Sunday, September 11, 2005

What's Your Location?

In my last job, I travelled a lot. My boss always used to call me on my cell phone and ask me, "What's your location?"

Four years ago today, I was working in my small office in London when I initially learned of the WTC tragedy.

So, now I'm asking you where you were when you found out.
"What was your location?"


Pat said...

I was on a cruise ship "Grand Princess" along with hubby, his sister and his parents. It left Ft. Lauderdale 9/9 and on 9/11 I was up ordering coffee in the cabin and turned on the news and the first plane had hit already.

Aaron Brown was giving commontary and the second hit and then there was no speculation about "an accident".

The cruise was ruined, hubby's dad was a Fema trained fireman so he was bitter. We all went through the rest of our cruise in a trance.

Since we had left pre-9/11 and returned was scary. The Coast Guard stopped the ship way out to sea and we got searched and had to line up and show our passports and answer questions.


I was in the city I live in (and you know where that is) in my classroom waiting for the students to arrive. I honetly thought "this was it" and we would be heading for the bomb shelters (which I knew was right across the street) any minute now. I remember it as if it were yesterday. The one bit of comfort in the whole situation was I was working in the same school my daughters attended and knew if I needed to get them right away I could. Lots of parents came and got their children. Lots of parents didn't send them in. At first I was listening to the radio reports. After the students arrived (and there weren't many) we put them in one classroom and took turns teaching them. The rest of us gathered in a room and watched what we could on T.V. and fielded calls from parents who were unable to reach their children and wanted to know they were o.k. At the end of the school day when I took my girls home I was glued to the T.V. for days. After about three days I turned the T.V. off and stopped buying the newspapers. To this day I do not watch the news on T.V. and very rarely buy a paper. I really could write a lot more but I haven't had enough coffee yet and I'm not fully awake. Great subject dAAve.

Grace said...

Being in the UK it was about 2pm and I was standing in a communal office area at work. A colleague came in and told us the news. There was stunned silence and I remember a black sickening feeling inside. I too was glued to the TV for days, like everyone, unable to quite believe what I was seeing. I think it was the only occasion in my life where I remember thinking, I will never forget where I was when I heard and can still experience that moment.

Scott W said...

That morning I turned on the television just minutes after the first plane had hit, it seemed like an accident. I called my friend Jim and asked if he was watching, he was, and we continued to watch as the second plane hit. Things seemed to slow down and we were horrified.

I was a week out of rehab and not working. I drove in what must have been a trance to IOP in a building next to the hospital where I spent nearly three weeks getting sober. The television was on, people circled around it in complete shock and silence. The counselors finally said whoever wanted to stay for class to move to the classroom, the rest do whatever they wanted. I went to class and was so distracted that I couldn't concentrate, so I left and went home. I sat for hours just staring at that television.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Thanks to Scott W for this post.
I was on my tread-mill, doing my morning work-out when I saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center..It was an image I will never forget.

Trudging said...

I was working for the Red Cross in St. Paul Minnesota. I had just gotten back from vacation and I was at a professional breakfast at this country club.

serenityschyld said...

I had gotten to work at 4 AM (I was a Starbux Mgr). I had quite a few regulars and we used to mess with each other a bit. They were a fun mix. I remember one of them coming in and telling me about the first crash. I knew he was kidding. He continued to get me to believe his no avail. Another regular came in quickly behind and told me the same. They didn't know each other, so I asked for more info. I felt a sick, twisted feeling in my gut. After all, I am from NY. I have family who worked at WTC and family who worked in close proximity to WTC and my mother ( a flight attendant) was flying that day. As the events of the day continued to unfold, I was utterly grateful to get off at 12 and be at the noon meeting at Lambda. I was then umongst friends, family if you will. It was one of the longest days of my life. I found out by midnight that by the Grace of God, my mother was safe and had emergency landed. My cousin (worked in the WTC) was on vacation in Florida. Another cousin had called in sick to take care of her ill daughter.

I went through quite a bit of grief because I was so relieved when so many others weren't...

thanks for the opportunity to remember both my gratitude and the others who suffered so prayer, faith and hope...

With Warmth, Light and Love,

muylajuana said...

I was in my bedroom watching Today and Katie Couric said there'd been an accident, a small plane had crashed into one of the Towers. Then the cameras went to the towers and the second crash came. Horrible, sickening. The first few hours were terribly raw as there was no censoring of what we saw or heard. My son was flying in to Washington that morning and I called his wife in Germany to see if he was safe. I could never forget the fearful calls we made back and forth until around four that afternoon she heard from him. Then he called me-- he was OK.

Phil said...

My mom was coming to California that day from Chicago, her first visit to the new house we had moved into a month earlier. I was just out of bed when she called from O'Hare, that her flight was canceled, a plane had hit WTC, and there were rumors of a second plane, and the Pentagon, and terrorists. Ah, man, I guess we'll see you tomorrow then.

I remembered in the 40's a bomber hit the Empire State Building. I'm thinking, gee, I hope no one was hurt. Flipped on the TV to see if they had anything on about it. Just in time to see a replay of the first tower collapsing minutes earlier.

The second tower collapsed and the plane crashed in Pennsylvania on the drive to work. I'm thinking, shit, Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge are next.

I was in charge of our travel agency at a Fortune 500 company. I spent the day determining if any of our people were killed (they weren't). One of our travel agents knew people who worked at WTC. I spent the next week trying to round up stranded travelers.

I was also in charge of our mail handling vendor, and the anthrax scare hit...

Da Gal said...

I was working in downtown Saint Paul for the local county government and I had two trainees at my desk with me for the day. I had my radio on quietly like usual and turned it down when I heard the first announcement - not wanting to interrupt the training. Then my boss approached and asked to speak with me privately. She said that a plane had hit the WTC. I looked at her like she was crazy because there is a building in downtown Saint Paul called the WTC - and I certainly would have felt it being as close to it as we were.
A short time later my mother called and asked if I heard - and it was at that moment that it all clicked in my head. My brother worked in the WTC from time to time. It just so happened that on that day he was across the water, watching the whole thing unfold before his eyes.
He was there during the previous bombing and also in the train station prior to that when that was bombed too.
When 9/11 happened I lived in Wisconsin, while working in Minnesota so I had about an hours commute ahead of me at the end of the day. There was a small airport in the town I lived in that taught parachute-jumping. The drive home was the eeriest drive I've ever made. Not a soul in site. The airport was shut down when I got home - it was as if the world stood still in collective silence - unable to grasp the gravity of the situation.
One year later to the day - on my same commute to work there was a semi- that was pulling a small prop-plane that went into the ditch during the middle of the night. It was eery passing by that the next morning, wondering if something was going to happen again. The 9-1-1 operator was very polite, thanked me for the call and assured me that nobody was hurt.
I relate to Grace saying that I knew that moment was a moment in time I will never forget.
Thanks for offering this post idea dAAve.