19 years ago today

I was in Atlanta working and was supposed to fly back that evening.
My pager went off with a alert that a “small plane hit the tower” and we chuckled.
How did someone not see it??

A bit later- a second alert went off that it was a passenger plane and 2nd tower was hit.
I ran across the street to a Hooters. The manager opened the doors and let everyone come in to watch the TV. It wasn’t open but strangers all came to watch.
I was watching live when the tower fell. I will never forget that Sam Donaldson wasn’t watching but talking to someone on the ground.
The person started screaming “The tower has collepased!” And Sam asked “do you mean some of it is burning?”. And the reported on the ground, shaken and anger screamed “No! It’s gone! It’s completely gone!!”

Took me about 30 mins to get thru to my wife at the time and check in on her and my 4 month old son. Scared. Jets were flying overhead. The Navy academy was surrounded by Troops.

“Can you get home?”

The next day a company wide email went out from our CEO “If you are on the road, you may spend whatever you need to in order to return home any way you can. We got you. If you can’t come home stay where ever you can for as long as you need. We got you”

I drove home on the 12th. American flags were at every overpass. The radio the entire time was stories of horror, of survival, of inspiration, and tragedy.

Everywhere I stopped everyone had a story. Everyone shared. Everyone felt together.

I drove by the Pentagon only mins after the road was reopened. It was still burning. Flood lights were everywhere, it was around midnight but still full of activity. I cried.

There was no debate, no argument, us Vs them was Americans vs whoever did this. That was it.
ALL Americans felt attacked and we took solace in that we were in it together.

I have a proposal.
For 1 day, we stop fighting. It’s not libs vs Trumpers. The campign will be here tomorrow. The debates can continue tomorrow.
The passion, the argument, the name calling, the hyperbole will all be here tomorrow.

How about today you tell your story of that day and we remember we are all Americans and this hit all of us in one way or another.


I was working in a back office with a manager when someone knocked and said a plane just hit the world trade center. I imagined a Cessna 172 had gotten off track with a beginner pilot and thought…what a dummy. A few minutes later they came back and said a second plane hit the other tower. Cold shivvers went through me because I knew right then…this was a terrorist act. I broke from what I was doing, went to a television and watched the horrific scene.

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I was still sleeping when the first plane hit. Got woken up by a phone call from my neighbor.

Neighbor: “Dude, turn on the news, the twin towers got bombed.”

Me: “Again…?” thinking of the '93 bombing.

Neighbor: “They used a plane this time.”

Me: “WTH? What channel?”

Neighbor: “Every channel is the news right now!”

I turned on the TV, to which MTV was now CNN, right in time to see a second plane hit. It felt like a distasteful movie for a while, until the first tower collapsed. Then it just felt like hell. It was absolutely incredible that tens of thousands of people didn’t end up dying, but too many were senselessly murdered nonetheless. It took over a week to find out that my uncle was still alive.

I donated blood the next day, and was in the recruiting office the day after that. The scars on my body will never allow me to forget the day I started eating freedom fries.


Thanks for sharing.

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My brother called me that morning & told me turn on the TV! At first they said it was a small plane. Then found it was a large airliner with a lot of people on board, & speculation it might be an attack. The 2nd tower was hit on live TV. People started jumping out of the building to their death rather than burn. What a horrific choice! That really got me watching them fall all the way to the ground.

Nobody knew how many people was in the buildings even after they went down…Todd Beamer & his fellow passengers…The Pentagon hit… The President in the classroom… Then later on the rubble pile promising those who did this will hear from us…

Flags everywhere, & patriotism everywhere… We were all as one for the most part, & police, fireman, EMT’s, & military all thanked, appreciated, & revered… Hundreds of police & fireman gave their lives to save others… Many signed up to go fight the terrorists… Many, many prayers…

I cried this morning watching the tribute today when I again saw the people jumping from the towers…

Not long after 9/11 my wife & I was in DC & went to the Pentagon…boarded up & couldn’t believe how huge the hole in it… all I could feel was sadness & intense anger…

It seems too many have forgotten… Today is a good day to rethink our lives & get right with our God if any need to…

Thank God for our freedom, for those who gave their lives & so much for it, for our country, for our prosperity, & all the goodness of our country!

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I was at the Norfolk VA Airport and was due to leave that day for some PeopleSoft technical training in Atlanta, GA.

A bunch of us were in the main lobby and there was a TV on in the lobby bar the first plane had already hit and we watched as the second flew into the 2nd tower.

I remember how the country came together that day.



I lived in New York at that time. I worked nights, so I was sleeping. My daughter was at school and she called me saying a crop duster hit the tower. Within a minute of turning on the tv, the second plane hit and about 15 minutes after that, we lost the networks and only had local news.
I went to work that evening, watching the smoke rise in the distance. But…as numbing as that day was, the following days were amazing, everyone was an American, whether they were citizens or not…we all talked, cried and laughed together. Our president rallied us all together with empathy and compassion. Out of tragedy came camaraderie and respect.


I was at work. I walked into the office and everyone was gathered around the tv. The first plane was smoldering in the tower, and I think it was at that time that the second plane hit. It was surreal. It still didn’t immediately trigger in my mind that we were under attack. The horror of people jumping off the tower stuck with me the most. The rest of the week, I questioned everything that was going on in my immediate surroundings. If they did that, what else were they capable of?


Well I was laying in bed…as Tuesdays were my late day…I worked like noon to 8 on Tuesdays…spend half the day in the office and the other half in the field. My wife came in and told me to turn on the news, it was already on. There was the towers. One smoking with a gaping hole in the side…and they were speculating in Chicago what had happened When BAM! this huge jet airliner comes crashing into the second tower. My thought ran into my head…either ATC had been hacked…and flights were being Routed purposefully into the city, or these planes were hijacked in a concerted attack on the US. Either way, I knew things were bad. They reported that 10,000 people worked in those towers…How many would not make it out. I told my wife this was Bin Ladin…to most people he was not a household name yet…but being a news junky, I watched things about him. I knew he was a concern. She went out the door to teach preschool. Probably best she wasn’t home for what was to come.

My son was in kindergarten, largely sheltered from the mornings activities in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. But he knew enough. I watched those buildings Tumble, I cried, when my sister asked me though the phone what just happened after the first tower fell. I said it’s gone…and that was it. We watched as the news came in that the pentagon was hit…I told her I had to call Mom and Dad who were at the lake in NW Wisconsin…They had no idea. It took me an hour to get through…Finally on my cell phone standing in the drive way while my 3 year old daughter rode her trike up and down. She was thankfully oblivious to my fear. And I remember looking up, and there were no planes in the sky…and thought “there’s a first” We live over the the flight patterns for both O’Hare and Midway. There are always jets in the sky. It would stay that way for more than a week.

I dropped the kids off with their mom at her preschool, and I went to work. I by this time had a horrible headache, and I felt sick all day. I listened to news reports from my office radio the rest of the day trying to focus on work.

At 6 pm we had a meeting at one of our sites with the staff and patients. It was a beautiful day so we had the meeting out side. There had not been a plane in the sky for hours…and at one point I looked up and saw a Jet…at least at 40K feet. It was coming out of the N.W and over Chicago had made a turn to the south and then continued East.

The only logical explanation was that it had to be President Bush returning to Washington. We knew he had been in the air much of the day. It made me feel good to know he was heading back to the capitol.

That night I came home, threw up, and went to sleep. The next morning I had the most wonderful moment with my son. He was afraid to go to school that day, and I pulled open his curtains and told him see that…(it was the sun) The sun came up today just like it did yesterday and it will continue to come up tomorrow and every day after. I told him President Bush was going to do everything he could to keep this country safe…He had nothing to worry about by going to school…My 6 year old son hugged me like he had never hugged me before. He got up, had breakfast and went to school.

The next week was full of family time. We bonded around the disney channel and made sure we limited our news time. To this day we still watch reruns of Lizzy McGuire, Even Stevens and Kim Possible. Even I realized that I needed to remove myself from the news.


I remember even ESPN was 24/7 coverage. Baseball season was in its final legs, and there was no talk of the game. Just watching, trying to be comforting, trying to be professional, trying not to get angry. It was so strange to see ESPN turned into yet another news station.


What saddens me today is how emergency response personnel are treated.

After 911 they were heroes…they still are heroes.

Let us appreciate our fire, police, EMT’s like we did 19 years ago. They are no less heroic and needed.


I was on the golf course at Fort Meade in MD, playing in a monthly golf association event for the agency where I was working. I think we were around 4 holes in when a female soldier in camo, carrying an M-16, caught up with us and asked us if we had any idea what was going on (this was of course before everybody carried cell phones). We didn’t. She told us the WTC was “down” and the Pentagon attacked, they were locking down the base, and we might have issues leaving. We actually finished the round, wondering what the hell was going on (thinking what she said couldn’t possibly be correct), only to return to the clubhouse where everyone was gathered around the TV viewing the carnage. After finding the single heavily-armed exit that was available to leave the installation, I drove home to VA down an eerily empty I-395, right past the Pentagon (where a couple people were standing by the exit sign holding signs looking for rides south (well past where I was headed)). When I got home, my wife was already home from work, and we started checking on the status of our kids at school.


i was trading bonds on the floor of the chicago board of trade. they had agiant TV on the wall.
we saw the first tower on fire as they showed news reports. no volume on the tv just the image.

then we saw the second plane hit. only time in my career I saw trading just stop… stunned silence for 15 seconds or so before the markets went nuts. shortly afterwards tradig basically stopped and I left the floor and went to my office . found out my brother in law was in our new your office on a high floor in the towers. took several hours until we knew that every one in our office had managed to get out safely.


I was working at home and had the television on for background.

I saw both planes hit the towers. The first, I couldn’t believe something like that had happened. An airplane malfunction?

When the second one hit, I was still in disbelief. It took a few minutes for it to sink in that this was deliberate and we were under attack.

I’ll never forget how utterly helpless I felt nor the abject terror of the people on the ground.

Nor will I forget the incredible and selfless acts of heroism by first responders as well as civilians.

We are a great country and many despise us for our freedom and how it threatens regimes across the globe.

Never forget that we have enemies who cannot be reasoned with and would love nothing more than to see us destroyed.


I was 15? 16? Still in high school.

I remember dad was watching the morning news when it started breaking. Like others, I remember thinking “some idiot flew his crop duster into the tower lol” I went to take a shower and get ready for school when the second plane hit - I wasn’t in the room. I showered real quick - I remember thinking “What is going on? How many more planes are going to hit things” and rushing the shower to get back to the TV.

My little brother, 10ish at the time, wandered in about the time the Pentagon news was breaking. We cautiously guided him back to his room telling him to get ready for school as we weren’t even sure what was happening. A minute later my mom wandered in, saw the news, and started bawling - I think she was the first one of us who grasped what was actually happening.

At some point, the first tower fell. I remember seeing the smoke rising and the confusion as no one was sure what was happening - I remember jabbing at the TV pointing at a hole in the smoke, just repeating “Its gone. The towers gone.”

There was debate - dad worked at a government job, at what would have been a high priority target in a traditional war. He went to work. Mom grieved. She didn’t know whether or not to send her children to school. My school was just down the street - I walked there.

I don’t remember much from the rest of that day. I remember after school I ran home and watched the news for the rest of the day.

An event that changed the world.


I was living in Cascade mountains when my brother called me.

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I was just starting a new job teaching in elementary school when we started hearing the news. Technology was still pretty scarce, and there was no such thing as a smart phone, so for hours, we were just getting info in drips and drabs. We all just acted like things were normal since the school was in a nearby suburb of NYC, and many of our students’ parents worked in the city. We didn’t want to scare them. It was awful. 4 residents of our town died at the WTC.


I was at work and my wife called me and told me that a plane had crashed into the WTC. We turned on the TV and saw the second plane hit. A few days before I had read a article about bin Laden. I don’t know why, but I told my business partner that I thought this was his doing. It was pretty clear that the staff was not going to get much work done, so I sent everybody home. I was really surprised that both towers collapsed. But later when the report was made public it made sense how the insulation melted and the extreme heat weakened the support structure.


Here, here my friend. How soon, some forget?


Sitting in my office, had just finished briefing for a training mission. We were then retasked for live missions. We downloaded practice munitions then reloaded with live weapons.

Deployed a couple weeks later to middle east, then into Afghanistan.