17th Anniversary of 9/11

Grey Havoc

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https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/09/09/uss-constitution-to-mark-911-attacks/

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-al-qaeda-survive-20180910-story.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-yorks-world-trade-center-struggles-to-fill-office-space-1536663600

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/09/11/9-11-17th-anniversary/

https://www.voanews.com/a/september-11-memorials/4566458.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45487709

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJtxA9unrws

https://apnews.com/96061fe9fea44e5389a431458b46955f/US-marks-9-11-with-somber-tributes,-new-monument-to-victims

https://www.yahoo.com/news/remembering-9-11-17th-anniversary-slideshow-wp-132544170.html
 

Archibald

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I was visiting my sister, a student in Toulouse, one of Ariane home places. They build a space camp there, the Citée de l'espace. My elder sister dropped us there in the morning, with my other sister (not a space nerd).
Being a space nerd, we spent the entire day there and I had a hell of a time. they even had an Apollo lunar sample, one out of two in my country. We ate our lunch near the full size Ariane 5 mockup before continuing our visit. A bit later in the afternoon I went to the museum gift shop and bought Revell 1/72 scale Apollo model. I later build it on a plaster-of-paris lunar surface, still have it. No mobile phone those days, at least no smartphones connected to the internet. After some difficulties (and a memorable bust-up with my sister) we found the bus stop and come to my sister home. We waited some time before putting the TV on. And there, the horror of the thing hit us like a nuclear missile. Geez. Still trembling in anxiety as I type this, 17 years later.

The first airliner hit the tower shortly before 3 in the afternoon (14h46, French time) and I can't remember when we lit the TV. What haunts me is that the first impact probably happened as I was at the gift shop buying the Revell kit. To commemorate one of the brightest days in America history. On the darkest day. The coincidence is just killing me, to this day.

...
And then 10 days later Toulouse AZF chemical plant went kaboom and ravaged the city. My elder sister was still there and in tears, she phoned my mother just before the mobile phone network collapsed (as everybody tried to call a relative, all 500 000 inhabitant in Toulouse).

In hindsight it sounds absurd (Bin Laden probably never heard of toulouse, except if he had some kind of grudge against cassoulet and the pork sausages in it) but of course everybody was saying "s**t - terror attack. they blew up the plant." It scared the heck out of me, as if "crap, Osama is getting closer to my home place".

I had two huge arguments / clashes with my sister that month of september 2001. The first one happened on 9-11. The second one, ten days later, when AZF went up in flames. Every time, we clashed, then heard of the disaster imediately thereafter. I told my sister "well, let's stop having arguments for a while" :eek:

Not only america froze but the entire world. Later they made a song which video hauntingly captured the horror of that day. It was a perfect late summer day, and then it happened, and the news hit everybody like a ton of bricks.

The video (a total heart break, and chilling)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qeV8PDBH8E
(english lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzbNZtJ4xwo
 

Orionblamblam

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9/11/2001 was a weird day at United Technologies/Chemical Systems Division. Work kinda ground to a halt even though there were meetings on site with USAF and NASA folks. We were informed that, as ICBM manufacturers, we were considered a prime target. Yaaaaaayyyyy...

9/12/2001 was just as weird. I spent part of it in the company boneyard digging up parts for nuclear weapons delivery systems, so we could slap some units together ASAP to replenish the systems we were pretty sure would soon be launched.

Sigh. All that digging through black window spider infested junk and dodging bobcats for nothing...
 

galgot

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I was at work on the computer as always, then my wife phoned. She sounded weird, bad, she told me " hey do you know about the plane crashing in NY ?"
With some collegues we found a tv and watched... We couln't understand. When the second plane hit , one of the guy in the room made a bad joke, he wasn't realising and was very nervous i think. I got mad, and told him " do you realise how many peoples just died just right now as we were watching ?".
And i think i was realising too, counting how many could be in the plane, plus the previous plane, plus the peoples in the towers. Must say very humbly that i cried.
 

Rickshaw

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It was mid-evening where I was living, downunder when the TV suddenly changed over to a direct feed from CNN from New York. I called my wife in to see what was happening and we watched rather stunned for about 2 hours. My only comment was, "wait until we see who disavows responsibility for this 'cause anybody who claims it is in for a hell of a lot of stuff flying their way!" Then, over the next few days, there were open arguments on the bus on the way home - about a half an hour's journey. Many believed that the US had brought this on themselves. Perhaps the nation had but the victims in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania hadn't IMO.

Where I lived basically died. Flights were canceled, people didn't come for their holidays, no jobs were advertised for about a month, it seemed the world had ended, more or less. Small stuff compared to what the US was going through but still, it brought it home to me.
 

mrmalaya

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We (my wife to be and I) were working next to Canary Wharf in one of the office blocks, when a colleague came over and said he had just seen a plane fly into a tower in New York. I thought he was talking about that Mitchell that flew into the Empire State in the 40s.

It quickly became clear what was going on. We were held in the office for the whole time the towers came down before they let us leave, all the while watching the skies around the skyscrapers where we were.

We went home and stared into the river Thames for hours after that.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I was doing some IT work at a PR agency from where you could see Canary Wharf across the river. They had TVs in a room off the main office (being a PR firm) and someone suddenly said "everyone stop, you need to see this" and pulled the TV out into the main area. It was just after the first plane had hit. Then the second plane hit, and everyone went crazy. Phones were ringing, rumours flying everywhere. "My friend's cousin works in Air Traffic Control and apparently they've lost track of several planes near London - they think Canary Wharf might be a target". "There are 4 missing planes near Brussels - maybe the European Parliament?" I stared out the window for a while, wondering if any second, I'd see a plane collide into it.

I don't think I did a lot of IT work that day.
 

mrmalaya

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Not to drift at all, but I remember there was a Type 23 on the river because of the defence show at Excel. I wonder what happened for their crew over the same time period as we were staring out of the window.

Apologies for the diversion.
 

Archibald

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It was terrifying indeed, because aircrafts could fall on any targets. That's and rumors of course. Heck, when AZF went up, first words my sister told me "Ils ont fait sauter Toulouse, le centre ville est détruit" "They attacked in Toulouse, and downtown laid in ruins" (guess who were, they ?) Sure, that was a little excessive, in the heat of the moment. But really, it scared the heck out of me for some hours afterwards, as if Bin Laden himself was on my heels. ::) And you can do very silly things in such state of mind. "the sky is falling !" (Chicken Little)
Oh well France troubles were only beginning. Good grief. Soon thereafter the 2002 presidential election went down the drain. Spring 2002 was chaos and mayhem. Since then, well, that chaos... has become pretty ordinary.
21th Century so far: political and social chaos, everywhere. And it is only beginning. Geez.
 

Mark Nankivil

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I was at work and heard about the first plane crashing into the tower with the news saying it was a small plane. We went into the crew superintendent's office to watch on the TV (just had cable run into the offices) - I remember thinking the size of the scar was no small plane but not able to wrap my head around the idea of something larger crashing into the tower on such a clear, cloudless day. Then the second plane flew into the second tower which put an end to any hope it was truly a terrible accident.

Being an engineer, I recall thinking that they won't be putting out the fires but never thinking of the complete collapse of the towers - studying the building design later, it made more sense to me why they came down like they did. Hell, you don't design buildings for events like that.

The day after and a few more days afterwards, the pure silence of no aircraft overhead in the pattern to Lambert-St. Louis and the lack of contrails was the most striking memory to me.

Back in June, we took our Boy Scout Troop to Gettysburg for 5 days of hikes and visits along the battle lines and other points of interest. On the way back home, we visited the Flight 93 Memorial. For me, the saddest place I have ever visited. From the parking lot to the overlook which looks down to the crash site in the near distance, the sidewalk is aligned with the flight path of Flight 93 and serves as a measured timeline of the day's events. Sobering....

A few years after that terrible day, one of the documentaries on TV had video from ground level of the second airplane flying into the second tower. The pilot was obviously pulling some Gs considering the air speed and bank angle - they very nearly missed hitting the tower. I have often wondered since then what if they had missed...

Mark
 

Orionblamblam

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Mark Nankivil said:
I have often wondered since then what if they had missed...

I have often wondered "what if the hijackers had actually been fully competent." At the time I was on a company van taking the hour-plus ride into work; the news was just breaking about the first hit as I got on board. The second plane hit during the drive and one tower collapsed before we got to work. I thought *sure* that fifty thousand people had just died. A hundred thousand, certainly, when the second went down. But it turned out that "only" 3,000 were killed. Why? Because the first plane hit too soon, while people were still getting in to work that morning. And as soon as it hit, people began to spill out of both buildings. If the first plane had orbited for a bit and waited for the second, so that they hit within a few minutes of each other, and if they had both hit lower down, trapping far more people above them...

The 9/11 attack took out the equivalent of a small town. It could have *easily* taken out the equivalent of a good-sized city.
 

TomS

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On 9/11 I was working just about a half-mile south of the Pentagon, in one of the first tall buildings in Crystal City. The Pentagon itself sits in a bit of a depression, so we had serious concerns that a pilot who couldn't line up on the Pentagon might take us as a consolation prize.

That was the most unnerving days of my life, sitting in a building watching ashes from the Pentagon float down around us, wondering if we should be evacuating or if we were safer inside than trapped on the roads.

Plus, I was scheduled to fly to London two days later, which obviously did not happen.
 

Archibald

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rescorla

This single man (the epithom of badassery, his entire life, from D-day to 9-11) saved every single Morgan Stanley employee in the south Tower. Without him, death toll would not have been 3000 but nearly 6000. 2700 people owed their lives to him.

His entire story is amazing, but how he was prescient about a second WTC attack is chilling. He added Lockerbie to the 1993 attack and guessed 9-11 many years before.
 

starviking

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I was working in an eBusiness company in Belfast that day, when suddenly the Internet died. We were all wondering what was up, something big, obviously. Rumours started coming in of an attack on New York, but it was only after a few hours that we started getting any idea of the scale of it. One of the coders had a friend who was working in the South Tower, and we later found out that she had tried to get her colleagues to evacuate after the first impact. Sadly, no one listened to her, and she watched the second impact unfold as the only person from her office to leave the building.

And thanks for the information on Rick Rescorla Archibald - as they say, he was quite a guy!
 

Grey Havoc

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http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2018/09/yes-every-year.html
 

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