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Where were you?
Faliat at 4:18AM, Sept. 11, 2011
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I wasn't told when it happened and I was fresh in high school so I don't really have a definite location when the towers got hit. I only found out the next day when the other kids passed around a metro and I caught a glimpse of the front cover.
I feel pretty angry about not being told to this day. I sat through rolling news coverage of Beslan and Katrina a few years later and my sister says that the primary school we both went to wheeled in a TV to show the younger kids so I don't know what my school was thinking depriving us of knowledge.
Anyway, where were you when it happened? Do you even remember? Were you to young to remember? Share your stories here.

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ozoneocean at 5:13AM, Sept. 11, 2011
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I was in the living-room watching it all live on TV as it happened, with action re-plays.
 
I'd been staying up all night trying to get some artwork finished for uni and watching TV at the same time, and the urgent news broadcasts just faded into the forefront of my attention gradually as I was dazedly going about my artwork.
 
I found it pretty astonishing, but strangely typical: if the US was going to have a major event like that, then it just had to be something out of a big budget 1970's disaster film plot. It was only natural… In a very unnatural sort of a way.
  
…so, like a porn star with massive fake breasts, it was a strangely visually compelling sight, almost mesmerising, pretend-reality MADE real. It just shouldn't have been… those sorts of things just don't happen in real life.
 
So that's what I felt. And even after it was all over it was still hard to take completely seriously because it was such a massive, unreal, bad-movie-plot thing to have happened.
 
————-
 
Don't you find it so annoying when you're reading a realistic story or watching a realistic movie and then suddenly the writer/director changes the rules on you and just parachutes in something extremely unrealistic, jumping-the-shark, unprecedented,  out-of-no-where thing that just doesn't fit? You sort of lose respect for the work a bit then and not take it as seriously anymore.
 
That's how September 11 was.
 
last edited on Sept. 11, 2011 5:16AM
ayesinback at 6:44AM, Sept. 11, 2011
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It was such a beautiful, perfect September day – NJ really shines in September when the humidity is down.  I had gotten the kids off to school and was just in the office for about 15 mins when a co-worker came up, her face totally stricken.
 
We were friendly, but not close friends, but I was the one she saw first, and she said, OMG do you know what happened?
 
The rest of the day was trying to get news:  news of the incident, which seemed to continually domino into something worse and worse:  the towers struck, then hearing about the pentagon, the towers falling – I don't know exactly when  we were hearing about Pennsylvania.  I live about 45 mins out of Manhattan.  You can't see Manhattan at all, but that day you could see the smoke.
 
Trying to call friends and relatives that worked in the city.  WHERE ARE YOU??!!  ARE YOU OK?  Phone lines down – people not answering.
 
Death counts changing hourly, daily.  NOT watching TV because coverage was the only thing on and I didn't want the kids immersed, especially when all I could do was cry and cry when the media kept playing the footage over and over again of the people jumping from the towers.
 
Here in the States, the anniversary has had continual coverage, building up over the last 2 or 3 weeks.  I feel like they're telling us that you're not a “good American” unless you relive that awful day all over again today, and every 9-11.
 
The newspaper this morning reprinted the headline from 2001: 
TERROR (across the headline – what is that? 170 pt type)
BEYOND BELIEF
U.S. Stunned by suicide attacks;
death toll could reach thousands
 
And today's headline: 
WE DO NOT NEED TO TELL YOU
WHAT HAPPENED 10 YEARS AGO TODAY,
YOU KNOW.
 
Yes.  I do.  I will never forget, it was the day that a couple of generations of Americans lost their innocence and became cynics forever.  Maybe the rest of the world sees a benefit to that; but I don't.  and I do not need to relive the pain and fear from that time – just because it's no longer all-consuming doesn't mean it's gone away.
 
So here's the thing:  after looking at those headlines and getting teary-eyed once again, I went to the comic section.  The first comic (Zits) is only one panel today.  In it, Mom and Dad are on either side of their son, wrapping their arms around him like pythons.  and Jeremy comments:  “Seriously . . .Do we have to do this every September 11th?”
 
Thank God for comics.
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Dodger at 7:02AM, Sept. 11, 2011
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I was 10. I went to a Catholic school in another town, across the Hudson river, so we had to cross a bridge to get to school. I remember at some point on that bridge, we saw a low flying plane following the river… it was weird but I didn't think much of it. I was 10 and in my 10 year old mind, I figured this giant jet was actually looking around for the local airport and got lost or something.
Right around 8:45, the phone calls started. Two kids in my class were excused, their parents were waiting for them in the lobby. That was weird. Then the phone rings again. And again, and again! By 10 am, there were only 8 of us left in my class. Then the announcements started, saying that all students from certain districts were supposed to go get their things and head to the buses. By lunchtime, around 11:30, My entire grade was made up of me and 4 students from other towns whose public schools hadn't closed yet.
Lunch was so weird. None of the students knew what was happening, teachers were running back and forth, and my teacher was sitting with us at the table eating lunch (that was REALLY out of the ordinary) We asked her what was going on and she explained to us, in the calmest way possible, what had just happened. It was shocking, to say the least. I've always felt like, at 10 years old and growing up in the shadow of NYC, I was the youngest I could have been and still understood what happened and realized how terrible it was. Either way, after lunch I was scared and went to the school office to call my mom to come get me. The secretary told me that they had closed all of the bridges crossing the hudson river so I probably wouldn't get to go home early, so I stood in line for the phone. I was there for a few minutes, surrounded by frantic parents and crying children when all of the sudden someone grabbed me from behind… my mom had flipped her shit at the cops on the other side of the bridge until they let her cross and come pick me up. 
I remember crying all of the way home and my mom assuring me that we were okay.
One of my friends called me later that day… she had the American Girl doll, Molly, the one who grew up during World War II, and she was absolutely convinced that we were going to die and have to buy war bonds and shit. In retrospect, that's kind of cute, but holy fuck I remember feeling like the weight of the world punched me in the face after that conversation. 

I supposed it sounds like a very selfish view on 9/11… but that's just how I remember it. Being a scared kid who had a very loose understanding of the world up until that point. 

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skoolmunkee at 1:26PM, Sept. 11, 2011
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My sister came and woke me up as soon as the first plane hit. (This was pretty early in the AM in our time zone and she watched the news during breakfast). We pretty much spent the next 4 hours glued to the sofa, and the 8 hours after that attempting to do things and giving up to check in with the TV. Neither of us had to work that day, and I remember I skipped class. 
 
At first, when it was just one plane and before anyone realized it was an attack and thought it was just some tragic airplane accident, it was like oz described watching some kind of unreal spectacle. I'll never forget the sense of horrible realization when the second plane came on camera though. The ‘missing plane’ scares and Pentagon and Pennsylvania stuff, and the towers crashing and people jumping out just piled on sadness and weariness. I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of the day, we'd spent most of the day just weeping continually like a stress reaction. After that the next couple of days I just spent with an overwhelming feeling of wrong. Eventually all the patriotism got ridiculous and seemed selfish and sickening.
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last edited on Sept. 11, 2011 1:43PM
Abt_Nihil at 5:51PM, Sept. 11, 2011
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I was still living with my parents, and had a friend over… we did some recordings, I think, so we shut ourselves away from everything, because we needed total silence. When we were done, my friend was about to leave, and I went into the living room, where my father was watching the news reports. It was about 5pm (in Germany). I don't remember if it was shortly before the first tower collapsed, or between the first and second collapsing…
It took me some time to really grasp what was going on. I saw the pictures, but it just didn't make any sense to me. There was no way to get a clear explanation, or even a clear sequence into what happened. Maybe it was because I just couldn't grasp it, or because the news reports where at a point where they assumed everybody had already been watching for some time…
It was completely unreal for a while. I think my friend had gone home before I really grasped what was going on. My memory is hazy… I probably spent the rest of the day watching the news, until late at night. The following days were terrible. I think I was just scared out of my mind. Scared that this was the prelude to some huge war, and that no one, nowhere was safe. It was ambiguous: I think we suddenly felt very close to the US, but at the same time, the public perception of George W Bush in Europe was that of a loose cannon - even back then. So, there was fear of some completely irrational retaliation, and this fear just built on the more primal fear of terror, caused by 9-11.
last edited on Sept. 11, 2011 6:32PM
ozoneocean at 7:55PM, Sept. 11, 2011
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Abt_Nihil wrote:
George W Bush in Europe was that of a loose cannon - even back then. So,
there was fear of some completely irrational retaliation, and this fear
just built on the more primal fear of terror, caused by 9-11.

 And people still try and justify Afghanistan in news reports prefacing it with stuff like “the Taliban, allies of Al Quiada…”. No, The Taliban were religious nuts but completely unconnected with 9/11. Afghanistan was just as much an uneeded atrocity as the invasion of Iraq. >:[
 
That said, and it had to be said, the worst thing about 9/11 for me was thinking about those people in the planes, not the buildings that were hit. It was imagining what it was like in the planes that was horrible for me. Those people in the buildings didn't know what was happening, things were normal and then BAM, they were either dead or it was hell on earth…
But the people in the planes had to just sit there for ages and ages, knowing something very, very bad was likely to happen to them, not knowing exactly what, but just being trapped and awaiting their fate. I found that to be too horrific to think about for the longest time. Still do.
 
 
last edited on Sept. 11, 2011 7:57PM
AzuJOD at 1:11AM, Sept. 12, 2011
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My story isn't as elaborate as everyone elses. I was 13, and in bed and it was the first thing I heard on my clock radio. I got up and went into the living room, where my mother pointed to the TV and there it was, an image of two destroyed towers, on every single channel. It was like that for the rest of the week or so.
Niccea at 5:38PM, Sept. 12, 2011
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I was practicing a dramatic duet with my partner in theater class (my first class of the day) in middle school. Therefore when I heard, “Betty! Someone blew up the world trade center!” I thought it was just another pair working on their duet until my partner stopped me midline and drew my attention to a teacher that had just run through the door. The rest of the day there wasn't a television or radio tuned into the news. Not much was ecomplished the first 3 hours, but by the afternoon the teachers had gotten control of the classes again but kept the radios/televisions on so we could stay up to date with what was going on.
When I got home I actually got to see the footage (the TVs didn't work too well) as well as some better informed news from my parents.
That is just what I remember other than my duet partner being frantic because her mother was flying to New York, badly colored TVs, scratchy radios, and a band director that ignored our turmoil of not having enough information and saying that we had better play our instruments.
last edited on Sept. 12, 2011 5:46PM
imshard at 3:16PM, Sept. 13, 2011
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I was visiting my parents that week. Dad woke me up simply stating “The country is under attack”. None of the things that flashed through my sleep addled mind were even close. I wandered into the living room and it was already on the TV. It was only mements before the second tower was hit live on TV. The whole family was quiet as we watched people jumping, cut-ins of the pentagon, word that another plane was fighting a trip to the White House.
Eventually I went outside and pondered on the muted qualities of the people, the silence from the airport, paradoxically opposed by the flurry of activity from the air force base. Wondered what the implications of this would be.
I lost my faith that day, and ten years later I've only lost more. My freedom and liberties curtailed. The three friends who heeded the call of duty and never returned. The one friend who did return but came back somebody else. I mourn on September 11th, mourn the loss of those who died and the country I thought I was raised in that died with them.
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NickyP at 12:11AM, Sept. 14, 2011
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I was 14 years old, 8th grade in middle school. The class was Social Studies with Mr. Klimis. I was sitting closest to the door with my then-crush Morgan, some other girl, and some other male.
 
It was the beginning of the day, first class. I think we were just about to pull out our books when another teacher calmly came into the room and whispered something into Mr. Klimis' ear. Then, with a shocked look on his face, Mr. Klimis walked over to our TV in the classroom, and put it on CNN.
 
I remember thinking to myself at first, “this looks like a neat movie. Wonder when it will come out.” I soon realized it was no movie trailer.
 
My memory of the rest of the day is quite fuzzy. I know we talked about it for a long time in every class we were in, and my teachers tried desperately to keep us focused on schoolwork. Oh, I also remember Morgan crying a lot, only because she visited the Towers herself at some point.
last edited on Sept. 27, 2011 12:24AM
I Am The 1337 Master at 11:53AM, Sept. 22, 2011
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I was in thrid grade.
My mom picked me up.
We went to her friends's house which smelled of pot. They like worshipped aliens and stuff and those might not have been trees in the backyard, now that I recall…
And…
We sat there, them only putting the TV on when me and my siblings were outside.
bloochikin at 10:20PM, Sept. 26, 2011
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I had just gotten out of the lunch line with my tray of chicken nuggets. As I went to take a seat with my circle of fifth grade peers, one of them spouts, “Hey, did you hear!?”

“Hear what?”
“The World Tade Centers in New York went down this morning.”
“… nuh-uh.”
“Yeah! It was on the news and everything!”
My family had moved all across the US due to my dad's involvement in the Navy, and it was then my second year living in Florida, but I was born in Brooklyn. This may sound slightly ignorant, but you'll have to forgive me, I was just a kid. The whole first six years of my life we lived in New York, I never got to see anything of tourism. The thought that the World Trade Centers colasped without me ever having any coherent memories of viewing them in person made me sad. Oh and uh, the thousands of tragic loses as well, but since I didn't have any close relatives in New York, that fact didn't hit me until later that afternoon when I came back to class and our teacher had the news on for the remainder of the afternoon.
The next day, my school had a special morning announcement and a moment of silence.
I couldn't believe it. This was for real.
last edited on Sept. 26, 2011 10:35PM

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