Skip to content

September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET

September 11, 2009
It is so hard to remember that day. I lived and worked right across the Hudson River and I’ll never forget it…  Shouldn’t forget it. Even though I sometimes wish that I don’t always remember some of the things I saw.
Driving to work that day, on a road running along the river, I was annoyed, as always at the horrible traffic but not as annoyed as I often was because the day was just so gorgeous. Had my windows all open and was playing U2 on the car CD player .. I remember laughing a little because I was belting out, badly, “Beautiful Day” ON such a beautiful day.
That stopped… time stopped.. at 8:46
I saw out my window the first tower hit and all other sounds, sights, everything fell away. I don’t even know how I stayed on the road and made it to work..
I worked on the Palisades, saw it all happening, saw the smoke, smelled the smoke…
I still see the looks on people’s faces, the people who had to leave the City (mandatory evacuation) and could only leave via foot, walking over the bridge right past my apartment…..  And only having water and a phone to offer them….. the looks of  horror mixed with sadness and despair and confusion and utter devastation on their faces… it makes me cry right now, as I can still see them in my mind.
Driving home that day, after a day spent huddled around computer screens desperately trying to find information and news online; the TV service was mostly out… it took 2.5 hours to drive about 3 miles home on roads that were like parking lots where all you heard were car radios tuned to WABC and quiet, shocked, yet desperate-sounding,  non-stop sobbing.
I haven’t flown since; To this day, I can’t get on a plane. To this day, I literally DUCK when I hear a plane overhead.
I’m having difficulty finding a way to express it; I can’t put the depth of emotion in words.
But someone can and is. Someone who was right there that day and his words are bringing it all back… and he is somehow doing it powerfully and beautifully in tweets of 140 characters or less… touching and moving, it honors all who lost their lives or loved ones and all who were affected that day.
Please also honor the victims, their families, the men and women who died trying to rescue them that day and our soldiers who are *still* dying to this day, by reading his powerful remembrances. Allahpundit, from Hot Air; here is the link to his Twitter stream where he is sharing his memories of September 11th. I’ve copied them all down in order as best as I could below. (and please feel free to add your own memories in the Comments section.  Remembering is important, though I know it is painful. We must. We owe it to honor those innocent lives lost that day.)

I’m very thankful to him for sharing these memories. Powerful. And they need to be heard.

It is something we ALL must read. And must ALL always remember.


Allahpundit –  September 11th

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…

…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…

…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.

All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street

It was unbelievable, almost literally

I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…

…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)

We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…

He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.

This is the guy who conspired to murder him:

Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor

Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…

Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building

Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…

I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”

Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not

I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”

Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC

Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…

…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.

I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…

…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.

To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…

…waiting for them to fall that day

When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…

…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ

I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge

To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,

and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.

I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…

…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano

I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…

…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.

They knocked it down soon after

At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…

…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning

There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,

…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza

Maybe it’s still online somewhere

You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…

…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things

I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…

…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.

I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…

…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that

We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…

…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.

Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…

…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.

There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…

…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.

The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…

…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…

…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…

…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…

…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…

…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…

…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…

in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…

…I’m lucky I decided to move

My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…

…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…

…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?

I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…

…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…

…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.

For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…

…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…

…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.

When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.

I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\

I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”

And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…

…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall

So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…

…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it

It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.

Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…

…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…

…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…

…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.

So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump

If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”

Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…

…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”

They were ENORMOUS.

Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…

…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.

And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…

“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.

And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job

That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack

I was reading magazines in there the week or two before

One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…

…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…

…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…

..I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse

After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…

…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…

…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…

…I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.

Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…

…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…

…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,

…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.

allahpundit: I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden

I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden

Update: BigFurHat has this posted also and more memories can be found at iOwnTheWorld

18 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 2:44 am

    Thanks, Lori. allahpundit’s tweet collection is both moving and disturbing, as that day was. I was at work and on morning break when the word came over the radio. Everyone who could get close to a radio immediately clustered around them. It was a slow day pretty much after that and I went home at noon, finally seeing the images on TV.

    And now Obama wants to sully the memories of those that died there and in the Pentagon and PA with a national day of service? I might be OK with that if it was a national day of memorial service for the 9/11 victims. But he wants it to be a day of community service and volunteering, very ACORN-esque.

    Thanks again for allahpundit’s tweets and your memories as well.

  2. interestingcreature permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:46 am

    thanks again for doing this.

  3. Warren permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:52 am

    Thanks for the work putting allahpundits tweets in an easily readable format. This first hand account of a New Yorker demonstartes how out of it most of us where they day and for a long time thereafter. I know I will remember to my dying day the way New Yorker’s and Americans of every persuasian came to together. The thousands of individualed wanting to donate blood. The huge amounts of money donated to charities to assist the families of the people that lost loved ones and the survivors. The police, firefighters, construction workers and many others who devoted their lives and labor for many months to clear the site of the twin towers and at the Pentagon and work to recover the remains of the victims.

    In addition to the people from 90 countries that worked and died at the World Trade Center, we must remeber the first responders that lost their lives trying to rescue others. There are also the lives lost at the Pentagon and the passengers & crewmembers of the hijacked planes and most certainly the brave passengers of Flight 93 that risked & ultimately gave their lives preventing another potential disasterous attack in Washington.

    God bless those that lost their lives, the families and friends that have suffered so much during the years since and most of all god bless the many brave men and women, civilian and military that have sacrificed so much over the last eight years to prevent another attack.

    • snarkandboobs permalink*
      September 11, 2009 9:20 am

      Beautifully said, Warren. Thank you.

  4. September 11, 2009 12:45 pm

    I would imagine you’ve read the story by “Tilly” at LGF… I read it first thing every morning on this day…

    For some reason the link isn’t going directly to her post, but if you search for her name it’ll start there.

  5. 1MadJack permalink
    September 12, 2009 12:49 am

    I have posted something similar on I Own The World but thought I would also place it here.

    I was home alone as my wife and her cousin were on vacation up at Traverse City, MI. She was to have flown home later that day. It did not happen and I eventually had to drive the one thousand miles up there and bring her home.

    I first heard of the first Tower being hit when my oldest daughter called and told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and about two minutes later the second plane hit the second Tower and I knew in less than a heartbeat we were under attack. It was a very surreal moment in time for me. I had some real crazy thoughts on who did this and what would be next. I am a Vietnam Vet and forty years after the fact I am still a little jumpy so I immediately armed myself and got several other weapons ready and called a few other Vet buddies in the neighborhood. I know it sounds kind of crazy but hell I or no one else had a clue as to what or who the enemy was and what was coming next.

    I managed to watched the horror on playing out on TV and I have been deeply touched by the events of that day ever since. May we the American People never, ever forget that day. I also say we condemn all those who have the crazy damn idea that it was an inside job. It was no inside job but one planned and carried out by our greatest enemy in our history the Islamic/Jihadist terrorists. Now we have new enemy that may be as great or greater. Barack Obama.

    I have read through the entire list of the deceased today on the post on CNN. I couldn’t help but notice that for the most part it was our young that were taken that day. I see many that were the age of my own grown children. It saddens me deeply that this was brought upon us because we are America and the envy of every other country in the world. Nothing has changed in the past eight years in the way the rest of the world feels about us. Although I pray this never happens again it is up to every American to always be ready and prepared for the worst. May God continue to watch over America. Pray that we deserve his attention.


  1. Twitter Trackbacks for September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET « Snark And Boobs [] on
  2. September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET goodcity
  3. Twitted by snarkandboobs
  4. September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET nizainali
  5. Twitted by noahsmom7
  6. September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET - GF power
  7. Twittering 9/11 - Redhot - RedState
  8. the time for bickering is over (at least for a second) « Interesting Creature
  9. September 11th: WE MUST NEVER FORGET | Global Blogger
  10. september 11th – 海运女
  11. No Runny Eggs » Blog Archive » 9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11
  12. Memories of 9/11 from Allahpundit « Try 2 Focus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: