9/11: Where were you?

September 11, 2006

WTCfireOn 9/11/01: I was in the Independent offices on Cervantes St.(next to Jerry’s Drive In) holding our daily sales staff meeting, when a staffer came saying there was a plane crash in NYC. At first, I shrugged it off – what’s news about a plane crash-, but she said it was into the World Trade Center.

We turned on the TV and watched one tower burning. Then we saw the second plant hit. It was surreal…no one wanted to believe it was happening. And just as we thought maybe the people in the towers would be rescued, the buildings started to collapsed. I had a feeling of complete helplessness.

Then we got news of the Pentagon being hit and the plane crash in Pennslyvania. It was clear the nation was under attack.

We immediately went into “newspaper mode”, scrapped the paper we had intended for that week and began gathering info for a new edition..All the while we knew our country would never be the same.


Where were you? What do you remember?


4 Responses to “9/11: Where were you?”

  1. Jeff DeWeese Says:

    I was working at the GE plant on Scenic. It was our grand opening celebration. The Governor, all of the GE execs and over 300 invited VIP guests were coming. We had a stage set up, a laser light show and a sheet cake for 500.

    I was getting ready to go into a final prep meeting with the staff when my wife called about the first plane. I walked into the meeting and told the team about the crash. We flipped the TV on just in time to see the second plane crash.

    It was an eiry feeling. I had never actually felt threatened living in America. As the day unfolded, we were all tied to the TV eating sheet cake and watching our country be attacked.

    Over the next days, the lack of jet contrails in the sky was the most surreal experience.

  2. September 11, 2001 at 9:46 a.m. Eastern: I was living in Tallahassee, Florida sitting in my dentist’s chair. The first of the reports came over the speaker system. Like you, Rick, I thought how awful it was that there had abeen a plane crash. But, the longer I sat there, the worse the reports became and the more it felt like the time was just inching by. There was serious talk that this may be an attack on the state capitols (and ours especially since W’s brother is our Governor), so most of the downtown businesses evacutated. By the time I got home, my husband, Jim, had picked up our kids from their downtown Catholic school and we basically stayed glued to the TV for the rest of that day and days to come. I just remember feeling so completely helpless, frightened and insecure and wondering how in the world I was going to be able to shield my children from feeling that way, too.

    Now, five years later, as we remember those who were lost to this devastating act of terrorism, we pause at significant times to bow our heads and say a prayer for what this meant to us and our country. As the “Our Father” prayers go through my head with each of the four moments of silence, I find it ironic how incomprehensible it feels to “forgive those who have trespassed against us.” I am a Christian, but I must be a weak one because I’m not sure that’s something I could ever do.

  3. jon Says:

    I was living in a towne home in Sandy Utah at the time. I woke up and dialed up to the Internet to check email and my news portal page. I was using the website iwon.com and there was a little headline blurb that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember thinking to myself “wow, I wonder how that happened” imagining that it was some small twin engine prop type plane that had gotten too close.

    My wife called from downstairs to turn on the TV. For the next hour or so I was transfixed to the TV watching Katie Couric explain the events as they unfolded, then the first tower fell. I didn’t realize it at the time but I am pretty convinced that I was in shock, full on total shock. Not something like awe, but the actual medical condition. One of the thoughts I kept running over and over in my head was “The tower can’t fall, King Kong climbed that tower, it can’t fall” Then the the other tower fell. At this point after having seen a brief clip of the plane crashing into the towers I figured this was a terrorist act.

    My thoughts went to the Oklahoma City bombing. I remembered in the aftermath of the bombing some fanatical Arab leader – can’t remember who he was – releasing a statement claiming that he and his organization had nothing to do with the bombing. I kept wondering if someone would claim responsibility. I then heard about the Pentagon and the plane crashing in the field in Pennsylvania. I remember thinking “WTF is going on, where is our military” It was also interesting how I felt pretty safe, that this was happening in NY not Utah, Utah is insignificant in the eyes of the world. We are fine.

    I then left for work, the rest of the day was a bit of a haze. We had TV’s on all over the office and I would walk around from one office to the next and chat with whoever was watching at the time. I had a meeting in Provo with a client. The meeting turned into a open discussion about the towers. All sorts of weird conspiracy theories being thrown around the table, not much getting accomplished. I came home from work and was glued to the TV with my wife. I remember putting my kids to bed that night and wondering what the future held for them.

    It wasn’t until 9-11-02 that I really understood how I was affected and how I handled things that day. During a memorial service I finally broke down and cried for the first time. What became clear to me a year later was that I supressed my feelings / emotions and pretty much blocked them out of my mind in order to cope with everything.

    This is the first year Bugga has asked me about it, apparently he was taught about 9/11 at school. I want to make sure that he knows what happened and why. It is also important that I never forget what happened to me that day…


  4. Danielle Flowers Says:

    Like any good college student, I was still in bed (no class until noon). My mother was in the middle of Times Square in NYC. After the second crash (like most, she thought the first was an accident) she attempted to call my house. I was able to roll over and open my eyes just enough to read the display on my caller id as “NUMBER UNAVAILABLE” so, of course, I didn’t answer. Moments later my cell phone began to ring with the same “UNAVAILABLE” message. I decided that this person must be after more than a magazine subscription if they had my cell phone number.

    I managed a half-hearted “Hello?” that was answered with my sobbing mother’s burst of “I’m OK.” Again, being oblivious to the current state of NYC my brilliant response was, “That’s great. Why wouldn’t you be?” Mom asked me to turn on the TV and then our connection was lost.

    I sat in disbelief watching the fires 80 floors above ground level and the people who decided to take matters into their own hands and jump rather than await the firey grave that taunted them from below. I went through the motions to prepare for my 12:00 class, but ended up in the Dean’s office with my peers glued to the TV.

    Upon returning from class, I found my roommates and all of our friends gathered in our den and sitting in complete silence. This was a rarity. Ours was the house where everyone came to hang out, where everyone felt safe, where everybody knew your name (sort of the “Cheers” of homes). What I did not realize earlier was that my mother’s initial attmept to call my home phone had ended up on my answering machine. She left me a goodbye message and asked me to take care of my grandparents. My friends erased the message before I could hear it. I thank them for that. I cannot imagine hearing my mother so scared for her life that she would tell me goodbye on my answering machine.

    My mother made it home 3 days later. She got on a bus with 3 drivers who switched off and took turns sleeping. I’ll never forget how I felt that day. This was a reality check for my generation and I hope it’s something that we never forget.

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