bust on through some LaTeX to get it typed up (and honestly to figure out some of the last one as I was mostly stumped yet). I had done all of those things, but apparently I sill had my AIM account open on the sparc and I got this huge long non stop series of IMs from my friend Rich insisting that I check out what was going
  • I was laying in bed when my mom called, and said "Turn on the TV" before she finished the last part of the sentence I heard my roommate yell "Holy shit!" and the rest of the day was spent glued to the TV.

    What really irked me was that many of the art professors here assigned students to design "memorials" the very next day. Very tacky, IMO.
  • I was running a little late (as I often do in the dreaded AM). I was sitting in my still new (to me) truck in my carport. I was waiting for it to warm up & had turned on the radio. This was right before the second plane hit. I listend in disbelief. Then I thought "War of the Worlds", though I was surprised, because the station in question doesn't go in for those kind of gimmicks. I changed stations. Same news. Changed again. Same.
    Drove to work, called my boss in the guard to see if I was no longer a ci
  • we found out because the news spread by phone and then radios were brought out, and i went online to check the news. They said that a plane had crashed into a building. Sure enough, one had. And then another. We were all in shock and Boston shut down by noon, the T stopped taking fares and police were urging people to run, not walk, to the trains to get home. I got home by 11:00 AM. And the police had officers in every station and checking the tracks all along the train lines just in case. And i went home a
  • To White Plaines, NY. I was listening to the Howard Stern show on the Radio.

    I actually continued to listen to Howard who stayed on the air till 1pm (or so) he covered everything and even broke away to other news feeds for a while.

    As I crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge I looked South and saw the smoke plume from the WTC area.

    I was in and out of the office in 20mins. and headed back home...

    Never Forget - 343/3,016
    • I was also listening to Stern that morning. I had just come back to my home office from getting my morning coffee. Stern said that a plane had hit the WTC. I immediately went into my bedroom and turned on MSNBC.

      I stood there watching for a few minutes. I remember they were patching into WNBC's feed for commentary when the second plane hit. I remember seeing the plane in the background and wondering what it was. When it hit, the reporter only saw the explosion and had no idea it was a second plane.

  • alarm clock. Thought it was a dream at first, and then heard it again on the radio and went out and turned on the TV. Got to see and hear the first one, then saw the second one crash in live on TV. Then we just drove to work/school and wondered what was going on...
  • I was at work in Melbourne, Florida, still aglow over the activities of the previous weekend. I had attended the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival (MIFF) and met many actors, writers and film industry wanna-be's.

    At the Friday's Fright Night showings, I shared a table with Matt Berck [3boysproductions.com] who happen to star in the the MIFF's finale Saturday night. He played at NYC music bootlegger. In real life he was an aspiring actor living in the city. He was looking for his big break so he could quit his day job wait

  • in a dim hallway when my dad told me
  • getting ready to go to a job fair in downtown Atlanta.

    I never watch tv in the morning, but I turned it on.

    Then about 5 minutes later, a friend called telling me to turn on the tv.

    I spent the next 14 hours watching the tube.

  • When I first found out. I ran to the other room and turned on the TV. When I saw the towers take the hit, I was shocked but better than when I found out that the Pentagon got hit. That day, my wife was going into downtown DC for a client meeting for work. Turns out she was about half a mile from the Pentagon when it got hit. I tried calling her, but obviously didn't get through. I called her office and got ahold of her boss, who said that the girl she was driving with called in and they were coming ba
  • by http ( 589131 )
    i was about to start reading lowendmac.com, and instead of their daily dose of things mac related, i saw an announcement saying a plane had flown into WTC, so no mac news right now. dan's not one to pull an april fools on any day but 0104, so i checked [a] cbc (which was inaccessible) [b] bbc (also inaccessible) [c] google (which was accessible, so i knew my connection hadn't died, and remember when there was no google news?) and [d] slashdot. knowing how fast fiction can spread in the internet, i turned
  • I shared this tiny little house on Pacifica, CA with my wife and dog my first year in the Bay Area from Texas. I woke up kind of late, and was getting in the shower, when my wife said that a plane had hit the WTC. I assumed it was a small plane, and got in the shower. I turned on NPR, and immedietly realized that this was a big deal. I had barely gotten wet, when I hopped out of the shower to watch CNN with my wife. At that moment we saw he second plane hit.

    I was terrified. Especially as the reports
  • Livign at home with my folks, but working full time at my current company (under a different contract). My dad called us from Florida while visiting his Mom. He informed us of the event. I went to work and by the time I got there, everything had fallen down.

    Spent most of the day reading bbc.co.uk and listening to npr streaming coverage.

  • Trying to figure out why all of a sudden our WAN connection was CRAWLING. Then someone called and told us. We brought a TV from the conference room to the computer room. Crazy day. Our AS400 operator thought they were going to attack the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge. (She's old and kind of cooky.)
  • Sorry. South Park flashback.
  • I'm not sure what it was, I think it was a tennis match or somesuch. During an ad break I flipped through the channels and saw a news break on Channel Ten. We have three commercial, free-to-air networks here (7, 9 and Ten) and two 'public' networks (ABC and SBS). It would have been about 11pm, and I was ready to go to bed, but the image on the Ten news break was compelling - the WTC towers with smoke billowing from one of them. The report said there was some sort of explosion and they crossed to a CNN broad
  • 6 days before, I had flown to texas. 5 days before, I drove north and met my now-inlaws and began to live in their house. I found out walking through the living room and seeing it on the TV my now-father in law was watching. I thought it'd be interesting to watch the engineering feat of repairs over the next couple years. Guess that one's not going to happen, eh?
  • i spent most of the day loading slashdot because other news sites were all overloaded. i couldn't do much work that day or the next couple days, but i showed up.

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