Friday, 7 September 2012

9/11 - Where Were You?

This is the day in history that will be revered by some and hated by many for years to come. In one day, thousands of lives were taken for a cause that the vast majority of the victims had no dealings in, or could be associated with.

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I suddenly heard the news that a plane had smashed into one of the twin towers in America. I sat in disbelief trying to understand whether it was a deliberate terrorist attack, a suicidal attempt or an accident. When the second plane hit, there was no doubt in mind what was happening. From that point, there was chaos as I began to think about where my family and friends were in America.

My heart goes out to all those innocent people who lost their lives, their loved ones, colleagues and many more. My prayers are with those who were severly injured and to those who will yet lose their lives from illnesses they have developed because of this day. I applaud all the innocent firemen, policemen, medical teams etc. who risked their own lives to help others. Many of them paid the ultimate price for their heroism.

I chose this appropriate 3.5 min video by Allison Crowe, called 'Up to the Mountain', to mark this day for all those who have been affected.

Do you remember where you were and what you was doing on that fateful day?

With all the controversy surrounding whether it was a real terrorist attack or if it was done or allowed by the government, what do you now believe and have your views changed on this?

As a direct consequence of the attacks: the Taliban government has been ousted in Afghanistan, Saddam toppled and Bin Laden executed. Do you believe that America is safer now because of this?

I would love you to share your views/experiences of how 9/11 has affected or impacted on your life today. Feel free to express yourself.

34 comments:

  1. Wow, this brings back memories. I was in my 3rd month of surgical internship at the large indigent hospital here in Atlanta. I was in a patient's room, changing a dressing, when I saw the first tower hit. Everything after that, I remember in slow motion. The hospital, normally noisy and bustling, grew oddly silent in the blink of an eye. I continued my rounds, taking an elevator along the way, thinking to myself, "Is this really happening?" When I got to the next floor, I saw the second tower get hit as I was entering my patient's room. Because the CDC is located on Emory's campus, and there were immediate concerns about biological terrorism (e.g. anthrax), we were advised to get ourselves and our families on quinolone antibiotics right away. I called those prescriptions in for myself and my family, picked them up at the pharmacy along with some Chinese take out for dinner, then came home, sat on the back porch, and cried. I was just so overwhelmed by the tragedy of it all. I don't know if America is any safer; I've never thought it particularly unsafe to begin with. I'm not sure that we needed a war on terrorism, or that any of the national security measures have improved our well-being. Maybe it's too soon to tell.

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    1. Thanks so much Helena for sharing your experiences. I too was very overwhelmed watching it live on TV.

      The antibiotics you mentioned, is this something they provide just for the hospital staff (as they will be the ones treating everyone else) and family or can anyone in the area at the time get prescriptions for themselves too?

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  2. I was driving to gymnastics, when I heard it on the car radio. When I got to the gym, the first thing I remember was this very sweet girl, Monique, saying to her father, "Dad, why do they hate us so much?" There was such sadness in her voice. How do you explain something like that to a 10 year old girl?

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    1. Exactly. I wonder how all those parents did explain it to the children, as I'm sure they had fear beyond belief. It must have also been a very scary few months afterwards wondering if another attack would take place. Thanks NP.

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  3. you know this morning woke up and thought about this....I said to my self as I looked to the calendar on my phone "11 year!" and as I logged on bloggers I found your post...I have to admit that today I feel it even more than the actual day that happened...,my body covers up in Goosebumps looking at the images of the day....:(

    I was in my first year of culinary study as I hear what was happening...it was about lunch time here, right about to open for lunch .....I was shocked I can still remember, but to be honest could not totally understand what was happening....for me it was impossible even to nearly think that someone could do such ting...

    I don't think that America is any safer....never thought it was....looking at statistics 16,500 people are murdered each year in usa when may be over her is like 1 !

    ...

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    1. Thanks Hotei. Today being 11th Sept, I'm sure we will have a few more documentaries shown on TV about what happened. So many different stories/theories and then there is the truth.

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  4. I live far from America, but on the day of 9/11 we all became americans.

    I was a teenager (15 yo), came home from the downtown. My parents were seating in front of TV and saying nothing. I saw a video of burning tower. All tv chanels were reporting about this tragedy. And then we saw how the 2nd plane smashed the other tower. My mom started crying...
    It was like a movie, I couldn't believe my eyes.

    My country is also a victim of terrorism, but the day 9/11 showed me that there's no safe place on Earth and we all gotta be together for being stronger!

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    1. Good point Just Me, there is absolutely no safe place on earth. I guess every country has it's own dangers. Thanks for commenting.

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  5. I remember, before 9/11 I was talking with my friends about how every generation there is some moment that sticks in your mind, and you remember exactly where you were at that moment. Normally its a horrible thing, a thing that changes your view of the world and your own place in it.... I said, "It will happen soon to us, for we have not had one...."

    I was going on a job interview, I woke up early and turned on the tv. After that, I called my parents and all my friends to alert them to what was going on.

    As far as the controversy goes, there are really no words, because there will always be conspiracy theories about EVERYTHING, and we'll never really be able to denounce the theories or the people that came up with them.

    As far as all the things that happened in direct response...it has made us safer, and worse off all at the same time. The US is now embroiled in more wars than it can handle, while the whole country is sliding deeper into a chasm wide divide between the rich and poor, turned its back on the arts, and giving up on its youth. The US may be safer from outside influences, but this country is being annihilated from the inside out.

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    1. I'm certainly not into politics and don't always have an answer, but I do feel that America has gained a lot of enemies over the past years.

      The divide between rich and poor is going on here too (maybe I should say, all over the world right now) so I see what you are saying. If we give up on our youth, we give up on the future of tomorrow. Thanks for your comments Dan.

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  6. 9/11 I think for me represented a loss of innocence. I was 10, and several of the planes were diverted to our city's small airport. I remember making sand wiches in my Nonna's kitchen to send to the airport to feed those left stranded. I think that really impacted me in that it taught me the importance of banding together. Unfortunately many people focused on hatred, creating what seems to be a very us against them intolerant society in the last 11 years. Safer? Hell no. Maybe from outside threat, but the hate makes your neighbors more of a threat than Bin Laden was.

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    1. Thanks Jamie, and from the view of someone who was 10 at the time. I totally agree with what you said about people focusing on hatred. So true. From 9/11 there was a definite split that I saw in communities in my area. You could sense the fear/hate for each other as you walked down the street. It was a horrible time for all.

      It's just so amazing how people band together when there is a major crisis or disaster, and I should have thanked all the people like your Nonna, who did a lot of work behind the scenes but you don't always get to hear about them. Thanks Nonna.

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  7. I just sat to dine that fateful day when every screen around the dinner-room at the Singapore Hotel I lodged started to inform about the hit of AA Flight 11 to the North Tower of the World Trade Centre.

    A few minutes after 9:00 PM Singapore time, UA Flight 175 hit the South Tower.

    I could neither finish my dinner, nor stay watching TV.

    Tried to contact my people, even if they were far from NY and Washington.

    They were all right but things were never the same.

    I do not know what happened, how these people could do what they did.

    I do know that there are not actions that can make any place on Earth safe if bigotry, of any kind, is determined to destroy it.

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    1. There are so many safeguards in place to stop something like this happening again but I believe that it will only be a matter of time before there is another attack of some sort.

      There are also some very determined evil people who are totally focused on getting their point across by using terrorism and spreading fear. Thanks Untony.

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  8. I was sleeping after working a midnight shift. My roommate at the time woke me up and told me we were under attack. I didn't understand at first, I was exhausted and groggy. He yelled at me to come down and watch the report on the T.V.I remember the day, and the horrific images like they were yesterday. And like you I sat and watched in horror and disbelief as the the events unfolded. I missed the first planes impact, and started watching just before the second plane hit. I was horrified at what I saw. The blazing inferno, people jumping from the tops of the towers, the towers collapsing and Citizens and Service Men being engulfed in the wreckage. The flight over PA, and the attack on the Pentagon. I will never forget. There are tears falling on my keyboard even now as I recall the events.

    You chose a beautiful song to tribute the events, very fitting and meaningful. Well done.

    I would hate to believe that our own Government would have had anything to do with it. And it would break my heart to have that fear confirmed. And yes it is a fear of mine. I love this country, but things have changed in this world... I have seen with my own eyes the corruption that has seeped into our government and it scares the hell out of me. I can not say for sure what happened that day. But I feel very confident that we were not given the whole truth. We the citizens of this country were NOT given the whole story.

    The events that followed right up to the present have been equally devastating to me. The wars over seas, the effect the threat of terrorism has had on our everyday lives, new government policies such as the Patriot Act, have in my opinion taken away our liberties and limited our freedom, privacy is a thing of the past...

    Getting rid of individuals, really changes nothing. They may have been evil men, and may have gotten what they deserved. It is not really up to me to judge. But they will be replaced. Ousting the Taliban from Afghanistan may slow them down, it may even halt their actions for a while. But was the Taliban really responsible for what happened? And even if the Taliban is responsible, and was shut down forever... Another faction will arise.

    9/11 marked a day in history that changed the free world. Whether the terrorism was domestic or foreign we may never know. What I can say is that the terrorism was successful... It turned our world upside-down. I speak for myself when I say that I do live in fear and mistrust now. I fear and mistrust my own Government. I fear and mistrust foreign government. There have even been times when I have feared and mistrusted my own neighbors and countrymen. And while I speak for myself, I know I don't stand alone in my fear. And that is the saddest part of the whole deal for me.

    Rum-Punch... You can kiss my ass for making me cry. But I commend you for this post. Once again you take a very sensitive topic and invoke people to think for themselves, to really consider what the truth is. I think you have a wonderful gift for that. Things have been hectic for me lately and I'm afraid I just haven't had much time to read lately. I haven't been able to stop in and see you here as often as I would like. But I promise you friend, as long as you continue to write, I will continue to read.

    Thank-you for this post.

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    1. As I read your comments it brought back to me some of the things that I hadn't thought about for a long time. I saw a documentary that showed the people falling on to the roof-tops and the sounds alone made me feel sick to the stomach. They showed what looked like bits of paper or debris falling from the buildings but we were told it was people. I still can't make heads or tails of what I saw.

      You made such a good point about fear. I know many people are in fear and mistrust over many things to do with the government, terrorism, scared of their foreign neighbours or locals who associate with them, colleagues etc, etc. but not many of them are willing to stand up and debate the issue openly with respect They are too scared to have a voice in fear of reprisals, or being labeled something they are not. I spent years speaking out on issues for different people, but when the s**t hits the fan, they are nowhere to be seen. I've learnt good lessons from this.

      Jon, thank you so much for your very kind words. I'm really glad you like what I write, and I appreciate you taking the time to read. Do you really want me to kiss your ar**? :) My apologies for making your cry. It was a hard subject.

      Thank you so much for your personal views and comments here.

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    2. I have a bad habit of speaking my mind whether it is welcome or not. Thank you for providing a place were other people feel safe to express themselves.
      And no... you don't have to do any kissing... Sometimes a good cry is just what a person needs to release the stress of the situation.

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  9. I remember where I was on that fateful day; I was at work. The wife of one of my colleagues called to the office, and told us to turn on the TV. Several of us went to the break room and turned on the TV. As we looked at the scene and the complete chaos as people were running and screaming, each of us looked in amazement, and for a while, not one of us said a word to the other.

    We continued to stare at the TV and to listen as news reporters filled us in as to what had just happened. This horrific event would forever change America as we know it.

    I do believe America is somewhat safer today. Mainly because 9/11 woke us up to reality. This has made us more vigilant as a nation. We no longer take our safety for granted. On the other hand, those who have made themselves our enemies are more determined than ever to destroy the very soul of our nation. I know that one of the best things I can do is to pray to God for the safety of our nation, which is what I do.

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    1. Frank, what I really loved about America when this happened was that, people prayed openly on the streets and everywhere. You do not get this in England. We may talk about prayer but you just don't see it like you do in America.

      It takes a whole lot of faith to have this happen to your country and then to continue to believe that God will work it all out. I admire the stance you have taken and how you go about doing your job. Thanks Frank. I look forward to visiting your blog again soon.

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  10. I was at home and heard someone shouted the towers had been hit by a plane. I rushed towards the television and there was this broadcast on CNN news of how it happened. I couldn't believe it. My heart goes out to the victims.

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    1. Mine too. Thank you for your comment Balqis.

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  11. I was at Heathrow airport, ensuring an unwanted guest, who had overstayed her welcome by 6 months, caught her plane back to South Africa. My wife heard the 9/11 news just as we were leaving for the airport and asked if we should wait and see. I said "no" and we left.

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    1. Thanks Robert. You were desperate to get rid of your guest I take it :). I guess and extra 6 months was a bit long. Hope it wasn't the mother-in-law.
      Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Long story. Teenage girl who was in our wedding years before as a flower girl. She wanted to work in the UK, so we offered to let her stay with us for a couple weeks, before going on to her arranged digs in London and finding a job. She arrived, without the digs, or the job, and ended up staying with us for 6 months. We tried to keep her gainfully employed as a housekeeper, introduce her to some friends' children etc. Oh, it was painful!!!! Eventually I had enough, and put politeness aside.

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  12. I am an Indian. I was shocked to see the video of the plane crashing the twin towers in News in a regional TV channel. I still don't think that any nation is safe. Terrorists keep coming one after another. I just can't understand their concept of 'jihad' (the so-called Holy war)

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    1. I don't understand about Jihad either, although on another one of my posts called

      'A religion of Terror' -
      http://rumpunchdrunk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/religion-of-terror.html

      A muslim blogger called Liaquat texplained what Jihad really meant to him. I guess it is a matter of interpretation for those who use it in an evil way. Thank you so much for your comment Dhaston Rosary.

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    2. All religions and belief systems can be used to justify evil and hate.

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    3. @Jamiesmiles. Yes, and they do it very well but they have also been used for good purposes too.

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  13. I was at home with my (then) small children. I tuned in shortly before the 2nd plane hit the tower--I was riveted to the screen and stayed up all night still watching--it really did something to me emotionally--I couldn't sleep for a long time afterwards and I cried a lot without explanation. I still cry whenever I watch any form of tribute to 9-11. I also cannot bring myself to get on a plane. The things I saw that day wee horrific--I can't erase it from my memory. And yes, I do live in fear to this day--we are not safe--we never will be. I hope no one EVER forgets what happened on that tragic day....and that they appreciate all that they have---our men have paid the price and sacrificed their lives for our freedom!!!

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    1. I fully understand how you feel Menopausal mama. Many have paid a high price with their life trying to protect us. And it is so sad how it has effected people like you in living a carefree life. 9/11 will never be forgotten, I guarantee you that at least - or maybe I should not make rash promises since I won't be here a thousand years from now. Silly thought, but the world is changing so quickly.

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  14. RPD, thank you for the video, so fitting! And thank you for your remembrance of 9/11 and so well stated. I hope all your family and friends in America were safe that day.

    I remember everything about that day very clearly and it still seems surreal. It was a beautiful Sept morning, sunny and warm. I was working from home that day, went to my computer to check my email, and got a CNN Breaking News email alert about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV. That first image was stunning enough but much worse was to come. My husband was working in Washington DC, downtown near the Capitol. I called to tell him about it and as I was talking to him on the phone, I watched on TV as the second plane hit the Tower! I was stunned! My husband was horrified too as I was telling him about what I was seeing on TV. My god, we are under attack, I said! This cannot be a coincidence.

    At that point we thought it was confined to New York and that was horrifying enough, then I heard a plane was headed to Washington DC. My heart nearly stopped. My husband was in DC. He called me and said all the government buildings were being evacuated and he was leaving. I rarely watch TV during the day but I was glued to the TV. A plane hit the Pentagon! OMG so close to DC! My husband called. He was outside his building near the Capitol and could see the smoke from the Pentagon because that’s just across the river in Virginia. The metro and buses were jammed, he could not get of DC yet. Then I heard on TV about the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, they said it had been headed to the Capitol in DC. But for the brave heroes taking down the plane in Pennsylvania, it would have gone on to DC and hit the Capitol. I shudder to think what could have happened. All day I was sick with worry. It took my husband a long time to get home but he made it out of DC OK. I feel lucky indeed. As I waited for him to come home, I watched on TV as both Towers went down in a hail of smoke and fire. It was one of the most horrifying images I had ever seen, still is! All the people gone, I still cannot get over all the people who lost their lives just like that, so quickly and so senselessly! My heart goes out to all their families. I will never forget that day.

    I’ve written a lot here but just to briefly answer the questions you posed: Oh yes, this was a real terrorist attack and I don’t believe my government allowed it as such, but I do believe their security was lax and their intelligence gathering was sloppy. Later we heard reports about intelligence data that had failed to be properly analyzed. No excuse but to say that America got caught with her guard down! Now since 9/11 I believe we have much better security in the U.S. and we are safer.

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    1. JerseyLil. Thank you so much for sharing your experience of that day. So many lives has been affected in so many different ways. I can imagine the worry you had waiting for your husband to get back home, and I'm just glad he made it.

      Don't worry about the length of what you wrote, for me, what's important is that people freely express themselves.

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  15. I just got to work when i heard that a plane hit the WTC. Being an IT guy i quickly went to one of the news agencies to get a live video feed. As i watched that i could not believe what i was seeing then all of a sudden i saw the second plane smash into the other building. At that moment i came to the realization that this shit is for real! We are being attacked! I began to call the people i know that work in Manhattan and was able to talk to them including my Dad who was working a construction project near there.

    I called my mother to see if everything was okay and of course she was crying and shocked and worried about my Dad since she tried calling and could not get through. I told her that i spoke to her and that he and his co-workers are leaving the area.

    The whole office was quiet watching my live video feed. Everyone was in shock and disbelief during the remainder of the day. I remember driving back home to the Bronx and watching the huge grey plume of smoke from the highway! I was Interstate 95 which goes from Rhode Island all the way down to Florida is usually full of trucks and cars on that day i was the only one on the highway that day.

    That was a bad day for fellow NY'ers like me and the rest of the world.

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    1. It was disturbing for us who have commented to witness these events indirectly. But to have a loved one near ground zero at the time, and it have actually seen that plume of smoke must have been a heart wrenching trauma.
      Some of the documentaries I've seen since then which included video recordings, will stay with me for the rest of my life.
      Thank you for stopping by again Jose.

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