View Full Version : What Were You Doing 3 Years Ago Today?

11-09-2004, 14:37
I was at work just outside of Washington. I had a hell of a ride home that day trying to get inside of DC when everyone else was trying to get the hell out. I remember seeing the armed police squads staring me down at the border right at Western Ave. When I finally made it home, I jumped on my bike and headed to the Pentagon. I couldn't get right up to it, but that evening you could still get close enough to see the plane parts. I just turned around and went home. When I pedaled past the white house, it was just surreal. Then I headed home to watch the TV coverage like everyone else and answered the phone calls from worried friends and relatives.

11-09-2004, 14:43
You're lucky you weren't in gridlock all day - I remember people walking home to Alexandria, Virginia from the city. I drove by the Pentagon later in the day to have a peek.

11-09-2004, 14:58
As the news was breaking, I'd just arrived at the dentist. He was halfway through drilling out a nerve when he told me. Some things you don't forget.

11-09-2004, 15:23
I was in Moscow - a co-worker's wife called from the States and said a plane hit the WTC. We all thought it was some Cessna that somehow got lost - she then said another plane hit the WTC and we knew it was terrorism. That was the first time in all of my years in Moscow that I felt so far away from my home.

11-09-2004, 15:30
I was in the air, flying BA London-Moscow to get married. When we landed in Sheremetyevo 2 and I got out I thought immediately that something was wrong - there was not a single taxi tout in sight! I saw people crowding around big monitors with burning WTC and thought that they were watching a movie. Then I saw "CNN live" at the top of the screen and realised that it was not a movie, it was a historic event that I was witnessing.

I felt shivers down my spine ... horrible feeling of "what's next?"...
Effectively I thought a Third World War had started.

Col. Brokov
11-09-2004, 15:57
Not that it is that important, but thought I would share.
I was on my way to History class during my last year of University, when I saw the news report being shown in the students center. At first I though it was a movie, then I relized it was real. Then I realized that it was happening in America!

11-09-2004, 17:21
I was staying at home, ill... TV on.. suddenly the program is cut and there is an "emergency news break" and I see the first tower is on fire... and they say it was a plane. In some minutes - I see live - the plane hits the second tower.... I was all shivering... and for some reason, before they actually made any comment on how this could happen, I immediately thought "arabs" and the second though was - second "Storm in the desert" will probably start.
Later, in several days I heard the news from one guy, Russian, who was working at an investment co. in one of this towers. He was lucky - slept in and was rushing to the office when he saw their building is on fire.

11-09-2004, 19:46
I was in my office here in Moscow; my mother sent me an E-mail that an airplane had crashed into the Twin Towers - and that my father, who had left the house (in New Jersey, about 45 mins by train) before the incident, was heading into work in downtown Manhattan! (Needless to say, the train he was riding was turned back long before it reached NYC). At that point I began to check any news website I could; most were down due to heavy traffic, so that I called a friend who I knew was at home watching TV; she confirmed the awful truth.

11-09-2004, 19:55
i had just quit my job in san francisco and i went to the russian embassy to get my visa to come here for the first time....

11-09-2004, 20:56
I was here in Moscow. I walked into my friends' office and the smoking towers were on the tube, a replay, and my friends said to me "this is the last minutes of this building".

11-09-2004, 21:41
I had just returned from a trip back to the US about 12 days before 9/11. On my way to JFK, I'd stopped the rental car to enjoy the fantastic view of Manhattan.

My aunt and her friend came back with me and were scheduled to leave for the US on the 13th. Sitting in my office, a colleague at work came into my office and said that a plane had hit the Empire State Building.

We couldn't get onto any websites to get the news, so my friend called her mom at home and we got the real story. The WTC, the Pentagon, and the plane in PA that crashed...

My aunt and her friend were somewhere in Moscow, and by the time I found them, they were panicked. When I got home, they wanted to get news in English (which I didn't have) so we spent the next few hours watching CNN translated into Russian with me back translating into English...My aunt's friend got horribly drunk and then stated 'that she hoped those that did it were nuked'. She wasn't scared of a nuclear holocaust -- she 'was saved'. It was horrid.

They were stuck here for another week before they could get a flight out back to the US.

It took 2 weeks before I heard that all of the friends of mine who worked and/or lived near/at the WTC were ok. Thankfully...

I must say that the overwhelming supportiveness and kindness that most Russians displayed touched all of us. Didn't matter if they were strangers or friends. I still don't have the words to express my gratitude.

Polia Ivanova
11-09-2004, 21:48
I was in Derby, me and my soon to be ex were visiting relatives.
We had a walk in a local castle park when people who passed by told us the news. We went back to our relatives’ home and the rest of the day it was just TV watching – horrible and incomprehensible.

Then came one of the moments that I am ashamed and proud of at the same time. The day before that day I was almost attacked by a money beggar to whom I refused to give money (I pay taxes and I don’t have any spare money left). So on Derby Railway Station there were a big Asian Muslim family and a girl from this family approached me asking for something and I assumed that she is begging for money and being under the influence of this horrible day news and the attack the day before I spoke very rudely with her. Later I realised that she was just asking for a change for her pound coin so she could use a telephone. I was so ashamed that I found her on a train and apologised to her explaining as much as I could what made me to do it.

So whatever happens – never loose your temper and don’t be prejudiced.

But for weeks since I waked up in cold sweat because I had a dream of me being in a collapsing building.

11-09-2004, 22:05
Polia - I had nightmares too. In 2000 I had worked in an internet start-up in WTC 1 before it went out of business and for weeks I was hearing stories about people being trapped inside - trapped in elevators and hallways and their offices as they urgently PMed their friends until internet access failed. It was too much - in retrospect, maybe I should have taken advantage of the free psychological help that was available. It was easier for me to get over my instinct to blame the attacks on Muslims because I had friends at the time who were from Afghanistan and Lebanon; post-9/11 DC was harder on them than it was on me.

12-09-2004, 00:03
I was spending a pleasent afternoon shopping in Oxford. That afternoon was very surreal. The first thing I did was call my best friend in california, I woke her up to tell her somebody just flew 2 planes into the twin towers.

Maine Surfer
12-09-2004, 00:38
I went to work, was kind of slow morning, off tourist season in Maine right after Labor day weekend. We barely had any guests, a friend of mine called and told me to switch to channel 6, CNN. I did, and spent the rest of the day watching. My 2 friends worked in downtown right next to WTC; I couldn't reached them for two days after 911, all curcuits were busy as communication lines were cut off.

The terrorists took off from Portland , ME that morning. They stayed in a hotel in South Portland, ate at Maine Mall Pizza Hut and boarded a plane in Portland Jetport. I lived 5 min drive to the place. Drove by that hotel just about million times and ate at the pizza place at least a couple dozen times. Even withdrew money at the ATM they did a night before. Very scary.

12-09-2004, 01:21
Sat on the sofa in my flat, oblivious to what was on the other channel, my brother phoned me and just said 'Turn the news on' i went numb as soon as i realised i DID have the correct channel and it was a news channel.

Big Bugga
12-09-2004, 06:13
I had just sat down with my son after making his breakfast to see what was on the news. One of those moments in time you never forget.


12-09-2004, 09:34
Well, I was in a small holiday resort just outside of Marseille, France with a group of people from all around Europe and Africa on a conference of youth organisations. The place was at the end of the road, we had just a single phone line for both phone and web, and all of a sudden sms messages started to pour in - from all parts of the world, saying like NYC under rocket attack, WWIII just started etc. We had no TV on the site, it took us a while until we connected to the net, all the major sites were already down by that moment, so it took us quite a time to find out what was really going on. I can still recall those moments of incertitude.

12-09-2004, 10:47
In the office in Moscow watching it, trying to call friends who worked in the WTC, then calling the London offices for updates and hearing the full horror of it recounted by people I know.

Lost quite a few friends that day.

Not one of the best days of my life .......

12-09-2004, 12:33
In London watching the tragedy unfold on TV - like Braders said, took a while before I realised that I wasn't watching an action film , but was in fact watching the news as it was happening.

I remember phoning everyone in disbelief and debating the various possible responses from the US...was almost certain that WWIII was starting in front of my very eyes - carried on watching the news for the whole day, 1) to hear the new information as it came in and 2) I was honestly half waiting for a report saying that someone had been nuked in response...

12-09-2004, 15:44
I was in the travel agents behind the uni booking a flight to amsterdam when the first plane hit - I heard the agents in the office say something about a crash or something but didn't really pay much attention.....

when I got back to the conference accomodation a minute or so later, I put on the TV to find something major was going on - ran and told the office staff and came back to find a second had hit........ the tv room started filling up with the americans and their colleagues at the medical conference and everyone sat glued to the screen as everything unfolded.... quite frankly everyone thought we were about a minute from WW3....

the rest of the following days we spent watching the news, giving the conference emergency accomodations until they could go home and providing a telephone service to those needing to call on relatives.....

Insane Squeezer
12-09-2004, 20:41
I was waiting for a tuna sandwich in the Bush House canteene in London when all this had happened.

12-09-2004, 22:50
I was in New York City that day, at my office in Staten Island. Our secretary heard the first report on the radio, and asked someone to turn the TV on in the break room to see what happened. I too thought it had to be some nutjob with a Cessna who tried to buzz the towers and didn't factor the winds. When I saw that thick black smoke pouring out of the North Tower, I knew it was bad.

Being a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, I told my boss I'd need to respond, and he told me to do what I felt I had to do. Of course, I had to go. Then the second plane hit.

I went out to my car, and drove to my apartment. I changed into my tech gear, grabbed my trauma kit an O2, and headed for the Staten Island Ferry, which had been selected for staging and was going to be used for medical evacuation.

I saw the towers fall from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. It was surreal; I didn't actually see it fall: the first expletives hit my ears, and I looked up to see the South Tower just sorta slip into a greyish white cloud. I knew I wouldn't be staying in Staten Island for long. The first ferry arrived with several patients, but not as many as we had expected. I then boarded the ferry along with other EMT/Paramedics, Firefighters, Police, and other first responders.

I spent the next three days on and off sifting through the rubble. I didn't know it then, but I had lost some friends. I did very little EMS work, as most of the injuries we treated were minor and involved rescuers. In my area, we rescued no one, and recovered only remains. It was, without a doubt, the worst 72 hours of my life.

I went to the ceremonies last year for the first time. I stood approximately where I had worked, and it was powerful. Watching it on TV, and going to a local service here just didn't feel as cathartic. I feel as if I should have been there. In a way I felt as if some time overseas would help me stop thinking of that day. Every time I came over the hill on Victory Boulevard, or drove on the Gowanus, I looked for the towers.

I don't talk about it much, but reading your thoughts and memories made me want to write this. Now I'll try to forget for another year.

12-09-2004, 23:12
my friend's 13 year old son some superlatives..

He went out then dragged me by the arm where we both stood in front of the families wall mounted 4 foot wide TV screen and neither of us could find a suitabke superlative .- both said 'f@ck.. at first I thought I was watching an accident.. then the phones starting ringing..

13-09-2004, 00:06
I was in our flat by novoslabodskaya waiting for about 10 guests for dinner when my husband ran down the hallway yelling "turn on the tv...." We watched as the second bomb hit.....speechless and in shock!

13-09-2004, 09:21
I was on the roof downtown DC watching the plane go down into the Pentagon.

And I was sitting later at home which was not that far from the White House and hoping that the remaining planes (there was one or two according to CNN at that time) do not miss the target and hit me by mistake. :) Did not like the blue sky for at least a year since then.

13-09-2004, 17:10
In Novosibirsk. I was working for a big software company and we all were sitting in our offices when someone started to cry loudly: look at RBC.ru, WTC was hit by a plane!
We decided that RBC.ru is hijacked by some stupid hacker, but then someone else called in office and said that the same picture is in TV news...

14-09-2004, 17:49
I was helping to get things ready at a business networking thing at my boss' place, we had just set things up and were waiting for the guests. Finally someone arrived and said that they had just heard on the radio about what was happening. We all went into the TV room, just in time to see the second plane crash. The few people who did come to the networking event ended up squeezing into the TV room watching CNN and BBC. We were all just speechless, it was so unbelievable.

The Russian caterers were really confused, they didn't understand why only 12 people came to an event planned for 50, and then everyone sat in front of the TV watching a Hollywood disaster movie - until I explained to them what was going on, then they came in and we all watched in horror as the buildings fell. It still feels like a terrible dream.

16-09-2004, 08:31
In my bed. Luckily I took the day off.
I just woke up and was watching news on NY1.
Literally, I can't believe my eyes when I saw on TV a plane crushing into the WTC.
It was so confusing and shocking. Than I received a few calls from friends who saw the crash from the own apartment and I realized that is not an action movie or bad commercial. That was terrifying.