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Didn't Even Know What They Were

On 9/11 I was a grade 5 Canadian student sitting in class waiting for class to start. For some reason the teacher was running late to get to class, not just ours but a couple of them. About 10 minutes after class was supposed to start our teacher came back and took us out immediately for an assembly. We were a small school and never had anything like a big emergency assembly so we were confused.

When we got into the gymnasium we were all seated on the floor and the principle took the stage. We knew something was off because she was usually smiling and talking to people before she began but she was silent and serious. She told us about what was going on, about how the twin towers were hit. Most of us had no idea what was really happening so it kind of just brushed off of our shoulders. That day was an early day as we were sent home at lunch time.

Only when I was home had I realized why the adults were concerned. I watched on television as they showed the planes, watched the towers crumple to the ground, watched people running and screaming for their lives. I still had no idea how far this was happening away from me but I was scared.

I remember my parents friends in a panic because their family was in New York at the time, my friends at school seemed depressed because of their parents worries...

Only a few years ago did the toll of the event actually hit me. As a child it was confusing, I didn't understand how things worked and I don't think I actually realized that people were dying inside the buildings as they collapsed. Today when I think about it (and write this) I feel a strange sadness even though I didn't know a single person who passed. I feel sad for the horror they were put through in their final moments and the pain that all of their families went through as they waited to learn the fate of their loved ones.
Jupiterfalling Jupiterfalling 18-21, F 5 Responses Jul 12, 2012

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Hi Jupiterfalling,<br />
I'm sorry to hear about your expediences + unhappiness that happened to you, because of the Sept 11, 2001 disasters.<br />
I was within 2 hours of New york City, when NYC was attacked. I include that, just to say a little about what my experience was on that day.<br />
It's strange, but in my area of the USA, + on a lot of PTSD sites that I've seen, most Western people don't talk about the 9/11 attacks, much. strange, huh?<br />
I'm sorry to hear that these events made you feel bad.<br />
Have a Good Day, <br />
TR

My gf was working in midtown Manhattan since before 8am that morning. Going into a late shift that day shortly after 10am near our home about forty miles upstate, i turned around and headed back home as soon as i realized what was being said on the N.Y.City news station i had on since leaving home almost ten minutes earlier. When i finally spoke to my gf after her call to our house got through over the busy lines, she said all the bridges into and out of the city and environs were closed and she'd be staying at her sister's apartment overnight or however many days until the bridges reopened (she commuted by bus during her work week). Then she started to cry and told me she hadn't been able to reach her sister by phone. Her sister worked in a high-rise office building North of the towers and lived in an apartment building South of the towers; both were in sight of the towers. In fact, her sister, in her office that morning, turned in her chair toward her office window and saw the horrific fireball the very moment the first plane hit. I'll be writing my story in this group soon. But the only other thing i want to relate to you is that living in Southeast upstate New York, everyone was aware of what likely would happen if a nuclear bomb hit N.Y.City: hundreds of thousands if not. millions of people would flee upstate in panic and terror and fear. And in a situation like.that, desperate people do desperate, abnormal things they wouldn't otherwise do--like threaten others' lives and even kill for food and other things needed for survival. It was the tv news saying all incoming reports painted this as being caused by terrorists, however, that made me think about defending myself--especially after "our country being attacked" was posited on the news. So i calmly got my two personal, licensed pistols and the half dozen ammo magazines i had, my ten or so boxes of self-defense and target rounds, loaded all the magazines and both pistols, laid them on the bed in our spare bedroom, and looked over toward the window, which looked down toward our driveway and the street, and thought of the incredible likelihood of being attacked in my own house by a foreign enemy--or the less incredible likelihood of being attacked by my fellow Americans.

When I first saw it, I thought it was a promo for a new movie, but sadly I was wrong. It was such a huge unbelievable and completely unimagineable act of evil. For the families who have suffered and are still suffering my heart goes out to them. Unimaginable the pain and hurt!!!!!!! It has affected everyones life in some way or other and will for generations to come !!! Both young and old!!!

One man from my gf's large pharmaceutical firm where she worked was at a special meeting being held in one of the towers and lost his life that morning (though she didn't know him). When i saw the front page of the New York Times months later in 2002, i was shocked at the unbelievable and completely unimaginable photographs i saw: people in the midst of falling to their deaths after jumping off the upper floors of their office building to escape being consumed by the horrific fire behind them. God rest the souls of all who were.murdered and all who gave their lives to try and rescue them at the towers and the Pentagon that day and all the innocent people murdered on the plane that day in Shankesville, Pennsylvania.

I was fully adult - indeed a newish father. I was home in UK looking after son and wife, who was in bed asleep with a minor illness at 2pm our time when I heard the radio news; put on the TV, and decided I should wake my wife.<br />
<br />
So saw almost all of it. live.<br />
<br />
When news of the other attacks came and of the plane still flying, I recall saying "Bush has GOT to shoot it down". Which apparently he had commanded - though not needed thanks to the heroes in the plane.<br />
<br />
Very hard to understand the twisted minds that wanted to do it.

My experience is similar to yours as I knew something serious had happened but was kind of young to appreciate the scope of it. Your last paragraph is oh so true.