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Remembering: where were you on September 11th

Chamba

Not obsessed: focused.
Member
SOA Member
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
I'm not sure if this is a good place for this topic, but maybe it can be moved if not. Or please remove it if you feel it's not appropriate for this forum Bigwalton.

Given today is the 20th anniversary, maybe it would be interesting to know where some of the guys on here were when the world changed.

I was a pilot for a small regional airline flying the Beech 1900. I was in Wichita, Kansas at a Holiday Inn in the cafe having breakfast. I was in uniform and getting ready for my showtime, which was in about an hour.

From where I sat I could see the side of the TV (this was back when TVs had rounded screens and you could just see a little bit of them from the side].

I noticed that people were milling around the TV and watching it but from the side I could only see what looked like the movie Die Hard.

When I finished eating, I went up to pay for my breakfast and spoke with a lady who was watching what was happening. I asked what had happened and she said that someone had flown a plane into the World Trade Center. I asked what kind of plane it was and she said "I think it was a Cessna". I said "that sure looks like a lot of smoke for a Cessna. Are they sure about that?" And she said "they think it was full of fuel."

I went back. up to my room and I called
my flying partner (who is one of my very best friends to this day and has an '83 CJ-8). I asked if he was watching TV and he said no. I told him to turn it on. When he asked what channel I said I didn't think it would matter. It didn't.

Just as he turned it on the 2nd plane hit. I called our company dispatch and was told that we should go to the airport as it was likely that we would be flying. Of course, this never transpired and we wound up sitting in Wichita for 4 days.

We found out later that the First Officer of the plane which hit the South Tower (United 175) was the flight instructor of my flying partner 8 years earlier. Aviation is a small world.

Maybe two weeks later I was in New York City on an overnight and visiting my sister who lived in The Village at the time. I was allowed to go out onto the viewing platform at the World Trade Center because I was an airline pilot. It was a truly awe-inspiring event. The smell was something I'll never forget and the people working all looked so determined. The sound was only machinery, there was nothing else.

I've since flown with guys who were in the air when this all happened. I hope we never have an event like this again, although I'm concerned we're in a bad place right now which could easily get out of hand if not dealt with properly.

When thinking about the future, I hope we always remember the people who paid the price of history.
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
Gold Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
I was at work also, at the NASA rocket factory in New Orleans. We had TV monitors around in the buildings so that people could watch the launching of Space Suttles into orbit. Someone had switched it to a news channel and the announcer was talking about a small plane hitting the tower, which made no sense since it was such a clear day. Suddenly the 2nd plane went into the other tower and then we knew for sure this was no accident.
 

jpnmaine

Well-known member
Member
City
East Wilton
State
ME
Just came in from doing my floor round. I was covered in ash from rodding a plugged bottom ash siphon drain. The TV was out..it is never out on day week showing smoke coming from one tower..the other one was hit just after I walked in. Couldn't really believe what I was witnessing, even after the towers collapsed.
 

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
I was in my 8th grade class at the time. Out of nowhere another teacher came in the room and said we were attacked by terrorists. They brought a TV in the room and basically watched the news the rest of the day. Definitely not as interesting as the stories I just read from you guys but I certainly will never forget it.
 

MikeV

Always learning
BENEFACTOR
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City
Monroe
State
NY
Renee and I had just finished breakfast on Christopher Street in the west village a few blocks north of the towers. 5 minutes after I kissed her and she went to work as a nurse 2 blocks east, a group of us on the corner ducked because anyone that was at ground zero HEARD the first plane before we saw it because the engines were making a deafening sound. It was low and pulled up fast over midtown before hitting pretty high (to this day I believe that because of that course change there was also a struggle going on in the cockpit of that plane too). I thought it was the loudest thing I had ever heard until we saw the nose of the second plane smash through. I thought hell opened up when they came down and I will not ever talk about the rest of what I saw that day. I was on the pile for 5 days until the city and red cross kicked civilians off. I recommend watching the story of the man in the red bandana to remember what I taught my students friday: in the face of unimaginable terror we saw amazing acts of courage, decency, and love also take place that day and in days following. I will take this notion with me for the rest of my life. God bless all here, those who have served, sacrificed, and died as well as a special place in my heart for the families who have had to find a way to carry on after such death and destruction. The ash never really washed off and it helps me to never forget.
 

walkerhoundvm

Just trying to stay upright
Lifetime Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
I was in my second year of vet school in upstate NY. We were in the middle of a ruminant lab, looking at stomach fluid under microscopes. Got out of lab and ran into one of my mentors who told me about the first plane. Went to a row of computers and pulled up the news to see the second plane hit. Went home soon after and was glued to the TV for the rest of the day.

Many of my classmates were from downstate, all with closer connections to survivors than me. I had an uncle and cousin who were working in midtown Manhattan and caught much of it first hand. They had to somehow make their way from midtown through the chaos to find whatever means they could to get back to Staten Island.

I visited the site when I was in NYC a couple years ago. It's a very somber experience, you're surrounded by The City, but could hear a pin drop.
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
I was working that day when a coworker came up and asked if I'd heard that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I stopped for a second and asked him if it was a terrorist attack. I remember everyone near by stopped what they were doing and looked at me like I was crazy.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
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Redmond
State
OR
I was heading into work when I heard some “crazy talk” by the DJ on the radio. Thought it was a prank. Then I saw the tv once I got to work. We pretty much took turns watching tv in the break room all day.

Later I found out that Brian Sweeney, an acquaintance/friend from the Jeepster Commando Board was on flight 175. It made the whole thing so much more personal. RIP Brian.

I’ve heard it said before, and I feel the same way. 9/11 was one of the worst days in our country. But 9/12 was one of our “best”. Not in the way most people think of best. But as a Country we were United in patriotism and a common goal. Didn’t matter who/what/where you were. You flew the flag proud and high, you weren’t a different race/belief/agenda. We were all Americans first. I sure miss that.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
Gold Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
Well said Randy. RIP Brian and all the others who have been involved through out this in the last 20 years and forward.
 

mwqpd11

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Coopersburg
State
PA
I was n the 7 Eleven and walked back to my police car. Turned Howard Stern back on and they just announced a plane Crashed into the tower
On Saturday,911, I was at a ceremony at the American Legion. Led 300 motorcycles on my Police bike for a Memorial ride
 

OGRES

Ramblin' Wreck
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
City
Suwanee
State
GA
I was at a career fair at the basketball arena at Georgia Tech in Midtown Atlanta. I had graduated that past May and I was working a booth for my company looking to hire recent graduates (and future graduates). We were all located in the lobby areas surrounding the entrances to the court. There were TV's everywhere that were tuned in to CNN, because, well, it was Atlanta. I was walking back from a restroom break where I saw a large group of people standing in front of one of the TV's. I asked a guy what was going on, he said one of the World Trade Center Towers was on fire. We all stared at the screen, not knowing what was really going on. That is when we all saw the second plane hit live on TV.

Everyone pretty much lost it right then and there. An announcement came over the PA system in the arena a short time later that we all need to evacuate immediately. They said that it was likely a terrorist act and not an accident and that Atlanta might be another potential target. We all packed up as fast as we could and got out of the arena.

I got back to my apartment and flipped on the news and watched in horror.

I then got a call from my supervisor at the construction company that I worked for wondering why I hadn't shown up at work yet. I was in utter disbelief. The other guy I was at the career fair with was a project executive over the project I was working on and he called my supervisor to let him know that the career fair was cancelled and that I should come on in to work. They both had full knowledge of what had just happened.

I told them that I would not be coming in to work that day. I lost all respect for every manager at that company that day.
 

Loyalpoke

Legacy Registered User
Lifetime Member
City
Stillwater
State
ok
My story has a strong Scrambler connection for me. I was selling my Scrambler and talking to a guy in Nashville on the phone, working out the details when I looked up at the TV in my office and saw the first plane hit the tower. I will never forget that was the day I sold my first Scrambler. The details of the day quickly shifted from Jeep to our country and those in NYC. I pray we see the day again when we are united around the flag and our patriotism like we saw coming out of this tragedy.
Side note and in no way as important as the tragic events that now define that day… but it was bad day for me. I thought I needed the $. Should have never sold it, a HUGE regret. I can still find pics of it online. Found CJ8 # 2 just a few years later, will never make that mistake again.

God bless our country, and those who protect us and protect those who can’t protect themselves! God be with those families that lost loved ones that day!
 
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