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9/11 respect thread

Started by Extremepredjudice, September 11, 2011, 04:39:02 PM

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Hanlon's Razor
Occam's Razor
"Flight make chant; I good leader"


In retrospect a lot of things procedurally were just wrong and lead to many more deaths  :( :'( >:(.

I can still remember at work we had a small TV in the sales area and I got a call on the intercom about 1 plane hitting the World Trade Center, so I went out to watch and we saw the 2nd plane crash into the 2nd tower.   I said very loudly "Holly [Filter Subversion]!"   At our location we could generally hear aircraft flying into the local commercial airport and flying overhead.  Leaving work that day the skies were completely empty with not a sound of aircraft in the air.

Hey today (early afternoon) I saw two F15's from the local Air National Guard Base fly close to my home while I was mowing the lawn, (BTW I stopped mowing the lawn, came to attention, and gave them a military salute as well as a waive, to show my gratitude for protecting the skies over the northeast), (this morning I had monitored them returning to base on the Air Traffic Control frequencies, with call signs such as "KILLER", "RAGE" & "SAVAGE") likely it was to do some fly overs at least two Memorials that have pieces of steel from WTC.    For the past week on the way to/from work I've watched construction of one of the Memorials at a public safety complex.  It does give me pause to think about that day every time I drive by it and how it changed us in America.



I was in 5th grade in 2001, I remember hearing my school Principal announce over the PA system that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center just as I was coming out of music class. My teacher took us all back to the classroom and we watched CNN for the rest of the day. Most of the students were taken home by their parents, President Bush was at another school in our city (Sarasota, FL) that morning, and a lot of them were afraid the area might be targeted. I didn't see the aircraft impact the towers live, but I remember seeing them collapse as it was happening. I was too young to really grasp what was happening, but I learned over the next couple of weeks. A few weeks later I was at a car show with my dad when we heard over the radio that the Navy had begun firing cruise missiles into Afghanistan, I remember everyone within earshot cheering. 

I think that pretty much sums it up.


I was at work in a local ER. There were TVs on in the patient lobby as well as in the dispatch area. I don't quite remember how I first heard about it, but for the rest of the day, we would step into the lobby or dispatch area for a few minutes to see updates and report back to colleagues any new information. By the end of the day (7pm), I was emotionally overwhelmed and had to quit listening to TVs and radios.  I didn't even read newspapers for several days. 

To this day, watching the TV footage is very painful and I can only watch a few minutes at a time.


I was on an express bus heading toward my office in downtown Dallas, TX that morning. I carried a text pager for work, and it went off. The paging company had sent out a broadcast about the first tower being hit. It went off again when the second tower was hit. I ran into the office and there were three people trying to rig up an antenna to an old TV so we could see what was going on. I tried to go online and pull up CNN but the Internet connection was either choked with traffic or down completely. So, I went over to the TV with everyone else. We watched the first tower fall and there was absolute silence on the entire floor. Word came down that the city was ordering workers in the taller buildings to leave and go home; I wasn't in a tall building, but we were surrounded by them and our floor manager thought it would be prudent for us to leave as well. By the time most of us had packed up and were ready to head out the second tower fell, and we were hearing more about the hit at the Pentagon.

After a somewhat eventful trip home (maybe I'll explain that another time), I sat in front of our TV for the rest of the day. When our two older children came home from school that afternoon, we spent quite a while talking and reassuring them that we were going to be okay. Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone around to reassure me; it was very, very difficult to get to sleep for the next several nights.

1st Lt Michael Bernier
Information Technology Officer & Public Affairs Officer
Texoma Composite Squadron TX-262
Denison, TX


I was roughly one mile from the Pentagon.
Serving since 1987.


So many memories came back today.

Being at work, and someone coming in to say that a small plane had struck the World Trade Center. It was obvious once we turned on the TV that it was a very different situation.

Being in church that night, praying for the safe return of a friend working in the south tower. It was not to be.

Dealing with the uncertainty faced by all emergency personnel – are we prepared? Prepared for what?

Strangers stopping us on the street to thank us for our service, and not feeling worthy of their praise.

I was working in the 911 center today: a mom came in with a couple of young boys. They brought in cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting and "thank you" written on them. Memories indeed.

Майор Хаткевич

Still living in Europe, didn't get to hear about it until 5-6 hours after the fact on the nightly news.

Still weren't able to reach my mom in Chicago by phone.


Quote from: EMT-83 on September 12, 2011, 01:57:37 AM
So many memories came back today...
Strangers stopping us on the street to thank us for our service, and not feeling worthy of their praise.

I had a similar experience. Aviation Week, of course, had to cover all of this as it unfolded, and I had folks deployed in NY and DC trying to make sense of what was going on. We were updating our web coverage every couple of minutes, for hours on end. After I'd stayed at work for about 16 hours, I made my way back to the firehouse for my other job.

Our truck company responded to the Pentagon, and our engine company back-filled in Arlington. I was then just a firefighter, not a medic, and they were looking mostly for medics. Eventually, they cobbled us together into a couple more engine companies, and off we went to back fill Arlington County units...probably three or four firehouses in all. Responded to a handful of heart attacks, anxiety attacks, that sort of thing. A guy fell off a lander and cracked his head open while he was trying to "secure" his upper-story windows against what thought was going to be another strike. Meanwhile, our guys at the Pentagon kept us up to date on what they were finding there. It was a very somber three or four days. I worked a little more than 36 hours straight, running weirdly routine calls during a very non-routine tour.

And I had that same experience you had...a woman rushing up to me in the shopping center parking lot, seeing me in my fire service uniform headed for the firehouse for another shift. Shaking my hand, crying, thanking me for my service. I tried to tell her there were lots of other people worth thanking...all I did was run routine stuff. She wouldn't have it. To this day I feel more than a twinge about that episode; I've seen fire, crawled into dangerous places, done CPR on long-gone patients, the whole thing. But to my mind the Brothers and Sisters in Manhattan and the Pentagon that day climbed up about 10 notches above all the rest of us ordinary firefighters. I knew some guys who earlier had quit our department to go north and put on the FDNY shirt...for about 2/3 the pay...just to say they were FDNY. A couple of those guys lost their lives that day.

Terrible, helpless, conflicted memories. I'll be glad when this anniversary period is behind us. I remember every detail...I hope our fellow citizens don't forget.
Jim Mathews, Maj., CAP
Commander, VAWG Group 3
My Mitchell Has Four Digits...


During the actual events, I was in my 3rd grade classroom, learning (as I should have been). I didn't find out about it til lunch when I looked at the small tv the lunch lady had going down the aisle. At that point, both towers had fallen, the Pentagon was hit and I think we had figured out that Flight 93's crash was part of all of this as well. My principal made an announcement soon after lunch that parents were allowed to take us if they wanted. My parents didn't come get me until their work day was done (or I may have been picked up by the babysitter, I don't remember) due to the fact that my dad was reporting the days events on the radio and my mom was working in a local ER.

I am grateful for those that sacrificed themselves, that day and since. I also pray for the families affected. However, I am tired of watching the re-plays of the planes crashing into the towers, we have seen it now for 10 years. What I would like to see is more stories of the heroes, more stories of the children born that day to no father, more stories of what we have done so that this won't happen again.
C/LtCol Priscilla (Pat) Temaat
Eaker #2228
Earhart #14523
KS-001- KSWG HQ staff
2012 Joint Dakota Cadet Leadership Encampment Cadet Commander


There's no way it has been 10 years - it seems like yesterday, but part of that is probably because it has never left the public conversation.

We had the annual Motorcycle Instructor Family Camping Pig Roast this weekend, and as last year, the campground had a "9/11 Salute To Heroes" weekend, which meant there were plenty of local PD and FD people in addition to the 200 or so folks and their families from the rider program.

The local stations, especially the country one were discussing the commemoration.  Does anyone else remember the grief Darryl Worley and Toby Keith
got for their music?

Anyway, I tend to be basically a tub of goo with stuff like this, and on the way home, driving through some of the most beautiful and endless cornfields my state has to offer, a cut of "Have You Forgotten?" played with children interspersed reading the names of people who died that day.  I thought "This is what they hate about us - our freedom, the beauty and plenty of our country, and rather than try to make things better for themselves, they just want to tear the whole world down into the same pit of hatred they live in..."

My 8-year old asked "Why are they reading those names?"  That was enough.  I couldn't speak or answer, and thankfully my wife was able to come up with a coherent explanation that gave him the details an 8-year old needs without too much more.

I have no weapon to grab, and no post to man, but I hope the small contributions I make and the way I live my life helps to the extent it can, and
that my children will see the benefits of the efforts and lives spent making the world a safer place.

It's not an easy job, it's not done, and the work continues on the backs of the men, women, and families of our armed forces and public servants.

Thank you.

Quote from: Eclipse on September 11, 2007, 05:59:28 PM
I was working as an IT / Facilities Director for an Internet company in Downtown Chicago. 

Our offices were in Citicorp Center, which is also the Ogilvie Transportation Center (Northwestern train station), one of the two major rail hubs in Chicago.

My schedule was somewhat flexible, and I had a late start because my house was being painted.  Like most people I woke up to sporadic reports of an "accident" in Manhattan, and had the television on when the second plane hit, causing me to yell to my contractor to get into the kitchen and starting a bad day.

After watching for a while I left for the train, listening on my radio all the way - to this day I can remembers the dichotomy between the informed and uninformed.  There were a number of people on the train listening as well, and we would occasionally look at each other in (fear? horror? anger?) I don't know, but the look was the same - contrasted against the uninformed / disinterested reading yesterday's news or sleeping.

About 1/2-way into the the city (40 minute trip), they started talking about other attacks, and I was struck with 2-seconds of literal panic - Chicago has the tallest building in the US, and I work in a large BRIGHT BLUE
building on the edge of the city, which is also a transportation hub - and I was going TO the building because I felt a responsibility for the people and the assets.

((*))  Well, I wasn't going to stop the train.

When I got downtown, things were "exciting" - there was never anything like a panic, but certainly most people by then had something similar on their mind.

I went downstairs and bought a small B&W television from the Osco - the only place we cold get a signal
was in the CMO's office, where I huddled around that little 5" screen with the CEO, CFO, CTO and a few other execs.  Being the typical dot-comer / finance types, several of them had friends of family in or near the towers.  There was also business concern that a financing round we desperately needed would be impacted by the crisis this would cause in the markets. (life, does, after all, go on).

Executives watching a 5" B&W television with the image of a collapsing building will be in my memory forever.

As time clicked, the sky got quiet (no planes), and the news services talked more and more about follow-up attacks such as in Ireland (IRA) where they wait for ES people to respond and then set off round two, I got more and more insistent that we release everyone who was working to go home.   Considering how organized the attackers looked, I believed an excellent second strike would be to wait until the whole country was going home and hit the trains and expressways - and again, that big blue building out in the open with a train station in the basement. From our windows and on the news we could see the the commute was starting early, with thousands of people in the streets moving towards the exits.

After what I thought was way too much hesitation, I convinced them to let everyone go home, which was great, except this was what every other company in Chicago had decided as well. Thus began the great exodus from the city.  And to Chicago's credit, there were few issues outside of crowded buses and trains. The expressways, of course, were a nightmare.

My CAP activity consisted of checking into the unit and relaying availability - many local units participated in airport watches for days after, as well as assisting stranded aircrews and passengers, especially at larger regional airports like Rockford and Palwaukee that see a lot of traffic but don't expect people to hang around very long.  Several of our pilots had stories about being ordered to land "immediately" and then having to find a way home by some other means, only to retrieve their planes later in the week.

My unit hosted a joint seminar a few days later with the FAA and AOPA to guide pilots on procedures should they be intercepted by the military because they were in restricted airspace.  This was especially an issue for PWK and UGN pilots because of their respective proximity to O'Hare, the city, and a nuclear plant on the North Shore.  Sneeze or get a bad tailwind on a go-around, and you were in trouble.

The unit meeting the next Tuesday had more participants than I had ever seen, with the CC filling staff positions which hadn't been occupied in years and discussing increased funding and tasking.

We all knew things had changed.

(BTW - thank you to the NY'ers for getting it done for all of us - to this day their photos are some of the most clear and comprehensive.  Whenever I see them I try and grasp the enormous pressure they were under.
There have been pivotal moments in our history, and if that is not the pinnacle, I don't know what is.)

"That Others May Zoom"


I was still in bed in Ben Lomond, CA(near Santa Cruz) when my step daughter called and said "turn on your TV".  My first thought was of the B-25 that crashed into the Empire State Building right after World War II(yes, I am that old).  It soon was obvious that this was different.  I don't really remember, but I suppose that we sat in front of a TV set all that day.

That night, I got a call from the Sq CC of the CAP Sq that I belonged to in San Jose, asking me if I could fly the next day.  I had to be instrument current and I was going to take another instrument current pilot with me.  I was to meet a CAP plane from Socal at Watsonville Airport the next morning and transfer seven boxes of blood to my airplane.  I was given a special squawk and told to file an instrument flight plan to Medford, Oregon.  I did all of that and we transferred the blood to my airplane and called Monterey Approach for departure.  Right after departure, I got a call from Approach with a change in flight plan: roger that, ready to copy.  Cleared direct from present position to Red Bluff, direct Medford.  I could never have gotten that clearance on an ordinary day.  I flew directly over San Francisco and I was the only airplane in the air.  Every controller that morning thanked me for my service.  I was wrung out when I landed at Medford and we transferred the blood to an Oregon Wing airplane for the remainder of the flight to Portland.  Talk about a heady experience.  I had never and have never gotten a bigger thrill out of a CAP mission that I flew and I flew for 18 years. 

Carry on.

Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
Wilson #2777


I got rolled out at 3:30 AM local by a friend in St. Louis.  I was supposed to fly to LA that day.  Turned on the TV, watched both towers fall, figured I wasn't flying anywhere that day, got dressed and went to the TRACON.  Put on a headset, put planes into airports they'd never heard of.  Watched Air Guard F-15s do a lot of funky things.  An hour after we finished, launched the first post-9/11 civil flight, an air ambulance from Maui to Honolulu.
Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.

N Harmon

Has anyone gotten tired of hearing all the various aviation communities comment about how *they* were the only ones permitted to fly immediately after 9/11?


"Our police helicopter was the only aircraft allowed to fly right after the attacks".

"We [life flight] were the only ones permitted to still fly on 9/11 and 9/12".

"The only plane allowed to fly on 9/11 after the attacks was a plane from San Diego to Miami
delivering anti-venom to a man bitten by a highly venomous snake; it was accompanied by
two jet fighters."

That last one was from a Discovery channel show and gave me a chuckle because it was self-contradictory. If the plane had to be escorted then it obviously wasn't the only plane allowed to fly.

And of course, I even catch CAP people saying we were the only ones able to fly then as well. But in reality, we were not the only ones. There were many exceptions to the airspace shutdown. And not least of which was CAP. That does not discount the great work our members did on that day, we just need to avoid telling it like it wasn't.

Anyway, our unit held a local training mission yesterday and I thought it was the perfect way to spend the 9/11 anniversary: training to save lives in the manner in which our organization is uniquely capable.
Monroe Composite Squadron


I remember being in a computer lab at school, a group of us went in there every morning and played games before classes started each day. One of the librarians came in to tell the teacher that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.
Quote from: bosshawk on September 12, 2011, 06:59:51 AM
My first thought was of the B-25 that crashed into the Empire State Building right after World War II(yes, I am that old).
This was exactly what I thought of when I heard it. I figured there must have been some bad weather in New York and a small commuter plane got too far off course, so I didn't think to much about it.

Then I went to band practice, and we were marching outside. The band director mentioned before we started our warm-ups that the WTC had just been bombed by planes, and for some reason my thoughts went to Russian bombers dropping bombs on NYC.

When I finally got to my next classroom I could see what was happening. I watched the towers fall, and I realized that nothing would ever be that same again.

Quote from: Eclipse on September 12, 2011, 03:40:14 AM
I have no weapon to grab, and no post to man, but I hope the small contributions I make and the way I live my life helps to the extent it can, and that my children will see the benefits of the efforts and lives spent making the world a safer place.

It's not an easy job, it's not done, and the work continues on the backs of the men, women, and families of our armed forces and public servants.

Thank you.

I can't say it any better.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse


I was asleep, after working a 12 hour shift the night before.  About 9:00, my dad called to wake me up and tell me to turn on the TV, just in time to see the second plane hit.  Spent all day in front of the TV with my (now ex) wife, until she had to go to work.  I also remember the clutch in my chest watching the first tower come down, and knowing that a lot of people had just died, including the cops and firefighters.  For the first time, I was afraid to send my wife (a paramedic at the same private company I worked for) to work that afternoon.  But I stayed glued to the TV until well into the night.  My fire department (I was an on-call firefighter) didn't run a single call that day, but I don't think I could have gone anyway.  I retired as a municipal firefighter not long afterwards.

One thing that really stands out for me that day, one of my clearest memories, was when Ted Koppel said they were going to go live to London, having been briefed that something special was going to happen.  What it was was that the British Army band played the Star Spangled Banner at the changing of the guard.  Seeing all of the Londoners crying, waving American flags in support, I'm sure there were some Americans in that crowd as well, and the cheer that went up afterwards was just so moving.  After the fact, I seem to recall Koppel saying that was the first time in history that they played another nation's anthem during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.  I found a video clip of it yesterday that someone had posted on Facebook.

The ambulance company I worked for-American Medical Response-was the EMS provider for the Port Authority at the time.  We didn't lose any people, but did lose a couple of trucks when the towers fell.  They sent out nationwide solicitations for volunteers that afternoon.  I was placed on a list to go, but we never got called.  In some ways, I think this was a blessing. 

The days and weeks that followed were a difficult time for me, and others in the Bad-Day business.  People stopped to thank us, brought food to the firehouse, apologized for calling us, and I don't think I paid for a meal or a drink for a month.  We were just trying to do our jobs, and deal with it the best way we could.  But eventually things went back to normal after a while, at least whatever passed for normal.

I spent 9/11/11 in uniform, working an activity with my CAP unit.  Which was probably about the best way to spend it.  But, the events of that day were never far from my thoughts. 



That morning .. and during the day at work, and .. well, for several days at least, and the as the days wore on I'd add to it, I grabbed photos from anywhere I saw them. Saved web pages, and such.

I figured with all the WWII history as an example, it seems we always see the same photo of the Arizona with it's forward tower leaning over.

I know, media, cameras, et al - were not as common place back then. But I figured I wanted to save more than just the same six photos that day. I snagged front pages from as many newspapers as I could find the day after, and that day with their special/extra editions - something that I only knew of in movies, the newsboy standing on the corner yelling "Extra- Extra! Read all about it"

Tapes .. and more tapes. I just recorded a crapton of TV broadcasts, too. I had a weird contraption that consisted of an 8mm shoulder mount camera that looked like a mini deck at the rear end, that the camera tube had been over-exposed years ago, so I used it as a VCR. So, there was something on History Channel that I wanted to record at 0530AM on Channel 37. I used to use a combination of stuff that would make Rube Goldberg proud, to turn that thing on. Of course, it all hinged on me putting numbers in the right place. Well, the wee hours of the day just past 0200 or so, on the 11th, I finally went to sleep and realized "darnit!" I didn't set up the thing.. so I went back out in the dark, and set it up.

Well, needless to say, later that morning I plugged in a MiniDV camcorder and just started recording the whole day, and used that pretty much from then on for the next couple months, I have a shoebox full of miniDV tapes. At some point later on I realized that the tuner that was latched to the 8mm was on the wrong channel for History Channel, it was one off, and that the timer was set to start at 0540 instead of 0530.. "darnit, whatever." A few weeks later I thought about that again and started tearing through unlabeled tapes. I realized that I may just have recorded the whole CNN feed live as the events were unfolding.

Turned out thats what I did, after I found the thing around December, from the eyes of CNN.

Being the second Tuesday of the month, I was supposed to fly to a computer user group meeting in the Los Angeles area that I usually attended when the weather was VFR. I pondered that morning .."you're probably not going to get to fly today.. maybe not for a while.. " and the weird thing that morning, I had no idea what was going on right away, except that I had a gut feeling something wasn't right. The sky over my house was usually 'noisy' that time of morning, living basically under the IFR approach from a nearby VORTAC, to KCRQ.. when someone knocked on the door, before I turned on the shower, and said "the phone.."  and I answered it, and they said "turn on the TV". I protested, but I did.

O.M.G. The b*st*rds tried it again. They couldn't stand that 1993 was a flop.

I tried to call ATIS and it was busy, of course. No surprise there.

I got to work a little late that morning, and the first thing the VP says to me, "why are you late this morning".. I looked at him.. "Well, duh. You called me and told me to turn on the TV."

I called ATIS again, still busy.

The work day didn't produce much that day. We shut shop and went home about 3 hours later.

On the way home I called the airport ATIS phone number and got through! Oh wow! It works! .. I heard the usual, wind, altimeter .. etc.. and then the sentence at the end. When I got home,  armed with the ancient Powerbook I called again and again, got through and recorded it with the phone cupped to the mic on the computer.

Palomar Airport Information Tango - One Ate Fife Zero Zulu, observation - Wind two fower zero at seven, visibility one zero, sky condition overcast at one thousand four hundred. Temperature one niner degrees celsius, dew point one six degrees celsius. Altimeter two niner niner fower.

Attention All Aircraft - By Order of the Federal Aviation Command Center all airports, aerodromes are not authorized for (ops?) or takeoff until further notice. Advise initial contact you have information Tango <-- From 1850Z 11-Sept, 2001.

I recorded a few more over the following days.

In mid November I found a flyer at the pilot shop for Civil Air Patrol. The local squadron that I had no idea was so close, was having an open house in December. They didn't have any meeting for the next week because of Thanksgiving, I had found it the week before Thanksgiving on a Tuesday night, but we had some other place to be and had I not had three others to fly with me, I'd have blown off the flight and gone. So the December Open House was the first meeting I went to, the speaker was Charles F. Bolden, Astronaut and twice Shuttle Commander. Now the current head of NASA.

..and I'm closing on in on the Gill Rob Wilson award. I can't believe it's been 10 years. Doesn't seem like it.

I copied the three CD's full of stuff to the server so I could find this recording, and see what else was in there. I'll copy it to more discs now, too.

N Harmon

Quote from: a2capt on September 15, 2011, 03:39:26 AM
Attention All Aircraft - By Order of the Federal Aviation Command Center all airports, aerodromes are not authorized for (ops?) or takeoff until further notice. Advise initial contact you have information Tango

Sounds like "landings and takeoffs".

Thank you very much for posting that by the way!
Monroe Composite Squadron


I recall someone in another thread saying they had recorded quite a bit of info after the attacks, and have it in ZIP files they'd send to people who want it.  If that's you, please PM me!

I was nine years old - 4th grade - my family had just gotten back from our first trip to the city a few weeks before (my dad is from Brooklyn).  We spent a few hours on the observation deck of the south tower on 8/12.  I remember the towers being the main focus of the pictures my older brother and I took while walking / driving through the city, and my parents saying "don't use ALL your film on just those two buildings!".