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9/11, Twenty Years Later


Hoss
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9/11. A day everyone here that's old enough remembers. It's officially been twenty years since a moment that changed the country forever.

A lot of people remember a nation that united together afterwards. Some united in pride. Some united in fear. Others united to aim hate at those who deserved nothing but their love.

Share your thoughts.

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Edited by Hoss
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I was in the Corporate Intern program at the time under a division of the DoD and had only been with them for a month, having come over from another Federal agency. We were just settling in to begin a class when one of my classmates entered the room and said, "A plane just crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NYC. They don't know if it was an accident or terrorism." There was no TV in the classroom so we all filed out and went to the temporary trailers housing our desks where we could watch. We stared in disbelief as the second plane hit the other tower and reports started surfacing that it was indeed a terrorist act and America was under attack. Our leadership sent us home for the remainder of the day and, as I turned on the car radio to gather more information during my half hour commute back to the house, I remember thinking to myself, "What kind of world are we leaving to our kids?" My older son was only 18 months old at the time and is now a Senior at Virginia Tech. My younger son was not even born yet and he's now a Sophomore in college. It was 20 long years ago but it seems like only yesterday and is etched in my mind forever. I can still remember vividly so many things that morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day with crystal blue skies and a few clouds...then everything changed forever and the day seemed to move in slow motion. When all air travel was banned afterwards, it was bizarre not seeing planes in the sky that I had always just taken for granted. The next day, when I drove into work, they had soldiers and police in full combat and riot gear and Jersey barriers were set up everywhere. All of us coming to work had to park in fields away from the office buildings and they bused us to and from the buildings as a safety precaution. The whole thing was so surreal.

Exactly a month later, my classmates and I had to fly to Columbus, OH. Flying doesn't bother me in the least but I was a nervous wreck on that flight. It was the first and only time I have ever been apprehensive about boarding a plane of any kind, commercial or otherwise.

Last night, I was watching and listening to some tribute pieces. Those powerful images and stories brought back a lot of memories and I started to choke up at one point. Thankfully, I lost no family or friends that day in either NYC, DC, or in PA but I can't even begin to imagine how awful that day was for those who did. The closest for me was a cousin who lives in Queens and works in Manhattan. She told me that when the first tower came down, she could actually feel her office building shake. She and her co-workers thought at first that maybe there had been an earthquake of some kind. They had no idea of the actual devastation that had just occurred and would continue to occur. She was one of the many thousands of people that day who crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge on foot in order to evacuate Manhattan.

I hope that everyone takes a minute or two today and this weekend to reflect upon the victims and the brave men and women who gave their lives trying to help others. It's a seminal moment in the lives of us old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001 and should never be forgotten. I know that I will never forget. Sorry for the long post and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share.

Edited by ExWNYer
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27 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Changed forever? Seems like a cliche.

I think I'd reserve that one for the those who lost someone that day... and the men and women of the military.

My lord dude. You really could have just … not decided to pick a fight.

Edited by Hoss
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17 minutes ago, Hoss said:

My lord dude. You really could have just … not decided to pick a fight.

So you want to start a thread on 9/11 and then get mad when someone doesn't fall in line?

Go whine to the moderator and get this thread moved to LTS Land.

Edited by PASabreFan
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I was a young Program Manager for a large Defense Contractor.  We were developing a advanced targeting sensor system for the US Navy.  
 

Just before our weekly program review I was notified about the first tower.  We turned on a TV in a large conference room and saw it replayed. We all thought that the something must have be wrong with the pilot, but that didn’t make sense.   Then we saw it live - the second tower gets hit and knew it was a terrorist attack.  
 

My Navy customer called and told me their base went on Alert.  Civilians being sent home.  All military bases went to high readiness.  
 

I really see this as a day that not only disrupted or lives but also our culture.  It was politicized on the news, something that has gotten worse with each passing year.  Twenty years later … look at what came of it.  

Edited by Pimlach
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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

Changed forever? Seems like a cliche.

I think I'd reserve that one for the those who lost someone that day... and the men and women of the military.

I mean, how are you going to argue that the country wasn't changed forever by 9/11 lol

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There should be zero arguing in this thread!

 

I hope posters share their experiences and feelings about that day if they care to. Without any pushback or static. In my opinion it’s not the time or place in this thread. thank you for those who already shared, and thank you to those who will be sharing.

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I was a Controller for a division of a pretty big (for Halifax) company.  My wife and I had moved from Toronto not quite 3 years earlier.  The company took a chance on a 'Upper Canadian' who was 'not from here'.  It was a good job with a good company and I owe them a lot.  After 9/11 the company lost many contracts and I was re-organized to Corporate HQ and then out the door.  

Anyway, I was in my office finalizing the quarterly forcast for a meeting later that day when the Assistant Controller bust in and said something was going on in New York.  I could see a tear running down her face.  We (everybody) went into the board room and watched CNN.  It was a terrible day, indeed.  Needless to say the meeting was cancelled.

Many flights were diverted to Halifax.  40 planes and 8,000 passengers were welcomed with open arms and honest to goodness Nova Scotian caring.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/september-11-attacks-and-halifax-s-response-remembered-1.3223825

A truly tragic day.  Things did change a lot not only in the US, but everywhere.

What has happened in the years that followed has not been good at all.

May God bless all the fallen and all that remain who are still dealing with that loss.

 

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2 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

Changed forever? Seems like a cliche.

I think I'd reserve that one for the those who lost someone that day... and the men and women of the military.

I think it did change us, maybe not forever, but for at least 2 decades.  Consider the security, the legal changes, the responder hero responses that still occur with gusto today, the ceremonies to military, etc etc.  I’d say that morning has directly influenced where were are today as a society.

I stopped being angry about that morning a long time ago.  We’ve destroyed the people who did this.  But I still feel very saddened when I see images of that morning.  Not only did it lead to so many American deaths, it also led to 20 years of warfare.

At that time I worked in a very culturally diverse workplace.  Today I am still ashamed by my heat of the moment reaction to what I was watching as it happened.  And I’m also ashamed by the cultural changes our country underwent as a direct consequence of that morning.

I’m  not sure our country ever actually healed from that wound. 

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1 hour ago, Weave said:

I think it did change us, maybe not forever, but for at least 2 decades.  Consider the security, the legal changes, the responder hero responses that still occur with gusto today, the ceremonies to military, etc etc.  I’d say that morning has directly influenced where were are today as a society.

I stopped being angry about that morning a long time ago.  We’ve destroyed the people who did this.  But I still feel very saddened when I see images of that morning.  Not only did it lead to so many American deaths, it also led to 20 years of warfare.

At that time I worked in a very culturally diverse workplace.  Today I am still ashamed by my heat of the moment reaction to what I was watching as it happened.  And I’m also ashamed by the cultural changes our country underwent as a direct consequence of that morning.

I’m  not sure our country ever actually healed from that wound. 

Great post, Weave. And your second sentence is a 'forever change'. People used to just waltz into airports with family and friends who were flying out and stand and wave thru the window as the planes departed. Now we've got long TSA lines, pat downs, and major restrictions on what can and can't be carried onto a plane two decades later. That is never changing. I used to come to a slow roll at the gate where I work and the guard on duty would nod and wave me thru if he or she knew me. Now, even if you're friends with them, they are required to stop you and check your ID and vehicles are still stopped and pulled randomly for 'trunk checks'. I say, "you do you" for anyone who has thoughts on the subject but don't tell me that "changed forever" is a cliche. It's just a douchey thing to say to anyone else and a veiled attempt at minimizing others. @Hoss started this thread and asked people to share their experiences from that day and that's what some have done and are trying to do. This isn't a thread for being the argumentative contrarian or for political infighting. There's too much of that going on in North America right now. Peace.

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6 years before 9/11 I did my training for my job at the World Trade Center.  As part of our routine, our analysts did a morning video call from our company offices in the World Trade and on 9/11 that call was suddenly interrupted.  Our feed switched to the news and we watched the second plane slam into our offices.  My brother worked next door at the World Financial Center. He took the train each day to the stop at World Trade from his home in Jersey.  I called my sister in law to find out if she heard from my brother. She hadn’t. Then the buildings collapsed, and surrounding buildings began to burn.  Still no word from my brother.

Everyone in my office was in shock.  We all had friends and co-workers we worked closely with in WTC, one of mine was a law school classmate.  Another was the nephew of a long-time client.  My boss walked into my office to check on me because he knew my brother worked next door.  He took one look at me, picked me up out of my chair, place my suit coat on my shoulders and told me “go pick up your girls from school, go be with your family, not sure when we’ll be back at work,” and escorted me to the elevator.  It would be two weeks before I returned.  

I picked the kids up from school and brought them home.  Like everyone else we were glued to the news.  Phone communication was down throughout NYC. Still nothing about my brother.  It was a beautiful late summer day in Atlanta. To distract myself, I drove my girls to soccer practice and waited for more information.  

As the day wore on we watched the thousands of people walk across the Brooklyn bridge, we heard about the plane crashing in PA after being taken back by the passengers, and then the death toll started to mount.  Still no word from my brother or the others I knew.  We went to bed not knowing a thing really.  

The next morning news began to trickle in.  My brother was safe.  He walked across the Brooklyn bridge and straight into a bar.  He doesn’t drink, but he did that day.  He was standing outside when the Towers collapsed and was covered head to toe with soot, ash and debris.  Eventually he found his way to his sister-in-law’s house with a group of co-workers and they spent the night there.  

I took me a week to find my law school classmate.  He was fine as well.  My client’s nephew wasn’t so lucky.  He worked for Sandler O’Neal and had no chance.  He had just been married.  

I have been to the memorial once.  As I walked through the basement, all the terrible feelings from that day came back with a rush.  The tears returned and the anger.  I promised my client a rubbing for his nephew’s name on the memorial.  My anger erupted when a tourist from Brazil was using the shelf with the victim’s names as a bench. She was sitting on the nephew’s name. I had them removed. 

I’m still not sure we have learned the lessons of that day.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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You guys are giving PA way too much *****.  All he is expressing is optimism that the negative changes we all recognize don’t have to be permanent.  As (if) we heal, some of the negative may return to what we used to know as normal.

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4 hours ago, WildCard said:

I mean, how are you going to argue that the country wasn't changed forever by 9/11 lol

Something else changed this country in the last 20 years 100x more than 9/11 did. We're using it right now. And we're in the midst of a pandemic that is killing orders higher of Americans.

Life goes on. Like I said, today I'll think of those directly affected and not those whose lives were altered fundamentally by having to take their shoes off at the airport or something.

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1 hour ago, ExWNYer said:

Great post, Weave. And your second sentence is a 'forever change'. People used to just waltz into airports with family and friends who were flying out and stand and wave thru the window as the planes departed. Now we've got long TSA lines, pat downs, and major restrictions on what can and can't be carried onto a plane two decades later. That is never changing. I used to come to a slow roll at the gate where I work and the guard on duty would nod and wave me thru if he or she knew me. Now, even if you're friends with them, they are required to stop you and check your ID and vehicles are still stopped and pulled randomly for 'trunk checks'. I say, "you do you" for anyone who has thoughts on the subject but don't tell me that "changed forever" is a cliche. It's just a douchey thing to say to anyone else and a veiled attempt at minimizing others. @Hoss started this thread and asked people to share their experiences from that day and that's what some have done and are trying to do. This isn't a thread for being the argumentative contrarian or for political infighting. There's too much of that going on in North America right now. Peace.

No, it's a generic thread that asked for people's thoughts. Some don't seem to know the purpose of message boards.

Whether and how the country "changed forever" is worth discussing.

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8 minutes ago, Weave said:

You guys are giving PA way too much *****.  All he is expressing is optimism that the negative changes we all recognize don’t have to be permanent.  As (if) we heal, some of the negative may return to what we used to know as normal.

It's OK. I got the one thumbs up that really means something to me.

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2 hours ago, ExWNYer said:

Great post, Weave. And your second sentence is a 'forever change'. People used to just waltz into airports with family and friends who were flying out and stand and wave thru the window as the planes departed. Now we've got long TSA lines, pat downs, and major restrictions on what can and can't be carried onto a plane two decades later. That is never changing. I used to come to a slow roll at the gate where I work and the guard on duty would nod and wave me thru if he or she knew me. Now, even if you're friends with them, they are required to stop you and check your ID and vehicles are still stopped and pulled randomly for 'trunk checks'. I say, "you do you" for anyone who has thoughts on the subject but don't tell me that "changed forever" is a cliche. It's just a douchey thing to say to anyone else and a veiled attempt at minimizing others. @Hoss started this thread and asked people to share their experiences from that day and that's what some have done and are trying to do. This isn't a thread for being the argumentative contrarian or for political infighting. There's too much of that going on in North America right now. Peace.

Talk about minimizing. You are trying to talk about how things changed after 9/11 and the most you can come up with are some beefed up security procedures at airports? You are truly lucky, I guess. Something like 20 veterans kill themselves every day because they can't live with what happened to them in the War on Terror. They and their families are forever changed. The rest of the country just keeps rolling along, as far as I can fell.

Edited by PASabreFan
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By the way, Apple TV is showing a great film of the excellent Broadway play Come From Away.  I kindly suggest everyone watch it if they have a few hours.  I have friends who were flying home to Atlanta from a skiing trip to Italy and they were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11.  The show does a great job of illustrating their experiences as the “airplane people” on 9/11.

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2 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Then the terrorists win.

I'm reading the posts.  I remember the day of 9/11 very well as the news and events happened.  I would imagine that the day JFK was killed would have been a similar day for the nation to be in shock (but it was before my time).

I agree with you that it's important to have open discussion and debate and free speech on any subject in a democratic society but I'm not really understanding your messages so far on remembering 9/11.  Can you further explain your thoughts?

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I sort of agree with PA (gasp, I know) I was in the military when 9/11 happened. I got to experience what life and travel was like for about a year prior to that happening. Then all of a sudden I get the time of war ribbon pinned on me and sent overseas. 

It took at least 2 years before I could comfortable go to sleep at night, granted, overall now, I have pulled through significantly better than a lot of my colleagues and friends. 

That one day changed the landscape for a ton of people, sure we were a bit surged up over the incident, but after some time a lot of us felt kind of how I imagined some felt in Vietnam. After speaking to my father (20 year vet and extensively in Vietnam) he confirmed that we shared similar thoughts on the same topic of "war". 

Even with legislation due to this, the TSA, homeland security, the patriot act, etc etc... The US landscape has been altered significantly. 

I feel very badly for those affected first hand through victims or their families, that day was tragic and was a huge lapse in security, but life does go on. 

Lastly, I wasn't there and I have no clue exactly how it happened, but if I was on a plane and 4 jackasses pulled boxcutters, I would throat punch all those M *****#rs. 

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9 minutes ago, Digger said:

I'm reading the posts.  I remember the day of 9/11 very well as the news and events happened.  I would imagine that the day JFK was killed would have been a similar day for the nation to be in shock (but it was before my time).

I agree with you that it's important to have open discussion and debate and free speech on any subject in a democratic society but I'm not really understanding your messages so far on remembering 9/11.  Can you further explain your thoughts?

Psychological warfare was waged on us. Asymmetrical warfare takes a relatively small act and gets a huge bang for its buck. Terrorists need societies to cooperate. I won't mark their anniversary for them and keep the cycle going.

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24 minutes ago, Digger said:

I would imagine that the day JFK was killed would have been a similar day for the nation to be in shock

Right.  And with JFK the nation let go and moved forward after a period of mourning.  Why we're still mourning 9/11 as a nation is beyond me.  It's time to move forward.

 

7 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Psychological warfare was waged on us. Asymmetrical warfare takes a relatively small act and gets a huge bang for its buck. Terrorists need societies to cooperate. I won't mark their anniversary for them and keep the cycle going.

Also right.

Edited by Doohickie
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