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  1. #126
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    2 hours to Whiteface
    I was prepping for a labor negotiation in a hotel in Watertown, New York. One of my committee members arrived and told me about the first plane hitting one of the towers. I assumed it was a small single engine plane and went on with my prep. A short while later others arrived telling of the second plane hitting the other tower. We watched the TV in a hotel bar in disbelief as the towers went down.

    The management attorney across the table from me that day had an office in WTC. Members of his firm died in the attack. Half of my negotiating team of Nurses had family working or based at nearby Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division. The base went on lock down.

    The 20 of us in the room decided to carry on with our work. We negotiated until 2:00 AM on September 12th. I still remember the faces of those I spent the day with.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app

  2. #127
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Was at a client, a 1960's era factory, copper wire phone and AM radio were about the only communications to the place, cell phones were usually well beyond spotty. Sometime after the first plane hit, the fact that a plane hit one of the towers spread through the office. as most did, it was believed to be a small Cessna. the general thought was no big deal, very strange, but the towers are solid. It occurred to me that my pregnant wife was at a conference at the marriott. The WTC marriott was one my company usually used a lot. At that point the land lines were all f'ed, I could not get a call through. Tried on the cell phone, and nothing. We shortly heard of the second plane, and clearly things were amiss. Landline and cells were garbage. There were no tv's, only the am radio in someones office to inform us. I kept trying to call my wife, and somewhere around 11am, a cell call somehow went through, she was at the midtown marriott; so safe, and was planning to walk home over the Brooklyn bridge. At that point all the roads were shut down, the only traffic into the city was to be relief/support personnel, I knew i could not get anywhere near the city limit. Helplessness sucks. Somewhere over the bridge span, a random escapee befriended her, took her to her apartment in brooklyn, fed her and kept her safe till they could get her to an eastbound train. A random act of kindness, which seemed to be everywhere in the aftermath, but still chokes me up to this day.. Not as harrowing or consequential as many peoples experiences by any means... Somewhere around 1 or 2 pm, I remember walking outside the office, and realizing what an utterly magnificent bluebird day it was. The lack of plane sounds was immense, as was the profound juxtaposition of the days grandeur, versus the catastrophe that was unfolding 20 miles away.

  3. #128
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Impossible to knowl--I use an iPhone
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post

    I went to work three days afterward in midtown Manhattan. Two things again I'll never forget. The zombie like expressions on New Yorker's faces everywhere on the street trying to get on with things, and, the smell. It was awful, that smell.
    Yeah, the smell--living just above Canal Street we had that for quite awhile--I feel like it was December when it went away. I think it had soaked into the wood around our door and the stairs in our walk-up. It was the smell of metal and electrical work burning (remember, the fire wasn't put out for months, just smoldered beneath the 'pile.'

    In fact, I remember on Wednesday walking out the door to go to work at about 7:30 (I was teaching back then and the school was the only one that stayed open--which was an incredibly smart decision, as it kept the kids from watching the replays on TV all day) and smelling the burning in the hall which made me think something new had happened--I went back in and turned on NY1 just to make sure.

    On the day itself I was teaching first period when the phone on my desk wouldn't stop ringing just before nine. I tried to ignore it, but after five calls in about 90 seconds I picked it up and found out. The father of one of my students in that class (my homeroom class) worked on the 50th floor of building 2 (I will always remember the look of relief and joy on his face when we told him that his father had called the school and was safe--he had ignored the public address calls in the building to stay there and left, thank god). They heard my conversation, so until about 1 PM that day the kids in my class were almost the only ones in the school who (kind of) knew what had happened (the administration decided not to make an announcement at first, but of course news began filtering in--keep in mind the internet wasn't what it is now and most kids didn't have access for much of the day).

    It was pretty hard to teach the rest of the day. I remember racing to the faculty room after my next class and another teacher was crying and telling me the first tower had collapsed (BTW, I pictured it falling over, not coming straight down, and I remember thinking it was going to be really strange to only have one of the towers standing). At the bodega around the corner a crowd was gathered around a small, black and white TV, and looking downtown the only thing I could compare it to was a volcanic eruption. It looked like some volcano downtown had just released an ash cloud.

    Mostly, when I got home, I remember the quiet. They banned vehicles below 14th Street (at first, moved it down to Houston later), so for several weeks our neighborhood lacked nearly all vehicle noise. When I would go to the train in the morning I could hear the clicking sound coming from the traffic light box and birds chirping that I had never been aware of--for weeks the lights kept changing even though there wasn't a single vehicle on the road.

    Was glued to the TV every moment I wasn't at work or sleeping (which I barely did). Sirens would shock me awake and I'd instantly think another attack had occurred. Late on Thursday night I told my wife that it was insane to keep watching the footage (probably watched the collapse, literally, over 100 times in those two days) so we watched the Simpsons (VCR tape, of course).

    One other memory--days later being at the Columbus Circle subway stop in a huge line to get down to the A/C platform (the trains were all fucked up so people were taking random routes to get near places) and it was just quiet, which that place never is at rush hour. Anyone talking was almost murmuring as if they didn't want to disturb others, which isn't something you get a lot of in NYC. It was kind of like being at funeral, which I guess in a way we all were right then.

    Oh, and the faces...different places downtown plastered with hundreds of sheets of paper with people's faces and descriptions--those who were missing, presumably killed in the towers. Their families put up these sheets in different places hoping someone would know where the people were--very, very few ended up finding the people they were looking for.

    That day had a pretty massive effect on me (still does, I guess). Took me years to come to terms with it.

  4. #129
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Big in Japan
    Yeah, those places with homemade flyers of the missing plastered on walls and fences. "Have you seen.........".

    So sad.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  5. #130
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    My wife and I were in Maine starting our honeymoon. We stayed in a motel in Portland before our backpacking trip into Baxter State Park. I turned on the tv for some reason and saw the aftermath of the first plane hitting. The newscaster was silent which struck me as odd. We stayed glued to the motel tv until the 2nd building came down.

    I called my mom knowing that my dad was going to be working in manhattan near the financial district that day. He didn't end up going in.

    Then I called my brother who lived in manhattan. Took 2 hours to get through to him as cell phones were not letting calls go through. I cried when I heard his voice. We drove around maine with no direction, just sort of lost in a fog of wtf hearing about the PA flight and the pentagon.

    It felt surreal to be where we were. On one hand happy to be together but wondering what kind of world our future would bring. We didn't understand what was happening. I remember thinking that we had what we needed to be away for months if needed. We decided to continue with our trip. Our family was ok, what else could we do?

    As beautiful a trip as it was, when we came out of the woods we couldn't wait to get home and be near our families. On the drive back people were waving flags on the side of the road, flags were hanging from bridges everywhere.

    Found out that the crew that hijacked the boston flight stayed in the hotel across the street from us on the same night. We were packing a backpack and beginning a new life together. Those 5 were planning the murder of thousands. I wonder what it would have been like to run into them. Would I notice something about them that was off?

    The town that I live in in NY is full of NYPD and NYFD. Whole sections of my town are just cops and firemen from the city. It was overwhelming to keep hearing about the dead that I knew. I also heard many stories about "I was almost in the building".

    If those planes hit an hour or two later the death toll would have been 10 times or more higher than what it was.

  6. #131
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Southeast New York
    ^^Or if they had hit the next day how much higher the toll would have been, It was the first day of school so lots of people take their kids in or wait with them for the bus. The next day there would have 20k more people in the buildings at that time. As I drove over the Bear Mt Bridge and Pkwy yesterday and realized again that one of the planes flew underneath it and ran down the Hudson Canyon right past Indian Point I couldn't help but think what could have been if it made a sharp left and took out the nuke plant that I was looking at that the plane was 1/4 mile from at 300mph. I live 18 miles downwind from that plant

    We were getting our girls ready for their first day of preschool so I was home from work and had the tv on with the morning news. Within a minute of the first tower being hit everything went to live coverage and we were obviously bothered by the senseless loss of life from what we assumed was such a careless move of some dumbf*ck pilot flying into the tower. A few minutes later when I heard 'what's that? Another plane...' immediately my brain went to terrorist attack as the cameras focused on the plane flying into the second tower. I looked out the window because the guy across the street worked on something like the 90th floor and sure enough his car wasn't in the driveway so we knew he had gone to work that day. Turns out he left late and was on his way into the building as the plane hit so he turned around and left. He was different after that... and let his diabetes consume him to the point that it killed him. We knew a few people that didn't come home that day and a few more that aren't with us anymore due to 'complications' from things they were exposed to during the aftermath.

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