Didn’t have cable at the time (and, no net on cell phone). Mom called, stated to come over and watch news that a plane flew into the WTC. Wife and I went over, literally seconds later the second plane hit the tower. The rest seems like a blur, eventually made it to class at SIUE and sat stunned of what this could mean. Ashamed to say it, but every Mid-Eastern person I saw on campus, part of me was scared, part of me was sorry, part of me didn’t know what to do. I remember finding my mentor professor in his office and we just stared at each other and then debated how awful our govt would screw the next several years up….
Going to park by the train, and hearing the news on the radio. Getting downtown, and then being sent home. I was staring at the Sears Tower on the way back to the train, wondering if it was next. It was several months before I could pass the Sears Tower without staring and wondering.
The first thing I recall is what a beautiful day it was.
I was in the first weeks of my very first principal position. Had just learned my wife was pregnant with our first child. She was working in a business related to the airlines and was laid off shortly after which was a blessing in the end.
The police came to ur school to make sure we were secure and I would be lying if I said that didn’t worry me more than a little. We finished the school day and I made everyone go home as soon as the students were gone.
By the time I was on my way home I noticed that there were no planes flying in what were fairly clear skies.
I remember talking with my neighbors, we had a family in our neighborhood that were from Jordan that were very scared. I felt horrible for them and was proud that our neighborhood supported them when things got ugly in other places.
I was in the middle of a home remodeling project and was at a hardware store. I first heard about it from a cashier. A friend was at my house working. When I got home he had CNN on. We couldn’t stop watching. I wept.
Sent home early from my main job. Hugged kids after school - tried to explain what happened. Went to work at a second job that PM troubled to see long lines at all the gas stations after 10 pm.
- Back to the Future - Friday, Sep 11, 20 @ 2:06 pm:
When I heard about it on the on the radio I could not stop swearing and yelling out loud.
I was at a meeting at Lehman Brothers the week before and their building was destroyed by parts of the Twin Towers hitting it. My friends at Lehman all got out alive. The firm had to move to hotel lobbies to operate for awhile. The people I knew who worked at the Twin Towers all got out alive, but a lot of their friends did not make. I still have a photo of one of my kids on a boat trip with the Twin Towers behind her from a trip we took to Wall Street and to look at NYU and Columbia.
Cantor had the top two floors in one of the buildings. I don’t think anyone made it.
9/11 always shakes me up. I watch the 9/11 events every year.
Thanks for asking.
Someone at work told us that an airplane hit one of the WTC towers. My first thought was ok so a small plane hit the towers what is all the fuss? Little did I know.
Secondly like many events in US history i.e. the death of JFK, Vietnam, 9/11/2001 for me was a notice that any faux sheen of the US believing it was exceptional and not like the rest of the world (i.e. immune from global issues) was ending. The end of innocence.
The terrorism and bombings the rest of the world had been dealing with for years/decades had come to the USA.
And the reverberations of being knocked off our smug, faux innocent perch are still being felt today by the world and the people of the USA.
Dropped off my son at school and had WGN radio on when the first plane struck. Thought it was a private plane then they announced it was a commercial jet. When I got to work the second plane hit. Not a lot of work got done that day.
Was on my way to work, heard it on the radio and at first I thought it was a joke in poor taste. Got to work, spent a little while messing with making a coat hanger antenna for a tv there so we could watch live coverage. Everyone that came through just stopped and stared at the screen, moving like zombies. There were a bunch of us watching when the first tower fell, just utter horror when it happened. By noon all the businesses were dead and we closed. Driving home through the U of I campus, there wasn’t a sole out on foot or driving. Just felt like so depressing and scary, and nobody knew what was coming next.
Heard something happened on the way to the office. Walking through the Loop I saw a crowd of people in front of a stockbroker office watching the TV. I joined them in stunned silence. I made it to the office only to learn of the second plane, and shortly thereafter being evacuated. A friend drove that day, and we spent 3-4 hours going home on a drive that normally takes an hour. Had the TV on nonstop for days.
I highly recommend the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It is, perhaps with the exception of Holocaust museums, the quietest museum you will ever visit.
It was my junior year of high school. I remember I was in the lower hallway, and I’ll never forget who told me, “America is under (expletive) attack.” Went to the next class, and teachers were pretty much wheeling in any available TV so we could watch what was going on. I missed the collapse of the first tower because it was in between periods, but I saw the second one. We still had football practice that day. In the middle of practice, everybody stopped and looked to the sky. We saw what we believe is Air Force One and a pack of fighter jets surrounding it. Then after practice, I was going to get gas but the sign said $4 a gallon when it had been about $1.20 that morning.
When the second plane hit I thought “bin Laden”. I was working in an office a couple miles north of the Loop. The suburbanites by and large left after fearing Sears Tower was next. I lived four blocks from the office so I really had nowhere to go. I think I left the office around 1:00, couldn’t focus.
I have a vivid memory of it being an incredibly perfect late summer morning, brilliant clear blue sky, golden sunshine and 72 degrees. I was in my car on the way to work when Mary Dixon reported a small plane had crashed in NY and may have hit one of the WTC. When the second plane hit, I knew we were under attack. Really strong memory of that morning.
I had gotten to work a bit early, and was just doing some paperwork when a colleague came in. I greeted him in my usual cheerful manner, and he said, “I guess you haven’t heard.” “Heard what?” I said, and he told me. We found a television and were glued to it, until we got word that we were shutting down and to go home. (We were in downtown Chicago just a few blocks from the Sears Tower, which was considered a target.)
It was a long time before I could hear a low-flying plane with relative equanimity.
Absolutely beautiful day. Listened to a cassette on commute, so didn’t know about the first plane until I got into the office. Someone in the office had a little TV with the Today show on and stepped in just in time to see the second tower get hit and Jim Miklaszewski reporting from the Pentagon when it got hit. Stunned as we waited for the next hit.
I recall Mr. Atta’s Passport being found on a sidewalk in mint condition and building Seven free-falling after Mayor Giliani said the building was unsafe and they were going to have to pull it. I recall praying for our children serving for the empire was marching to war.
Walking into work at the Capitol, I thought it was an absolutely beautiful day. Within an hour, we were all watching tv in my bosses office trying to figure out what was happening. By 9:30, we were directed to leave immediately, not to even wait for the elevator. The rumor was that there could be car bombs hitting multiple state capitols. Later that day, several local gas stations raised their prices to $5 a gallon as people rushed out to fill up.
@47th - Spot on - It was a perfect early fall day.
I worked nights, so I was asleep when the first plane hit. Got a call in between planes that woke me up, Second plane hit and I knew I was going to be called back on the job.
Going to work the I thing I remember the most is driving with the windows down in the car and NO ONE had music on the radio. It was all news talk radio. Not one beat of music the entire drive from anyone all through the city.
I was at a government building across Lafayette park from the White House, at a meeting with several colleagues from the military. We had actually thought about scheduling that meeting at the Pentagon, but had ditched that as the security would make it impractical. They evacuated the building I was in after the WH staff evacuated running. I spent the day wandering through the District, wondering if a plane would be shot down on me. It was very surreal. the ATMs emptied quickly. My hotel was near the Pentagon, and I could smell it burning all night. The streets were nearly empty, and there was a long wait for a dial tone when you picked up the landline. I finally got through to my secretary in Chicago, who got me a ticket on the AMTRACK leaving at noon. I actually missed all the television coverage. When I got to O’Hare a few days later, my car had been moved–it was not anywhere near where I left it. I was much more involved than I ever wanted to be.
I was at work. Word was going around that something had happened, that a plan had crashed into the World Trade Center. We figured it was some kind of terrible accident. I remember the sick feeling as news of the events of the day started to trickle in and we were figuring out what had happened to us. Another thing that sticks in my head is, a number of days later, the first time I saw a plane in the sky again and how disconfiting the sight was.
I was listening to NPR while finishing getting ready for work, having just dropped the kiddo at daycare. With the first reports it was all I could do to keep from driving back over there and bringing him home.
Ear glued to radio on the commute. Not weeping but feeling tearful.
At work I saw that someone had rolled a TV on a cart into the lobby. I asked a co-worker whether they thought it was bin Laden. She said she hadn’t heard, and I had the impression she didn’t know who I was talking about.
It was hard to concentrate. Everybody kept drifting into the lobby from their offices, watching the news and congregating in small, quiet groups. We got some work done, I guess, but the wait to get back home to our families felt excruciating.
My wife and I were part of a U of I Alumni trip to Provence, returning to the US on 9/11. When our plane landed in Frankfort, Germany for our connecting flight to O’Hare, our entire group was met by security. We were told that something had happened in the US and could we please follow them to a secure area. As we were escorted through the airport the overhead monitors showed what was happening. Long story short, we all spent an additional five days in Germany (courtesy of the Alumni Association) until flights back to the US commenced. On the day that we came home, we left out hotel at approximatly 1 am and spent at least 5 or 6 hours going through multiple levels of security at the Frankfort Airport. We had to run our luggage through 3 separate x-ray machines. Our entire flight burst into applause upon landing at O’Hare.
I arived at my office which was next to Ohare at 9:30am and was advised they closed the office and had to turn around. Told me what happen and since there was so much unknown’s, didn,t want to take chances to keep offfice open. Starting to listen to the news on wbbm and was in total shock. On way home stop by best buy to pick up a computer part and ended up standing in the TV dept watching the reports with 1/2 of the staff and about 20 customers for about 1 hour. For the next couple of weeks, so strange to not see any planes or hear any planes at the office as my desk was next to the window.
I was a Sophomore at ISU, and that morning at 9:35 I had a class titled “Intro to US Foreign Policy”. I was brushing my teeth getting ready for class, when my roommate ran into the dorm bathroom to tell me that I needed to see what was going on. I was horrified by what I saw. My other buddy who was in an engineering class that morning at 8am had just gotten back from class and said that his professor explained that the World Trade Center Towers were going to fall due to the heat and the conditions present at the time.
Not knowing what else to do, I went to class. The professor was in the classroom with the TV on watching coverage of what was happening in America that day. The first of the twin towers fell shortly before my class was about to begin. Around 8:40, the professor stood up and addressed the class by ripping up a copy of the class syllabus and stated that this is all irrelevant not - she would be creating a new curriculum based on what had happened on 9/11 and how the Country is going to move forward.
I will never forget that morning. I will also never forget the sense of unity that the Country felt after the attacks. We were in it together. 19 years later, I reflect and feel a sense of sadness. On social media and on television everyone speaking out about never forgetting that day. People may have not forgotten the attacks, but they certainly forgotten the sense of unity that the Country displayed after the attacks. Today, internal strife is doing far more damage to our national psyche than anything that occurred on 9/11/2001. The division that we are experiencing, the lack of respect for others, have infiltrated every aspect of American life.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed over 191,000 Americans. Rather than rallying around one another, we call each other sheep for wearing masks. Rather than shared sacrifice, we loot and pillage our own communities. Rather than praising first responders as heroes, we are trying to de-fund them and cast stones their way. With that said, rather than saving lives, we have lives being taken by the Police without justification. And many people who are not involved in any of this have retreated to their own corners and have taken a strong stance on either one side or another - casting blame for our country’s problems on those to which they disagree. To be clear, I am not casting blame - just wondering where we went wrong and what we can do to fix it.
We are a broken society. I can only hope that the healing will start soon so that we can get back to being the America that I know we can be.
In a morning meeting on the 8th floor of a downtown Chicago building. A colleague told me what was unfolding. If you were in a big city, in a tall building on that day, you were nervous. Remember jumping in my car with a co-worker and driving south back to Spfld. We realized later we didn’t say a word to each other until we stopped at Dwight for gas. Glued to the radio. Remember like it was yesterday….
My wife (fiancee at the time) worked downtown. She told me that the building she worked in was being evacuated and that that she was leaving. I told her not to take the El train and that I would pick her up. I was concerned that there may be more terrorist attacks on the CTA. Driving into the Loop was eerie. For many years prior to 911 I was a carpenter and worked on the construction of many high rise buildings. I saw these buildings at their core structures of structural steel and reinforced concrete. I still can’t wrap my head around buildings of such sizes collapsing.
I needed gas in my car before heading to an 8:00 am class. I had time before my class, but decided to wait until after I was finished with school that day. After my class I noticed a huge crowd surrounding televisions in a room that is always empty. I walked in just to see what was going on and saw the first tower collapse. I had to ask people what I was seeing because I did not believe it.
The gas lines after school that day were extremely long and I worried I was going to run out of gas before I made it to a pump. While other stations had raised their prices significantly, the station I used fortunately had not.
So many images so clear in my mind, but the most vivid is the contrails from the President’s flight from Edwards Base. I was just leaving work, the sky was a clear blue except for the contrails. I think I thought it was the Air Force patrolling and found out later it was the president’s plane.
Working at the Thompson Center when we were told to leave. Went to our staging area,the Daley Center Plaza, and waited for updates. After standing aroun
for a hour I sent my staff home as Loop was clearing out. Never heard from CMS police.
Watching the very, very early tv coverage of the Twin Towers. I vividly recall Shepard Smith advising the viewing audience to beware the following clip would be extremely disturbing. It showed a person jumping out a window (vs the burning alive). I don’t know if it was ever shown again - I never saw it again, and most people I asked never saw it.
I was getting ready for a bike path design meeting sitting with Craig Williams, from IDOT, waiting for John LaPlante, TYLin, (RIP) to arrive. Ramps to the Kennedy were starting to be closed so John called to say he was heading back downtown. Craig and I sat for a little less than a half hour and he started to receive calls, so i let him use the conference room for awhile and then he was off.
I was with Department of Natural Resources (Illinois Conservation Foundation) at the International Fish and Wildlife Conference in Wichita, Kansas..the fundraisers from the states met a few days before to share and learn…I was in my hotel room watching the NBC Today show before sessions started…saw them break in with report of an airplane hitting one of the Twin Towers…lots of confusion about what had happened and how such an accident could happen…then I watched as the second plane hit the second tower…and everyone now realized this was no accident..the conference of course was canceled…those there early were stranded…One couldn’t get a rental car as they were snapped up by people stranded by the airlines being grounded…finally a few days later I was able to rent a vehicle (a van) and drove back with a colleague from Wisconsin…remember people waving USA flags above over passes along interstate all along the way back to Illinois.. the awful horror of our national tragedy had brought our nation together as one.
We had landed at Logan the Sunday before on our first vacation with our first child. She was not yet 9 months old. We drove up to New Hampshire with friends for a week in a heat wave and drought.
That Tuesday morning we drove to the Ben & Jerry’s HQ in Vermont and heard about what happened when we pulled into the parking lot. It may have been the saddest tour of the ice cream factory ever.
Stunned. Just stunned. I called my dad to let him know we were OK - he knew we flew into Logan and the jets took off from Logan and the mind races, you know?
We drove home on Thursday. Got stopped for speeding near Utica. The cop just said slow down and be safe. Stayed overnight in Niagara Falls and Toledo. (The little one wasn’t a good passenger yet.) The roads were filled with fellow travelers with no planes to catch. None in the sky. Some still had on clothes from the day or 2 before - who thought they weren’t going to fly home?
We listened to the Motley Fool radio show in Indiana since we didn’t bring any CDs for the rental car. The markets were closed, and what else would anyone talk about anyway? The hosts did a good job passing the time for us.
We pulled into IL on the Skyway and saw the Sears Tower. Stunned again - minds racing again. We were greeted at the rental car drop-off at O’Hare with a steady stream of fellow travelers returning cars most of which did not originate at O’Hare. A knowing nod, a receipt handed to us, and we were back home.
I was at work. First we heard it was a private plane and assumed it was an accident. Then we heard about a second plane. We’d already decided this was no accident when we heard that these were not small planes. We were not sent home. However, we spent a lot of time in the break room watching the very old TV that got rolled in there.
My college student called after he got out of his first class. He was totally shocked and wondering what he should do/ and of course, there was nothing to do. My younger son was in grade school and that made for an odd conversation that night.
Had just got to work and was told about the first plane. I thought what the heck happened? After the second one, I knew we were in trouble. Later I heard all planes had been grounded. That was probably one of the best decisions someone has ever made.
I was a senior in high school, sitting in an early bird American Civics class. We were supposed to watch a video but there was some problem with the tape, so the teacher just turned on the Today Show while he figured it out. The show suddenly cut from an interview to footage of a smoking skyscraper. The TV was on mute so until they got chyrons up I thought something had happened in Israel. (I didn’t know what the WTC looked like.)
I remember - rather stupidly - thinking, “Oh, that plane is too close to the building,” right before we watched the second plane crash into the other tower. Seeing the smoke pouring out of the first tower was shocking but I’ll never forget seeing the second plane disappear into the tower. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t a special effect in a movie - this was real. And it was terrifying.
For the rest of the day, some teachers tried to conduct school as normal but some didn’t bother, either watching the news or trying to talk about what had happened with students, even though we didn’t know anything. My dad and I spend that evening and night glued to the news. For the next few days everyone at the school walked around in a subdued fog.
The first plane hit while I was walking from my hotel to the Thompson Center to work. The woman in the office next to mine had a tv and we watched the news coverage. There were rumors about other attacks and I recall that we were unable to get information from CMS as to whether to send everyone home. We sent everyone home. I went back to the hotel to retrieve my car and head back downstate along with another guy from our agency who caught a ride with me back to Springfield because he had flown up on the state plane.
Found out later that evening my brother was driving to the Pentagon for a meeting when it was hit.
I remember clear blue skies that day. Perfect fall weather. The silence of somber stunned commuters on way home early from downtown. When you live near busy O’Hare and/or Midway Airports the silence of no planes is odd/memorable…eerie. When the Chicagoland area Initially went on lockdown for the coronavirus, seeing no one downtown( The Loop) or on expressways/tollways brought back that feeling of 9-11…….also the unknown.
We were in the fall zone of the Sears Tower so we were evacuated. I remember how eerie it was driving home on the Eisenhower with everyone going the speed limit and staying in their lane. Other thing too, of course. But that one sticks for some reason.
I was in undergrad at SIU-C. Was heading to town on Route 13 when my boyfriend at the time called me, talking about some plane had hit the first tower. While we were on the phone, the second plane hit the second tower. I remember this huge sense of loss. Never really been a big “flying a flag” person, but ran to the store a couple of days later to try to find one. Could only find a red-white-and-blue bunting. Hung that from the balcony of my apartment.
- Don't Bloc Me In - Friday, Sep 11, 20 @ 3:57 pm:
I was on a rural state highway,approaching my office. About 7:45 NPR reported a small plane had hit one of the twin towers. I was so busy at work I thought no more about it until one of my staff saw more on line.
I was between jobs, at home with my infant daughter. I remember being as mad as I had ever been before. Seeing the 2nd plane hit made me so nauseous. Some of the worst feelings I have ever had happened that day.