I'm a 3rd shifter, so I came home and went to bed. Only to wake up later that afternoon to the wife watching the TV and wondering what in the heck was going on. I was totally in shock.
I'm a 3rd shifter, so I came home and went to bed. Only to wake up later that afternoon to the wife watching the TV and wondering what in the heck was going on. I was totally in shock.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
If you want to hear something pretty messed up, I interviewed for a job with a company that was located on the 103rd floor (I think, or somewhere thereabouts) in one of the towers less than a year before 9/11. I actually accepted the position but renegged and took the counteroffer my then-current job offered me.
Why did I do it? I have no idea. The only real reason was that I didn't feel like switching jobs and filling out all the paperwork. I actually accepted less money. Kind of weird.
It didn't really hit me until a short while after everything went on that I was almost in that building. The company was pretty much decimated.
I know this is long, but I have so many feelings surrounding that day that I started typing (and typing) and it felt good. It's sort of therapeutic and I almost need it somehow documented because I don't want these feelings to ever be forgotten.
The first time I flew in a plane was in August of 1993. I was in route to St. Martin in the Caribbean for a family vacation. Being my first plane ride, I was just as excited to fly on the plane as I was for the trip to the tropical paradise. I made sure I took a window seat and, lucky for me, it was a perfect day to take in the view. We had to stop in Newark, NJ on the way. Upon landing there I remember looking out my window as the plane was heading towards our gate and seeing the two towers of the World Trade Center for the very first time with my own eyes. What a beautiful sight. I had always been fascinated with tall buildings and loved drawing the World Trade Center, Empire State building, Sears Tower, etc. as a kid. I also loved King Kong and it was on those towers that he climbed at the end of the 1976 version of that movie. I was five years old, but I remember the King Kong movie poster, with him crushing a helicopter in one hand while holding the girl in the other as he straddled the two towers. It was such an awesome visual image for me as a little boy. As we took off to head south from Newark, I got another great view of the towers as our plane rose. There was a kind of magic the whole image held over me. I knew someday I would be back there.
While on this vacation I met a girl on the beach who was from New York. A town called Valley Stream on Long Island. You know, where Snapple is from. Anyway, we fell in love right there in St. Martin and it was the beginning of a pretty serious long-distance relationship. Not long after I had gotten back to Ohio, I talked a buddy into driving to Valley Stream with me to visit her. The night before, my buddy and I had attended the Washington-Ohio State game. It was the first night game in the Horseshoe and we were pretty exhausted, but we were excited to get to New York. As we were approaching the city in the the early morning, we had somehow missed a sign somewhere on the NJ turnpike or whatever and instead of bypassing NYC and going around it (to get to Long Island) we found ourselves heading for the Holland Tunnel, going straight into mid-town Manhattan. I had studied maps before the trip so I pretty much knew where all the main landmarks were (in relation to each other), but once we got into mid-town, all bets were off and being the first time either of us had been to NY, we were a little freaked out. Anyway, we made a few turns and then saw a sign that said "Yankee Stadium". I knew we didn't want to go that way (the Bronx), so I looked around and what do I see, but the World Trade Center behind me. It was like they stood there like two lighthouses showing us the way. I knew from the maps that they were on the the southern most tip of Manhattan, so we turned around and followed them south and finally found our way across the bridge onto the Long Island Express to Valley Stream. I'll never forget the feeling I had when looking at those towers that night. It was like they were calling us.
The next day, we took the train into the city. The first place we stopped was Wall Street, to visit my girlfriend's best friend who worked in the financial district. After a brief visit, we decided to venture to the World Trade Center. I remember standing in the plaza and being overwhelmed at the sheer size of these two massive structures. I knew I looked like a tourist in my wonderment, but I didn't care. We sat by the globe sculpture in the center of the plaza and even took a picture there, before entering the South Tower. As we were heading up the elevator to the top, I remember thinking about the terrorist attack earlier that year, where a bomb had exploded underneath the building. Once on top, I forgot about that scary thought and was like a little kid taking in the sights on all four sides. To the east you could see New Jersey and the planes landing at the airport where I took my first trip. To the north, I could see the north tower on the left and the rest of Manhattan straight in front of me. The north tower's antenna reached into the sky, hundreds of feet higher than we already were. It looked so close that I felt like if I reached out I could touch it. Straight ahead toward mid-town, the Empire State Building stood there as if to say "Look at me, I'm pretty cool too" and seeing it with all the other buildings surrounding it made me think of the ending credits in All in the Family, where they would show the footage of the New York skyline. To the east, the Brooklyn and George Washington bridges looked so small as they connected the island we were on to the boroughs. Queens and Brooklyn were on the other side, with Valley Stream way out in the distance. And to the south, the Statue of Liberty looked like a tiny toy figurine hovering above the water. You could see for miles and miles on this September day and everything was so crystal clear. I couldn't imagine a better day to fully appreciate this view. I took dozens of pictures from every angle. I could have stayed up there for hours appreciating the view, but I was finally pulled out by my buddy and girlfriend and we headed to the Southside Seaport for lunch.
Afterward, we headed north to mid-town. I talked them into going to the top of the Empire State Building as my building appetite was not yet satisfied. The view from the top was beautiful as well and it was outdoors which made it even more special, but the day was winding down on a day I wanted never to end and the view wasn't quite as clear as from the World Trade Center due to the dusk settling in. To this day I have a picture my friend took of my girlfriend and I as we were looking south with the World Trade Center in the background right between the both of us. It was a disposable camera, so the cheapness of the camera, combined with it getting dark makes for a haunting picture of two silhouettes with the two towers barely recognizable in the background.
Eight years later, it was another beautiful September day, this time in Dublin, Ohio when I arrived at work. I hadn't spoken with the girl from Long Island in five or so years and she was nothing more than a good memory to me as I now had been married for nearly two years and my wife and I had had a little boy just seven months old. I was listening to sports radio that morning as soon as I got in. It was 1460 AM (The Fan) in Columbus and Chris Spielman and Kirk Herbstriet were pontificating on the Buckeyes and their recent struggles in Jim Tressel's first year. I remember it was Speilman that first mentioned that the TV in the studio had gone to a special report and something about a small plane crashing into one of the towers He thought nothing of it or so it seemed and so neither did I. I'm picturing some poor guy who lost control of his little twin-engine plane. Anyway, they started discussing the Buckeyes again and then something else got their attention. Little did they, me, or everyone else know what was in store for us in the next hour. That our world as we knew it would be flipped upside down. I called my Mom and she mentioned as she is watching the TV that another plane has hit the other tower. I'm was in shock. I think it was at this point when the whole office was up out of their cubicles and looking at each other. What the hell is going on? From there it got sketchy as our managers had their weekly meeting, leaving us all on the floor trying to figure out what was going on. All the while, some were still trying to work quietly in their cubes amongst the chaos. People were on the phone yelling across the room. Others like me were trying to pick up live reports on the internet as we listened for updates over the radio. I still had not had a chance to wrap my mind around what was going on. It had not settled in and when someone yelled across the room that one of the towers had collapsed, my initial thought was "what do you mean, collapsed? Seriously. How? There is no way" Nobody had a TV so we had no clue except for what friends and loved ones were telling us over the phone or what the radio and internet was telling us. So, at this point I wasn't sure what to believe. Our managers were still in a meeting. Then it was confirmed again that one of the towers indeed went down. My body was numb. I couldn't picture this enormous structure collapsing. It just did not register. It was at this time that I started panicking a little, thinking about my wife and child at home. What the hell is going on? Is this the end of the world? People were yelling about more planes missing. The Pentagon getting hit. I felt my blood pressure rising. I felt scared, angry, and unsure all at the same time. This was it. There was a group of guys in our office that were always joking around. Being sort of new I didn't know them very well, but I noticed a couple of them laughing about something. Nervous laughter. To this day, I have no idea what they were laughing about. It could have been anything. But in the heat of all this stress I snapped and yelled "What the F---are you laughing at? Shut the hell up?" I was panicked. Where were our stupid managers? Did they have no idea what was going on?
Then our managers came out of the meeting and when they discovered what had been going on, they told us to go home immediately. I bolted. When I got home, my seven-month old little boy was playing on the living room floor. The television was on in background showing the towers falling over and over again. He was just playing there, of course, oblivious to it all. It was at that moment that I was overwhelmed with emotion. I ran over to him, picked him up and squeezed him. I remember crying and thinking how horrible it was that I brought this perfect little being into such a messed up world. That's all I could think. I called my best friend and told him to meet me at my house. He showed up with the other co-owner of his company. They had no wives and kids of their own and this was a day to be together, so they came over. They brought a case of beer and we sat down and watched events unfold and drank. Honestly, it was easier to take it all in with a few friendly faces and a few beers. It was the only way to keep from having some sort of nervous breakdown.
Then, later on in the day we were out on my deck. It was so quiet. I have a large backyard and you can see the horizon pretty much all the way around the sky. Usually, at a given moment there can be 10 planes flying over out home going in all directions. I've actually counted as many as 14 before at one time. It was quiet. Sunny. Blue sky. Beautiful. Calm. Eerie. Then we hear a loud noise with a plume of smoke following it. It's coming from the west. It was Air Force One and it flew directly over my house. The news was just talking about the President coming back from a secret bunker somewhere in Nebraska back to Washington and he was now flying over my house. It was so damn eerie. That's the best word I can come up with.
Later that evening when my friends got up to leave, I remember this hesitation, like I was scared that night was coming and they were leaving. I just felt so scared. My wife and I watched the president's address to the country later that evening. Of course, we had been attacked. We were going to get whomever was responsible. Yeah, but I didn't feel any better about it. A couple of days after that tragic day, my mother-in-law invited me to a special prayer service at our church. I'll admit I'm catholic, but I would go to church maybe twice a year. Christmas. Easter. I did not hesitate to go this night. We lit candles and kneeled and said the rosary. My wife held our son and what was a few tears I shed on 9-11, exploded into me balling right there. I just couldn't get the images out of my head. I couldn't imagine how those that had died had suffered. How they had gone to work, just like me on a beautiful day and the horror that would await them. I felt so bad for the babies who lost mothers and fathers. For husbands who lost wives and wives who lost husbands. For parents that had lost their children. I couldn't imagine the pain of losing someone like that. Having a wife and child made me so much more sensitive to it all. I couldn't sleep for days. I didn't want to go back to work. What was the point? I was convinced the world was going to somehow come to an end. Why spend the last few days there? Every noise I heard at night made me jump. Honestly, I don't take any kind of medications. I just drink occasionally. But I tell you, I probably needed to be on something back then. If anything like that ever happens again, I will put myself on something. I think it effects people in different ways. I had just had a child. New house. New job. Recently married. I felt this sense of responsibility and then, all of a sudden, this happens and makes you feel like you have no power. No control. Those first few days back at work were torture for me. I just wanted to stay home with my wife and son.
Days later, I was back at work when I started thinking again about my trip to New York and the visit to the World Trade Center. It was such a similar day as 9-11. A beautiful late summer morning. Then it hit me why it seemed so similar. The trip was in September of 1993. We were in the WTC mid-morning before lunch, so it could have been eight years to the very second of 9-11. All I could think of was "Oh, God, please don't tell me I was in the World Trade Center on 9-11 exactly eight years prior to the very minute that everything happened. Please, God. No!" I raced home for lunch. I keep everything from vacations in a little storage bin. Any souvenir. Any meaningful scrap of paper. Finally, I found my stuff from my trip to New York. There it was. A little ticket stub with a picture of the twin towers. There was a serial number of some sort and a date on the bottom. I slowly lowered my eyes to focus on the date. It read 9-13-93. Whew. It turned out that 9-11-93 was the date of the OSU-Washington game that my buddy and had I attended just a day before leaving for New York. I have that ticket stub from that as well. I cannot explain the relief that I felt when discovering it was not 9-11 when we visited the World Trade Center. I don't know why. I just didn't need to be haunted in any other way by that day.
That Saturday, Ohio State had cancelled their football game just like everyone else around the country had done. I took my wife and son to the Horseshoe where they had a memorial and fundraiser for the victems of 9-11. It was in these bleachers so many times before we had screamed, cheered, and booed together. On this day we prayed and cried together. Thousands and thousands of Americans, not Buckeyes, praying and crying together. It was only a few days later, but it felt like healing. I had nobody I cared about that died in 9-11. I can't imagine what they went through. But as the days went by and football and baseball came back, the normalcy I so craved started to come back.
To this day, like many of you, I'm still haunted by what happened on 9-11. Even though I want to, I will make sure to never forget that day.
I was working at FBI Headquarters (I'm not an agent and I no longer work there). Someone said a plane had hit one fo the towers, so we turned on the TV and saw the second tower get hit. Soon someone said that the Pentagon (five minutes away) had been hit as well -- then all kinds of crazy rumors started (other agencies were being attacked). It was pure chaos. My two youngest kids were at day care down the street, my wife was in another part of the city, my idiot boss was no where to be found (he was at a satellite office handing out awards) and I was pretty sure our building was a likely target.
Around 10:00 am, we were told to go home, which was easier said than done. I got my kids and our car and then sat in traffic for about an hour and a half. In my memory, You could see the smoke from the Pentagon, but I'm not sure if that is true or not. I do remember everyone constantly looking at the sky to see if any planes were falling out of it.
I finally made it to my wife's office and then home. We located our oldest son (the school had released everyone and he went home with a neighbor).
It was a beautiful day--later I took my kids to the park and noticed how blue the sky was and how there were no planes in it at all--which never happens (we can see the flight path for all 3 local airports).
I was in my apartment in Muncie (I was in field sales at the time, slacking off) watching the Today show.
When the second plane hit, I was on the phone with my mom and immediatly said that it was Bin Laden.
"But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."
I was working for a newspaper in upstate New York at the time. I went into work around 11 a.m., and spent the rest of the day following the news, trying to figure out what was what, dealing with my own and my coworkers' emotions (we ALL knew people in NYC), and in the process I had to design the front page of the newspaper for the next morning, knowing that it mattered not at all and was symbolically significant all at the same time.
It was terrifying and surreal and overwhelming and sad.
I had been up all night working on a project, I was walking my wife out to her car for work when my Mother-in-law came up the steps to tell us two plans had hit the world trade center, I assured the Mrs it must have been an accident and saw her off, then I turned on the news and watched all morning, Peter Jennings of course.
Later that afternoon my Mom called to tell me my Grandfather had been right outside the pentagon when it was hit, he was schduled for a meeting and got delayed at the last minute.
I was out of work at that time and home. I had taken my wife to school. She is a substitute and was at a high school that day. I went back home and laid back down for a while. When I got up, around 10, I was going to start working on my resume and hopefully get a few ready to send out. I turned on the radio to the local sports talk station to listen to Tony Kornheiser while I worked on my resume. When I turned on the radio it was news and not sports. I knew something big was up then as that station never had regular news unless it was something really big. The first thing I heard was that one of the towers had collasped and I was wondering how that could happen. I went downstairs then and turned on CNN and slowly found out what was going on. Needless to say working on my resume became secondary that day. Later that morning my dad called me to check to see how I was. My oldest brother was working in NYC but I thought he worked in Brooklyn but my dad said he was now in Manhattan and so far hadn't heard from him yet. As it turned out he worked in a building about two miles from the towers. He said they evacuated their building as they told them it was a possible target. He and other co-workers wondered around for a while and took shelter in some other building. He couldn't get any calls out on his cell phone for quite a while but finally was able to contact his wife and let her know he was fine. I don't remember how he said he finally got home.
As for me,they didn't let out school early which was surprising to me. They did call it off the next day. I picked my wife up and we went to get something eat. It was eerily quiet out. Hardly anyone was out which is of course is unusual for that time of day. It was a crystal clear day and I remember it being just very silent. I live about 10 miles north of Dulles Airport and since there was no plane activity it was really quiet. It was one of those days that you never forget what you were doing and how you felt.
Reds Fan Since 1971
I was going into work about 10:30 then and when I woke up and turned on the TV I had it on a local station and saw a skyscraper was on fire. I thought at first it was the Carew Tower since it was a local station but I found out it was the WTC. I thought like most people that it was an accident. Then I saw the second plane go into it and knew that this was no accident. I also remember RedsZone being about the only online info we could get since the traffic on other sites was overwhelming. Some girl came into the office and started talking about how she was going to Chicago to see the Reds and Cubs play. I told her that wasn't happening. I'd recently broken up with my girlfriend and we were still hanging out together. She was house sitting for someone and whe asked if I could come over and hang out with her while she was alone there. It wasn't too far from my house so I told her I would do it. So I basically stayed over there with her during the evenings for the next several days. It was a strange time.
The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.
Never Forgive. Most importantely, NEVER forget.
Last edited by Matt700wlw; 09-11-2008 at 10:40 AM.
I was in college. I had class about 11:30 that morning, as did my roommate (different class). Got up around 10 or 10:30, with a rather odd message on the answering machine from my Mom...something about she's sure I know what's going on the world, and that she loved me. I thought nothing of it, thought she was having one of her "moments."
Roommate went to take a shower, while I ate breakfast. A couple minutes later, he peeks his head out of the bathroom and tells me my mom may have meant something...turn on the TV.
That's when I saw the aftermath. I was in complete shock...I didn't know what to do, or say, or even feel. I felt empty. It almost didn't feel real...yet felt very real. Hard to explain, but I probably don't have to.
Finally composed myself to continue getting ready for class....so off to class we went. I don't remember if we walked, or drove (it was a nice day, we may have walked)....I really don't remember if we talked or what we said.
Got to class, and of course there's TV's all along the hallway in the building with 9/11 coverage.
We weren't in class very long...the professor came in, talked for a minute, and said "there's really nothing I can say today that's going to make any difference. You guys are free to go."
Classes the rest of the day were cancelled. So I spent the rest of the day watching the coverage on the attacks.....I honestly don't remember when classes resumed, but I know it took me a few days just to even remotely get my life back to "normal."
Last edited by Matt700wlw; 09-11-2008 at 10:03 AM.
I was in NYC the weekend before 9/11 for my sister-in-law's wedding. It was my 1st time in NYC so I was in awe trying to fit everything in. We were in the WTC on 9/7 but decided not to go up to the top because it was too expensive and we would go the next time we came to NYC. I always feel bad for my sister-in-law to have her wedding anniversary three days before 9/11/01.
I was actually in Miami for work on 9/11. I worked a lot of 2nd shifts when I traveled so I didn't wake up until around 9:00 to go to breakfast and that's when I saw everything on the TV. I was in absolute shock. I didn't know when I would be able to get home to see my wife who I was just married to for 4 months at the time since no one knew if airlines would fly again anytime soon. My boss was also in Miami for business and secured one of the last rental cars and we drove through the night listening to the coverage after picking up another co-worker who was on his way to Miami but his plane landed in Tallahassee after planes were grounded. It was a very surreal day.
Luckily, no one my sister-in-law knew was killed. It was hard getting a hold of her for a while because she was in Italy at the time.
I never felt more out of control in my life that day and hope I never have the feeling again.
Within minutes of the attack, the fam got a quick and cryptic mass email from my sister that she was ok, but no one was quite sure what was going on. At the time, she lived on the Upper East Side & worked in Times Square. Phone service was spotty at best, and she told us that she'd keep us posted as she knew more.