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DamionStJames Webb

Reflection, 9/11 Where were you?

87 posts in this topic

I was a sophomore in high school. In most of our classes they suspended the normal curriculum and took some time to explain to us all what happened and why. What it represented, what would happen after.

When I saw it on TV I thought it was some sort of movie at first. I had no idea how to react. I couldn't comprehend at the time what was going on, I was blissfully uncaring about a bunch of angry men in some burning sea of sand.

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I couldn't comprehend at the time what was going on, I was blissfully uncaring about a bunch of angry men in some burning sea of sand.

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I was actually stationed on a US submarine when this happened. We were 400 feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic when the Skipper announced throughout the ship of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Around half the people onboard thought it was a just another wargame scenario for us to play by. But some of us knew it wasn't fake. We were on high alert for the next two weeks, and being on a Trident missile submarine, that connotation gets even scarier. At the time, had we been ordered to, within 30 minutes we could have fired off enough nuclear artillery to turn all of the middle east and western Asia into a radioactive glass parking lot. It wasn't until nearly 2 months later that we had people come onboard with magazines, pictures and videos to show that it was real, and even for those that thought it was real all along, only seeing the images made it really sink in.

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Had just arrived at Logan airport (where one jet was hijacked) from visiting my cousin in Seattle, Wa. earlier in the morning, and was home when the attack began. My sister was living in Manhattan at the time. I saw the second jet crash into the tower on live tv.. seemed so unreal.. like a movie..

My family tried to get a hold of my sister, but all the phone lines were down heh.. finally got a hold of her later in the evening.

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I live in NY Long Island, and I remember it. I was like 6th grade or so late for school, and went down stairs and saw my mom covering her head. Than after they replayed the 1st hit, I remember seeing the second one go in and found out what happened. I couldn't really realize how scary it was, you could see the smoke from long island. I have family friends who were supposed to do some work in the trade center that day and because they slept late they survived and another who was a fire fighter was injured but first day back, but he couldn't go in. a lot of people were affected dramatically in New York. Watching the special on history channel when I was older, really hit me harder than before. I still had school but some people went home early.

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911memoriallogowbdr.png


Reviving thread, in honor, respect and remembrance of the 9/11 and Benghazi attacks.
 


Fly the US Flag at Half Staff on Wednesday 9/11/2013

Presidential Proclamation -- Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance





 
 
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
 
Twelve years ago this month, nearly three thousand innocent men, women, and children lost their lives in attacks meant to terrorize our Nation. They had been going about their day, harming no one, when sudden violence struck. We will never undo the pain and injustice borne that terrible morning, nor will we ever forget those we lost.
 
On September 11, 2001, amid shattered glass, twisted steel, and clouds of dust, the spirit of America shone through. We remember the sacrifice of strangers and first responders who rushed into darkness to carry others from danger. We remember the unbreakable bonds of unity we felt in the long days that followed -- how we held each other, how we came to our neighbors' aid, how we prayed for one another. We recall how Americans of every station joined together to support the survivors in their hour of need and to heal our Nation in the years that followed.
 
Today, we can honor those we lost by building a Nation worthy of their memories. Let us also live up to the selfless example of the heroes who gave of themselves in the face of such great evil. As we mark the anniversary of September 11, I invite all Americans to observe a National Day of Service and Remembrance by uniting in the same extraordinary way we came together after the attacks. Like the Americans who chose compassion when confronted with cruelty, we can show our love for one another by devoting our time and talents to those in need. I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov, orwww.Servir.gov for Spanish speakers, to find ways to get involved in their communities.
 
As we serve and remember, we reaffirm our ties to one another. On September 11, 2001, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. May the same be said of us today, and always.
 
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day," and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized "National Day of Service and Remembrance.
"
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaimSeptember 11, 2013, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
 
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
 
BARACK OBAMA

Edited by Xoza

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I had thought i had posted on this thread already.


 


I was in Basic Training at the time. We were within the first week of BRM all laying in the prone position working on our trigger pull and trying to balance a coin on the end of a cleaning rod stuck out the end of the barrel of our M16s.


 


The Drill Sgts suddenly got scarce and there was a Radio/TV playing loudly in one of the back rooms. One of the DS' Came in yelling something about getting serious about what we're doing because we'd likely be using it in the near future, stating that we were just attacked. We all kinda just looked at eachother wondering what he was on about. He had ducked out again for a few then came back with a couple other Drill Sgts and ordered all of us to get up, and form up in the quad.


 


They had called back the guys who were out at the range zeroing their rifles. We then were tasked with setting up Barricades along the sidewalks and had both stationary and roving guards setup around the building. We had no idea what was going on, and we thought this was all some sort of training exercise and all that fun stuff, since Being in basic, we were essentially operating in a closed environment with no input from the outside world.


 


After a couple hours of setting things up and going over how to do patrols, ID check people, and all that fun stuff, They brought us food to eat in the quad. When I was done I requested to go to the latrine, and as I walked by the DFAC, there was a small corner of the place that was set aside for permanent Party, had a TV and everything. as I walked by, I looked in through the window and saw the smoke. The reality just hit me like a ton of bricks.


 


When I went back to the quad, I told people what I saw, and told them to ask to go to the latrine and see for themselves. Everyone ended up walking back with this detached, Trying to process everything look on their face. We then went back to training. Cadences went from Singing about shooting Commies to shooting Terrorists, and We got even less sleep because now we had extra guard duty on top of firewatch. Probably the biggest change tho was the attitude of everyone. Everyone got all sorts of serious about training. We all knew that we'd be going to war.


 


It was about a day or two later that we had the whole training battalion called into a room to be addressed by the Battalion commander on what happened and what information they had behind it. He had taped some of the news from that day and played about half an hour of the video for us. When we got back to the Quad, Our unit commander stepped out to tell us that one of the guys who we had been training with, One of the guys who was in my platoon, Died on one of the aircraft that plowed into the towers.


 


His dad had medical issues and landed him in the hospital. Army would not give him leave time to go see him, so he told them that he refused to train, and thus would be discharged from the Military. Ran into him a few times while we were out and he was doing busy work while his paperwork was being processed, and was happy that he was going to be out soon to go see his family and his dad, but that his dad wasnt doing the best in the hospital. Last image I have of him was of him working a weed eater. Caught wind later that his dad died a couple days later.

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For you muricans. Tis Patriots day, reflect, flags at half staff and all.


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There I was...sitting in my cube in Columbia, SC, doing IT work type stuff when the dispatcher for the pool next to ours comes running up the row almost shouting 'We need to nuke those ****ers!'  While this was not exactly an unheard of event I wasn't especially concerned at the time.  Shortly thereafter my cnn/msnbc feeds started going nutty.  At this point only the first tower had been hit, and knowing that particular airspace is the busiest in the world, I was surprised, but not all panicky.  With the number of planes flying around there everyday I thought it was only a matter of time that some sort of mechanical problem brought one down in a way where it couldn't be avoided.  Then a short time later I heard about the 2nd plane.  Hmmm, this would be one hell of a coincidence, especially with it being the next building over.


 


The company I was working for at the time rolled a TV into one of the training rooms and let us know we could bounce in and out of the room to keep up to date, but to try to avoid clogging up the data lines keeping work from being done.  It was about this time that I called my mother.  No, I wasn't all fearful for me, or needed to connect with my mommy....I needed to make sure she was aware of what was going on since she worked at the time on the 39th floor of a high rise building in the Loop in Chicago.  Needless to say, when she answered her office line that morning, she was a little shocked to hear instead of 'Hi, mom.  What's up?' she heard, 'What the hell are you still doing in the ****ing office!'  Evidently the direction from on high in her company was to stay in place until decisions could be made.  We'll just ignore the fact that the decisions were phoned in by people who had already fled the Loop....3 hours later....She eventually did listen to me and got out of Dodge as soon as possible.


 


My dad, was a different story, but in this case the City of Chicago made sure he was alright.  You see, my dad worked for the Brinks armored car company.  He had been sitting in the back of the truck going from place to place, dropping stuff off, picking other stuff up...you know, normal day.  He heard about the towers in one bank, heard more info in another bank...then the call from dispatch happened.  For only the 2nd time in my living memory (and the first involved a heavy amount of crazy flooding in the subway system) the City of Chicago declared that the Loop will be closing, everyone gtfo.  That morning they declared that every business within the Loop will be closed at noon that day since the FAA was still trying to get all the planes grounded.  Dispatch had called my dad's truck and told them to skip all stops and go straight to the fed reserve and a couple other bank stops.  The last stop had only the branch VP and head teller there to sign the paperwork and close the vault behind him.  It was also only the 2nd time in my dad's 35 years with Brinks that he did not complete count out procedures when the truck made it back to the garage (the first involved a broken arm in 3 places due to a fall at Comiskey a few years earlier [long story, maybe some other time]).  The truck was quick wrapped with basically sticky police tape so they could tell if someone messed with the doors and such and they were quickly hustled out of the garage and out of the Loop by the local precinct.


 


I learned after the fact of people who didn't make it through that day.  Others we didn't know were fine for a few hours later.  One of my company's VPs was in a meeting 2 blocks from the Pentagon who ended up helping with triage work outside the building.  A PM I worked closely with at work was actually sitting on the tarmac about to take off from Atlanta when the FAA grounding order came in.  Valaris knew people personally who didn't make it out of the towers. 


 


My life would be completely different right now if I hadn't made a decision a few years earlier....A long, long time ago, in what seems like a life far, far away, I was a West Point cadet.  If I had finished at the Point, I would have been a 1st Lt when the towers were hit, and I would have been in either the 101st or 82nd as a military intel specialist.  Which means assuming I wasn't dead or maimed, I probably would be a lt col or almost there at least, after 5-6 tours in Iraq/Afghanistan, and probably would not be typing this right now for many reasons.


 


9/11 is a defining moment for our generation.  It'll rank up there with the Challenger explosion (which I watched happen on tv with my entire 2nd grade (I think it was 2nd anyway) class as part of a special assembly, or Armstrong on the moon, of JFK/MLK getting shot for our parents, or V-J/V-E days for our grandparents...We should let it guide us, but at the same time, we should remember that there is more to our mindset, more to our national character than just one event.


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I was at Camp Lejeune NC preparing for a shooting competition.. We had a couple of the RSOs come out of the Range Hutt just before the briefing began and told us that a plane had hit the first tower.  We started laughing and shaking our heads... I turned to the RSO and said.. "Cmon SSgt.. cant you guys come up with a better scenario than someone flying a jumbo jet into a building..."  The SSgt pulled us into the range hut JUST as the second plane impacted... we took one look at one another and knew what it meant.  We walked outside, started filling sandbags and lined the 5 Ton bed, set up the .50 cals and saws.. and pretty much turned our truck into a rolling fortress.  Took us 9 hours to get back to Cherry Point, and its a 45 min drive.  The world definitely changed that day.. and a lot of the kids I worked with, werent kids anylonger.


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