Where Were You on 9/11?

7 Years Ago Today9/11 was 13 years ago. Ten years ago, when we were three years removed from that infamous day, I shared my memories of that infamous day.

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 toward 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 Molson Amphiteatre. 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.

What do you remember about September 11, 2001?


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Philly-Bob

My Sister and I were both attending Humber college North Campus. The 1st plane hit in the time it took us to walk from her car to the Campus Pub...as soon as we walked in, everyone was standing there staring at the TV's. I asked someone what was going on and they told us a plane had hit the world trade centre. WE saw the 2nd plane hit on live TV....

Scary day man...

September 11, 2014 @ 9:09 AM

Andrew

I was working in news at the time - at ROBtv (BNN) and mixed the morning show. On September 10th, my wife and I had just moved into our new house in south Etobicoke. She went to work at the Metropolitan Hotel, I stayed home and unpacked. I didn't have my cell on, a radio or anything. I was just listening to my CD player on my portable boom box. Around 2pm, I finally found a phone in a box and plugged it in. To my chagrin, there were around 17 voice mails. Every one was from work asking me to come in because of what had happened.

I called my wife at work and she said the place was going bonkers because it was TIFF and all film people had to stay due to the airspace closure. She spent three days living at the hotel working the restaurants and cleaning rooms because of the over capacity. I was on holidays so I cleaned up the house. I didn't look for, see or hear about what had happened for almost 4 or 5 days. I think I was trying to not see it.

One thing I did do was try and get a hold of a good friend who was living in NYC and worked for CIBC World Markets across the street from the towers. I finally got a hold of him via email the next day to say he was safe and so was his family. He watched the first plane fly into the first tower and realized something was wrong. He took off for home right away. A week after the attacks, he transferred back to Toronto and moved his family. He said that was the final straw.

Andrew

September 11, 2014 @ 9:15 AM

mrmojorisinca

I was working nights..and slept through all the initials reports..When I woke up, that when my father informed me the US was attacked..the world did indeed change that day.

September 11, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

Anonymous

I was also in news at the time & living next door to the radio station. While I was getting ready for work Live With Regis and Kelly started with the news a plane hit the north tower 15 minutes before (8:45am). While they were talking about the first plane, the second plane hit the south tower. The program immediately cut to live news. I ran next door to the station. Every 15 minutes for the next 12 hours we were live with updates on the tragedies around the US.
I also recall both my mum & my sister working in the TD Towers in Toronto and not being able to reach either of them. As a precautionary measure they'd been evacuated. Cell phone signals were jammed and I was unable to get hold of them.
My heart still breaks and I re-live the emotions every year.
I will never forget the details and images.
#TheDayTheWorldChanged

September 11, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Marie

I was on the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool, England. When the tour ended we went back to The Cavern pub. Everyone in the pub was watching TV so I turned to look and that's when I saw the planes hitting the towers. I took the trip to England by myself and I felt very alone and lonely. By the time I got to London a few days later I just wanted to go home. Nice trip but a very sad ending.

September 11, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

4x4 Time

I was in Thailand on a river cruise on a sleeper boat. Did not know anything about the attacks for 5 days later. Very weird time.

September 11, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

Gump

I was on my way to an MRI and listened to the Howard Stern show on Q107. I then spent the next hour in the MRI machine while getting a running commentary from the MRI technician in the booth.
After the procedure, I drove into the city listening to the expanded Stern show. My brother, sister-in-law and girlfriends' Toronto law firms were all shutdown and sent home. I remember the web being very slow that day. Bizarre horrible day.

September 11, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

elvis

I was managing a Mark's Work Wearhouse in Mississauga at the time. A customer came in and said, "did you hear what's happening in NYC?" We turned on the radio and the only station we could get was Q107. We huddled around the radio listening to one of Stern's best broadcasts of all time.

I remember getting home and going to cnn.com and the site all text, with only short sentences describing what was happening.

September 11, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

Alison in Ottawa

I was still living in the GTA and my newborn daughter was only 12 days old. I was feeding her while watching Good Morning America when the planes hit and my Mom, husband and I watched the news for hours while the horrible reality of the situation sank in...

September 11, 2014 @ 3:48 PM

CQ

I was working! It was an okay year since Ontario's full-year maternity leave had started; my manager was off.
Unfortunately that boss (under a VP of Finance and one-person HR dept.] gave a private promotion to one of my colleagues - whom I had complained directly to and later in writing - for her sexual harassment. The woman kept stroking my arms all the time - with the buildup chatter. Her secretive point was to get me to 'jump' so that I could be fired. The boss - for her part - had hired that colleague only a couple years earlier and was IMO insecure of having any pre-existing staffers with experience.
I learned of the private promotion one day before their company merger reveal document; my name was uniquely flowcharted below all others although I had the second most department seniority. Then my Sr. colleague, whom never took on a 'senior' workload to my own, received another promotion. My tasks were cut to a [interim expectable] third, and initially I was excluded from the corporate severance plan handout.
Most of the dept. roles went to the other side's personnel of less than three years employment.
It was Penguin Books Canada (and its 4x larger corporate twin was also headquartered in Toronto, Pearson Education). 2001 was still before David Davidar's arrival and with two Cdn. division co-presidents until that time.
Unless I can finally ever land another job - I will become homeless. I did get their two in-Toronto HQ sides to finally post cross-promotion opportunities previously. That was while Pearson Int'l operated an employee stock shares plan while its Cdn divisions would not offer cross divisional job advancements or placements.

September 11, 2014 @ 4:36 PM

CQ

I was working! It was an okay year since Ontario's full-year maternity leave had started; my manager was off.
Unfortunately that boss [under a VP of Finance and one-person HR dept.] gave a private promotion to one of my colleagues - whom I had complained directly to and later in writing - for her sexual harassment. The woman kept stroking my arms all the time - with the buildup chatter. Her secretive point was to get me to 'jump' so that I could be fired. The boss - for her part - had hired that colleague only a couple years earlier and was IMO insecure of having any pre-existing staffers with experience.
I learned of the private promotion one day before their company merger reveal document; my name was uniquely flowcharted below all others although I had the second most department seniority. Then my Sr. colleague, whom never took on a 'senior' workload to my own, received another promotion. My tasks were cut to a [interim expectable] third, and initially I was excluded from the corporate severance plan handout.
Most of the dept. roles went to the other side's personnel of less than three years employment.
It was Penguin Books Canada (and its 4x larger corporate twin was also headquartered in Toronto, Pearson Education). 2001 was still before David Davidar's arrival and with two Cdn. division co-presidents until that time.
Unless I can finally ever land another job - I will become homeless. I did get their two in-Toronto HQ sides to finally post cross-promotion opportunities previously. That was while Pearson Int'l operated an employee stock shares plan while its Cdn divisions would not offer cross divisional job advancements or placements.

September 11, 2014 @ 4:37 PM

Cheryl

I was working, still going out to work, working at S. Mike's. All of a sudden everyone started talking. Nobody actually told me anything because they all didn't like me for some reason. I heard people talking about leaving early and I knew nothing. Then I got to go home and I went home and turned on the radio and there was all the news.

September 11, 2014 @ 4:39 PM

GUNTer

I was already at work when a colleague phoned me who was still in her car. English was not her first language so it took me a while. I logged onto CNN and saw the horror. We kept refreshing but it kept crashing.
I remember one colleague laughing so inappropriately. It made me really uncomfortable - I asked her why she found it funny and she just stated that these types of things happen all the time, but when it happens to the US its big time news.
That day I didn't go straight home - I went to my Dad's and we watched the news all evening. Terrible day.

September 11, 2014 @ 7:37 PM

J9

I was home on mat leave, my son was 5 months old. I had been out for our morning walk, and saw the news when we arrived home. Just such a terrible event, with raw tv footage. And it was so eerie for the next few days with no planes in the sky (we are close to the airport, always planes above).

I find it odd that my son's school did not make note of the anniversary today. Sure it did not happen in our country, but it sure happened in our backyard and changed many aspects of how we live and fly.

September 11, 2014 @ 8:02 PM

michel.cz.cc

Sad day. I was turning back home, heard everything in my car.

September 11, 2014 @ 8:28 PM

twins from bolton

I work 2 minutes from Pearson Airport. 1 of my co-workers was in surgery early that day donating a kidney to his brother & another was off on vacation who called me & said a plane had just hit WTC not knowing the size of the plane.

I turned on my radio at work & that's when reality set in just as 2nd plane hit. Word spread very quickly & by 9:30AM many of us were watching TV in the boardroom.

No words could express the emotions with everyone watching, just shock.
After noon a security person from the Pearson Airport came by & talked to President of the company. Pres called a mtg. to tell all employees just be cautious when driving home today, there is no need for concern but be aware there will be possible disruptions on the drive home with police & security.

Approx. Noon that day it was a very weird feeling - so many airplanes being redirected to Toronto, planes lined up in the sky circling & then by 3PM - NOTHING BUT SILENCE. Nothing the next day also.

We were all told to go home at 3:30 & go give a hug to your loved ones & be thankful.

A day I will never ever forget.

September 11, 2014 @ 8:50 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I was working in Ottawa, and came out to my car at lunch, turned on the CBC, and they were talking about the WTC collapsing. At first I thought they were talking about the attempt a few years previous to blow it up, but soon realised it wasn't. Couldn't really concentrate on work the rest of the day, was totally floored when I got a chance to see the video footage that night.

September 11, 2014 @ 10:16 PM

The Voice

I just watched Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children at TIFF. It has a cast of well knowns and some not so well known teens.

The film was "meh", but one of the interesting parts was the teachers assigning the teens the task of interviewing someone who "remembers" 9/11, as likely none of them were old enough to actually remember 9/11 like we do.

Was in my first "lab" computer session in University, and the technician took over all our monitors and started showing CNN. Was surreal to see it on over 100 screens simultaneously.

September 15, 2014 @ 5:08 PM

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