Friday Open Thread ~ 9-11-01~ We Stand United Edition

Taking a break from whiny news and gotcha politics to reflect on a somber moment in our lifetime.  I knew exactly where I was that morning, 14 years ago.  Where were you ?  I’ll comment later in the thread.

Here’s what one of the footprints of one of the Towers looks like today…

R.I.P. Innocent Souls.

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66 Responses to Friday Open Thread ~ 9-11-01~ We Stand United Edition

  1. Dora says:

    Good thread. This day must be remembered. Thanks Denise.

    Well, I was home that day, getting ready to prepare my breakfast, when the phone rang. It was Hubby calling from his office to tell me that a plane had hit one of the tower buildings. I immediately turned on the television and was glued to it for the rest of the day.

    Hubby worked in a building at 51st St. and had a corner office with a large window, giving him a spectacular view down 6th Ave to the southern end of the city. Although his building was several miles away, it was a beautiful, clear day and the towers were so tall that they could be seen from anywhere in the city. When he heard that a plane had crashed into the tower, Hubby looked out just in time to see the second plane crash into the second building. He stood at the window in shock watching the smoke, the fire and eventually the collapse of the buildings.

    At the time, all he could think of was getting out of the city. It was total chaos. There were mobs of people filling the streets. Everything had shut down. The trains weren’t running. Finally he and a few friends got together and hired a cab to drive them to Long Island. By the time he arrived home he was quite a wreck.

    Hubby still finds it difficult when this anniversary comes around. His memories of that day always bring tears to his eyes.

    Since so many people commute to the city for work, there were many victims of 9/11 from Long Island. We will be attending a church service this morning for the seven residents of our town who didn’t make it home. Two of them were rescue workers – a fireman and an emergency medic – and the rest worked in the tower buildings. Later there will be a memorial for them in a local park. We have these memorials every year on this date.

    It’s a sad day. 😦

    • Somebody says:

      It was bad enough seeing it happen on TV, I couldn’t imagine being in amongst it all like your husband was.

    • lyn says:

      Your story brought tears to my eyes. It is a sad day. ❤

    • Jadzia says:

      That’s true about the people in the suburban communities. I have an old college friend who was working for Giuliani at the time but lived in NJ. He posted today that 14 people in their community had been lost. Unimaginable.

  2. votermom says:

  3. And what a way to celebrate it. Iran deal is protected and the New York Times tracking Jewish people in defense of this administration. What’s next? Is Obama gonna don an ISIS-black mask and declare Mission Accomplished on national TV?

  4. DeniseVB says:

    This is a good read with a different point of view about 9-11. Written in 2013.

  5. Dora says:


    It’s been fourteen years since 9/11 but we must never forget the attack on America which occurred that day.

  6. mothy67 says:

    I was out on Long Island no way to get home(lived on 45th at the time) no way to connect to anyone.The days after seemed more difficult. Initially there was shock and for me incredulity. You could smell it but how could it be real. Rudy was wonderful. Memory is a funny thing. I thought The Aristocrats came out soon after but it was 4 years later I think it is funny but it maybe the filthiest thing ever made. It was a big deal going out afterwards. City encouraged it. There were no words. Impossible to process. People seemed to be asking is it okay to laugh or have fun. I think it must have been comedy clubs that ran with The Aristocrats and was later filmed. If you would like a prog to suffer anguish some duct tape and this movie is up your alley.

    The joke involves a person pitching an act to a talent agent. Typically the first line is, “A man walks into a talent agent’s office.” The man then describes the act. From this point, up to (but not including) the punchline, the teller of the joke is expected to ad-lib the most shocking act they can possibly imagine. This often involves elements of incest, group sex, graphic violence, defecation, coprophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, child sexual abuse, and various other taboo behaviors.

    Sounds like a bizarre way to deal with unfathomable pain. NYC has more comics of any place save Congress. I see those driven to be comedians as striving for balance. There was no balance in the weeks after 9/11. Comics still had to get up on stage. Trust me this movie is for almost no one except maybe votermom.

    I have this new thing as I tend to offend I make donations when I cross a line and I cross many. 100 going to St Judes in advance. What is up with older women comics. Ellen, Phyliss Diller, Lucy, Joan Rivers all had/have long careers. Chelsea Handler, Roseanne, Rosie all seemed to forget comics are funny not angry tweeters.

    • votermom says:

      Trust me this movie is for almost no one except maybe votermom.


      You got me …

    • 1539days says:

      I actually liked “The Aristocrats.” It’s like a campfire horror story contest for comics who tells these to each other. I study comedy as an amateur and you can actually learn a lot about the kind of comics the people in the movie by how they tell the story.

  7. votermom says:

  8. Myiq2xu says:

    14 years ago as terrified people ran out of the burning Twin Towers, members of the NYPD and FDNY ran IN.

    • Somebody says:

      They did run in and many paid the ultimate price. Now look where we are with all the black lives matter crap and how police are being maligned.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    This will give you goosebumps and tears of pride …. more heroes

  10. foxyladi14f says:

    Pray for America. ❤

  11. cynic says:

    Oh, how I still remember even the tiniest details of that day, and I still get those feelings of unease. It was a day that affected me profoundly, but I force that feeling of terror in the back of my mind. I will not let the terrorists win, I will not let the terrorists win……………

    It was one of those beautiful, blue-skied mornings here in the Midwest, with low humidity, and a hint of Fall in the air.

    Hubby was away on business (something he RARELY had to do) to a small town about 60 miles from the site of the PA crash site.

    I was washing the floor in the kitchen, and had my small countertop TV on. It took me a moment to understand what was happening on that TV, and I stood up, staring at the TV, with my sponge in hand, and my mouth hanging open.

    Hubby called me from the factory that he and some coworkers were touring, to ask me what was happening. This was before everyone had cell phones, so he was passing on the info that I had, to the men at that factory.

    The whole day is still so surreal. I must go out and water all my flower pots (30+), should I start canning the tomatoes that are out in the garden? What was happening? Four jets crashed, yet we kept wondering what would be attacked next. It was the unforeseen that was scaring me.

    My daughter’s horse riding lesson was not cancelled that evening, so I decided to take her to it.
    There were so many long lines at the gas pumps. My gas tank was 3/4 full. Should I top it off in case we need to evacuate? (We live less than 15 miles from a nuclear power plant. Will they try to attack that? or my husbands chemical plant that sit’s on the river? Again, it was the unknown that scared me.

    I saw AF1 fly overhead.

    My husband and coworkers were to fly home that day. They drove straight home that night, about 600 miles, using the rental car that they were suppose to turn in. My husband’s description of the closed Chicago airport is surreal as well. For, you see, they had their cars to pick up.

    In my mind, I keep thinking that the next act of terror will be on our power grid or water supply. I dehydrate fruit, veggies, etc. My basement shelves are loaded with peanut butter, tuna, etc. I can pickles and tomatoes. I figure that if we’re without electricity, we still have plenty of food to survive.

    I would love to be able to live off the grid, but I’m sure my hubby would think I lost it. Still, I make sure we have plenty of matches (We have 70+ trees on our property, so fire wood would’t be an issue), canned and dehydrated food, etc.

    That’s what September 11th did to me. (and sorry for my rambling.)

  12. taw46 says:

    I was in NYC about a month after 9/11. The last day, we did go down there. I will never forget that pile of rubble still smoldering, the smells. The banners on the fence surrounding St. Paul’s Chapel. A small Jeans shop, left the way it looked on that day, inside covered in grey ash. (I read they did move that to a museum.) Such evil, to cause that death and destruction.

  13. Jadzia says:

    Couch-surfing at a friend’s apartment in Seattle, having just finished a Ninth Circuit clerkship. Waiting for my clerkship bonus to come from Skadden’s Times Square office so that I could go climbing in Bolivia before moving to LA. I ended up canceling the trip.

    A few days later, I went to the Space Needle because the thought of being confined in a tall building terrified me, and I wanted to “win” somehow. The elevator went to the top and I zipped around the perimeter of the observation deck so fast that I managed to get back to that elevator before the doors closed. Military jets zoomed overhead and it was terrifying because I had forgotten about all the ambient noise of the jets before all the air traffic had been grounded.

    • Jadzia says:

      Also, September 11 is my stepfather’s birthday. Most awkward phone call ever.

    • taw46 says:

      I worked in a 21-story building, glass on all sides. Had to go to work that afternoon. Since no one knew what was going on, you can imagine how nervous we all were that day. We had never paid any attention to the stairwells, but that day, we learned location of all of them.

      • Jadzia says:

        Oh, I know! About a month later, I started a job on the 30somethingth floor of California Plaza. It was freaky.

  14. cynic says:

    I know in my head that we must continue to go about our everyday activities on this day, or the terrorist have won, but when my husband’s band accepted a gig tonight, my mind said, ‘really? you’re playing, I’m dancing tonight of all nights?

  15. votermom says:

    OT kid’s teacher called to say she confiscated kid’s cellphone coz she had it out during class.
    I was tempted to say, ok, but you’ve had my kid in your class for the second year now, haven’t you learned what her first name is yet? Coz she thinks my kid’s firstname is our family’s lastname, so she calls me Mrs Kidsname.

  16. swanspirit says:

    What I remember most, after the initial shock of realizing everything was actually happening and not just some bad movie on TV, was the real terror I felt about what would happen to my son, who was in Qatar at the time. Ordinarily, I could call him on his cellphone; even back then, but everything was on lockdown, and there was no communication from the U.S. to Qatar from non military personnel. Oddly enough, some friends of mine in the U.K. were able to get through, after I gave them his number and gave them a message from me. Every 9/11 I am glad he is back in the States, and today is no exception.

  17. cynic says:

    The races will really get interesting as candidates start dropping out. Which candidate will be getting those votes?

    I’m also a bit surprised at the Dem’s polls. They keep including Biden, who seems to be getting some interesting %s. That makes Hill and Bern seem much closer in the polls. If Biden wasn’t included, would Hill be up on Bernie by 20% or more, or would Bernie be getting those voters?

  18. Mt.Laurel says:

    I was sitting in my office in Virginia which is just a couple miles from the Pentagon. Talking on the phone with my mother who was in the hospital and going for tests that day. My boss and two of my workmates had children working in the financial district in NYC. I grew up about 35 miles from the PA crash site. I recall the entire day and how as each bulletin came in everyone held their breath. After the first news fro NYC we felt what seemed like one of the mild earthquakes we get in this area and a very loud boom. Then all hell seemed to break loose. The roads around our center closed to all traffic. Like when we are having bad weather and the they need to coordinate plows, and power trucks and other equipment, the parking lot was used a staging area so the center was filled with response teams taking breaks and other teams getting instructions and tones of police cars and fire trucks and ambulances. They finally opened the roads for people to travel outside the beltway but still kept close reins on the roads going toward DC. Traveling the beltway that evening was like something from the Twilight Zone. Our building was one of the last out and only my boss and I were traveling to Maryland and for much of the commute we were the only two cars on the road and there were many detours and closed access ways. When I arrived home my neighbors were all waiting for me in the parking lot. They had tried to call me but could not get through and my next door neighbor had a melt down knowing my office was so close to a crash site. We all stood around talking for a long while and then pulled together a pot luck picnic while trying to help those who had family in the affected areas get news of loved ones.

    And yes Dora, it was a clear and beautiful day here as well. You could see the blaze and smell the smoke from the fires at the Pentagon.

  19. Myiq2xu says:

    Bad cop, no donut.

  20. Underwhelmed says:

    Not being in the US, all my experience came via the tv. I have 2 enduring memories. One is of the emergency services scrambling to take care of all the survivors … and what happened when people started to realise there weren’t going to be any. Or nowhere near enough to justify the scale of the response (which was fabulous.) The other is of the people gathering near the site with photos of loved ones, waiting for word … and what happened when it started to sink in that almost none of those people would be coming home.

    I listen to the glorious humanity of Handel’s choral work and I am amazed and humbled by the glorious beauty mankind can create. Then I remember 9/11 (or the Holocaust, or Rwanda or, or, or) and I am plunged into despair.

    We have to be better than 9/11. We have to oppose evil wherever we find it, or we forfeit the right to any beauty.

    God bless the fallen, and those who fought to save them.

  21. simofish says:

    I was living in New Jersey at the time. On Tuesday’s I normally worked from home, but someone asked me to come in that day for a meeting. My GF at the time dropped by my desk to tell me a plane had hit one of the buildings. I imagined a 2 seater plane ……. then another one hit. We didn’t have TV’s in my building so we walked next door to a hotel, that’s when I saw the first towel drop. I immediately went home for the day. Everyone in my neighborhood was safe, but a co-worker of mine- her neighbor wasn’t so lucky …….. about two weeks later I took the fairy to the city — so sad to see all the notes posted “have you seen” and photos everywhere. What i thought was really cool (if there is such a term for a tragedy like this) the ASPCA and other animal organizations immediately stepped up to make sure animals were fed / taken care of ….. for those not ever coming home again.

  22. 1539days says:

    One thing about 9/11 is that everyone has a story that fits another piece into what life was like that day and at that point in their lives. I was working the graveyard shift at a small company with just me and a production worker. I wasn’t used to it, so I was probably up since about 1pm that afternoon. As I was driving home, I heard a plane hit the World Trade Center. When I got home, my mother was getting ready for work and watching MSNBC and CNN (we didn’t have Fox News yet). My sister was in Albany, which we considered part of the zone of danger at the time.

    Even though I was pretty tired, I stayed up listening to Howard Stern who stayed on past noon that day. I called work to see if they still wanted me to come in the middle of the night to a business near and airport. I spent the next few weeks listening to late night radio like Art Bell and the very strange tone the world had taken. I also remember the Anthrax letters, which happened only weeks later. At one point, people really didn’t know if the new normal would be constant terror.

    • Mt.Laurel says:

      The Beltway Sniper followed closely after the Anthrax letters and although the largest concentration of victims was in metro DC, they had killed and injured people across the country before arriving in this area in October. By that time people really were wondering what would be next.

      • cynic says:

        Then there was the airliner that crashed on Veteran’s Day that year. I worked at a Credit Union at the time, and we were off that day. It was another one of those days that I found myself glued to the TV.

        “An American Airlines flight out of John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York City crashes into a Queens neighborhood after takeoff on this day in 2001, killing 265 people. Although some initially speculated that the crash was the result of terrorism, as it came exactly two months after the September 11 attacks, the cause was quickly proven to be a combination of pilot error and wind conditions.”

  23. leslie says:

    It was one of the most beautiful mornings and I was riding the commuter bus from the train on my way to work when there was an interruption on the music/radio playing on the speakers. There a plane had flown into the WTC. I was still several minutes away from my office near the hospital. By the time I arrived at the hospital lobby, the tv’s were tuned in to CNN coverage. By the time I arrived at my own office across the street, I think the second plane had flown into the 2nd bldg. At that time my sister lived and worked in NYC and I wasn’t certain of her proximity to WTC so I called to see if she was okay. I couldn’t get through. So I called her husband in VT, and I couldn’t get through there either. I spent the rest of the day trying to reach anyone who could tell me anything about my sis. (As it tt turns out, her office and home were not near WTC, but she could see WTC from her apartment window.) It wasn’t until about 8:00 that I would be able to find out she was fine. But thousands of others were not.
    Because there was only 1 tv in our office building – in the children’s (psych) center – we had no real information coming in and we were really out of touch with what was happening. At one point I had reason to go to the 2nd floor (the children’s psych center) and saw they had the tv coverage of the horror going full on. I was shocked that they would have this news on the tv in the children’s center. I asked them to turn it off. They refused. I then turned it off and said I’d report them to the head of psychiatry if the news coverage was turned back on. I reminded them of where we were and the work that we did there and said DHS (Dept of Human Services) would be really dismayed by their disregard of the patients and their issues by watching the coverage instead of attending to patients and their families. Although they were upset by my threats, they left the tv off the rest of the day. (I don’t recall using the internet for information that day. I don’t recall if we even had internet available at that time.) I did have a radio in my office that I had turned on when I didn’t have a patient to see.
    Many of us who were cut off from coverage during the day, spent the night watching the coverage, and being horrified by the attacks and frightened/anxious about the future. Our patients were even more so. It was a terrible time for everyone, but even worse for people suffering from mental illnesses. Another social worker and I started a support group for clinicians who were dealing with our own issues r/t the work we do and working with others whose symptoms had increased due to the attacks. It was a really hard time for us all on many levels – personal, professional, psychological.
    4 days after the attacks, my nephew and his fiancée were married. They thought they would postpone their wedding due to the 9/11 attack, but due to the immense costs, were unable to do so. Because there was no air traffic, many of their relatives had to take trains to this little town in the middle of no where in Illinois. We drove as we had intended. There were few cars on the roads. Many of them had American flags flying – something I had rarely seen before. The Tribune and SunTimes newspapers had posted fullpage illustrations of the flag that week. We laminated one and had it posted on the apartment window – something we were not allowed by our HOA. We did it anyway. Trains were delayed by searches and the “heavy loading” during that time, and family coming from Colorado and other points west, made it to the wedding just in time as no train actually stopped in the little town. Many of us had to drive to other cities to pick them up. My nephew and his bride included prayers for the dead, the survivors and their families in their wedding Mass. They were so cognizant of the impact – it impressed me that the young ones were that astute. I was so proud of them.
    I went to visit my sister in October and to pay my respect to the city, the dead, the first responders, the survivors. It was difficult. The sights, the smells, the dust, the buntings on the firehouses – everything was a reminder of what happened. But the thing that had the greatest impact on me was the main concourse in Grand Central Station. There were walls and walls, and walls of photographs of the missing. There were rows of eight-to-ten foot high dividers in the halls and the concourse that had been built to provide wall space for those postings. I am still brought to tears when I recall the sight of those walls and the photos and posters and the silent screams of those who never returned and the families who were searching for them.
    I have a reminder every day of that visit – pilgrimage to NYC. I developed a reaction to the dust and smell and have a chronic cough as well as a rash that no medication or medical intervention has managed to control. They did not exist prior to my trip; they started 2 days into my visit.
    There’s much I haven’t shared. I’ve gone on too long.

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