20th Anniversary - Where were you and what were you doing on September 11, 2001?

I figured today would be a big deal for a lot of people here.

The only thing I remember is coming home from school and seeing the tower on fire on tv. That was it really. I was like 7.

And please don’t turn this topic into yet another political argument thread about Bush and Obama and whatnot.

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Walking up the stairs first period English, sophomore year in high school, a friend ran down the stairs screaming at me, “They crashed into the World Trade Center!”

Damn, what a day.

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It happened either when I was in Hong Kong airport, waiting for a transfer on to Kaohsiung (coming from Vancouver), or in the air between Hong Kong and Kaohsiung.

People were talking about it in Chinese in the minivan taxi between Kaohsiung and Tainan. I managed to gather that a plane had hit a building in New York, but assumed it was just a minor incident. Of course I learned very differently when I got home.

Now I’m wondering how much news I actually managed to follow that week. I don’t think I had TV, and I may have only had internet access at work. I mostly followed the news just with the weekly Economist. I probably figured out what was going on by calling my parents. Likely with a calling card? Were we still using those for long-distance calls in 2001?

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I was in New York (Long Island) in my first week of my first year at university. My older brother worked in finance in downtown Manhattan and I freaked out most of the day because I couldn’t reach him (the telecommunications was ironically knocked out for most of the city due to its infrastructure being situated at the top of one of the towers). I was relieved when he emailed me back that evening. I could see the smoke in the distance. The other thing I remember from that day is my bitch of a professor marked me and everyone else who skipped class that morning “absent.” I couldn’t believe it.

I visited Ground Zero a couple weeks later and talked to a cop there. We couldn’t get too close, but it was something to see and the smell was uncanny… like burnt wiring, but a thousand times worse than how it is if you’ve ever had a kitchen appliance burn out.

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I still remember that fateful day like it happened yesterday…I had just arrived in Taiwan (August 20th, 2001) and was staying temporarily at my brother’s before finally moving to my University’s dormitory. Since I had nothing much to do, all day I was surfin’ the net and watching CNN, HBO etc…Suddenly there was this huge breaking news splattered all across the TV “America Under Attack!!”…what went through my mind after that was shock, horror, disbelief and sadness witnessing the 2 emblems of US might and pride go up in flames and coming down in minutes. Everyone stayed glued to our TV sets all night and well into the next day. I think I must’ve watched CNN for a week straight. :cry:

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I was asleep in Sydney - it happened around Midnight Sydney time. Woke up and choked on my Cornflakes while watching news over Breakfast.

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I was an exchange student in a high school in Amherst, NY.
9/11 was my first day at school. I flew in to Chicago a week earlier for orientation.
During lunch break the TV was turned on and we all watched the events unfolding. Eventually we were told to go home. For a day I was not able to get a call through to Germany.

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Just chilling at home in Taipei and I turned on the TV with the sound off. The first plane had already made impact, and I tuned in just in time to watch the second plane hit. I thought I was watching a disaster movie until I turned the sound on. Very surreal.

Just a week later, I arrived in the U.S. to visit my girlfriend at the time, who was going to graduate school in Seattle, and I was a little shocked to see police out in force everywhere. It felt like returning to your country to discover it had turned into a police state.

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Did you have to change your flights for that? Lots of flights (maybe all of them in the US?) were shut down for a bit during and after that day.

I was walking back from my class into the student union building at the University of Utah, and I just saw many people gathered around T.V. and in shock. I just stood there and watched as the second one hit the second tower. Everything went awash after that, and I couldn’t remember what or where—a totally surreal experience. I vividly remembered this moment, but nothing after.

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My mom was driving home from the gym in Boston and thought the radio cast about it was some twisted Orson Welles-esque prank (like when he pretended there was an alien invasion).

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Nope. I was a little worried my flight (two legs) would be cancelled, but it ended up flying as scheduled. Going through airport security was a nightmare though. It took so long at LAX that I almost missed my connecting flight to Seattle.

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I was living in a district of Osaka, sharing a tiny two bed apartment with a Candian called Gary. We ended up falling out in Thailand.
I was watching the film Dark City and at some point I grew bored and switched off. I can’t remember if both planes had hit or just one. However I do know I was watching it live and there was smoke and the towers were still standing as I watched. I phoned my friend Brady, to tell him, but his wretched contrary girlfriend Carla, answered.
Me: Turn on the news. A plane has crashed into the world trade centre.
Her: Which channel?
Me: EVERY CHANNEL

Research into flashbulb memory will tell you that most of that memory is heavily corrupted and false. But I clearly remember Carla being a twat.

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Bored? That’s a great movie!

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You know what, it is! However it was dubbed into Japanese and I was reading subtitles and the visuals got lost on me so I needed a break from it.

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Lost my job as a journalist the day before at the Straits Times in Singapore (very happy the fucker that didn’t like me later died of ALS–karma is a bitch).

Best thing that ever happened to me and meant I skipped the craziness in media that would have followed. Got a nice severance and spent the next three months backpacking in China, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.

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I was working in a government office getting paid to know the alphabet. A tv was rolled out in the office and we watched the news for half an hour before we were told to go home for the day. At the time I thought it was another stray Cesna.

I went to ground zero the summer before last. It was so incredibly emotional. The names of the victims. Flowers being placed there. The absence of the towers.

I felt a lot of love that day. :heart:

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Heard about it on the car radio and it took a long time for me to register that it was real and not some morning radio bs that I tuned into in the middle of.
I was at my bank in Dearborn, MI, waiting in line to get some “Traveler’s Checks” for a trip to Bangkok when the second one fell. I was scheduled to fly out on the 12th. Obviously that didn’t happen. I ended up flying out on the 14th instead (nearly empty planes on both flights).

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I was working in a lumber mill in Northern California. The forklift drivers had radios so they were keeping us up to date. When the first plane hit we were shocked but just thought it was an accident. After we heard about the second plane, and then the Pentagon, we knew something was terribly wrong. Most everyone went home for lunch to watch the news on TV.

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