Friday, September 11, 2009

The Day.

I'm struck by how sharply I still remember what happened eight years ago today. Over on the Gaijin Forum a couple of years back, I asked the question, "Where were you and what were you doing when you heard the news?" This is what I wrote then, and I invite you to share the moment that you first realized what was happening:

I was at the studio when Karl called me from home, and said that I'd better turn on the TV or get to the computer.

"An airliner hit the World Trade Center," he said. "While I was watching CNN, another one hit the other tower."

"Another one? Another airliner?" I had already opened up my homepage, the USAToday website. There was a grainy photo of the smoldering towers. "Holy shit."

"Yeah, this wasn't an accident," Karl said.

I got off the phone with him, and called out to Brian as I walked into the breakroom. As I was looking around for the remote, he walked in.

"A what hit the what?" I turned on the TV, and we sat in stunned silence. We watched as the footage of the second plane hitting was run and rerun. We watched the towers both come down. There was disbelief as they reported that the Pentagon had been hit, and then the crash in Pennsylvania. For some reason, I had trouble sitting still, and kept getting up to go to the rest room, to wash my hands, to go outside, to do anything but sit there and feel completely unable to Do Something. We all tried, with some success, to at least call and e-mail friends and colleagues in New York, to make sure they were okay.

For the rest of the day, as we all showed up at the studio, we wondered: Are they going to hit us next?

So, where were you?


internetjoe said...

At the end of the day We traveled to the west side docks. People were streaming in from allover the city. The city provided boats across the hudson and we ended up in my old home town Hoboken.

As no one knew the type of explosion a hazmat team greeted us outside the terminal - We were to be hosed down before we could leave the area. i was given a county sanctioned plastic bag to put my laptop into, and put that back in the bag. Guys in suits then sprayed us with what i hope was water until we were soaked through, then i had to find my way home.

kdTHOMPSON said...

When I first heard the news about what had happened in NYC. We heard well over 2 hours after it had happened, and I remember I was actually in my sophomore year high school art class. At the time, it was something like an outer body experience. Even after hearing about it, we didn't know really what had happened. In high school you don't exactly have lots of access to TV or news. You just have the intercom and that's it. So you rely on hear say. I think that's affected my view of the whole thing really. It hasn't been until the past couple years that I've really had any sort of grasp or true understanding of what happened.

I didn't even know how quite to understand what had happened at the time and most of the day we lived in a vaccume. At the time, I remember I just wanted my mom to pick me up early from school but that was a no go.

For most of the kids in my high school, unless they had family involved. It was another day where things happened.

Now, I realize it was a terrifying even that has not only changed the view of the country but has made us more aware of the bubble the US has lived in for years.

Afua Richardson said...

I was scrambling for my shoes. and i could only find one of each. I was suppose to take the train down to the world trade then stroll over to the ferry to get my civilian ID from governor's island. I kept losing things. i thought - I'm surely gonna lose this job. Something better happen -- i swear. i need this stupid job. When i called my roomate and asked if he knew where my keys were he said i'd better not leave the house. I turned on the TV - then went to my roof. In time to see them fall. i laughed and cried going thru reaction formation.I laughed and said so THIS is what happens? coughing. tearing. angry. wondering how a air traffic controler could bypass this. wondering how a plane was allowed to hit the pentagon. when nothing but planes from andrews are allowed in DC air space.

I was supposed to be there. My dad was there. he told me the Air force was told to stand down. When he asked questions he was suddenly stripped of clearance when he asked questions. I'd rather he ask questions than not be here today. I'd rather not have found that other shoe. Can you imagine? a closet with 7 single unwed shoes?