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Where were you?

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  • Where were you?

    As we remember our fallen heros, and all the victims from 2 years ago, I have a question to ask.

    This question is not really directory to the members of the FDNY, New Jersey, Washington DC or any other fire department that responded directly to the horror 2 years ago. Although you are more than welcome to respond also.

    It is mainly directed to those of us who heard about it on the news, who were glued to our TV, computers, radios or whatever communication device available to them.

    I was wondering what you were doing when you heard the news of this tragedy.

    Personally, as a volunteer firefighter, I was at work. I was working thru a problem when my wife called me. I will never forget her statement:

    "Here is your Incident Command problem for the day. A passenger plane hits the World Trade Center"

    The reason she called me with this comment, was because I completed and ICS course the night before. As I searched the net for news, the best place I found was surprisingly BBC. They finally put a TV up, I stopped by just to see the first tower fall. I will never forget the sinking feeling that I had while watching it. In watching the fires from the second tower, I knew it was only a matter of time for that one to fall. I was glued to the TV and BBC website trying to get more news.

    In the weeks and months to follow, I am sorry to admit that I was getting tired of the news now. The stories were all the same, the images ran together. But worst of all was the news anchors. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I wish they would just shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves. This is what I was truly tired of.

    As the few survivors emerged, I felt great relief, but also great sadness. I was very happy for the families of those that survived. It was a great burden lifted from them. However, there we thousands more that would never have this burden lifted.

    As we remember our fallen heros, their sacrifice is undescriblable. But let us also remember the families of the civilians. Let us always remember the 343, but remember the others today also.

    Thank you for listening/reading.
    Last edited by SHVFD_Asst_Chief; 09-11-2003, 09:49 AM.

  • #2
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    A family of firefighters and emergency personnel we are, a family tree with branches that cross gender, religion, and ethnicities and make ONE species, the hero. As part of this great family, I am not a hero. I salute those heroes before me who have made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives for the job they love... that others may live.

    As part of the fire service, I watched with great sadness as the news coverage played & replayed the first strike on the tower, and then a second. Our college froze with the disbelief that such an event could happen, and so close to home. The initial tragedies were devastating enough to the world, but like firefighters do, they plowed through clouds of sh*# and began the job and were lost in the heroics. Nothing makes me more proud to be in the fire service than to know how dedicated this brotherhood is.
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller


    • #3
      When the planes hit, I was in my English class. The principal of our school made an announcement telling us what happened, then instructed all teachers to turn on the tvs in all rooms to watch the news.
      No longer an explorer-
      Currently Keene State College Class of 2008
      I shed blood for my ruggers.
      <forever ruggers, forever sisters>

      All gave some, some gave all. Gone but not forgotten. 9/11/01


      • #4
        Just a mundane morning until then...I was re-lacing my work boots from my polishing the night before--sat down on the bed and idly turned on CNN and saw the towers burning. I'll never forget when they fell; my first thought was, "A whole lot of firemen just died."

        I remember wondering when it would stop--the towers, the plane down in PA, the incident at the Pentagon...and CNN reporting a fire on the lawn at the White House, an evacuation of the Supreme Court building. I remember so clearly thinking that more attacks--and worse attacks, even--could be ahead.

        I remember flipping through the channels and finding news on every network--ESPN, TLC, Discovery, the Cartoon Network--everybody had a feed of some news organization.

        Two years gone, and the shock has passed, but the sting remains. All the civilians and all the 343, and our brothers from NYPD and PAPD, there are thousands thinking of them today.
        “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
        ― Hunter S. Thompson


        • #5
          I was at work at the State prison doing a inventory of the tool room in the HVAC classroom. In the shop was an upstairs, loft type, storage area where one of our more gifted trusties worked repairing TVs and VCRs. He came downstairs and stuck his head in the toolroom door. 'Hey Sarge,' he says, 'A plane just hit the World Trade Center.' For a moment I assumed that he must have seen some report which maybe had mentioned the fact that a small passenger plane had struck the Empire State Building many years ago. But this was no ordinary inmate. This guy had an IQ the size of my zip code and I knew he had to be talking about something important. My tool orderly and I locked the tool room and followed this trusty upstairs to his work desk. There, on the TV, was a live shot of the first tower to be struck burning. We had not been watching long when we saw the second plane strike its' target. I had hoped that the first plane had been an accident but as soon as the second plane hit I knew we were witnessing an attack. Within minutes word had filtered out to every Officer and Inmate in the education building where I was working. I knew that the TVs in every dorm would be on and the Officers and dorm orderlies there would be watching the same reports I was seeing. Classes stopped and whether you were in the welding shop or learning to splice fiber optic cable you soon had a TV on in the classroom. Inmates in Computer Tech watched and speculated just like the Officers supervising them. I spent the entire morning standing in the middle of the HVAC classroom where we had moved the TV from upsatirs and watched the events unfold with about 20 inmates. Together we watched the towers fall. No refridgerators or Air Conditioners got worked on that morning. After the lunch break the inmates returned to class but we had put the TV back on the workbench upstairs. The instructors were trying to get a little class work done but everyone's mind was on the news. The trusty TV tech would watch at his desk while he worked and keep us updated to any new developments. It was a long day and I was glad when my shift ended so that I could get home and surf the cable news channels for updated info. Before I left for the day one of my orderlys told me, "Sarge, remember to get some sleep tonight." I tried but sleep didn't come.

          Steve Raacke


          • #6
            As ironic as it sounds, I was getting dressed in my bedroom, getting ready to go to a meeting at the university to see if I was accepted into the firefighting program. I had the TV on, watching Regis and Kelly when they went live to the Trade Centers. At that point, they thought that someone had accidently flown into the Center, and then the second one hit. When I went to my meeting, I was sitting outside in the lobby when a secretary passed by and said to her co-worker that the Pentagon was just hit. I am from Canada so although it was not directly affecting our country (physically), it was pretty scary to wonder when it would all end and why it was beginning in the first place.

            I worked at 911 that night and we had all the planes from overseas landing at various airports in our province . One town ended up with the same number of passengers as their own population. It was amazing to sit with the firefighters on my shift and watch their own expressions. I will always remember my thoughts on that day. As for the firefighter's course, I found out the next morning that I was accepted and I knew it was the right thing to do.


            • #7
              It was a chlling morning. I was working at my folkes ranch (MT) feeding cows at the crack of dawn. My fiance called us on our cell phone and said that there was a accident in NY that was on the news and was being broadcast live. I had her throw in a tape to start recoring. We finished up and just before we made it back to the house yard the second plane hit.

              It was so mind numbing. It took a while to sink in that it was real. We were drinking some coffee to warm back up when the collapses came. Mom and my fiancee were weeping. Dad picked up to phone to contact our relatives and friends that might have been affected.

              Even here in Montana, we had ties to both NYC and DC. Our neibors son works in the Pentagon, IIRC he had just arived at work then the plane hit but was uninjured. Dad has a nephue that maried into a NY family. That side of the family had people working for a law firm in the trade center. Only the secretary had gotten to work when the first plane hit. She had went down to the lobby to let in another employee who had forgot his secerety pass or some such thing. She had just stepped off the elevator when the WTC started to shake. They just walked out and to safety. Everybody we knew was safe and sound, a blessing.

              I saw my cousin that day, he had been out of high school for a year working odd jobs. He said that he was going join the Army and give em hell. He has been in Iraq since the start of hostilities. He is in Bagdad as I type this, he is still mad as hell.

              By God, if those cowards dare to tarnish this day with another attack, then I think I will head to boot camp myself.

              Keep alert and stay safe.
              -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
              -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

              -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

              -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


              • #8
                I was driving to a training class. About 1.5 into my drive the cell rang I was getting recalled to the station for standby.
                AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

                IAFF Local 3900

                IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

                ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

                F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB


                • #9
                  September 11th, 2001 was a day I will remember for a long time, for several reasons. That date is my anniversary date of completing MY probationary period as a career firefighter. I was no longer a 'probie' as of that day. My mom was lying in the hospital @ Washington Hospital Center in D.C. dying from a failed by-pass surgery. Many of the burn patients from the pentagon were taken to MedStar which is the same hospital. I was sitting in our living room and my dad called and said that the Trade Center 'blew up'. I turned on the T.V. while my wife joined me. I used to ride with the FDNY and I knew quite a few guys. I originally thought that they had a routine big 'job' and they would do what they do best. Then we watched in horror as a second plane hit the south tower. I knew then that this was no accident. At the same time I heard about the incident at the pentagon. The fire dept. I work for is located in southern Maryland about 15 minutes from D.C. Our FEMA USAR team was acctivated and all personnel were placed on recall stand-by. I got dressed and continued watching the news. I will never forget the sinking feeling I had when I witnessed the towers collapse. With tears running down my face I looked to my wife and said, "Honey, a whole lot of firefighters just died." I still cry even now.....thinking about it. I knew guys who were lost. My best friend who was a NYC cop lost his partner. It was a sad day. But what really impacted me from that event was the union of a nation. The coming together of strangers to help their fellow man. The countless prayers from all walks of life. The relentless courage to move on. Ironically, there were several other major (2 & 3 alarm) fires throughout NYC at the same time of the terrorist attacks. People just showed up to help. To do whatever they could. Alot of hope came out of that day, many stories of survivors and those who gave their lives saving others went on and on. This is what I remember of 9/11/01


                  • #10
                    I was at work, just came back from a meeting, and someone said 'hey a plane just flew into the WTC'. Like many, I too thought that some idiot in a small plane had made the ultimate OOPS. As events unfolded there was no doubt that we were under attack. I work in the tallest building in Buffalo (only 38 floors) and remember everyone nervously looking out the windows. When the Towers fell, my first thought was of disbelief that those huge buildings had fallen, and like EastKyFF my next thought was 'My God hundreds of Firefighters just died'. I had been in both Towers many times over the years for work, stayed in the Vista and the Millenium dozens of times, lower Manhattan and the Financial District are the only part of NYC I really know. I had popped my head into the Ten House several times over the years, what a great bunch of guys. I was in Jersey City two days before 9-11 and had sat on a pier eating dinner across from Manhattan at night and marvelled at how beautiful the city was. On 9-11 I was truly stunned. In the space of 90 mins, life had changed for the world.

                    I will always be in awe of the job that the FDNY (as well as all the emergency services) did that day. As then-Mayor Giuliani said that day 'the worst of mankind was met with the best of mankind'. I will never forget their sacrifice and courage or the pride I felt in being a very small part of the brotherhood that 'gave all' that day.
                    In Arduis Fidelis
                    Faithful in Adversity


                    • #11
                      I was at work sitting in front of my computer. One of my coworkers announced that the world trade center was just struck by a plane. I just dropped what I was doing as he provided us with details. I turned on my walkman and listened to the accounts. I was horrified for everyone's sake. When I heard the first tower fall and it was stated the fellow brothers were in it, my heart sunk. It felt like someone hit me in the stomach. Any motivation that I had, was just gone. This is something that will always be in my heart and memory.


                      • #12
                        I was in California, so it was pretty early in the morning. It was Tuesday, so I was awake, convincing myself to get out of bed and head to the station for drill. I heard the report of the first plane and knew it was not accident. It couldn't have been. I layed in bed a while longer and the second report came in, another plane hit. My gut just told me to get to the station.

                        It was really weird...nobody knew what to say, we just watched the TV in the firefighters day room. Then the tones went off. I'd heard them a thousand times before, but this time was different. We didn't know what to expect. We got called out for an MVA, a cement truck had rolled after come down a hill too fast. Minor injuries to the driver, but not really a memorable call....despite that I still remember every detail. We got stuck on scene until they could get it upright, and cement trucks aren't to easy to do that with. We basically stood around for about 4 hours. Of all the days to get stuck at a boring call. I remember thinking that we would usually be complaining....but nobody was complaining that day.


                        • #13
                          I was on my four days off, and had just come in from walking my dogs when my fire buff pager went off. The text message said mutiple alarm fire, New York City, an aircraft into the World Trade Center. The update just a few moments later stated it was an airliner.

                          I turned on the TV and watched the events of the day unfold. I knew that there was a possibility of losing some of oue Brothers. When the towers came down, my heart sank like a stone.
                          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


                          • #14
                            Believe me, I'm not making any of this up.

                            I was in my sophmore English class here at the High School. We had just started a book about two weeks earlier called "Alas, Babylon." If you haven't read it, it's about what would happen if the US and Russia went to a nuclear war during the Cold War. Right before the secretaries came over the intercom telling us about the attacks, we were given an assignment to write a journal about "What War means to me".

                            I don't remember if my dad was on duty or not that day. I don't even recall thinking about anyone that was in those buildings when they collapsed. I do remember wondering what had happened when that first one collapsed, because for some reason I couldn't tell. I also recall a camera shot very vividly when the second one fell, you could see the walls start to cave in up at the top. I was able to watch the news reports until the next period (until about 12:30 EST), then we had to shut them off.

                            What really got me was that there were people sitting in the class there laughing at what was happening. It provoked some feelings in me where I just wanted to slap them. I realized that there were people dead when the planes hit, and these people thought it was funny.

                            These events really made me cherish the time I could spend with my dad, since he might go off to the firehouse one day, and never come home to his family.

                            Stay safe, folks.



                            • #15
                              I was sitting in Spanish class trying to stay awake (because in high school, you never get enough sleep) when my teacher came in and asked me if any of my relatives worked in the World Trade Center (I live in Massachusetts now, but everyone knew I grew up in NY). Naturally, I had no idea what she was talking about, nor did anyone else in the room. Finally she told us what was going on, but at that point only one plane had hit.

                              Sometime between my leaving the class abruptly and going to the library where they had a TV set up second plane hit. That, I must definately say, was the worst thing I had ever seen in my life. I was so sickened by it I couldn't watch, and went to the auditorium to listen on a radio that was set up. Looking back, I think it was kind of sickening that I was the only one listening to it and not watching it. To everyone else it was like a movie, only, real. But I couldn't stomach it.

                              Anyhow, the moment I heard a tower collapsed "possibly trapping some firemen" I vowed to become a fire fighter myself. On my seventeenth birthday that May it was up to the station (we're a call department) to sign up. Now that I'm eighteen, I'm officially a member. I do what I do now in memory of all those who perished.


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