9/11 happened to real people going about their normal day.

9/11 happened to real people going about their normal day.

9/11 happened to real people going about their normal day.

9/11 happened to real people going about their normal day.

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  1. My uncle and aunt were at the towers when it happened. We think they were together when it happened… they were leaving early for a doctor’s appointment because my aunt was pregnant so we think they were on their way down cause they had called my uncle’s mom beforehand.

    We only found my uncle… well, basically by dental records. Nothing of my aunt. But I still like to think they were together which means a lot.

  2. Went to the 9/11 Memorial in NY a couple years ago. There was one room that showed the flight paths and had recordings of the messages the passengers were leaving for their loved ones.

    I came uncomfortably close to completely losing it. If I ever go back there, will definitely avoid that room.

  3. I knew Brian Sweeney. This message is indicative of who he was as a person.
    He always genuinely cared about others and wanted the best for them.
    He was a Naval Officer F14 RIO and an all around great guy !

  4. My dad left a message on our answering machine. “My building has been hit. I’m ok, but I’m going to try and help my coworkers evacuate. I love you and I’ll see you when I get home.” He worked on the 92nd floor of the north tower. At the time we didn’t think to save it, of course he would come home. My stepmother regrets it to this day. In two years it’ll be the 20th anniversary, and I’ll also be the same age as my dad by then.


    Editing this in since I can’t reply to everyone. He was a great guy. A jerk sometimes but he had a good heart. The thought of reaching the age he was gives me a lot of complicated feelings. He didn’t get to see me grow up, see the ways I changed and the person I became. I don’t nearly feel like the adult I thought I’d become at his age, though. I’ve had to learn so much without a father I thought would be here. The worst part of it all though, is I have to live with seeing his death over and over. Probably for the rest of my life. The pictures of the towers burning, the videos… even now I see it almost daily. I’ve had to relive that trauma for so much of my life. What’s worse than that is the exploitation of his death for political gain. I die a little inside every time someone is like “9/11!!” or some politician uses it for a gain. I imagine others like me have the same experience.. feeling like a political pawn.

  5. For weeks and months after there were the tiny reminders in the missed appointments: the people who didn’t come for their scheduled dentist appointments or hairdresser visits, the people who never picked up their dry cleaning, the pharmacy prescriptions that were never picked up. The cars left behind in the parking lots of the commuter rail stations belonging to the people who never came home at the end of the day to pick them up.

  6. “If I don’t make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them. Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll.”

    -Todd Beamer, one of the heroes on United Airlines Flight 93.

  7. I’m in NYC for work and just left the 9/11 memorial pools. Really beautiful spot. A lot of the names have flowers and flags on them. One of them had a button that said “Villanova Dad,” and for whatever reason it really touched me, more than all the others. I would strongly recommend the memorial and museum for anyone visiting

  8. When life is on the line, all pretence falls away. All the non-essentials take their rightful place at the back of the line.

    The only thing that matters, the only thing that ever matters, are the people who you love. All the rest is simply not important.

    /edit: Silver *and* Gold. I humbly know you thanks.

  9. I look at my children now (9 & 6) and think about how different my childhood was.

    I’m 40. I basically grew up in this bizarre period of human history. By the time I was 10, the Cold War was over. I didn’t grow up thinking my life could end in a nuclear war – I was too young to experience the worst of those years.

    My teenage years were “the end of history”. Everyone was going to become a Westernized Democracy. I didn’t grow up thinking my life would end in a nuclear holocaust, terrorist attack or climate disaster. It was probably an idyllic time to grow up, something only our mini-generation experienced and it all ended when I was 22 and just out of college.

  10. This is not my story, but one of my professors in college who was a middle school principal as her day job. I was studying to become a teacher.

    That morning, she was working as a teacher in Pennsylvania, with middle schoolers. She had the TV on, but as things progressed her students were understandably getting more and more upset and frightened.

    One of her students asked her- what if the terrorists come for us?

    She muted the TV and said, these people, they are targeting big cities. We live in rural Pennsylvania. We will be ok.

    She un-mutes the TV and the anchor says we have just received news that a fourth plane has crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

    Needless to say, her class did not handle that information well.

    Note: the crash happened about 3 hours by car from the school’s location

  11. God that hits me hard. I was deployed when 9/11 happened, we didn’t see what happened until 3 or 4 weeks later. I’ve been able to block out 18 years of pain and so many lost friends, but when the anniversary comes around I have to face the past. It fucking hurts, I always take the day off

  12. “I’ll see you when you get here.”

    Never noticed that part before. Arguably he meant the flight’s intended destination. I’m pretty sure he meant something more profound.

  13. This day always brings me such sadness. I didn’t know anyone personally affected but it still hits me hard. I feel like everyone else has moved on or just deals with it better. I always end up watching videos and sound clips from that day and end in tears. I fear that every year that passes, it loses something.

  14. 9/11/01 was a Tuesday. If what happened had happened on Wednesday (9/12/01) instead, my husband’s friend would likely be alive today.

    He had taken off 9/12/01 because he wanted to be there to take his oldest son to the first day of kindergarten.

    Instead, he died on 9/11/01 when the South Tower collapsed.

    He was an accountant just going about his everyday morning, expecting to take his son to his first day of kindergarten the next day.

    But, he died on a Tuesday.

  15. How do you come back from that? That’s all I can think of every time I see or hear this. I put myself in her shoes. She was probably at work, or driving down the freeway. Maybe she was sleeping late that morning, tucked into her bed, his last kiss still warm on her lips.

    She probably thought he was just checking in. She probably thought — No biggie, I’ll call him back in a few.

    And then she hears…that. His last words to her. And she probably tried to call him back a thousand times, realizing, eventually, that he wouldn’t/couldn’t answer.

    That breaks me. I can’t even begin to imagine what it did to her.

  16. My brother’s good friend from flight school, Brian Sweeney. A great guy, by all accounts. I’ve written about him here before. My brother ran in the NYC marathon in 2011 in Brian’s honor.

  17. Wow. I could only hope that I could have 1/10 of the fortitude and balls that Brian Sweeney, Todd Beamer and many others had on that day. I try to say to myself “whether you were strong like this, or you were a wimp, you ended up the same way. So go out strong.” I can only hope that when I am called upon, I can have this sort of clarity and strength.

  18. I was a Respiratory Therapist in Butler Pa. When my boss called me into our home care office and started throwing “E” oxygen tanks in my car as they explained what happened. I got about 10 miles from the office when they called me back. That memory is burned into me every time I drive that stretch of road.

  19. It’s these little snippets of the emotions and thoughts of normal, everyday people when they are confronted with something so hugely horrific that ground you.

    That make it real.

    It is easy to think of an event like this in the abstract – two towers fell.

    When you read the text from a regular guy who realised how serious of a situation he was in, that’s when it’s brought down to the human level. A comprehensible level.

    That’s when you empathise and understand – This is all of us, any of us. This is how fragile freedom is.

  20. I was just thinking today of a guy I knew who had begun working for Morgan Stanley.

    Played quarterback in high school,loved his friends and his family,always had a smile and something nice to say.

    By all accounts he was an ordinary,average guy.

    To those who knew him,he was much more.

    His name was Peter.

  21. I taught about 9/11 today in my third grade class and I lose it every time. It was scary and sad and made me angry. These kids have no idea how much things changed.

  22. I was a kid sitting in front of the tv and for some reason I changed the channel to the news.

    One building was totally in flames and the anchors talking about ‘a explosion’ that just happened.

    I looked at my dog, and as soon I looked back I saw a plane going from one side of the screen to the other, and was waiting for it to appear again at the other side of the building.

    Then I saw the explosion, a big oval explosion and no plane exiting from behind. The anchors didn’t noticed it was an airplane and started to talk about another explosion on the other building, thinking it was some kind of bomb.

    After some minutes they replayed the footage and saw the plane going behind the second tower and exploding.

    I was a kid with no friends that only played games. In my mind the world was ending, a new war was starting, I didn’t understood what it was.

    I’m not even American. I feel bad remembering these scenes in my mind. I’m sure what I’m feeling right now is nothing near what you murican bros suffered during and after these events.

    Sorry for this stupid comment I did, I know I’m not American and I have no rights to talk about it, but I never talked to anyone about this, people here don’t care much really. This pothole of a country I live is full of problems but somewhat 9/11 for me is a unique feeling that I can’t describe. I was pumping gas and saw this post, I paid for the gas, sat down at the convenience store, picked up a cigarette and started to type.

    Edit: I don’t have the best english writing skills. Sorry for the mistakes I made.

    When I said ‘I have no rights to talk about it’ it’s because a lot of times people said to me (these are some examples) “you can’t talk about racism, because you are white”, “your opinion about LGBT stuff doesn’t matter because you aren’t part of the LGBT community”. I don’t want to make people angry at me so I’m a bit insecure to discuss some topics.

    Thanks to all you guys/gals. Thanks a lot. I just got home and I’m reading every single reply and this made my night. It’s the first time I could tell people how I feel about 9/11 that people actually listened to me and didn’t told me to shut up because ‘you don’t even live in USA, why do you care?’

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