This week, we’re taking a look at some of the impacts, memories and changes that 9/11 has created over the last ten years. Some of our Care2 members shared their memories of that tragic day with us, and we want to share it with you.
Gia Z. That day is like a picture frozen in my mind. I’m on the West Coast so by the time I was up and on my way to work, all three planes were down and the world felt like it was in shambles.
Our city became one of the designated landing sites for the planes who had been basically circling the skies waiting for instructions as to what to do. From my office window on an upper floor, I watched plane after plane, giant and small, follow the flight pattern right overhead to our airport. I don’t think I’ll ever see anything like that again.
And I am still amazed at how our community pitched in to make the incoming passengers comfortable while we all tried to make sense of the horror that changed our country that September morning. That is the one thing I will always take away from 9/11 — that at one time our country pulled together, irregardless of party, met the terror head on and didn’t let them defeat our humanity.
Tiffany M. I remember that day so clearly. I was in the 8th grade and I had a few minutes left in the morning before I had to leave. I decided to turn on the tv and it happened to be the news. I saw the first plane hit,and then the second and my heart started to race. I just couldn’t believe it. I took my time walking to school, there was a car accident right across the street from me about a half mile from my house, I jumped and instantly tears shot into my eyes. I was so spooked. When I got to school, all we did in class was watch the news. My heart goes out to everyone who was involved and all those that were lost. I will never forget that day.
Sharon H. I was at work for the airline who transported those men to NYC. I was the lead on duty in the International/Domestic Rate desk and the only one in charge at the time. My friend, another lead called when the first plane hit and said there was a horrible accident. Then later, after the second one hit and the Pentagon, all of the ticket counters started calling in and since the rate people didn’t know how to handle it, I was taking their calls……and I wasn’t prepared for that kind of thing either…the supervisor of our dept. came in later, but no one from upper management ever came to our dept. to help us. We were pretty much on our own, and we were the only dept. that had direct contact with the airports. I started my shift at 5AM and didn’t get home until around 7PM. I only got to see the news footage in the break room when I managed to grab a snack.
Isla B. I live in FL and work in news, the evening shift, so I was asleep. My boyfriend woke me up and said “you’d better come see this” – a plane had just hit the Twin Towers. So I was awake and watching when the 2nd plane hit. Being from NY, I was devastated to watch what was happening to my city. I went right to the office, knowing it was going to be impossible to grasp the scope of this. I actually had plans to be in NY 3 days later – and went. There were no terrorists, foreign OR domestic, that were going to make me fearful – that’s how they win.
For a decade I thought that no one I knew had died in the tragedy. It was only in the past 2 weeks that I found out a friend from HS would have been able to save himself, had he not gone back to save his mother-in-law. The both perished.
Amanda M. My husband and I were both working security at an old Army base that was being converted to civilian use. We were both operating roadblocks around a buried ordnance removal project when he heard the first broadcasts. We initially thought it was a single-engine plane that had gone seriously off course, but found out all too quickly that it was terrorists hijacking jets! All work at the “dig” ceased and someone turned up a radio full blast so we could all hear what was going on. The soldiers still on the base got reactivated, and we got released from work early because of that. On the way home, we heard the governor of Maryland ordering all emergency services personnel to report to their stations (being volunteer firefighters, that meant us too). So after a detour to tell our security boss what our new orders were (superseding orders from the company VP to report to the power plant in the nearby town), we headed to the firehouse for the rest of the day. Even there, nothing happened-everybody was piled three deep in the lounge chairs watching the news, and the only time anybody moved was to “hit the clicker.”
Two days later, my husband and I were over at Sheetz getting provisions together for a 12-hour shift at the power plant. He was inside getting coffee, and I was in the car listening to the radio. Don Henley’s song “New York Minute” came on with radio and phone transmissions from 9/11 added to it, and the combination made me lose it completely. Here I was, in my security uniform in the middle of the parking lot, and I was BAWLING! To this day, I still can’t listen to “New York Minute.” The lyrics of that song just hit all too close to home after that terrible day.
Our firehouse commemorates 9/11 every year since. Starting the year afterwards, we have a Remembrance Parade that honors not just the fallen fire/rescue personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice that day, but also our fallen soldiers in the wars since. This Sunday as I climb into one of our engines for the parade, my thoughts will go back to that day and I will remember those who were killed then. May they all rest in peace.
laura b. I am a nurse, and had worked the evening shift the night before. Got up and saw tower one was ablaze and that a plane had hit it. Still half asleep, I saw the second plane come in and thought, “wow that plane is attemtping to do a rescue of some sort” Boy, was I every wrong. I remember driving to work that afternoon, and there was silence everywhere you went. People were in shock, disbelief written all over theirs faces. From that day, I made plans to move home. I was in Virginia Beach and wanted to be close to family again after 25 years of living out of state. Ten years later, I am home in upstate NY.
R. H. My clock radio woke me to the news! I watched the TV & since I live on the UWS of Manh I ran to the dock on the Hudson. Many people were there and we watched as the Towers came down. It was incredulous!
I ran home & since the Red Cross was a block away, I went to see what I could do.
I finally became a mental health volunteer down at Ground Zero for about 1 year. I will never forget the poignant stories I heard from people who lost others & of the 1st responders. I still remember some of their names & faces.
I am feeling low with all the news about the anniversary & believe Bloomberg is wrong to invite politicians & not the 1st responders to the ceremony.
Though the Administration said the air there was safe…there had never been a soup of multiple chemicals & human remains mixed together. I now suffer from asthma & GERD.
Bless all those who worked down there!
Holly W. I was starting my day to head back to work on Long Beach Island, NJ. My mother had passed away on Aug. 27, 2001 and we had her memorial service on Sept. 8th, so I had the weekend off. I was watching the news and about quarter to nine I decided nothing more was going to happen, so I switched off the TV to go online (I had a WebTV at the time, so it was either watch TV or surf, not both.) I read through my email and then went to surf and check eBay.
When I was there I got the bing that I’d received an email. I kept surfing. If I had gone to read the email, I would have seen it was from a friend who worked down in the area. She had seen the first plane hit as she was getting out of the subway. The second plane hit as she was writing the email.
I still didn’t know anything was going on until my landlady came upstairs to ask if the ferry docked anywhere near where the WTC was. Her son and his daughter had gone up to NYC for the day. I told her no and asked why. I was shocked. I rapidly turned on the TV to see the Towers burning. I spent the next couple of hours switching back and forth between the TV and online checking on friends.
I very reluctantly went to work at the supermarket. The radios were on the receiving area and the produce back room. Everyone seem to float there when they weren’t doing something. The store was very quiet that day and those who did come in seemed to be in shock. I came home to almost 300 emails from friends.
For more Care2 coverage of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, click here.
Photo credit: Sister72