So where were you 18 years ago this morning? - Page 4

So where were you 18 years ago this morning?

This is a discussion on So where were you 18 years ago this morning? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was approaching the toll plaza of the George Washington Bridge, bound for a business meeting on Long Island. I was listening to talk radio, ...

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Thread: So where were you 18 years ago this morning?

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I was approaching the toll plaza of the George Washington Bridge, bound for a business meeting on Long Island. I was listening to talk radio, and traffic was heavy as usual during the morning rush. They broke from their usual banter to report an aircraft hitting one of the twin towers. I immediately suspected a terrorist attack, as the sky was clear and it could not have been an accident. I figured a terrorist had bought, borrowed, rented or stolen a Cessna or something, and loaded it with explosives.

    When I got onto the bridge in the slow traffic, I could see smoke to my right (south), all the way downtown. On the radio, they were interviewing an eye witness who was north of the WTC in a tall building. All of a sudden, he started screaming that there was another huge explosion in the other tower...he said he could feel the heat from the fireball through his window. Everyone knew then that this was an attack.

    My fear was that if whoever did this had any brains, they would fly the next plane into the bridge and cut the major north-south route of I-95 on the east coast. I continued east on the Cross Bronx Expressway, and crossed onto Long Island via the Throgs Neck Bridge. To my right (west) I would see the towers clearly, and smoke being carried away, almost horizontally by the wind.

    When I got to my customer's office, everyone was watching the TV. I stepped outside to call my wife, who had a view of downtown NYC from her job. When I was finally able to get through the jammed cell phone "lines" she told me one of the towers had just collapsed. I was incredulous, thinking maybe just the upper floors had collapsed. She told me that the whole tower had come down.

    I called my dad, who worked in Queens. He saw everything. He asked me what this meant, and I told him we were at war.

    The highways were all closed by the police, so I took local streets to a McDonalds near the Whitestone Bridge in College Point. I had lunch, with what looked like a volcanic eruption in the not-too-distant distance. It was surreal.

    I managed to be one of the first cars in line when the bridge was reopened later that afternoon. Knowing the police were otherwise busy, I raced along mostly deserted highways at a very high rate of speed to Elmsford, where I knew there was a Red Cross blood donation center. When I got there, the line of people waiting to donate went out the door and around the block. It was humbling to see.

    About two weeks later, as business started to resume, I went to see a customer in Brooklyn. They provided medical supplies to the FDNY ambulances. I wanted to make sure they had whatever supplies from us they needed. The area was across the water from downtown, and was covered in dust and papers that had been blown out of the collapsing buildings. The air smelled like burning plastic. All those papers had been so important to someone...now they were all so much garbage. A life lesson, to be sure.

    I wish we were still like we were in the weeks immediately after the attacks. United. Determined. I guess it's too much to hope for.

    At times I wish I had still been in the Army. At other times, I question if the price we've paid was worth it. But that's another topic, for another time.

    God Bless those who answered the call, and their families.
    Last edited by 10thmtn; September 12th, 2019 at 12:36 PM.
    msgt/ret and OD* like this.
    "You talk a lot, but you're not saying anything" - Psycho Killer, The Talking Heads

    "The winds are crying, 'Remember me;' Through the Holy silence of the desert and the sea; The next armada, waiting for the tide; Wind and rain are nothing to the storm inside" - Running on the Rocks, Shriekback

  2. #47
    Member Array JeffreyR's Avatar
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    Lest we forget 9/11/2012 and those brave souls

    May they always be remembered


  3. #48
    VIP Member Array WebleyHunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentLink View Post
    Like @graydude and @WebleyHunter I was in the Pentagon, 5th floor, D ring, a few floors up from where the plane stopped.
    I am sorry my poorly worded statement gave that impression. I was at Ft. Riley. My previous boss and the other LTC were at the Pentagon. My current company spec'ed the anti-vehicle bollard system that cut the wings off the plane before impact. We also supported the NIST model on the WTC collapse.
    OD*, msgt/ret and BentLink like this.
    Enjoying my daily viewing of the "love has no labels" SJW clickbait on DC.com.

    Active Shooter Response- Assess the situation, Position yourself to gain tactical advantage, Engage perpetrator violently (APE).

    When shopping at Walmart, remember that even serial killers need to buy toilet paper.

  4. #49
    Member Array Workaholic's Avatar
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    I was stationed at NS Mayport, working second shift at a helo squadron. Had just gotten up and was going to the kitchen to get coffee. The wife pointed it out on the tv. Called me an unfeeling person because i was so tired I couldn't comprehend what was going on, and thought it was some fake tv show. It didn't set in, until I was on my way to work. I left a bit early for work that day, and it took me almost 2 hours to drive the last 1/4 mile to get to to the front gate. A lot of extra hours put in by the duty sections over the next several weeks because of that.

    I was in Guam when Bengazi happened, and that caused as much of an uproar at that squadron as it did when I was in Mayport. And on recruiting duty when the helos full of Seals were lost.
    msgt/ret likes this.
    1987-1991 Army Guard/Regular Army
    1996-2014 Navy- Retired

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