Where were you?

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I was living in Chattanooga Tennessee and working for a manufacturer there.  I’d taken to listening to Internet radio out of the UK, and my first clue that something was up actually came from the DJ who said something along the lines of, “We’re hearing reports of planes crashing into New York.”

The building I worked in was quite large.  My office faced the manufacturing floor, though I had no windows, which was why I’d started listening to Internet radio in the first place – no signal could reach me.  I tried searching the Internet for what the DJ was talking about and couldn’t get news sites to load.  Me being me, I walked down to the IT department, to the head of IT, actually, and told him what I’d heard and that I couldn’t seem to get news sites to come up.  He said he’d look into it.

WTC_smoking_on_9_11By the time I got back to my desk, other people had started hearing things and were also jumping onto the web to see what was going on.  Obviously, Internet traffic was spiking.  I kept clicking refresh until the first image loaded.  It showed smoke billowing out from the World Trade Center.

They say there are moments where you remember where you were and what you doing when you learned of them.  This was one of those moments.  The world stopped spinning.  Everything moved in slow motion.  The moment is one of clarity, what happened after, not so much.

Where were you?

3 comments for “Where were you?

  1. September 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

    On Staten Island, just back from voting in a NYC primary with my Mom [It was the first time my Mom voted!]

    We got home just before the first hit. (I was working later that day).

    My younger brother, thank God, was late for work–he worked near the top of one of the towers. Not all of his co workers survived.

  2. September 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I was working a block away from the Empire State Building listening to Howard Stern tell me planes hit the building. I was on the last train out of NYC to NJ before the rails were shut down.

  3. September 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I was living in Colorado Springs and working for a web-based email company. I was on my way to work when the DJ started talking about “a sad day in America” and such between the songs. I had no idea what she was talking about as she did not give details. I’d thought the president had been assassinated or something like that. I was about 4 blocks from work, so I raced into the office.

    When I got there, the main board room’s big TV was set up and it was standing room only. I couldn’t clearly see the TV from the doorway, so I pulled a small coffee table from the lobby to the edge of the doorway and stood on it, so I could watch.

    By the time I got to work, got on my table and watched, all that was left was replays. The events had already unfolded. Almost 3,000 people were already dead. The buildings had fallen. Even though the events of the day had mostly come to a conclusion, the hurt, pain, shock, dismay, grief, and utter lack of comprehension was just beginning.

    It was on that day that I learned why my grandparents were always somber on December 7th (anniv. of attack on Pearl Harbor), and I wish I could have learned why they were that way on that day without experiencing it myself.

    Fast forward a few months, and I’m now a receptionist (training to be a vet tech) at a veterinarian. An older couple brings in a small dog riddled with cancer for euthanasia. That’s always a sad day, but this was worse for the couple. Their daughter died in 9/11. They went to NYC to bring their daughter home for burial. There was nothing to bury. All they could bring back was her dog and a few meager belongings. Now the dog was joining their daughter in the afterlife. It tore open wounds that had not even begun to heal. They barely made it through the euthanasia without collapsing. We (the staff of the clinic) could not make it through the day without crying over the loss.

    Wow. That went on longer than I thought it would.

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