Where Were You?

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I doubt if most Americans will forget where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the attacks on 9/11.  Our commenter T. Shaw was in New York City during the attacks on the Twin Towers. Here are his recollections that he wrote down three days later:

I need to confess that this thing has me nearly unmanned.  Late last night, the TV news had a segment wherein the wives and children made emotional appeals for info on their husbands and fathers who are missing.  I lost it, then. I have tears in my eyes as I “hunt and peck” this. That is not me.

Have been praying ever since the attack.  Tried to give blood yesterday. They said come back, had too many donors to handle. We need to come together and work to keep the economy going and spark the recovery.  This is no time for “gloom and doom.”  There is a lot of work needing to be done, and we have to pull together and get at it.

I went to work, as usual on Tuesday, 9/11. Took the LIRR to Penn Sta. Rode the #2 IRT Train to Wall and William, arriving there 9:10AM. They wouldn’t let us out by the usual exit, Wall/William. Went out the next one back. A construction worker came into the subway, and said, turn around and go home.

I should have listened.

When I hit the street, there was already paper, debris and smoke everywhere – even though we were about ¼ mile away from the WTC. I went into my office in 20 Exchange Place and heard about the first airliner strike. Shortly after we heard the second. Most had CNN on-line live TV on in the offices.

An hour or so later, it became as dark as night as the smoke and debris from the collapses surrounded us. Heard a rumble and saw a flash.

About Noon, they told us the FDNY (God bless those magnificent heroes and have mercy on those gallant men who gave their lives: greater love hath no man than to give his life for his fellows.) had ordered the evacuation of the building. I stayed until 2PM, because I wanted to let the smoke clear, and our offices’ air quality was good. Luckily, my wife’s brother-in-law works at 120 Wall, and he had a car. Wet my handkerchief for a makeshift gas mask and walked over there. We were able to walk uptown along Water Street and get it out of the parking lot and drive out. We gave a couple of other “lost souls” a ride to Grand Central Station. Took about two hours to get home by local streets. Thank God, we were home in eastern Queens by 4PM.

We don’t know when they will let us back into lower Manhattan to get to the office. I had an appointment at a bank in Yonkers, today, that I made a point in making. The other agency guys cancelled. I just felt I needed to show the colors. Stayed a while to talk to the people there and told a little of what I saw. Traveled to and from pretty good except, I’m an idiot, I got lost. Am home now and my boss said he’d call if he needed me. I doubt we will be back in the office before next Monday, if then. Amazingly, we had electric and good phone throughout.

On September 11, 2001 I was in my law office.  My secretary’s husband called and asked for her.  She hadn’t arrived in yet.  He then told me that he was calling to let her know that an airliner had flown into the Twin Towers in New York.  Very little work was done in my office that day as we remain riveted to the radios and the computers to get every detail of a day when it seemed that the world had gone crazy.  My chief recollection of that day and the ensuing weeks is a deep rage at the monsters in human form that carried out the horrors depicted in the video at the beginning of this post, and frustration that my response was limited to sending money to help the victims and praying.  Those are my recollections.  What are yours?

More to explorer

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PopeWatch suspects the Pope is just trolling us now:   Vatican City, Feb 14, 2019 / 05:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis


  1. I was interning at the House Ways and Means Committee. I had moved from NYC just a month earlier to start grad school and to intern on the Hill. When I got to work the television set was showing the Fox New Network (I worked in the Majority office) and it showed that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. We all assumed some commuter plane had accidentally hit. I then saw what looked like an explosion come from the other Tower, and we all soon realized we had been attacked.

    We actually attempted to go on with our day. I even went to my scheduled computer training session, but we got the call to evacuate – probably in response to attack on the Pentagon.

    I walked back to my apartment 20 minutes away in southwest, and that was the longest walk of my life. There were all sorts of ridiculous reports on the radio, including one that stated that the Mall was on fire. I finally got back to my place where my roommate – also a native New Yorker – and I just sat transfixed by all that transpired. At some point I had to leave and I walked down to the corner. I saw the smoke coming from the Pentagon, and a mixture of anger and sadness overwhelmed me, as it did for a while.

    As horrible as all the images on tv were, it didn’t hit home until I went back to New York about ten days later for my brother’s wedding. I went to the city on that Saturday, and the first eerie sign was the fact that Chinatown was empty. You usually are rubbing elbows on a Saturday morning down there, but it was a ghost town. Then I walked south to Ground Zero, and a good mile or so from the WTC the buildings were still covered with ash. Then I saw the missing person’s posters. Of all the images – and I’d soon be at Ground Zero – it was the posters that for stuck with me for the longest. That’s when it became very real to me.

  2. “Patriotism is a form of piety and there are three principle forms of piety, love of God, love of neighbor, and love of country. All three are grounded in justice.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen – taken from facebook site…

    I was a lapse catholic living in New Hampshire. I was asleep as I worked nights at the Pease AIrport as a Weather Observer. I just interviewed for a position with the FAA as a Saftey Inspector in Detroit. I was also a memeber of the 202nd Weather Flight our of Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod. I worked the next day in tears and I still reflect that there were no contrails – sureal.

    I accepted the position on the 12 with the caveat that I was going to be delayed as a result of being called up for Operation Nobel Eagle. I reloceated to Michigan and since 2001 was activated twice to Iraq. In 2003 for the push and again in 2005. I mention this beacuse it was in Iraq that I first realised how much the Church meant to me (2003). In 2004 I went through RCIA. In 2005 I was in Iraq and looked at the wonderful sky at night and thought – this is where Christ came to be tempted. Since that moment I have been discerning a vocation. I am not all there yet as many things have happened. But my Love for God and Country has increased and I filled with Joy as a result. While I am saddened by what has transpired in 2001, I am grateful for the catalyst of its affect in my life.

  3. I live in Cincinnati. I had dropped my youngest off at his half-day preschool and stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things on my way home. I was in line at the cash register when one of the clerks strode up to my clerk and said, “Two planes hit the World Trade Center. It wasn’t an accident.” I had never heard anyone use that tone of voice before. She was so serious and direct, like a soldier giving orders. We all stared at each other. I remember thinking how weird it was that the grocery store was playing canned music — shouldn’t they turn on the news? I got my groceries and drove the few blocks to my house, and turned on the television — Tom Brokaw, I think. I just sat in the living room and stared at it until it was time to pick up my son. Then I brought him home and, though I knew I probably should have put on something for him, just kept watching. The television was on all day, and I either watched TV or listened to the radio for days. That morning, my son (who was four) built towers out of blocks and used another block as a “plane” to knock them down, as he was seeing on television. I felt numb with shock and grief for what I assumed were at least 10,000 dead people and for my children, who would grow up in a world where what I found unthinkable had happened.

    A neighbor told me that none of it seemed real, it was just like watching a movie. But I felt the opposite — to me, it was not at all like a movie, but horribly and unmistakably real. Over the next few days everyone heard stories of a relative or friend who had lived through the attack, or who had died in it. My next-door-neighbor’s son was working in NYC, and he and his whole office just slept their office overnight because they couldn’t get home. Everyone knew people who had been stranded in different cities by the planes being grounded — they don’t talk much about that part today, but the planes weren’t allowed to fly again for weeks and all those people had to get home by bus or car. Someone we knew actually bought a car to get home in, because there were no rentals left. I didn’t know anyone in the towers, but I think I went a little crazy. For months I would just start crying out of nowhere as I suddenly thought of all those people. I had to get a prescription for a very mild tranquilizer, because a teenage malady (severe stomach cramps when I got anxious) had returned. I listened to Glenn Beck every day — he wasn’t a political guy then, and those who have never listened or have only seen him recently may be surprised to know that he was the most level-headed guy out there then. He talked about the attack all the time, but without being at all polemical or sensational, constantly cautioning listeners to stick with the facts and not go off on theories or rumors or conspiracies. He was the most calming voice. I remember how strange it was when the planes started flying again. For months, I would tense up any time a plane seemed too low (we live under a route to the airport, and some of the planes come in much lower than others).

    Last year I had an episode of what I guess is post-traumatic stress syndrome, or at least something like it. I was listening to Glenn Beck’s radio program (I don’ t listen every day anymore, and he veers between being hilarious, being sensible, and going off the “crazy train”) and he played a short clip of recordings that his show compiled at the time — news people, people calling in to dispatchers, his own show, etc. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before or since, but it was like something clicked in my head and I was in the middle of it all over again. I couldn’t stand up. I doubled over, and then I had to fall on my knees sobbing. I felt overwhelmed with grief, exactly as I had at the time. I now know what it must be like for people with PTSS and why they are paralyzed by it. It lasted about 10 minutes.

    That’s my 9-1-1 story.

  4. I was attending classes at Franciscan University while living in Pittsburgh and just happened to be driving to Steubenville for a class when I heard something about a plane crash and then I heard something about another plane crash. It was so surreal. I actually thought it was some work of fiction that I was hearing over the radio. As I changed the radio from one channel to another and heard the words “news”, “airplane crashed” and “tragedy” I knew what I had been listening to was tragically a reality. At the beginning of class we said a prayer for all the victims and their families. Then we debated whether we should cancel class or continue with class. The nun professor decided to go on with class. I think that was a good call on her part, to preserve as normalcy as possible in our lives that day.

    God Bless our heroes! God Bless America!

  5. I was working for The Catholic Post in Peoria, Ill. I had arrived at work early that day, and was the first person there, since Tuesdays were always busy, but I did not have a radio or TV on at first. I was sitting at my desk wearing a peach and white dress and light gray shoes (I even remember what I was wearing that day).

    Just after 8 a.m. (Central Time) my phone rang. Our editor was on the other end of the line. He said “Turn on the TV downstairs, TWO planes just hit the World Trade Center.” (We had a small black and white TV with rabbit ears in the office for the purpose of watching breaking news events when necessary… the last times it had been turned on prior to that were for Oklahoma City and the O.J. Simpson verdict.) I said “Did you say, TWO planes?” “Yes.” It was immediately obvious that it wasn’t an accident.

    No sooner had I gone downstairs than other staffers began to arrive. We flipped on the TV and of course saw the smoking towers. I watched this for a few minutes and then went back upstairs to call my husband (who was home at the time and did not usually watch the news). Of course, being reporters we had to start thinking about how we were going to cover this.

    Some time after I had gone back upstairs, one of my co-workers who was watching the TV came on the intercom system we had at the time, and said “The Pentagon just got hit!” And I screamed — literally screamed — “WHAAAT! NOOOO WAY!”

    At that point, my husband freaked out and drove to the school our daughter (then 5) was attending at the time to pick her up. He figured World War III was starting. The two of them then spent the day with his mother, who lived nearby, watching the news in total disbelief. I believe my daughter remembers this event, albeit kind of vaguely.

    Meanwhile we at the Post followed this story on TV and online as much as possible throughout the day. As far as our news coverage went, we divided it up among ourselves. I called Catholic schools all over the Peoria Diocese to ask how they were handling the event, if they were telling the students about it or holding prayer services, etc. Others called parishes to see what they were doing in the way of prayer services. I also phoned someone to do a previously scheduled unrelated interview, but needless to say, it was hard to concentrate on the originally scheduled topic since both of us were glued to the TV/computer.

    At that time Peoria Bishop John J. Myers, had recently been appointed to the Archdiocese of Newark and was scheduled to leave in about a month. That meant he would be heading to a See that was being directly affected by these attacks. I could not imagine the additional burden he was about to assume.

    All day long we were in news coverage mode as I am sure many, many other journalists both secular and religious were. Our deadline day for the weekly issue was Wednesday so we were quite busy. About 5:15 p.m. or so I left work, and stopped at a grocery store to pick up some items. I remember looking up in the parking lot and seeing a lone jet trail overhead in the empty skies, which I later found out was from Air Force One.

    I spent many hours over the next couple of weeks glued to the TV — I got kind of hooked on watching Brian Williams and Lester Holt’s coverage on MSNBC during this period — and sometimes, late at night, staring at the video of that smoking hole in lower Manhattan and crying, wondering how so many people could be vaporized just like that.

    One other note. My brother had gotten married on Sept. 8, 2001, and I was a bridesmaid in his wedding. He and his wife were going to travel across the Canadian Rockies by train for their honeymoon. They flew to Seattle on the 10th, and were preparing to leave for Vancouver (also by train) the next morning when they saw the news (around 6 a.m. Pacific Time). They did make it over the border, but only after a delay of 4-5 hours while their train and everyone’s bags were searched repeatedly. All this seems like a million years ago now.

  6. There is an historical footnote to 9/11 involving my current job. In “Dreams of My Father” Barack Obama, then an Illinois State Senator, recalls that he was on his way to “a legislative committee meeting in Chicago” when he first heard the news of the attack. The committee in question is the body I work for today. My current supervisors remember all the State offices in Chicago and in Springfield being shut down and everyone sent home after the Pentagon attack, since no one knew how extensive these attacks were going to be or what cities would be targeted next.

  7. (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy:) I brought my 3 kids to school and was going back to the car to head home, when our autistic son’s special ed teacher ran into me and asked: “Have you been listening to the news? A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!” I turned on the TV as soon as I got home, and was just in time to see the second plane hit the WTC. I wasn’t volunteering at the grade school library that day, so the TV stayed tuned to the news all day while I did household chores.

  8. My sharpest memories were of the minutes before — just how beautiful a day it was — nice wind, blue sky, the crisp air of a fall day — a good morning — stepping out of the subway on 34th street Manhattan and going to work. Going up the elevator I hear somebody mention that a plane had struck the WTC. I remember checking the computer for news (no television in our office) — and the surprise and horror when we heard ANOTHER plane had struck, and the reports of the towers falling. The realization that this was something other than a horrible accident. I called my mother-in-law in NJ, my wife (then still at home), parents. Everybody milling about on the streets, a surge of human traffic from uptown. I believe they had closed down all subways by that time — our office joined thousands of others for the long walk across the 59th street bridge back to Queens. Crossing over, looking south I remember the sight of downtown NYC shrouded in smoke/dust, the marked absence of the towers in the skyline. It was a long walk home to Kew Gardens, around 9 miles — mostly in silence and shock.

  9. “I accepted the position on the 12 with the caveat that I was going to be delayed as a result of being called up for Operation Nobel Eagle. I reloceated to Michigan and since 2001 was activated twice to Iraq.”

    Thank you for your service Robert. If you do decide to become a priest, I think you would likely make a first rate chaplain!

  10. I remember the beautiful day also. I was in Boston. Had just started a new job the week before. A social worker came in and said that the Twin Towers had been hit. Listened on the radio as there was no TV in the clinic. Then the disaster plan was activated as everyone got ready for a possible attack in Boston. Many workers downtown started to leave town by 11 am. By 3 pm it was clear nothing was going to happen and we were allowed to head home ourselves. As I left the hospital, two F-15’s passed overhead. People ducked thinking it was another attack.

    Walked through mostly empty streets and got on a nearly empty commuter train as most people had left town already. Took money out to pay the conductor. Said this day it was free. They were making it free so people could get out of town quickly.

  11. Halfway through bootcamp; one of the girls came back from medical and told us what she’d seen on the TVs there. We weren’t sure if they were screwing with our heads. (If you knew SK1, the guy in charge of our division, it’d make sense– he’d seen way too many bad movies.) AT2 smuggled in a “week in review” tape for us, made me proud to be headed for the same rate.
    We all cried –even BM1, who fancied himself a hard-a**– about a month later, after our final test– running around the base all night, called “Battle Stations.” They played “Proud to be an American” when we got our Navy caps, instead of the Recruit ones. Then we went on weekend liberty, and found that the world outside was incredibly different than the one we’d left– more American flags outside the base than inside.

    Our Catholic Religious Petty Officer’s dad is an Army Lutheran chaplain– he was at the pentagon for a meeting that morning, and he’d told her about it. (He twisted an ankle helping the secretary out, but it took a few days for her to get word.)

    A guy across the hall lost everyone on his mother’s side of the family except for his mom– they had a family restaurant in one of the towers. She happened to not be there that morning, for some reason. (When offered an automatic out– his family had already lost so much, they were going to let him keep his signing bonus and education benefits– he asked if it was possible to graduate with his unit, or if he’d have to skip the funerals to do that and get those *blankers*. He graduated with his unit, and didn’t miss the funerals.)

    My future husband was in the middle of doing the paperwork to join the Navy, at home, washing dishes with the news on. He signed the final paperwork not too long after.

    My dad came in from bailing and saw the news; went out to my mom, who was inverting, and told her we were under attack. My sister and brother were at school, where they pushed the TVs to the front of the room at watched them. I’m not sure when they got permission to drive themselves home.

    The AO roommate I had in Pensacola (aviation bomb technician) was a 31 year old sculptor with a 40 year old doctor husband, who had a beautiful studio with a huge window…that had a lovely view of the twin towers. The most perfect example of the steriotypical New York Artist I have ever seen, tall and lean with one of those not-pretty-but-sharp-and-stunning faces, and a pixie haircut.
    (In November of ’01, she was demanding of me why we didn’t go into Iraq and help them, since the New Yorker magazine told her about the gassing of the Kurds and it was well known that Saddam supported attacking the US. I sometimes wonder what happened to her– one of those folks who just burns.)

  12. Pingback: 9/11 | ThePulp.it
  13. Was at a client site and I got a call from another client, late morning. I said, “Do you know what just happened? Terrorists attacked the WTC in New York!” He said, “Oh great–it’s my 50th birthday.” I said “It’s these f-ing muslims.” And it turned out I was right.

  14. Tuesday morning ten years ago started off well. I called our office in Flint Michigan to help the manager fix what was a non-problem on his computer. As we were talking he was handed a note that a Boeing 737 had hit the World Trade Center. A few seconds later the TV’s came on with CNN and a few seconds later CNN interrupted programming for breaking news. The day got worse quickly

    Three more air planes taken , two of them hitting occupied buildings. The third crashing as the passengers try to take it back. Over 4000 dead. I never thought I would see the day when the Day Care Center would be moved out of the building because we do just enough business with the Defense Department to be military target. The news later reported a shoot down order was issued but the fighters could not take off and get in place fast enough.

    Being sent home for two days as non-essential in an emergency does nothing for ones ego. I left work while two of the planes and maybe more were still in the air the radio in the car broadcasting rumors of car bombs, and went to church to pray them home. When I saw the President on TV that night I knew we would be called back the next morning. Looking at the TV I thought “That boy is going to lead us?” All thing considered he could have done much worse.


    When Flight 11 turned off it’s transponder, did not answer the radio, and turned towards New York, the air traffic controllers at New York Center assumed it was a mechanical problem and the crew was trying to get Kennedy International with the best recovery resources. They moved every thing out of the way so the there would be a clear path to New York. Doing the job right, and it was so wrong.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  15. Like many Americans, I was at work and like many Americans, I ended up doing very little work that day. I was at a meeting and a physician who came in late casually announced as the meeting was wrapping up that “BTW, when I was driving over here I heard on the radio that a plane hit the World Trade Center.” I assumed it was a freak accident involving a small commuter or private plane. Then I caught sight of the images on the TV in the physicians’ lounge adjacent to our office – by the time I got there, the second plane had hit. I spent most of the rest of the day in the lounge watching TV. When I became overwhelmed by the horrible sights, I went back to my office and sat at my desk and stared at the wall,shuffled papers for a while. Sometimes I read emails – including ones falsely reporting attacks on Fort Knox and the Sears Tower- and then went back to the TV.

    The reports were that there were 50,000 people working in those Towers so when they fell I thought I had just seen 50,000 people die. (The actual numbers were quite bad enough.) A physician sitting by me (normally a loud, brash, profane fellow) made the sign of the cross. Someone began to read a prayer over the hospital intercom (it’s a Catholic hospital). Then I heard my phone ring and went, in a complete daze, to answer it. One of our worst physician prima donnas, who apparently was the only person in the US who hadn’t yet heard the news, was on the line and he chewed me out about – I have no idea. I had no idea at the time. I said “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh” and hung up and went back to the TV.

    One bit of news coverage really sticks in my mind: one of the NY ER doctors waiting outside for casualities that never arrived sobbed and said “Cherish life.”

    Over the next few days, I called all the people I loved to tell them that, because I kept thinking of those who went off to work on a Tuesday morning and met death and would never again be able to tell their families and friends they loved them – not in this world anyway.

    I was not a practicing Catholic a decade ago. But on the night of 9/11/11 I did something I hadn’t done in years – knelt down and prayed with all my might for my country, my president, and the people of NYC, DC and United Flight 93.

    Robert and foxfier: Thank you so much for your service.

  16. I walked in to work at 8:00 AM Pacific Time on September 11th, 2001. Normally I listened to news on the way in, but that morning I hadn’t felt like news and so I’d been listening to a CD on the way in.

    “I’ll bet you’ll always remember where you were this morning,” my boss said, as I entered.

    “Why?” I asked.

    “Haven’t you heard?”

    I shook my head.

    “We’re at war,” he said. “They’ve blown up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and who knows what’s next. We’re at war, but we don’t know who with.”

    I wandered over to my desk, logged onto my computer, and pulled up CNN.com Both towers were already down by 8AM Pacific, but in the chaos of the morning news wasn’t always posted on the internet in order or as it happened, and we didn’t have access to TV in the office.

    Between being three hours off from the events, and not seeing any TV coverage until much later, I found myself feeling a strange distance from all that was going on — as if it were in some other world. My co-workers wandered around and talked in small clumps. People talked about how their worlds had been turned upside down and life would never be the same — the customer service pool debated whether the country should bomb Mecca or Bagdad first.

    The news that had changed my world forever was when my wife had called me up the previous afternoon (September 10th) and told me that we were expecting our first child. The 11th was my parent’s 25th anniversary, and we were scheduled to go out to dinner with them. We’d decided we’d tell them the news over dinner.

    When evening came Los Angeles remained jumpy — that we should somehow not be attacked as well seemed out of keeping with the West Coast mind. Lots of things were closed, and in keeping with the day we decided to have a quiet dinner at my parents house rather than trying to find a restaurant that was open.

    Seven years later, our forth child and only boy was born on September 11th, 2008.

  17. I was in bed asleep when the phone rang. It was 6.10 am. – down here we are about 15 hrs ahead of NY – It was my daughter. She said, “Go and turn the TV on, quick.!” I jumped out of bed and with the phone in hand, asked, “What’s up?” and as the picture came on, it showed what I found out a little later on, was the second plane hitting the WTC.
    I said in an annoyed tone, ” What’d you wake me up to watch a movie for?”
    She said,” It’s not a movie – it’s real ! Some freaks have flown planes into the WTC and the Pentagon.”
    By this time it would have been mid-late afternoon in NY – but it seemed quite sureal that this had happened – to me, was happening right then. Sandy, my wife, came out to watch, and we both stood spellbound for several minutes, watching. Then they started showing people jumping out of the windows – to their deaths. Sandy started sobbing, and I must say I got a bit choked as well. We watched in silence for the next hour or so while we had breakfast, then the phone rang again. It was my partner – the salesman for a house building business I had started the previous year. We chatted briefly, and at around 10 am. went in to the office to meet him, and talked about what might happen next; how would the US react? was there more to come? How would this affect our lives?

    NY is a US city, but it is also a global city – dozens of nationalities are there. There were 2 NZ ers killed in the WTC that day – and , I stand to be corrected, but I think there was a kiwi on board Flight 93 as well.

    Within months there were literally tens of thousands of ex-pat kiwis returning home – from the US, Canada, UK and Europe, the logic being, that we’re pretty safe and away from the action down here in the bottom of the South Pacific. Overseas travel changed forever .

    In Sept,2002 Sandy & I and a couple of friends went to Hawaii for a holiday for five days on our way to Bellingham, WA for a yachting regatta. Sandy is 5’2″ and 100 lbs ringing wet. At all but one of our stop-offs, she was the one randomly selected for full search – we found that quite funny really.
    We went to Vancouver to meet the rest of our team, and the next day went by bus down to Bellingham. The border control check was rigorous, and when a busload of Aussies – whom most of us knew – pulled up just after we had gone through the checks, but they hadn’t come through customs, in our casual kiwi/Aussie way we walked over to eachother in greeting – the border guards were not amused – one even pulled out his sidearm. We then of course, realised that US border guards had understandably lost their sense of humour barely 12 months before.

    We stayed with a young family in Bellingham. I was hugely impressed by the patriotism demonstrated on the 11th – parades in memorial, Stars & Stripes everywhere – most people very sombre. We sat up till 11 pm. that night, watching the TV coverage of that fateful day one year before.
    Certainly a world changing event.

  18. I was asleep when it happened. I’d been missing a lot of work back then due to a sleep disorder and crippling depression. I work in DC. I got on the phone with friends and family and assured them that I was nowhere near it.

    The next few days – troops directing traffic, the anthrax scare – I felt like, this is something I can do. I know how to function while my brain is screaming. We were all just going through the motions.

    A year later, there was a sniper on the loose.

    Eventually, the right doctors and the right meds got me back to health. If there’s a “where were you” moment for me during the last 10 years, it was a couple of weeks ago. I was in a meeting about four blocks from the White House when the ground shook. We all ran to the window which looks out in that direction and waited. Secondary explosions? Dust cloud? Mushroom cloud? DC doesn’t get earthquakes. But fortunately, that’s all it was.

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