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  #61  
Old 10.09.2011, 16:47
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was working in Canary Wharf, London. My desk buddy was chatting on msn messenger to her good friend who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC. Suddenly their conversation stopped. Half an hour later we found out why. Sadly he perished.
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Old 10.09.2011, 17:27
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was working at a wedding gift company in Wandsworth Old Town when one of the girls from the estate agents next door nipped into our office to say that there had been an accident; a plane had flown into one of the twin towers. One of the guys in the office picked something up about a possible terrorist attack so myself and a couple of colleagues walked up to the little local grocery shop that had a TV to see if there was any more news.

We had just arrived when the second plane hit the other tower and we stood, transfixed whilst the first, and then the second tower collapsed. I remember at that moment feeling that what we were witnessing was just too horrific to fully comprehend and accept ...

Later that evening I heard the American guy in the flat about ours literally howling. He was a trader in the City and had lost several friends and colleagues.

When Princess Diana died I was staying with a friend at her flat in Fulham. We had been out the previous night and had got back late and more than a little refreshed. The next morning, while she was making coffee, I walked up to the corner shop for croissants. The billboards outside were plastered with the horrific news that Dodi was dead and Diana seriously injured, after a Parisian car crash. I rushed back to the flat and my friend announced that Diana was dead. I told her that she was mistaken and that only Dodi had died ... I simply did not want to believe it.

We spent the entire day, like many people, glued to the TV.
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Old 10.09.2011, 17:44
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I had just arrived at work, and many of us had radios at our desks. So I was able to hear about what had happened, but it drove me crazy to not be near a television to be able to see actual images of it. It was just so hard for me to imagine...

Then a bit later, a few girls and I took an early break and ran down the street and finally ended up finding a barber shop with a small TV. My heart just sank. I could see people jumping to their deaths from the windows... and still to this day, I think that is what bothers me most when I see footage from 9/11.
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Old 10.09.2011, 17:57
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was in my office, a huge open-office with no cubicle walls save the 3 meeting rooms with glass walls (and TVs). As soon as someone either heard or read about it he/she stood up and yelled the news. Minutes later there were some 60 people crammed in the little meeting rooms, watching the news for hours.
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Old 10.09.2011, 18:18
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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I was working in Canary Wharf, London. My desk buddy was chatting on msn messenger to her good friend who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC. Suddenly their conversation stopped. Half an hour later we found out why. Sadly he perished.
Unsurprisingly.
I don't think any Cantor Fitzgerald employees who were at work got out.
IIRC, there was a very small time-window when people from above the impact point of the first plane could use a single remaining intact staircase to decent into the floors below the impact point. A few people actually made it that way.
After the kerosine started to burn-up everything, that escape route became unusable and the fate of the people there was sealed.

Even back then, it was easy to make judgments from the proverbial armchair. But if you've seen the film of the Naudet-brothers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_and_Gedeon_Naudet - which I recommend) you will realize that because nobody seriously anticipated[1] an event of such a scale, the procedures and knowledge of the involved people and agencies was at no time during the event sufficient to rescue a large number of people.
Nobody of the people in charge had a complete overview and the people outside had no way to quickly tell those inside to get the hell out of the building(s).
Today, we have Twitter and Facebook on the iPhone. In 2001, the closest thing to Twitter would have been an IRC channel and the closest thing to an iPhone would have been some sort of Blackberry device.


The people in the planes probably barely realized what was coming to them - and due to the negative Gs from the impact, they probably lost consciousness pretty much instantly. The people on the upper floors though, had literally been placed in hell - and were probably fully aware of their fate long before the smoke knocked them out.
Personally, I cannot see anything positive about this event.
Yeah, people got "closer together". But you don't need a 3000 strong body-count for that. A simple funeral or even a visit of the Pope does that, too.
And nobody really knows the exact bodycount of the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Wa...alty_estimates
which increases every single day.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbi...als_and_videos
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  #66  
Old 10.09.2011, 19:27
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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Unsurprisingly.
I don't think any Cantor Fitzgerald employees who were at work got out.

The people on the upper floors though, had literally been placed in hell - and were probably fully aware of their fate long before the smoke knocked them out.

My friend decided she wanted to know what happened to her friend. I advised against it but she sought the help of a spiritual person who apparently made contact with her friend in the afterlife. I won't write here what she told me, as I don't think it is appropriate, but it was a very chilling account of his final moments that will stay with me forever. It formed an image in my mind and i can never forget that image.

Last edited by MusicChick; 10.09.2011 at 19:53. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 10.09.2011, 19:53
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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My friend decided she wanted to know what happened to her friend. I advised against it but she sought the help of a spiritual person who apparently made contact with her friend in the afterlife. I won't write here what she told me, as I don't think it is appropriate, but it was a very chilling account of his final moments that will stay with me forever. It formed an image in my mind and i can never forget that image.
Well, I will just add to this that I hope it helped your friend.
The difficulties identifying the remains of the victims and the accounts from experienced forensics at the site should have been enough to satisfy her curiosity....
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  #68  
Old 10.09.2011, 20:03
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was in FLA. It was horrific, I saw some weird news, then hang out in the pool and after a few mins of swimming and lizard watching, it hit me what the images most probably meant, I didn't move from the TV from days..It was hard to explain panicking family that what was happening was quite far from FLA, but the entire world was shaken up and thought nobody was safe, nowhere in the US, maybe nowhere in the world, anymore. I am still haunted by watching bodies free falling. One shouldn't judge and estimate the value of human life, I know it is impossible. But throughout the happenings, one thing that was hard to comprehend for me was those building were packed with some of the most hardworking people on the planet. People who saved thousands, cops, firemen, med aid, were also one of the most hardworking, risking people. And many of them died. It just felt so painfully unfair, not that terrorist attacks are ever fair...But random deaths are not so uncommon. Targeted attack like this, against people who make such huge part of society progress, continue, head somewhere with a direction and generate..it was a huge contrast with the cruel destruction.
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Old 10.09.2011, 20:07
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

Makes sense to me that people not living in the US or unfamiliar with the US would not know what the WTC was at first - there are World Trade Centers in other places, too - in fact, I think there's a building with the same name in the Netherlands on the way to Schipol Airport.

But anyway, we were living in North Carolina, and I was just pulling into the parking lot at work when I heard on the radio that a plane hit one of the towers - I thought it was a small plane/accident.

I got up to my office just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. We had TV in our offices because we were the public affairs department, and all day, there was a steady stream of folks in and out, staring in disbelief. Numb.

One of my friends watched the whole thing from his office in Jersey City. He was supposed to go to a meeting in one of the towers that day, but for some reason, didn't go. Had survivor guilt for months after. Another friend lived on a street in Brooklyn where a number of the local fire fighters were involved.

I remember how frightened everyone became, over stimutlated by endless repetition watching the planes hit the buildings. I remember sitting in a class in the following weeks, frightened by overhead planes. Everyone in the class just stopped and looked up. Chapel Hill was not a hotbed of plane activity. Afterward, whenever there were any flyovers, there would be an announcement to the university.

Later on, we were all involved in watching out for anthrax threats.

In October, we received an envelope from Nebraska, typed on a typewriter, with a PO Box return address. It looked weird. It turned out to be my husband's green card (approved in July 2001). I suppose the reason for not saying "INS" was to prevent theft, but for us, it triggered another response - fear.
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Old 10.09.2011, 20:35
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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Well, I will just add to this that I hope it helped your friend.
The difficulties identifying the remains of the victims and the accounts from experienced forensics at the site should have been enough to satisfy her curiosity....
In the weeks following 9/11 there was very little information for relatives. They didn't know what we know now. It wasn't until many months later that forensics released some information to the public, and then it was limited.

Many people we convinced that their loved ones would somehow just turn up, whether alive or dead. For the vast majority of victim's relatives and friends there were little or no remains to bury. Wanting to know what happened isn't about satisfying curiosity, it is searching for some sort of closure. When there are no answers, you will go to great lengths to find answers.
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  #71  
Old 10.09.2011, 21:00
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was driving to work in Orlando, Florida. On that day, we had nothing to do but watching the ABC News on TV.
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  #72  
Old 10.09.2011, 21:39
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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Makes sense to me that people not living in the US or unfamiliar with the US would not know what the WTC was at first -
No, It doesn't make sense at all. If you didn't know what the WTC was, you've probably spent your life before 9/11 in a cave somewhere on a remote island.
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  #73  
Old 10.09.2011, 22:16
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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No, It doesn't make sense at all. If you didn't know what the WTC was, you've probably spent your life before 9/11 in a cave somewhere on a remote island.
Why would a teacher in the English Midlands have a clue what the World Trade Center was? I knew about the Statue or Liberty and the Empire State Building, but I hadn't a clue about these twin towers which suddenly exploded into the news.

I doubt I was alone in my ignorance. We don't all work in finance, you know...
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  #74  
Old 10.09.2011, 22:22
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

Bunch of people all over the world didn't know what WTC was. They had a vague idea, or knew trading was done somewhere there, but honestly, loads of people just thought NYC was a city of skyscrapers and that was that. Ton of people only found out that day on the news. I only knew what Sears Tower was for when I was actually climbing up those gazillions of storeys in their elevator.
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  #75  
Old 11.09.2011, 02:07
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I lost several friends and colleagues whom I had worked with for many years in the atrocities of that day...

I'd just got home from an intensive fitness workout and switched the TV on to watch CNN which was my main news channel at the time, before going about my studies for the day.

Then, not long after slumping onto the sofa, the first reports started coming in and all I could think of were my colleagues and one of my dearest and closest friends whom I tried calling and messaging what must've been like a million and one times... I remained glued to the TV for the rest of the day and much of the night until I could no longer stay awake.

Several days later my close friend called me to say she was safe and that she had been saved due to what seemed to her at the time annoying things that had conspired that day to ensure she did not get to work on time, such as her bus to the train station running late and then her train experiencing some electrical failures...

I remember so well the times I spent in the WTC. Visiting, working and hanging with my colleagues and friends, but also doing the touristy stuff as well with one of my sisters. I was totally in awe of some of the workers - in particular, one of my direct work colleagues - who every day walked up over 100 or more flights of stairs to get to their offices as part of their daily exercise regime.

There is another highly relevant and recent thread entitled "September 11, 2011 - Ten Years On" started by EF member, Assassin regarding world changes, if any, ten years on from the attacks.
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Old 11.09.2011, 09:32
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was driving and subsequently rear ended. The woman who did it apologized and told me she had just heard the news. She was so shocked that she lost control of her car.
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Old 11.09.2011, 16:31
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was studying in LA at the time and was asleep when the planes hit. I had a clock radio set to a local shock jock station set to wake me up for my morning classes. Through the haze of half-consciousness I could hear the DJs using their serious voices and talking about some kind of airplane attack on New York, towers collapsed, thousands and thousands killed... For me it was clear, "what is this Bullshit?!" and I hit the snooze button. No shock jock Orwell that early in the morning, please. 10 minutes later, when the alarm went off again, I was annoyed to find out that they were still talking about this bad joke (maybe it was a radio play? but on a pop station?). It wasn't until I woke up a bit more and they started issuing advisories for those who worked in the skyscrapers in LA until it really hit me.

I went to my class that morning, early music history, to find the lecture hall was almost empty except for a handful of undergrads who had rolled directly out of bed, including pyjamas, into the classroom. They hadn't heard the news yet and were told by the professor what had happened. There was then an abbreviated lecture about melodic diversity in Telemann's chamber works. It seemed surreal and still very important to be studying Telemann at that moment.
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  #78  
Old 11.09.2011, 18:19
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was at work that morning, in Cleveland, Ohio. I'd just moved from NYC a couple of years before and considered it to be my home (despite growing up in Cleveland ). Someone at work said that a plane hit the WTC. My first thought was it had to be a small Cessna or similar, there's no airspace above Manhattan. We all started to check the news sites, finally got to one before things slowed down on the internet - to discover it was a plane. We all tried to get on with our work, but then someone found a radio and we heard that a second plane had flown into the other tower.

I was working at the headquarters of a large bank, which was right by the airport. We stood at the window to listen to the radio and watched plane after plane after plane come in. Eventually my boss and I went out for a cigarette and saw there were TVs in the lobbies showing what was going on. We went out, the towers were there but smoldering...we came in and one was gone.

We were all sent home shortly after, and the entire downtown of the city was evacuated. Everyone stopped on the way home to fill up their gas tanks, some stations were gouging people. My neighbors went off to stay in the country with family. The only sound of airplanes that night were fighter jets flying over from time to time.

I spent days trying to reach a close friend (who was pregnant at the time) who was living in Brooklyn and whose husband worked in lower Manhattan. They were both OK, and he helped out with the rescue and all. She had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, the company who lost virtually their entire staff, and said it was more like a family than a company there.

All of us watched the tv in disbelief that this was happening. What's more distressing is what happened afterwards, though, to the lives of other innocents and to civil liberties in the US.

Not quite two weeks later, I came to Europe on holiday, travelling around to various places. I was surprised by the number of impromptu memorials that I saw in different cities, two weeks plus after it happened.

I went to NY to visit some friends about six months after it happened, and went down to the site. I walked around an area I knew well for a few moments and in a daze hailed a taxi and told him to take me "anywhere uptown", I just had to get out of the neighborhood.

It was strange to walk out of subway stations and look around - I would always do that to locate the WTC, because then I knew what direction was south.
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Old 12.09.2011, 10:07
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

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I'm ashamed to say I didn't know what the WTC was
Don't feel bad about that. Plenty of people didn't know about the World Trade Centre towers before that day. I think the only reason I'd heard of them was a Simpsons episode, and a vauge memory of a previous bomb (and I think I had that mixed in with the Oklahoma bombing).
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Old 12.09.2011, 10:33
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

mrs G and I were driving along Watergate Bay Cornwall when the BBC interrupted saying there would be an important news bulletin.. we both figured the Queen Mum had finally popped her clogs.. When the bulletin did come on I nearly drove off the road ( being from Boston, where two of the plane originated from )... spent the rest of the day trying to contact friends and family.
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