[OT] Sep. 11th was the day that I...

Spindel

First Post
September 12 for me (Australia) and after reading most of the other posts it jogged my memory and I can only smile at my own... ignorace.

I heard about it on the radio on the way to work, it's only a 10 minute drive, but it was halfway through the report, so I had no idea what was going on, just something about planes crashing and something about how something had collapsed. When they summerised the repoty at the end (I listened to the radio in the car part for a while) they said that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and that they had collapsed.

All I could think of was "World Trade Center?!"

It wasn't too much longer before I fould out what it was. But that evening I was stunned by the footage of the towers collapsing and marvelling at the way the 70's engineering had done it's job. Not knowing that there was a WTC that morning kind of made the whole situation very surreal.
 

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Ralts Bloodthorne

First Post
9/11/01 was an excersize in surrealism for me....
The night before, I'd gotten in a fight at the bar with a loudmouth, who, coincedently enough, was saying that terrorists fought because they had no other recourse, and never hit an innocent person.
I was agitated when I got home that night, and in a mood my wife had not seen for years. I stayed up late, brooding over that jackass (I was a bartender), and got up early. I had suffered one of my recurring nightmares, and my wife was having one too, where she was kicking and moaning in fear.
All I caught was "plane" and "hijack" I shook her half-awake, and went in to work on something to take my mind off of reliving my past while I slept.
I was online when a friend IM'd me and told me to turn off my TV. I told her in a second, I was busy. I was monitoring something wierd. The system I was doing remote overwatch on was tripping out. (I used to do contract computer work) I was getting alerts across the board.
She told me to turn on the TV NOW!
I turned on the TV, but no reception. My sattallite was down. no biggee.
All of a sudden I got flooded with IM's. It took me a minute to sort them out. Old military buddies, family, friends.
I still remember one of my friends saying: "Think it's terrorists? We warned about that, didn't we?" We were on webcam, and I nodded, watching pirated TV feed in another window.
My stomach started hurting.
My kids were crying.
My brother called me, and asked me to get ahold of his wife, he was getting deployed.
Two of my brother's in law called. Deployment. Since, one has died in a training accident.
A friend called to tell me that Nancy's mother had called. Three weeks later, confirmation came. Training accident.
I watched the Pentagon burn. A place where I had been more than once. I wondered how extensive the damage was.
The phone rang. I was on standby.
My kids were crying.
The phone rang. My boss wanted to know one thing. Would I go if asked, or had I already volunteered. I numbly told him that I was on standby. He told me he wanted to kill them, kill them for his friend. I had the night off.
I woke up my wife. She thought I was joking, or watching a movie. She told me to beat it.
"Get up, I'm on standby, Karbide and Lurch are gone, Platehead is being deployed."
She got up.
My kids were crying.
I called the school, told them that my kids would be gone for awhile. My wife started crying.
I was filled with rage, and a strange numbness. The same way I had felt in Fulda when the discoteque had blown apart and thrown me across the street, my boots staying behind.
Nancy.
A call from one of my cousins. Another family confirmed. Two months later, confirmation. Training accident.
I had to get out of the house. My wife needed her best friend. My kids needed thier friends.
I watched the towers collapse, and dimly recall going outside. I stood, looking up at the clear blue sky, and was filled with the urge to hurt someone. I felt rage, and helplessness.
I had failed. I took an oath, like all the other men in my family, and more than a few of the women, to protect those who could not or would not defend themselves. To protect America.
Had I missed something? Had one of my brothers told me something, and we blew it off? Was it Al-Queda again? Was it another terrorist outfit? Was it Soviet hardliners or KGB diehards using terrorists as cover to start WW-III?
We went home.
My boss called. I had messages.
I went to the tavern. I got my messages.
One was a phone number and POC. Another was from Platehead. "Business is booming. Expecting many customers. Pray for my clients." That note was enough to nearly drive me to my knees. My boss looking like a calf in a slaughterhouse.
"Is it hard to do?" he asked, his finger touching the scar on my cheek. I knew what he meant.
"Not for me." He nodded, shook my hand, and I left, to find a cop car waiting out front of the bar. It's a small town, what's the sherriff doing leaning on the hood of my car.
"Busy?"
"Not really." I answered, sitting down next to him. He offered a cigarrette, and I took it. My hands weren't shaking.
"Remember much training?"
"A little." My stomach hurt.
"Can I call you, if I need you?"
"I'll be there, unless I'm needed somewhere else." I got in my car and drove home. Every house that someone lived in year round, I could see the TV on. I stopped by the side of the road, and looked up at the clear blue sky.
Had we missed a clue, years ago? What was the next wave? Please, God, don't let my skills be needed.
My kids were crying. I hugged the baby, who was deaf as a post, and confused. The images on the TV weren't bad to her, they were exciting, and I cringed at the urge to yell at her when she clapped at the towers collapsing.
Email from everyone. Mostly my old crew. Roll call. Out of 13 of us, only 3 of us left. I was the only one untapped. I felt old, useless, and helpless.
The boys called me. Meeting at the tavern. Low vioces and shaking hands. Haunted eyes and steel spines. Exchanged info on kid allergies, meeting places, ammo. Prepare for the worst, that way you are never surprised.
"What kind of chemical weapons can they get, Frag?"
"I can make something in the sink that could kill everyone in Portland." My stomach hurt.
"I didn't ask about you." His hands shook as he lit another cigarrette. He had quit 5 years ago.
"It'll be Sarin if anything. Mass target. Probably NYC again. If this is very well planned, there should be another explosion tonight, along with multiple chemical weapon releases. Let's hope for sloppy, and no followup punch." I finished my drink and ordered another. I realized, I had 3 empty mugs in front of me.
The boys broke up. The kids were asleep, exhausted.
My wife held me.
I had denied having any use for that knowledge. That it was all in the past, and the insanity of the Cold War was over.
I had a message. I called. Confirmation.
I was to give a lecture.
On Biological/Nuclear/Chemical Weapon Warfare in an urban environment. Dispersion, deployment, protection, recovery.
My retirement was over.
Anthrax or Smallpox will be next. I knew it. Deep down, I knew it. We had presented evidence, and were laughed at. The threat was discounted. I was told I was paraniod, and retired early.
I was a relic of the cold war, of a time best left forgotten, with no place in this new world.
I was asked if I would be willing to co-ordinate with local authorities in case my skills were needed.
My nightmares had overwhelmed reality.
I wondered if the answer to this would just be a placating, or, if in our rage, we would kill thousands who wanted no more than to live thier lives, and could not care less about politics, or the insanity of powerful men.

9/11 was the day that I realized that we all lie to our children.
There really was monsters.
Nightmares can be real.
And worst of all.....
I realized that my fears, as exotic as they were, were now everyone elses. I would now see the same looks on other people's faces that I had seen on my crews.

We gamed that night. We played Gamma World, immersing ourselves in horror, to remind us that all was not lost, and it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

After all, none of us glowed in the dark, and I hadn't suddenly sprouted antenna.
 

When I returned from school, I have seen Towers collapsing in
TV. I was really excited, , it was like one of The Clancy`s books, but it was real! I was curious what will be the consequences, what resulted in myself watching News Channels all the day( and an excuse not to do any homework :rolleyes:) I didn`t care for the death of some people I didn`t know, aren`t thousands meeting their demise every day, many before their time has come?
 


rinesin

First Post
From DC

I work in Washington, DC, at L’Enfant Plaza, directly across the river from the Pentagon. I was just arriving at work when the first plane hit. I got into the elevator and a co-worker told me, “A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!” I thought, “Well crap! That sucks!” Thinking it was an accident and that was horrible, but not too concerned about it. I get up to my office and a large group of people are watching the big screen TV on in the conference room. I go in and we watch the news. As we are watching the live feed from New York we see the other plane hit. The room breaks out into hysterics. There is shock, anger, confusion, tears and more all around me. I’m numb. I can’t think beyond what I had just seen. Time stood still... I didn’t know how much time had passed when we heard and slightly felt a giant BOOM. We had thought a bomb had gone off in a nearby building and panic set in… The next thing we know the news is talking about the Pentagon. I run downstairs for a better look, and there it is. A giant ball of fire and smoke rising from right across the Potomac. So close we can almost touch it. The city was in panic; people all tried to get on the subway and the bridges but the authorities closed them down temporarily. We wanted to go home. Wanted to leave the city, get back to our loved ones. I tried to call my family and friends but all the phone lines were jammed. I tried to reach people via the internet but it had gone down as well. A (very) pregnant co-worker of mine said that she needed to get home to her husband, but she didn’t know how to get out of the city. I lived near her in Virginia and told her I’d help her get home. So we started. As we went up to the path onto the bridge back to VA we see a car parked with all the doors open, the radio tuned to the news and a large crowd of people around it. That’s where we heard about the PA crash. I had had enough. I was sick, frightened, and nervous, but mostly I was pissed off. I was going to get home and god help anybody who stood in my way. This was a time to be with my family, not to be sitting impotently staring at the wreckage of the Pentagon. We headed for the 14th Street Bridge, which links L’Enfant and Arlington, VA.

Myself, my co-worker and about a hundred others started the slow trek over to the other side. As we approached the Pentagon a state trooper pulled up next to me and told me I had to get off the bridge. I stared him right in the face and told him, “No. I’m going home. You want to stop me? Arrest me.” With that I turned and kept going. The trooper just looked at me for a second, then drove off. We got to the other side; I was carrying her bags and supporting her at this point, one of her arms draped over my shoulders. It looked like something out of a war movie. Smoke and dust so thick you could barely see 50 feet, a sick burning chemical taste in the back of my throat, solders with M-16’s pointed at my face yelling at me to move to where they wanted us and helicopters screaming no more than 20 feet overhead. I looked around me and noticed that we all looked like refugees, trudging through this supporting each other, people crying, some screaming but most with a blank look on their faces like they were expecting to wake up at any moment, that this couldn’t be happening. It felt really surreal, this sort of thing didn’t happen to us! We’re America! REM’s “It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” started playing sarcastically in my head. I laughed ironically and realized just how sheltered a lot of us are from the horrors of the world. It had finally come to us, struck us in our very home. We couldn’t ignore it any longer and I knew our lives would never be quite the same again.

Needless to say we both made it to our respective homes and spent the rest of the night watching the news. One week from today we will see just how much this country has changed, and how it affected us. What was the right way to feel? Saddened, angry, scared, numb, all of the above? I think all are valid, I know I felt them all.


Edit: fixed grammatical error.
 
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Bendris Noulg

First Post
Sep. 11th was the day that I...

...Sat in the Chicago counterpart to the WTC (The Merchandise Mart) waiting for the sky to fall on me.

Thankfully they decided to evacuate the building (after they made sure all the Kenedys were already out to avoid the rush).
 

Talaysen

First Post
I woke up to the sound of my mother (I was still living at home at the time) moving through the house talking on the phone. I got up, went downstairs, and saw what they were showing on television. By that time they were pretty sure the crashes were deliberate.

I went over to the kitchen, I shut the door behind me, and I started crying.

There's this Calvin & Hobbes strip...I forget how exactly it goes, but I think Calvin finds this piece of trash on the ground and starts ranting about people who litter. Hobbes listens for a while, then says simply "You know, it's times like these that make me proud I'm not human." Calvin blinks, then takes off his clothes, says "Me too" and walks off with his friend.

I don't get the human race. Period. Sometimes - and these days, those times are coming with greater frequency - I refuse to consider myself a part of it.

Nevertheless...I was raised to love and respect everyone. I was raised to choose peace over war and civil disobedience over violence. Violence was a last resort, if anything; in fact, under most circumstances, it was not an option. I know that's not how it is for a lot of the people in this world, but when I see you hurting one another...it still hurts my very spirit.

September 11th and the hatred and prejudice that followed very nearly broke my spirit once and for all. Fortunately, there was enough good left in the world to counter that.
 

ghoti69

First Post
It's...

...the "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" of the new millenium...

I was at work. I had just found out that nothing in the server room in our other building was responding. I went over to find out the electricians had turned off power to it to do some repairs. My tech and I were yelling at him when his boss walked up and told us the first plane had hit. I got back to my office and turned on the tv just in time to see the second plane hit.

We were let go early, but I was damned if I was going to let those bastards cow me. I went home and worked remotely while watching the news.
 

National Acrobat

First Post
Sept. 11th was the day that I...

Walking past the waiting area where I work, I saw everyone huddling around the T.V. They were following the news of the first tower hit, while watching we all saw the second tower get hit. I tried to work that day, but really couldn't. When I got home, I tried to explain to my daughter what had happened, and because it was gaming night, my friends and I gamed. We gamed so that we could be together and talk about things as the friends we have been for 15 years. We watched some news, but we really needed that dose of fantasy to temporarily take us away, so we gamed. That's what we did.
 

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