September 11, 2011 – Ten Years Later
September 11, 2001
I live on the west coast and didn’t know anything was happening until I got into my car to go to work. Tom Brokaw was on the radio. I was very confused. After listening for several minutes, I still had no idea what was going on or what had happened. The first tower had already fallen, another building was looking like it was going to, and the broadcasters, including Tom, were clearly in shock and at a loss to describe what they were witnessing.
Part way through my short drive to work I called a co-worker to ask what was happening. He filled me in on the details. My reply: “Welcome to World War III.”
The remainder of my day passed somewhat surreally. I was at work, we did work some, the phones did ring, everyone was in shock. We were constantly on the internet looking for the latest news and had the radios all tuned to the same station to hear the unfolding details.
Chris was working at the University of Oregon installing a new elevator. He heard the news on the radio on his way to work. That was back when Howard Stern was still on terrestrial radio. When I asked him today what he remembered he told me “We kept working. Everyone else was crowded around TV’s, but we kept working all day.”
Later that evening Chris sat in his hotel room in Eugene and I sat in our bedroom at home in Beaverton, on the phone together, eyes glued to the television, watching replay after replay of the collision, explosion and ultimate collapse of the towers. I remember many feelings, but the overwhelming feeling was disbelief.
In the days that followed there was an unbelievable outpouring of patriotism in this country. People really banded together to show our support for each other, those who lost loved ones, our first responders and our military. It was a beautiful thing.
I do want to take a moment and remember not just those who perished in New York, but those who perished in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.
I often feel that those victims, and those aboard all the flights, get forgotten in the shadow of those lost in the towers.
American Airlines flight 11 – Tower
United Airlines flight 175 – Tower
American Airlines flight 77 – Pentagon
United Airlines flight 93 – Shanksville, Pennsylvania
More than 6000 injured
18,000 + illnesses following the dust deluge of the towers’ collapse
I think we all will agree that the hero’s of the day were our first responders, who, when everyone else was running out….ran in.
This post is dedicated to the memory of all those we lost.
It is also a public “thank you” to the incredible bravery and heroism displayed by all of our first responders, that day, and every day.
What do you remember?
Feel free to share your rememberances, where you were, or your thanks to our first responders in the comments.
Thanks for sharing, Shorey. It must have been very upsetting trying to get ahold of your clients. In 2006 I worked with a man who lived in NY at the time of the attacks. During a meeting with clients it came out that they, too, were from NY. What ensued was an incredible conversation, completely unrelated to business, about what each of them had been doing that day, the aftermath, the attempts to get home in the craze that followed, attempts to reach loved ones, the transit system overwhelmed, the communications systems overwhelmed. It was an incredible moment of sharing and … it was SO real. These people could not hide their raw emotions, even 5 years later. That was a very moving moment for me.
Thank you for this rememberance. It was a tragic day for the United States.What do I remember on that day? I was work, one of the secretary's had her radio on one of the talk radio stations. We heard the news of tower one was hit and another plane about to hit tower two. We scrambled to see what one of the addresses of our clients was. We knew it was in one of the towers. Tower One was in their address. We all tried calling the clients' telephones, home phones and cell phones to see where they were at. All communications were busy and such. All we could is wait to see if we would hear from our clients. We eventually did and it happens to be they were "running" a bit late that day and were fine. For the next month or two I was making copies of all legal documents for them so they could get their files back in order and start over. There is never enough thank you's to those people that responded. It sometimes seems like the people in the planes have been over shadowed by everything else. I couldn't imagine being in one of those planes.A lot of people will remember this day and those who are young will hopefully learn about it from family or school.