WTC three years after

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Chuck Rudy

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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I'ts now three years hence. Time has certainly sped by since this nightmare took place. I used to go to this site to see the panoramic view which used to be there. Suddenly it's not working for me. Am I missing a plug-in or is this link not operating?

If it doesn't work it's a pity, it was a 360 degree rotation on top of one of the towers. What an amazing view which has been lost. God bless all who've suffered through it all at the three sites.

Hope this thread can be kept from becoming political, but am curious to hear stories from any here who witnessed events of 9/11.

I was at work that morning in my office in a DoD lab across the river from National Airport. I had a meeting scheduled about a block away from the Pentagon at 10:00 that morning. After the second plane hit it was apparent that we were undergoing something akin to Pearl Harbor, and were keenly aware that Washington, DC would be (still is) a prime target. We were all watching events unfold on TV when a friend of mine called down from upstairs. The big back window of our building faces the Pentagon and my friend was standing at it telling me the Pentagon was on fire. Minutes later we were engulfed in a huge smoke cloud. The local media was reporting that the State Department had been truck bombed, but that turned out to be a rumor. We heard sonic booms pass overhead from jets scrambled from Langley...too late. My lab's response was comical in retrospect. They immediately dismissed everyone to go home, but then locked down the gates so that nobody could leave. It took them about an hour to figure out why nobody was leaving.

I learned later that a colleague of mine was killed on Flight 77. Somehow I think he got the last laugh...some of the systems he had a major hand in developing were later deployed over Afghanistan.
I remember teh day after, the day after that, and the day afyer that. The erie feeling, looking up, and seeing only clouds in teh sky, no airplanes.. no con-trails, not even traffic 'copters or small private aircraft..

Also, that year, that month, my girlfrind & I landed in Vancouver to see my family. It was a weeks vacation that started Sept. 10th. We were wondering how we would get back to Montreal!

(This thread will soon turn political / racist..)
I remember looking up in the sky for the next three days at the cobalt blue skies and telling my son that he'll never again see a sky without scars as he is now. No contrails, no noise, a lot of quiet. It was an extraordiany few days, I guess in retrospect the quiet helped us all handle it a little better.....we could think, and wonder.

On 9-11 I was stuck at work in Philly and couldn't l eave because a hospital needed us to get done short of a shutdown. I watched out the window as panic in the streets resulted in gridlock, horns, angry shouts and frustration. When 3pm rolled around and we were finished I went to the parking lot, my car was one of only three in the lot. I drove through the streets of Philly with no one behind me and no one in front of me. Driving the 20 miles h ome there were only about 15 cars total which I saw coming the opposite direction and I only caught up to one going my direction.

It was like a movie. The towers were fallen, the people were all but disappeared wherever I went. The sky had nothing but wildlife flying in it. It was so bizarre. It was so quiet.
I was going through basic orientation training at a new job at Afloat Training Group Atlantic in Mayport (Jacksonville) Florida. I was sitting in on a senior staff meeting, when one of the admin clerks came in with a note that he handed to Chief of Staff, who looked grim and handed it over to the Commanding Officer. The meeting went on, and a little while later, the clerk came back with a second note, and the Chief of Staff again handed it to the CO, who stopped the meeting and announced, "There have been 2 planes crash into both towers of the World Trade Center. This looks to be an attack of some kind. We are going to cease all training operations and start immediate shutdown and lockdown procedures. Have your senior personnel start contacting all of their people and tell them that we are sending everybody home. Make sure they have a valid recall phone number in case we need them back in the office. Starting now, only essential personnel will be allowed into this building. Muster will be taken by phone daily. Chief Staff, this meeting is yours to ensure the administrative requirements are in place." Then he got up and left.

My fellow orientees and I were just left standing there, stunned. So we contacted our orientation coordinator (he wasn't there in the meeting), let him know we were going home, and we left.

For the next 3 days, we called in daily to find out if the base was open yet (it wasn't), and if we needed to come in for anything (we didn't). So we stayed at home, watched TV along with the rest of the country, and tried to stifle our rage and anger.

Many of you know I work for an aviation company. At the time, I worked in their flight control center. I was out of the building for training that day, but when it happened I high-tailed it back to the control center.

It was quite a scene for a couple of hours. Everything in the air had to be diverted immediately so everyone was scrambling to find the nearest suitable airport for each flight, and we probably had 100 planes in the air. And the international flights heading back to the US were royally screwed. Then things were real slow around here for the next several days.

One of our pilots heard the Flight 93 saga unfold over the radio.
I work in a cube farm on an Air Force base. A co-worker had her radio on NPR, and they announced the first WTC strike. We didn't worry about it - we all thought it was something like a cessna or something like that. Then they announced they thought it was a passenger jet. A friend of mine went to, and had a picture of the second WTC tower strike. We all started shutting down our systems in our cubes, waiting to be dismissed from the base. We found a TV in one of the conference rooms and a bunch of us were in there watching, and learned of the Pentagon strike there. The base was closed right after the first tower fell. At some point, I had called my wife to tell her what was going on. She had no idea because our kids (the oldest being 2 and a half, the youngest was three months old) were watching videos, so I told her to go into the other room and flip on the TV (with the door closed and the sound down) to see what was happening, and that I would be home in 20 minutes. A while later, we heard two loud bangs that shook the whole house. The news reported that a plane flew into the Dayton VA hospital...turned out the smoke was a grass fire from there, and the booms were F-16s scrambled from Wright Patterson AFB (Where I worked) going supersonic to escort Air Force 1 over Ohio. We went to a friends house after that, since she was all alone with her two kids, and we all needed a little company...
We had sunny blue skies here that day and the skies were empty since all air traffic was grounded, empty but for the jet trails in the sky where Air Force One had passed overhead. It's a sight that will be embedded in my mind forever.
Originally posted by Pippen
We had sunny blue skies here that day and the skies were empty since all air traffic was grounded, empty but for the jet trails in the sky where Air Force One had passed overhead. It's a sight that will be embedded in my mind forever.

When I finally got home that night (after lab security finally figured out that the gates had to be *open* in order for people to leave), I remember hearing Air Force One pass overhead on the way to Andrews AFB. No mistaking what plane it was the only one flying.
I was in school in science class when our teacher told us. He said two planes have hit the World Trade Center Towers. I didn't know where the towers were or what they looked like then because I live in Canada. Then I thought that maybe it was two cessnas that got off course or something in maybe a freak storm. I soon learned I was totally wrong. My parents sat me down at home and we watched it together. I soon got so disturbed by the images that I went to my room to calm down and relax. So scary even up here.

I'm proud of the contribution Canada made by making room for international jets at our airports. One picture I'll never forget was when there were so many jets (53) lined nose to tail in the little town of Gander, Newfoundland. I heard that the passengers on all those jets easily outnumbered those in Gander (10500 to 10400). Somehow they found room in Gander for all those people.

Beautiful stories of how it affected people.
As I mentioned, we had jsut arrived in Vancouver BC teh following day.

On teh 11th, I got up with my mum, as I intended to borrow her car for the day. She started at 8:00am PST, and we talked the 10 minutes it took to drive. The radio was on, but quiet. I heard a bit here and a bit there, not really paying attention, figuring it was some newsy thing, but minor...

We arrived at her work, and we traded place (me in the driver's seat). She left for work, and I turned up teh radio before leaving teh parking lot. I sat. Awe struck, I sat, and listened. For teh next 15 mnitues I sat, then decided I better get home, and really saee what is going on.

I get home, and my sweetie jsut just getting up. Mum's husband was already watching the TV, as I motioned my sweetie over. We all three sat, and watched for about an hour... We tried to have a fun vacation, but this was always in our minds...
I remember getting up in the morning and tuning into the morning news
as I always do. I like to check the weather and traffic before I go to work.
I saw the image of one of the towers on fire. That looked like a bad
structure fire, but I didn't know what caused it. Seconds later, I saw the
second plane crash into the other tower. I still couldn't believe. I thought
I was watching some sort of special effect until I turned up the
volume and heard the newscasters describe what had happened.

I work for a gov't agency, and I got a call from a co-worker who usually
goes to work an hour before I do. She was at work contacting everyone
saying we were to stay home. I called some of my fellow co-workers
and set up a lunch date. After lunch we went to my place to watch
the news.

As someone described in an earlier post, I remember the skies clear of
traffic except for this one fighter that kept circling around. Under its
wings were real missiles.

I remember going to the store and the restaurants, and there was an
eerie calm. What really struck me was how courteous everyone had
become. People were saying "hello" and holding the door for you.
People would wait at intersections and wave at you to go past. It certainly
brought everyone together even if for only a few days.
I remember that two week period after the disaster.

I'm right on a federal airway with a vortac about 8 miles from me that all inbound and outbound flights from Europe that are coming into Chicago use for there normal approach turns (even though I'm 350 miles away from Chicago).

It was eerily quiet.
I was in school. I dont think ill ever forget this. My law teacher, Mr. Klein walked in and calmly said that the world trade towers were attacked and had fallen.

We didn't really realize what happened. We're queens kids so its not like we were in the city when it did happen. Really only when i got home i learned about it.

My uncles all being retired FDNY were pretty devistated. They lost alotta friends they knew there.

I never did get to seeing ground zero. All I remember is hearing the stories and news.

The one thing that really sticks in my mind is one day, near the event, when i was walking home, I looked at a block, and i saw something that amazed me. Every house had an american flag on it. When i walked around my nieghborhood i saw candles lit at night. For once in new york, it didn't matter if you were white, black, asian or middle eastern. It was a full out unity of everyone.

I hope this day goes down with others in history for the bravery of everyone affected.

God Bless the 343 firefighters, and there families that died that day.
As i remember it....

I was in school that morning, and I noticed the teachers talking excitedly. I caught a few words, "towers", "pentagon", "planes" but it never connected. Finally, sometime around lunch, they showed it to us on TV. It hit me like a blow to the head. I was pretty scared. School proceeded on as normal. When I got back, I heard that the teachers were not letting the younger kids watch. Back in town, the gas lines were extremely long, and several stations had raised their prices to $5. I also remember the sobering quiet the next few days, we live pretty close to an airport and not hearing any cessna engines was kinda unsettling.

In memory of those who died,

Blue N150
Kind of creepy but I live in Califfonia and I was up before the attacks on the towers. When I turned on the television I saw the first plane hit in CNN's New York skyline back round. The producer had to tell her what happened behind her. Also I was up before the Colmbuia disater, duck hunting a matter of fact and just as we were getting in the car to go home my mom called saying there was a terrible accident with the shuttle. First I thought it was a sattellite or the ISS she was not much of a space nut if you know what I mean. My dad turned on radio and it was on every station and was on the news for a week I was very sad that day also.
On September 4, 2001, my daughters and I flew over lower Manhattan returning home to LaGuardia Airport from Atlanta. It was mid-afternoon on a beautiful clear day and I remember saying to my girls something like, "Hey, look at the Twin Towers. What a beautiful view of them." The city looked great and the towers were impressive.

Less than seven days later, the towers were rubble.

I'd gotten up late that day and was planning to get to work around 10... My girlfriend called and told me to turn on the TV. I was watching on TV as the first tower fell and I remember thinking it was only a matter of time until the second went down as well. I was on the way into work when the second tower went down (my kids were in school, so I wanted to be with my girlfriend, and she had gotten to work on time... I just pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt... didn't even bother to shower).

I work at Queens College and there is a nice view of the city skyline from many spots on campus. That view changed on Spetember 11, 2001, and not for the better. The smoke clouded the horizon for weeks.

My girlfriend left for home around 12? or maybe it was 2? I really cannot remember. She lives in the Bronx (has to cross the Whitestone bridge (a suspension bridge over the East River, span maybe 1/2 mile or more?). She was about 30 feet from the point where they closed the bridge when they closed it. If she had left 15 seconds earlier, she wouldn't have had to wait in her van at the foot of the bridge for four or six or whatever it was hours. I was on the phone with her for much of the time while she was trapped there.

All in all, a damned horrible feeling (doesn't describe it adequately, but I really don't want to dig up the feelings too much... besides, this a family oriented place). I was fortunate (or maybe not)... somehow, even though I grew up in NYC (I'm 41 now), I didn't lose any family, friends or even aquaintences.

But my ex-father-in-law, a retired chef, knew much of the staff at Windows on the World (the restaurant that had been at the top of the towers).

A coworker's neighbor's son happened to be on his cell phone with his mom when the first plane plane struck maybe 100 feet below his office.

The same coworker was scheduled to start teaching a class on September 11... his class roster had three women named Maria. On 9/12, he was calling the students to say that the next class wouldn't be until 9/18... when he called and asked for the second Maria, the woman who answered (Maria's mother) started crying uncontrollably and speaking in Spanish.... His class started the next week, but with only two Marias.

I grew up under the LaGuardia flight path, with planes on approach at about 1500' (in fact, I used to launch rockets in the flight path as a 12 year old). Unless the air is very wet (rain) or a plane is especially low or loud, I can ignore them completely. I don't even notice most of them. I remember the quiet. I got used to it real quick (liked it actually). But I remember noticing the first plane afterwards (not counting the fighters... I mean 737's and the like). And the sound was somehow comforting... saying that things would get better again, even though they still sucked.

I haven't been below 1 Police Plaza (Chinatown) in the city since then and I have little desire to visit ground zero. Maybe one day, but not until I need to for something real.

I still feel a pang of grief when I see the towers the way they used to be... something from before September 11, 2001... an old NYC calendar, a movie, the Sopranos opening credits from the first season....

Hey, Chuck... thanks for starting this thread... at first, I wasn't going to post to it, but after reading it, I decided I felt like saying something as well. Now, rereading what I just wrote, I'm glad I took the time to write it. I cannot say I feel better right now, but everytime you cry a bit about something like this, it helps. I'll feel better after some sleep.
This morning I got up to another beautiful September 11th, ironically as all the anniversaries seem to be. I took a look around, thought for a minute, and replayed some of the 9-11 in my mind. Working where I was, yes, we had to be done, but we are each our own person, we could have left at any time.

After seeing the mess unfold we thought about the date, what did September 11th mean....I just couldn't put an event to it. Some one asked why anyone would do such a thing, I remember thinking the symbol of the world's ecconomy had been attacked, then the symbol of the world's greatest army and one plane went down heading for DC again, in my mind they were headed for the White House.....the symbol of the leader of the free world.

Now, being in Philly what could they possibly want to attack? The radio kept telling of Independance hall and how they were beefing up security. I'm thinking what do people from half a world away know about Independence Hall? What kink of recognizable symbol is that to the world? In my mind there was nothing Philadelphia had which would be a recognizable symbol to people all over the world like Disneyland, so I stayed and finished up my work.

As I walked out side I was far more keenly aware of everything around me. I noticed things which I'd never seen before. I looked up in the air, there was nothng flying, the city was noticeably quiet, I could walk down the street much less the side walk.

As I started the walk to the parking lot I looked over at a building across the street I'd passed by 100 times but never really studied. I looked around for signs of life, then I noticed a little plaque on the corner of the building. I stared for a second, then looked up in the sky again. I was across the street from the US MInt. It caused me just a moment of pause.

Philly did have a symbol, and I was only a street and two sidewalks away.
I had my support team in a staff meeting when someone poked their head in as said an airplane had just flown into the World Trade Center. At first we thought it was a weird joke until one of the ministers from our ministry department came in and asked if we heard the news....

We all went back to our work area and turned on the TV just as the second tower imploded. A few moments later the hospital administration activated our disaster contingency plan. Keep in mind we are about 90 miles from NYC and a level 1 trauma center.

We were in the middle of renovation activity in several areas and the decision was made to see what we could do to make them availble. At that point I began to witness what was to me the very best of the American Citizen. Imagine this...

An area with 14 intensive care rooms was about 3 weeks from opening. As I arrived there people were ramping up. Each and every person did what was necessary to make this area available. I saw construction workers making beds, nurses painting, whatever it took. If someone was asked, they performed or found someone who could help. We had that ICU fully functional in four hours including all IT, Clinical Care, and Biomed systems in place and functional. To this day that couple of hours sets the standard in my heart for the intrinsic goodness of America.

Simultaneousley we were discharging any patient we could to make bed space ready.

Then the wait began. We whad to force people to go home and get some rest in case they were needed later.

And nothing. There were no victims needing help. They had simply been anihilated. For our staff of nurses, doctors, and all the others who make things work it was almost crushing.

Personally, I will forever tag 9/11 as the day America lost her innocence.