Guns and Gossip/9/11

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Guns and Gossip/9/11

Post by DerekMcF » Aug 5th 2002, 10:36 am

Think about this:
Remember the opening scene of this third MSCL episode? President Kennedy is pictured delivering a speech, and Angela laments that parents always know exactly where they were the moment he was shot. She wishes she had a moment like that in her life, a moment that she could remember that clearly, where she was and all.
Now she does.
We do.
September 11th.
So I thought it might be interesting, nearly a year after the fact, to reflect on where we were when we'd first heard the news.
I''ll start.
I live in Washington, near Seattle, and I was lying in bed. I woke up to hear my favorite morning-show host interviewing a lady who hosts a weekend-show on the same station. She had been staying on the eleventh in the Mellennium hotel across the street from the WTC. She was among the last out of the building before the hotel, too, went up in smoke. Pat, the morning-man, said, "If you haven't heard, the north and south towers of the World Trade Center have collapsed."
At first, I didn't believe it. I thought, This has gotta be some kind of twisted dream, right?
So I ran upstairs and, right there, on the TV was the whole scene, ABC News, Peter Jennings trying not to trip over his words while new and uncut video poured in. Firefighters struggling, doing all they can to save everyone they can.
It was then that I thought, I'll remember this as long as I live.
And I will.
So now I invite anyone who wants to to share their rememberances of the experience.

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Where I was

Post by Megs » Aug 5th 2002, 1:38 pm

Let me begin by syaing that I work in Arlington, VA, about 3/4 of a mile from the Pentagon.

I was in my office and had just finished my onion bagel and cream cheese, and was trying to settle into the day with my huge cup of tea. I went on one of my (other) favorite message boards, and I saw a post: "Another plane hit the WTC." At that point, I had no idea what WTC stood for or what was going on. I heard some commotion outside my office, and I followed the noise into the training room. The first thing I saw was the TV with a shot of the two towers up in flames.

It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was watched a little, drifted out, drifted back; I was in a complete daze. I remembered returning to my office and trying to get ahold of anybody, and I couldn't get a line out. The last time I drifted in, I heard that both of the towers had collapsed. I remember saying to my boss: "They are gone? The towers. They're gone?" over and over, and she was like, "Yes. Gone". I stayed there until it was reported that smoke was being seen from the Pentagon. The Pentagon? That was a little too close for comfort. People were going up to the 7th floor (from which you can see Reagan Airport and the Pentagon) and reported what they saw. I couldn't do that. I don't know why, but I never went upstairs to see it.

It's amazing the rumors I heard. "The Capitol was hit." "The Washington Monument was hit." It was so unreal. A girl came running down the hall saying another plane was headed this way. The State Department is right next door to us. Then we heard that the building down the block, which houses USA Today, was on fire. Then we heard there was a plane crash in PA. All of my and my husband's family lives in rural PA.

I mean, you just don't know what to think. I was not panicking (which in and of itself is amazing); I was in a daze. We were told to leave, but I didn't want to leave b/c I hadn't gotten ahold of my husband yet. I did talk to my sister, which brought me back to earth for a bit. I looked out onto the streets of Arlington, and all the buildings were being evacuated, and people were milling all over the streets. My only mode of transportation was the Metro, and at that point we didn't know if they shut it down or not.

I finally got the balls to leave my office and attempt the Metro (actually, I got ahold of my husband and he told me to leave. NOW.). To my surprise, it was calm. None of the usual pushing, angry commuters. I got on the first train and was on my way out of the city. The train was so quiet, interrupted only by the sound of cell phones, people jumping, and then laughing nervously at their reaction. Were we going to get word that something else happened?

Once I got home, I turned on the TV, called my mom (who was freaking out: "Get on the road, leave the city, evacuate!!") and waited for my husband. Once he was home, I ran to him and held him.

We watched the news (flipping from MSN to CNN to FoxNews) for 10 straight hours. And then for weeks after that. On Friday I went to a church across the street from my office for the national prayer day. Many people there lost someone. It was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced.

Yes, I will remember where I was when I heard that the World Trade Center towers were hit.
"I have all these dreams where I know exactly what to say. And you tell me, you know, that you forgive me."

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Guns and Gossip/9/11

Post by Jelly Bean » Aug 6th 2002, 4:37 am

I live in Northern Ireland, and I remember EXACTLY where I was on September 11th.

We had got married on the 8th September, then flew to New York on 10th, arriving at lunch time. Due to the fact that we had been travelling all day Monday (from Dublin) we decided NOT to visit the WTC and statue of Liberty on Tues, but wait to the Wednesday.

We were staying in the Wellington hotel, on the corner of 55th and 7th Avenue (just up a bit from Times Square)

We woke up at about 9 o'clock and my wife got up and turned the TV on. What we seen totally blew us away - we just sat on the bed in shock, not believing what we were seeing.

After seeing this, we tried to phone home to let someone know that we were OK. It took us an hour before we could even get through and then it was just long enough to say "we're OK"

We're just so thankful that we weren't out that day...

We are thinking of going back to New York some time soon and we will pay a visit to the site where the WTC stood.

All the emergency services and the Rudolph Giuliani did an amazing job in this crisis, and they all deserve medals.

Check out this tribute site:- it will blow you away.

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Post by starbug » Aug 6th 2002, 5:01 am

I work in London so it was about 2pm when the whole thing started, I remember.
I'd just got back off lunch break and been sitting down starting on some stuff when my commercial director came running in saying that he'd been listening to the radio in his office and a passenger jet had crashed into the WTC in New York. At this point, we thought 'oh dear that's terrible' in a not really understanding way... then the second plane hit. It was absolutely SILENT in the office by this point and the radio was on. The fact that it was not an accident became clear.
Then, I got on the internet and looked at the pictures which were being released, and it was horrific. The towers in flames - I remember saying to my colleage 'where are the planes - they haven't come out the other side; that means they're INSIDE the buildings. Holy s**t'. Then the Pentagon, and by this point people had gone in search of a TV - it was surreal - I was the only person with an internet link working because the whole thing was jammed so I kept refreshing the pictures.
Then all the rumours started flying about there being 6 planes as yet unaccounted for and how they were scrambling the jump jets to shoot them down if necessary. Now, alot of my family lives and works in Chicago and my immediate thought was 'they'll hit Chicago - the Sears Tower' and then I heard that city centres were being evacuated so I called my mum, who called my aunt who said that everyone was OK but my cousin couldn't go home (she lives 1 mile from the Pentagon) and my aunt couldn't get to my uncle because they were on opposite sides of the city.
It was truly awful and part of the reason was that we were watching it unfold feeling just SO helpless. I spoke to my family afterwards and they said that it sounded like we were getting more information more quickly than they were in the USA - we knew stuff they didn't etc...
So, then things panned out during the rest of the day and going to bed that night, we truly didn't know if it was over or not. My thoughts were - I live in London - that's got to be a big target... and let me tell you, I didn't sleep too well at all that night. Still on big occasions with huge crowds involved I think to myself 'what if'.
Part of the fear, at least over here, was that Bush would just lose control, push the button and that would be it. I remember speaking to my cousin and she said 'this is it. What's Bush going to do? World War 3 - we're f*cked.' Maybe an overreaction but it seemed all too real at the time.



Post by Thorsten » Aug 6th 2002, 7:23 am

The last time I watched "Guns and Gossip" I actually thought about September 11, too. Angela said she was "jealous" about the older people who are remembering the Kennedy assassination. I have seen this episode so often and never wasted a deeper thought about that scene. As I saw it after 9/11 I thought, "jealous" is just a hard word. Nobody would say it today. We all know how such a moment can be. Being jealous is the last word we would use to express our feelings.
I exactly remember the day. I'm from Germany. Like in NYC the sun was shining this day. I came home from work. I have no radio or internet connection at work so I was absolutely without any idea, what happened a few hours ago. It was the first day after the summer holidays. The first day for my sister going to a new school. My mother, my sister and I ate our evening meal. We were talking about the new experience for my sister and so on. No one of them had known what happened. I was the first, who was going to the living room to turn on the TV for the news of the day. The channel that had appeared was a station, that often shows movies. So I looked at the screen. I saw the two towers each with big burning holes on the upper half. Smoke came out. I don't know, how long does it took to realize that it was no movie. The first hint for that were the moving banners all over the screen. I don't know, why I haven't listened to the voice of the newsman. It was like in slow motion or something. Then the shock took place. I shouted only: "Oh, my god." In this moment I thought it were rockets, that had hit the buildings. Because the weeks before, US President Bush had international differences about the American National Missile Defense. Then the newsman said it were planes, which are flown directly in the WTC. My mom and my sister came in the room. I gave them a short summary of the incident. Then one fact after the other hits like a beating hammer out of this TV. The news about the towers collapses, the Pentagon crash. Everything was so unbelievable. But it was the truth. I remember I felt so cold and sad on a warm and sunny summer day.

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Post by socalledfan » Aug 6th 2002, 3:04 pm

EXCELLENT topic. Our generation definitely now has an "event" that stopped time for all of us. Unfortunately.

I'd like to share the essay I wrote several days after 9/11 with all of you. It explains just what I was feeling...I live about an hour from NYC, spend lots of time there, and some of my loved ones live or work there. Just to put it into perspective

Here it is:

This was no dream.
A verbal snapshot of September 11, 2001

As I drove to work the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was struck by the quiet beauty of the cloudless, blue sky. The sun was brilliant and my usual morning grumpiness was defied by a smile. Little did I know that my world would come crashing down violently in just a few short minutes.

It was 8:55 am as I strolled through the door of my office building in downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey, a small but bustling city located about 45 minutes outside of Manhattan. A woman from a neighboring office, a stranger before this day, approached me as if on automatic pilot, with a look of confused horror on her face. "Have you heard? There has been a terrible accident. A plane has just struck one of the twin towers in New York."

At that moment, my lips wouldn't, couldn't move. I rushed inside my office, only to find my bewildered coworkers with pained looks on their faces. It must be true. Brian, my colleague, had a radio blaring in his office and we shortly heard him scream "Oh my God!" We all rushed in, terrified, huddled together, and learned that a second plane had crashed and exploded into the second tower. The panic was starting to rise into my throat. What was happening?

The radio was our link to the apocalyptic events unfolding outside, on this impossibly sunny day. We were desperate for more information, a retraction, an explanation. ("The Pentagon has been attacked") The Pentagon? Please let this be a horrible dream. I WANT TO WAKE UP! ("All commercial planes have been grounded, yet several planes remain in the air") What is next? Oh God, what is next? ("The south tower has collapsed") NO! NO! NO! Say it's not true! ("The north tower is crumbling") How can this be happening! Will I die today? ("A fourth plane has crashed outside Pittsburgh") This can't be. I can't breathe...

I raced through my mental checklist of family and friends and their whereabouts. My beloved husband, mom, brother Jason and his beautiful family, aunts, uncles, cousins -- none of whom would have been in the line of danger. But Tom. My oldest brother, 35-years-old with a spirit half his age. Sweet, intelligent, creative Tom. His apartment is just blocks north of the Trade Center. WHERE IS HE. WHERE? WHERE? I dialed frantically and he answered his phone in a state of shock. He was safe. But he had witnessed the nightmare. My lungs filled with air again.

"Oh my God," I repeated for the nearly 100th time in under an hour. "Bobbi." One of my closest friends had recently accepted a position at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of one of the towers. WHERE WAS SHE TODAY? HAD SHE STARTED WORK YET? I DON'T THINK SO, BUT I CAN'T BE SURE! I raced to the phone as my fingers tripped over each other. She answered, "Hello?" and this prompted my first real breakdown of the day, as sheer relief and thankfulness rained down my face.

Then my inner voice shouted: Go, Elyse, get out of here. This is real. Cristina, my co-worker and close friend, rushed over to me and we somehow managed to gather our things before we fled the building.

As the day went on my disbelief gave way to crushing sadness and primal fear. My world would never be the same again. Will tomorrow even come?

With each passing day, love and hope help me push through. The fear is still there, and will probably remain for some time. I am increasingly aware of the brevity of life, and the importance of human bonds. Let me never forget what I witnessed that day. Let us never forget, even as our hearts mend from being broken wide open.

-- EAP
"You're sooo beautiful, it HURTS to look at you."

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Post by bluemonster » Aug 7th 2002, 11:58 pm

when my alarm went off at 8:30 that morning, i had no idea that at almost exactly the same moment a plane was crashing into one of the Twin Towers... i was just trying to get into the shower before my suitemate so that i could make it to my theater class on time and get a decent seat. on the way across campus i saw a few people standing in clumps looking upset, but i was already running late so it didn't register. even when i made it to class and was safe in my favorite seat i didn't hear the scattered talk around me since the professor arrived at the same time i did and stepped up to the podium. after a few minutes of attempting to start his lecture on the importance of setting in El Paso Blue, he suddenly stopped. "you've all heard the news, right?" he asked us. there was a lot of confused mumbling. "terrorists have hit the World Trade Center with two of our planes. i think... i think one of them has collapsed, i'm not sure what's going on." there was a long pause. then i noticed a guy across the room slowly picking up his bag and climbing down from his row. "I need to go," he said quietly, "my mom works in the Trade Center." after he left all 60 of us were dead silent for several minutes. then the professor went back to his lecture. my older sister and one of my cousins both live in New York, and my cousin works across the street from the WTC. it was my first week of college and two minutes earlier i had been loving how alone and independent i felt, but suddenly i would have given anything to be at home with my sister. i would have given anything to not have this moment to remember forever. i was lucky. i didn't lose anyone that day. but i think we all lost something.
i wish that there was a button somewhere that i could just push to force me to stop talking...

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Post by KrokRos » Aug 9th 2002, 4:12 am

Well, I remember were I was. I live in Sweden so there is a big time differens. I was at work that night (internet supporting via phone) and was surfing the web. I surfed to, one of Sweden's bigger newspapers and it was hard to even get through to that page. That was when the first plane had crashed. The page was updated as soon as anything new came up, like as the next plane and the next crashed. There were so many rumors and guesses on what had happened in the beginning. It took a while before I really knew what was going on. I don't think I knew before a couple of days later. I guess nobody really knew.
A lot of people called me at work and we talked almost only about getting to the newspaper-sites. Some people had trouble getting online but I told them to watch the news on tv.

I remember one of our tv-stations canceled "Friends" that night, because they thought it would have a bad impact on people because the show is shot in NY.

When I got home from work that night the news broadcasted CNN and I recorded the announcments as long as the tape lasted into the night. I was stunned.

I had a friend who had traveled to US a couple of weeks before but he was safe in San Francisco. We had plans to visit him but we never did. Also we had plans to visit NY on Christmas but that didn't happen either. Maybe some other time...

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Post by foolishoptimist » Aug 11th 2002, 2:13 am

I live in Australia, so there's a pretty extreme time difference. I was watching The West Wing, it was nearly 11:30pm I think because it was during the last ad break that a news report came on saying that a plane had crashed into the WTC. A shot of it was only up for a second, I figured some idiot in a small plane had like accidentally hit it or something. But after the episode had finished a hung around to find out what had caused it.
It was then that I found out it was big passenger jet, which of course didn't sound right, like something really wrong would need to have happened to cause an accident like that! At the time no one knew anything. It wasn't long before the second plane hit, and everyone knew IT WAS NO ACCIDENT.
I kept watching, flicking from channel to channel to see if any knew more than the others. I did that until after 4am when the attack was long over.

Usually, I can sleep anywhere at any time, and I'll sleep for 12 hours if I don't have my alarm to wake me up. But that night/morning I didn't get to sleep until after sunrise, and even then I woke up without my alarm only 3 hours later.

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Post by dTheater » Aug 13th 2002, 11:48 pm

This is really embarrasing. Everything went down at approx. 9 AM Eastern US time; I didn't find out until noon.

The Friday before Sept. 11th, I'd driven my cousin from Philadelphia to South Bend, Indiana because she was starting her freshman year at Notre Dame. I stayed there over the weekend and Monday and then left very early Tuesday morning. But I had a CD player in my car and a whole stack of CDs, so I didn't plan on putting the radio on at all. So I'm driving and driving and driving through Ohio and Pennsylvania, and this is a pretty long ride, so of course I'm stopping every hour or two at service plazas to wake my legs up, use the bathroom, whatever. So it's about quarter to 9 when I stopped somewhere on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and got back on the road by 9, completely oblivious to anything. About an hour and a half goes by, I stop again at another service plaza and get some gas. Now I see a more than usual amount of people talking to each other, but I think nothing of it. I walk into this Mini-Mart gas station and give the attendant my money. Now at this time of the day, I guess rumors were flying and people had an idea of who was responsible, because the attendant was Islamic or Arabian and I noticed that he could barely make eye contact wth me, but again I didn't think anything of it.

So I get back in the car and hit the road. But by 11-11:30, I'm about an hour from Philadelphia, and as I get closer and pass a few more exits, one of those big electronic signs above the middle of the highway states that the New Jersey turnpike has been shut down. So I thought uh-oh, something big has got to be going on for them to shut down the turnpike, but never in a million years did I imagine something that big. So I flipped on the radio...and nearly crashed my car. And I still hadn't seen images or gotten the full story, so it didn't really hit me until much later when I got home. But I was basically removed from the world for 3 hours when everyone else knew what was going on.

I found out when I got home that my aunt just happened to be in NYC for a conference at the UN building which was only about a half mile from the world Trade Center, and of course everyone was fearing the worst that day, and my mom hadn't heard from her yet. She turned out okay, but she was close. And then I realize that at the time that the 3rd plane crashed about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh, I wasn't more than a half hour away myself.

Anyway, I've always said I don't watch the news because it's too sad, but now I flip to it for a second just to make sure I'm not missing something very important.
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Post by william bloke » Aug 14th 2002, 2:16 am

I guess Chase-Face couldn't recall the Challenger disaster back in 86'.

Even though Minnesota is miles away from NY, it's easy to recall every minute of that day. I remember running late that morning and while on my way into work, a breaking news announcement came on the NPR. They reported a small aircraft had collided with one of the towers and they stated that it "looked bad". My exact thoughts were..."How the heck did that happen?" As I walked into the office, I recall telling my colleagues about the "accident" and apparently no one knew what had occured. Things were pretty normal at this point. When the second plane hit, everyone including myself were absolutely flabbergasted, but couldn't even imagine that it was a deliberate attack. The point was driven home to everyone when NPR reported that a car bomb had been detonated in front of the State Department(obviously unsubstantiated) and five minutes later, recanted the story by saying it was actually the Pentagon. I remember the ticking of my desktop clock and the dreadful silence. I'll never forget the sound of my clock, just ticking.
During my military career, I've been deployed to some very hostile regions(Sinai, Bosnia,Macedonia)and seen many disturbing things. But, the sound of that clock.....
"Really? Do you think she did? Really? You think she siliconed her lips? Really?"

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one possibility

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 14th 2002, 5:34 am

william bloke wrote:I guess Chase-Face couldn't recall the Challenger disaster back in 86'.
In the writers' (and Angela's) defense, she was only 7 or 8 years old (depending on when her birthday is, which we never learned on the show), so it's possible that she wasn't as aware of the Challenger explosion as we of the older generations were.

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Post by william bloke » Aug 14th 2002, 9:10 am

There's no need for defence, because there was no attack.
I was simply trying to point out that maybe she couldn't remember the incident in 86'. Some people just have a long memory.

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Post by mooneyguy » Aug 15th 2002, 12:53 am

Well I know exactly where I was when it all went down. I was in the shower and my digital cell phone (which also acts as my pager) was turned off. Which was unfortunate, because I work in the group that runs I knew nothing about the events of 9/11 until I turned my phone on. Then the 911 emergency pages started pouring in and I got extremly busy. I had to drag a TV in to my home office so I could watch the coverage while I helped to dig our website out of a total meltdown. When my wife called I suddenly realized that she was supposed to be on a plane bound for Chicago that day! She called me, from the ground at O'Hare thankfully, to ask me what was going on. They were not told very much as they waited about 2 hours for a gate. She and her co-worker waited another 2 hours for their reserved rental car (and that was the "Avis Preferred" line that was 2 hours long!) then drove the 12 hours from Chicago to Atlanta straight through. But the part of my day that is most pertinent to MSCL was when I met my 10-year-old daughter at the bus that afternoon. As she got off the bus I commented "you will remember this day for the rest of your life." And I do believe she will.

We didn't have any offices near the affected locations, and no one I knew personally was in the line of fire. But some more sad irony from that day came about an hour after we had switched part of our services over to Akamai to help shed the load, when it was announced that Danny Lewin, CTO of Akamai, was on one of the planes.
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Post by Mankind » Sep 3rd 2002, 3:07 am

In light of Angela's statement, it's definately a case of "be careful what you wish for."

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