September 11th attacks - 20th anniversary remembrance thread

wonderfly

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The September 11th, 2001 attacks are 20 years old today, and it's time to look back and remember. Use this thread to post memories, condolences and feelings.

Mod Note: Full fledged political discussion is still off limits. Discussion of the current circumstances in Afghanistan is off limits.

This thread is more to share memories of where you were that day, and what is was like for you in the days and weeks that followed, and did you know anyone that was personally affected by the events of that day?

Here is the link to the 10th anniversary thread here on the Toonzone forums. And here is the link to the 15th anniversary thread.

If anyone here posted in those previous threads, feel free to repost your stories here again, or to give updated versions of them. And for new forum members who weren't here in 2011 or 2016, feel free to share your thoughts as well!
 

creator

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It's hard to believe it has been 20 years.

I was in math class when the principal announced there had been a terrible accident. A few kids started crying because they had parents on business in NYC. The rest of us sat in silence - too young to understand the magnitude of the events, but old enough to understand the fear and the sadness. The teachers rolled televisions into the classrooms and we watched the news the rest of the day. The images are still burnt into my mind.

Things were different after 9/11. There was solidarity - united we stand, divided we fall - but there was also vulnerability. We wanted revenge. We disrespected numerous ethnic groups. We succumbed to conspiracies. We thought we were doing what was best...

Today I think about the families impacted by 9/11 and its fallout. I think about the kids whose parents didn't come home that night. I think about the parents who would never embrace their kids again. I mourn for their losses.
 

Viper

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I still can't believe it's been 20 years now. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Back in NYC, my late mom & I saw the horrible tragedy on live TV. My stepdad who was a NYC corrections officer at the time was stranded in Manhattan until the next day. I still remember when all those people were killed when the World Trade Center came crashing down.

I may live in Texas now but I'll always remember it.

Let's all never forget that tragic day!

September 11, 2001: Let's NEVER forget!!!
 

JMTV Studios

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I was 2 at the time when this tragic event happened. However, I didn't see it on Live TV because I way too young to remember it. I did see many videos and presentations of 9/11 when I was in middle school back in 2011.

I'll never forget that day.
 

Dr.Pepper

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I was in the 6th grade and I was getting ready for school like any other day. My dad left for work, and then within minutes he called the house telling my mom to turn in the news. Since we live on the west coast, the attacks happened while we were still in bed. At first I thought it was a building in Seattle that caught on fire. I still went to school and I remember my school bus turning a specific corner when the towers fell.
 

Low Spark of Lyman

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I was in the fifth grade at the time, having recently started middle school. 10 going on 11. Shortly after the start of the school day (with the Pledge of Allegiance), I remember learning about what was going on (at least at the time) when an announcement came over the PA about the attacks. It was definitely an unusual way to start the day, to say the least.

Hard to recall how I felt beyond there. Learning more about the events would unfold since then. However, I didn't really get around to delving much further into the events until about two years later, when I saw a documentary about it in what I'm sure was my social studies class.

I don't recall a particular danger in the air from where I lived at the time (in Connecticut, and no, not Fairfield County, which is very close to NYC), though I seem to recall a depressing atmosphere for a while, what with it persistently in the news. Not sure if I have much specific memories during 2001-02, maybe because of said persistence?

Some of my extended family in New Jersey saw the smoke from the WTC attacks from the beach. The husband of one of my mother's friends was among the first responders at Ground Zero.
 

RandomMe

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I was three and a half years old. I don't remember what happened when the events unfolded, but my mom told me that I was aware of it looking at the TV sets at a mall. I don't even know what their reactions were.

As I grew, over time, I started realizing that such an event happened, and it took me longer to understand its connotation at a worldwide scale. IIRC, my earliest clear memory was RTP 1's main news doing a program about the first anniversary. Don't know how things were like in Portugal at the time of the attacks, but some Portuguese were hurt.
 

wonderfly

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I'll re-share my memories of that day (I posted similar versions of this on the 10th anniversary here at Toonzone, and elsewhere):

I lived in Kentucky during this chapter of my life. I was in my final semester of college that Fall in 2001.

That particular day, I was at my job, working in a welfare office in southern Kentucky. I went out for my 15 minute break to go sit in my car and listen to music. I immediately knew there was a problem because the local "wacky morning DJ" was muttering about something on the news, and kept saying "We all just need to pray". And I was like "Pray for what?!?" That was around 9:30 am EST.

I went back inside and found other employees had turned on the news radio, and I quickly was brought up to date on what's going on (that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center). I decided to go tell my boss who worked at an office a couple blocks away (I could've called her, but just decided to travel over there in my car).

On the drive to her office, the news was reporting about the Pentagon being struck by another plane. There were also rumors of a car bomb going off at the State Department (that was later proven to be a false report). When I stepped inside my bosses' office, she and her staff were already listening to the radio. By this point, all of the radio stations were tuned into the major news feeds. We were listening to Peter Jennings on ABC news over the radio. I arrived just in time to hear them report about the 2nd tower collapsing.

So I decided to take off work at 11:30 am that morning. I went over to my girlfriend's house and watched the news for a good portion of the afternoon. I went back to my own house around 5 pm and set up my VCR to record the evening news broadcast.

Though I didn't know anyone personally affected by the events of that day, the next few days took an emotional toll on me (probably from the non-stop watching the news, in-between shifts at work).
But as the nation prepared for war by October, I also remember the next few months being the most united we as a nation had ever been. October, November and December of that year were a remarkable time to be an American.

But anyway, those are my memories.
 

wonderfly

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If you want to relive what "life" was like on these forums back on September 11th, 2001 (and in the days that followed), I suggest checking out the archives of the Cafe.

This was before the era of Facebook and Twitter, and message boards like Toonzone were a primary means of keeping in touch with fellow online friends.

In the days prior to the attacks, we had threads about "the sorrows of school", and "moral/language standards on fictional TV".

And then on September 11th, people started posting threads like:

"Holy Smokes, turn on your TV!"

"Oh my Goodness! The World Trade Center and the Pentagon were both attacked!"

and

"Here's my eyewitness account".

The next few days would see threads like:

"If you're worried about a war, then stop!"

"I fear that these events may awaken a lot of prejudice....."

and eventually: "U.S. attacks Afghanistan."

I find these type of threads to be fascinating; they're time capsules back to a different time in online messaging.
 

Light Lucario

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I was twelve when it happened. I remember waking up and my Dad was watching the news in our living room, which normally didn't happen first thing in the morning. I was a bit confused about why he was there at first, but they were still showing the buildings on fire and all of the smoke. Even later that night when I saw some of the news with my Mom and older brother, the smoke was still coming.

I remember how the teachers at my school were that day. Everyone was just processing it, but none of them were really in the mood for regular classes. We watched the news for most of that day at least, as well as a few times during the next few days. There was just a lot of uneasiness throughout that morning.

My heart really goes out to all of the people who lost friends and family members that day. Grief is never an easy process to go through, but I can't imagine how it must feel to have your grief being tied to a huge national tragedy that you're reminded of every year. I do hope that they have found some comfort or healing after all these years in spite of all of that heartache and pain.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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I was four when this happened. This remains as one of the days that has lived in infamy.

I send my condolences to the families and friends of the 2977 people who fell victim to this tragic event.
 

Red Arrow

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I was also 4 years old and in kindergarten, so I don't remember it. I do remember the day of the attacks on Brussels from 2016 vividly, although the footage was less spectacular.
 

Checkerboard

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All I will say is... RIP to everyone who had to die on that day and peace to their relatives who suffered. It was messed up on many fronts. I remember seeing it live on CNN. I was over ten, but still didn't understand what happened and why at the time.
 

LinusFan303

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I was having breakfast before school, my Mom had the radio on the news station as she did every morning then.... only heard a brief thing about a plane crash which happened just before 7am (mountain time zone), I think anything of it, got ready for school... rode to school with my Dad as I did every morning, his truck didn't have a radio.... I came to my class and the teacher was watching CBS on TV about the attacks. Kind of don't remember the whole day just know after that I was kind of nervous because of the news. After school, it was on TV at home, but I went to watch something else, can't remember what. I do remember a few weeks being of kind of being nervous like what if it happened again? Sort of thing, and what if it happened in my state or something.

My heart feels for those families who lost friends and relatives that day.
 

TsWade2

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That happened when I become a sophmore back in high school and I was so scared.
 

Spideyzilla

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If you want to relive what "life" was like on these forums back on September 11th, 2001 (and in the days that followed), I suggest checking out the archives of the Cafe.

This was before the era of Facebook and Twitter, and message boards like Toonzone were a primary means of keeping in touch with fellow online friends.

In the days prior to the attacks, we had threads about "the sorrows of school", and "moral/language standards on fictional TV".

And then on September 11th, people started posting threads like:

"Holy Smokes, turn on your TV!"

"Oh my Goodness! The World Trade Center and the Pentagon were both attacked!"

and

"Here's my eyewitness account".

The next few days would see threads like:

"If you're worried about a war, then stop!"

"I fear that these events may awaken a lot of prejudice....."

and eventually: "U.S. attacks Afghanistan."

I find these type of threads to be fascinating; they're time capsules back to a different time in online messaging.
Wow, that "there won't be a war" thread didn't age well...

Anyway, I was in third grade, and my mom pulled me out of school that morning. She was paranoid that attacks would come in Canada and my city would be a target. A family friend came to get me, all he said was "there's a war going on in the States, and your mom wants you home." My mom gave me a massive hug when I got home. Seeing as I had been gone from the house for only an hour or so, it was clear something beyond my seven year old mind comprehension was going on. She tried to keep me from seeing what was going on at first, but it couldn't be stopped. It was a real loss of innocence moment for my generation, words like "tragedy" or "terrorism" entered our vocabulary.

Having now lived and worked in New York City for a little while a couple of years ago, you can still see the effects in certain places. Being at the memorial is a very humbling experience, and I recommend everyone go at some point if they're able. It's sad, sombre... and yet somehow somewhat peaceful? It's definitely easy to forget where you are and that you're standing where The Pile was and the spot where thousands died in an instant. It's really a strange feeling to describe. I remember walking past St. Paul's Chapel, which was used as a place of refuge for emergency workers. There's a very old cemetery out front, and I noticed that many of the tombstones are broken or in some cases missing altogether, broken enough with the base still in place at the bottom. I momentarily forgot where I was as I considered what could have happened to break all of these tombstones.... until I remembered I was at Ground Zero, and that they were broken because two skyscrapers had fallen next to them. It was a pretty startling moment. Walking inside the chapel is also quite something. There were old missing person posters on display, which was possibly the hardest thing to see out of all of it. There was old firefighter gear on display... and if I remember right it still had dust on it. My parents went to New York on vacation in 2003 and said that you could still see the dust coating layers of buildings along the southern tip of Manhattan.

I join others in saying that I can't believe it's been 20 years. And yet.... how could it not be? The vast majority of my life has existed on the other side of it, so that's like most of my life has gone by quickly. I guess that goes to show how 9/11 was an "It" in all of our lives. Our lives before "It" and our lives after "It." Covid is going to be another one, it seems. I definitely agree that it's important to never forget what happened and the lives that were lost. However, in fairness, I don't think that anyone who was alive that day will ever be able to forget it. Even as someone who isn't American, I know I won't.
 

wonderfly

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Wow, that "there won't be a war" thread didn't age well...

In fairness, when I read thru the early posts (which were done the day after Sept. 11th) some of them are just combating the notion of "is this World War 3 starting up?". I remember when the Gulf War started back in 1991 (I was in Jr. High for that one), I remember some kids worrying (myself included) that it would escalate and lead to World War 3.

But many people (including some in that thread) in the days after Sept. 11th also thought we would just "shoot missiles" at terrorist camps, and that's it. Well, history is written at this point.


I join others in saying that I can't believe it's been 20 years. And yet.... how could it not be? The vast majority of my life has existed on the other side of it, so that's like most of my life has gone by quickly. I guess that goes to show how 9/11 was an "It" in all of our lives. Our lives before "It" and our lives after "It." Covid is going to be another one, it seems. I definitely agree that it's important to never forget what happened and the lives that were lost. However, in fairness, I don't think that anyone who was alive that day will ever be able to forget it. Even as someone who isn't American, I know I won't.

I turned 25 years old in the Summer of 2001. I was in my last semester of college, pursuing a mostly useless degree (I probably could've graduated college a year or two prior, but I was a typical Gen X slacker, I took a couple years off after high school). For people in high school and college during the September 11th attacks, there was this unknown fear of what the next few years would bring, living in the shadow of the early years of the War on Terror.

For the people in grade school (Kindergarten to 6th grade) when September 11th occurred, I wonder if the Great Recession of 2008 to 2011 defined your "coming of age" experience more. EDIT: "coming of age" years being ages 13 to 23, or arguably ages 16 to 25.

And yes, Covid appears to be the next "history milestone", for Gen Z.
 

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