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Remembering 9/11

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Visited 9/11 memorial this summer and it was such a moving experience. One of my college classmates posts this personal account every year, he was in one of the towers :

 

I still remember the glorious morning it was
I still remember seeing all the paper flying out of the first tower, wondering if it was confetti for some early morning parade
I still remember the evacuation message with a "this is not a drill"
I still remember Avel running around the office like a madman asking all of us to leave
I still remember walking down the stairs with thousands of others, unsure but calm
I still remember feeling the whole tower shake when the 2nd plane hit
I still remember the calm turning into utter panic and everyone starting to run down the stairs
I still remember the NYPD cop turning us back into the tower as we tried to exit because of all the falling debris
I still remember running by a man lying on the road with the side of his head bleeding
I still remember standing on Broadway with thousands of others looking up at the towers, wondering what was going on
I still remember the crowd panicking as someone screamed "there is another plane coming"
I still remember walking to the 34th street ferry station
I still remember seeing a girl, lanky, blonde, sitting in the middle of a deserted street, crying
I still remember Laura running out from her apartment to hug me and telling me that no one had heard from Jayesh
I still remember hugging Divya, trying to calm my hysterical mom 10000mi away
I still remember standing in my balcony, smoking a cigarette
I still remember celebrating Nikita's birthday in the courtyard, while everyone hoped that her dad Jayesh would just walk in
I still remember going for Jayesh's funeral, twice.. and then backing out from going to the 3rd and 4th
I still remember Jayesh's mom falling down crying hysterically during the funeral
I kinda remember being completely numb the next few weeks, everyone at work leaving me alone for some reason
I still remember being picked, for the first time, for Sun's club in Hawaii, but refusing to go
I will never forget. Terrorism will backfire on the terrorists, it will bring the world even closer together.
I post this every year and I cry... I will never forget

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911memorial.jpg

My least favorite part about being a teacher has been working on this day every year. Students are indifferent about the events that occurred on 9/11 because they either weren't alive or they weren't old enough to remember just how horrifying the whole experience was. Though, I suppose, that's how my generation views Pearl Harbor. Still, for me this day was earnestly the day I learned what it meant to be an American.

I remember in 4th grade there was an announcement that students were excused to leave if their parents checked them out and that 5th grade classrooms should turn on the news and talk with their students about what was happening; I suppose they determined it was too heavy for the other grades to comprehend. When I was called to the office I ran into my lifelong enemy (man did I hate this kid) who came up to me concerned. That scared me seeing him approach me with a sad look on his face, I knew it had to be serious. When I got in the car my mom could tell I was scared and reassured me they wouldn't attack a smaller town like ours but that we should head home anyways just to be safe. By the time we got home the second plane had just hit and the news was commenting on it live. People were jumping out of the building instead of staying in that hellish situation.

What I really remember was how our country responded. Streets without an American flag in sight were littered with them. Parties weren't pointing fingers and using talking points but instead uniting to recover, defend, and prepare for whatever came next. Did they succeed in making us scared? You bet. However I agree with Shwarzkopf when he said, "true courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that's what courage is." This is what encourage one of my older brothers (both 9 years older than myself) to become a first responder and the other to join the United States Navy.

Thoughts to their families and all those that have been affected  by this tragedy. Never forget and let the past generations know what was reaffirmed on that day; America is stronger than our bickering and any foreign entity that wishes to do us harm. Knock us down and we'll only become more united and stronger for it. God bless America and all of you wonderful people I get to share some football talk with.

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I was in my office. We all followed online. At lunch, one of my younger employees bought small American flags and gave to all employees. Sad to think Flag triggers some today. THAT day it made us all feel somehow connected. Prayers for all families and first responders. God Bless.......

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On a construction project in Columbus GA when someone stuck their head in my office and said a plane had hit the WTC. Was thinking accident. We had another big project on Fort Benning and got a call from the military giving us 30 minutes to shut that project down and clear the Base. Realized the gravity of the situation then and found a television tuned in to CNN. The rest of that day seemed like a daze. 

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I was in my barracks room in Okinawa sleeping (14 hours ahead).  We were awoken by the duty NCO and told to get our cammies on and war gear ready.  I thought how strange, especially when there was a typhoon coming ashore.  We watched the tv in the lounge as a group.  We saw the second plane hit and knew this was no accident.  The next few days were a blur.  I don't  think any of us slept much after that.  The bases went into threat condition delta.  Pretty soon I knew that we'd be in combat somewhere. 

 

Edited by marine4au
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I was on my way to Pittsburgh for a meeting and when we landed I saw the people in the terminal with their jaws literally wide open. I had to ask what was going on and one guy said an aircraft taking off from LGA hit one of the towers. That did not seem even feasible and then the other one hit.  I was trying to wrap my head around what I just saw and it took a while.

My oldest son lived in Seattle at the time and a I called him and told him not to go down town Seattle and told him why.  A shocking day to be sure.  The fact that ATC shut down air travel that quick was amazing and saved lives.

After we started to fly again I would put an American flag in the flight deck side window as we taxied in to our European destination to show solidarity. I miss that type of unity we had during those days and sad at the same time that a terrorist ack was what caused us to come together.

#neverforget.

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I have vivid memories.

I had joined the local volunteer fire department in March of 2001, mainly to have something to do in the tiny college town I was living in - a dry town where the evening entertainment options were to do bible study, go to the waffle house, or wander the Walmart. Even though I joined as a passing lark, I quickly found that I loved it. The camaraderie. The effort. The ability to help people. By the end of that Spring semester, I was hooked, and by the end of the Summer semester I had decided to withdraw from college for a year to go to EMT school and go to work full time as a firefighter.

I had been a firefighter about 6 months, total, when I was detailed to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Monroe, GA to go to a First Responder training. Monday, the first day of class, was uneventful.

The second day of training...Tuesday, September 11, 2001...was not. I will never forget all of our emergency pagers going off at once, and someone pulling out their statewide EMA pager that could do text dispatch, standing up in horror, and saying "holy ####...America is under attack."

The GPSTC went into lockdown almost immediately. The classes were adjourned and everyone congregated in the main building, where we gathered around the central TVs. Firefighters, police officers, EMS, military details, GA state patrol...we all stood shoulder to shoulder and watched in horror as the first tower went down. We knew what was coming after that. I will never ever forget the abject silence as we stood, everyone in fervent prayer, hoping that that second tower would stay up long enough for everyone to get out, knowing that our brothers and sisters were in there. We all knew that our job was dangerous by nature, but we trained to be safe. This, though...this was something else.

I will never ever forget, either, how quiet it was when the second tower went, except for one person who whispered "There goes the other one." It was shockingly loud in the quiet. Somehow, it was more terrible than shouts or screams. The nation was stunned...we, though, just looked around at each other knowing that there but for the grace of God....

And then we went back to class. Because we knew that we would be needed. Because that's what you did.

That afternoon, after we were dismissed for the day, I went back to my hotel room. I just stood in front of the television, watching, processing. That day, and the rest of the week. I remember the singing of God Bless America. I remember the speeches.

I remember, most, though, when they announced how many firefighters were unaccounted for. Three hundred and forty three of our brothers. The moment when I heard that was - as far as I can remember - the first time that I truly cried as an adult. I dropped to my knees, stunned, and the tears started pouring down my face. I know I am not the only one.

I knew none of the police or port authority officers. I knew none of the flight attendants, nor the victims, although I know people who did. I didn't personally know any of the firefighters, either. But I KNEW them, and WAS them. From that moment forward until the time I left the fire service, whenever I worked I carried with me in my pocket or my wallet a small metal tag engraved with "343".

I think that every person in public safety that was in the profession around that time has a strange, small bit of survivors guilt from 9/11. Some people in the field left shortly after because of it, only to be replaced by others who joined in order to honor the heroism shown. I know that every one I ever talked to never forget that day, and every year around this date, as time moves on and memories start to fade into grey, we stop for a moment and say a quick thank you, salute the fallen, take a deep breath, and keep on.

Edited by Auctoritas

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On 9/11/2019 at 7:00 AM, Zeek said:

911memorial.jpg

My least favorite part about being a teacher has been working on this day every year. Students are indifferent about the events that occurred on 9/11 because they either weren't alive or they weren't old enough to remember just how horrifying the whole experience was. Though, I suppose, that's how my generation views Pearl Harbor. Still, for me this day was earnestly the day I learned what it meant to be an American.

I remember in 4th grade there was an announcement that students were excused to leave if their parents checked them out and that 5th grade classrooms should turn on the news and talk with their students about what was happening; I suppose they determined it was too heavy for the other grades to comprehend. When I was called to the office I ran into my lifelong enemy (man did I hate this kid) who came up to me concerned. That scared me seeing him approach me with a sad look on his face, I knew it had to be serious. When I got in the car my mom could tell I was scared and reassured me they wouldn't attack a smaller town like ours but that we should head home anyways just to be safe. By the time we got home the second plane had just hit and the news was commenting on it live. People were jumping out of the building instead of staying in that hellish situation.

What I really remember was how our country responded. Streets without an American flag in sight were littered with them. Parties weren't pointing fingers and using talking points but instead uniting to recover, defend, and prepare for whatever came next. Did they succeed in making us scared? You bet. However I agree with Shwarzkopf when he said, "true courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that's what courage is." This is what encourage one of my older brothers (both 9 years older than myself) to become a first responder and the other to join the United States Navy.

Thoughts to their families and all those that have been affected  by this tragedy. Never forget and let the past generations know what was reaffirmed on that day; America is stronger than our bickering and any foreign entity that wishes to do us harm. Knock us down and we'll only become more united and stronger for it. God bless America and all of you wonderful people I get to share some football talk with.

Beautiful, Zeek! You're so right...most of this gen doesn't remember... but something I did yesterday and pledge to forever do as long as I'm in the classroomwas have our Grandparents' Day celebration ON September 11. Before they arrived and after they left, I sent my 2nd graders out in teams with clipboards, surveys, and iPads for recording the remembrances of volunteer teachers and staff. They turned out phenomenally! Posted their vids to their digital platforms. We picnicked, had a humorous retro quiz, and Q&A'd with our 21 guests, many questions centering around their grands' memories. Sort of a rainbow on a difficult topic as we shared the goal for light to always overcome darkness and for each to be ready to make good out of bad. I've decided that it may be THE day even now well always remember...

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I had a roommate that was a prankster. I was in the shower about to go to class. Thought he was messing with me. Was walking out the door right as the second plane hit, just sat down and went **** me.

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