Patterico's Pontifications


My Day on 9/11/01

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:53 pm

On 9/11/01 I awoke early and checked an Internet site that had a running set of commentary from experts on stocks. One of them reported hearing an explosion from the area of the World Trade Center. I spent a few minutes checking Drudge and news sites, with no luck. Even then, I was such an Internet junkie that it took me several minutes to think to simply turn on the TV.

By the time I did, it was about 6:10 a.m. Pacific time, and the second plane had already hit. I watched for a few minutes, then went down to wake my wife, and say what so many people said that day: “You need to look at the television.”

Our daughter was nineteen months old, and whenever there was a plane in the sky, she would point to the sky and yell: “EH-pwane!” After we woke her up, she was watching the TV replays of the plane hitting the tower. She didn’t understand what she was watching — but she did point at the TV and smile and yell, with great delight, “EH-pwane!”

It was jarring to see such an awful spectacle delighting her like that.

But it took a while to sink in. For example, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be going to work that day. I was in the shower, getting ready for work, when the first tower came down. My wife told me about it and I came out in the middle of it, quickly wrapping a towel around myself but still dripping wet, to look at the TV.

As reports of a fire on the mall in Washington, D.C. came over the television, I thought (like many Americans): My God. How many of these planes are out there?

Even after the second tower collapsed, it had not sunk in emotionally. I knew that thousands had probably died — in fact, as a natural pessimist, I assumed it was between 15,000 and 20,000. But I still got in the car and headed for work.

A block away, someone told me they were turning people back. “Why?” I asked. “It’s not like terrorists are going to fly a jet airliner into the Hall of Records.” It’s a squat building on the outskirts of downtown, far from the skyscrapers. I figured I’d be as safe there as anywhere.

I picked up some work that I thought I would do at home, but never did.

That night, it finally really sunk in. I had nightmares for four straight nights.


9/11 – The Anniversary Open Thread

Filed under: General,Terrorism,War — Justin Levine @ 11:05 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

An open thread for those who wish to remember…

If I had to articulate some thoughts and desires on this day, I guess I would have to say that I hope that we continue to remember this anniversary date as though it were Sept. 11, 2002, instead of Sept. 11, 2006. Of course the real idea is try to remember as though it were Sept. 11, 2001, but I’m not sure that the human psyche really allows for that in a true sense.

Beyond that, I still believe the best way to honor the dead in the long run is to win the war on terror. I realize that even that simple declaration can be controversial since many people disagree about the nature of this war, its scope and the enemy. But I feel that if we allow these disagreements to paralyze us into inaction, that will be a tragedy of even greater proportions.

Your thoughts welcome…

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I encourage everyone to tell their story of where they were when the attacks happened, how they found out, and what they were thinking about and experiencing.

Also, the media tells us that the attacks haven’t significantly affected our lives. I don’t agree. Do you?

Remembering the Victims of 9/11/01

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:10 am

There is no more fitting way to remember 9/11 than to go here here and browse through some of the tributes to the thousands who died on September 11, 2001.

UPDATE: Here you can read about Kevin Cosgrove, whose harrowing 911 call has been heard by many of you. The tribute also tells us about the good times he had with his family:

He loved indulging his children. “Mommy, it broke my heart when Daddy died because he was a good snuggler,” said 4 year old Elizabeth Cosgrove. Wendy Cosgrove simply held her daughter close and said, “I know.” He was also famous for his backward dinners. “Mommy, Daddy let us eat dinner backward,” the kids used to say to me when I would come home after they had spend a day with him,” Mrs. Cosgrove recalled with a chuckle. “We had brownies and ice cream before dinner. I would tell him that it made me look like the bad guy because I made them eat dinner. It was funny.”

He told the 911 operator: “I got young kids.” He wanted to go home and see them again. That’s why he told her: “We’re young men. We’re not ready to die.”

You also can and should read about people you probably never heard of, like Fred Kelley:

Mrs. Kelley remembers her husband as an emotional man with great empathy. What might he have said to friends grieving a loss such as the Kelleys’? “He would have been the type that was crying with them … ”

Religion was important to Fred Kelley, a Catholic. “I can honestly say, I think, as he got older, it became more important to him. I guess that’s not unusual.” She says, regarding her children, “Hopefully he’s guiding them. He was a lot less intense than I … he was a more happy-go-lucky person, you know. The kids would go to him to talk about troubles more than me, because they knew I took it so seriously. So I’m sure they’re missing that a lot. And they’re stuck with me … I have wonderful children. They have been so supportive and wonderful; it’s been a great reward.”

Read about Jakki Young, who was a rabid Temptations fan. Or Justin Molisani, who told his wife Jodi that he was helping co-workers evacuate moments before United 175 hit Tower 2. Or Amy Toyen, who lived and worked in Massachusetts, but was attending a technology conference in the World Trade Center on September 11.

These are just random names I selected. You should read about others.

I’ll probably never have time to read about them all, but I want to.

Remember these people.

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