Where Were You on 9/11? What Do You Remember?

9/11You don't need me to tell you what happened ten years ago today. I wasn't going to write a "where were you ten years ago today" entry, but here it is. I'm sincerely curious what you remember about that day and where you were when you found out.

Below are two entries from the archives that are worth revisiting today. I wrote this one on February 5, 2003.

At 8:59 last night, I did what I do every night at that time when the Leafs aren't playing. I got ready to watch the Simpsons on the Comedy Network. Little did I know what I was in store for on this particular night...

It was The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson, an episode I have seen twice: when it originally aired in '97 and in syndication in y2k. I won't bore you with the premise, but smack dab in the middle of this episode Homer finds himself in front of the World Trade Center after consuming more than enough crab juice. With nature calling loud and clear, he runs up tower one of the World Trade Center to visit the public bathroom on the observation deck only to find it closed so he has to run quickly to tower two. There are a bunch of jokes tossed back and forth between those in tower one to those in tower two, your typical New York exchanges. The twin towers of the World Trade Center played quite a role in this episode, and I hadn't seen it since 9/11/01.

It takes a shot of the towers in an episode of the Simpsons to finally bang home to me the fact that these towers are no longer there. Sure, for days after 9/11 I read and watched almost everything on the attacks and the towers and again on the first anniversary I revisited the horrific moments when the towers came down but watching Homer interact with these New York landmarks provided me with a moment of clarity.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center are no more and that sucks.

I wrote this one on September 11, 2004, the third anniversary of the attacks.

Ask anyone where they were three years ago today and they'll tell you. 2,749 people were killed in Manhattan, 184 people died in Washington and 40 died in Pennsylvania as a result of the worst act of terrorism ever to take place on North American soil.

I remember that day vividly. I had been working away in front of my PC in the office since 8:30am and the day seemed typical. I had a glass of ice water beside me and I had just finished reading and replying to my email. Walter arrived and shared some news he had just heard on his car radio. This is when the day stopped being typical. A plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City.

At that moment, I had no idea it was a large commercial passenger plane that was flown into the tower intentionally. I immediately assumed it was a Cessna that had perhaps flown off course. Still, I found it intriguing and jumped on the web for further details. Soon thereafter, the reality of the situation became apparent. A second plane struck the second tower and this was no accident. About a half hour later a third plane struck the Pentagon and then a fourth plane went down in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The United States of America, our geographical neighbour, was under attack.

Fear. That was the primary emotion throughout the remainder of that day. We had no idea what was going to happen next and nothing felt as secure as it did when I awoke that morning. Nothing would ever again. I made contact with my wife who was pregnant with James at the time and heard through my mom that she and my brothers were okay and that gave me some personal relief. The large news websites were choking on the traffic that morning but I managed to stream a live news feed from CP24 which I stayed glued to. The occurrences and disposition of the day was surreal. So many dead, such devastation, so inhumane, so pointless.

I remember driving home that evening, looking towards the sky and realizing everything was different. I got home and wondered what world would be awaiting our son when he arrived. I felt such sympathy for those who lost loved ones that day and simultaneously felt relief that I wasn't one of them. I wondered if we would ever be able to laugh again and enjoy our freedoms and liberties once more.

We are now three years removed from that fateful day. We're laughing again, we're enjoying life, this nation is abuzz about a semi-final hockey game tonight at the ACC. I'm planning to enjoy a BBQ with my beautiful family who I adore with all my heart and then I'm going to watch the game and see Kid Rock at the Amp. We, as a society, have not only survived but have returned to enjoying this precious life. You can't kill spirit. You can't destroy hope. We've proved this. I can vouch for it.

"That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not." - James K. Feibleman

Please leave a comment telling me where you were on 9/11 and what you remember about that infamous day.


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brad

i lived in new york at the time and will never forget

sending love

September 11, 2011 @ 5:43 PM

Victoria

I was a sophomore in high school, but I knew even then that I was going to remember everything about that day for the rest of my life. That it was going to be imprinted in my memory whether I liked it or not. I was living in Washington state then, but the way it was all over the news it could just as well been happening in Seattle. I can't even begin to imagine what it was, or is, like for the people who had to endure the scene or losing a loved one.
I can't believe it has been 10 years already since that horrible day, but like most I remember it like yesterday….

September 11, 2011 @ 5:44 PM

Faunie

I was working at Cloverdale Mall then and one of the ladies I worked with came in and told us what she had just heard on her radio. We had a TV in back with very poor reception but there was an electronics store in the mall with the TV on so some of us watched from there. I remember standing with tears streaming down my face and putting my arms around a lady next to me who was also crying. Then and even to this day, I am numbed by the visions of the plane going into the tower and people running from all the smoke and ash,knowing that our world as we know it would never be the same again. For all the souls that were lost that day, Rest in Peace. And we never forget!

September 11, 2011 @ 8:11 PM

Ajax Mike

Though I was a co-worker of Toronto Mike's at the time, I actually had the day off, to take my driver's test. My instructor picked me up in his car and left the radio off on the way to the test, so there were no distractions. It wasn't until 10am or so until I had passed the test and was on the way home that the radio was turned on. By that point both towers were down and reports were coming in that the Pentagon had been hit. At that point I said out loud "Holy sh*t, we're at war."

Once I was home I turned on CNN for the entire day. I called into work and talked to the receptionist Marie who was pretty upset, and she told me that she had heard from one of our clients that were based in the portlands somewhere in the area, and had a clear view of everything happening. That's when it really struck home. It was one thing to realize in the abstract that we were at war, but to know that someone that I spoke with nearly every day was right there, that made it real, and frightening.

September 11, 2011 @ 8:31 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I was working in Ottawa at the Ottawa General hospital, came out around 12noon and flipped on the CBC, (as i didn't know any local radio) and they were talking about the towers coming down. I thought for a minute they were talking about the bombing from a few years earlier, but realised the towers did not collapse then. I had a 10 minute drive to my next client, but didn't was glued to the reporting, Rushed through the rest of the day,headed to my hotel, called home and watched the coverage until about 2 in the morning. The day is burned into my memory.

September 11, 2011 @ 8:50 PM


Kenny

‎9-11-2001 as I watched the NBC raw feed, flight 175 hit the WTC south tower. Pick up my CBC Betacam, Toronto's airport my destination. In terminal 3 passengers from planes turned away from the US had already arrived, I interviewed the unexpected visitors Toronto . Agitated police with machine guns appeared and ordered me out of the terminal.

After many hours of news gathering I left our live position on a perimeter airport road at midnight only to return 4 hours later for another long day.

September 12, 2011 @ 7:48 AM

Quinny.

I was listening to the Howard Stern Show when the reports came in.

Stern started live coverage and stayed on air until after noon which I think may have been a record for him.

I then went to lunch with my buddy at Shoeless Joe's and we watched it unfold there on TV.

September 12, 2011 @ 4:40 PM

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