Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you?

When I was growing up I always remember my parents and their friends saying "Oh I remember exactly what I was doing when Kennedy was killed."

I always found that intriguing and interesting, but never thought that I would have one of those moments in my life.

I remember where I was on the day of the Oklahoma Bombings - I was driving to work and heard it on the radio.

I remember where I was when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001 - I was sitting in my bosses office in a meeting when his partner called and said "a plane hit the WTC." He said "oh, ok" and hung up the phone, we spoke for a few minutes and speculated that it must have been a small commuter plane, it was nothing to worry about. Soon after the phone rang again, but this time we heard "Another plane hit the WTC? Yeah, ok, whatever. You know what, I'm in a meeting I'm going to have to call you back in a little bit." He hung up the phone and we had a little laugh because we figured it was obviously a prank....not 30 seconds later one of our employees knocked on the door and said "Hey, the internet is acting really strang, I can't get anywhere...every page is timing out...oh yeah and someone said that a plane hit the WTC."

Suddenly our world was changed.....forever.

Where were you?


The Big Finn said...

Mrs. TBF and I were on vacation in Rhodes, Greece. I walked up to a kiosk to buy some water, and I looked up to see CNN showing the first tower burning right after the first airplane hit. I told Mrs. TBF that there was a fire at the WTC, and that I thought some kind of "commuter plane" had hit the tower. We didn't realize the severity of the whole thing until later. Later that night, we sat in disbelief in our hotel room watching the live coverage on CNN.
I guess the thing I'll always remember is how other tourists around the pool at our hotel, who obviously heard our American accents, expressed their sorrow and offered kind words of support.
I bought my earrings, that I always wear, in Rhodes. They are my personal reminder of 9/11. I think about it every time I look in the mirror.

Karen said...

We were on strike on Sept. 11th. I was picking outside the front door of our building when a friend came and said that a plane hit one of the towers. That's weird, I thought. A few minutes later, she came back and said that a second plane hit the second building. That's no coincidence, I said (boy, was I ever clever). Less than thirty minutes later that day's picketing was called off. Essential staff were asked to return to work (after the pentagon, I work in the largest conglomeration of government buildings in North America) and everyone else was sent home.

We all went to a friend's place where we watched CNN and the BBC for hours, eyes glued to the television screen. Once we had seen the same stories and newsreel several dozen times, we went home. We never picketed again and a new labour agreement was signed a few weeks later. I guess people felt that there were bigger things at stake.

A few weeks later I was on a plane taking off from Amsterdam. Just as the plane was gathering enough speed to lift off, it aborted the take off and ground to a halt, tires screeching. Firetrucks pulled up and everyone was evacuated. It turned out that one of the engines collasped after sucking in some birds and the pilot estimated that we didn't have enough power to get airborne. You never heard a quieter moment in your life. There was complete and utter silence as the drana unfolded. Fortunately, after a KLM-sponsored night in Amsterdam, we were all popped on a new plane the next morning and flown home.

September 11th (1973) is also the anniversary of the coup that brought down democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende and ushered in seventeen years of dictatorship and other nasty stuff. :-(

Expat Traveler said...

I was driving to work at 5:53 am in the morning. It was a beautiful sunrise and I was just getting off the freeway, nearly all the way there already. I was talking to a personal friend who was in Greece at the time. Our day was slow and mostly people kept talking about everything which happened.

I also had hit the gym that morning beforehand.

Interesting to hear about TBF's earrings too...

Mrs. TBF said...

I know this was about 9/11, but I was an 8 month old fetus awaiting birth when Kennedy was assassinated.

cmhl said...

dropping off my oldest at school, 3 days away from birthing my youngest.

Anonymous said...

I was in Rhodes too, Rhodes Town in Greece. We went into a shop and they had the news on showing the first tower had been hit, we watched the second. Went straight to a bar and watched the whole tragedy unfold amidst growing numbers of people. It was so shocking. A lady sat near us was actually from New York in very bad shock, I asked if she was ok and she said she had friends who worked there. I often think about her to this day.