Author Topic: Remembering 9/11  (Read 903 times)

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DavidW

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Remembering 9/11
« on: September 11, 2021, 03:38:10 AM »
It has been twenty years.  Even if you're not an American you still felt impact of that day since the US fundamentally changed the way that it engaged with the world.

I remember that I was teaching as a TA in grad school all morning.  I went out and crossed the street to go to the HUB to get some lunch.  I had no idea what was going on.  In the lobby of the building were these massive monitors that stretch from floor to ceiling.  They were filled with the twin towers burning and falling. 

I didn't know what to do and like so many ended up waiting in line to give blood.  I was sent home because I ran a slight fever without knowing it.

It is weird that it has already been twenty years.

If there is anything you wanted to share, here is the space.

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 06:09:42 AM »
The father of an old high school friend was a chemist working at US Customs in one of the stubby WTC buildings. I learnt to my relief afterwards that he had a doctor's appointment in Jersey that morning. "That doctor's appointment saved my life," he jested.
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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 06:19:57 AM »
In Copenhagen, young people hired by CNN handed out short 'breaking news' leaflets on the streets about the events, when I walked back home from work. Not having heard any radio or seen any TV, I thought it was a political debate stunt, and only realized, when I got home and watched the news.

 Then I was awake, seeing the reporting a lot of the time for the next 16 hours or so, until I understood, that there probably weren't going to be any further, immediate attacks. At times, I had even wondered if there was now going to be a major, very destructive war also in Europe, partly because the people behind the attacks were still unverified.

Media coverage today here is huge, maybe even too much, compared to other disasters in the world.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 08:07:49 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2021, 06:33:42 AM »
I was hiking in the Alps and spend several days hearing only vague rumors by people who described what they had heard on the news in bad English. And there were exaggerated speculations about tens of thousands of deaths. It was shocking (one of our group had just before that hiking trip been at a conference in NYC and was quite concerned) but overall a fairly surreal situation, almost like these movies when people are marooned or on holiday on some exotic isle and meanwhile the rest of civilization is wiped out by nuclear or so. Only after two or three days we got hold of a French newspaper to fill in some details. So I never saw the iconic footage close to the event, only months later when it was covered in retrospectives.
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Offline André

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2021, 06:57:01 AM »
Our group at work was having a birthday lunch across the street from where I work. Someone got a call breaking news of the first hit. A few of us left almost immediately and settled in our offices. I put the internet on my computer to watch CNN, just in time to see the second plane hit the south tower. It was unreal…

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2021, 08:00:33 AM »
I had just started a new job, and that morning I was scheduled off of work to get a required physical. Listening to the radio on my commute to work and then to the doctor and back was a surreal experience for sure. I consider myself extremely lucky that no one I knew was directly involved.

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Offline André Le Nôtre

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2021, 11:59:27 AM »
I remember well that horrible day. I was a Ph.D. student at U.C. Davis and was teaching a lab in botany that quarter (quarters suck BTW; I am now faculty and happily on semesters!!). However, I was actually in Texas when it happened. I flew out to Austin TX to work with a colleague on 7 Sep and was set to fly back on the 12th. I arranged to have a substitute cover my lab for the time I was gone, and told my students beforehand, "Barring some major catastrophe, I'll be back next week." Needless to say, it didn't happen and I ended up renting a car and driving home from Austin, TX to Davis over the course of four days. Driving across the vast stretches of TX, NM, searching for news on the radio (with my wife at home in Davis worried sick) was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. We were set to go to Hawaii for a week that next week, but of course we canceled and went to Lake Tahoe instead--spent most of our time in our room watching news!

Now 20 years later:

1.) I am actually far more concerned about the current COVID/Climate change shitshow than I ever was about terrorist attacks.

2.) There seemed to be a great deal of unity and a feeling of patriotism and brother/sisterhood in the U.S. Now look at us!

3.) The world seemed to be on our side, and even traditional rivals Russia and China felt (or pretended to feel) some degree of sympathy. Now, not so much  after the disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, COVID, the previous presidential regime, etc, etc.

4.) The terrorists won--and I'm not talking about the ones from the Middle East. A quick search on Wells Fargo, Purdue/Sackler, Goldman Sachs, et al. will serve to illustrate this point nicely.

5.) I still loathe the Taliban and Al Qaeda; they are no more than malignant tumors on the ass of humanity. It is very concerning to think of their potential to regroup at this point. Who knows what if any solutions there are...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 12:13:10 PM by André Le Nôtre »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2021, 12:15:27 PM »
I was in my school doing some pre-term planning. On my way to meet a parent a colleague told me that a plane had flown into the WTC. I assumed that it was an accident involving a small plane. When I returned to my classroom after the meeting I switched on the TV and watched the second tower collapse live on air. Several of my colleagues ended up gathered round the TV. I recall my daughter phoning me at some point to tell me that an attack was going on.
I remember one of my colleagues suggesting that Osama bin Laden was probably behind the attacks - I was barely aware of him at the time.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 11:19:56 PM by vandermolen »
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Offline Herman

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2021, 01:39:35 PM »
I was walking down the street close to my home, when I heard a guy excitedly telling his mom (in front of the bakery) that something looked "just like a movie."

My fourth novel was out that week, a review in the major newspaper was slated for that Friday, and by the time it was Wednesday everybody was saying no one was ever going to read a book anymore, people were going to watch CNN. Nobody was going to order 'French fries' either, for that matter. It was 'Freedom fries' henceforth.

Some people suggested the best response would have been to act as if nothing had happened? Not starting a retaliatory war of two?

Lots of people are saying there was so much unity after 9/11. I have to disagree. If there was this lasted only a couple of weeks. Soon the tremendous discord we are living in now set in. I remember the other music group where a very radical jingoistic woman kept talking about 'America's warriors' in 'the surge' in Iraq, and getting very angry if someone even came close to suggesting Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and that it was all senseless killing. So that's twenty years of us v them.

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2021, 02:06:22 PM »
acting as if nothing had happened was not really an option.  I wasn't crazy about the deployment to Afghanistan, but I saw the sense in it. (No, that is not an endorsement of the forever war.)
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Offline krummholz

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2021, 04:22:06 PM »
I heard about it from my parents and turned on the TV to see the moment when the second plane hit. Then I had to drive to work. This was in Detroit and the chance that terrorist attacks might occur in other large cities was not lost on anyone. I also remember discussing the attacks and speculating on the identities of the attackers with colleagues and grad students in the department, several of whom were immigrants and green card holders from Middle Eastern countries (metro Detroit has the largest concentration of Arab-Americans anywhere in the country). By then it was widely believed that Al Qaeda was responsible, and as any decent human being would guess, these folks were as outraged by these crimes as anyone born in this country. It is very sad how much anti-Muslim sentiment was kindled (or brought to the surface) that day, and the degree to which much of the US has sunk into nativism and jingoism in the two decades since.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2021, 04:38:27 PM »
I was in 6th degree of High School when I found out that sinister event. It was on the Computation assignment. I couldn't believe that moment. At my age, I seriously thought about the real intentions of this tragic moment in the history of humanity.
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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2021, 06:44:57 PM »
When they show footage of the day for the 20th anniversary coverage do they include the jumpers?

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2021, 07:30:56 PM »
I was sitting in homeroom in high school when it came on the TV and CNN was on the screen. Absolutely horrifying. To be honest, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. It was almost like someone came into your house and killed your family right in front of your eyes. I’m sorry if this is a poor analogy, but it did feel like every American lost a piece of themselves on this day.
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Offline Herman

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2021, 11:48:46 PM »
When they show footage of the day for the 20th anniversary coverage do they include the jumpers?

Some do, unfortunately. Or the full-on picture of the dead FD chaplain.

Offline Irons

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2021, 11:51:38 PM »
I was in a Brighton record shop which I frequented at the time. The lady serving said there had been a terrible accident in New York. That there was a second one I found very confusing. 11th September is my daughter's wedding anniversary and the two events are strangely intertwined for our family. 
I also know where I was and how I felt at when learning of - the assassination of JFK and the deaths of Elvis Presley and Bobby Moore.
 
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 11:53:48 PM by Irons »
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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2021, 12:03:00 AM »
Some do, unfortunately.

I'm in two minds about it. On the on hand it is disturbing and certainly so for friends or family.

On the other hand I've noticed a lot of reporting on 9/11 over the last two decades that makes it seem as though it was a tragedy for architecture, and I think carefully airbrushing any images of any people leads to that. It was also historically the way the country and the world experienced the horror of that day, and if a younger generation want to know how that day was experienced then that is a part of it. Though, again, I'm in two minds about it.

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2021, 01:12:09 AM »
I was in a train going to my sister's place with her when she got a call from her friend telling to open the TV. We arrived to my sister's place and opened the TV. If I remember correctly, at this point the first tower had collapsed.

It was SHOCKING! I had experienced nothing like that in my life. It was like watching a catastrophe movie, but it happened in real life!! My simple mind couldn't process how the mighty US was attacked that way. If the US can be attacked this way then any place can be attacked! My sense of security and harmony in this World has shattered. It changed me as a person. My best friend was much calmer saying to me: "Shit happens in the World, no need to get depressed over it." Maybe I was much more naive at that time.

A little later Spielberg's A.I. arrived to the theatres and it was much needed medicine for my dark mind. That was important therapy for me, but 9/11 changed me. I became a cynic. I became aware of how complex the World is and how little I know and understand about it. I became aware of that all kinds of things matter: 3000 Americans died because some people in the Middle East really hate western values. Hate is not just a feeling inside someones head. It kills people.
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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2021, 01:52:06 AM »
I was driving to work in Ithaca, NY, and the local NPR station was on the radio. The morning show host was watching television and narrating what he saw. When I got to work the chief of the machine shop had the news station playing on the radio and we all stood in the hallway listening throughout the morning. The machinist immediately gave the explanation for the collapse of the buildings - steel loses its strength when it gets hot. The intense fires weakened the steel structure. I never saw live TV coverage of the event.

What impressed me is how much easier it is to destroy than it is to build. The 19 high jackers had no weapons of their own. They took advantage of the fact that any passengers could open the door to the flight deck of a passenger jet to use our own technology as a weapon. It is also apparent that great damage was done to the United States, but we mostly did it ourselves. I have read that bin Laden thought that the attacks would result in a revolt against the government's involvement in the Middle East and a withdrawal of U.S. forces. Instead it triggered a huge escalation, leaving bin Laden hiding in some hole in Tora Bora, wherever that is. But the culture of fear and militarism that it unleashed in the U.S. has been hugely damaging.




Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Remembering 9/11
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2021, 02:13:44 AM »
I was driving to work in Ithaca, NY, and the local NPR station was on the radio. The morning show host was watching television and narrating what he saw. When I got to work the chief of the machine shop had the news station playing on the radio and we all stood in the hallway listening throughout the morning. The machinist immediately gave the explanation for the collapse of the buildings - steel loses its strength when it gets hot. The intense fires weakened the steel structure. I never saw live TV coverage of the event.

What impressed me is how much easier it is to destroy than it is to build. The 19 high jackers had no weapons of their own. They took advantage of the fact that any passengers could open the door to the flight deck of a passenger jet to use our own technology as a weapon. It is also apparent that great damage was done to the United States, but we mostly did it ourselves. I have read that bin Laden thought that the attacks would result in a revolt against the government's involvement in the Middle East and a withdrawal of U.S. forces. Instead it triggered a huge escalation, leaving bin Laden hiding in some hole in Tora Bora, wherever that is. But the culture of fear and militarism that it unleashed in the U.S. has been hugely damaging.

Something about the initial fireballs and shock being channeled down the elevator shafts and into the basements as well, I believe.