Archive for the 'History' Category

9/11/2001 – Where Were You?

The reason I blog is because through the “magic” of the Internet when you put something on-line it becomes a part of our permanent human history.  Through projects like Archive.org what you write is permanently saved.  So when any of us write an article or blog on-line it can be captured and reviewed later by us or much later by our posterity.  Want to see what the New York Times website looked like on September 17, 2001?  Here it is.

Writing a blog, like journals of the past, allow people to share their experiences with the future.  So on the eve of this historic day I want to ask every reader to share with us Where Were You on 9/11/01?  What do you remember about that day?  Please tell us where you were (City and State) so we can document your experience.

AND BTW anyone who puts up 9/11 Conspiracy Comments will have their comments deleted and your email forwarded to the Black Helicopter Squadron for immediate eradication.

My Story:  Vienna, VA

I had just come out of a meeting at work, a large financial institution, when the Manager of another department came up to us and said the World Trade Center has been bombed again.  Thinking it was a repeat of ’93, we went to our computers to see online how bad it was.  We could not get anywhere.  Every website we tried to go to was completely clogged with traffic and the site was showing internal error messages.  But eventually CNN came through with a picture of a burning tower. 

He we had CNN on in the break room  . . . we could just go there and see it.  As we walked in people were gather around the television as the reporters explained how a plane had crashed into the building.  My God how could that have happened?  Did it wonder off course?  It didn;t look like bad weather.  Then we saw the second plane slam into the building and the entire room gasped.  You could hear crying saying “my God”  “Oh no not another one.”  But it became clear in that moment that it was intenional.

As we watched we began to have people coming into the break room saying the Pentagon has been bombed, as CNN was reporting smoke from the area of the pentagon.  

My wife called to ask if I had heard that the Capital had been evacuated.  Her company had offices on the Hill and she was getting infomation from her network of branches.  We then started to hear people call out that State (the State Department) has been bombed and there is another plane inbound.

I’ll never forget my boss a retired Marine Major calling us together and saying that what we were experiencing was the fog of war and that information was likely to be inaccurate and incomplete.  But there was one piece of news that wasn;t wrong.  One of our employees had put her son on a plane that morning to go to a spelling bee with his teacher.  His plane hit the Pentagon.  When she heard the flight number, she collapsed on the spot.

Despite all of the other businesses in DC releasing their employees early, we did not.  We thought members might have a need to get money so we kept our doors open.  Besides the roads were so clogged with traffic that if would be hours getting home anyway.

Our building was situated between two CIA buildings and by the late morning the entire complex was surrounded by men with automatic weapons.

When I did drive home that evening, I remember just how empty the roads were and how silent the everything was.  No one was driving, all planes had been grounded so there was this awful emptiness left behind.  That night after watching all to wall coverage all evening I headed to bed . . . I knelt in my pitch black living room and prayed for the souls of New York’s Fireman and Police Officers.