Remember 9/11/01


10-Year Member
Jul 9, 2006
I thought maybe we could take a minute today to remember -
Where were you when you heard? How has it impacted your life? Especially from the "kids" out there who were only in middle school - what are your thoughts?

I remember the sky being blue. It was a deep blue sky from horizon to horizon all day, calm and warm. I noticed it when I went to work at 7:30 that morning and it was the first thing I thought of when a coworker tapped me on the shoulder and told me to check CNN on the internet - a plane crashed into the WTC. I live 2-1/2 hrs from the city and here on the Eastern seaboard such a blue sky is rare. It also meant to me that this plane crash was no accident. It was deliberate.
So it began, a day of fear, tears, sadness. Shortly after, came the resolve, determination, will, those incredible stories of people helping people, people giving freely of themselves selflessly. Out of the darkness, light does come.
Say a prayer today for all of those who lost their lives in NYC, PA and DC, and for their families.
Wow. The whole day has been "tucked away" and kind of forgotten. I was at work and we must have found out just as it happened because when I started watching TV with the 30 or so other office employees, as a pilot myself, all I could think of was how stupid would a pilot have to be to run into a skyscraper. Oblivious to the conversations around me that it was intentional, even when the second plane hit, I was still questioning the intelligence of the pilots. The gut-wrenching realization that it was intentional and the question of "who done it" was soon replaced with questions about where my son was and had I talked to him. His squadron was stationed at Oceana, about 10 miles from my office, and they were home at the time. I told everyone that I was sure he was so junior they would probably make him the duty officer or box lunch officer or some similiar trivial duty. After a couple of hours and a dozen or so "have you called yet"s, "no, I'm sure he's busy", I finally called his cell phone. No answer. Dial tone indicated phone was turned on. A couple more hours of "no, he's too busy to answer the cell phone" and everyone in the office except old slow to realize reality me was in a total panic and trying to hide it from me. My kids had grown up with everyone in the office and they knew each other well. I guess it was after lunch when I started getting POed that he hadn't called and realized that it wasn't like him and slowly came to the conclusion that he was flying. Now, I am totally out of it. Mid afternoon the call comes: "Holy **** (4 syllables and 10 seconds), you won't believe what I have been doing". Me, "What". Him. "Can't tell you, I've got to go debrief". Well, bottom line, that morning he was getting ready to launch on a training flight when the call came. Most of the senior officers in the squadron were at a conference and the inmates were guarding the prison. While he briefed with NORAD, his plane was loaded with ordnance, and after a Mach 1.5 1000' flight up the Chesapeake Bay to avoid breaking every window in eastern VA, he was overhead the Pentagon only a few minutes too late. I often wondered what life for a 24 year old would have been like had he been on time. He spent the rest of the day "persuading" airliners to return to Europe. I keep telling you SA parents that your perspective on history will change once they graduate. Anyway, most of 9/11/01, I spent in complete denial.
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I was sitting alone in a conference room in Miami doing some quiet work on my laptop. I called a co-worker to discuss a project, and after about five minutes he casually mentions, "Have you heard what happened in New York?"

"No. What?"

"Two planes hit the World Trade Center."



My life hasn't been the same since. A few minutes later the then-wife called me and added that the Pentagon had been hit.

I am fortunate that the closest I came to knowing anyone directly involved was "only" my old XO, who was murdered in the Pentagon that day.

His guestbook is here:

My entry is pending review.

RIP XO, and so many others. :frown:
I was in the surgical suite at the veterinary hospital where I work when the first reports began coming in over the radio. We finished the surgery we were performing, and ran to our breakroom to turn on the television. When it became apparent that it was not an accident my next thought was for my brother who was an investment banker in a building directly across the street from the World Trade Center. His office windows faced the buildings. My family tried to get ahold of him, but were unable to get him on the phone throughout the day. We are in Atlanta, and my mother was panicked not knowing anything. Most of our appointments at the hopsital cancelled that day, but with hospitalized animals to care for we had to stay, and just remained glued to the television whenever we could. It was late that afternoon when we finally heard from my brother. It turned out that he had been delayed one day returning from a business trip to Europe, and was on an airplane from London that morning that was turned around (maybe by your son USNA69). If he had been at work he would most likely have been at his desk, and who knows? He lost many friends that day. I can bring the feelings up so easily that it is still frightnening, but I think overall the affect on my life has been to make me a better person. I try to appreciate everything on a daily basis, having seen how it can change in an instant. I know it strengthened my older son's resolve to attend USMA, and is part of the reason his brother is currently applying.
Being on the west coast, I was still at home making school lunches for my two boys when my Mom called. She told me to turn the TV on because we were being attacked and the World Trade Center had been hit by planes. Right after I turned on the TV the first tower collapsed. I couldn't believe it. I had visited the WTC several years before and been up to the observation deck, it seemed impossible they could collapse. All I could think of watching it on TV was the thousands of people that are in that building every day. I was praying for them to get out safely. I thought about keeping my boys home from school, but then decided it would be better for them to have the distraction of school instead of watching the coverage all day. I went to work but did not get much done that day. My co-workers and I spent most of the time listening to radio coverage since we did not have a TV.

My Mom and my boys had just been in NYC in July 2001. My oldest son had taken a picture of Manhattan from the ferry going out to the Statue of Liberty and you can see the twin towers in the picture. It is eerie looking at it now knowing that about 8 weeks later they would be gone.

We have a family friend that lives in Queens and worked near the WTC. Every morning around 9:00 he would walk over to the towers and pick up a coffee. On this day he was late leaving home and was still on his way to work when the towers were hit.

Before 9/11 my son already knew he wanted to be an Army officer. What happened that day just strengthened his resolve to be the best officer he could be.

In early August 2001, my brother and I took my two youngest girls who were 11 and 12 (12 yr old is a candidate now) and his 12 yr old son (soon to be a Marine) to the Statue of Liberty. What a day that was - and as we stood at the base of the Statue taking pictures we positioned the kids to have the WTC behind them. As we did that many other tourists posed for pictures with the WTC in the background as well. I really don't know why we did that but we have a wonderful picture of the girls posing with the WTC in the background they will always treasure.
I was watching the news, just before school. I was just getting up to leave when ABC switched to the WTC footage. The second plane hit about two minutes later. My first thought was "what is wrong with these pilots and traffic controlers?" Then, the reporter said that it had to be terrorism. I realized that I was going to be late and left. My middle school tried to act normally and only made one announcement. (An idiotic way to handle the situation, but that was the way the school was.) It was a sad, scared and confused day, full of rumors.

I didn't really think "I'm going to join the military" then, but it definitely caused a shift toward the military in my mind. September 11th was a significant factor in my attending USAFA.
WAmom, how bout that? My family had just been in NYC about that same time; I believe early July 2001. We went to Yankee Stadium as well as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Somewhere, there is a picture of my brother, my dad, and I on the ferry coming back with the trade towers in the background.

The towers were hit at about 7:45 I believe Central Time so before I got to school. I was in 7th grade. Somehow a rumor got started which turned out to be partially true, but our teachers would not tell us anything until about 5th period (about 11:30 or so) to confirm or deny the rumors. All of our after-school activities were cancelled so pretty much my whole family (except two sisters in college) sat at home and watched the TV. I've been glued to Fox News Channel ever since.

September 11th has a lot to do with my desire to attend West Point. Originally, I wanted to be an Army Ranger after 9/11 happened, but I have transformed more into the Officer desire now.
only being in 7th grade at the time, it took a while to understand how big a deal this was. we were on a field trip to a museum near the Capital building in Austin, TX so the teachers got us out fast. They didnt tell us what happened, but as the day went on we all sort of found out. All i really remember from that day is everyone being mad that we had to leave early from the field trip, and that our first football game was cancelled. After a while it started to sink in. I remember later my dad was telling us that he talked with one of his friends from college who was a NY Firefighter. his story really put it into perspective. he said that there were 100 people he knew of/had a casual relationship with that had died, 12 of which were good friends. really shows you the sacrifice that was made.
I was in 7th grade as well, i used to attend a JHS on rockaway blvd in queens new york so i had a clear view of the smoking building. quite eerie.