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What were you doing on 9/11?

I was at my house in San Carlos, CA (Bay Area) getting ready to fly from SFO to Boston for a company meeting. I didn't usually listen to the radio in the AM but I turned it on for whatever reason.
I heard about the first plane and turned on the TV in time to see the second plane hit live.

I was thinking, holy shit, I don't want to get on a plane today and where are all my consultants. I had a 50 person global consulting team for a large software company. I called my resource manager to find out where everyone was and to make sure we tracked down every single person ASAP. It turned out I had 3 people in DC and 4 in NYC. We didn't know who was currently on a flight or exactly where everyone was.

I went to my office which was on the top floor of a building on the approach path to SFO. I was coordinating with the HR director and my one senior manager based in HQ on tracking people down. We were on the phone with the rest of my senior management team to divvy up the team to get hold of everyone voice to voice.

We we ordered to evacuate the building. Even though all US planes had been grounded, there were still flights from Asia inbound to SFO which they were going to allow to land escorted by fighter jets.

We did manage to track everyone down by mid afternoon and they were all ok. I had one guy at Fox News in NYC who was told to leave. Apparently the employees were given camcorders and told to get footage and all the contractors were kicked out and told they could not come back until notified. This poor guy couldn't get back into his hotel either so I gave him approval to get whatever he needed. Crazy day.

What's your story?

shockwaverider 8 Jan 28

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I was working at the time as a math teacher in L.A. When I first turned on the radio that morning, it was just after the first plane hit. I was driving to work when the first tower collapsed. No lessons that day....the students needed their chance to talk and discuss the day's events.


I was a visiting professor at a small mid-western college. Got up and saw the 2nd plane hit the South tower. Before that people thought maybe a small plane had made a mistake. As soon as I witnessed that "live" I knew it was terrorism. I had a doctor's appointment that morning so I went and listened on the radio during my appointment.

I went to school and didn't listen to news for about an hour as I had to prepare for that afternoon's class. I went to school and everyone, students, professors, everyone, was gathered around a TV set. I saw the smoke and asked naively "Is that the World Trade Center?" One of my students replied immediately "What World Trade Center?"

I taught class, it was a physics lab. I told my students that sometimes it was better to distract oneself especially when you could do nothing about it from where we were. I released any students who had relatives in NY city.

After work I left and went to get gas. The stations had already started price gouging but everyone paid what they asked. They were later sued by our state government for this and they lost.

I woke up the next morning and probably like almost everyone else, my first thought was: "Wow! What a terrible dream!" My next thought was "Oh Shit! It wasn't a dream!"

3 daughter was an NYC student on 9/11...she was stuck on a train in the tunnels of the yeah..panicy to say the least..I was living in Atlanta at the time..

How long before you were able to confirm her safety?

A close friend of mine worked in one of the outer offices on one side of the Pentagon. Her mother also worked on one of the outer offices on a different side. The plane struck the side between where they both worked. She said both her and her mother spent 4 hours running around the wreckage and recovery personnel trying to figure out if the other was still alive.

24 long, agonizing hours..


i was in New York during 911 but i was safe at some friends in Brooklyn, Crown Heights
glued to the TV News!


I was a student at Air Force pilot training. I just woke up and was getting ready to go in for another flight. My buddy Mike called me up and said "Dude, are you watching this shit?" I spent the rest of the day huddled in the flight room sitting shoulder to shoulder with 40 other lieutenants, watching it all unfold on TV. I think every single one of us in that room knew exactly what the stakes were going to be from that point forward.

Oh shit... I can't imagine anyone with more skin in the game!

@CidNickel -- Naval air during the Cuban missile crisis. Raw nerves on the surface then, too.

@CidNickel Your right, I was only what 6 or 7 and still remember windows shattering in Waco TX from the sonic booms of fighter jets. That was VERY scary, even then I knew the stakes.


I was at home getting ready for a doctors appointment and had The Today Show on. The story broke and I was transfixed. I didn’t want to leave the house. The next few days/weeks were spent going from channel to channel trying to make sense of what had happened, crying for people I had never met.


On a bus to work. Guy waiting at the stop with me told me about it. I thought he was making some kind of weird joke and didn't believe it.

When the Space Shuttle blew up we all thought people were making a bad joke too. Disbelief until you've seen it with your own eyes seems to happen in really upsetting circumstances.


Working in a market research center. Out of respect, all calls to the New York and Washington, DC area were disconued for several days.


I was off work that day. Tuesday, wasn’t it? I was in bed trying to sleep late and my ex came running in screaming “we’re under attack!!!!!!” and freaking balls, man. Dumped a lot of Xanax or Zoloft or whatever all crazy pills she was taking down her throat and watched tv in my underwear all day.


I was furious for purely selfish reasons. I was working for the 800 lb gorilla software company and had been approved to 'tour the world' leaving on 9/13 (visiting 11 different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and S. America) on the companies dime for a global rollout. I was the 'support/QA guy for this project and ended up with both phones in my ear for the next month instead of seeing the sights. I watched the second plane hit as a live camera was on the first building just as I was getting ready for work. I knew my much anticipated trip was toast immediately. It was a horrible day for a lot of people and I should be grateful that my trip wasn't scheduled 2 days earlier.


I was repairing an air conditioner in Osprey, FL when my wife called and told me she was scared about the planes crashing into buildings. I calmed her down and started going to my next repair job in Sarasota, FL when I got some information on the radio that all aircraft were grounded. My job would be about 1/2 mile from SRQ, Sarasota's Airport, and Bush was in town that day. I called my boss and told him that I was going to wait a while before I went to Sarasota.

Air Force 1 was at SRQ and I thought maybe a plane was going there to crash into AF1. Worst yet I read where a simple, low yield, gun type Atom Bomb would fit into a regular van and be easily detonated by a person willing to do it. Went over to my bosses house , 4 miles from SRQ, and watched the news till Bush was in the air. Then the North Tower ? Started collapsing and my wife again panic asked me to come home. So I did.


I was asleep, then my phone went crazy, I had people ringing me, crying, screaming the shock was terrible. I had no idea how many people I knew had friends and relatives working in those buildings. Most but sadly not all survived.


I was in a hostel in Koln, Germany. All we had to go on were spotty news stories and a lot of rumors. We all decided to go to a bar that had CNN showing on, well, basically a movie screen. Then this drum and bass dj, who was already scheduled to play, showed up and insisted on doing his show even though the whole bar was ignoring him, glued to the screen. My wife (at the time) was a ER nurse in a level 1 trauma center hospital in NJ - they all went on full alert and waited for airlifted patients. None arrived.


My hubby and I kept are kids home from school for no apparent reason. I read somewhere that more than average amount of kids missed school that day.


I was with my guys up in Biddeford Maine dismantling a mansion to move to a new location further up the coast but that's not the interesting part. I have the same name as a guy that escaped the towers at the last minute and people I hadn't heard from for years kept contacting me about what was I doing in the towers that day.


A couple of vet buds and I were swapping lies with the TV news in the background. When the story broke, the conversation ended. Disturbing day. Hobbs, New Mexico.


Fixing breakfast for my daughters before accompanying them to school to attend a ‘site council meeting.’ Watched the second tower fall along with the principal and parents other parents arrived to take their children home, some demanding school be closed… School went on..

Varn Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

I was on my computer and had just returned from taking my kids to school. I was killing time before I had to get to work. My ex-husband for some reason turned the TV on and I thought it was some kind of movie at first, but obviously it wasn't.


I was teaching. We could see the gray smoke all the way from The Bronx.


talking to a sister on the phone while she was on the jersey shore watching the second plane hit the building


I was working at burger king and this very "eccentric guy" came in and said every time tomato crops were down here in Jersey we had war. It was bizarre. Than we heard, and my boss had a brother that actually worked there, luckily the guy was home that day


Oh my weirdest 9/11 story? Meeting a women giving us a presentation on retirement plans the week after. She had been in the World Trade Center that day. I couldn't imagine being in a job where I'd go to work the next week after having that evacuation experience? I realize now that going back to work was probably covering for the people in this huge company that didn't make it - and that keeping occupied can be a very good thing. But at the time I thought "OMG you are living out of a suitcase? After that!".


I was driving to the laundromat where in lived in Pennsylvania about 50 miles from NYC thought it was a skit on the radio at first. Got into the laundromat and the same thing was on the radio there. Thought to my self, I am way too far from a firearm for this to happen right now.


Was getting ready for a meeting with a realtor with one of my sisters (I was on vacation - so was she) when our other sister phoned and said "Put on the TV". She was running daycare and it was the time when the kids got to watch tube while she prepped lunch. Not a single channel had anything else on. I think we saw both towers come down before we went to the meeting (at the end of a two mile dirt road on a lake?). I guess if you aren't in the middle of it you need to remain pragmatic. Though I now think we were crazy to leave the house. But we were in rural MA and CT that day - so if something were going to be hit - it would have been a nuke plant. (You'd think). I think all of us have a bit of PTSD from that day. The images still make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end, And going back to a newspaper and having Firefighters calling for copies of papers with certain photos - that was rough. Because they all lost someone, Or had a story. I've since instructed my siblings that if something awful happens they are to text to all of us. And they do! And one cousin who lives in NY who knows to check in now - we spent ages wondering if he was ok. And he was.


I was a freshman in high school. The planes hit the towers while I was in 2nd period band, and I found out when I got to 3rd period biology. The teacher made us sit through her lecture, and at the end of class we went to the classroom next door to watch the news. By then both towers had already fallen.
For the rest of the school day, none of my teachers ran class as usual, we just watched the newscast in every class.

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