Ten Years Ago Today

I was still working a morning shift and had just stepped out of the shower when my wife (then fiancee) opened the door to tell me that a plane had just struck one of the skyscrapers in NYC. I was shocked and quickly towelled off and proceeded to get dressed in front of the bedroom TV so that I could catch the news reports of it.

I sat on the edge of the bed and watched for a while and then went into the kitchen to grab something portable for breakfast. I walked out to the living room to watch the rest of it before I had to leave for work and within a minute of doing that I watched the second plane slam into the other tower live.

I quickly finished my breakfast, grabbed my porch flag and placed it in its holder. I grabbed my spare porch flag, took it off the pole and fixed it up into the back hatch of my truck canopy. As I gathered my stuff up for work, I heard about the plane hitting The Pentagon.

I then went into the safe and grabbed my Remington 870 and a 30cal ammo can of 12ga shells. I loaded the 870 and placed it, the ammo can and my work bag into my truck and headed off to work.

It was the day of our weekly district meeting, but when I arrived, everyone was fixated on the TV in the meeting room. It was then that I learned about fourth plane crashing in Shanksville.

My workplace sits directly under the northern flight path of SeaTac Int’l Airport and is only a few blocks west of Seattle’s Boeing Field. The silence of those two airports during the next few days was eerie, to say the least.

What were you doing ten years ago today?

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11 Responses to Ten Years Ago Today

  1. RN says:

    The wife & I were still asleep when the first one hit. We got a call from a friend who lived further east, telling us to turn on the TV NOW! We watched in silence and confusion as the second one hit, then the Pentagon, then the “crash in the middle of nowhere.” Wondering who and why, and thinking I wasn’t too old yet to re-enlist, and thinking that SOMEBODY (or maybe several somebodies) had just made a REALLY big mistake. I didn’t have to go anywhere, and didn’t have to load up anything because I was far enough from any likely targets it didn’t even cross my mind there would be anything I could do at that second. As the day passed, the air fleet grounded, and more news trickled out, I was glad I still had plenty of Y2K preps on hand, because we didn’t have any idea what was coming next. I did check through supplies, and looked to make sure things were in a position to be loaded-up in a hurry if a bug-out was needed.

    I remember the shock my wife seemed to feel wondering “WHY would anyone do something like this?!” She’s one of the absolutely nicest people I’ve even met, and she still really doesn’t quite seem to understand the depths of evil that exist in the world, but on that day it was really in our faces to be seen.

  2. Brian says:

    I thought you were a local, but had no idea you live so close. Glad to hear another voice of reason from a local. I’m dismayed every time I see another Obama bumper sticker. It’s like seeing a “I believe in Unicorns” bumpersticker.

    Brian,
    Redmond

  3. Mollbot says:

    I was standing the evening watch in the Aft WCR, 2 Plant, USS Enterprise, steaming south through the Indian Ocean toward the horn of Africa. We were scheduled to cross the equator in 3 days on our way to the first US Navy carrier visit to Cape Town, South Africa since WW2. We were 12 hours ahead of US East coast time. Master Chief Steve Archey poked his head into the WCR and said “You boys hear about New York?”

    Being on watch in the engine room 2 stories below the waterline doesn’t generally expose one to a lot of breaking world news. So I said, “No Master Chief, what happened?”

    “Some airplane just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. Crazy stuff.” And he left.

    I was the senior watch in the WCR at that time. And since we have responsibility for more than one propulsion plant, we’re allowed to leave the engine room to get to and from our various areas of p\responsibility. I looked at the sample board; nothing due in 2 hours. Nothing really going on down there for us. I said “I’m going up to the office. You guys can handle this, I’ll be back in a minute to let you know what’s going on.” I headed up to the Health Physics office where they had CNN Headline News on satellite. I arrived in the office just in time to see the 2nd plane impact the Trade Center live. One of the other guys in the office stood up, his face white.

    “Oh my god, this isn’t an accident. Somebody DID this to us!” he said. I spent the next couple of hours moving between the office, the WCR, and the operating station for 2 Plant, updating people who couldn’t leave the engine room on what was going on, with the Pentagon strike and the crash of Flight 73 in PA. Within a half-hour of getting off watch we felt the ship heel over as it turned around… The Admiral had decided without orders to move our battle group to a ready position in the north Arabian Sea as he was certain we would be needed up there before long. He was right.

  4. Thor says:

    We all have our own stories. Some are more significant than others.

    I was leading a team of 15 consultants working on a project in Ft. Worth. We were on the second to the top floor of the tallest building in downtown, and two blocks from the Federal building (across the courtyard and a surface level parking lot). I was in the office early that morning and had no clue on events that day until my colleagues began arriving. Our information sources were limited to an overloaded internet system. Once we began to get a handle on what events were underway, I could look out my window and watch the fighters sortie from NAS Ft. Worth.

    I called my wife who was 1200 miles away with our 3 month old child, and had to get her a.) seated b.) in front of the TV and c.) briefed on the situation as it unfolded and where I was. Trying to comfort a loved one from 1200 miles when they are in absolute tears is tough.

    Within the hour we shut our consulting operations down, and sent everyone either home or off to their lodgings. The group that had flown in that week gathered at the local sports bar, and we just sat there watching the coverage. After getting over the shock, it became more about the anger, and the need to do something, anything.

    I was about to turn 40, and I was so very close to turning my back on my family and reenlisting that day. The other night my girls (I have 3 now all 10 and under) were trying to guess my age. When the younger ones decided that I was 30, I had to explain to them that if I was 30 I would be out humping the hills of Afghanistan.

    Corporately, we lost many of our own that day both at the WTC and on those flights. Today we continue to do a lot of commercial and government consulting, including a new logistics system for my Corps, and a lot of work that our National Security Group is focused on. I find a way to contribute but, there are days when I really think I would rather be running a company in the ‘Stan.

  5. RN says:

    Brian – Are you talking to Phil, or me (I’m closer to you)? If me, how did you know my location (more than just a little curious)…..

  6. Mollbot says:

    Pretty sure Brian is talking to Phil, RN. Phil mentioned several location clues (SeaTac, Boing Field, etc) that anyone from western WA would likely cue on. 🙂

  7. RN says:

    Yes, I see that much, and I figured as much… but his sig said “Redmond,” which is rather more local to me than SeaTac, so I thought it interesting when he posted shortly after I did. I figured it was likely aimed at Phil, and purely coincidental, but some folks web-fu is scary powerful, and I was curious if a non-site-admin could get enough stuff from a post to ID geographic location to a usefully-small place. If so, I’d have to sandbox / anonymize my commenting methods better.

  8. Rivrdog says:

    I detailed it on 9-11-05, at this URL on the Rivrdog Blog.

    http://rivrdog.typepad.com/rivrdog/2005/09/feeling_good_ab.html

    Yep, it was a long day, leading to a longer war, and it ain’t over yet, folks.

  9. RickR says:

    Sitting in my office & heard a commotion in the lunch room. It was nothing out of the ordinary yet, more like when a vendor brings donuts or something. They had the TV on and were watching a reporter tell of a plane hitting one of the Trade Towers. I remember saying something like “Wow, it isn’t a crap weather day like when the Empire State building was hit around WW2, how did they screw that up?” And a bit later we watched the second plane hit. I remember the absolute, stunned silence in the lunch room. Then one of the ladies started to quietly freak out, I know she was thinking the same thing we all were. That was not an accident. Somebody did this intentionally. Then I remember getting ticked off to all new levels.

    I tried to go back to my office & distract myself. It didn’t work. I had to leave (I think we all did). I really don’t remember much past that, except the anger.

  10. Sulaco says:

    Funny about showers…I was just coming out of mine at home when my wife ran up to tell me that a plane hit a building in NY. My wife ran out on her own and put up the flag in our front yard before going to work after the second one hit. I put on my badge and gun and spent the next week in and around airports doing 12 hour days. I have never gotten over the feeling of looking up and around and seeing NO airplanes in the sky, like 100 years ago. Somehow just watching F15’s land made me feel better. Even then I was far too old to re-enlist but I am still and LE and will be for some time…it an’t over yet.

  11. Jon b goode says:

    I was in the fourth grade. I lived in New Jersey. I remember our teacher gave us a journal assignment to write about what we loved about America. Didn’t hear anything about the attacks til I got home and my mom picked me up from the bus stop. Pretty shocking thing for a ten year old to hear. Lost a few neighbors that day.

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