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When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age,
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate:
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death, which cannot choose
But weep to have that which it fears to lose.

Shakespeare gave us this gem about 400 years ago, and it seems remarkably appropriate today. I can't believe it's been five years, and I was hoping that you would share your recollections of that horrible day.
I remember my radio alarm going off, and talk about a plane hitting the first tower...and it sounded as though a small Cessna had done the damage. I got up about a half hour later, turned on the tube to see the weather, just in time to see the second plane hit the tower. I was mortified. Terrified. And to think. This is done in the name of religion.

Two thoughts. In a time long gone by, one father favored one son over the other. Get over it. And to stop it? I'm sorry, but there is only one way. And it involves total eradication. Show me any other way.

And to think. This is done in the name of religion.
Seriously? I used to live in Paris at that time and a friend called me asking to turn on the TV. I won’t tell how he phrased it for fear it may sound offensive, but I remember there were many speculations before it became clear it was linked to religion, id est Islam.
I won't say much because it will **** too many people off- but if you believe everything that the evening news tells you than you are extremely uninformed.

the people who died that day were truely a sacrafice, and it was a very horrible crime against humanity. those are the only true things that i can gather from that day without being political.


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
It's hard not to harbor bitterness when contemplating these events, but rather than searching for causes or solutions, I was hoping to simply get snippits of personal experiences from that day. Here are some of mine-

I recall how poor the news coverage was as the day unfolded- not just the blatant misinformation (there's a fire at the capital, there are eight more planes in the air, etc.), but the seeming lack of urgency during the very first moments. Every station seemed to report something along the lines of- "We have a report of a plane striking the WTC. Now for a recap of last night's games." If, as many of us initially thought, it were only a small plane off course, that alone would have made it the news story of the year. If it were only an accident involving a single commercial aircraft (it should have been obvious that it was a commercial flight early on), it would have been the greatest aviation disaster in history. The news didn't seem to cover it that way at the very beginning.

The surreal feeling of looking at the huge, gaping hole in the south tower is something I'll never forget. I refused to acknowledge even a possibility of it's collapse, even though it seemed there was nothing holding up the top half of the building, and despite the low pitched groan of the obviously failing steel.

I work for Verizon, and I felt helpless that I couldn't make a call, either wireless or land line, even directly from a central office switch. The north tower (and WTC 7) collapsed onto our headquarters on West St. Days later, I accompanied a friend to his office in a lab on the 8th floor, where we found a huge beam had pierced the wall and went straight through his desk and chair.

I'll also never forget the faces of two colleagues, one who had two sons that were firefighters (who made it) and the other whose brother was an assistant chief (who didn't).

The enormity of that pile of debris is incomprehensible to anyone who has not seen it in person. It was hot enough to melt your soles, and the smell, at first that of a junk yard fire, soon took on the unmistable air of putrifying flesh.

Equally amazing was the endless array of supplies that seemed to materialize out of thin air. Cases of water were piled for blocks. If you needed a winter coat, you had your choice of size.

One moment that sticks in my mind was a quick newsclip outside a nearby hospital, St. Vincent's. Workers were nailing 2x4's to sheets of plywood to construct makeshift stretchers for a sea of casualties that would never arrive.
The events of that day are etched so deeply in my mind that I will never forget. Nor do I want to. I remember the crystal clarity of the sky that day, an almost piercing blue. I was in my car driving across site to another building for a meeting, listening to the radio when I heard that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. I went to my meeting not being too concerned. Chatting in the back of the meeting with a friend, I asked him if he had heard about the plane hitting the WTC. He said "did you hear the new news? It was a passenger jet out of Boston." At this point, I felt something drop out of my soul. I knew deeply, atomistically, that something was very wrong.

I made my excuses and drove home, which was a few minutes away. My father, my brother, and several other relatives work in NYC, and I was terrified of what was going on. I ran in the house and turned on the TV. I remember the footage of people leaping from hundreds of stories, choosing that over a death of fire. You can never forget seeing something like that. And then the towers crumbled before my eyes. Horrific.

What followed was a day of anxiety that I do not care to relive. Without any communications, I was unable to know if my father and brother were alive or not. By the grace of god, they were alright, but I didn't find out until later that evening. My brother had raced to the scene to help, and had met my father. They eventually waited until the next day for the traffic snarls to ease and made it home.

Unfortunately, my cousin, who worked at the WTC, didn't make it. He was in an elevator with another gentleman and two ladies from their office. Their elevator car made it almost to the lobby when it ceased to work. They pried the doors open, seeing a 10 foot drop to the lobby floor. He helped the ladies hang down so they could escape with minor injuries. Before he could escape himself, the building came down around him and he perished. He left behind two young daughters. Talk about a hero.

And all of this for what? A group of people who hate me and want to kill my children out of some perverted sense of religious obligation, and a desire to re-create the world in their own image. I can't fathom the sort of hate that drives people like that. The only response is to crush them; there is no negotiation, no appeasement that will work. Unfortunately, a large proportion of the world doesn't understand that. This is a battle of civilizations; we can either see the threat and react to it, or prepare for a very different world when the other side wins.

Putting that aside, I try to remember the good things, such as they are. The incredible outpouring of support from across the nation. People coming to help, sending things, the flags on everone's cars. The nation was truly united for a time. As is the way of things, however, people forget, heal, and move on. For those who were here, we live with our memories daily.

edit: I often ponder the meaning of the work "citizen". I think we take this word for granted. Think of those brave souls who decided to take action on the plane headed to the White House, and paid with their own lives so that others could be spared. Or of the firefighters and policemen who ran toward the towers while everyone else was fleeing. The tears are coming again- I need to stop typing this.
I was across the river in NJ waiting for my freight to be unloaded when it happened. I had a pretty good view of the towers from where I stood. I didn't see the first one, but I did hear it. I saw the second and that's when I knew this was no accident.

Terrible events. Tragic.
It will always be a sunny, bright, vivid, terrible day for America. I hope that I never forget how I felt in those weeks, because it is important not to forget.
Most of us here in Phoenix were still asleep when it happened. My father in law called and woke my wife and I, which irritated the hell out of me. She mumbled something about a plane hitting the WTC. For whatever reason I found this amusing in my sleepy haze. I was picturing some idiot in a Cesna clipping the building but not really doing any damage. I went back to sleep without giving it another thought. About an hour later I got up and went to work. I was flipping through the stations, again getting quite irritatated that I couldn't find a staiton playing a song. I remeber thinking "that's it; this weekend I'm getting that CD changer". I didn't stay on one station long enough to hear what was being discussed. I assumed they were all commercials. I resigned myself to a bad country CD my wife had left in the deck and drove the rest of the way into work.

I stormed into work now in a generally bad mood and was surprised to see a bunch of people sitting around my desk waiting for me. I was among the last to get in that morning and there was some kind of exercise going on to ensure everybody was accounted for. Work at the time was with American Express. We had spent about six months in NYC earlier that year at the Amex headquarters building. Amex, along with Lehman, is headquartered in the World Financial Center building next to the WTC. Our building was damaged that day but we only lost 7 people. My last trip to NYC had been in May of 2001.

Shortly after arriving the head of our department, who was also the head of all departments in our building (~800 people) appeared on our closed circuit televisions and told everybody what had happened. He said that anybody who "felt they needed to go home for the day should make sure they didn't leave anything undone before leaving". His tone left no doubt that he expected everybody to get their asses back to work. The thought of leaving never ocurred to me until this insensitive bastard indicated that it would not be viewed favorably. I immediately grabbed my stuff and walked out the door, passing row after row of obedient workers at their cubes along the way. 800 people in the building, not one gave a damn as far as I could tell. They were all to busy getting their TPS reports out on time. I felt nauseous on my way out the door. These were my coworkers and friends and I was ashamed.

This is about the time everything started to sink in. I knew people were dead. I was furious with my coworkers. I felt sick to my stomach with guilt having reacted to the news the way I did earlier that morning in bed. Most of all I felt powerless, hopeless, and pissed off. This feeling did not go away for months. That is the feeling I will remember. I was 24 at the time. I am much, much older that 29 now.

I gave my notice at American Express a few weeks later and went to work for a bank across town. This is where I was introduced to the M&A field in which I now work full time. I will not be interested in going back to work for a corporate giant anytime soon.
14 lost from my company; 8 from the firehouse around the corner. I could see the smoke from my apartment.

A niece who lived near the Empire State Building refused to go home. She thought the next plane would hit the ESB and it would fall on her.

As a grown male DE user I Don't cry very often. I did that month.

My most poignant memory: watching a parade on fifth avenue(can't remember what it was for). A company of west point cadets marching down the avenue in perfect cadence; it broke me up.

The positive: America came together. I had to go to Florida to take care of a sick family member. People hugged me wished me well and were so nice it brought back the tears.
I was teaching at UConn at the time, and had just gotten to my office around 8am. My mother called me in my office--weird--to tell me a plane had crashed into the WTC--our campus was 90 minutes away from the city and she was worried.

A few minutes later a bunch of students came to my office to ask if I had heard about the second plane. I immediately knew that this was no accident. I stood up, got my briefcase and headed out the door--picked up my son, who was only a year old at the time, from daycare, and went home.

I found out later in the day that most of our Stamford campus' business department, who had offices in the WTC, was wiped out, as were dozens of our students' parents who worked in the city.

Sat on the couch, holding my baby, and watched the news all day. I think I held my son while I watched as a way of protecting him--and me--from what was happening. A surreal day, one that I still don't believe really happened.
Had to teach an 8 o'clock class. Nearly always went to the campus canteen after for a quick breakfast. The TV was on, and I saw what damage had been done after the first crash. I thought at first it was a private plane, and the damage didn't seem serious at first. "What a freak accident!," I thought, but I knew that years ago a WWII bomber had crashed into the ESB in the fog.

Then the second plane hit. If it is possible to be stunned and feel rage at the same time, I was there. I mean, I teach history...I knew what was going on. Had to teach another class, had no Internet (jammed up, of course) nor radio or TV in the building where I taught, and only heard later about the Pentagon and the Shanksville, PA planes. Went home and put out my American flag. Spent the rest of the day with the family, called my parents, etc.

(Edit: And Scotto, I'm with you...Churchill said it best, "...we will never surrender.")
I was on a training course with a load of Jordanian and Lebanese guys when it happened. I remember sitting there and suddenly my phone went wild with SMS messages and answerphone messages arriving. At that point I assumed it was some kind of freak accident with a Cessna or sightseeing helicopter or something.

People kept updating me with SMS messages and I passed on what was happening to the people on the course - we had no TV or radio. Then we heard the first tower had come down. :sad:

As soon as the course finished I rushed home and switched on Sky News, but I wasn't really prepared for what I saw. Everything had already happened by this point so I had to sit and watch everything condensed into one report, both tower impacts, jumpers, both collapses. I was actually crying by this point.

I didn't lose anyone close to me in 9/11, but a good friend of mine was working in WTC 5 or 7 at the time. She was fine but it took a few days before she could get in touch with everyone to let them know she was ok.

What saddened and angered me most, were some young muslims driving around my home town the next day with photo's of Osama Bin-Laden in their car windows. I just couldn't believe they were happy and celebrating, I'm pretty sure they either got their asses kicked or the police arrested them shortly after.
I was sleeping in my dorm room at the time. (Yes, sleeping in...) The commotion in the halls was loud enough to wake me up, and at first I thought it was some sort of fire drill without the alarm. I heard mutters of "plane crash...", "huge...", etc.

I turned on the news; I believe it was 15-20 minutes after the first crash. A few people joined me in my room, and then most of the hall moved into the rec room to watch the news. The coverage was not very good, though it was difficult to think of such things at the time. No one could really say anything. No one knew anyone in NYC, so it was more of an ethereal sickening than a personal stab.

No, we will never forget. The lesson I hope people take out of this is that we need to be consistently united, not just after a disaster. There are too many sick people in the world to let our guard down.
I was at a sales training conference in Charlotte. I remember a hotel manager coming into our room crying and saying that we need to come over and look at the TV. When we were watching CNN we saw the 2nd plane crash into the WTC. I will never forget my reaction or that of my co-workers. Work suddenly meant nothing every word was about our family and loved ones. Some folks prayed. Some folks became almost catatonic over it. I remember wanting to call my family and loved ones immediately. We all made plans to go home as soon as possible and most were stranded in Charlotte since they flew there. One guy rented a car and drove all the way back to Kansas City. On the highway driving back to Raleigh I noticed most cars drove with their lights on that day out of respect. There were some flags draped on several of the overpasses on I-40. I drove 5 of my co-workers to Raleigh and then went home to be with my family. After a few days almost every house in my neighborhood had a US flag up and many of us put stickers on our vehicles as well.
I was leaving work...all my trains were on time and in their proper positions to achieve our ultimate "100 % on-time performance"...
600am Shift change:

"Did you hear what happened"??
and I thought...as did many others...
private plane way outta flight plan parameters...crashes into twin towers..

Pick up my Mom (my 1 1/2 yr old daughters primary caregiver)at the depot across the street from the office and start our 45 minute commute home.
Listening to talk radio for any info and having the realization that this was no freak accident.
Get home and see my wife staring down the boob-tube, tears streaming from her face as I sit down to watch the 2nd tower go down.

I dont remember much after that...similar to my memories of the Challenger disaster. Kinda numb all over, thinking how could this happen to us ??

5 years later I am still thinking the same thing.
It was a truly surreal day for me. I was a student at the time, studying Journalaism at a local polytechnic here in Calgary Alberta. I was on a practicum at a local paper, my first day being Monday, Spetember 10th.

My second day in the newsroom, I walk into choas as everyone is scrambling to put a "bulldog" edition out by noon, using wire stories, telephone interviews and truly sketchy information.

I had no time to react, that day or in the several days that followed as this was a huge news story, and I, for all intents and purposes, was in the news business. It wasn't until weeks later that I finally absorbed the enormity of the event, and those days in the newsroom just flood back, this time with more meaning.

As has already been said, there is more to this story than meets the eye. The ONLY truth we know right now is that thousands died needlessly that day in an event that proved nothing except that those with no conscious can easily kill the unsespecting. Police, Firefighters, rescue workers, and all those who lived and worked in and around those towers are truly heroes and victims, and their deaths and injuries, both physcial and emotional, are real tragedies, in every sense of the word.

We can only hope that this hatred can stop. We don't have to all love each other, but for crying out loud, can't we just STOP KILLING each other?


Scotto said:
I can't fathom the sort of hate that drives people like that. The only response is to crush them; there is no negotiation, no appeasement that will work.

What really clouds things is that some consider this payback for atrocities that we have committed against them—and in a democratic society we're supposed to have the power to pull the folks doing this to them out of office if we care to. I'm talking about people here, not the scum that is killing innocents. The scum is taking advantage of this situation.

It's total madness on both sides at this point.

So this perpetuates itself.

I remember vividly: My then-girlfriend woke me to tell me that my mother called from back east because she was worried about us. We live in San Francisco, and she worked in the Financial District. We didn't know if this sort of thing was going to erupt all over the country. When I saw the damage from the first plane I knew it wasn't an accident. My most vivid thought, watching events transpire for the next few hours, was "what could we possibly have done?"

A more immediate and short-lived thought, as the towers collapsed, was that I assumed that almost everyone had time to have gotten out.

I had been in Manhattan in April of that year, and in hindsight I'm glad that I never made it down to the towers. Here's a photo that I took from the top of the Empire State Building.
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