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Where were you and how did you find out?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this will help or hurt more on this day, but I thought it might be cathartic to remember where you were and how you found out about the horrible events that took place 2 years ago today.

I was unemployed. Actually, I had just lost my job a week prior. I was finishing up after my shower when I heard the phone ring. It was my husband's father, who just told him to turn on the TV. Then I heard "Oh my God! Oh SH!T!" so I hurried from the bathroom to see what was going on. My husband tends to be overdramatic, but there was something in the tone of his voice that told me this one really was serious. The first plane had hit, and they were showing the building burning. At that point everyone still thought, or at least hoped, that it was just a horrible and tragic accident. Then the second plane hit, and there was no more hope.

We were glued to the television for the rest of the day. In that sense, I was glad that I wasn't at a job, that I didn't have any reason to not watch it all unfold. We knew as soon as the second plane hit that this was the biggest and most tragic historical event that we are likely to be a witness to in our lifetime.

I was just numb and in disbelief the entire day.
post #2 of 34
I got up that morning, I had heard nothing, when a friend of mine stopped by and said that Washington and NYC had been bombed - it wasnt clear to me what she was talking about so I checked out the tv, and sure enough, all the channels were talking about how there had been attacks and I was glued to the tv all day.

I got really angry at someone who said to me "who cares about that?", I felt like belting her.
post #3 of 34
I'm copying and pasting my reply from another 9/11 thread that was started a few days ago.


I see 09/11 as the day the world stood still, since not only Americans, but every nationality was affected by those events. I still get chills remembering it.

It was the first day of my week long vacation and Rob and I were packing to go to the cottage. Rob was loading up the car and I turned on the TV to check what the weather forcast was for the coming week. As I turned on the TV, I saw the live coverage of the first plane hitting the tower. Of course there was panic, and even people in Toronto were told to go home early to look after personal affairs and to make sure they would be safe in case there was a terrorist strike here.

Rob and I drove up to the cottage and every car,gas station, and store had their radios and TV's on.....it felt so surreal. Here in Toronto it was a gorgeous sunny day and we were driving past farms and fields, scenes of such peaceful images it was just so shocking to know that miles away such agony was being felt.

I'll never forget it.
post #4 of 34
I was working from home at my dining room table when my husband called and told me to turn on the TV. I turned it on as the second plane hit....was still on the phone with my husband and told him the news. Called him back when the Pentagon was hit and when the towers collapsed. When I told him that the first tower collapsed, he couldn't comprehend what I told him. Watched everything unfold on TV that day. No one that I worked with responded to e-mails that day - they were all glued to TVs in the breakrooms at work. My husband wound up in the Network Surveillance center - their monitoring screen (a wall size screen (8X20 feet)) was turned onto the tragedy and he watched the second tower collapse from there. I watched coverage till the wee hours of the night, and husband gave up about 8PM - he couldn't take it anymore.
post #5 of 34
I was half asleep. Bill Handel was on the radio, and I remember him saying OMG a plane crashed into one of the twin towers. No one knew at that moment it was a attack. Then a few moments later the second one.
The phone began to ring, family members calling.

A day that lives in history forever was born.
post #6 of 34
Being that I'm in California. Craig and I were asleep. The phone rang once and we ignored it. The person calling was persistant and called again so we picked it up.

It was his mother, and she said "Turn on the TV turn to CNN." At this point Craig is already freaking out because he could tell something was wrong. "Oh My God, Oh My God, Holy Sh*t". I was outta bed in an instant. I couldn't cry that day, I could only gap. Completely numb, I couldn't believe it. It was denial, it couldn't sink in. On top of this.. I have a dear friend who was had just gotten married who worked in those towers.

I couldn't get ahold of him all day, I couldn't get ahold of anyone. I found out via internet that he took that day off. That was when I finally broke down and cried. For the rest of my entire life.. I'll think of this often, and weep. For the innocent, for the guilty. For the tainted hearts.

Why do people have to hate? Why do beautiful, innocent and wonderful people have to die to make others happy? I hear people say "I hate Osama, and these fanatics that did this." Crying for justice, wanting to see these people be tortured. I don't hate them, I pity them, I weep for them. I want too want to see these people stopped and caught. Having blind rage and hatrid loose among our world will continue to taint it.

I'm so proud of everyone. Americans, Canadians, British, Aussies, anyone. You name it. I'm proud that in light of a horrible situation everyone pulled together and didn't let hate consume their heart. Nothing can describe how my heart soars when I see and hear people from other countries and also from our very own country send their love and reach out a hand (even if its virtual) and pat a back or give a hug. Just those small gestures mean so much.

Be consumed with love, not hate.
post #7 of 34
I was at work when my mother called to tell me a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. At that time, they still thought it was a private plane and an accident. I tried to get to a news channel on the internet from my cubicle, and they were all jammed. I finally got MSNBC to load, and called the coworkers near me to come over and see. As we were reading in shock, my mother called to tell me the second Tower had been hit. At that point, I got up and went into my boss' office to tell her. We turned on the TV in the conference room and everyone came in to watch the news.

I remembered then that one of my friends, Kathy, worked somewhere near the Towers. 9/11 is her birthday, and I prayed she took the day off. I tried to call her, but all the phone lines into NYC were overloaded. I emailed her to please call or email me as soon as possible to let me know she was ok.

Then we heard about the Pentagon and the crash in western PA. At that point, our boss realized she wasn't going to get any work out of us that day, we were all so dazed and shellshocked. She sent us all home.

I think we watched CNN for three hours before realizing we couldn't take it anymore. We called the Red Cross about donating blood. Kathy finally called, she was safe.
post #8 of 34
I was at work w/o knowing anything until one of my employees came in and told me....turned on our little "bad weather" tv, and watched it all day, and cried. My best friends hubby works in the Pentagon, so I spent most of my day trying to get in touch with them. He didn't have to work that day, thank God, so he was home.
post #9 of 34
I was at work in my office. Most of us have tvs in our office and someone happened to have CNN on. We all quickly followed. The rest of the day we all sat numb watching the carnage unfold. my S/O was actually in the army, about 45 minutes away from DC and I couldn't get him on the phone. I was a nervous wreck, wondering what this meant for him, for us. He had to pull a double shift, came home at 8pm to eat, then headed back and worked until 6 am.
post #10 of 34
I was at school, in my second period class. My boyfriend told me that a plane had flown into the WTC. I told him to quit screwing around, that wasn't funny. When I got into the classroom, I saw it on the news. I just stood there, in disbelief. Then my best friend came over and we held each other. Then the second plane hit. I made a half scream-hald yell of "NO!!!" and my legs gave out. I lost it and started crying. My friends came in and we ran out to the flagpole risking getting into serious trouble. Amanda started singing the star spanngled banner and we all joined. within minutes, we had almost the whole school out there along with teachers and faculty singing with us. We stayed out there until the lunch bell rang, and the pricipal mad an announcement that lunch would be free that day for everyone. We all went to the cafeteria, but to get drinks, as in FL it is still sweltering in September. We stayed out by that flagole until after lunch when we were forced to go back to class where coverage continued.

post #11 of 34
It was my very first semester back in SIX years. I was going back at 33 years old to finish an Elementary Education degree that I had begun 12 years before! I was in a dining area that had T.V's on. I saw the news of the first plane and then watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the other tower. I was too shocked to do anything except stay glued to the T.V. Needless to say I was an emotional wreck that week in my classes. I even broke down and sobbed in front of my Algebra instructor after I failed a stupid little quiz! She looked at me like I was nuts. She and I both concluded that I was slightly "undone" because of the stress of going back to school, being bad in math, and the tragedy of 9/11. I think it was a wake up call for this country and sadly our security doesn't seem to be much improved since then (JMHO!)
post #12 of 34
I sat down with my first cup of coffee and turned on the tv just in time to see the NBC Special Report graphic hit the screen. I immediately picked up the phone to call my employers, who were supposed to be in Manhattan buying jewelry that morning. They had gone the previous Thursday instead, and trapped were on the George Washington Bridge until well after the second tower fell. Mine was the only voicemail that got through, and it took them 8 hours to be able to get back to us. I can only just imagine how the families felt waiting to find out the fate of their loved ones. They couldn't get out of the city for over a week.
post #13 of 34
I was on my way to work and heard it on the radio. Immediately, I called Bill and told him to get to a radio. At first, it was thought to be an accident but, when the second one hit, we knew that it was a deliberate act.

There was a TV set up in the break room and one one the sales floor. Being stuck behind the cash register, I had to rely on reports from other people.

When I got home, Bill and I were glued to the TV, for the rest of the evening. I was in shock and he was angry. My dad called to talk to Bill, that night and both of them wanted to re-enlist in the military.
post #14 of 34
I had just started my new job as a project manager for a POS company in SC. I was in conference room with a small group of people getting ready for a 10am conference call. Our recepitionst burst into the room and said " WE ARE UNDER ATTACK ". All of us jumped up and left the room to join a small crowd gathering around a TV in the breakroom. Then we saw....

The rest of day was scary. All air traffic stopped, buildings collasping, pictures of fire and smoke. I really started to worry when I found out that washington DC had been hit too. We heard reports that Norad had gone to defcon 1, and the country had gone to condition Delta.

Now I look back. 2 years later. I got laid off, the economy is in the toilet, Osama bin laden is alive a well. We had picked some new fights with in the Middle East with Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of protecting America. Europe is not 100% behind us anymore and George Bush keeps talking about all these "gains" in the war on terrorism.

I'm not an expert, but I know one thing. You cannot stop an idea with bullets and bombs. 9/11 showed the world that America is not immune to attack and it doesn't matter how many times Bush changes the threat level, people now know we can be hit where it hurts.

I won't ever feel as safe as I did before 9/11.
post #15 of 34
Listening to each of these stories has made me almost cry...trying to behave since I am at work...so here is my story.

I was getting ready for my first class of the day, and I was brushing my hair and looking in the mirror....the radio was on, and the dj annonced, "A plane just hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center." I ran to the livingroom and turned on the tv, when I saw the 2nd plane hit the other one. I was in complete shock. Then, I ran to the phone and I called Zack (who was still asleep). He was in complete shock. I didn't know what to do after that, so I called my mom at work and told her what happened, and that's when she turned on her radio. She started to cry. At that point, I walked out the door and headed for school. Everyone I could see was horrified. The President then came on the radio...you have to know how horrible he felt...you could tell in his voice. School was pretty normal through the parking lot, but once everyone started walking in, the radio was turned on and then reality really sunk in. One of the ladies in my class, her husband was flying in from Washington D.C. and hoped he was ok. He was on another flight than the ones that were crashed. Thank God! We were in class for about 15 minutes until everyone was asked to go home...it took 2 hours to get out of the parking lot!! The reason being is because our school is next to the Bush Intercontiental Airport...and having 6,000 people leave at once was horrifying. I got home ok, and I fell asleep in my clothes on my bed where I had the weirdest dreams. I woke up and I called my grandmother who I knew who could comfort me. She did, she told me the bible predicts this will happen. ( I know now that she is with those people who were killed on that day two years ago). I have faith that she taught me the things she needed to. That's my most fondest memory from that day.....is how she comforted me through this crazy world. When I woke up this morning...all I could think of was that day 2 years ago....and wishing she was still with me today (even though I know she is in my heart). Please comfort someone today...we all need it...especially day's like today where no one will forget what happened. Peace & Love :angel2:
post #16 of 34
I was sleeping and my s/o came in, woke me up and turned on the television. It was the last day of my vacation, what a horrible way to go back to work. I was horrified to say the least. I haven't been having a good day today either. I just feel drained and numb.
post #17 of 34
I was on my way to Primary school- I heard it on the news, I couldn't stop thinking about it the whole day so when I got home I must have been glued to that TV for 15 hours +.. It's so sad!

post #18 of 34
I was watching the Today Show and working at the computer. I saw it first on television, and then the original post showed up here on the forums. I have included the link to that post. I did not want to pull it out of place in line and post to it now. I remember my mind was numb with the horror, and I was sad for those like Colby whose loved ones were in the service. I called Mike right after it was announced and we sat and watched it together couldn't get away from it-

9-11 post
post #19 of 34
I was at work, and my co-worker told me a plane had hit the world trade center. For some reason, I had it in my head that it was a small plane, an accident, and I wondered what had happened - was the pilot disoriented or sick? Committing suicide? Plane trouble? Then the realization hit that it was nothing like that. Watched TV in shock for most of the rest of the day at work, then again at home, I think pretty much all night.

I talked to my sister later, and she had an idea in her head for awhile too that day that she couldn't get away from. She told me, "I just kept wondering, 'where did they get all of these empty planes?'" She said it took her several minutes to realize that they weren't empty.

Sending prayers to those who lost loved ones, and I think today for all of us.
post #20 of 34
My story is a bit complicated.

Three friends and I were having a whirl-wind tour of Europe in September 2001. We were coming home on 9/11. We were on the plane about two hours out of Heathrow Airport, over the Atlantic Ocean when the Captain came on the PA system and stated that due to a crisis in the United States air space had been closed, and we were being turned around.

We didn't have any other information at that point. I stopped one of the attendants and asked if that had happened before, and she said no, not in the thirty years she had worked for the airline. At that point we knew it was serious. About twenty minutes later the Captain announced that Canadian air space had also been closed and all flights were being rerouted. At this point we were nervous/scared. Although, I must admit, I kept calm (I was a teeney bit terrified to make the flight to europe).

I watched on the monitor as our flight turned around and headed back towards London. It was an odd experience. Then the plane began to shake in the air, not turbulence, but vibrating. The Captain came on again, and informed us because we hadn't burned enough fuel he had to put on the airbrake to burn off some excess. About 10 minutes before landing he came on again and said that we shouldn't be nervous, that the plane is inspected to land at top weight, but it is considered an emergency landing so there will be emergency vehicles on the tarmack when we land. I have to give the pilot props, he set us down on the ground so softly I was amazed, and there were emergency vehicles everywhere. I would have been frightened had he not told us about them.

We were on the ground in the plane for at least thirty minutes, no one told us anything, then they started letting people off the plane who had places to go, we being American tourists didn't have anywhere, so we were last to get off. They told us there would be someone when we got off the plane that would explain what was going on, but we got off the plane and there was no one. At that point we decided our priority was to find a phone. As we ran through the airport that is when someone on a cell phone told us that the WTC was hit by a plane. By the time we got to the phone the towers were on the ground, the pentagon was hit, and the Somerset plane had just crashed. I was shocked. It was so hard to call home, the busy signals were insane. My family was so relieved to hear from me.

We didn't actually see the footage of what happened until we were in a hotel at 10pm (5pm est). So, my actually knowledge of the incident was all after the fact.

We were stranded in London for an extra week. And the people there were amazing, everyone I met was amazingly sympatheticand went out of their way to make us welcome and feel safe. We went to the US Embassy building and it was just an unbelievable out-pouring of support. I was astounded. As good as the coverage was in the UK, it wasn't what I was used to at home, I just so badly wanted to be home.

We flew home on September 18. The first thing we saw as we came over Newark was the dark cloud of debris that hung over Ground Zero. It was a sobering site.

I know I will never forget.
post #21 of 34
I was on my way to school when it happened, on my way to my market research class in fact, I remember this because about 5 minutes into it (class is from 9:30 - 11:00) a classmate ran in and said something had happened and can we please turn on the tv. My prof said no, of course she didn't know what had happened, she just assumed it was some insignificant thing.. No one expected it.

We got out of class early (nothing to do with 9-11) and I had an hour and a half til my next class started so I went to my car. On the way there people were acting really strange and I didn't know why. Upon getting into my car I turned on the radio and heard the news.. But it was all messed up and even the newspeople weren't sure what was going on yet.. But i knew that there were planes wrecking in to various targets across the US. I heard that the local mall was evactuated, all pittsburgh businesses were being closed, because apparantly a plane crashed in a nearby county.. (somerset--which is the county right next to the one I live in)..

OK at this point I had no idea what had happened, but I was really freaked out because my bf at the time was going to school and working at the airport, and on the radio there was a lot of speculation about airports being targeted.. Which now I know is not true, but at the moment I was terrified. I raced home and called him before I even turned on the tv. He said everything was OK but no one was allowed to enter or leave the airport until further notice.. He ended up coming home within 2 hours though.

Whenever I turned on the tv and saw the images over and over I felt helpless and horrible and wished I could be there to help the families of the victims. I felt violated by the hijackers and very very insecure about the protection and strength of my country.

I was supposed to pull a 12 hour shift that night but the restaurant I was working at ended up closing early because of the situation, so me and my exbf ended up spending the rest of the day and night with his 4 yr old daughter, just hugging her and saying we loved her for hours.. My school was closed for two days after 9-11, and when we went back no one was the same.
post #22 of 34
OMG it was awful. I was working at a collage when I heard about it. My husband was not working at the time and emailed me to tell me what was going on. Half the collage left to go home worried out friends and family. I live in NJ so alot of people had family and friends that worked in NY. It was just so awful
post #23 of 34
I was at work. One of the secretaries in the office had the tv on and said that a plane had hit the towers. By the time I got there, the 2nd was hitting, and we all knew. President Bush was about 30 minutes south of us at a school in Sarasota.

I went to my classroom and turned on the tv. As a resource teacher, I had it on anytime I did not have students in the toom. My princiapl did not want children watching it. My best friend had just gotten off a cross country flight from Vegas 6 hours prior. My stepmother was scheduled to get on a plane at Newark Liberty that very day. I was sick to my stomach and numb all that day and the rest of that week. I could barely even work. That afternoon, we had a meeting scheduled after school. A colleague asked if it was cancelled, and the principal said, "No. Why would you think I'd cancel?" I was in disbelief that she was just going on with business as usual.

That Friday, we had a day off, due to a hurricane. It was the first day I felt like I could begin to debrief. I remeber thinking that for the first time in my life, I did not feel safe in the US. I also remember thinking glad that my dad did not live to see it. He was born and raised in New York City.
post #24 of 34
I was in bed when the first tower was hit (we're two hours behind the east coast). The phone rang and it was my youngest daughter. She was out of breathe and couldn't seem to find words. Finally she just kept saying, "turn the tv on." I was in disbelief and watched TV all day and night for days. I was horrified.
post #25 of 34
I was living in Chicago and I was at work when one of my co-workers called in that she was going to be late, "Hi Ericka, I'm going to be late because a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center...OH MY GOD! ANOTHER ONE JUST HIT!!!! I'll be in in 40 minutes!" *click* I'm sitting there staring at the phone thinking, "What a story!" I turn and tell everyone what she'd just said and we all tried to get online to see if we could find out if it had really happened (we were thinking 2 seater planes, not jet passenger planes) and we couldn't get on to any of the news sites. Finally CNN came up and we all gathered around that one PC and just stood in silence. We were told we could shut down the phones and watch TV in the training room so we went up there for a little bit. Then, because I still smoked I went outside with some smokers. We were on our 2nd ciggies and we were feeling pretty good when cars started pouring from the back lot through ours and out onto the street. We stood there staring and cop cars started tearing in and back to the back. The FAA was in the back. We commented on how that didn't look so good so we went back inside, feeling worse. I sat down at my PC and noticed I had an email, it was from one of the VPs and it said, "Get the HELL OUT of the building NOW! Do NOT even stop to turn off your PCs!" Needless to say, we all left. We don't know what caused the evacuation, but I do know it was before the PA plane crashed and Chicago was worried about O'Hare and the John Hancock building. We worked about a block or so from O'Hare. It was utterly quiet driving home. Hardly any cars were out on the street and there were no planes. When I got home I turned on the TV for about an hour and cried--then I turned it off and found a book to read and curled up in bed with my kitties. I still cry so I try not to read or watch or listen to anything about it.

Our company lost 2 employees on one of the American flights and our New York office was destroyed (although all the employees got out okay) in the attack.
post #26 of 34
I first read about it here on the Cat Site. I was out of work at the time, and spending my requisite hour or so here every morning, when someone posted that a plane had hit the WTC. I figured it was an accident or something, and was in no hurry to finish up on the 'net. Eventually I went downstairs for my midmorning snack and turned on CNN just out of curiosity. The first tower had already fallen and the second fell a few minutes after I started watching.

I started to freak out a bit when I heard Washington was hit - my husband works in downtown Ottawa (the capital of Canada), and nobody knew what was going on at the time, so of course I was worried that it might be a capitals thing and his building was just a block away from Parliament Hill.
post #27 of 34
I was on strike and on my way to pickey duty. I heard it 1st in the car on the radio, but then they went back to music, so we actually thought it was a joke. When we got to the picket line however, we learnt that it was very horribly the truth. Let's just say that put the strike in perspective and the strike ended that day.
post #28 of 34
Stuttgart is in the Central European Time zone, six hours ahead of EST. My last class let out at 2:40 p.m. that day, and I rushed to the main train station to get home. When I got there, people were standing around watching the large-screen TV in the main part of the station, which was tuned to CNN. I stopped, recognized the WTC, and watched while the second plane crashed through the tower. Completely numb with disbelief, I went home, turned on the TV, watched a bit, and took my cell phone out while I walked the cat, so that I could talk to friends and colleagues (one of whom told me about the Pentagon attack while I was still in the backyard). My husband and I were glued to the TV all evening, and throughout most of the night. I decided to make some dinner after awhile, and while I was doing so, the range shortcircuited and caught on fire. I went into the living room and told my husband that the stove had just exploded. We put out the fire, and he said, "I can't believe how calmly you're taking this." How could I get upset about the stupid stove with all that was going on? People here were just as horrified as people in the U.S.. I don't think any work got done the rest of the week, and there were tears, proclamations of disbelief and horror, frantic efforts to find out where friends and relatives were, etc., etc.. It was a unifying experience.
post #29 of 34
Sitting on my bed watching the news as I do every morning.... I saw it first hand.

I promptly called my best friend who lives in New York and told her to get out of town ~ She lives 40 mins from the WTC.

We were very blessed and all of our loved ones were safe.

post #30 of 34
Everytime I recall the horrifying conversations on the radio as I was driving to school on September 11th my eyes just well up. I had just moved from my parents home in California to Colorado to attend college a month earlier. When I turned on my morning radio show in the car they were talking about how a plane had just crashed into the WTC. I thought "what a horrible accident," but before the reality could even sink in, the radio personalities began frantically yelling that another plane hit the other tower. At this point I realized this was no mistake. I couldn't comprehend what was going on as I drove my car from light to light, wondering if anyone else was hearing what I was hearing. Then came the report that the pentagon was on fire, and I began to panic. I was desperate to talk to someone so I called home. My Dad picked up because he was the only one awake at the time and was immediately concerned over the fear he heard in my voice. He had no idea what was going on and it made me all the more afraid. I told him in a choked-up voice that 2 planes had flown into the WTC and that the pentagon was on fire also. I couldn't keep myself together and sobbed into the phone. My Dad, as shocked as I was didn't know what to say and sinply tried to console me; yet I could hear the fear rising in his voice also. Our conversation was short but I felt relieved to know that the rest of my family was home safe. Even though they were on the other side of the continent I had this fear that they may not be alright.
The memories I have of that day are as clear as if they had happened yesterday and they will be with me for the rest of my life. I also did not have a TV at my house so for at least a few days, all I had excerienced of the tradgedy was through words and not pictures. It was an experience I will never forget and I hope I never have to re-live again.
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