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We were having problems with the public Website first thing that morning, and I called one of the senior IT staff at our Virginia operations center.

She told me that she didn't think anyone would be worrying about the Website: "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center."

Our agency's New York office was located in the World Trade Center complex. Part of one of the towers fell onto it. Several days later, we found out that all our New York colleagues had all escaped unharmed.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
At the time, I was a high school student. I remember that I had some time before leaving for school and was sitting on the BBS of my favorite music artist at the time.

Suddenly, all these threads started popping up about the crash. Having to leave for school, I told my mother and the radio station in the car was playing a feed from NY. I remember my mother started crying and turned off the radio so she wouldn't have to hear it.

My mother is the kind of person to feel that ignorance is bliss, so whenever there's something terrible out there that I try to tell her about that she doesn't really need to know, she begs me to stop so she won't have to hear about it.
Sep. 12th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)

I remember going online to the predecessor to the current Shejidan C.J. Cherryh fan board and posting back and forth about what the rumors were versus what those of us in NYC and Washington were actually seeing. At one point there was a rumor that the Capitol had been hit, and I was able to disprove that one because my office was 4 blocks off the Mall at that time.

I stayed at work for the entire day, although I saw crowds streaming uptown on foot because the entrances to the Metro stations were shut - the crowds on the platforms had become so dense that the security staff was afraid people would be pushed onto the tracks.

Sep. 11th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
I was home, and heavily pregnant. I had just finished breakfast when I saw the news. I was terribly afraid for some friends who worked in that area. They weren't able to leave except by walking over the bridge to NJ, but that wasn't possible for one of them (she was also heavily pregnant). So she had to stay downtown with some friends. It was about a week before I heard that they were OK.

My husband had to come home early (he contracts to/for NASA), and it was closed down. And my parents had been vacationing in Russia; they were unable to come home for a week.

But what I remember the most is how quiet everything was. I live not far from an airport, and of course all planes were grounded for several days. Aside from everything else that was happening, that was more unsettling to me than everything else, for some reason.
Sep. 12th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)

The Mr. was at home with what was later determined to be his first gout attack. It was just as well - the county schools shut down and he had to go get the Young Lady, who was 8, from her school.

The DC Sniper shut down the schools just a couple of years later - what a childhood my daughter had, in retrospect!

Sep. 11th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
I attended a wedding the weekend after. The bride's family was from Brooklyn, her cousin worked near the top of the second tower and didn't make it.

Only her dad, mom, and a couple of people from her side of the family were able to get there - her dad and uncle managed to scam about the very last rental car in NYC, then drove to Charleston SC to pick up her mom - they were in the process of buying a house there to retire to - and then drove to Texas for the wedding.

It wasn't noticeable in the chapel, as it was very small, but they'd (understandably, given the circumstances) forgotten to notify the place they held the reception that most of the attendees wouldn't be making it, and 2/3 of the place settings remained empty.
Sep. 12th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)

we're very thankful that we lost no one, despite having many family members on my side in the NYC area, as well as friends working at the Pentagon.

My sister has said that she was glad our father didn't live to see this. He had died earlier that year. He was a civilian engineer for the Navy, and went to the Pentagon on business from time to time.

Sep. 11th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
I'm glad your colleagues were okay.

I was getting around late because I was very pregnant and had a midwife appointment. I went to get the mail and they had the radio on; the first plane had hit. The second had hit by the time I came back to my house and had turned the TV on.

And then Peter Jennings said, "Oh, God, they've hit the Pentagon." Honestly, I don't remember if I was watching when the towers fell. I do remember asking my kid what I'd gotten her into. I still wonder about that.
Sep. 12th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)

My sister was on bed rest with her twins, who were born October 3. She thought much the same thing: Into what kind of world am I bringing my children?

Sep. 11th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
I'd come into work for a 9 o'clock shift, in the Infant section down the hall from the kitchen. The cook had his radio on loud enough that I could hear bits and pieces, and I thought it must be some kind of War of the Worlds radio drama. Went down the hall to ask. 'A plane crashed into the World Trade Centre.' We were discussing was it an accident or terrorists, and was it homegrown terrorists like in Oklahoma, when the second plane hit.
Sep. 12th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)

We initially thought it was just some kind of horrible accident - the early reports were not really clear on what sort of plane it was - until we heard about the second plane. And then when the Pentagon incident happened, we knew we were in a very serious situation. Rumors were all over the place - at one point online, people were claiming that the Capitol had been hit. I remember feeling relieved that at least I knew that wasn't true, because our office was only 4 blocks off the National Mall at that point.

Sep. 12th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm glad you colleagues were okay. The wife of a friend of mind was a partner at a law firm with offices in the South Tower at the level where the plane hit. She was late that day. He told me he would never give her grief about running late ever again.

Sep. 12th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)

It was really a blessing that no one we knew was killed. But the twin brother of one of our contract employees was killed at the Pentagon. He worked for the same computer support company as his brother, but they were assigned to different sites.

Sep. 12th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
I was on the Metro on the way to work -- I was probably passing right underneath the Pentagon not long after the plane hit. There were some people milling around confusedly in the parking lot and asking if something had been happening when I got off the train, but I didn't find out what happened until I got into the office. Everyone pretty much just piled into the NOC and watched CNN for hours in stunned silence, occasionally drifting back to our desks to check in with people on IRC, or hit refresh on an increasingly-slashdotted page that was gathering reaction shots of mourning from around the world.

One of my coworkers rounded up monetary donations, in person and via Paypal, from all of the farflung techy staff, and then we went shopping together with my warehouse-club membership and a list of supplies that were being sought for the Pentagon search effort -- there were a ton of other people pushing carts around BJs buying the same things. We ended up sticking around at the warehouse where the Salvation Army was coordinating the donations and helping sort and stack the stuff onto pallets for distribution -- I still get a little verklempt remembering how along with all of the first aid supplies and gloves and socks and bottled water and other stuff they'd been asking people to bring in for the search teams, people even brought in bag after giant bag of kibble for the SAR dogs.
Sep. 12th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)

That about the kibble makes me feel a bit tearful too.

We spent several weeks at work dealing with the temporary regulatory changes to cover the situation in the NY financial district, plus the issue of communicating with our displaced NY office staff and supporting them, both of which efforts made heavy use of the public site. So most of what I did in response was at my usual office.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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