What was it like when you heard about the 9/11 attack?
By - Big_Estate7101
I was 11, it was early afternoon in our time zones. I was out with my friends for the last days of summer before the start of the school year, we were just going around on our bicycles, we didn't have mobile phones back then so nobody told me anything at all.
I got home normally some hours after the attacks and my mother was glued to the TV, it was surreal. At first we felt in danger but honestly after a couple of days for us it was quite clear that Europe wasn't going to be massively involved in this.
Italian kids that are a bit younger than me ALL remember that one of the most viewed kids' cartoon broadcasts was interrupted by emergency news.
>Italian kids that are a bit younger than me ALL remember that one of the most viewed kids' cartoon broadcasts was interrupted by emergency news.
In 1993, in Hungary, an episode of DuckTales was suddenly interrupted by the news of the death of Prime Minister József Antall. This was a Sunday afternoon, so most kids were watching and were somewhat traumatised by the event.
> In 1993, in Hungary, an episode of DuckTales was suddenly interrupted by the news of the death of Prime Minister József Antall.
*"Zamiast Teleranka, były mordy i łapanka"*
(Instead of Teleranek (name of kids' TV show), there were murders and round-ups)
On 13th December 1981, 9AM, kids tuning in to watch their weekly TV show, were welcomed by [this broadcast](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MHPrdAbse0) instead, where military Junta announces them taking over, declares martial law, 11000 opposition members were "interned", tanks rolling out on streets, media censorship, you get the idea...
Wow, that is creepy. It reminds me of when [the BBC interrupted their regular programming to announce Prince Phillip's death](https://youtu.be/8I3mu-MG_J4).
The whole thing surrounding Philip Mountbatten’s death was farcical. Of course the royal family is important to a lot of people. I think it’s only appropriate that they should make an announcement on the BBC. This went down as you showed, although it was [far from the best example.](https://youtube.com/shorts/sWt8ZIgDA9I?feature=share)
But then they had hours upon hours of broadcasts, some duplicated across multiple channels, talking about this man. Even worse, I lived in a city with a lot of churches and clock towers at the time, and they rang, uninterrupted, for hours in tribute.
As you see in the clip you showed, the newscaster seems visibly upset. However the whole protocol surrounding the death of royal family members is carefully choreographed so that they don’t end up repeating the faux-controversy of when the Queen Mother died (the newscaster wasn’t wearing a black tie). It exposes a lot of what BBC reporting is about; in an effort not to seem biased, they always pay deference to the right-wing press and act in the most North-Korea-esque way to seem ‘balanced’. It comes out of terror that the BBC might be scrapped at some point by a conservative government, and so they manufacture what they - morbidly - *wanted* to be a 9/11 style tragedy and cultural televisual event. All in order to show how royal-loving they are and that - supposedly - the whole UK is.
Totally agree. I'm glad we were told immediately but I reckon 1 documentary about his life and the funeral would've been enough TV.
I didn't know about his anti-Nazi past, his role in WW2 or the fact he helped start the WWF so it was did give me an added appreciation of him. I only needed to hear it all once though.
They did it almost like a Diana death but she was 36 and it was a shock. I was amazed Philip was still alive.
It’s the state broadcaster. It’s not deference to the right wing press, it’s protocol as the media arm of the nation which the queen still ‘rules’
I’m not saying that the BBC is a right-wing institution, just that it has an institutional tendency to drift that way in its political reporting because each of its editors reads the Times and the Sun religiously all in order to not sound like Guardian TV.
This is especially their issue when there’s a Tory government; they feel a need to treat them with kid gloves because it’s very fashionable on the British right to want to scrap the BBC.
On the other hand, there are lots and lots of BBC shows - especially comedy - which don’t have this problem.
The American right has been making noises about scraping NPR (public radio news channel) and PBS (public educational TV channel). Amused at how alike right wing folks are across borders (and oceans)
>Italian kids that are a bit younger than me ALL remember that one of the most viewed kids' cartoon broadcasts was interrupted by emergency news.
I still remember *Melevisione* (the episode was called *Tanti auguri a te*) being interrupted for a flash edition of TG3
I was exactly talking about Melevisione
> Italian kids that are a bit younger than me ALL remember that one of the most viewed kids' cartoon broadcasts was interrupted by emergency news.
Why would they interrupt a kids' cartoon with such a traumatic event :/
In 2001 we didn't really have dedicated cartoon channels that broadcast cartoons all day long. This was on one of the national TV channels. Usually when something really big happens, ALL the main national channels will have emergency news.
Thanks for the explanation.
I remember turning on the tv to watch cartoons but I saw the two towers and thought it was a movie so I switched channels and it showed the same thing
i know a LOT of people around my age that remember the melevisione thing but i was in kindergarten that day
I was one of them and even though i'm 30 the Melevisione will always be in my heart :)
>Italian kids that are a bit younger than me ALL remember that one of the most viewed kids' cartoon broadcasts was interrupted by emergency news.
Thats kind of the same for me. I was also 11 y/o and just got home from school. I went straight to the tv because Dragon Ball was airing at that time. only news were broadcasted. my day was ruined. i only realised later what really happened, did not care back in the day.
I was at work, working in the laboratory. The radio was on. It was afternoon here when the radio dj said there was an extra news broadcast in 10 minutes because apparently something happened in NY. He then repeatedly interrupted the song saying weird things about planes and skyscrapers. I thought he was joking and I didn't like his jokes at all. (That happened all the time; I didn't like his sense of humour.) Then the extra news said the same thing. I went to my office to check the news website, wondering if they had all gone mad.
At that time we had no idea of the consequences for international travel. Before 9/11 security was focused on passports and drugs, not on weapons.
Yeah, we take off our shoes and belts, and can't carry more than the prescribed liquids. I got detained in 2012 because I forgot I had a huge bottle of water in my bag.
Exactly. Before, you could bring whatever you wanted, except for weapons or drugs. And you were only checked if you looked "suspicious". Looking Arabic was not considered suspicious, afaik.
Sorry but no, these no liquid rules came after different event later, not result of 11.9.
Also that shoes off implemented only in USA is the result of that failed attempt on the flight TO the usa
I'm olive-skinned Latino, so I still get anxious that I'm going to be searched when I go to the airport. It fortunately hasn't happened yet, but I don't fly often. Even when I was flying, I was with my university marching band and we used the military airport where we were the only group around.
I was a post-doctoral fellow at Rockefeller in NYC at the time. That is in Manhattan on York Ave in the mid 60's, so maybe 4-5 km north of the WTC site. I remember all the people at Rockefeller with medical training being activated and told to report to the Cornell Presbyterian hospital for emergency triage. I went. We waited for patients to arrive, but almost none did. I watched the news from a small TV in a waiting area and thinking that after the collapse that we wouldn't get patients as everyone would have died. We waited until mid afternoon, then were released. I went back to work and watched the smoke and dust from the roof of the building. I helped no one. Not a single bandage or stitch. No one.
The next day was eerily quiet. Like quieter than NYC has ever been. Like quieter than Christmas morning. As I went to walk my dog, I was greeted at the front door of my building by the sight of soldiers with rifles. There was an armoured personnel carrier on the street in front of the onramp to the FDR highway that was next to my building, and more soldiers just standing around. Every intersection had some army presence, at least where I was. The smell was that of burning tires and oil, and it was thick and unpleasant. I went out to take my dog on a short walk, as I passed a bus stop I saw it was plastered with hundreds or maybe thousands or postings of paper with people looking for missing friends and family. Names, faces, where they worked, when they were last seen, telephone contacts. I remember looking at one, she was a pretty, corporate looking woman in two pictures, one in a business suit, the other standing with a small canoe type boat with a little girl wearing those inflatable arm band things for child swimming. The woman was about my age. I remember thinking that she must be dead. I've shared this story a few times in my life, and each time there is a different picture in my mind. All those people. They are all dead. I knew they were not in random hospitals and just 'missing'. It really hit me then. More than the images of the buildings collapsing the day before. I saw those on TV like everyone else. This was real. I felt empty and sad for a really long time. Days and weeks went by, more flyers, then you would see them blow down and wet with rain on a sidewalk, forgotten, or blowing down the street on a windy day. Eventually they were gone, I assume the city took they down, or maybe they just all blew away. I don't really remember. Christmas felt empty. New Year't as well. I was just sad until the next summer. Everything felt a bit pointless. I couldn't open the windows from my apartment for at least a month. That smell just permeated everything, and hung over the city and me like pall.
It got better, and I stayed in NY for 5 more years. I never really adjusted to the LaGuardia flightpath descending planes over the upper east side, but there were many happy days after that bad day. After my training was over, I moved back home to Switzerland. Of course, I can't really forget that day, as it is pretty well etched in my mind. I was glad to move back to my tiny corner of the world and live in the countryside again. I never went to any memorial, or to the site. I just, kind of couldn't, if that makes sense. I've been back to NY since then, but I just can't see myself going to the site. I don't need the reminder.
That is my experience with September 11. Not a particularly exciting or interesting tale, but one of helplessness, a bit of despair, and just feeling grey for a really long time.
Edited a few time to correct some language issues (not a native speaker and sometimes I fuck up grammar) and add a few more memories that seemed important to include, not really any new content, just a few clarifications.
I think that this is an incredibly interesting perspective to share! Thank you for taking the time to write this down. I cannot even imagine the mental and emotional impact left by having been so close to this horrific tragedy.
I don't really feel too much of a burden today. Maybe a little sad when I really think about it. I'm sure many, many people can tell much more tragic stories. As I said, my story was just a series of visceral experiences of being nearby, but unable to really help do anything. Perhaps a bit self centered, but I think we all WANT to do something in these situations.
Well I’m fucking weeping… You’re a very good story teller.
I was 11 when it happened. Too young to fully process it, but old enough to understand that I was watching people die, watching people jump from skyscrapers because that was the less scary alternative. It left this raw pit of sorrow in my stomach, and I still get choked up whenever the topic comes up. After 20 years, there’s still countless heartbreaking aspects that I would have never even considered—like the posters slowly disappearing, or even the thought of doctors in hospitals across the city, waiting for patients that they knew would never arrive.
I think it's a good story to tell. I see the pictures in all the documentaries, and I can't help but wonder who they were, what their lives were like, and what those final moments must have felt like. I was 9, going on 10 at the time. I was sad for the people and scared of what may come next.
Thanks for the perspective.
I'm American and was a Freshman at Rutgers University (45 minutes away) when the attack happened. It's hard to describe how NYC changed after the attacks. And as you mentioned it's the subtle things that are still fresh on my mind. Like how it was both novel yet terrifying/weird to see military personnel in full battle gear at Penn Station, and how a place that used to be buzzing with music/noise/commotion was just quiet all the time.
It's always good, but sobering to remember.
Lost a lot of acquaintances and fellow Rutgers Alumnus that day.
**Rutgers Alumnus aboard Newark Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania:**
Patrick J. Driscoll GSNB’75, age 70, of Manalapan, NJ, former employee of Bell Laboratories.
Colleen L. Fraser LC’74, age 51, of Elizabeth, NJ, chairwoman of the NJ Developmental Disabilities Council.
Richard J. Guadagno CC’84, age 38, of Eureka, CA.
Donald A. Peterson GSM’67, age 66, and his wife, Jean J. Peterson, of Spring Lake, NJ. Donald was a retired president of Continental Electric Co., Newark.
**Rutgers Alumnus aboard Boston Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center:**
Patrick J. Quigley RC’82, age 40, of Wellesley Hills, MA, partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
**Rutgers Alumnus in the World Trade Center:**
Paul A. Acquaviva RC’94, age 29, of Glen Rock, NJ, vice president for corporate development at eSpeed, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald. He is survived by his wife, Courtney, and their daughter, Sarah, 2.
Evan Jay Baron NCAS’84, age 38, of Bridgewater, NJ, worked as an energy futures specialist with Carr Futures.
David O. Campbell RC’72, GSM’74, age 51, of Basking Ridge, NJ, senior vice president for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods.
Alexander H. Chiang GSNB’82, age 51, of New City, NY, computer specialist for Marsh & McLennan.
John “Robbie” Cruz RC’93, age 32, of Lakewood, New Jersey and Jersey City, NJ. Born at Misericordia Hospital, Bronx, New York, John lived in Lakewood since April 1973 before moving to Jersey City in June, 2000. Surviving are his parents, Philip and Migdalia (nee Guardiola) Cruz and an only brother, Philip Alan Cruz. John was engaged to be married to Susana Ferreira of Yonkers, New York on September 21, 2002. They met at Morgan Stanley where both worked before John left to go work for Cantor Fitzgerald, located in Tower One of the WTC on the 101st floor. John graduated from Rutgers with a major in Economics, minor in Accounting. John’s business career included service for Prudential Securities, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Cantor Fitzgerald.
Brian T. Cummins GSN’91, age 38, of Manasquan, NJ, equities trader for Cantor Fitzgerald.
Gavin Cushny UCN’85, age 47, of Hoboken, NJ, computer software engineer for Cantor Fitzgerald. He is survived by his mother, Cibyl Eales-White of Scotland.
Michael A. Davidson LC’97, age 27, of Old Bridge, NJ, equity options sales trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. Michael and his fiancee, Dominique De Nardo DC’97, were planning a July wedding.
Jayceryll M. de Chavez LC’99, age 24, of Carteret, NJ, portfolio analysist for Fiduciary Trust Co. Jayceryll was one of the founding members of the Rutgers chapter of the Delta Chi fraternity. He is survived by his parents, Bibiano and Asuncion, and two sisters, Aizza and Maria Aimee.
Michael A. Diaz-Piedra III NCAS’74, age 49, of Washington Township, NJ, executive in the disaster recovery section of The Bank of New York. He is survived by his wife, Kelly.
Judy Santillan Fernandez UCNB’98, age 27, of Sayreville, NJ, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.
Stephen Fiorelli Eng’80, age 43, of Aberdeen, NJ, civil engineer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Jeffrey B. Gardner CC’87, age 36, of Hoboken, NJ, environmental insurance broker for Marsh & McLennan.
Alayne Friedenreich Gentul RC’78, age 44, of Mountain Lakes, NJ, director of human resources for Fiduciary Trust International, wife of Jack Gary Gentul, GSEd’79, and mother of two sons, Alex, 12, and Robbie, 8.
Barry H. Glick NCAS’67, age 55, of Wayne, NJ, worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He is survived by his son Jeremy M. Glick RC’97.
Charles H. Karczewski RC’89, age 34, of Union, NJ, worked for AON in World Trade Center, Tower 2, 101st Floor.
Brendan Mark Lang LC’92, age 30, of Red Bank, NJ, project manager for StructureTone, Inc.
Ming-Hao Liu GSNB’89, age 41, of Livingston, NJ, senior staff engineer for the Washington International Group. He is survived by his wife, Jiun-Min Liu GSNB’89.
James A. Martello LC’83, age 41, of Rumson, NJ (formerly of Montville), worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. James played middle linebacker for the Scarlet Knights.
Brian E. Martineau NCAS ’88, age 37, of Edison, NJ, insurance underwriter for Aon Insurance.
Michael McCabe UCNB’83, age 42, of Rumson, NJ, member of equity trading department of Cantor Fitzgerald.
Virginia Ormiston Eng’81, age 42, of New York City, survived by her husband Jim Kenworthy and their two children, Beth and Bill.
Dominique L. Pandolfo RC’96, age 27, of New York City, regional training coordinator for Marsh & McLennan.
Jon A. Perconti LC’93, age 32, of Hoboken, NJ, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in World Trade Center, Tower 1, 104th Floor.
Tom Reinig GSM’78, age 48, of Bernardsville, NJ, investment banker at eSpeed.
Richard D. Rosenthal GSM’75, age 50, of Fair Lawn, NJ, vice president for Cantor Fitzgerald. Survived by his wife, Loren, and their two sons, Evan and Seth.
Maria Theresa Santillan NCAS’96, age 27, of Morris Plains, NJ, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald.
Scott M. Schertzer LC’97, age 28, of Edison, NJ, worked in human resources for Cantor Fitzgerald.
Neil G. Shastri RC/SBNB’98, age 25, of New York City, was a technology consultant employed by Scient/IXL, consulting to Cantor Fitzgerald in World Trade Center, Tower 1.
Michael C. Sorresse NCAS’89, age 34, of Morris Plains, NJ, vice president for Marsh USA Agencies.
Kristine Marie Swearson UCNB’96, age 34, of New York City, webmaster for eSpeed. Kristine is survived by her mother and stepfather, Eileen and Randy Townley of San Jose, California, and her father and stepmother, Ben and Terri Swearson of Orange, California.
Gregory Wachtler RC’98, age 25, of the Soho section of Manhattan, worked for Fred Alger Management in World Trade Center, Tower 1, 93rd Floor.
**Family Members of Rutgers Alumnus:**
Ronald E. Magnuson, age 57, of Park Ridge, New Jersey, father of Jeffrey Magnuson RC’00.
Thank you for remembering their names. I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel to actually know so many innocent people who have perished in this vile and brutal attack.
There is always a stronger impact to such tragedies when instead of remembering an anonymous victim or victims, actual names are shown. It's just so eerie, and a reminder of how fleeting existence can be and how cruel other humans can become.The only similar experience that somehow deeply resonated with me and made me empathise in a way that I thought I never could was when I visited the Fosse Ardeatine (from [Wiki](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardeatine_massacre) because I'm at work and lazy: "The Ardeatine massacre, or Fosse Ardeatine massacre, was a mass killing of 335 civilians and political prisoners carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for the Via Rasella attack in central Rome against the SS Police Regiment Bozen the previous day.”) The [sight of the tombs](https://www.repstatic.it/content/localirep/img/rep-bari/2021/03/24/172540012-bf4fbb26-a700-442f-b34d-35edc5769ff9.jpg) with the names, ages and professions of the victims destroyed me that day (it also didn't help that a survivor/witness was at the site, recounting what happened to a primary school class there), and for the rest of the afternoon I had to go back to my hotel and just sleep after a massive panic attack after the visit. I'm not sure I will be able to ever visit Ground Zero...
I don't have them memorized but I usually copy/paste it around this time of the year as a tribute of sorts.
I live in Geneva and there's an exhibit at the Red Cross Museum that always struck me.
It's about "Tracing the Missing" and highlights the importance of giving families closure.
At one part there's a photo of a mass grave from the The Srebrenica Massacre.
And they describe that one of the most important tasks is to carefully look for and archive any personal item that could be used for family members to identify a missing loved one.
Next to the photo. There's a ragged, almost dissolved red striped sweater.
(Which when you then re-look at the mass grave photo, you see it right there, among the mountain of bones)
Followed by a photo of a young man wearing said striped sweater and a testimony from his mother(?) who remembers him wearing that outfit before going missing.
And how through the torn up garment, she was able to mourn, find closure, and properly bury her son.
We are pieces of shit as humans. But we are also good.
I always think it's "proper" to visit memorials because as Oscar Hammerstein wrote
"As long as there's one person on earth who remembers you, it isn't over."
Your a very good writer
Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s so important that we hear individual, human experiences of these unfathomably large tragedies.
I'm so sorry you went through this and couldn't help.
I watched it online from the UK, totally helpess, knowing I had colleagues in the building. They all got out except one. You feel useless don't you?
I remember seeing images of drs waiting for patients and no one coming. Awful.
My husband works in a hospital and has had a similar issue with covid patients. By the time they came into hospital, a lot of them were dead. Not literally but often you don't realise you have a problem until your organs are already failing. Ventilation won't work if your organs are screwed. He's had patients walking around with 60% oxygen saturation who just feel slightly out of breath.
He had to take 6 months off work because he couldn't cope with telling people they were going to die when they didn't feel like they were dying and it was a massive shock.
I think treatments are better now and most of us are vaccinated too. He's managed to go back to a different hospital but he needed time away from covid and death.
Sometimes you should address things head-on and other times avoiding it is much better.
I was only 7 years old, so I don’t remember a lot of the day. I think people were quite shocked here, and I certainly think it affected me in some ways too. Flying and being in airports had me anxious for at least a decade after it.
I think flying is the most prevalent reminder of what's changed to those of us who remember what was before. It's recommended to be at the airport 3 hours before a scheduled flight. My family has friends in Chcago and we would make the flight each year until I hit high school, so I have memories of air travel before 9/11. I was turning 10 that September and I was mostly scared and anxious about what could happen next. There were a few confusing reports of car bombs on that day that never happened. We also had anthrax scares shortly after.
It’s crazy what a watershead moment 9/11 turned out to be for the world. The western world and Middle-East, anyway. It feels like there is pre-9/11 and post-9/11. It’s like the new before Christ and anno domini.
It absolutely is. I don't know ow if you've ever heard much about the Department of Homeland Security in the news, but it was created as a direct response to the attack. Also, the Patriot Act and other surveillance nationwide. And of course the wars we've spend decades in. It was also the turn of the century and its a clear event marking the end of the 90s culturally.
I was too young to recall anything, but an interesting anecdote from my fashion design studies: before 9/11, the popular style was leather, black, sharp looks, spikes, 'threatening' fashion if you will.
After 9/11, it shifted completely - soft, light colors, picnic looks, flowy dresses and 'peaceful' fashion was on a new high, as people wanted an escape from how harsh the world around them became.
Just your random fact of the day
I heard someone say the 90s ended on 11th September 2001 and I kind of agree
Some historians, I believe, have called the 1990s "a holiday from history". I think it's very apt in many ways.
The threat of global nuclear war was (mostly) lifted, the mythical year 2000 was largely expected with excitement. Climate change was still largely only worried about in scientific literature. I was a teen/young adult back then, and we didn't know to appreciate how special a time it was.
Ten years later.... 9/11, islamic terrorism, renewed nuclear proliferation, accelerating global warming, the sixth mass extinction.
I was a young teen when it happened. And because timezone differences I just came back home for my lunch break (lived close enough to the school for that), my mom was in the kitchen and the news about the first tower being attacked were on. I sat down, waiting for my mom to finish cooking, and just watched. I had no clue what exactly the twin towers were, other than very tall buildings obviously, but didn't know if they were apartments or offices or whatever.
It looked like it wasn't real, it looked like a catastrophe movie and I didn't grasp what was going on. But I was so invested that I actually forgot to go back to school after the lunch break. My mom did too. And the next day at school they said it was okay that some didn't come back.
They explained to us what happened, or at least what they knew at that time, we had a "minute of silence", and pulled the flags on half-mast (I don't know if that is the correct term, sorry). But other than that they never talked about it again.
It's probably a normal topic in school now, since it's a tragic an important event, but I can't judge that since I don't know anybody that is in school right now.
Half-mast is the correct term for that, yes.
And I was about 2 when 9/11 happened. I have very fuzzy memories of watching it happen on TV, but my parents tell me that after it I spent maybe 8 months just building block towers and crashing toy planes into them. Throughout school, every year, like clockwork, we had a moment of silence, and every other year we had a brief review of what exactly happened, with the context being more and more revealed as we aged.
In 1st grade it was "everything was wrong around this time."
In 3rd grade we learned it was "because of our enemies."
In 5th I learned what Islam was and that it was vague "terrorists" who were at fault.
In 7th I learned that it was neither their first attempt nor the first sign of conflict in even the past twenty years.
After that it was just the same old stuff: "we take a moment of silence to honor the men and women who died during the attacks on 9/11."
It feels shitty. I want to like my country, but all we did after 9/11 is prove that we suck, and dishonor every single life lost that day.
I did the thing with the toy planes and towers too, i was nearly four.
I was a university student at the time. I was at home that afternoon (for us), and when the news started coming, switched on the TV and saw the second plane hit live.
All I remember is an immense initial confusion. Was it a state actor? If so, will the US go nuclear? But within a few days the culprit was clear.
What's stuck with me more is the following few years you talk about at the end of your post.
There's some deeply-ingrained anti-US sentiment in Europe, especially in left-leaning/peacenik circles. But right after 9/11 there was an immense outpouring of sympathy and support for the US.
This quickly soured when the war shifted from Afghanistan to Iraq. I remember watching Powell's UN testimony live on TV and BELIEVING HIM. That was a hard, personal lesson. Then the US started the antagonistic new Europe vs. old Europe rhetoric. I've always kind of hoped for a strong, balanced trans-Atlantic relationship, and it was a sad sequence of stupid mistakes from the Bush administration.
For Finland, I think it ultimately ended up bringing us closer to US. In 2000, Finland still kind of retained this careful cold-war posture amid the superpowers. But despite some initial hopes, our big neighbour Russia hasn't emerged as a reasonable or respectable foreign-political actor. Meanwhile, our ties with western countries have solidified, and our troops remained Afghanistan for 20 years, only returning for good a week ago. With the US, it feels like a long, tricky marriage, with a spouse who's on the same page regarding most things, but has some infuriating habits.
To this day I don't understand how Powell allowed himself to behave in such a dishonourable manner. He really annihilated his reputation, and he seems to be well aware of it.
My feelings exactly.
What annoys me almost as much as the SCOTUS Bush v Gore decision is that if it weren't for 9/11 everyone would have been more keenly focused on blatant RU war crimes in the second Chechen war.
Instead Putin got a pass for most of his rise and record oil prices as a result of the GOP's Iraq adventure which became one of the worst foreign policy decisions in my lifetime.
How different the world would be had only a few more thousand people chose to vote Gore in Florida instead of some third-party protest vote candidate(2016 repeat)?
Don't ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn't matter.
We certainly believed the WMD bs they pushed, too. If America were a person, it would definitely have a split-personality disorder. Also certain reputations have been made by the administration. Most of my friends do not remember Bush, Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld favorably. And then there's Rudy Giuliani, curse his name.
I woke up between both tower hits with a hangover and my first impression was that I don’t know this action movie. Took me a while to realise it is not a movie
I was working in a government office in my home country. I saw people congregating in the staff kitchen and assumed it was a birthday (with cake) or a buffet from a meeting that had been brought through for the staff to finish, so I scrambled over, announcing "are we celebrating?" Only to be met with blank stares and a colleague crying hysterically. She'd not long joined the office after leaving her position in a company situated in the twin towers. I froze completely. The IT guy was next to me and we noticed a few people were looking like they were struggling to stand as many of them had friends and colleagues who worked there. We left the room to go to one of the meeting rooms to take what chairs we could and, along with a few others, set up rows of chairs for people to sit and went on to make teas and coffees. I was only 20 and didn't know how to react so this seemed to be the most constructive reaction at the time. The CEO came over and asked me to inform the reception team, asking them to turn the switchboard onto night mode and ask them to join us. We just all sat together until late evening in deathly silence watching the horror unfold. Not a word was spoken.
tbh when I first heard it I thought it was a cruel joke or a troll.
I was playing CS when somebody screamed new york is on fire, Terrorists attacked.
Switching on the TV and just in that moment saw live the second plane crahing into the second tower, i just thought "Oh fuck". It hasn't any impact on school lessons, but it was of course the top topic in the news for some times.
tbh It didn't impact me directly that much.
Edit: First it seems everyone was supportive to US, but The PATRIOT act was seen as bad thing and the Irak war was kinda a breaking point and to this day a low point of US popularity.
Interestingly enough, I think there's only one video of the first plane hitting. It's from a French producer who was shadowing a fire department that was the subject of his documentary.
There are actually 2 videos. One is from the aforementioned French producer, the 2nd is from a Czech immigrant who just happened to film the towers. The latter one is lower quality, filmed from further away and he didn't even realise he caught the first plane crashing until weeks or months later.
There's [an awesome documentary](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd6D5xls5Y0) of the two French producers.
That's them. It was shown on CNN on Sunday night.
I was 14 and my father came home screaming why we are not watching the news, third world war started, America is on fire, somebody is attacking the whole country.
Then we saw that it's 'just' two buildings and my stupid 14 year old ass was kinda disappointed.
Later I understood of course the gravity of the situation and what a tragedy these deaths were.
The buildings were definitely icons of American economic power and capitalism as a whole. Not sure how many are aware of the bombing in the basement of the buildings in 1993. I'm certain they wanted to finish the job since that day.
Tbh, I didn't know the buildings before the attack
They were considered ugly when they first opened in the 70s, but they had the distinction of being the tallest in the world.
Somehow the Empire State Building was waaay more famous though, I sure thought that that one is the highest in the world. Somehow nobody cared about the updates.
It is certainly an icon. Not sure if you know, but it was it accidentally hit by a B-25 bomber in 1945.
It was hit by a B-25, not a B-52
I don't think it would've survived a B-52 crash.
Thank you. Switched the numbers. Will edit.
I was only a child at the time so don’t really remember the event itself. We don’t cover it in classes or anything here, it’s mostly just common knowledge as something that happened. (It appears in American media a lot and we consume a lot of that).
Obviously though we (Britain) went into Afghanistan with the US so I’d say like you lot, we’ve spent the same 2 decades having that covered in news and media constantly.
I was 3 at the time, so I have no memories of the event, but my parents told me they were watching the TV in absolute shock and disbelief.
I was 5 years old back then but I don't remember anything from my life back then, but yeah, it's said that it was aired on TV and people were in utmost shock.
I was working in my first job, in London. Some of my colleagues, including the owners of the company, were due to be having a meeting in one of the towers that morning. It took several pretty tense hours to confirm that they were OK because they hadn't left their hotel yet when the attack happened.
By the time the second tower fell I'd finished work, gone home, and was watching it all happen live on the TV. I remember my girlfriend and I talking about how this would mean a war of some kind somewhere, and that the UK would be bound to get dragged in to it. There was a definite sense of dread building.
One thing which often gets forgotten due to all that happened later on was the sense of this being an attack on us as well as on the Americans. A lot of British citizens were killed in that attack for a start. But also it felt a lot like it was targeted at the West in general. The next few days saw things like the guard at Buckingham Palace playing the American national anthem, and NATO activating the clause in their treaty saying that they considered it an attack on NATO as a whole. For a short period there was a large widespread sense of togetherness.
With hindsight that seems very strange. It wouldn't be long before the mismanagement of Afghanistan, Bush's "you're with us or against us" rhetoric, and the clusterfuck of Iraq would see American and Europe being increasingly estranged on many issues. A lot of that goodwill was wasted.
And yet, Bush feels like a comforting blanket compared to a certain being who would later come to occupy the White House. I view his actions as squandering the most ideal position a country has ever been put in.
Same. It's heartbreaking seeing the mutual distrust between the U.S. and Europe nowadays.
I was in Primary school in France, I was like 6 or 7. I didn't realize much, but I was very scared my father would go to war (he is not in the army, he has just a regular job, but I had no clue at the time).
I live in NZ and had a phone call from my son in USA at an ungodly hour. We put the TV on and it was there in all it’s awful glory. The next day at work it was the topic of conversation all day. We felt for the USA.
NZL too, I remember mum waking us up at like 6am to come and watch the telly. It was just nonstop replays of the second plane hitting and then the towers falling and everyone covered in dust. I remember her swearing and saying "Ooh shit the Americans are gonna go to war". She wasn't wrong. The image of that second plane angling into the tower is burned in my mind. I remember all those mid 2000s broadcasts of soldiers moving through cities in Iraq too, always claiming to be searching for weapons of mass destruction but I don't remember them ever actually finding anything. Pretty crazy what a few guys with an idea could do to the world.
I watch some of the broadcast recordings every few years. It feels like the longest time, but the attack was over in a few hours.
My thoughts about the event, being as young as I was, were: "*Where is dragon-ball Z and why are all TV stations streaming the same plane hitting the same building all over again, this is super boring...*".
Obviously I had my priorities straight.
You DID have your priorities straight as a kid. That's how kids should think. You were normal.
I was 11 years old and had just started 5th grade. In the morning, we had taken our class photos. Incidentally, it was also a classmate's birthday, and the jolly old photographer, a joker of the first degree, ironically called him "you little terrorist over there", I think because of the black hoodie the birthday boy was wearing that day. This was hours before the terrorist attack, and I would remember it as a morbid coincidence.
I first heard about the attack much later, in the late afternoon if I'm not mistaken. I had returned from my French horn practice that afternoon. In the car, my mom said that she heard from my big brother that a plane had collided with a skyscraper in New York. Sounded like big news to me, but I had always kinda thought skyscrapers looked dangerous and that something sooner or later was bound to fly into one. Don't blame 11 year old me for not being more knowledgeable about civilian air traffic.
Once I came home, the TV was on, news was on from New York. I can't remember if the second plane had hit, or if it did while we were watching. Everyone, newscasters, my parents, concluded that this had to be deliberate. There was no chance in hell that two unrelated planes would have flown into both towers of the WTC. It was surreal. Another older brother of mine was in an edgy period politically at the time. He tried to provoke us with glee over the fact that evil American imperialists had gotten "what was coming for them." It was jarring, especially after you had just seen footage of people plummeting to their deaths. My mom worried about my brother and chastised dad for not being harder on him.
I remember being quite shocked for days. Couldn't really joke or anything, there was this weird feeling all around. After a while an interpretation settled. People were already calling it a historical event, a turning point. My edgy brother claimed that it was just American self-centeredness and drama. "You think people will care about this 100 years from now?" He was fairly alone, but I guess there were other far-left trash who were of the same opinion.
There were some far left opinions though that the general public (as I remember it) had an easier time swallowing. I remember people saying that the USA *had* been poking around too much in the Middle East for a long time and that a counterreaction like this was expected. Bin Ladin also gave Sweden an unexpected compliment in the aftermath. Replying to Bush's claims that Al Qaeda attacked the USA because they generally hated democracy and freedom. "Had that been the case", bin Ladin said in the video tape, "we would've attacked Sweden, not the USA," implying that he saw Sweden as a way more democratic and free society than the USA. Bin Ladin restated his reasons for the attack: American military and political involvement in the Middle East. "Keep your hands off of our countries and shit like this won't happen again" was basically his message. I remember vividly that this was not very much talked about in the things I saw from American television. The already accepted "truth" that Al Qaeda attacked USA out of spite and jealousy was the accepted narrative.
When the invasion of Afghanistan was a go, I remember that many started to become uncomfortable with what they heard from the general atmosphere in the USA. I mean yes, being outraged was valid, but reacting with invasions and the generally coked-out patriotism that we saw was honestly one of those things that felt reminiscent of a Europe that hopefully had been finally buried in 1945. When the extremely flimsy excuses to invade Iraq started flying around in 2003, many lost the last shreds of respect for the USA in general and the Bush administration in particular. My Finnish grandpa (who participated in the two Finnish wars of WW2) openly compared Bush to Hitler, in the sense that both "expected the world to bow for their whims." I remember becoming very far left around this time.
The Iraq War was the event that marked the rupture between the U.S and Europe, and it still haunts us to this day.
The Iraq war basically was the biggest geopolitical failure of US foreign policy since Vietnam. It helped Iran to increase her influence into Iraq (formerly an archenemy) and, if you see ISIS as a reaction to the Iraq war, subsequently even in Syria. It created instability in the region and Europe had to pay the price, questioning the very foundation of the EU, during the refugee crisis, while the US wasn't directly affected by it, the political landscape changed for the worse. IMO Trump would have been unthinkable without the very sensationalist ISIS terror attack campaign all over the west during the time as well as the refugee crisis in Europe and the unwillingness of the American people to take responsibility for the actions of their policymakers during the 00s years. In hindsight, France and Germany were right to not mingle with the Middle East policy of the US of the Bush administration.
I wish I could return to the days when Bush was the worst it could get. I don't think many Americans would care which countries Bin Laden thought were free, we had been attacked and a response was necessary. We had the misfortune of having Bush and warhawks like Cheney and Rumsfeld running things. Personally, I think we had good reason to go into Afghanistan. I do not think we should have stayed long. The latest we should have stayed was until Bin Laden was dead.
I had just arrived home from school and my mum was sat in the living room watching it all unfold on the news, silently. I don’t know if I really understood the gravity of the situation at the time but over the next few days it became clearer. The world, (or at least the Western world) had irrevocably changed that day.
I was 10 years old, school hadn't started yet. I was hanging out that afternoon with my grandmother, in her living room, where she had a big TV - one of her "telenovelas" was on, I'd listen to it while playing with my dolls. Our neighbour and one of her good friends came and told gran to switch to "any news channel" because "it looks like there's a war starting in ". Gran switched to one of our main news channels. One tower was smoking, both towers were center-picture and I remember thinking the sky was so, so blue and with the brown of the frame of gran's TV, it almost looked like a... picture. Like a painting. It felt like time stood still for a moment, as if I was watching everything in slow-motion. The news anchors were stuttering, they didn't really know what to say. That was when the second plane struck and I remember the fireball. I remember the "oh my god"s of the news anchors and my gran and her friend. I remember grandfather walking in and saying "I think the third world war might be starting, hun" to my grandmother. It was eerie. I was young, but I understood all of it and my grandparents' fears, as they had been through WW2 and I heard their own stories.
That's one of the first things that people remember; not a cloud in the sky. I remember the smoke hovering over downtown for weeks afterwards.
I was a baby when it happened but as my family tells, at the time (and still actually) the US seen incredibly strong so that people were shocked that this kind of event happened in the US. The attack to white house by Trump supporters last year caused a similar reaction by older people, it blew their mind.
I wasn't yet born but since the US bombed us only two years earlier, and some still resent you for it, there were probably people cheering. That sucks.
By "bombed us" you mean bombed Belgrade or did you get bombed as well? Was it Serbia and Montenegro then or Yugoslavia and when did you guys split up? So Montenegrins felt like they were the ones being bombed as well when they bombed Belgrade?
MNE got bombed as well, it was Serbia and MNE back then so, obviously they thought that way.
I thought they only bombed belgrade. Where else did they bomb? Or am i misunderstanding you, are you saying that because they bombed belgrade you felt like you were being attacked as well?
Bombed the entire fucking country. A lot of them were in Kosovo, but also every major city. There's still ruins here and there in my city, and the place of the old post office which got blown up is now a parking lot.
As for the posts question I can't answer it all that well as I was too young to remember but my father once told me he had a gig that night and the bar was full of people cheering and laughing about it. So that's... Not ok, but I can see where they were coming from.
Nope. To quote wikipedia:
"Tokom narednih dana bombardovani su i veći gradovi Srbije i Crne Gore: Beograd, Niš, Novi Sad, Leskovac, Užice, Podgorica, Sombor, Subotica, Herceg Novi, Pančevo itd. Bombardovani su i radiotelevizijski predajnici i vojni objekti u celoj zemlji."
That feeling of it finally coming back to bite America must have been pretty widespread. It's at once understandable and grotesque.
I was 10 and didn't know anything about world trade center so it was all rather new to me.
I was in my mom's car, driving a friend and her kitty to the vet. Our friend said "Did you hear what happened? NY is burning". When we came back home and turned on the tv, it was all over the news.
In the beginning it was this feeling of a big tragedy. We were used to hearing about attacks from ETA and the IRA, so the shock was the sheer scale of this one.
I remember the general feeling of solidarity slowly turning away when things started moving closer and closer to war on Afghanistan. There was a clear difference in the perception of the US pre and post the start of the war. 90s US was the stuff of dreams, everyone wanted to go there, it was considered so cool and full of possibilities. Going into Afghanistan was an incredibly unpopular decision, and especially so after the whole WMD lie fiasco. That turned public opinion about the US quite sour. It was no longer this cool, modern frontier.
The **Iraq** war was predicated on the "WMD in Iraq" thing which was obviously a lie. Intel on Iraq was really quite clear, and I think even in the US they knew this, it was just a *wink-wink* pretext to flex some military muscle (mostly by Rumsfeld and the Bush inner circle -- there was plenty of skepticism on WMD even in those *LET'S GET EM!* immediate post 9/11 days). Iraq had nothing really to do with 9/11, except maybe some of the regime and extremist population were glad that 'their enemies' were attacked. That said, no one should really shed any tears for Hussein's regime. He's [roasting in hell](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI692x4A0_E), hopefully.
The War in **Afghanistan** was NATO-approved and a NATO invasion, as the Taliban were hosting Osama bin Laden. The US provided the largest number of forces, cash and weapons, so it is fair to call it an American led war, but many NATO members were involved in various capacities. Later, a UN-created ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) served as well.
I was eight (almost nine) years old at that time.
I had a habit of watching TV news every evening and I remember that they had a special, longer than usual TV News broadcast and they did not cover almost any other topics than 9/11. I think watching TV news was when I heard for the first time what had happened. I understood that this was something special since they had a special news broadcast but I did not properly understood *how* special it was - I probably thought that OK, something like this happens once in a while, life will continue as always.
I don't recall that we discussed about the event at school during that time but later, when I was in junior high school it was covered as part of history and social studies classes.
>I was eight (almost nine) years old
Bit off-topic, but funnily enough, this is exactly how specific an eight-year-old, who is nearly nine, would be :P
Personally, I playing Finnish baseball that day with a couple of friends. It was quite a nice autumn day, the sun was shining and we played until the afternoon. After I came back home, I turned on the TV and the first of the twin towers was on fire, not both of them. I am sure if that memory is accurate though, as there was only some 15-20 min between the two attacks. Even though the news channels were extremely quick to react, the news did not probably arrive that fast to Finland. It might be that I only saw them collapse and the unreliable mind mixes up the events.
I was 7 and my biggest concern was that my mum was watching tv instead of cooking. Seemed very weird because usually tv wasn't allowed during the day.
I was 5 years old at that time and a friend was visiting my mother. We sat in the living room and they talked a bit while the radio was playing as background noise. When they announced the horrible news in the radio I was very confused, because I didnt knew english that well (which german 5 year old does?) and never heard of a "world trade center". I knew the word "center" from "shopping center" and was confused how a plan could fly in one of those.
When my mother turned on the TV I was wondering why this shopping center was sooo high. I dont really remember much though.
When we talkef about this in pre-school, one of my calssmates cried, because he heard his father say that this will lead to a war.
These are my first memories I still have.
The many posters here saying they have no memory of it are making me feel old...
I heard on a radio news broadcast that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC. As I was processing the information, they said there were reports of a second plane crashing, so of course I realized somethign very big was happening. Made my way to a TV and stayed there for the next few hours.
It was obviously tragic, but the main feeling was simply surreal because I was used to thinking of the US as the sole unchallenged superpower, so seeing a major attack on their most famous city was surreal in every way. I definitely remember some relief when the death toll became clear, as in the first hours there were fears of tens of thousands being dead. I wasn't really feeling in danger because it was clear by the end of the day that it's a single, albeit very deadly, terrorist attack by an extremist group, not the start of some global conflict. At the same time it was clear that the US was going to war somewhere. Of course I couldn't have imagined how terrible the US response, in particular due to Bush's policies, would be.
Another clear memory I have is the big pile of flowers in front of the US embassy when I passed it the next day.
Bush's plans were flat out bad. Yet now, he seems like a capable leader in the context of more recent events. It's still strange to think about losing the war. The effects will be felt for a long time, but it's weird to me that our status as a superpower will survive, much like Vietnam. US history classes often teach that we don't lose wars, Vietnam being the exception, the War of 1812 being a victory through stalemate and not being brought back under the British, and Korea because it was a containment war that at least kept the South of the peninsula safe.
I think for you guys who actually live in America, there's a strong case to be made that Trump was worse than Bush. All the stuff he did, from normalization of bigotry, to fighting scientists on covid, to refusing to admit defeat in an election and inciting an attack on the Capitol - Trump's record is horrible, but I would say most of the harm he did is to the US and not globally.
Bush, on the other hand, fucked much of the world over. Certainly Europe, we're still dealing with the consequences of Bush. He invaded Iraq, easily and swiftly accomplished the stated goal of regime change owing to the total superiority of the US military, and then things went downhill. Some of the major problems I have with the Bush administration:
The mismanagement of Iraq just let the country slide into violence, it was only sort of being held together by the presence of US troops. Ultimately the emergence and rise of ISIS is a consequence of the failure in Iraq, as is the increase in Islamic extremism. This has turned into a big problem for Europe as there was a wave of ISIS-related attacks in Europe, and the consequences continue as extremists are now spread throughout Europe and pose a security threat. (Plus it's definitely been a driving factor behind the rise of the authoritarian far-right but that's on us)
Bush-era anti-terror policies set an antidemocratic example that the rest of the Western world has followed, with a fair bit of US pressure (intelligence sharing) here and there. Pervasive surveillance is the main issue here. Under Bush, the mandate of US intelligence agencies expanded considerably, and today we live in a world where every communication is being analyzed, and law enforcement can do too much without even needing a warrant.
The erosion of the moral high ground. 20 years ago, it felt right to say that the US - and by extension Western democracies - had the moral high ground when it comes to dealing with terrorists. Much of that has been lost thanks to the Bush policies. Side-stepping due process and international law (see "enemy combatants" or Guantanamo), adopting torture as a policy (a reminder that the CIA tortue program has even caused people to die of torture) and refusing to punish those who perpetrated torture or other abuses off their own accord (see Abu-Ghraib). When there's a CIA officer running a torture black site, while simultaneously making sure no effective oversight is possible, I'm having a hard time seeing what makes the officer better than a terrorist.
Unrelated to the wars, the 2008 global recession started with the US mortgage crisis, which largely happened because of the deregulation in the Bush years, and his Federal Reserve did ignore warnings about the looming subprime lending collapse in 2006 and 2007.
So... Trump is truly in a league of his own in how unfit he was for office, how incompetent he is, and how personal benefit was his only concern. And he did major damage to the domestic institutions, but as of 2021, the global damage inflicted by Bush is far greater. Though I am worried that Trump's embrace and revival of the Nazi-era Lügenpresse rhetoric may yet turn out to be the most destructive thing he's ever done.
I never liked Bush's policies, but I felt that I could give him the base respect a person and the Presidency is owed. I don't even use that other guy's name. I felt Bush's damage, however bad, could be repaired. The last one did damage domestically that may not be undone.
I'd just got back from a holiday and landed early in the morning, so I got up late, went to the shop to get a drink still half-asleep. Get to the counter and the cat serving is staring at the monitor behind me, I turn round and watch the WTC on fire, he tells me apparently (no-one really knew for certain at this point) a plane flew into it.
I spent the rest of the day watching the news, so saw it all live. Conversation in the pub that night centred round a few things:
*It was deffo OSL.*
*Sympathy for those that died but no real shock;* what may be hard to see nowadays was that America had been asking for it. They thought they were untouchable, they'd meddled repeatedly in the middle-east for years, they supported Israel unquestioningly. All of which only flies until the people getting shit on find a way to strike back.
*The world was about to change for the worse.* I can't even begin to imagine how many people have died since; Iraq/Afghanistan wars, the proliferation of Islamic extremism outside of the ME, al-Shabaab in Africa, lone wolf attacks in Europe, the rise of right wing extremism leading to the US being led by a pair of clown shoes for 4 years and the inevitable isolationism that Biden seems to be carrying on with. It's all related.
I can't see it improving for some time yet. I don't think anyone can possibly overestimate the consequences of that day. If we could go back to the time before it I'd do it in a heartbeat.
I'm not sure Biden is embarking on much isolationism, at least in relation to ending the war in Afghanistan. The whole thing was a waste of time, lives, and resources. We're still going to keep our foreign bases open and we still have presence in Iraq. I'm concerned that the money spent daily for Afghanistan is likely going to be reallocated to other military projects.
Well, I wasn't born until 2004, but on behalf of my parents: They thought that a movie was on, they genuinely believed that the towers burning were a scene from Diehard or something.
Everything afterwards is essentially the same as everyone else. Realization - shock - sadness.
I was actually in Greece at the time, in Thessaloniki with my parents and my siblings on holiday. We were walking in the big street by the port, with loads of cafés and they all had tellies. Suddenly, we heard clapping and cheering from every single café, so we all walk towards one of them and we see the first plane crashing into the building. Everyone was cheering at the telly and saying "You deserve it" and "That's what you get for acting like you do". Nobody was sad or shocked, people were happy this happened.
Sorry for my ignorant question, but why was there so much anti American sentiment in Greece in the 00s? You were part of NATO and the EU by then and the dictatorial regime had been abolished decades ago.
I’m a little surprised, as I’d never thought of Greece as being particularly anti-American.
Was Thessaloniki a stronghold of Greek communists at the time?
Edit: there might be some good stories in posts past.
I was a teen. I was playing some video game on PC while I had the TV on behind me, on some tennis tournament. They interrupted the tennis for breaking news, and then while reporting it the 2nd plane hit live. I was glued to the TV but I had nobody to talk to as my family was either asleep or at work. After I heard about the Pentagon and the other plane that crashed I was sure this meant WW3, because I didn't know if this was the end of the attacks or more were to come.
Later in the day I was watching cycling, Vuelta España, and the comentators were paying no attention to that, discussing the attacks all throughout. That's when the towers collapsed. It felt surreal. They were iconic, seen them in so many movies. The images of people diving headfirst from the burning building from that height is hard to forget.
It still hurts to think that it was so bad they they preferred to take that option.
I was at part of the German stock exchange in Frankfurt at the time. Someone is usually checking out the news as it impacts production and we had screens on the wall with rolling news.
Essentially the first plane was a massive shock, and we could see the impact on the markets. When the second plane came it was more like "WTF?". Most of us were live streaming by then and saw the collapse live.
It was clear that the casualties would be massive and that the US was going to war. The market was stopped so that members could sort out their positions. I think we were mostly surprised that the casualties were limited as it was so early in the NY business day.
I was also very grateful that I hadn't accepted a project that would have been 50:50 London and NY with part of that in the towers that was discussed some months earlier. I emailed some friends to check if they were ok. They were as most were still commuting or working at out of town offices. Many banks would have the trading downtown but the backoffice and IT would be mostly off in NJ or somewhere.
I do sometimes wonder why the attacks were planned for earlier. I'm guessing they felt the longer they waited in the day, the less likely they were to pull it off and their goal was to strike symbols and, of course, spread terror as opposed to maximizing casualties.
I was 11 and watching TV with my mom when the program we watched were replaced by a news broadcast showing the plane hitting the tower and everything. I asked my mother what it all meant and she said "war".
Then the following day or so we had a discussion in class and the teacher explained what terrorism is and all that.
I was 9, so I was scared about what a war would look like. My only memorable references were the documentaries I saw about WWII.
To be honest, I didnt give it much thought. And neither did my friends. I remember that we didnt talk about it or act on it at all until the Iraq war started 2 years later and we had developed some more cognitive abilities.
I was 7 years old, did not know what terrorists are or what the twin towers are. I remember being able to see two random towers in front of me, and saying "wth are you talking about, they are still standing!" to a friend who told me the news.
I was around 18, just got home from school and getting ready for driving lessons. It was an absolute shock, felt unreal, like some crazy movie scenario. My driving instructor did not hear the news yet, so we put on the radio while driving. Don't think at the time she had any idea of the horror what happened since she did not see the images yet. The days / weeks after I think even in Europe a lot people were scared to travel to places where a lot of people gather or even using public transport etc. My parents were a bit scared me traveling through Rotterdam because 'large city', you don't know what can happen. Crazy when you look back on it.
Now, 20 years later, I am still astonished of the size and impact of this attack. Saw another documentary this weekend, my wife and me, sitting in awe and I was having afterthoughts about that I want to share this with my kids. The impact, the feelings we and the world had with this attack. But are they old enough (oldest is 10)? (I decided they are). What is it I want to share, history? They have never been outside Europe, there is so much going on and so much has been going on. Here in The Netherlands we have some children news programmes I will watch with them coming the weekend.. heavy stuff, can't even imagine how it is for the people in America.
I was at work, browsing on internet. It was six hours plus in Prague than it was in New York.
Someone posted on a Czech discussion server that a plane hit the WTC building. It sounded like an accident. After a while, someone wrote that a second plane had hit the WTC. I made a note that it was probably no longer an accident more like an attack.
I went to CNN's website and followed what happened. Then the CNN website collapsed under high number of readers. I went to the Czech news site, and it crashed 20 minutes after that.
A Czech IT news site started posting news of the attack instead.
The boss came to our office and we talked about it, he said this was going to change everything, travel and all that.
Then I was driving home and listening to the news on the radio.
I came home and turned on the TV - at that time Czech TV did not have a 24-hour news channel, but they had cancelled the normal program and instead had an improvised news studio.
I emailed a friend who lived in Washington D.C. to see if he was OK, but I didn't expect an immediate response. He replied a few days later - he was alright, but spent a night in their office.
My mom came home from work - she worked as a sales clerk - and customers were telling her about it when they came into the store. She asked me if there was going to be a war. I said that probably not in Europe.
In coming weeks, I talked about it with friends and acquaintances, and I remember being taken aback by a female friend who said she felt sorry for the victims, but that the U.S. was to partially blame because they were "fucking up with a many other countries"
Was in Seoul at the time actually. We were at a bar and suddenly on the TV the news showed one of the towers with smoke coming out. Everybody was glued to the TV in shock, everybody was trying to figure out what happened. When the second plane hit, the entire bar burst out in screams. A lot of people rushed to try to get to the bar phone to call people, some people rushed home. But more than anything, we just waited in silence at the TV to try and figure out what was happening.
Then, we heard about the pentagon, and then the worst was watching the tower fall. It was something so completely unreal and horrible to watch. You looked around the bar, and everybody had [this face on.](https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/58af2d64c41f737fae528166/master/pass/get-out-review.jpg) To watch lower manhattan be covered in smoke like that was fucking unreal. I still get shivers down my spine when I think about visceral of a reaction I had to that, it made me sick to my stomach. Even though I didn't talk to really anybody in that bar, I always felt a bit of a comradery with them for going through that with them, halfway across the globe from new york.
I was 13 and just came home from school. I remember it was all over the news. It was the first time I ever heard about WTC.
I was at work when those attacks happened. It was almost the time to leave home, something like 15:55 in Finland's time when I heard about the first plane crash (8:46 EDT) and when we were watching the CNN news report about the incident also the second plane crashed on the South Tower so I guess I saw it in live. I didn't leave home but stayed in my workplace because they had much faster internet connection than what I had in my home and watched many news report from different sources which revealed also the attacks to Pentagon and plane crash on the field in Pennsylvania. It was probably almost 21:00 when I ultimately left home because at that time the automatic burglar alarm was switch on.
It certainly didn't felt like time has stopped or slowed, on the contrary more like things happening faster than I can process and analyse their consequences. Also I had an ominous and sad feeling that I have witnessed an ending of an era and the start of a new era with radical changes and disappearing of some of the things used to be normal before.
I was 12 back then and in school. It was early afternoon when one of our teacher came and told us about it. Quite frankly I didn't feel anything atm coz it was just plain information about one of another terrorist atack that happend on the West many times before. We basically carried on with school.
With time passing on and me being more mature and with more information consumed i felt more sypathetic with victims and their families, but in same time with all those war atrocities that happend in the meantime in Afghanistan and Iraq done by USA and their military I kinda felt torn apart. World isn't balck and white. Al-Qaeda, Talibans etc. were killing civilians including Americans but Americans also killed thousends of civilians in drone strikes creating even more hate and more terrorist groups. If You add to this Guantanamo Bay where Americans were holding hundreds including inocent people for years without right to trial makes me sick.
I was 10 so I didn't really realize. We had a minute of silence the next day but it was just weird. However there was a huge factory explosion exactly 10 days later in Toulouse and they thought is was a terrorist attack at first. So people were quite anxious. It was *just* an accident though but every adult from there remembers that quite clearly.
I was in my early twenties, working as admin staff in a central London university. Official registration hadn't started but some students were around, while others were hoping for last minute admissions. I was assigned to help students that afternoon, but it got real quiet on the helpdesk so I was nipping back to my desk to do bits of work.
I remember seeing everyone on the office was looking at the same news page, but it didn't click that something was happening. No one was talking.
I remember seeing a student running down the corridor, and another one crying. There was a strange heavy atmosphere. I finally had a look at the news and saw something had happened, but I don't think the towers had come down then.
That university has a high volume of US students, so the university set up screens of the news in some of the public spaces. People were in tears everywhere. Many of them US students who were so removed from their families.
I remember how incremental the growing dread was - I realised what some of those falling shapes were, when you first saw the footage of the planes hitting the tower, then their collapse. Every moment, it seemed to get worse.
We were devastated by it, but also fearful thinking it was going to happen to London. We have a long history with terrorism, but nothing of that scale. Looking up over the next few weeks at any loud noises.
I went to the service in St Paul's - I felt an overwhelmingly need to go and as my job wasn't far my boss let me. It was so busy, I think the closest I got was within half a mile of the cathedral, packed in with other mourners.
After that the letters started coming in for students to withdraw. Letters from students who had lost family and needed to be with their families. I remember one who had lost their father, brothers and uncles - everyone in their family run business had been killed.
I was 14 and remember the day well. A girl who went to my school had died in a car crash during the summer break and we were all attending a memorial Mass for her in the local church. When the Mass ended we were allowed to head home early as there was no point of the teachers bringing us all back to school for only a few minutes, so I headed home.
I remember walking into my house and my oldest sister called me into the sitting room saying that the twin towers were on fire. She had to explain to me what the twin towers were - telling me they were the buildings in that episode of the Simpsons that Homer had to go to New York and collect his car from.
I remember staring at the tv, of both the towers on fire and wondering what on earth happened, thinking naively that it must have been an accident.
I spent that whole hour glued to the tv watching the news coverage, our other sister coming home from school and joining us and all of us quietly chatting to each other and then being shocked when the first tower fell and then being utterly silent when the second tower fell. My oldest sister decided to turn off the tv and made us go do our homework.
I remember just feeling this wave of sadness during the news coverage and what felt like only moments between when the news anchor broke news about the hijackings, the pentagon being hit etc. I wasn’t sheltered from bleak news coverage as a child but there’s just this feeling of hopelessness of watching a tragedy unfold in real-time.
I always considered this Onion article to be interesting in hindsight, it was written in January 2001: [Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'](https://www.theonion.com/bush-our-long-national-nightmare-of-peace-and-prosperi-1819565882)
I was working for a media company. It was horrific.
A colleague told me the first plane had gone in and we thought it was a bizarre accident. I watched everything else online live after that moment.
I watched thousands of people die in front of my eyes. I can't explain how that feels.
We had friends and family who were in the US or around the world, finding it difficult to get information or support so we all stopped work and just tried to help them. It was awful. Planes just stopped, the internet and mobile phones had terrible connection in those days and no one had a clue what was going on.
Canary Wharf and all major tall buildings were evacuated so there was panic in London too, not just people at airports or in NY.
We all went to the pub after work and had a stiff drink. They had the TV on and everyone just sat in silence and shock. The whole pub, not just my colleagues.
We had a minute's silence the next day and a lot of people were in tears.
I lost a colleague that day. He was lovely man who worked for a medical company. I've never wanted to know how he died but I hope it was quick. I don't think it was from the floor he was on but it's too upsetting to think about.
We were devastated for you all. We might be rude about Americans at times and think a minority of you are twats but you're essentially distant cousins. You've always helped us and we'd always help you. (Except you did help fund the IRA and that caused many deaths and terror here.... some people couldn't overlook that).
We're bit toughened to terrorism. It's been a constant here since the 60s. You aren't and 9/11 was massive. I imagine most people wouldn't know how to cope with feeling that vulnerable, whereas I'm used to it. (Not all British people are BTW, it's really only if you live in London or Northern Ireland). I felt for you all. Terror is teffifying, that's the point.
We've had loads of really excellent documentaries about 9/11 on in the last week or so. I've watched them all. It's interesting and therapeutic to find out more in hindsight about how people experienced the tragedy because more information comes out over time and some people feel more willing to talk about it.
We lost 67 people that day. I know I said we've had lots of terror attacks but I'm not sure we've ever lost that many people. I know the awful Tube bombings killed about 55 people.
So yes, it's a joint pain we will never forget or I certainly won't at least. I can still remember the scream and crying in my office when the towers collapsed. British people don't do that...hence the need for a silent stuff drink :)
I was at work, and suddenly a manager came in. "come here! look what's going on!"
We stood, not knowing what to think about it, so surreal it was, but the manager quickly broke the freeze by saying "well shit, now our income will be hurt, as they (ie americans) will have different things to worry about" (we were oriented to the american market).
I was 3. I have some memories of news reports which I assume are of a retelling of what had happened a few years later rather than when it actually happened. Maybe the 5 year anniversary? I'm pretty sure I didn't watch the kids news at 3. Or maybe something similar happened later and I'm mixing both up? Cause for years I thought it was a flying student who caused it.
Of course I remember!
I was second grade of high school, it was a beautiful September day. We just finished our classes, and since it was beginning of the school year we didn’t have much to do, we head to one of our friends flat, since he lived close to school to play some games and listen to music.
We got there and his older brother was glued to the tv, he was frantic and he said what had just happened, but we of course didn’t believe him. We were there around the time second tower had been struck, but before any of them collapsed. We were excited. We taught Pentagon was completely demolished, and we were jubilant about it. It happened just year and a half since you bombed us. Wild rumors started to go around. That it wasn’t planes, but rockets, that there was similar attacks on White house and Capitol hill. I taught that it would be better if they hit those buildings instead of, in our eyes, insignificant buildings.
Next day we were talking about the events, but when we entered to the classroom, and one of our friends table was surrounded by others. We found out that his sister worked in one of the buildings right beside one of the towers and that they couldn’t get a hold of her. Only then it struck me that real people, with real lives and families and friends were lost, and it wasn’t just some enemy state far away.
People here had some schadenfreude, but were worried what will happened next, and on who this will be pin on. Many didn’t believe that it wasn’t some kind of inside job, to create an excuse to fuck some country up, and many still do.
I had driven all night to return from from a holiday. When I got up in the afternoon and went to the supermarket, it seemed more or less empty and everyone had congregated around the place where the TVs were sold to watch the reports of the first plane. Everyone thought it was a dramatic accident. I quickly got my stuff, ran home, told my wife and switched on the TV minutes before the second crash. We were absolutely shocked and speechless and watched the tragedy unfold. The worst were the people who jumped to their deaths, I will never forget that. For this alone, I want watch anything about it, now. Some things you don’t need to watch twice.
I have to admit, in the weeks that followed to have been of the opinion that this was a second Pearl Harbour, that the US government had knowledge of imminent terror attacks and let it happen as a reason to start another war in the middle east.
The fact that out of all the carnage the terrorists passports survived and were found, indeed that the names of the terrorists were already known on the same day, as well as a lot of other issues (flying out Saudis despite a flight ban) on that day and the following weeks, the surprising readiness with which Afghanistan was attacked and really strict laws were put into place, all led me to believe that the US government had if not actively supported so at least abetted the terrorist.
I don‘t believe in that anymore. A conspiracy on that scale would not have been possible. Too many would have had to be involved. I do believe it was a monumental clusterfuck on the side of the US security and military forces, enormous luck on the side of the terrorists, but no conspiracy.
I feel deep sadness for the people that died on that and the following days in the US, for the way the world turned in the aftermath (it could have been a turning point in a very different direction), the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just when I thought the world would become better in the new millennium, these terrorist attacks put a stop to that illusion.
I was at my aunts home, it was her birthday. I remember when we got there with my mom, they had some neighbors and watched CNN, one of them said 'See what they did to the Americans' with a smirk, he was angry to the USA for their support of the Albanian terrorists during the 2001 insurgency in Macedonia.
My grandma was watching it when I got home from school, but I didn't understand the significance of it. I barely knew what New York was (I was 10). It was like a movie to me. I only realised it was a big deal when we prayed for the victims and survivors at school the next day.
I was at university in a computer lab with my lab partner. The girls next to us were reading the news at a Swedish site and all news entries were replaced with just that image and a short text. I could tell from my pal's expression that we both thought the news site was hacked and the girls just gullible, but we somehow checked New York Times just to be sure. It was surreal. Then people everywhere started getting texts (this was before cell phones were kept muted). Everyone talked about it. I spent the evening watching tv at a friend's place. Internet wasn't the main news outlet then like it is now.
I was working in a school in London and had limited access to live TV and once the news started to filter around the staff the internet ground to a halt to - accurate information was hard to get and I resorted to radio. I think at first the concern was the pupils and how to provide help and support to them but it turned out that many of the staff were less able to cope than the pupils. Mostly, other than a few gathered around a couple of small TVs, people were stuck - lots of people just stood around or sat slumped in chairs struggling to come to terms with what had happened - it was unreal.
I was in work and initially read on Yahoo News that a “small plane” appeared to have hit one of the towers. I thought probably a bad accident with some fatalities but manageable. I got back to my work (documenting an API I think). Over the next hours the extent of the attack became apparent. The story trickled out for me, as I was still working and would hear new information from a colleague or see something on the internet.
I was five, didn't really have an appreciation of the significance of it but I was aware of it. I thought it must be a common thing for planes to hit skyscrapers, like a car accident, and just assumed it would be treated the same way - fire brigade would show up and take everyone hurt to hospital and it'd be fine. I drew a picture of two towers on fire, I think my mother still has it out away somewhere.
She turned off the TV when the first one fell, and I think that's when I realised something was wrong, and my mother asked me to stop asking about it.
After that, it was something I was always aware of having happened, but it wasn't until I was maybe nine or ten that I came to realise just how significant it had been.
Obviously there's a certain stereotype of there being lots of Irish in NY, and what reinforced it was growing up hearing people's second-hand stories of relations who lived there at the time, and their personal near-misses or experiences - the brother of a family friend who worked construction but swapped shifts that day etc. I used to watch the documentaries they show on the history channel every year, so in that way kind of grew up with that awareness of the event.
My connection is a cousin who worked somewhere near the towers. He got off a subway under the trade center and the police told him to run to safety. He just made it on the ferry before the smoke from the first tower collapse engulfed him.
I was quite a young kid at the time, but I do remember it pretty well. I remember coming home from school and my mom was just watching the news in shock. I don't think I quite understood what had happened, but seeing the towers, something I could immediately recognize, on fire was impactful nonetheless.
As I grew older I would learn to understand what had happened and I'd say that the aftermath of 9/11, in particular the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were quite influential in my forming years.
What has stuck with me in the end of the war in Afghanistan was that most of the last 13 US service-members to die were about as old as the conflic itself. They had no memory of the events that caused us to go there or what life was like before.
I was at work, in a room by myself. I turned off the radio after the lunchtime news, just before it happened, so I heard nothing about it until someone said it as I was leaving the building that evening, about three hours after it all started. When they said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, my first thought was of a small plane. I turned on my Walkman to listen as I travelled home on the bus. The full horror began to dawn on me. When I got home and saw the television, it was amazing.
I was 9. I didn't care. There was something in TV which I didn't care about and took it only as cool shots from far away, at that child age and situation almost comparable to fiction, I had no idea about foreign languages or internet or the world really (and frankly, my mother neither) so no other informations and I was in small village school where 2 or 3 grades were in the same class so we had different things to focus on. I actually don't remember people around me talking about it at all. Only some 3 years later one teacher wanted to remember it that day and me and my friend hitting edgy years thought it's lame.
I was 12, finished school early (attacks were afternoon here) so my mum had come pick me up.
I remember hearing about it at the radio in the car, but not really understanding what it was about... Just that it felt important? Asked my mum to not stop the car so I could hear more, but she told me that "it will be everywhere in the news anyway".
Next few days our history teacher tried to make us work on it, but we didn't really get the point I guess, she wanted us to focus on the rescue operations but we were all focused on the attack itself - because that's what was on tv in a loop.
Somehow, that's also when I understood that the "American dream" shown by media was just that... A show. All countries had issues, and what I saw on (american) TV shows about the US was heavily distorted. That's something you have to learn at some point of course, you get more critical growing up, but that's when it clicked for me.
You're lucky it didn't take you long. I believed in that dream until that November night in 2016.
I was ten so I probably didn't grasp the extent of the attack and tragedy at the time, but I knew it was a big and awful thing. I can't really recall what I felt and what exactly happened (I believe my parents sat me and my brother down to explain what happened as soon as we came home from school. Maybe a teacher at school said something as well, but I hardly remember), but a few days ago I almost teared up thinking back to that moment since the 20th anniversary is just around the corner. So it must have affected me for sure. I think it was mostly the aftermath of the attack that really brought it home (security-wise and the news about the war in Iraq).I hope this answers your question!
EDIT: One of my best friends has her birthday on 9/11, so her 10th birthday (and the birthdays thereafter) have always been a bit 'tainted' (sorry, can't come up with a better, less negative word) by this.
I was 29 at the time, me and a colleague were isolated inside a data center most of the day so when we got out in the office (IBM Sweden) it was full of people staring at the news on the internal announcement monitors and noone really said anything, they were shocked and in disbelief. The mood was sad and solemn.
All online newspapers at the time collapsed under the weight of the traffic and had to shut down to static html-pages to cope.
I also remember Sweden coming to a standstill for a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims.
I was quite young at the time, and I don't remember much. I remember the children's cartoon show being cancelled.
In Portugal? That sounds unlikely. Which channel were you watching?
The attack happened just before 2 pm, all the news shows were still on in the main channels and they went straight into a full afternoon of live coverage.
I have no idea what channel I was watching. I thought I remembered them not showing what I wanted to watch in the afternoon. It's entirely possible I'm misremembering though.
I was 4 years old and I do remember watching the plane hit the second tower. I could tell by my grandparents' and my mom's reaction that it was something huge, but I was way too young to understand the magnitude of the event at the time. My friends either remember it very vaguely or don't remember it at all (due to how young we were). We did study it at school though, and I suppose we have a deeper understanding of the consequences of the event when compared to younger people.
Here in Ireland there was obviously huge and live coverage of it through Sky news and the main UK news. I remember being on a day off from work, with the way my shift patterns fell. As someone with a strong interest in international politics and history, my wife and I were watching a movie when the message came up on our system to say there had been a plane crashed into the first tower and we switched over to sky news. They were showing the damage which was just what looked like a few a few floors of damage and some smoke and we thought first of all it was a small plane or maybe a corporate jet, because it was hard to scale from the camera.
Then the second plane hit, and my first thought was, "they found coverage of the first plane hitting and they were showing it" when I realised it was two different planes, my first thought was obviously terrorism and it would be probably linked to Osama bin Laden because of the first attack with the truck bomb previous and the attacks on the embassies and USS Cole. My wife asked who would think they could attack the US and assumed it was maybe just a group of crazies. So when I mentioned Al queda and that it was likely someone would get bombed and possibly attacked, she was surprised that there was never any mention of them in the news.
The thing that struck me with what she said was that the western world was in the midst of what was good economic growth and social growth for the previous 10 years since the end effectively of communism and things were overall looking up, how out of the ordinary the attacks were. And how unprepared the US military and general services were and the response.
The attack on the pentagon happened while I was in the loo.and then the crash of flight 93 and then the surreal following day while we waited for more attacks which never came, then the sadness and the enormity of the stories of loss of first responders and huge amounts of footage from people with phones and TV crews at ground zero started being shown with the dust and the footage of people fleeing the smoke and debris in the streets when the collapses had happened.
What happened afterwards, with the invasion of Afghanistan and the war with Iraq and the occupations and cost of that in people and treasure, a lot of that could have been avoided and Tony Blair and George Bush jnr should take the brunt of the responsibility for those things.
What I was hugely impressed with and it reinforced my opinion of the EU, was the European response, which was not to immediately jump on the bandwagon to go to war and to stand alone on their response, measured and composed.
I don't remember it all that clearly. I was 15 and with the time difference everyone my age was arriving home from school to find their parents watching it on the news. I remember walking in the door and my mum shouting "come and see the telly, a planes crashed into the WTC!" (First time I'd actually heard of the WTC). Don't remember much after that but at school the next day everyone was making jokes about it (Did you see Ready Steady Cook last night? Someone made a Big Apple Crumble!) and replacing the photo on their bus passes with pictures of Osama Bin Laden.
I was 16 and I think i just came back from the beach, i remember my uncle was at our place (because its his birthday on the same day), he said there was a terrorist attack on the US, i said "no way, really?", saw it on the news and thats about it. Later on i remember seeing a lot of memes and pictures online about it.
I lived with my parents atm and I was watching CNN and the first plane already hit the tower. My mom was taking a shower and I called to her that something was going on in the US. It wasn't clear at that point if it were planes or maybe explosions from inside the building. The moment she got downstairs, the second plane hit the tower but the view was so that the plane flew behind the tower and then there was an explosion. I still remember what she said atm. " Oh, those people on that plane can see it really up close". Which is really macabre with hindsight.
I was 16 at the time. I was doing homework with the radio on and in the background I vaguely heard something about a plane and WTC, but didn't know what WTC was at the time so didn't really pay attention to it. When it was dinner time I went downstairs, turned on the tv and saw the images of 2 smoking towers. I asked my mum wth was going on and we both were in shock. Felt so surreal, like watching a movie.
We watched it live on tv.
I was in Uni at the time and had no lectures that day so I was at home with the tv and obviously it dominated all the news so I watched that. Saw the second plane hit live because we were already watching the first tower on fire.
I was 21.
Nobody was thinking politics or this or that countries reputation at the time because the horror and shock was unfolding. When the second plane hit, obviously everybody instantly realised it's deliberate and America was under attack but who or why remained a mystery until Bush later explained AQ and all that. Everybody was on America's side and ready to "go get these folks" as Bush put it. The outrage from the visceral images we all saw was shared.
I was 9 and watching German channels on satellite tv, usually around the time my favourite anime, Dragon ball Z was scheduled which I watched religiously (and secretly from my parents because of the violence in it). That day it was cancelled and they were showing the news instead, which made me quite upset. Parents came home later and I expressed my frustration that all channels are showing the news instead of my usual animes. I outed myself and parents weren't happy that I was still watching it against their suggestions. That's all I remember but we probably watched the news coverage with my parents afterwards.
I was in a hotel getting dressed in a suit and tie. The TV was on and set to CNN. When I saw the image of the first plane hitting the tower I thought I was watching a movie -- maybe I tuned in the Movie Channel or something.
I got a cab to the university where I was teaching the use of our software. They had a TV on in their cafeteria and I saw the second plane hit. By now I was clued into what was happening.
I started our session and just asked them (our client) if they wanted to continue or stop and watch the news.
They decided to continue but it was nerve wracking to try to teach the software while getting drips and drabs of the news.
I remember it as the first of those horror events that had me glued to the internet pressing f5 and looking for more, more, more information in real time.
There's a cluster of emotional aspects to my response that are not easy to pin down because there are various filters around them. For instance, how do you deal with the sheer horror of all those murders? I think it's almost impossible. You can dwell on them, or try to process them by talking or making art, but I feel it is akin to looking at the sun. You just can't get close to the truth of events like that.
And yet we do, we put them in comparison with other deaths, equally horrific, that are going on all the time. And I remember the voice that said to me, even on the first day, "payback!" "blowback!" And I remember how hard it was to thread that needle in conversations - between a geopolitical stance that was anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist and a human response to the victims, who were, in this case, somehow innocents right at the heart of Empire.
Even worse, I was aware of my (instantly suppressed) sense of awe at the audacity of the attacks, and I was disgusted by that at the same time as I couldn't deny it. Pierre Bosquet said it first "C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre: c'est de la folie".
I remember thinking about the dead and the killers, many times, and never being able to make sense of either the meanings that both have, have had and are going to keep on having. I tend to try to think of things in terms of long-scale historical processes, and I can't think about 9/11 now except as the start of the war on terror and the end of the optimistic post-Cold War long 90s.
And I also can't think of the event without the utterly disproportionate, wasteful and ineffective US/Nato response. Overall, the period from 9/2001 to the invasion of Iraq is one of feeling again that the world was out of control, after seeming at least somewhat less chaotic and driven by madmen hellbent on murder in the 90s.
This is probably the best response in balancing the feeling of tragedy of the loss of life and the anger and disappointment of how everything has been handled since.
Thanks. Imagine if OBL had been sent to The Hague in December 2001? But in the meantime, I have gone from thinking that another world is possible to being rather pessimistic about the way the military industrial complex pulls the strings. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I know there are real conspiracies out there. You don't need to be paranoid to see that the path to Iraq was already laid out prior to 9/11. And as a UK citizen and Labour voter in 1997, fuck Tony Blair in the arse with a power sander forever.
Right after Bush and Cheney.
I was 11 and just came home from school. As always my mother would tend to her stables (we had horses back then) and my aunt who worked as a mobile nurse in my town, with my parents' house being conveniently on her route, came over and said with that oddly surprised but matter-of-fact tone that "they" had flown some planes into the WTC. I knew this must have been important because I did have a vague idea of the WTC's importance and geeky kid that I was I was reading about skyscrapers a lot back then. Apparently I wasn't exactly a smart kid but thought I was because my immediate thought was to parrot what I've heard the adults kept saying about America... those Muricans are crazy right? Of course I was just as immediately told that no, it wasn't the Americans themselves who did the bombing but terrorists whose identity wasn't discernible at the time.
I find it interesting how people can have those vivid memories of an event that by far didn't claim as many lives as a huge fucking lot of events in its wake that we just forgot about. I know why, it's because what the attacks were aiming for weren't 3000 people, it was the symbol of global hegemony the WTC was supposed to be. And they succeeded at that, enough that dumb kids half a world away would remember it so clearly.
I was 12. Came home from school, saw dad intently watching TV and saying "Shit hit the fan in America". Came there, saw those two burning towers and people falling down from them.
Now this will sound shitty from me, but as those towers crumbled the most I thought about is how different is the skyline going to be from now on. In my defence, my TV news experience til then included Vukovar, Sarajevo, Kosovo, bombing of Serbia, and just that summer there was a war in Macedonia too. Visiting my extended family in Lika meant driving through endless empty, burnt villages with walls riddled with bullet holes. At the age of 12 I was already jaded towards images of destroyed buildings and dead people. I did feel like things are going to change somehow, though.
So I was only 2 and a half approx when this happened but I remember we still lived in the farmhouse I used to call my childhood home. The filmed incident was on national tv (TV2, because we didn’t have DR1). I remember being fascinated and confused about the entire video because I didn’t understand it was real. I also recall my dad being at work and my mom sitting beside me, horrified and crying violently while watching the planes hit the WTC. When I was a tad bit older and the first and second anniversaries rolled around, I cried too when they showed the footage on TV again because I was finally old enough to understand. My mom is old now and probably in the beginning stages of dementia but I will never forget 9/11 even though the connection was bad and I was only 2 and thought it was a video game.
i was 15. i still clearly remember that i had come out of my after-school hockey training, walked to my grandmothers house and was greeted by her at the door in great distress shouting ‘america is being bombed!’ - she was of the generation of irish people that had a photo of JFK on the wall next to the pope, very pro US and she was utterly distraught. to me it was all totally surreal, i don’t think i was able to process that i was seeing people jumping to their deaths on live tv. i remember feeling dazed by it.
Was born in 2007, however parents told me that tons of people were cheering and laughing their asses off.
Saw it on the telly as it happened. I honestly didnt give a shit. I was at at the height of my apathy at that stage of my life. And while I have matured and can say it's a objectively horrible thing to have happened.
I can not say I give any more of a shit today as I did then. I probably am gonna upset a lot of people saying this. To me the US is/was the bully of the playground, but just ONE time, someone bullies back and the US have been crying victim ever since and have used that one attack to justify their continued bullying, and even increasing it up a notch (or twenty).
The 3000 lives lost do not compare to the thousands of lives lost abroad as a result of that.
Yeah, obviously the innocent lives lost and affected by it are tragedies and it's a damn shame it got to that point. Just like any other senseless act of terrorism.
But I've read a lot over the years from Americans that it's sad or despicable that some people cheered or didn't care that day. Like no shit it's *sad*, but one word I've never seen used is *understandable*. It would be understandable if you don't care that much when you saw retaliation vs the country that you heard about over and over again in the news like "US continues air strike on [x]".
I grew up with my parents telling me just how much "The Americans" *destroyed* Belgrade and Novi Sad in '99, which were just like 200km away from us. So no shit if some people don't share the sentiment of "oh, poor America, this is an international tragedy".
I remember watching the documentary “30 Years of Democracy”, and they did a segment about how the Romanian government allowed NATO planes overflight rights during the Yugoslavia airstrikes, and the controversy they caused in Romania, a pro-Serbia country.
I came back home from driving lessons and my little brother opened the door yelling a plane flew into the WTC. We have a WTC here too which is not that big, so I didn't imagine it to be such a big deal.
My heart sank when I saw the actual footage and we were glued to the TV for the rest of the day. Dumbfounded. Sad.
I've heard a story about someone who thought the WTC in Brussels was hit.
I most probably shat myself. That's because I was 2 months old.
I was 19 and unemployed, reading my book at home, and listening to the radio in the background. They were saying about some sort of accident with a plane in New York. A few minutes later I put the book down and went downstairs to watch TV and they had special reports going pretty quickly. I think by the time the second plane hit I was already watching. This was in Germany, so around 4pm. I was watching coverage all evening, well into the night and first thing again in the morning. Then I finally finished my book.
I was in school, in 4th grade. Only one of my classmates had a cellphone and he got a call from his dad, explaining what just happened. I remember asking whether the Empire State Building was still intact as that was the only skyscraper I knew in NYC at the time.
I skipped the last class (remember the 7 hour time difference) and rushed home. I had to switch on my TV which was on top of a tall bookshelf and I had to reach as there was no remote. The minute I switched to either BBC or CNN I just looked at the screen, both mesmerized and in horror.
I think I was 5, and I saw it on the children's news. I remember thinking/knowing it was really bad, but other than that I don't remember much of it.
I was 10 and I remember overheating the teachers talking to each other about it in school, but I didn’t really know what was going on.
When I got home it was on repeat on the news, and it was the first time I’d ever seen anything like that, people throwing themselves from windows. I was probably about as horrified as a 10 yr old can be
I was 5. All I remember from the day is a fragment of memory - I enter the living room and my mom is watching the news and says something like: "Look what's happening in America". And on the TV I see the Twins on fire.
I don't know if it's a real memory or not but if it is then it's probably the earliest memory I can definitely pin point to an exact time. Of course at the time I had no idea about the magnitude of the event and how it was going to define the times we are living in.
Irish, was 10 at the time.
The day of the attack (about 2 or 3pm Irish time), I don't quite know how much I took in. It was all over the TV. Most Irish people like America (but not their politics, especially in the last 20 years) and we get a lot of our media from the US.
The next day in school we spent a lot of time discussing the attacks. I quite like that my teacher spoke to us directly about it and didn't try to avoid the topic. People mentioned that war was a possibilty. Later as the wars began, we were able to discuss that too.
I was 6, about to become 7. The incident happened on a Tuesday (I think) during the early afternoon, so I was still in school when it happened. My mom picked me up and when we came home the tv immediately went on. I saw two buildings I didn't know which were on fire and the news showed replays of the plane hitting the South Tower. It didn't take long before the buildings collapsed. Later the news showed footage of yet another buildings collapsing (probably WTC 7). I did get that this was "a big thing" to happen, but I didn't really understand what had happened. In the beginning I thought it was an accident.
The early War on Terror and the invasion of Afghanistan went over my head. I still remember Iraq though.
I was 10 years old, it was one of the last days of holiday and I was home with my mom. I think it was around 2 or 3 pm in Romania. Then my dad calls us from work and tells us to turn on the tv. He had just witnessed the 2nd plane hitting the South Tower. I was glued to the TV for the rest of the day and I couldn't believe it.
When I was around 7 years old, one of my uncles went to NYC and he brought me one of those snow globes than when you shake it seems like it's snowing over Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the WTC. Since then, I was fascinated with the WTC and I wanted to get to see them some day. Of course, this will never happen now, but at least I hope I get to see New York City at one point in my life.
I hear the observation deck in One World Trade is quite nice. Last time I was in NY, the tower wasn't finished. But I walked around the reflecting pools and visited the museum. On a lighter note, if you ever make it to New York, one of the more underrated views is from Rockefeller Plaza.
Thanks for the tip, will make sure to check it out if I ever get there. Of course I will visit the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere as well. I don't know what it is, maybe the fact that I heard stories about them as a kid, but I was more impressed by the twin towers than just one single skyscraper. Seemed almost like an unique concept and the towers looked so dominant over the Manhattan skyline.
Oh well, I guess there are still the Petronas towers I could visit.
The tallest by pinnacle height is the new One World Trade, but that's because it has a large spire that is counted. The tallest by roof height is some residential building. The tallest of our buildings that are famous would be the Sears(Willis) Tower in Chicago.
I was in high school. While in class there were some rumors that something was happening in USA. While getting home speculation was going all over the place. Like World War started, White House was destroyed together with Pentagon and so on. I had a mobile phone (no smartphones at the time) and I remember parents calling me to get home as soon as possible. Only after getting home did I see the actual news on the TV.
I think Flight 93 was headed for the White House or Capitol Hill. I still haven't made it out to the memorial in Shanksville.
I was 6, but I remember checking it out on the telly in my parents bedroom. My parents were shocked and I felt that too, but couldn't grasp the enormity of this event.
I do remember that my neighbours had a son at that very day. We were all like, yup he's gonna have this event associated with him.
I was 9 years old. I don't think it felt like anything at first, because I didn't have a clear idea of where NYC is or what the attack would come to mean. I remember being somewhat sad about it, especially when it would be all over the news for weeks. I was quite interested in history and catastrophies back then, so in my mind, it was just one of those things when I first read about it. Time didn't stop for me, but that's probably just how I am as a person. In crisis, the reporting is usually quite chaotic at first, so I didn't know what to think about it.
It was not very deeply covered in our classes when I went to school, it was presented as a part of war against terrorism. What I clearly remember is that conspiracy theories started to flood media and forums pretty fast, faster than ever before I think. When someone brings it up now, it's more about how it affected everyone's lives after that. Some other Finnish person might have very different memories, though. My husband clearly remembers his parents being shocked, whereas mine weren't. I don't think we've ever talked about it.
I was 12, I didn't find out anything had happened until I got home from school so this was a few hours into the attacks. I don't think I realised the magnitude of what was happening at the time.
I was 2 and a half. All I knew about the Twin Towers was they were a tourist attraction in America. I think the only 2 things I knew about New York from the tv were the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers. I remember watching the second plane hit the tower live on television. I understood it was bad, but being a toddler I didn't understand all the context and the war that resulted from it until years later. I just knew that planes had crashed into the Twin Towers. It's not quite my earliest memory, but it's a relatively distinct one. It's strange to me when I think about the fact people who are a year or two younger than me, and even other people my age, don't remember when the Twin Towers were nothing more than some tourist attraction in a different country.
We never covered it in our classes, the only American history we studied was the American Revolution as part of world history. I have an awareness of it and all that resulted from it from hearing about it over the years.
I was ten. My dad was watching the news and I was playing. He said to come watch with him to see history unfold.
I was way too young to understand what was going on, but I remember knowing something bad had happened judging from my parents' reaction.
I came to work, and 1 min later my boss came running into the office telling me to turn on the TV. 10 min earlier the first plane had hit the tower. So I watched it live when the second plane hit the tower 40 min after I arrived work. I was alone in the office that afternoon, so started texting my friends and family to find a TV if they hadn't already. I was sure WW3 was imminent.
It was right during grape harvesting so we were busy but word got that something happened in the USA
When we finally got back to the place we cook/eat during that period we only had a shit as old TV so we tried getting a signal to watch the news... that was a shock for everyone, i was a kid so i didn't understood anything at first
We watched the news, it was a tragedy, but like, no different than the many other horrible situations that happen on a semi-frequent basis, it was not covered in school classes other than being discussed at the time like any major event would be.
I remember getting back from school and watching the news on TV. My Dad was in the US at the time for work, and I think he'd even taken a flight out of Boston the day of or day before the attacks (my memory is a bit fuzzy), but he'd called us as soon as he could so we knew he was fine. It was still absolutely awful to experience though, and it definitely hits you harder when you have some kind of connection to these sorts of things.