Where were you tens years ago?

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
I was in San Francisco. I left NY a day earlier than planned. My original flight was United 93. Maybe later I'll tell that story. I'm not really in a mood to do that today.

Was anyone else out of town? How long were you stranded and how did you get back?

Everyone has a 9-11 story. What is yours?


Well-known member
On a Virgin train to Manchester.

Wasnt allowed to go to the toilet without taking all my bags with me once the news broke.

steven s

Well-known member
Just outside the Capital Beltway watching fighter jets circling DC.
And on the phone with my wife as she rode the metro home.
Her boss told her she couldn't leave. F' that!


Formerly CyclingTribe
I remember my first reaction to seeing it on the TV; I didn't think it was real. I thought it was some promo for a new disaster movie, and it took me quite a while to "get" that it was real. I simply couldn't believe it.


Well-known member
I remember my first reaction to seeing it on the TV; I didn't think it was real. I thought it was some promo for a new disaster movie, and it took me quite a while to "get" that it was real. I simply couldn't believe it.
I have to say that was my reaction too, it just didn't seem real, it looked too perfect, too staged that perfect blue sky, the bright sunlight, the fact it was captured from multiple angles on seemingly professional quality cameras - it looked like CGI and then slowly it sunk in - this had really happened - all those poor people on both the planes and in the buildings.... the horror of it really hit home.

We had just moved into a property next to my parents place the day before, and had not looked at the TV or anything for more than 12 hours. We woke up on the morning of the 12th here (the evening of the 11th in the USA) and I had no idea it had happened, I went next door to borrow something and my Mother met me at the door with this horrified look on her face, we watched the coverage for a while, but as it happens my son was really sick, and we ended up having to rush him to hospital were he was admitted that night, and we were in there for 5 days, so didn't really follow the events of the immediate aftermath.

My dear friend who is a native NYC gal talks of the horror she felt, she had had to leave her home on Manhattan to travel to New Jersey for business that morning, and after the events they closed all the bridges and so on, and she couldn't get back, there was no phone communication and she had no idea if her son was OK or not, or the rest of her family.


Well-known member
Getting ready to head out on the road for onsite service calls. Subsequently, I called and cancelled them all and stayed home glued to the tube. My customers didn't mind - they were glued to the tube too.


Well-known member
I was 12 years old at that time, all I care about is my soccer ball:D. In the core of the Middle East playing soccer with my friends. Everyone went home to watch the news. I really didn't know the situation. I just felt so sorry for the people who were jumping from the building. my mom saw the tears near my eyes. So she decided to turn off the TV. :cry: 2 years after I moved to NYC.

Fred Sherman

Well-known member

In IT, its pretty common practice to install changes with any risk involved to production servers in a scheduled change window. For my customer in Manhattan, Merrill Lynch that is the second Sunday of the month. The plan was to make the change during the Sunday change window, spend the first 24 hours on site as support through their first on-line and batch cycle, and then leave to my next assignment in San Mateo, CA tuesday morning.

There were pre-reqs the customer had to install for the upgrade that they did not, mostly device drivers and microcode updates. So my change was cancelled and we used the change window to install the pre-reqs. I went back to my room at the Marriott World Trade Center late Sunday/early Monday - depending on your point of view.

At 1 pm, we had a replay meeting to develop a new deployment schedule. I changed my flight from United 93 to United 921 and left Newark at 6:30 pm.

Nothing about these events were unusual. I often work weekends. About 80% of the time, I end up changing my flight to something earlier or later. Its the nature of the business.

That changed the next morning.

I woke up at 5:30 and hit the shower. By the time I'm done, my cell phone has 27 messages. What sets me off is three are from my wife and 2 are from my father. This worried me. I'm now thinking something has happened to my father, so I call my wife's cell and my father answers it.

You can imagine what that call was like. Where was I, was I safe, etc. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Finally, someone in the background tells me to turn on the news. I turn it on seconds before Tower Two collapses.

I can't adequately describe my feelings at the time. 24 hours earlier, I was in a conference room in that building. Without any kind of forewarning, I am now watching it collapse. People I had worked with the previous two days were being killed before my eyes. This scene will become a recurring nightmare for many years to follow.

And just when you think you're completely numb and nothing more can penetrate and make it worse, it does when some time later we hear that my original flight was highjacked and crashed in Pennsylvania.

For the rest of the week, I am alone in a hotel room waiting for flights to resume. IBM has closed their campus to non-essentials, meaning me, so I have nothing to do but think and watch the news. I've never been is such a deep depression before.

You look for something positive to come out of it. There isn't anything. Traveling is now far more of a hassle, but I get it. But still, are we safer? TSA hasn't stopped a single hijacker. Traveling by air is now the willing submission to a confined police state. We have to be right every single time to prevent it, they only have to be right once to succeed.

Lu Kas

Active member
At home, watching TV as my brother was in new york and i couldnt call him. he has a ticket for the sky deck from 9/10, took the last elevator down.

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
Fred ... that's quite sad to read. I don't suppose you felt very "lucky" either?
I learned early in my military career that you can't dwell on the "what if". Lucky? No. People I had worked with and had begun developing friendships with were gone. To me, that I might have been on United 93 is secondary.

One might be tempted to think at least we've gotten the *******s that did it, right? But look how much we've sacrificed in lives, limbs, and treasure to do that. Was it worth it? Can we really feel "good" about it.

Lets just say what it is. It sucks. Theres no way to ever make something like that right. Humankind can't take something that is evil and work it for good. That is the domain of Almighty God himself. But when this was done in His name (Allah isn't a different God, it is the Arabic word for God, the same God of Abraham worshipped by Christians, Jews and Muslims), I think he turns his head from us in disgust and leaves as to sort our own mess.


Active member
//I remember my first reaction to seeing it on the TV; I didn't think it was real. I thought it was some promo for a new disaster movie, and it took me quite a while to "get" that it was real. I simply couldn't believe it.

I was on the way to a retina surgeon in Houston. My wife and I had stopped at a McDonalds on I-10 for breakfast. A TV was playing in the corner of the dining room. News broke in with the first Tower on fire. Like Geek, I thought it must be a new movie coming out. Debbie said, "No that is really happening!" We watched as the second tower was hit. I remember saying that this was a world changer, a really big deal. We proceeded to the doctor's office in downtown Houston. Most of Houston was going the other way. Hospitals and large buildings were being evacuated. In the doctor's office, all of the patients were crowded around the TV in the waiting area. The doctors kept coming in and watching between patients. Both surgeons in the practice are ex-military. One had been a member of the USAF Thunderbirds. I can only imagine what they were thinking. Before I got in to see the surgeon, both Towers had collapsed. I don't think anyone in the office had dry eyes.

When I finally got in to see the doctor, he called in just about every eye specialist in the building. I could have sold tickets. I have a very rare eye condition called Best's Syndrome. They talked surgery but said it had a very low percentage of doing any good and a high percentage of causing more damage. I have had enough procedures done to my eyes, I didn't need another, though I have had a few since anyway. The bottom line, permanently legally blind.

I have two things to remember from that day, my poor vision doesn't hold a candle to 911. I will always remember.


Digital Doctor

Well-known member
I was watching CNN.
I remember them try to almost pretend nothing terrible was happening.
They tried to say that someone accidentally flew into the building at first (it seemed logical).
When the second plane hit .... you knew something was really wrong.

Anyone have an archive of the CNN footage from that day ?

Digital Jedi

Well-known member
I was getting up that morning, and for the first time since I'd moved into that apartment, DIDN'T turn on Good Morning America. Just didn't feel like the noise that morning. Got a call from my wife (then fiance') and she said "one of the Trade Towers is gone". I paused a minute and said, "what do you mean gone?" Like everyone else, the idea just isn't something that sinks in right away. Turned on the news and caught up on all that was happening and I was pretty sure we, as a country, were under attack. At that time, rumors were flying. Supposedly five or more planes were unaccounted for, there were bomb threats in schools and no one was sure which accounts were credible and which weren't. My boss still wants me to come in.

Since it was NC, and nothing in our state was going on, I go ahead. I end up being the one who tells everyone what has happened. My boss didn't know. I end up being the one to march out of the stock room and inform the rest of the store about the second building. It was surreal describing it. It was like telling someone a family member had died, but you're talking about a building. Buildings. Buildings with thousands in them. You're brain just doesn't get it. I have to make the same trip to the front about the Pentagon. The same trip about flight 93. You just don't get it. But you know you should be scared.

My boss didn't get it even more then the rest of us. She didn't want to leave the TV on because the General Manager was coming in and she was afraid he'd get mad at her. That, I really didn't get. But maybe I spared myself watching the second tower fall. There were folks in my area that suffered depression/PTSD just from witnessing thousands die on live TV like that. I'm not sure I would have handled it well the way my mind works.


Well-known member
I woke up that morning only to see this historic moment in American history. I starting out in college, getting ready for my first semester when that horror of news came on. I could remember myself being in silence, I had no words for it. It made absolutely no sense. I had no idea what was going on.

That kind of silence is actually me being stunned. Sort-of shocked.

I could feel this intense chill for half a day. And then it hit me in class... how my teacher was affected by it. Somehow, someway, I felt sorry. I just didn't know how to respond.