Where were you ten years ago today?

Jay

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Just leave the political rhetoric and conspiracy theories at the door, they belong in another section, PLEASE. :)

Where were you when you heard the news? Many people remember the moment like it was a photograph of a moment.

I was outside at work to meet my salesman when he told me the news. We got a radio and essentially shut down the place to listen. I remember it was one of those perfect cloudless, windless days in the low 70's that this part of the world gets frequently in September.
 

jasonof2000

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On my first six month deployment in Sicily getting ready to leave my Destroyer to go to a cookout.

We emergency sortied and played guard duty to the Sub tender and the command ship. Thanks to the beast of a radar we had next to no news and while we could get email it wasn't very helpful.
 

jedd_kenobi

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One of those rare things where i remember precisely where i was.

I was actually off work on holiday because i was going to New York for a 3 week holiday on Thursday September 13th 2001. I was watching episodes of farScape in the morning and afternoon and my brother (who is working in the town center) rings me and says "is it on Thursday your going to New York." and i said "yes." he asked "have you seen the news?" and i replied "no." he then said "you really need to stop what your doing and put the tv on."
so i put the tv on and straight on Sky News and the first image i see is of the smoke coming out of the World Trade Towers. at first i was wondering what had happened (my first impression was that it had been a small plane colliding with the tower) only to realise a second plane had hit. When i saw the first tower collapsed i was only just beginning to understand the enormity of what was happening.

It really is a moment of fate, luck or something because if this had happened a week later or so. I would have been in New York.
I would eventually go on holiday (at one point the holiday company were telling me that with only 2 days to go. i may have to fly out and take my holiday. i didn't want to go because i didn't want to see New York in its state.) i went a year later and saw for myself Ground Zero. However never having seen the World Trade Towers for myself. i had trouble understanding it all.
 

Elvis313

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I was 14, sitting at my desk trying to avoid doing my homework for school when the regular program on TV was interrupted. My perception of history actually changed that day. I used to feel kind of sorry for myself for having missed the interesting time of international politics during the cold war but now I know how naive I was.
The whole incident really delivered some sense of perspective.
 
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Gingertom

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I was in a science lesson in my first week having moved up to secondary school. I heard about it on the radio on the way home after school and I turned on the TV where it was all still going on. I just sat and watched.

Being only 11 the full impact didn't really hit me (I didn't even know what the World Trade Centre was) but I knew this was properly bad! I just couldn't believe that I was actually witnessing one of those news stories that will be remembered forever (sinking of the Titanic, landing on the moon etc) unfold in front of my very eyes.
 

eizbaer

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i was actually at home, had a friend over for the fun of it, as you do when you're 13. another friend called when it happened so we got the tele on. i don't remember actually realizing the enormity of what was going on, not at all actually. all that only came slowly in the days afterwards with news reports... i consider myself lucky for that and for being only 13 years old, stuff like this doesn't hit you as much at that age.
 

Cobol74

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At work in Swindon.

EDIT/ Working for Zurich aka Allied Dunbar in Fleming Way above Debenhams actually.
 
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mgkdk

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I had just gotten home from school, turned on the tv and saw the extra news show where the first tower was hit and within minutes the second one too, had the tv on the rest of the day and couldn't believe it when they collapsed, seemed unreal.
 

Davetouch

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I was only 9 in 2001 and yet it is one of my strongest memories.

I was just being picked up from school - obviously at a UK primary school there was no sign of it while there; there was no need for us to know - by my mum (in the Kangoo, amusingly). We were giving a mate and his little brother a lift home and as we were walking down the carpark I stopped with my mate's brother to watch this really cool (I was 9 he was 7, OK?) Chrysler Voyager with electric doors and boot. My mum came back up to get us saying something about towers and planes. I didn't really understand much of what the radio was saying in the car - I had no idea of what New York really looked like, let alone two great big towers sticking out the top of it, let alone the idea of planes flying into them. Images in my head included Canary Wharf and a light aircraft sort of bouncing off the side to be honest. My innocent mind couldn't create the kind of images of big explosions etc.

When we got home and turned the TV on all I really remember was watching images on about a 15 minute repeat of planes flying in, ambulances and fire engines racing through the city, and the towers coming down. This would have been about 4-4:30pm, so about midday NY time I think.

As far as the impact of the images and ideals; I was too young and innocent to tell anything. I think I only became worried/had an idea of how big and important this could be was when my parents started talking (together; not to me) about war and the like.
 

Clockwerk

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I was a senior in high school and was walking between classes when I heard a couple of teachers mention an attack on the World Trade Center. Thinking nothing of the severity I asked my favorite history teacher Mr. Burress if the attack was anything like 1993 bombing... he just gave me a grave look and said "No, I really wish I could tell you it was" he then followed with "two planes have struck the World Trade Center one into each tower". Then I, just like everyone else, was glued to the classroom tvs for the remainder of the day.


Edit: this and the Oklahoma City Bombing are two days that are truly burned in my memory forever.
 
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he-he

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At work and one of my colleagues ran into my office, yelled "two planes have smashed into the towers and another into the Pentagon" and ran out again. He's known for his practical jokes and general habit of winding people up so I ignored him... When I realised it was true I had this overriding urge to get in touch with everyone I cared about, even though I knew none of them would be involved.
 

Interrobang

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I was at home (3 in the afternoon in germany) correcting some undergrad-students asignments with the telly running in the background. Wasn?t really paying attention at first when they stopped the regular program and switched over to live-feed because I was buisy and just wanted the nuisance off my "to do" Pile ... and I only noticed a few minutes into the whole thing, that wasn?t actually what I tuned into ... just in time to think "what a terrible accident" before the second plane hit.
 

ashspet

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Asleep. Got a phone call from a friend who told us to turn on the TV. Saw what was going on. Knew that mum was in the air, departing NYC for London, but couldn't find her flight details, and wasn't getting much over the TV in terms of specifics. Later that morning, got a call from Mum, landed safe and sound in the UK, the pilot not having told them anything until they were about to land. And that they were going to be held on the plane for assessment before they were going to be allowed to deplane.

She'd been up the Towers the day before. I've got some badges and other stuff that she brought back from the tourist shop there.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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I had woken up at about 5:30 or so with the radio telling me that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Like everyone else, I had figured it was an accident. I turned on my TV just in time to see the second plane hit. At the time, two of my nieces were in New York - Amy was doing post-grad work at Columbia while Angela was just starting her senior year at NYU. I tried calling my parents to see if they had heard anything but couldn't get through.
Work that day was a bit of a blur. I couldn't concentrate, not knowing if my nieces were okay or not. Their schools were far from the WTC and they lived in the Village but I didn't know for certain that they weren't near the Towers. The women in my office were freaking out, saying that they had to get their kids and make sure their kids were safe. I remember thinking, "They're 3000 miles away from what's happening - I'm sure they're safe." They were eventually given permission to go home. It took me another hour or so of explaining that I had family in NYC and a promise to work through the next terrorist attack before I was allowed to go home.
My nieces were both fine, as it turned out. Amy's boyfriend at the time was doing his residency at St Vincent's, and it was the best part of a week before he was able to go home and sleep in his own bed.
Angela got her degree at NYU and accepted a teaching position in New Orleans, where she lives to this day. (That's another story, however.)
 

sonza68

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At my desk at work. The initial reports that people were hearing were all confused. Initially it they were saying it was a small plane which made me think of the B25 that crashed into the Empire State building. Then is slowly started to become clear that it wasn't an accident. Needless to say, we weren't very productive as we spent most of the day bouncing between news sites to see what was going on. After work, I stopped at the mall to pick up something and it was closed. I was completely puzzled by that. Then on the way home, traffic sucked because gas stations had lines stretching into the streets. That one still doesn't make any sense to me. Not knowing anyone who lived in NYC or DC, and living roughly 1000 miles from there, I was amazed at the panic people in the area were displaying.
 
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Strelok16

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I was just waking up for school, I was still in bed when my mom got a call from a co-worker to turn on the TV. I jumped right out of bed to watch the news. At that point, only the first plane had hit, and everyone was still wondering what was going on, so I just went through my usual morning routine while keeping an eye on the TV. The newspeople were doing their usual speculating, and I don't think I, my mom, or my dad were thinking about an attack at that point, which does seem pretty naive looking back. Then the second plane hit and changed everything. Everyone went from wondering what was happening to who was attacking us at that moment. I was in another room when the first tower collapsed, but I knew something had happened because my mom screamed and started crying. The other tower collapsed right before my school carpool arrived. We didn't get any school stuff done that day, all my teachers just had the news on. a lot of people stayed home as well. Everywhere you looked, there were reminders that something big was happening.

The other thing that was eerie as hell was the plane-less sky for those few days after. I am a plane nerd who always looks up when I hear planes, so that really hit me. I don't think I'll ever forget that day.
 

Heathrow

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At my office in Heathrow Airport, watching on a wide screen TV in the reception area with my colleagues. Saw it from just after the first plane hit, looked at the clear blue sky behind WTC 1 and thought that it seemed unlikely to be an accident. Then the second plane hit and it was "aw, crap".

Understandably, lots of incorrect information was swirling about the news channels that day.

I couldn't watch any more, after the first tower collapsed.

Working for an airline, you get a different perspective. I had visited the WTC as a tourist before 2001 and have been back since a few times to pay my respects. I like what the authorites have done with the memorial park, open as of today.

:(

EDIT: I should say for the record that 9/11 was and still is the UK's worst terrorist attack with 67 killed, this is possibly true for other European countries as well.
 
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Phila

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I was sitting in my 1st period German class as a freshman in high school. That was a bad day.
 
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