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11 Years Ago Today, America Changed

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11 years ago today, it was a bright and sunny Tuesday morning, just like today in the north east.  I had a late night wasting my summer away playing video games when my brother burst through my door waking me up in a frantic “The World Trade Center blew up, we’re under attack, I can’t access the Internet, shit’s going down”.  Not sure if it was a dream or reality, I got out of bed to turn on the TV and see the most disturbing images of my life, a big cloud of smoke hovering over what used to be the World Trade Center.  Two buildings I stood directly under just over a year ago to that day.

I’m not sure if I said a word for the next hour or so, as I just sat and watched the news in utter disbelief, first hearing about how planes were being grounded, but there were still a few that were unresponsive.  After hearing about the pentagon and the other downed plane in Pennsylvania, I was in full panic mode not knowing what to expect, what was happening to our country.  Were we being invaded by another country?  Was I going to see Chinese tanks rolling down my street in a few days?

Pure panic set in as I tried to rationalize the situation, but logic was the furthest thing from my mind.  Between vomiting, I spent the entire day watching and worrying about all of those people in NYC who have lost their lives that day.  Every other worry I had in the world seemed to disappear as nothing else seemed important any longer.   My only remotely sigh of relief came sometime around 2am when I read on the ticker that the Chinese Government sent out their condolences, but by then the speculation of a rogue terrorist attack had already been swarming the airwaves all day regardless.


This is probably the first time I’ve written down my events from that day 11 years ago, and I’m sure many others have their own stories to tell.   I know Big Brother is having an eviction tonight, but the feeds will be down until tomorrow’s episode, and there really is nothing to talk about inside the game.  I’d like to spend some time with my readers remembering the tragedy that unraveled on Sept 11th, 2001.  Feel free to share your stories, send your sympathies to the families or anything else you’d like to say.  Please, do not turn this isn’t a conspiracy theorist topic, or anything remotely hateful.

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  1. Comments (528)

    Well, I’m in Canada so I didn’t feel it on quite the personal level the Americans might, but still a shocking, frightening, saddening event to be sure. I had just started college – journalism, ironically – and jumped into my carpool. I had slept in and missed the news (which we were supposed to listen to before class) so when I got in the car I see a group of weird, pale faces saying like, “Jesus, have you been listening??” and I’m like, damn, no, what’s the dilio? “the WTC was just bombed and to was the Pentagon.” so of course I’m like, yup. The end has come. Effing WW3 is starting.

    So we listen to the radio the whole way to school and that’s when the first tower fell and it was surreal, hearing the live reporters stumbling over their words because they’re in just as much shock as everyone else. Someone mentioned a plane, but it still wasn’t confirmed wtf was happening. Everyone is running into class, flipping on the TV, the entire journalism department gathered in the TV studio as we get the report about the second tower.

    The whole thing was just on another level. And my prof was a douche who made us actually finish this ridiculous, unrelated lecture when all we wanted to do – as journalism students AND HUMAN BEINGS – was know what the hell was going on at any given moment.

    My heart goes out to any of the people here who may have lost a loved one.

  2. Comments (29)

    I was nearly 9 months pregnant that day. My brother, and my husband at the time were both active in the military. My brother was deployed to assist in the aftermath of the bombing then deployed over seas as special opps agent. He was injured and honorably discharged. My husband and I were stationed in Arizona. He just finished boot camp. He called me that morning to tell me that what I was seeing on TV was really happening and that they were on lock down. I wasn’t going to see him for who knows how long. It was not a good feeling. I think it really shocked him because he changed that day – sadly not for the good either. He was never deployed and ended up dishonorably discharged. So many lives changed that day – all over the world. Being from Oklahoma and dealing hands on with the OKC bombing everything brought up that event as well, not to mention working in the hospital while the tornadoes of Moore OK tragedy too. I try not to live in fear though because I believe we are wrapped fully in a blanked of God’s love via all the wonderful men and women who serve faithfully in their jobs (military, rescue workers, teachers, counselors, etc.) as well as amazing volunteers who don’t think twice about helping others. For all of you readers that have been affected, no matter how small or large, my prayers are with you today and always. May peace be with you.

    • Comments (1)

      I am so sorry I hit the thumbs down on your comment. I thought it would just bring up the negative comments, and I wanted to see why there are so many negatives coming up over this topic. Please accept my apology.

  3. Comments (528)

    So who’s the jerkass who hates America giving all the thumbs down man? Not appropriate.

  4. Comments (8)

    This was one day we will never forget! I live in NY and it was life changing. My prayers are still with those who are gone and those who are missing those who are gone.

    Is BB really on tonight?? I thought it wasn`t on till Wed. night.

  5. Comments (1)

    I worked for American Airlines Vacations at the time and it happened to be my day off. I awoke and turned on my computer and saw something about the towers but it rolled by. It was later that a friend messaged me about what happened. I sat in shock watching the images play out on my TV screen. Two days later I was back at work and had to endure the terrible phone calls we were receiving. All you could do was sit and listen as people called in cancelling trips their loved ones had planned. The worst one of them all was a mother calling to cancel her son’s trip to Paris with his girlfriend. He was taking her there to propose but it would never be since he was one of the firemen to lose his life. Most people were very calm or sullen but then there were the ones who were downright mean. People I worked with were told by angry passengers hopefully you feel bad for putting someone on that flight or I hope you knew someone on those flights. Luckily we found out that none of those on the flights were booked from our center but it still was a heavy burden to think I could have done that.

  6. Comments (126)

    Being in California I woke up to it from my radio which I always fall asleep to. Don Imus was talking about some bozo may have flown his Cessna into the first tower, of course that report was revised, I turn the T.V. on to watch what at that time many believe was a terrible accident this was before the 2nd Tower was hit, of course we were very aware this had to be a terrorist attack now when that next plane came in.

    I remember BB2 broke the news to HGs for the first time ever informing them what was going on outside the house, I believe it was a Monica’s cousin was a missing victim in one of the towers and she was called into the DR to be given the bad news. I still remember the shocked look on the HGs who were no longer competitors with fan favorites but we were all AMERICANS in deep mourning.

    My brother who had just got back from New York, flew right back to our Mid-Town Manhattan office which is about 40 blocks north of ground zero. He join his local church there in conjunction with Billy Graham Ministry to help feed the tower survivors many still with the smell of ashes on them. The hugs and cries were often the stories he heard brought my tough brother to constant tears.

    I urged him before he left to be careful for the air would not be safe for awhile near ground zero. The survivors were given the best food in the world from this high priced restaurant whose doors were open 24hrs to firemen, cops, construction crew, and tower survivors, my brother was so proud to participate in helping our fellow Americans in need, not just serving them food, but praying with them, giving counseling by just listening to their personal escapes and the tragedy of their lost friends and associates who didn’t make it out.

    Though I don’t totally buy the official government report, I know one thing is true, we are all in this together and thus we must always be ready to fight and stand our ground whoever that enemy is, whether domestic or foreign, for our great nation that is tottering. 

  7. Comments (1)

    I’m Canadian my husband was consulting in Texas City largest petro chem in USA. My sun was just eating toast before leaving for high school. I was chillin with coffee watching the news while my sun blabbed about school and such. I saw the TV flicker to a smoking tower my sun watched then went on line He said mum call my school the world’s ending today!

    I watched it and left for my appointments in a daze I didn’t get where everyone was Edmonton was a ghost town. Signs all over saying due to New York we are closed.

    I tried to call my husbands cell but it was jammed because of everyone calling each other. He called finally from the parking lot hysterical no one told them what was going on considering where they were located in Texas.

    I felt like I was surfing the big Kahuna and had to stay on top or i’d die worrying about my husband and our world

    He grabbed all the guys who lived west of Texas into his rental vehicle and dropped them off because there were no flights anywhere. He drove for days to Colorado and somehow hoped an Air Canada flight home.

    We travel a lot I hate it! The devastation is always there everytime we pack a bag.

  8. Comments (316)

    Big Brother 2 was going on at that time. One of the houseguests in the house had a relative affected and the houseguest was told by Big Brother Producers. Anyone recall this?

    God Bless America!

    • Comments (528)

      Yeah, it was Monica’s cousin and she was never found. She was in the final three at that point and a lot of people thought she had a damn good chance at the win, too…she ended up leaving the house voluntarily IIRC. Dr. Will took home the gold.

      As an aside, was watching BBAD and Shane and Dani were discussing this. Shane was saying it was season two and Danielle barks, “no, no, no, season 3. It was season 3.” I think Shane was quite sure he was right but kind of let her win (because, you know, don’t want to make her cry), and then she’s like “actually, it was season four. Definitely four.”

      Yeah, you’re definitely up on our BB there, girly.

  9. Comments (65)

    I was 14, My mom had passed away the yr before that. I was living with my father and two younger siblings (12,6), they were at school my father was at work. I was supposed to be in school but I was in bed sleeping because after my mothers passing I fell into deep depression and well just didnt wanna do anything. I remember waking up to the news on my tv screen, i found that wierd because I left it on the sci fi channel and they never give news. I remember seeing those buildings and the planes, my mind started getting cluttered with thoughts, wondering if my family was ok. That quickly stopped when I kept watching and witnessing those horrific images of the buildings collapsing, thinking about the people in there wondering if they managed to get out. After finding out the severity of the situation I couldnt help but cry, cry for all those families who that day suffered terrible losses. Its ironic to say, I know alot of ppl might hate my next comment, but 911 changed me in many ways. I learned to appreciate life, so much I quickly began recovering from what I thought I could never recover from, I began living life with such appreciation. I realized that other people in the world needed my prayers, the whole nation needed prayer. Its still a bit fuzzy, but to this day I get chills thinking back on the events that day. I am now the proud mother of a beautiful baby girl. I hope she never has to witness something like what we all lived through that day. However, it is my duty to educate her, and let her know what our nation has sacrificed to rebuild what was done that day. When I say rebuild I dont mean it literally, but rebuild our nations beliefs, our hope for better days. I would like to wish all those affected by the tragedy of 9-11 my condolences, and prayers.

  10. Comments (19)

    I was 17 and had quit school the yr before so i was sound asleep my mom woke me up for a phone call it was my friend calling in a panic telling me i shouldnt be sleeping to turn the news on i did and saw what was going on, at the time, i never cared about history and didnt barley even know what the towers even meant i was sadden by the loss of lives of victims and for there familys. I lived in a tiny town in indiana so i thought how could this effect me and my family…? I called my boyfriend at the time and he picked me up we drove to his grandmas a few towns away they talked about what was going on i barley listend we left, towns were chaotic, gas had went from like 1 something to over 5 dollars a gallon it was nothing like i had imagined from something happing so far away from me, stores were packed buying up water boxed food anything that would last for awhile. Im 28 years old now I have 2 kids I fully understand what happend and how no matter how far away u live it effects U and everybody around U and it just dont go away over night or anytime for that matter it brings tears to my eyes and chills all over my body to think of all the lives lost and the sacrifice others made to help in search partys, lending a helping hand, prayers, shelter and anything else. Im now thankful that every pulled together and did there best in such a terriable and scary time. 9/11 will always be played in my head like it was yesterday even if at the time it didnt matter or so i thought.

  11. Comments (24)

    For years I worked in Wall Street, and lived across the river in Hoboken, NJ. Twice a day I was in the World Trade Center, as the commuter trains from NJ ran deep into the basement of the twin towers. I was not in Manhattan that day. My son was born on Sept 8th, and the night before we brought him home. I saw it on the news, and I could smell the burning upriver.

    Two fathers in our parish church did not come home to their families that evening. Four people from my little New Jersey town died. One was not a US citizen, but an expatriate Japanese businessman.

    It was a sad day, but a binding day. Despite the tragedy, America was at its best. There were very few incidents of hatred against Muslim Americans. Oh, there was tension, but it was managed by all of us. We really do have to say, “God bless America”.

  12. Comments (1)

    I live in small-town Saskatchewan, in Canada. I’ll always remember the towers being hit – my husband and I were driving into the city to work that morning. The radio announced a plane had flown into the WTC and we were shocked. When they announced a second plane had hit the other tower, we knew something huge was happening. Until then, I had hoped it was some freak accident.

    At work that morning, we gathered around the tv. I remember the towers collapsing and thinking they must have been bombed. It never occurred to me the amount of fuel in those tanks could take down huge buildings. We were all sick watching the planes go down in the field and at the pentagon and hearing the stories.

    Although I was safely watching this from Canada, and thankful to be so far away, it really hit home for me. Because America is like our big sister and the idea of someone attacking our big sister was unthinkable. It forever changed our nation that day, too.

  13. Comments (1)

    At that time I worked 2 jobs at a drs office on the am and at a bp gas station in the pm I remember thinking my coworkers at the drs office where joking at first the thinking what a bad accident also remember that moment when the second plane hit and the horrible knowledge that this was no accident we were I see attack I rushed home because I have a cousin who worked in the trade center and many relatives in new York thankfully they were ok. My cousin actually called off that day because her daughter was sick. Being a manager at the gas station that night was insane I went into work after getting a call from my employee crying saying she could. It handle it when I got to work the lines to enter the gas station where over a mile long each way credit card machines where down and this went on all. Night and into the morning till we eventually ran out of gas. It was a shocking and sad day that will live in our hearts forever my love and prayers go out to all the victims and family members

  14. Comments (28)

    Dan is tha true definition of a dirt bag…

  15. Comments (1)

    I’m a Brit now living in Canada and was serving in the Middle East in Oman on Sept 11th 2001. I was due to and did fly home to Germany that day and watched the events unfold live on CNN in a tent in the middle of the desert. Whether as a serving soldier now retired or simply as a human being, that day changed everything for the American people and the world. Man’s inhumanity to man all too often takes place out of the public eye and this event alone brought that cruelty to the forefront of everyone’s minds. I have the utmost respect for the grace and courage with which the rescuers, first responders and the American people conducted themselves that day and in the days and weeks after. God bless them all. Well done Steve for taking a moment to share your experiences with us.

  16. Comments (1)

    BB was in progress during 911….the houseguests were informed of the events of the day. One HG had a cousin who worked in one of the towers.

  17. Comments (2)

    I did not have my radio or TV on before I left for work nor did I turn on my car radio until half way to work on the hour drive, but what I heard was “the 2nd Tower has fallen–Oh My God, Oh My God” then they went to whoever was in Philadelphia and then the Pentagon…I called my daughter who had just been home from the hospital a week with her first baby–I did not want her to see it on the news first–and I knew she would be getting up to nurse him. I told her not to panic but that something was happening in different parts of the United States but that so far it was back East-(we are in California)She took the baby and went to the neighbors so she would not be alone…we had a TV at work we turned on and we just all cried and were hysterical. Not being able to get ahold of loved ones in New york or Philly was the worst part. And thinking of all those who were trying to get down 80 flights of stairs…I have trouble doing stairs anyway and everytime I get winded going down stairs I still think of them and hope they are at peace with God.

  18. Comments (1)

    9/11 This day makes me very sad my heart hurts for all the brave men and women who died doing their job.
    I just pray we never have to feel that pain again.
    My the families and friends that loss someone my you find peace.
    New York is my home and it will never be the same without our beautiful towers
    Love and peace to all

  19. Comments (1276)

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to tell their stories of 9/11. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Comments (1)

    I am in NYC right now and had a chance to visit the 9/11 memorial. It broke my heart as I read the names on the memorial. What made me cry more was the people who treated as a tourist attraction and not thinking about the people who lost their lives and their loved ones that they left behind.

  21. Comments (42)

    I remember dragging myself out of bed since I was working long hrs every day as a chemical engineer on a nuclear cleanup project in WA state … as I was getting dressed in the living room I turned on the boob tube to ESPN to catch the American League baseball scores from the previous evening … all that was showing was a tall burning building with black smoke pouring out and talk of a plane flying into one of the WTC buildings … all shown live … then, to my horror, all live, another plane flew into its complement! … after a month had passed, I left a short missive on one of the Yahoo! stock message boards that I owned shares of to reflect my feelings at the time … well, for whatever it is worth, this is it:


  22. Comments (42)

    I guess I have to take out the ‘s – let me try again:

    We are no longer a nation that lives in a “bunnies and flowers” world … driving dangerous SUVs, inhaling 2nd-hand smoke, and building freeways on the rare, 3-toed prairie dog are no longer concerns … we have changed overnight … the world wondered 60 years ago if young men brought up into the world from a democratic society could defeat Hitler’s fanatical youth … the world thought us soft and not ready for a long, drawn-out fight … the world was proved wrong – as again they will be … the soldiers who fought in Vietnam were not backed by a supportive nation … but like their fathers from the earlier World War they were supported by their fellow soldiers … civilians such as myself don’t understand this – only soldiers in combat do … and as firemen and policemen do during times of crisis … but we remaining American civilians who weren’t around 60 years ago are beginning to understand what patriotism is all about … you don’t think about it – you just feel it … how different we all have changed – but far stronger than we could have imagined … united we stand – best of luck to all and their families …

  23. Comments (123)

    ***** SPOILER *******

    This Just IN….Danielle New HOH….Jenn evicted 2-0…..HOH comp it came down to a Tie and Danielle beat Dan….Whoo Woop…. Oh Yeah !!!!!! 🙂

  24. Comments (8)

    Update Jen went home & Danielle is the new hoh

  25. Comments (12)

    danielle is in the final 3 i felt that she was there regardless but good for her for winning HOH. im sure she’ll put dan and ian up on the block because dan nominated her but who really cares because its all about the veto anyways. if dan wins veto i say he gets rid of shane because danielle or ian will take him to the finals if he doesnt win the final HOH. if shane wins veto im sure he’ll evict ian over dan because they have a final 3 deal. if ian wins veto i will guarantee he takes out shane before dan. my prediction is like i said dan and ian up on the block and ian will win the veto and evict shane. dan dani and ian final 3!!!!

  26. Comments (1)

    Was that 11 years ago? Gee, It feels like only yesterday. I grew up watching those buildings rise in the distance from my living room window a mile away. Then I saw the smoke rise through a different living room window seven miles away that day.

    I should have been in the towers that morning but something told me to stay home, which I did. While that day was horrific the aftermath of site, sound and smell were bitter. The two inches of dust which coated everything. The ashes flew in the wind throughout the area. Scientists don’t really understand what the outcome of inhaled human remains will have the radius affected by the dust. The radius extends across the pond and to the west coast. Nothing will remove the days or months or life after that crystal blue day.

    My lungs felt raw as though they were bleeding from inside for months to follow. It did not rain for a 100 days. Oddly, it took 100 days to remove the remains from that 4-acre site. The site should have been made into a park. A place for peaceful reflection where things would grow and life would thrive.

    To this day I cannot step near. I look at the skyline and see what was there. There are two buildings rising that at a distance strangely resemble the towers. The street is different. The spacing on Church Street is narrower. The tourists amass like a freak show.

    There s a different life there now. People have adapted as we do to survive. New York is different. But ten too is the world. The World Trade Center was from its inception controversial and left legacy of 35 years of news stories.


    • Comments (42)

      Any solid matter from the 2-3k human remains is insignificant to the total mass of concrete and building material that fell that day – not sure what you mean by the statement, ” scientists don’t really understand outcome of the inhaled human remains … “

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