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Old 09.09.2011, 13:58
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Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

Meaning 9/11 of course. I'm not big on anniversaries and symbolic acts, but this was a big event. I can remember where I was when I heard about a handful of events....Margaret Thatcher resigning, the Asian Tsunami, discovering EF.

For the attacks on the WTC I was living in California at the time, so a few hours behind NYC. I was on my way to work, listening to the Steve Harvey Radio Show. I hadn't heard about the planes flying into the towers, I just remember hi saying that one of the towers had collapsed now.

So where were you then? And what other world events do you recall where you were when you first heard the news?
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:07
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was contentedly pottering around in my farm kitchen when a friend telephoned me to say she had thought she was watching a movie on TV ..... but it was REAL ....... the Twin Towers in USA had planes crashing into it .... hi-jacked planes!

Princess Di ..... I was trundling down the passage in the early hours at my sisters house in Durban - to find her husband sitting on the floor in front of the TV with his mouth hanging open .... "Princess Di is dead ...!"
My first thought was .... Oh oh .. the Queen did this......
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:21
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I still remember the exact moment. I was in Milan, Italy. It was about 3pm in the afternoon, and I was laying on top of a bed and looking at the sky through the window on the opposite wall at my then-boyfriend's apartment. We were enjoying the last few days of summer before the imminent start of our second year of college.

He was working on his computer, and at some point decided to read the news, and told me that someone had circulated some crazy and distasteful joke on the internet. Unfortunately, it wasn't a joke.

A couple of hours later, when we went out, I remember the looks of disbelief in people's faces on the trams and in the streets, the general slowness of pace, and everybody speaking to each other in very low voices. A much different Milan than usual, almost as if everyone was living and moving around in an unreal environment.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:26
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was travelling for business and staying in a small bed and breakfast in Kentucky. I was watching The Today Show and getting ready for work. I remember they interrupted a cooking segment or something like that by saying that a private airplane had 'accidentally' flown off course and hit the tower. While they were covering that story, (clearly no one knew what was happening) I watched in horror as the other plane hit the other tower. I remember being terrified and horrified. Shortly after that I got in my car and drove back to my home city. It's unfathomable now, but I remember looking up for more airplanes as I traveled in the car. There wasn't any accurate information and no one was sure if it was 'over' or just the beginning. Whew. It was a heavy day. Once home we awaited word from our various friends who lived in NYC.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:30
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

At work... all of a sudden the internet news servers slowwwwwweeeedddd right down as most of the world went on line to try and get news...
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:44
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was working for Laura Ashley in London, one of the girls in the office received a call from her trader boyfriend and as they were talking it happened and she stopped to mention it. We logged into a news website and saw the second plane hitting the second tower. One of our friends was supposed to be over there for a financial conference but he'd gotten so drunk the night before he didn't make it in, and he called to let us know he was ok.

I remember us all heading up to the company flat and watching it over and over. Many of the buyers were out flying back from Europe and they were grounded, one of them called to say they were stopping all hand luggage, no liquids whatsoever, the searches were taking hours etc and they didn't quite know why as they hadn't seen the news.

When I left the office there were no planes flying over London and it was eerily silent along the Thames. People on the trains were just speechless and lost in thoughts, many people were crying silently on the train. I watched it all evening on my own in the flat, couldn't stop watching it really.

I remember getting the train the next day and silence again, and also hearing about the spate of ridiculous race hate crimes e.g a Sikh getting beaten up and called a terrorist etc.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:46
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

At home, realising how it would change the world. There are millions dying around the world in much worse deaths every year, but this would serve as an great excuse to promote tightening security, bringing fear to common people and taking media covering it to another level (just like CNN with first Iraq). Didn't expect wars for resources, though.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:48
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I missed the whole thing - I was sailing round the Turkish coast. In a brief call to my then boyfriend he mentioned that there was "crazy stuff going on in America" (he's never really been one for clear communication). I was on holiday and figured there's always crazy stuff going on in America so I didn't pay much attention. Was really weird - I was only away for two weeks but it felt like a lot longer - came home to a whole new world.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:49
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was in a meeting at work in Munich and one of my family called from the UK to say `Something big is happening in NY`.
I remember there were about 15 people in the meeting and I excused myself to leave for a short break, as it sounded important.
When I came back I realised that no-one in the meeting had heard about it and I was unsure as to what to do, as I was still pretty new at the company . In any case, I just butted in and blurted out what I knew.
It basically brought the meeting to an abrupt end - as you would expect.
The strange thing was, the thought that ran though my mind was remembering standing at the foot of one of the WTC towers, with my shoulder on the wall and just looking up, in amazement . . . . . that was exactly one year earlier . . . Sept 11th 2000, at 09:30.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:51
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

Walking back from the works canteen back to the office in Bradford.

Someone coming the other way said that a plane had hit a skyscraper in New York and we wandered back to the office, thinking it would be a small private plane or something.

We also tried unsuccesssfully to look on the internet, so popped into the office next door where one of the guys had a small TV. Maybe there would be something about it on the news.

As we were discussing what was happening (it still wasn't clear), we saw the second plane hit. And, I guess, went into a bit of a numb "this can't be real" feeling as we watched everything play out.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:55
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was chatting with a friend of mine, who lives in New York, about a book we were doing together when she just writes something like "omg, a plane just crashed into the WTC". I thought it was a small plane, those light things that take 1 person. She called her sister, who was working in the nearby of the WTC, and when she was told sister was ok, we continued chatting, while she watched the News in the background. Then she just writes "Holy crap, a second plane just hit the WTC".

I tried accessing BBC News, CNN, anything with an internet site, but the internet was dead for the next hours.

So I went to the comic book shop where I had a meeting with some friends, knowing nothing about what happened other than my friend was suddenly offline. Till I saw an electronics shop with a window filled with TVs what happened, repeated in a gigantic mosaic. And I froze.

I don't remember what I ate yesterday lunch, but those hours got quite engraved in my memory.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:57
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was living in Germany at the time. My partner called from work to tell me something was going on. It didn't take long to find out what that was.

I still feel quite isolated from my fellow Americans when it comes to this topic. It happened, but I wasn't buried under 24-hour news about it. But only a few days after, I suddenly realised that, for all the rhetoric, only the Bush administration seemed to be beneficiaries.
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:12
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was on IRC, in EST, having a cup of coffee while scanning my inbox and planning a number of system audits that day when one of the guys in NYC said that he just saw a plane hit the WTC out his window (he was a network jock for a wall st firm back then). We were all, like, WTF, no way that could happen. After that, someone piped up that a plane had been reported to have hit the pentagon, at which point we all figured that these were connected and deliberate. By the time I turned on CNN, I was just in time to watch the second WTC tower get plowed into. I sat glued to CNN for the rest of the morning and didn't even go into work that day as it was just too overwhelming. I was familiar with two of the folks on the Boston flights.

Now they're saying there is a 'credible' threat for an anniversary attack.....
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:12
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was hesitant to write this, because I was a youngin' at the time it happened. I was in my Theater 4+ class (plus was because they only had 4 Theater classes and the + just meant we were all too lazy to take up another class and learn something new...).

Additionally it was a place filler for classes and we were all just sitting around watching a great cartoon (Dragon Tales to be exact) not realizing we were all too old to really be enjoying this sort of show. That was when they cut our cartoon and jumped to the news... at first, yes, we thought it was a movie, something out of a theatrical trailer...we were honestly pumped to see a movie such as this...which is unfortunate to say, but we had no clue at the time.

Then it happened, it's the reason I'll never forget time, date, place, people, surroundings...when I actually saw the second one hit, live on the air. The gasps and silence in the room was all you could muster to hear. I guess the saying is correct, 'We Will Never Forget' - because seeing something like that burns an imprint in your mind that never goes away. -- Keeping those in memory, as well as some of my friends family that lost their lives in that terrible tragedy.
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:15
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I had come home early from college to find my Nan watching TV. She actually thought it was a movie (poor lady has dementia now).

I remember standing there completely frozen, gob open thinking 'Sh*t'
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:15
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I was at the mosque when it happened in the middle of the early aftenoon prayer. My phone rang and I remember thinking "oops, the oldies are gonna tell me off for not having it switched off."

When I got out I returned the call and it was my cousin who was working in Canary Wharf at the time and he told me the bad news. So I walked back to the office and people there were still oblivious to the news.

Once word spread people were either glued to their computer screens trying to get news off of the slow news websites, or watching events unfold on the TV in our breakout room.

Two things I remember that day were (a) alot of my colleagues, middle-aged English guys took the attitude that this was a "chickens coming home to roost" moment for America. And the second thing was later that day when I caught up with my cousin again, he told me that as traders and others watched their screens at his office in Canary Wharf, they were already murmuring things like "oh, all those bankers who have died in the WTC, they're going to need to be replaced..."
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:29
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I had just come out of a six hour exam in London. We were all intending to go down the pub to celebrate but that was soon off the agenda. In the end my friends and I spent the entire evening watching the TV in silence.
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:41
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

First day of first Chemical Engineering class. The prof started with: The World is going to be very different from this day on.

I thought it was some sort of problem solving, critical thinking exercise.
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:43
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

I had just landed in Philly having flown from Chicago. We had been stuck on the tarmac for short while and the pilot came on to tell us that we were waiting for the ok to pull into a gate that was under construction as traffic was being diverted from NY due to the fact that two planes had crashed into the twin towers. I had wondered how such a tragic error could have happened not once, but twice. We exited the plane just in time to see footage of flight 175 crashing into the south tower and then it dawned on me that this was not a mistake. My colleague and I waited for hours to get a rental car and headed north to our hotel. There was no traffic to be seen, and all the shopping centers were like ghost towns. We checked into our hotel and I spent the next 9 hours watching the aftermath on tv. I changed my voicemail to let friends and family know that I was ok as I kept getting calls and wasn't in the mood to discuss. I will never forget the sight of smoke billowing into the sky and people leaping to their deaths rather than burning. We drove home to Chicago in that crappy Suziki rental car as neither of us wanted to fly back home towards Chicago and the Sears tower. I consider myself a Christian, but I don't know that I can ever forgive the cowards responsible for so much pain and suffering.
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Old 09.09.2011, 15:46
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Re: Where were you when you heard about the WTC?

We were preparing a sort of in-house security conference for some customers when a co-worker came in with a strange look on his face, saying that a plane had hit the WTC.
I remember that I thought "that's impossible" (in the same tone the ordinary police-men utter it when they see Trinity jump the gap between the sky-scrapers in the opening of "The Matrix") - because it's a no-fly zone there and you don't just hit a building there.
I knew it was no accident.
Then, I tried to hit various news-sites (all unreachable, except for Yahoo, which had cleared-out most of it's page except for news and Slashdot...).
Then, I remembered we had some (very) large backlight-projector TV-screens in our presentation room and we went there.
The drama had already unfolded and we could just stand there and watch in disbelief - on a wall-sized screen.
At that point, I still believed in the 50k death-toll.
Everybody knew that this was an event that would change the world forever.

Coming home, the public parking lot was almost empty, as were the streets.
An absolute eerie experience.
I didn't have TV at home, so I was spared of the endless repetitions of the impact-scenes.
Which is also a good advice for future "events" like this one: don't watch TV. Just ignore the information-tsunami for a while.
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