Thread: Where were you on Sept 11, 2001?
9/11/2009 1:50pm, #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Where were you on Sept 11, 2001?
They say everyone remembers where they were on 9/11. I have a bit of a unique story, though I share this exact experience with 5,000 of my closest friends.
On 9/11 the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was on its way home from a peaceful deployment in the Arabian Gulf. We were taking an unusual route home as well. Instead of returning home through the Mediterranean Sea, we would instead head south and sail around Africa. Spirits were very high, as we would be partying on continents we've never been on before. We were scheduled to cross the equator, (itself a long time naval tradition) party in South Africa, party in Brazil, and maybe hit Florida for good measure before coming home to Norfolk. After those 30 days of letting loose, I would have personally stepped on six out of seven continents.
We got a call down in the reactor plant from guys back in the berthing lounge that both of the twin towers and the pentagon were on fire. Everyone who was not on watch, in all departments on board ship, was glued to a television set for hte rest of the day. Folks back home might not have realized we were getting satellite news, as my wife was sending play by play notes of the day's event via email. I was unable to reply to her for a week, as all outgoing email from the ship was blocked for security reasons.
I want you guys to know it is hard to write this, because in our minds we had done our job to keep the homeland safe. The whole idea of "power projection" and "deterrence" was supposed to mean that because of our presence overseas, nobody would dare mess with the US. "4.5 Acres of Sovereign US Territory, Anywhere, Anytime" was a popular poster featuring a front on view of a carrier. What happened in New York was heart breaking and tragic, what happened in DC was a slap in the face.
As we were sitting there with these kinds of thoughts in our heads, talking about what might have happened and how we might have done something different is when the first tower fell. With every sailor on a ship being a trained firefighter, I knew exactly what that meant. I remember saying out loud "There were firemen and police in that building, and they were on their way up." Complete speculation at the time, but we all know how many casualties were reported from FDNY and NYPD.
Almost immediately after this happened, we could feel the unmistakable shaking of the aft end of the ship that was a clear indication that we were going somewhere fast. A quick check on the weather feed we had on our closed circuit television confirmed we were no longer heading south, but rather north. We were back on station and ready to do our jobs that night, with not one complaint, even from the most dissident of sailors.
I believe we were on station for 17 days before launching anything offensive, which is my only regret. Of course it was not my decision by a very long shot, but by the time we sent planes over Afghanistan, the whole world knew we were coming. I firmly believe that if we hit sooner, we would have not only taken out more of the enemy, but may have even nailed the number one target as well.
So that's my story of where I was on 9/11. It is something that I will never forget.
9/11/2009 3:09pm, #2
I was watching the news getting ready for class (college) eating total. Then I went to class. I was not surprised, shocked, outraged, sad or anything like that. It was sad for those who died and lost loved ones (as well as the thousands of others directly/indirectly affected by the aftermath), but it was something I knew was eventually going to happen. (looks out for truthers).
It didn't make me hate Muslims/Arabs anymore/less. It didn't make me more/less patriotic. I didn't go around calling victims heros. And I think 8 years on it is ridiculous to memorialize the event, especially those who were not affected. The fact they are making a museum of it disgusts me and reminds me of the propaganda campaigns dictatorships run to celebrate martyrdom. To me all of this memorializing (9/11, Kennedy, hell even Farah Fawcett) is a way to free ourselves from being responsible citizens working for a better society.
I am not trying to make light of the situation. It is just my feeling.
Please also don't take this as a direct response to your post. There is no political message here.There is no cheating, there is only jiu-jitsu.
9/11/2009 3:14pm, #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
I don't take personal offense at all, I'm just amused at the differences between people. You are wired one way, that's different and that makes you who you are, no harm there. But being "disgusted" by a museum seems pretty harsh. That's a lot of dead people that didn't ask for it. Are they heroes because they died? No, but remembering their senseless loss is far from "disgusting".
9/11/2009 3:23pm, #4
I was up and on the football field for marching band practice. Spent most of the day talking about it or watching the news in class. I was a lot younger then, I think I reacted with a little bit of hate on that day.
But, I've grown a little older and hopefully a little wiser, and I think we've all grown at least a bit from that event.
9/11/2009 3:25pm, #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
Well, I was about 22, and trying to decide whether to go back to college or not. I worked mostly nights, so I was home to see most of what happened that day. After I woke up and went online I saw a news story about it, and went to turn on the TV. Shortly after that I saw a plane hit the 2nd tower. I really couldn't believe that I was watching it on live TV, it seemed like something out of a movie. I never considered America invincible, I figure it will eventually fall just like every other world power through history--or more likely, be absorbed into something larger. However, I do have to say that what happened that day suprised me. At the time I was Antiochian Orthodox Christian (the Eastern Orthodox Church centered in Syria), and had come to know a number of people who were either immigrants from the middle east, or whose parents were born there, and I was worried that people might start going after other people that were from the middle east, especially in the area where I was which was probably 90% white and had a significant racist presence.
9/11/2009 3:29pm, #6
9/11/2009 3:30pm, #7
Computer science class, freshman year, first week of classes. Working on the exercises after a lecture. Professor told us to leave because "America had been attacked--the worst since Pearl Harbor."
I was in a trance, watching first from a cramped room next to the CS lab that had a TV I had to crane my neck to see, then from the lounge in my dorm. Probably the only time I ever used that lounge.
I remember people organizing blood drives on campus--unnecessary but it's the thought that counts--and calling home just to make sure they weren't, I don't know, 100 miles more south than usual.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
9/11/2009 3:33pm, #8
I was in work, we had the BBC on the radio when the 1st plane hit, I was the voice of reason when the idiots I work with were saying it was terrorists and they should nuke whatever country they were from, then the 2nd plane hit.
9/11/2009 3:36pm, #9
Myself and the rest of my class wouldn't have found out till we got home only I was with the career guidance counselor and the school secretary came in and told us another plane had crashed (The one in Pennsylvania), I asked what was going on and he said "there's planes crashing all over America" I asked how many had crashed and he said 4 or 5 (dunno where he got that number from) and I thought "that's not all over America, that's just a few crashes", I went back and told the rest of the class and no one really seemed to care, which probably seems very callous but planes crash all the time and we'd no idea what was actually happening. I got home not long after the second tower collapsed. My mother had been watching it all day and was very upset by that time, I was also convinced it was militant Americans a la timothy mcveigh.
9/11/2009 3:58pm, #10
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
I had gotten up for an early class that day and turned on the TV on a whim. It was just after the first plane had hit and they were speculating on how an airline pilot could make such a wild error,then suddenly, plane 2. It was shocking, jaw dropping and numbing.
I left and went to class and I spent most of that morning thinking that the planes might not have been that full and they had hit so high that the towers wouldn't come down, but at the end of class we heard that they had fallen. The worst part is not knowing. The worst was the news websites all crashed from the traffic and there wasn't cable at school.
I went to the record store for some reason after class and the guy there told me that DC had been hit too, but not that the pentagon had been hit, but that the white house was hit and the washington mall was on fire. I imagined napalm and hellfire all over everything I'd seen the time I went there on vacation as a kid. Then the guy said that we had deserved everything that we got and it had been comin' to us for a long time. I don't know about that. I know there's been some awful **** done in our names overseas, so I hope we're even now, but I don't think it really works like that anyhow.
I just can't believe how wrong I was about that day. "The towers will hold", "This will shut up the conspiracy theorists", and "we'll definitely catch that ************." I feel so naive.