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Remembering 9/11/2001


jgerock
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Let us not forget those who lost their lives back in 2001.

I will never forget the events of that day, as my wife and I lived close to the Pentagon (1/4 mile).

I had a dentist appointment at 9am and my wife was at work in Crystal City (Arlington). The news of a plane crashing into the Twin towers in NY brought out a small TV at my dentist's office. I thought it was only a small aircraft, but quickly learned otherwise. The next thing I knew, there were reports of another airplane crashing into the Pentagon. My hygenist's hands started shaking, as her husband was at the Pentagon that day. My appointment was cut short and I drove to work on 95 South. It was an eerie feeling - all cars around me were traveling the speed limit as their ears were tuned on the emergency radio broadcasts. Traffic was blocked from heading north and Emergency vehicles streamed up on the HOV lanes toward the Pentagon. I still have the appointment reminder.

After news of the Pentagon incident, I had trouble getting my wife on the phone. All circuits were busy and the only communication method working was e-mail. My wife told me she could see the smoke from the Pentagon from her building and it took her 1 hour just to exit her parking garage.

That night, the sky was full of fighter jets that roared for hours patrolling for any other possible hijacked planes.

My boss was on a business trip to Chicago and was scheduled to fly home on 9/11 (to DCA). No telling what would have happened if the hijackers had selected his flight from O'Hare. He was OK but had to rent a vehicle and drive home. The only thing he could find to rent was a Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup. After he arrived home, it was used by one of our Service Technicians to make another trip (because we couldn't fly for several months).

Some of our friends worked at the Pentagon and they told us people ran out of the building like the world had come to an end. Some never returned.

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I WAS AT WORK IN OUR SHOP IN RALEIGH . ( SINCE MOVED TO THE RTP )

AND MY WIFE CALLED PERIODICALLY TO LET US KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON .

THE REALLY WEIRD PART IS THAT I HAD BEEN DISCUSSING ISLAMIC

TERRORISM WITH BOB , MY COUNTERPART THE DAY BEFORE .

THE COLE ATTACK WAS STILL FRESH ON OUR MINDS .

I SAID THAT THEY HAD ATTACKED THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BEFORE & FAILED BECAUSE THEIR BOMB WAS TOO SMALL .

WHO SAYS THAT THEY WON'T BE BACK SOMEDAY WITH A BIGGER ONE ?

IT WAS DEVASTATING TO HEAR THE REPORTS COMING IN ONE AFTER ANOTHER . AT ONE POINT I JUST

WENT TO THE BACK OF THE SHOP AND CRIED . IT STILL HURTS TO THINK ABOUT IT & ALWAYS WILL .

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I will never forget when this happened.

We were living in New Orleans, but I had flown to Dallas that morning. Landed at DFW, and someone I was meeting said "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center". I remember thinking it was a Cessna. Then, when the second one hit - we knew something was wrong. We were driving out to Alvarado, Tx to go to Halliburton's Ballistic testing center to run some tests (in the oil industry, we use a lot of explosives, believe it or not). We drove out there, and they almost didn't let us in the facility. So - they finally did, we did our tests, and kept the rental car to drive back to New Orleans. That was the most surreal drive ever. The roads were unbelievably busy. We listened to news radio the entire way back.

I finally got home at about 10 or 11 pm, and saw the pictures of what happened. Surreal.

It was a sad day, and it makes me sad to think about it. Why some people have to be so cruel. Why stupid things happen.

I'm thankful I made it home. I'm thankful to see my kids faces every day.

Ken

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I was at work as usual and heard the report of the first plane crashing into one of the twin towers. i also thought it was a small plane.

then the report of the pentagon, so i headed home and huddled around the tv with my wife and two children. what a tragic day, and i still tear up when thinking about the innocent people of all religious/political beliefs that lost their lives, in addition to the hero's that rescued so many and were killed in the process

about two years earlier i had encouraged my wife to take our daughter, who was a tennis player, to the US Open each year as a mother/daughter trip. i then mentioned they should go to Windows on the World restaurant at the top of one of the towers for lunch. i had been there in 1985 and it was an incredible view, so that becme part of the annual trip.

they were there about 10 days before 9/11.

it still scares the heck out of me, and i too am greatful just to be able to be with friends and family.

watching the twin towers burn and fall should be required for history in high school

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I had just woken up and flipped on Howard Stern on the radio. A a little bit later into the show, I'll never forget Howard's cohort Robbin, saying "Hey! here's something just coming in the news, a plane has just hit the World Trade Center." I'll never forget it. There was confusion about how sever it was. I turned on the TV and saw what was going on. definitely not a little Cessna. I called family to let them know I wasn't on the plane as I ride on airlines a lot. And then the second one hit and Howard said "Were under attack!"

I stayed with the Stern show the whole day as his regular characters called in with what they were seeing.

Over a week later I had picked up a Beechjet in Boston and had a trip down south. Our route brought us right by New York City and it was just an unbelievable sight and still smoking.

Religious radicals will be the ultimate downfall of man.

John

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Let us not forget Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla, who as security head for Morgan Stanley (the largest tenant in the WTC), prepared the employees and staff relentlessly for years to save themselves in a disaster. His story is incredible.

"(From the Wikipedia page) Rescorla enlisted in the British Army in 1957, training as a paratrooper with The Parachute Regiment, and then serving with an intelligence unit in Cyprus during the Cypriot insurgency. He then served as a paramilitary police inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police (now the Zambia Police Service). On returning to London and civilian life, he joined the Metropolitan Police Service, but soon retired and moved to the United States. He lived at a YMCA in Brooklyn until he was able to enlist in the Army. "Rick", as he would thereafter be known, enlisted in the United States Army in 1963, and after basic training at Fort Dix, he attended Officer Candidate School and airborne training at Fort Benning. Upon graduating Rescorla was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

Sent to Vietnam, Rescorla participated in the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, described in the book and movie We Were Soldiers Once… And Young, and is the soldier pictured on the book jacket cover. Co-author Lieutenant General Hal Moore described him as "the best platoon leader I ever saw". Rescorla's men nicknamed him "Hard Core" for his bravery in battle, and revered him for his good humor and compassion towards his men.[citation needed] He is also mentioned in the book Baptism by Larry Gwin who also fought at Ia Drang. The fourteenth chapter of the book is called Rescorla's Game and describes him as the "Cornish Hawk".

Rescorla's Vietnam honors included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry."

"In 1992 Rescorla warned the Port Authority (owner of the World Trade Center) about the possibility of a truck bomb attack on the pillars in the basement parking garage, but was ignored. When terrorists used this method in the 1993 attack, Rescorla was instrumental in evacuating the building, and was the last man out.[6]

Rescorla, with his friend Dan Hill, reasoned that the World Trade Center was still a target for terrorists and that the next attack could be a plane crashing into one of the towers.[7] He recommended to his superiors at Morgan Stanley that the company leave Manhattan. Office space and labor costs were lower in New Jersey, and the firm's employees and equipment would be safer in a proposed four-story building. However, this recommendation was not followed as the company's lease at the World Trade Center did not terminate until 2006. At Rescorla's insistence, all employees, including senior executives, then practiced emergency evacuations every three months.[8"

Read this link for the full story regarding the WTC . . .

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1810315-3,00.html

"Rescorla implicitly understood that he could turn office workers into survivors. He respected the ability of regular people to do better. He understood the danger of lethargy, the importance of aggressively pushing through the initial stupor and getting to action. He had watched employees wind down the staircase in 1993, and he knew it took too long.

Rescorla felt it was foolish to rely on first responders to save his employees. His company was the largest tenant in the Trade Center, a village nestled in the clouds. Morgan Stanley's employees would need to take care of one another. He ordered them not to listen to any instructions from the Port Authority in a real emergency. In his eyes, it had lost all legitimacy after it failed to respond to his 1990 warnings. And so Rescorla started running the entire company through his own frequent, surprise fire drills. He trained employees to meet in the hallway between the stairwells and go down the stairs, two by two, to the 44th floor.

The radicalism of Rescorla's drills cannot be overstated. Remember, Morgan Stanley is an investment bank. Millionaire, high-performance bankers on the 73rd floor did not appreciate the interruption. Each drill, which pulled brokers off their phones and away from their computers, cost the company money. But Rescorla did it anyway. His military training had taught him a simple rule of human nature: the best way to get the brain to perform under extreme stress is to repeatedly run it through rehearsals beforehand.

Rescorla taught Morgan Stanley employees to save themselves. It's a lesson that has become, somehow, rare and precious. When the tower collapsed, only 13 Morgan Stanley colleagues — including Rescorla and four of his security officers — were inside. The other 2,687 were safe."

Also, a documentary by the BBC was made about his story . . .

"The Man Who Predicted 9/11"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482544/

From the BBC story . . .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A11284850

"Rick had long retired from the regular army when he took the job with what was then Dean Witter Securities in 1985. He was still an army reservist and his combat instincts had not left him. One of his early actions was to assess the threat he was under. To help him he picked up the phone and called Dan Hill.

Dan was a lifelong army buddy, another war hero with many commendations for bravery. He had first met Rick in the Congo and had served with him in Vietnam. Dan later served in Afghanistan, fighting with the Mujahadeen against the Soviet occupation. He had also converted to Islam.

Dan's special knowledge of Islamic terrorist methods was a telling factor as he and Rick assessed the security of the World Trade Centre. Their 1990 report identified a weak point susceptible to bombing - structural columns in the underground car park.

Their report was presented to the New York Port Authority, who managed the building. An official dismissed it.

In 1993, terrorists exploded a truck bomb in the basement, exactly as Rick and Dan had predicted. The building stood firm and Rick successfully evacuated the people. Indeed, he was the last to leave.

But Rick knew that they would come again.

He and Dan prepared another report, suggesting that the next attack would almost certainly come from the air. Again, the report was rejected.

Rick insisted on regular, unannounced evacuation drills. His colleagues occupied offices between the 44th and 74th floors of the southern tower, WTC2, and they were required to practise evacuation via the stairs, two abreast. The drills were enforced with military precision. Morgan Stanley employees were the only ones in the building who were performing them. Everyone, right up to the company president, was required to take part."

Other worthwhile Rick Rescorla links . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Rescorla

http://www.rickrescorla.com/

Let us not forget the two French filmmakers that fate made into the documenters of the disaster when they started out the day making a documentary on a NYFD fireman.

"On September 11, 2001, filmmaker James Hanlon and Jules and Gedeon Naudet were filming a documentary on a rookie New York City firefighter when they noticed a plane overhead. That plane would hit the World Trade Center. They rushed immediately to the scene. James Hanlon and the Naudets filmed throughout Sept. 11 and the days afterward from the firemen's perspective, as it became clear to them that this was the only known footage from inside the Twin Towers that day. "

Their story is incredible too, and again made into a fine documentary . . .

9/11

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312318/

And one other incredible documentary that I first saw just this week. The video footage is from a number of amateurs and pros, including one who, along with a Secret Service agent, were the last people out of Building 7.

102 Minutes that Changed America

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1312203/

"The morning of September 11, 2001 is shown through multiple video cameras in and around New York City, from the moment the first WTC tower is hit until after both towers collapse."

The big differfence between 9/11 and December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, was that on 9/11 one could only watch, while at Pearl, if you had a weapon you could see the enemy and fire back at them. The former is even harder to tolerate.

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