Toronto Mike

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


You 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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