Remembering 9/11

posted at 9:37 pm on September 11, 2009 by Allahpundit

People who follow my Twitter feed have been asking for a post collecting my ramblings from last night about what happened to me that day. Andy Levy was kind enough to copy/paste them into the Greenroom, so I have no excuse not to bring them over here to the blog. Forgive the poor punctuation and occasional profanity; it was late and I was rattling them off stream-of-consciousness style.

***
Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…

…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside

I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…

…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.

All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street

It was unbelievable, almost literally

I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…

…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)

We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…

He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.

This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y

Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor

Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…

Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building

Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…

I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”

Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not

I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”

Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC

Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…

…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.

I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…

…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.

To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…

…waiting for them to fall that day

When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…

…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ

I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge

To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,

and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.

I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…

…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano

I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…

…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.

They knocked it down soon after

At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…

…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning

There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,

…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza

Maybe it’s still online somewhere

You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…

…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things

I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…

…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.

I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…

…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that

We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…

…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.

Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…

…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.

There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…

…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.

The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…

…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…

…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…

…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…

…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…

…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…

…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…

in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…

…I’m lucky I decided to move

My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…

…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…

…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?

I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…

…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…

…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.

For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…

…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…

…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.

When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.

I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\

I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”

And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…

…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall

So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…

…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it

It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.

Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…

…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…

…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…

…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.

So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump

If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of them chose “hang on”

Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…

…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”

They were ENORMOUS.

Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…

…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.

And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…

“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.

And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job

That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack

I was reading magazines in there the week or two before

One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…

…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…

…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…

…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse

After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…

…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…

…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…

…I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.

Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…

…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…

…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,

…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.

I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT

One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.

Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage


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Some memorial pictures from today to go with your story;

http://www.bermanpost.com/2009/09/9112001-memorial-pictures-from-9112009_11.html

BermanPost on September 11, 2009 at 11:48 PM

I don’t know how/why I want to post this or what I want to say but here goes:

I’m hosting friends who came to DC for tomorrow’s 9/12 events. I’m working near the Pentagon with some people who were actually in that building on 9/11/01 when that American Airlines flight slammed into the building. It has all made this particular anniversary more meaningful than years past when my only connection to the events of that day was my brother displaced from his home in NYC and a couple of college classmates that are among the victims.

We watched the Fox News Channel timeline of the 9/11/01 atrocities. It may seem a small point but what really re-kindled my anger was not the images we’ve seen from the WTC but the transcript of the discussions with the hijackers of Flight 93 that suggested this was nothing but a bomb and that there was room for negotiation. This whole transcript showed that the terrorists knew the protocols and were extending the time they had to fly their missile into their target. It is a clear indication about our enemy that the current administration is dealing with by interrogating them with hugs but no marshmallows for the hot chocolate until they confess.

I guess the “teachable moment” is to remember who our enemies are and to realize that the government can sometimes be the enemy as well. After all, the filthy liar in the White House decided to mark this day by re-branding this day into a “day of service” and after observances at the Pentagon flitted out to sell his scheme to seize and nationalize healthcare instead of showing up at one of the other 9/11/01 sites.

highhopes on September 11, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Moving post AP.

I still taste the ash in my mouth from that day.

Those who spit it out in denial make it more bitter.

profitsbeard on September 11, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Today I was driving around, and a few EMS vehicles flew by, sirens blazing.

I couldn’t help but close my eyes for a moment and feel total chills down my spine.

blatantblue on September 11, 2009 at 11:50 PM

To all the folks (Liam, Patty, conservnut and Old English)who had kind words for me, thank you.

Every time you hear some one ranting and raving about how bad America was/is and “deserved” 9/11 – just remember, for each one of those bitter haters, there are millions upon millions of people all over the world who would like nothing else in life but a shot at a shot to have the American dream.

God Bless America.

nagee76 on September 11, 2009 at 11:51 PM

God Bless America.

nagee76 on September 11, 2009 at 11:51 PM

Agreed! Rest assured, we’re glad to have you among us.

Liam on September 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM

I’ll add my thanks too, AP. As horrifying as that day was where I lived, I can’t imagine being right there.

It’s curious that you remember that F-15 flying over, because my memories are of the absolute silence. It was incredibly odd since I lived 4 miles from NAS Norfolk and 2 miles from the Norfolk airport. I was so used to airplanes flying, I didn’t even notice them. There was always a plane of some sort flying over, until that day. Then, nothing… It was the eeriest sound. It went on for days. When they finally started flying again, the first jet that flew over startled me so badly I almost hit the ground. I remember thinking what a target the Naval station right up the road would be, it being the largest in the world.

My husband, an airline pilot by that time, had been packing his bag to go back to work that afternoon, and of course was grounded at home, thank God. It was a very hard day when he finally went back to work.

Anyway, sorry for rambling, but you brought back so many memories. Thank you. I don’t ever want to forget.

God Bless America.

nagee76 on September 11, 2009 at 11:51 PM
Agreed! Rest assured, we’re glad to have you among us.

Liam on September 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM

+1

pannw on September 11, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Agreed! Rest assured, we’re glad to have you among us.

Liam on September 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM

Ditto! nagee, you are exactly what makes America great. We are a nation of immigrants, with the goal of becoming American. I will go one further, and offer you honorary Texas citizenship.

conservnut on September 11, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Moonbat Alert!

I hope this isn’t off-topic. I’m a resident of New York City. I rarely get angry at what I see on the news but today is the exception. You need to go to this site now and tell them what you think of their “journalism”. This is beyond disgusting.

If you live in NYC or the Tri-State area and your cable company carries this channel (I know Time Warner Cable does) give them a piece of your mind too.

RedSwissKnife on September 12, 2009 at 12:01 AM

I hated having my dad go to work after that day

Relieved, at the time, when he stopped flying for American out of NYC.

Now I wish he’d go back.

blatantblue on September 12, 2009 at 12:05 AM

Sorry nagee, I forgot to link to the Honorary Texas Citizenship.

conservnut on September 12, 2009 at 12:06 AM

A better link

conservnut on September 12, 2009 at 12:08 AM

heading to bed
thanks again, AP.

my best buddy is a paramedic.

we made an agreement couple years ago that if anything like this happens again
we’re heading into that city and doing anything to help

we were too young last time. not the next time.
goodnight HA

blatantblue on September 12, 2009 at 12:20 AM

yeah, waterboarding is too harsh for terrorists!/

redridinghood on September 12, 2009 at 12:34 AM

I was in the pool this morning between 9 and 10, same as I was on 9/11/01. I still remember the blissful swim I was having that day, completely unaware of what was going on downtown in Manhattan. I’ll always remember that swim vividly and when I do I can’t help but think that as I glided through the cool water with the sound of bubbles gushing past my ears, those poor souls were so unbearably hot that they stood at open windows looking down at the streets unthinkably far below, wishing they could swap places with someone like me and figuring they might as well take a leap and experience one last rush of cool air before the end. I hope the escape from the heat and the relief of the breeze took their mind off of the terror of the fall, if only just a little.

In my job I find myself on extremely high floors of downtown buildings almost daily and sometimes I’ll stand at the window and look down and think how awful it must have been to fall from that height. It doesn’t help that I have the same view as they did. As they were falling, they could see the Woolworth building, the Brooklyn bridge, the World Financial Center, the Hudson river, midtown Manhattan.

Tonight as I always do I went down to see the twin towers of light. They’re always stunning, a truly incredible sight that everyone should see up close at least once. Tonight though it was different, for the first time we had clouds and fog and rain and it was an incredibly strange atmosphere down there. The lights reflected off of the rainclouds and made the stone buildings of Lower Manhattan glow in the dark. It was day and night at once, the stuff of dreams. The light towers were reflected quite incredibly in a new all-glass apartment hi-rise in Battery Park city and there were tons of photographers out with tripods, far more than I usually see. My favorite view was seeing the prewar condo tower at 80 Greenwich St almost perfectly encased in one of the lights, as seen from the West Side Highway across from Morris St. There were a bunch of photographers there appreciating the same bizarre view, I hope some of the pics turn up online. Pity I didn’t have my camera. I really appreciate the towers of light, they’re a great idea and somehow they make me remember the dead more than anything else during the day. God bless them all.

Sharke on September 12, 2009 at 12:55 AM

As it happened

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/520262/posts

Del Dolemonte on September 12, 2009 at 1:03 AM

Those of us who only experienced it from thousands of miles away can only imagine…

thanks, Allah.

Bob's Kid on September 12, 2009 at 1:15 AM

I walked into my house on 9/11/01 after just dropping of my son at school. I was tired because I was on night shift so I decided to catch a few minutes of the news before heading off for a short nap. As soon as I turned on the television, I saw live coverage of the first tower burning. It was about 20 minutes after the first attack.

Each and every network and cable news channel I turned to was covering it live. No one realized yet that it was a deliberate act and everyone was assuming it was an accident. And so did I. I felt horrible for the people trapped in the tower and really horrible for the people on the floors that were directly impacted, and their families. It was very saddening and I was thinking to myself, “What a shame. What are the odds that a jet liner would accidentally crash into a World’s Tarde Center tower?” I said a prayer.

Then, live as I watched, a second jetliner came swooping into the picture at a furious speed. It yawed a little, and then slammed directly into the other tower. I leaped out of my chair. Audibly yelling, I litterally screamed at the television, “OH MY GOD! THAT WAS INTENTIONAL!” I screamed to myself, “OH NOOOO! IT’S A TERRORIST ATTACK!” I saw it. I saw it with my own eyes. I was instantly flush with anger. I was also utterly devastated… and then I began to weep. I wept for several minutes. I cried softly for all the people in both towers and those on the ground. I was just mortified by what I was witnessing.

I sat, stunned beyond belief, and continued to watch and flipped through channels frequently to keep a lookout for ‘new’ breaking stories. Just in case some huge terrorist attack was happening across the country. In case it was happening anywhere near San Diego. I was ready to jump in the car and race to my son’s school and retrieve him right away. I was tempted to do so anyway, that was my first instinct, but decided against it. Fortunately, San Diego was not a target. I watched the event unfold non-stop for about an hour. Then, the first tower collapsed.

I began to weep again. I watched live as that magnificent and fantastically huge tower pancaked down on itself. I watched as people ran for their lives in a panic, screaming, stumbling, falling, and ducking for cover from the gigantic dust and debris cloud that looked like a flood of water as it careened down the streets in all directions. It was so horrible. I couldn’t hardly believe what I was seeing. I cried for all the people who were in that tower trying desperatley to escape. I cried for the firefighters and paramedics and officers and good samaritans trying desperatley to help and had to have been inside the tower and right at the foot of it as it collapsed. I cried like a baby. I balled. I said to myself over and over, “Oh no. No. No. No. No…” I hadn’t cried like that since I was a small child.

About 30 minutes or so later, I watched as the second tower pancaked and collapsed. I was spent. My eyes wept some more, but I was spent. I felt physically exhausted, and utterly helpless. I sat in my chair, almost drained, wishing I was there to help. I wished there was something I could do. But there was nothing I could do at all from San Diego. All I could do was watch, bear witness, and pray for all the fallen.

The news reports before the towers collapsed, and right after the towers collapsed, speculated that as many as 50,000 people worked in the WTC buildings, and as many as 200,000 a day would pass through their doors. I never felt so helpless in all my life. To witness such a tragedy unfold live before my very eyes, 12 feet in front of me, and be unable to do even one damn thing to help or mitigate the tragedy was depressing.

I watched the news coverage all day and all night. I learned of the Pentagon attack and eventually the plane that crashed into the empty field in Pennsylvania. I was stunned for days. I grieved. Over the months that followed, I donated money for the victims and their families. My son and I bought lots of school supplies and donated them for children of the victims who had either just started school or were about to start when the tragedy struck. There wasn’t much we could do other than to try to help with donations and such. I guess in a way it also helped me feel a little better too.

My son was just a little feller in 2nd grade when it happened. He understood what had happened, but he needn’t concern himself at that time with the broader details and meaning of what had happened, at his young and tender age. He wasn’t too affected by the attack. But I have made sure as he has grown up that he remembers the people who died and why it happened. He’s in 11th grade now. Today, we went to a small 9/11 memorial service after school at a local church. It was a very nice memorial service.

We will always remember. We will never forget.

SilverStar830 on September 12, 2009 at 1:40 AM

Liam, Conservnut
Thank you ! Thanks for the honorary Texas citizenship, conservnut :=)

I am a Texan now, heehaw ! Does this honorary citizenship by any chance, come with a meet and greet of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders :-)

I am going home next year due to personal reasons -strange as it seems to say “home” after being here for almost 10 years. An honorary Texan citizenship would do just fine as a parting gift :=)

nagee76 on September 12, 2009 at 1:43 AM

SilverStar 830,
Thanks for sharing your memories – the story of your son growing up reminds me that although it has been 8 years, it feels like time has flown by so fast..

It’s also remarkable that so many people can recollect with great precision what they did in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. i guess some things stay with you forever.

Never forget.

nagee76 on September 12, 2009 at 1:53 AM

Thanks, AP.

Dave R. on September 12, 2009 at 2:12 AM

I am a Texan now, heehaw ! Does this honorary citizenship by any chance, come with a meet and greet of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders :-)

Well, we will have to work on your diction a bit. But yes we can probably arrange a meet with the cheerleaders as long as I am with you. YEE-HAW!

conservnut on September 12, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Remember always the warm blanket of assumptions that all is well in the world.

Remember the administration who against everyone took the fight to enemy shores

Remember those who fell so other generations may have that warm blanket feeling

Remember those who oppose, who lied, who distorted, who disrupted and sowed discord for political gain

Remember….

EricPWJohnson on September 12, 2009 at 2:48 AM

A friend of mine made this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RDanD1Z7Ps

rednebulastudios on September 12, 2009 at 2:51 AM

I was still waking.
My first sight of the towers
Came indirectly:

On my monitor,
Images from a web cam
Aimed at a TV.

Kralizec on September 12, 2009 at 2:56 AM

Thanks, AP.

Geochelone on September 12, 2009 at 3:54 AM

Allah, thank you for sharing this. Its shocking to hear a firsthand account. I’m sorry dear that you had to experience that and I know you will never forget. As others have said, glad you got your cats ok. I was tearful while reading it.

Although I was further away, upstate in Goshen and Middletown, NY, I won’t forget that day either. I was gasing up my jeep before work, at the Exxon station just off of Route 17, and I saw a passneger plane flying real low, heading downstate (southeast I guess it would be). I thought, wow thats weird, to be flying here, we never see passenger planes here, and so low! I’ve always thought that was one of the planes. Went to my job at the public relations dept. at the hospital. Coworker came in crying and told me tower building was hit. I assumed it was a small plane. Then soon after she came back and said another plane hit. I said its terrorists. Lots of people went home crying because they knew people that worked in the area. I stayed. We had several bomb threats phoned in (how is it some people are so sick?) I spent all day assisting our VP and spokesperson because of those threats. We had received a call that said a bomb would go off at 1:00 that day. They told employees to stay at their desks. One woman, a friendly emergency room doctor, came and told me to go wait outside at that time. Nothing happened, so we all went back inside. Worked furiously until 6:30. Fax and phone lines were disrupted.

All day, I hadn’t had a chance to view a tv, so I didn’t understand the magnitude. I hit a Carvel on the way home and got a birthday cake for my youngest daughter – it was her 15th birthday. When I got home, the house was empty – she was a few blocks away with a friend. Its touched her; birthday will suck always now. My family lives overseas and my sister called the next day, or perhaps it was 2 days later. She said they had all been worried. I assured her that I was quite safe, being about 1 1/2 hours away from the trouble.

2001 was just the strangest year. Started with 9/11. One night in October, my best friend’s husband died of colon cancer. That same night I came home and was informed that my 15-year-old daughter was pregnant. Then, in November, a female coworker that I liked very much was murdered, stabbed to death in her own home. They’ve never found the culprit.

A very bad year indeed. Anyway, sorry. I don’t mean to take away from anyone who was involved in the attacks that horrile day. Just venting I suppose. God bless.

fullogas on September 12, 2009 at 4:12 AM

Allah’s brilliant analysis, diction, and 14-year-old oak barrel aged 100 proof snark.
From a horrible experience comes a true warrior for our culture.
MadisonConservative on September 11, 2009 at 11:06 PM

MC says what’s in my heart better than I. AP, thanks for sharing.

NaCly dog on September 12, 2009 at 4:15 AM

yeah, waterboarding is too harsh for terrorists!/

redridinghood on September 12, 2009 at 12:34 AM

It’s a scary fact that that mentality won the election.

the_nile on September 12, 2009 at 5:14 AM

I was in San Francisco but woke up early to close a deal on the phone with bankers in No7. During the call the New York parties said that something was going on and they would have to break up the call. I requested that they fax certain documents we needed and they did so. Later that day their building collapsed. I still have the documents.

I sat my exams in the towers. I worked in the towers. In London we stayed on the phone with our co-workers during he first attack on the towers and on 9-11 so many friends perished.

There are also many stories of chance survival. My college buddy who never visited me in London because of his morbid fear of terrorism worked for Marsh on one of the top floors and only survived because he bumped into another friend at the elevator bank and they stood there chatting over breakfast as all hell broke loose. They stood in front of a shaft where the cables were severed by the impact. He had to run for his life through awful debris and bodies to escape. My CEO at the time who was booked to fly on one of the planes but missed it because of a late meeting.

We are all touched by what happened and many of us are impacted by the aftermath… Friends, family, and comrades sent to war and harmed in the follow on attacks in Bali, Madrid, London, and elsewhere.

I have a long relationship with terrorism. Six building I have worked in have been obliterated over the years. I have been around bombs and have even had to evacuate my home to let police make it a command post during an attack in London. Then there are all the delayed trains and school evacuations growing up. It could be jihadi fascists, crazed Irish Catholics, anti-American leftists or, one time, just a nut job from Italy. No military experience really prepares you to deal with the horror of these things happening in your civilian life.

We all need to be vigilant. We all need to stay civilized. We will prevail.

lexhamfox on September 12, 2009 at 5:35 AM

Thanks AP for sharing your experience. My brother in law was in NYC on business that day. For 3 hours we didn’t know how or were he was –all we knew is that he had a meeting in one of the Towers first thing that morning.T He had worked in one of them for 10 years. He finally called and his story was much like yours. He was in the subway on his way to the Towers when the subway stopped and he thought “Great, I’ll be late.” They were told to get off due to a problem on the line and he exited to see the Towers in flames. He bought a disposable camera and just wandered around in shock and finally remembered to call. He won’t say how many people he knew that were murdered that day and won’t talk about it, just like soldiers don’t talk about the war they were in.

Beaglemom on September 12, 2009 at 6:55 AM

I can’t remember if I mentioned it

but I remember being 14 and attending a funeral of an FDNY member

It was the most surreal experience

In the days after 9/11, I painted a boat with a friend, and by the end of the day, we had to redo it all, because it was covered in dust from the WTC. You couldn’t see it in the air, but you could see it all over the new coat of paint. It was incredibly disturbing.

my dad flew for american as i mentioned, and he had a flight out of LGA in Nyc on 9/11. he dropped it prior to 9/11, and his friend took it. it turns out that on 9/11, he was sitting on the runway, when the plane was rendered unable to take off due to mechanical issues. as they apologized to the passengers, a handful of middle eastern men said they were “more sorry for your coworkers.” minutes later, the planes hit the towers.

blatantblue on September 12, 2009 at 7:55 AM

AP,

What’s this beta male label you keep claiming? Knock it off, dude.

karl9000 on September 12, 2009 at 7:55 AM

with the boat and the dust, it disturbed me because i realized people were destroyed along with the buildings, and they were in that dust as well. it was a bad bad feeling

blatantblue on September 12, 2009 at 7:57 AM

AP,

What’s this beta male label you keep claiming? Knock it off, dude.

karl9000 on September 12, 2009 at 7:55 AM

true

it was so touching of him to share his story

blatantblue on September 12, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Thanks Allahpundit. Unbelievably moving.

I was also in NYC that day:

- I was getting ready for a conference call and my assistant came in and told me her boyfriend called and said that a plane hit the WTC. I remember thinking “small plane lost in the fog,” then looking outside and seeing what a bright sunny day it was.

- In the midst of the call, a colleague had CNN on his computer and suddenly screamed, “A second one hit!”

- My wife was pregnant with our twin girls and working across town in the Time Inc building. We drove together each day from NJ and parked in the city. I could not get through on the phone, so I immediately left the building and started walking toward hers. Little did I know that she had decided to do the same thing. We both wound up at each other’s building.

-While walking, I will always remember people on the street moving quickly and looking up warily. There was much talk of more planes coming.

- Once my wife and I got together, we sat in a conference room in my building with a security guard who had 2 daughters who worked in the WTC. We watched the buildings collapse together. He just kept hitting redial on his cell phone. My wife cried quietly. (It turns out his daughters had escaped, but he didn’t learn that until that night). I left that company 6 years ago, and he is the only enduring friend I have from there.

-When we heard that the tunnel and bridge had opened, we scurried to our car and started driving west on 49th street. The stream of people moving north was thick, even 2-3 miles from the WTC. It was difficult to get across the intersections, even if the light was green– the pedestrians ignored the lights. At one point I edged through the intersection slowly, and people began pounding on the roof of the car.

- When we got to the west side, it turned out the tunnel opening was a rumor. We found a diner and ate breakfast food. The place was packed, and silent.

Potfry on September 12, 2009 at 8:32 AM

What I’ll never understand is why so many “Americans” can be so flippant about 9-11. It’s not even their stand on what the response should have been that gets me, but their smug, “we deserved it” attitude about just the actual attack and the deaths that seem to be quite meaningless to them.

On the other hand they are infinitely fascinated with the animals who carried out the attack and want to know every facet of their miserable existences.

It’s as if they think, “Surely people that sacrifice themselves must be right.”

If someone publicly expressed the same views and sentiments concerning Timothy McVeigh on the other hand, their life wouldn’t be worth two cents. Not that either should be elevated in anyway, but why is it acceptable to these Leftists to do so with the Muslim brand of murderers?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 12, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Thanks AP – like others I was catching this live on your Twitter in real time – powerful stuff.

The part that really got to me was this:

All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street

It was unbelievable, almost literally

aquaviva on September 12, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Allahpundit, I’m surprised that you missed this.

Time Warner Cable customers who live in NYC or the New York Tri-State area please contact Time Warner Cable now and tell them to drop this vile, anti-American propaganda “news” channel. It was bad enough when they broadcast this crap yesterday, but two days in a row of this is simply obscene. As a Time Warner Cable customer I’m appaled that I’m paying for this. Time Warner Cable doesn’t carry Al-Jazeera TV and it shoulnd’t carry this pathetic excuse of a “news” outlet either.

RedSwissKnife on September 12, 2009 at 5:05 PM

re:

Allahpundit, I’m surprised that you missed this.

Time Warner Cable customers who live in NYC or the New York Tri-State area please contact Time Warner Cable now and tell them to drop this vile, anti-American propaganda “news” channel. It was bad enough when they broadcast this crap yesterday, but two days in a row of this is simply obscene. As a Time Warner Cable customer I’m appaled that I’m paying for this. Time Warner Cable doesn’t carry Al-Jazeera TV and it shoulnd’t carry this pathetic excuse of a “news” outlet either.

I’m proud to say I bumrushed one of these ****s last year in NYC, and also tripped a Fred Phelps zombie.

What a rush! Highly recommended.

ConservativeTalkRadio on September 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

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