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  1. #1
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    Default 9/11 - Ten Years On

    Ten years ago today, 19 men hijacked four planes on American soil, and used them to murder 2977 people. This created a shockwave that changed the world, through the chain of events that unfolded afterwards. Those atrocities will never be forgotten.

    For many, myself included, this was the first event that people lived through where, for years afterwards, everyone will be asking "where were you when you heard about 9/11?"

    And that is exactly the question I am asking today.

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  2. #2
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    At home, celebrating my 28th birthday. I was just about to open some presents , switched on the telly and lost all interest in celebrating anything.

  3. #3
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    I was on the phone with my accountant. I'm the one who told him what was going on.
    I sat in front of the TV & watched it unfold in front of me. I saw everything live except the first impact.

    It was particularly impacting on me as only a few weeks before my Wife & I were on the observation deck looking down on New York. It just made us think, "that could have been us!"
    I still have the photo's & video we took somewhere.

  4. #4
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    I was sitting at my desk in the call centre where I had my first job. I didn't have internet access at work and as I can recall the news was broken by a colleague from a neighbouring department. Initially I tried to avoid watching the news for a couple of days as I found the scale of the event really difficult to comprehend. I don't think the whole thing really hit home until a week or two later when I saw something on TV about the British victims.
    We said (by my minister's own admission) rather inadequate prayers for those affected by the anniversary this morning which I found to be an unusually moving experience.

  5. #5
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    I was at work. Call me really thick, but I'd never really heard of the World Trade Centre - or at least, not in the sense of recognising the Twin Towers as an iconic bit of landscape. One of the other guys in the office called out that there'd been an accident (this was after the first impact) and I seem to think we all crowded round his PC (this was 10 years ago of course, we didn't all have the net on our PCs at work) to see the news.

    Obviously as the day went on, more news came in. I hope I'm not misremembering this, but I believe the news was reporting a fourth plane in the air en route to (possibly) the Whitehouse, and we were debating whether Bush would give the order to shoot it down... and then of course, it was brought down by the passengers onboard (although again, I don't think we knew that at the time, only that it had crashed).

    One thing I do vividly recall is that one of the guys in the office, now sadly no longer with us, had already heard of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda (he was very 'into' politics, news, etc) whereas none of the rest of us had.

  6. #6
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    I was at work in a shop just off Oxford Street at the time. Someone came in saying something about a light aircraft having crashed into the WTC. I was instantly puzzled, as I'd been to New York in 1999 and been up to the top of the tower. I couldn't comprehend how that could have happened, as they were so damn big. I thought why would it not just have flown around it, or away from it?

    Shortly after I popped into the pub a few doors down, to see if they had anything on the large tv screens (that often had the rolling news on with the sound down during the day). It was then that what really had happened became apparent, as the news coverage was now on to the second plane.

    I vividly remember it being a very strange afternoon. News followed that all the airspace over central London had been closed off, in case a similar thing might happen here. We ended up closing the shop a couple of hours earlier than usual, so that the staff could get home safely. There was definitely a strong feeling at the time that it could also happen here, somewhere.

    I went home and watched the 24 hour news coverage intom the early hours, barely knowing what to think, or say.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  7. #7
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    I was 13 at the time, and so of course, still at school. I'd just started in my old school's Senior School, and had just finished treble art at the end of a Monday.

    I was heading back to my classroom to pick up my bag and books, when a boy called Alex Dizer, who I didn't particularly like or trust, came up and told me and another friend of mine that someone had flown a plane into one of the twin towers in New York, and that there'd be a war now.

    Of course, I didn't believe him. But when I got back to the classroom, and the tv was on, showing the news, I was soon forced to eat my words. Another friend walked in 5 minutes later, as we were all watching the tv, open mouthed at what was happening. This was concurrent with the second plane hitting the second tower. The chap who had just walked in, took one look at the tv and said "cool film!" before walking to his locker. You can imagine my horror as I had to explain to him that this wasn't a film, and was really happening.

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  8. #8
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    My greatest memory of the day itself, was one of chaos and confusion. We were an office on a defence lan, with a single internet computer. We got a message to say an aircraft had accidentally flown into a building - which we originally thought was a wind-up due to the nature of our work. Then the story of a second aircraft crashing. At first we really thought it was some kind of bizzare avionic Y-2-K bug kind of thing bringing down aircraft. Then you think terrorism. Then you thought "it must be Iraq" - as we'd had some issues with the no fly zone and air raids recently.

    It just didn't seem real at the time at all. Just words "plane collided with building" and "Twin Towers has collapsed". We had an emergency meeting at work - the building we worked in due to the military link had always been a potential terrorist target. Our manager impressed on us to be careful talking about our links to the military.

    My wife insisted on picking me up from work - I was due to take the train, and there were terror alerts on the train lines. There had been so many attacks it felt like there were more to come, and with the UK being so close to the US politically ...

    Then of course going home and seeing the terrible images behind the news. It was a real "oh my God" moment. Your mind at the time could not understand the hatred that drove those attacks - 10 years on it still coulding.

    I was working at the time as a programmer on an avionics system for EDS. It was called "Safety Altitude", and basically allowed an aircraft to work out what was the safest low alititude it could fly in an area to avoid any collisions with mountains / pylons / skyscrapers. So basically it was not easy to "get on with it" and not try and think about it.



    About 3 months later I found a receipt in my desk. During the morning, we'd had a meeting down at the new reprographics department and had T-shirts printed, and chatted with other members of staff. It seemed horrific, because we'd had such a great morning, but a few hours later it would involve tragedy on such an apalling scale.


    Of course there's been talk since about how several thousand Americans die one day, and we all stop for a week. But thousands more die due to earthquake, hurracane, tsunami and we just get on with it. But where as the later are forces of nature, the events of 9/11 were the products of pure human malace on a massive scale.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  9. #9
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    For years because of distance America remained untouched from attack whether that be from the Japanees in WWII or from terroists and perhaps because of that Americans had developed an attitude of invunerabilty. I've often felt that one reason Americans were so shocked about 9/11 is because it made them realise that they are not invunerable and that these islamic terroists do now have the means and power to hurt them and launch attacks on their own soil.

    I was going out that evening and because of that i'd left work early when I got into my taxi the driver said to me New Yorks on fire I didn't really understand what he was talking about and when I got home to find my mum dad and brother all watching telly I simply couldn't believe what I was watching. As awful as it was in some ways it was fortunate that those planes hit the towers at just after 9am when a lot of people were still heading for work. Hadthe planes hit the towers an hour or so later the death toll could of been far highers

  10. #10
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    Wow, Ant was 13, I was 11.

    I was also at school, but where I attended we had this beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline from a distance. And that morning, cos I went to a Catholic School, we'd say our prayers and pledge of allegiance. Well, our room didn't have a flag for whatever reason so we had to say the pledge facing the schoolyard, so we'd face that skyline. And my mind wandered that moment and I was staring at the buildings and I saw the Twin Towers and went, "Wow. They're so unique and just so iconic and I feel like no one talks about them anymore. They deserve to be hyped up more than they are."

    We went to our first class in another room, and came back cos we had to get our stuff to go to the library and the moment we go back we saw the smoke.

    That whole period we just watched everything unfold. We didn't have TV or cellphones, nothing. Our teacher whipped out this rinkydink radio and the station she turned to had some people blabbing about what was going on and how perhaps a plane flew into them.

    We all went, "By accident?" and the teacher said, "I dunno, these people are known to joke around."

    She turned it off after a while. I remember we just had the lights off and we were all so quiet.

    I just kept thinking how my mom took off work that day, like, by chance she changed her day off that week and she was supposed to go to Century 21 which was right there by the WTC. I was in shock, I didn't know what to think. Then there was my brother who sometimes would work downtown by the WTC and I didn't know his schedule if he was there or not.

    We saw the towers fall, more silence. Then it was time for the 4th class and so we went, and for that class the teacher had the shades down. And it was like, business as usual. I don't even remember what happened that class, I just remember that at the end, one of my friends wanted to peak behind the shades and that teacher yelled at him...

    Loads of parents flooded in for lunchtime (we didn't go outside for recess) I kept hoping my mom would come, and she did

    She picked me up (she didn't even get a chance to go into the city cos she decided to run some other errands) along with many other parents who came to pick up their kids, and thankfully my brother was home too. He had to walk on the 59th street bridge to get home cos no one knew whether to subways were going to get bombed or what.


    And, yeah. Went home, had the TV on. We had off the next day, and then the day after that we came back.

    We actually couldn't go out to recess or have any of the windows open cos there was just this smell of fire in the air. And one of the priests who taught our classes told us it was a health hazzarrd- cos it wasn't just debris it was, well, burnt corpses as well that was in the air. And that God knows what sort of sickness we'll all get from the attack years on. And especially those first responders and those cleaning the site...


    I can't believe it's 10 years, cos from that day on every time I'd look out that window I'd see that absence of the towers from the skyline. But at the same time, from that day onwards the world just changed. Attitudes changed. The world wasn't safe or happy anymore.

    I feel like the world before the attack was very much like a childhood. Everyone had this lack of self awareness.

    But now?

    It really was an abrupt thrust out of childhood. And, I mean, I have lived in a time and experienced what the world was like before 9/11 and I just keep thinking how my future kids won't ever know what the world was like before it.

    I pity them...

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