Redditors who were alive on 9/11, what was your experience on that day?

Redditors who were alive on 9/11, what was your experience on that day?

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  1. Came down stairs. Dad said a plane had flown into a building in NY. Huh. Went to class, another plane flew into the other tower. Class cancelled. Went home. Watch the coverage. Asked dad where his brother was because he often had business in NY. Turns out he was in the second tower, watch the 1st one get hit and decided to leave, was in the stairwell when his tower got hit. Ha made it out.

  2. Watched with interest, but still attended baseball that night.

    It was strange as the diamond was near the airport and for the only time ever it was very quiet.

  3. I was 20 and was studying abroad in Prague for a semester. It happened about 2pm due to the time difference. We all watched the second tower get hit on the one tv in the dorm. One of the professors, whose mom died in a concentration camp gathered us. He had to run from the Nazis himself, with his Dad who killed himself on the way out of fear. He told us there is unspeakable evil in the world. He knew.

  4. The children of the diplomats at the American school I went to in Rio de Janeiro being evacuated by the Marine Security Guard Detachment while the rest of us were left there. Fantastic illustration of how the world really works.

  5. I was a teenager and despite everything that happened i couldn’t stop playing an online game. I realized the horror that was happening when it was over. Never played an online game ever since. Cannot believe how my attention was completely diverted.

  6. Physically and mentally exhausting. I was on a BA flight to JFK and was just south of Greenland when the airspace was closed. Pilot came on with some BS about issues with a nav beacon having failed, I know there are multiple beacons and backups. Even the fall-back options have fall-back options.

    We eventually diverted to Halifax. When we taxied off tge runway and parked up next to another airliner on the second runway I knew something was fucked.

    A few hours later we were off loaded and that was when we started getting word of what happened. In the terminal I was finally able to phone my ex and let the family know I was OK.

    The folks in Halifax were absolutely awesome with their response. I ended up at an exhibition hall outside of town and git something to eat, watched the news and finally crashed out.

    I was there for a week before they flew us home. I had an old Leathermans tool that I couldn’t carry back because of tge change in security rules. The office staff posted it back to me. Having phones to talk to my family and bosses was a godsend.

  7. I was visiting the US at the time (WA). All the trucks were parked beside the road and people were watching TVs in stores etc. And there I was, sleep drunk around 6am,, grabbing a coffee at a gas station not aware of what was happening. 3 guys came up to me: “we’re watching you, you’re a foreigner”. Then my mom called me to ask if I was allright and thats how I found out.

  8. I was actually in Central America and even there people were shocked. Schools sent kids home early and everything…..crazy. Remember calling my mom in Dallas to ask her if she was okay.

  9. I remember being in school and the teachers letting us watch the news and footage. I don’t think we got out early, everyone was just in shock talking about it, not knowing really what was going on.

  10. Fucking hell why does Reddit have to make me feel old? ALIVE on 9/11? I was in god damn high school.

    They tried to make it as normal of a Tuesday as they could, but gave up pretty quickly.

  11. Was in US Army OSUT at Fort Knox Ky doing first aid training. Our Drill sergeants pulled the platoons together to let us know what was going on and allowed us into the rec room at the barracks to watch the news coverage that evening. It made the reality of being in the military very real very quick

  12. I always felt bad that I don’t remember what I was doing when it happened, but others my age did. I would have been about 5 or 6 at the time.

    I only just realised today, reading this question, that this would have been during a really messed up part of my life. My mother kidnapped me from my dad, and I was living in neglectful and abusive conditions with her. I didn’t get to watch TV, and I don’t envision her or her mates taking the time to talk to me about it. It’s also just possible that I did know and don’t remember – lack of memories isn’t an uncommon response to trauma.

  13. Lived in a single room dorm at a college in the pacific time zone. Buddy knocks on my door and wakes me up to tell me that we were being bombed. I didn’t own a TV so I was trying to watch news over the internet but the bandwidth was totally consumed and web sites mostly sucked in 2001. I ended up going into the SUB to watch the news on a big screen that was put up so we could all be informed.

    I also had a wife and two small sons who lived in a different town and I would go home on weekends. That Friday evening on the drive home I was just bawling, I couldn’t think of anything other than hoping that the problem of radical, religious based terrorism would be dealt with before they were old enough to have to fight it. For everything that we did wrong after 9/11 as a country, my worst fear that we would become like Israel with regular suicide attacks and other terrorist attacks on our soil for decades never came true.

  14. I was on my very first business trip. I was 19, working for a small company in my home town, and they sent me to a secret R&D facility for the company we did most of our work for.

    I remember being in a cubicle working with some other colleagues and saw people slowly get out of their desks and walk to the break room. I didn’t know what was happening but it quickly turned into a steady stream of somber folks. I joined and went to the break room where there were dozens of people, silently and in horror, watching TV. I remember people wincing when the second tower was hit. People looked away.

    My phone rang. It was my boss. He said that I should plan on staying a few days or going right then to rent a car. It would have been an 18 hour drive back home, and I hated the guy I was out there with. I decided to stay.

    I was on one of the first flights back when the skies reopened. We landed in Orlando in the middle of a tropical storm, so the flight was extra bumpy. I was really on edge. Everyone was.

    So yeah – first business trip.

  15. I was asleep when the first plane hit.

    My brother came running into my room, waking me up, saying a plane hit a building in New York. Called him a liar, told him that would never happen, there’s stuff in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    Got on up, went downstairs, and sat down just in time to see the second plane hit.

    Sat in my chair telling family updates as they were posted on the Everquest messageboards, as news was hitting there faster than our local affiliate could announce it.

    Work that night was surreal. I worked at Dollar General at the time. From 2pm until we shut down at 9pm, we only had 2 customers. We just spent the day huddled around the cash register, listening to the news.

    It was weird not seeing planes in the sky that day or the day after.

  16. 8th grade. EST, so it happened very early in the day. classes basically stopped and we all were watching the news on TV. before lunch the rest of the day was cancelled and we all went home, and continued to watch the news.

    i never watched the news willingly before that.

  17. I was working in the OR. It was an ENT block day. We finished a case and were in the middle of turnover. I was in the room getting things set up and they someone came in and mentioned the towers.
    Most of the doctors not doing surgery at the time were in the doctors lounge glued to the TV.
    Dr Bonilla came in and said that they were cancelling the rest of the day and that they would reschedule patients.
    Everyone was really shook up and just wanted to get home to their families.

  18. I was like 6 or 7, only thing I really remember is the adults acting weird and dismissing school early. I lived close so I was able to walk home,
    Mom was watching it on the news but I think at the time I assumed it was a movie she was reacting strongly to.

    I just went in my room and watched dragon ball z I think, i don’t remember anybody really explaining anything.

  19. 2nd grade, we were saying the pledge of allegiance. Principal came on the intercom, told us what happened. Our recently-immigrated-from-the-UK teacher literally said “what are the twin towers?” Her assistant teacher had to explain to her what they were. All of us were confused, day continued like normal. My mom picked me up after school with tears in her eyes, listened to NPR all the way home and sat in the driveway listening to the report. My tiny ass went inside cuz seeing your parents cry is weird, man. Did homework. Dad came home, explained to me what being attacked on our soil meant, but that we were probably okay since they grounded all the flights. I went to bed.

  20. i was home, watching on tv. after second plane hit, i called my wife and told her to come home. she worked in the upper floors of a downtown chicago skyscraper. her office was already closing and sending everyone home.

  21. Was in law school. Roommates woke me up after the 2nd plane hit. The look on their faces did more to jolt me awake than 10 cups of coffee.

    Ditched classes all day to watch news coverage, and tried to help my dad get a rental car he could drive back home to Chicago from Miami that day since all planes in the U.S. were grounded.

    We smoked a lot of weed to try to overcome the anxiety from wondering if this meant a new World War had just started, what that would look like, what new attacks might be coming, and how it would all impact our young lives. It wasn’t a good buzz and made the anxiety worse.

  22. It was the rarest thing I have ever witnessed – an absolutely quiet day in New York City, with all commerce stopped, and everyone being slow and kind to each other. There was no subway service, no air traffic, no cell phone use (we were told to keep them free for emergency lines). Stores were closed and no one went to work. It was a stunningly beautiful day, 70ºF and not a cloud in the sky. We all had nothing to do but take walks. We would pass each other, total strangers, make eye contact, give a small smile and nod, and then move on. The whole city became like a very small town on a Sunday. It was so quiet.

  23. I walked down the stairs and saw my mom covering her mouth watching the footage after the first tower was hit. I sat with her and saw the second plane make impact.

    I sat there for the next several hours glued to the screen while my Mom tried to get in contact with my Dad who worked in a highrise downtown in our city and he was evacuated because everyone thought there might be more planes.

    I remember one of the first things the news was throwing out as a theory was that it was a movie filming gone wrong which even at 10 I thought was weird. Watching the chaos and all the people trying to deal with it in the moment is something I’ll never forget

  24. I flew out of Dulles the day before, out of a United flight.

    I was in a Southern US high-rise at the time of the planes hitting the WTC, and everyone wanted to get the f- out of anything higher than 3 floors. It was still early, so there was a little foot/car traffic, but that stopped being a problem very quickly. I know that was not the case in a lot of cities. The rest of the day was finding a taxi to get to the hotel, a fair amount of walking, then listening to a lot of CNN.

    …between trying to call family to see how they were. The phone lines were jammed, and getting anyone on the phone was _really_ tough.

    I spent the next day driving back from The South to Dulles, nonstop. It was hard, but possible, to get a rental on short notice.

    I-95 was clear, completely. There were so few cars on the road, it was like driving in the morning on New Year’s Day, except without any cops, anywhere. My work partner and I listened to NPR on the way up. It was mostly the same thing hour after hour–nothing new to say.

    When we arrived at Dulles, I had a rough time with the cops getting my car out of Really Short Term Parking. Approaching the airport was hard enough, but a few cop cars approached, very warily, asked what was going on, kept an eye on me, etc. Fair enough.

  25. Pure shock and awe. I don’t have any other way to describe it. I was in 9th grade and in Spanish class. We turned the TV on and the room was silent. It felt like the whole SCHOOL went quiet that day. Lots of very worried and sad kids and teachers in the same shape.

  26. Was home from school that day and watched it unfold on the TV and listened to my mom trying to call my cousin who was studying at NYU at the time.

  27. My parents didn’t listen to the news in the mornings, so I went to school not knowing what happened. I was in 8th grade (age 13). I sat in my first class of the day, which was choir, and the normally bubbly tone of the room was quiet and subdued. When my teacher came in, she wordlessly turned on the news, and we watched footage of the second plane hit. That’s the biggest thing I remember. I know we saw other footage that day, but that’s what I remember most. I had classmates with family in the area who were worried about their families. I had nobody in the area, but I was afraid for my friends. Classes were still held, but we’re very subdued.

    When we got home, my mom was crying and watching the news, something she rarely did. That’s all we did for the rest of the day. I remember fear, confusion and sadness. I didn’t know what would happen next, and my heart broke for all the people who lost loved ones that awful day.

  28. A girl who lived directly across the street from me had an aunt in one of the planes. The plane that was headed for San Francisco. My experience was helping my parents move stuff into a cabin they bought. Mostly heard radio that day.

    Edit: It was Flight 93.

  29. Sitting in class looking at the gas station out the window thinking (damn I should get some gas). It was packed. People were panic buying gas for some reason. Wanted to get to lunch and fill up before it ran out due to the panic buying.

  30. I was in world history class. During a break, the teacher put the TV on and I remember seeing one of the towers on fire but no one was really paying attention and we went back to class. After that class is when I found out what happened. There was still a lot of confusion so the whole weight of the situation didn’t hit until I got home, turned on the TV and went online.

  31. Stuck at work in a call center. I only heard bits of what happened. First plane hit, figured it was a small private plane because there was no detail. By the time the second hit you knew it was bigger than an accident.

    News websites were down most of the morning (just getting crushed by the traffic) so there was very little information. Most of what I found out was rumors from coworkers.

    I remember coming back up in a low bandwidth version and finally seeing what was going on in detail. It was mind boggling. Still had to finish my shift though. Although the call volume was substantially lower.

    On the way home people were lined up for gas at the stations I would normally use. I’m pretty sure a few ran out but that could be incorrect as a result of 20 years passing.

  32. I was at school, in gym class, outside playing soccer. Principal came out and talked to the coach, then we all went inside and were sent home. My mom was spared having to explain it to my sister and I because it was all over the news, obviously.

    I don’t really remember much else. I spent the next few days thinking something like that was going to happen again at any moment, then got over it.

  33. For context: I’m from germany and it was 14:46 when the first plane hit.

    I was working on my homework for the german classes, writing about the [Die letzten Kinder von Schewenborn](…. My father wanted me to stop with my homework and come into the living room…

    The experience of my mother is way more intensiv. She was working in a small shop, selling toys. All of a sudden the streets where empty. She and her collegues knew that something had happend. Something big enough to turn the town into a ghostvillage. Instead of a couple of customers per hour, there were 0 customers for the rest of the day.

    But this was before mobile internet became a thing. They didn’t have a radio. And the people from the neighbouring shops didn’t know what was going on either. She also didn’t meet a single soul on her walk home.

    When she came back home at ~18:30, me, my father and my brother were still sitting in front of the TV…

  34. My ex was returning home from visiting her dying father in England and her plane was an hour from New York when the pilot announced the plane was returning to London. All other international flights that day that were in or near the US had been rerouted to Canada. As it turns out Prince Andrew was on the British Airways flight and that is why it returned to England. With the US skies shut down she was stuck in Watford, England for over 2 weeks which allowed her to spend two more weeks with her father. 2 weeks after she finally returned to the US he passed away.

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