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Your memories of 9/11

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  • Your memories of 9/11

    So many people on this message board were 7 (or younger) when 9/11 occurred. I'm wondering if anyone on this board have any recollection of it happening and what those memories were.

    I was in law school in upstate New York...my father called as I was on my way to class. Turned on the tv and they already had live footage. My roommate came back and were watching...then there was this cloud of smoke and the camera went fuzzy and when the smoke cleared, there was only one tower. We turned to each other "Where is the other tower", "I don't know", "It's gone." We watched in dead silence as the cameras caught the second tower coming down. They closed down the school's parking lot and turned it into a heli-pad....because they anticipated needing to fly victims to our campus' hospital. F-15's and Black Hawks patrolled the skies to give escort. No helicopter ever came.

  • #2
    Re: Your memories of 9/11

    That describes my exact experience. I was a 1L at Cornell Law. I don't know about helicopters (don't recall that detail), but everything else is eerily similar.

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    • #3
      Re: Your memories of 9/11

      I was 12. I had stayed home "sick" from school. I woke up around noon, and flipped on the TV. I saw the footage, but didn't realize what it was. I promptly turned to Nickelodeon. My older sister came home from school early. She told me what happened. I started to watch the footage over and over until my mom came home from work. I was horrified by what I saw, and horrified that I had been so completely unaware. I cried. My mom turned off the TV, and hugged me until I stopped.

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      • #4
        Re: Your memories of 9/11

        I was in 5th grade and working on a grammar assignment. The teacher from next door came in and told my teacher to turn on the news. We didn't really understand and paid very little attention to the tv. I had a question about the assignment I was doing and walked up to my teachers desk to get an answer, but he was completely ignoring me. I remember being so frustrated that he was watching tv and not listening to me. Eventually when he had more information, he began to tell us what was happening. As the gravity of the situation started to set in, we all became very afraid. We had taken a history class or two by this point, and knew what it meant if we were under attack. We couldn't help but escalate the danger in our minds, confident that at any moment we could be bombed. There was an overwhelming feeling that the adults were just as confused and scared as we were. And while they didn't show those emotions as obviously, they really had no clue how to explain to us what this meant.

        The clearest memory I have of that day was watching the news with my sister when we got home that afternoon. They were showing footage from the streets somewhere in Afghanistan of people burning our flag and beating up a dummy version of our president. Until this point in my life, I hadn't realized that anyone had any ill feelings against our nation. Clearly, I was naive.

        I stand by my objection.

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        • #5
          Re: Your memories of 9/11

          I was in 7th grade. I remember pretty much every hour of that day. Not that the attack really affected me on a personal level - I was too young and not far away to really understand the scale or meaning. But I still remember everything.

          Second hour, some friends told me a plane had accidentally crashed into one of the towers, and that a smaller plane had apparently tried to investigate and also crashed. By third hour all the teachers had the news on and it was pretty obvious it was a terrorist attack. I remember actually postulating to some of my classmates that it was "Odah bin Laidin," a dangerous man from the Middle East I'd read about in a children's news magazine for a social studies class the year before. Then by the end of third hour they already had photos and videos of Osama bin Laden circulating on all the news stations, and they were saying it was pretty clearly him.

          The most notable memory is all my football classmates asking their coach/science teacher in fourth hour if practice would be cancelled and watching his intense eyes bulge out of their sockets. "Of course! Of course the next target on a fanatical Muslim terror network's hit list is Buffalo Middle School Football Field, in Minnesota! No!, practice isn't cancelled, you idiots."

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          • #6
            Re: Your memories of 9/11

            I was in fourth grade. The first memory I have was being in the car, being dropped off at school, and the radio was on, but I wasn't listening. Then my mom was reacting to it, and then I understood that something must have happened. Then I got to school and went to this room where kids who were dropped off early went, and we were watching footage of it, but eventually had to go to class. I don't remember the rest of that day, although I remember being naive enough to hope that no one was in the buildings, and hoping that no one was in the plane, was just kind of shocked that so many lives could be taken.

            It's bizarre to me still that my mom, who teaches second grade, has had to explain to her students every 9/11 what happened, for the last few years at least. We all have such vivid memories of that day, but it's already history for kids not that much younger than us.

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            • #7
              Re: Your memories of 9/11

              I was a senior in high school coming in from marching band practice. Without saying a word, the director came out and turned on the televisions and the entire 300 member Texas marching band stopped dead in our tracks and stared in silence. I even remember where in the band hall I was standing when I turned to look. It was after the 2nd plane had hit so there was no doubt someone was intentionally declaring war. A lot of us grew up that day. We were all on the cusp of draft age and, in Texas, many had planned to enlist. We watched for a while. The moment we tried to start rehearsing with the television on mute in the background, the 2nd tower fell and that was the end of that.

              3rd period my Calculus teacher Mr. Kondysar gave a pop quiz as planned. Because without Calculus quizzes, the terrorists win. He's still my favorite teacher of all time, as much as I loved some of my law professors.
              But you look too young to be a lawyer.

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              • #8
                Re: Your memories of 9/11

                I was in 8th grade in central VA. Our geography teacher had been, among other career moves, Marine Force Recon as a younger man. In the middle of class, his cell phone rang. He went over to it, clearly upset that someone had called him in the middle of the day. When he saw the caller ID, his face changed from perturbed to moderately alarmed. It was one of his friends, who now worked at the Pentagon. He answered, was silent for a moment, then said "Wait, slow down. What do you mean attacked? Planes? Like bombs? OK, I gotta go."

                He left the room to go check in with a teacher next door (our teachers team-taught, so everyone who had him for geography also had Teacher A for math, Teacher B for English, etc.), and told me to get on his computer and start checking news sites. At that point, CNN was reporting that a plane had struck the World Trade Center, but not much else was known. After a few minutes, our teacher came back and took my place at the computer. He read what was up, then told us to sit tight again while he went back out of the room. We were all talking amongst ourselves, trying to figure out what the hell happened.

                A few minutes later, he came back and moved us to a room where the civics teacher we'd all had the year before had a planning period, and a TV hooked up to cable. We sat spellbound in that room for what seemed like the rest of the day, but couldn't have been more than an hour or so. We all sat in horror as the towers came down. The principal came in after a while, and told us that we needed to not talk about this with other students for a while, not until they'd had a chance to put something together. On the afternoon announcements, they told the whole school that something had happened, and that we needed to talk with our parents when we got home.

                My brother is three years older than me. His whole life, he's wanted to be a firefighter. Going home, and sitting next to my mom as she watched footage of FDNY firefighters wandering dazed through the debris clouds, and as we all realized just how many of those brave souls had gone into the towers to never come back out, was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
                "I believe that, so long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." --RFK

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                • #9
                  Re: Your memories of 9/11

                  I was in the fifth grade in an elementary school on Long Island (New York), and a kid came in late. He was babbling about how a helicopter had crashed into the World Trade Center. I thought it was some sort of accident. A few minutes later, the principal came on and told us that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. The whole day, parents were picking their kids up from school and taking them home. By the end of the school day, I was one of three kids left in school. My parents figured I was safest in school.


                  My dad was on an American flight from New York to Boston that morning...when I heard that one of the flights hijacked had been a NY-Boston flight, I didn't rest easy until he finally called later that day. He rented a car and got on a ferry. Said that the ferry and every bridge/toll on the way was like an armed encampment. National Guardsmen with M16s locked and loaded. Cops with shotguns and pistols out of their holsters.


                  I remember reading something about how certain events are "flash-bulb" events in the collective memory of a generation. We all remember where we were when it happened, and we have all been deeply affected by 9/11.
                  I'll just move on, your Honor.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Your memories of 9/11

                    I was a freshman in high school. Walked into second hour World Geography from first hour Phys Ed. and saw that the TV was on. That struck me as odd, so I paid closer attention. There were clips of an airplane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers and then we saw a second one. I can't remember if we watched the second plane hit it live on TV or not (I suspect not because they were only a few minutes apart, right?). Anyway, I was dumbstruck (a combination of awestruck and dumbfounded). Needless to say class did not continue as planned. I don't think it was until the end of class that we learned it was an intentional act of terror. I will never forget that day.


                    I remember being given a page out of the WSJ (I think) that had a "poem" of sorts that began something like:


                    On Monday, the faucet broke just as I was leaving the house. I remember thinking life was unfair...


                    [Many more examples]


                    On Tuesday that all changed...


                    Not sure if it was that exact mundane situation (faucet breaking) but that's the general idea. The page from the newspaper containing that poem still hangs in my bedroom.
                    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Your memories of 9/11

                      I was sleeping because my unit had trained until 1 am the night before. Some time around 9 am, a specialist from my unit told me to turn on the tv. I told him to go fuck himself. He insisted I turn on the tv. I turned it on to see the second plane crashing into the tower. 1 month later, I was in Afghanistan. Life=curveballs.

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