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20 Years ago today 9/11 where I was and what I vividly remember

20 years ago today I worked as a GS-05 Security Guard at the Umatilla Chemical Depot (closed due to mission completion in August 2012).

My alarm hadn't gone off yet to get up and get ready for work, but my phone started ringing (land line). I answered and my mom asked if I had seen the news to which being clear across the country from the event I answered "no". Mom told me to turn on the news. I saw the second bird driven into the tower.

I told my mom thank you, hung up the phone and got into uniform. Only my uniform consisted of an extra unauthorized item underneath (my S&W 5904) which could have resulted in my termination or even jail time.

I got to work, drew my duty weapons (M-9, and M-16 A1), and was paired with one of the graveyard shift workers.

We locked the Depot down allowing nobody in or out even Depot employees (there were only very few exceptions like the Base Commander's wife and kids who needed to return home and a few essential employees).

The Graveyard shift was complaining about being held over, and they got to go home around 2:00 pm Pacific Daylight savings Time.

We moved our Armored Personnel Carrier (M-113) to the gate used by the contractors and Demilitarization facility employees and mounted the M-60 (I got to drive the APC out there and kept making the SGT fall out of the commander seat).

National Guard from other states arrived within a day or two to augment security and were told by the graveyard shift security that if during a vehicle or lunch bag search they found any items on one of us dayshift officers that it didn't really exist.

The first batch of National Guard decided to play who's toys are bigger with the locals and got restricted to Depot and their CO relieved of duty on the spot (they had taken a couple Barret rifles off post).

We had different groups of National Guard augment our security until we closed in August 2012.

We also moved all of our ton containers containing mustard agent into cement igloos from a pole barn without notifying the Chemical Weapons Convention (a big no no) to which our government sent a Mea Culpa and we after moving the items had a treaty team come inspect the ton containers using ultra sound to ensure no agent had gone missing.

I found all kinds of contraband as we were doing 100% vehicle and lunch bag searches for months afterwards of 9/11 and then went to random searches (every 10th or what ever number vehicle was given to us for that day).

the security force had swing shift split in half with half going to graveyard and the other to day shift. We went on 13 hour days six days per week mandatory with many forced overtime days for the seventh day. I worked many 35 day straight periods.

In June 2002 I got on the chemical crew as a materials handler, and in Dec 2003 I became an Ammunition Inspector (I spent eight years at this).

It was a good run. I still choke up around this time every year as even though we are very rural we are still America.

I am still a federal employee for just under six more years when I will be able to retire.
 
I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I still remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated, a senior in high school typing class, and 9/11. The day before 9/11, I remember driving up Rt 1 in NJ to do my usual inspections for the day and seeing the towers in the distance, as usual. The following day, I was in my office doing reports when the news came in. My boss had a tv in his office and we watched it unfold. I took half a day off.
 
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FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
Heard about it on the radio as I was changing my only begotten son's diaper. Scooped him up and turned on our TINY TV. I wondered if the DJ was joking, until I saw the second plane hit. I then taped about everything I watched on TV for the next 2 days, and still have not watched it. Or transferred it to DVD. Just don't have the stomach for it I guess.

So my son until recently has pretty much always lived in a world at war.
 
Heard about it on the radio as I was changing my only begotten son's diaper. Scooped him up and turned on our TINY TV. I wondered if the DJ was joking, until I saw the second plane hit. I then taped about everything I watched on TV for the next 2 days, and still have not watched it. Or transferred it to DVD. Just don't have the stomach for it I guess.

So my son until recently has pretty much always lived in a world at war.
my oldest will be 21 in a few days. I married his mom in 2008. My youngest is 11... they both have lived in a time of war.

I watch once in a while on Youtube as a reminder.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
my oldest will be 21 in a few days. I married his mom in 2008. My youngest is 11... they both have lived in a time of war.

I watch once in a while on Youtube as a reminder.
It still looks surreal to me. I promise I'm not trying to be political, but somedays it feels like we have broken our promise to never forget.

Of course, I should ask my mom and others if that's what happened after WW2 ended about Pearl Harbor.
 
I was making a normal route sales delivery. The receiver had a tv set to watch while waiting.
My wife worked in Sears Tower. I called her.
I was at the next store when the second hit. I called my wife, the two tallest buildings in the US are hit. You are in the third, and tv commentators are asking are you next.
I called and said LEAVE.
One of her coworkers had driven in that day. Six rode home in her car together, before noon. All looking back.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
I was making a normal route sales delivery. The receiver had a tv set to watch while waiting.
My wife worked in Sears Tower. I called her.
I was at the next store when the second hit. I called my wife, the two tallest buildings in the US are hit. You are in the third, and tv commentators are asking are you next.
I called and said LEAVE.
One of her coworkers had driven in that day. Six rode home in her car together, before noon. All looking back.
Thank you for the reminder that ALL of us felt vulnerable that day. I'd forgotten about that feeling. I also felt depressed for WEEKS afterward. Maybe months.
 
Mrs. was a manager in her company. Some how her phone was connected with the building phone system.
For months, five to six, she would get messages “ All clear. Alert cancelled.” Sometimes over ten a day.
Never got the alert message.
Occasionally, she will still dream of it.
 
I was going to UGA at the time. I was in Calculus class when it happened. I walked to Chemistry class and the professor asked for a moment of silence and I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. About half way through class someone came in and announced that all classes were canceled and for everyone to leave campus immediately. A white cargo van had been stolen from a rental place and left on the campus. The police were afraid that it contained a car bomb. As it turns out it was stolen and used for another theft and just abandoned there.

On the bus ride back to my car I overheard two girls talking about how all air traffic in the country was shut down. I found out what happened by listening to the radio on the drive home.

My brother's fiancé at the time was there and saw the second plane hit from her hotel room window.
 
Today was a clear beautiful day in Boston...very much like it was 20 years ago. Heard the news sitting in my office & immediately emailed back and forth with a friend in NY until he and his wife left their Manhattan offices to try to get their kids from daycare that was mere blocks away from WTC. I recall my mother calling to tell me the first building had collapsed. Not comprehending this I asked her how it collapsed thinking that if it toppled to one side, it could have hit the daycare at which my friend's children were.

They were all safe and experienced great luck and kindness through their ordeal that day. Came home early...only planes I saw were military jets making a b-line south. Proceeded to watch the news until 1 or 2 AM. So much trauma that day; so much loss. But so many heroes then and after. God bless them all and may the souls of the departed rest in peace. And may the families and friends of those lost have peace and comfort.
 
It still looks surreal to me. I promise I'm not trying to be political, but somedays it feels like we have broken our promise to never forget.

Of course, I should ask my mom and others if that's what happened after WW2 ended about Pearl Harbor.
unfortunately it is very difficult to bring politics and religion into this due to the group that planned and executed the attack, and the events that have been taking place for the last 20 years.

9/11 is a symbolic day for Islam as in 1607 the Moors were kicked out of Spain, in 1609, their loss at the Siege of Vienna in 1683 for example.
11 Sept significant events in history

Then we had the attack on America in 2001 and the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi in 2012.

I am wondering what event will befall our nation today.
 
I was in Wiepa, Queensland, staying in a motel. I had just entered the dinning room for an early breakfast when on the TV was the first tower being hit. Like many, I then thought that it was just an unfortunate aeroplane accident. Some minutes later the second tower was hit. Then I knew it was an accident.

It was a few days later that I learnt one of my uncles was killed in the second tower.
 
Mr Tazic's World History class freshman year of high school. Lived near O'Hare first sign was the USCG HH-65 with the machine gun out the side door flying around. Then over the next day, no commercial airliners flying around. Blackhawks and Apaches eventually would fly in pairs. F-16's would take of from O'Hare with afterburners.
 
I appreciate hearing these accounts of where people were when the world stopped turning. I was at a home inspection with my wife. That afternoon I was driving to the city, NYC, in military uniform with communication equipment and my go to bag. My wife said I went from normal to military mode in an instant. I had an hour of sleep the first night, not much more on subsequent nights. I remember picking up some firemen who couldn't sleep without getting drunk, and not just a little drunk. I am grateful to have been there for those days, and I am lucky to say that I never lost a loved one in such a horrific manner. However, every 9/11 brings memories that I only share with a select few, those who have served. I would like to say that 'we will never forget,' but I believe most already have. I appreciate this thread, as it reminds me that not everyone has forgotten.
 
I appreciate hearing these accounts of where people were when the world stopped turning. I was at a home inspection with my wife. That afternoon I was driving to the city, NYC, in military uniform with communication equipment and my go to bag. My wife said I went from normal to military mode in an instant. I had an hour of sleep the first night, not much more on subsequent nights. I remember picking up some firemen who couldn't sleep without getting drunk, and not just a little drunk. I am grateful to have been there for those days, and I am lucky to say that I never lost a loved one in such a horrific manner. However, every 9/11 brings memories that I only share with a select few, those who have served. I would like to say that 'we will never forget,' but I believe most already have. I appreciate this thread, as it reminds me that not everyone has forgotten.
Thank you sir for your service.

No, we haven't forgotten, and many of us in my area of the nation are ready to uphold our Oath of Enlistment (especially the part about defending the Constitution from ALL enemies....)

My brothers in Arms from many different conflicts from Korea thru present in a group I hang out with all know they can call me and bend my ear or stop by for coffee and a hug (and I can reach out to them also). None of us have forgotten.
 
D. Gray, my service was an absolute privilege. I was able to provide some comfort to those who lost loved ones in NYC. I deployed to an area that was an easy deployment, although my wife may disagree. I had the privilege of being an Army Warrant Officer, the greatest privilege, outside of my relationship with Jesus and my family, that I have ever known.I honestly can't compare my experiences to those who went before me. I had amazing NCOs who served in Vietnam and taught me well. 9/11 does bring a lot to mind, but I am so grateful to have been there. If you are ever in the Albany, NY area, or in Georgia, where we intend to move in a few short years, I would love to have that cup of coffee. It might be at my home, as I roast my own beans. But, you will always be welcome. We give our fellow service members a hard time for choosing 'lesser branches,' but when rubber hits the road, all joking goes to the side and we support each other. I don't care if someone served for four years or fourty, they are welcome at my home.
 

Messygoon

Abandoned By Gypsies.
A job change had just brought us to Central California. Nearest family was 2,000 miles away. We were preparing for the workday and turned on NBC’s Today Show, which was strangely live instead of the normal tape delay. Then my wife called me in from the bathroom to watch as the second plane hit. We felt scared, lonely, and longed for family.

I remember how weird it was to see no contrails in the sky. Counselors met with students at our son’s elementary school. A local businessman cancelled our afternoon meeting because he started the day overseeing a job at Edwards Air Force Base, and like all civilians was retained under armed guard until his background could be verified.

That afternoon, our family joined most of our community at a local church to pray. We felt a little less lonely. As evening approached, President Bush helped settle our anxieties as he addressed the nation. It took two days to confirm family stationed at the Pentagon were safe. Shortly after, we took our young boys to Disneyland. It was unnerving to see snipers positioned throughout the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Today, my wife and I remembered the day by watching a new 90-minute documentary on Apple+ called “9/11, Inside the President’s War Room.” It captures the extraordinary transformation of a President and staff who rose to the occasion at the time we needed them most. Highly recommended.
 
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