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What Happened ON 9-11-01 During Your Watch ?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by PROSOUTH, Sep 10, 2011.



    Jan 10, 2000
    Middle TN
    I remember it like it was yesterday. I was breaking up fights over Gasoline everywhere. People thought for some reason that there would never be another shipment of gasoline for some reason.

    Then my week was downhill from there. I had an Interstate Sniper, totaled my patrol car, and had a Terroist Bus Wreck after some rag head cut the bus driver's throat. How was yours?

  2. On 9-11-2001 I was in the Army Infantry, stationed at Fort Hood. I was in D Co 2-7 Cav "Garry Owen". We were about to do gunnery to assume the main QRF (Quick Reaction Force) for Fort Hood/the United States. A buddy and I went down town to get patches sewn on our Nomex crew suits. I was about to get out of active duty and thinking it would be my last gunnery shoot on a Bradley M2, and I would take Top Gun again. At the sewing shop we watched it on T.V., then we got the phone call.

    The next week was total hell. We spent 72 hours straight shooting weapons, loading equipment, and doing inspections after inspections getting ready to do what ever we were told to do (rail head on trains, set up ships for transport, prep for planes. In the end we stood down.

    Our barrack area and the base went into defense posture. 100% ID checks. Random searches. C-Wire around buildings, vehicles, entrances, armed guards, etc... 24/7. Pain in the butt!

    Less than a year later I got out, and became a Police Officer. My friends who were getting out were stop lossed, and later deployed. Some were killed. Later I joined the National Guard and went into Iraq. Never went to Afghanistan. Sad thing is I am getting out of the National Guard now (retire w/over 20 years), and my Unit 1-124 Cav is about to go to Afghanistan...

    Part of me wants to stay in the Guard and go to A-Stan, but I am now a supervisor at my PD and can not be gone for a year, its not fair to my fellow officer's, PD, or family.

    I had family from Boston who were in N.Y. that day too.

    9-11 I will not forget it.

  3. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    I was off. Got woken up by a phone call from my ex overseas who saw it. The rest of the day was spent on standby while all of los angeles went into lock down. All government buildings closed. Streets in the area closed. I heard helicopters all day and some jets flying pretty low over the area.

    Never forget. Never tarnish the memories of those who died that day. Never, for one second, think that this is over by any means. Never let the sacrifices of our men and women in the armed services go to waste by squandering the gift of freedom.
  4. I was on patrol on I-80.

    I went back to the station, got the squad members' riot bags and gas masks and disseminated them.

    Went to Ground Zero on 9/11 +2 and 9/11 +5. It's not something I will forget.
  5. ntcmpjg


    Jul 25, 2011
    Fort Bragg,NC
    I was 15 and in japanese class when the plans hit the towers. Then in 2003 I joined the Army to knowing full well I was going to deploy and might not come back. Here I am in 2011 I have done a tour in Iraq and have been stationed in everypart of the US and am about to go to Germany. I never thought I would be were I am right now I have greatful for what I have I have lost some very close friends to this war and I will all way do what is need to protect to country I grew up in so my daughter can enjoy life like I did.
    Everyone to day is for remembering the fallen of 9/11/01 but also the Soldiers and family's that still don't have closure of what happend to the soliders still MIA or POW.
    Live free

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. k9medic


    Sep 16, 2000
    at an LZ near you
    Started the day off drinking coffee with a buddy of mine that was an SRO. Like many, we watched the events unfold on TV. After the second plane hit, my pager went off to call the Captain. I spent the rest of 9/11 guarding a middle school with a rifle slung wearing my raid gear. It took a long time to ID every singe parent that came to pick up their kids that day.

    The next few days were busy standing guard as well.
  7. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

    Apr 13, 2000
    Brooklyn, NY
    My position was Lieutenant, NYPD First Platoon Commander for NBSI. I had worked a 2000 X 0425 tour for that date with three hours overtime, meaning that I finished work and went home at 0725 hours. During the tour I had spoken with my commanding officer about his intention to remove me as first platoon commander and send me to the district teams. We had left off with him saying that he did not believe he would change his mind, but that he would talk with me the next night about it with his final decision since he would be doing another 4X12 and I would be in for another 2000X0425. This conversation was extremely important to me since I needed the hours of first platoon to accommodate my wife’s work schedule and also because it presented the greatest opportunity for overtime as I approached my impending retirement three months away on December 14th. Additionally, the team itself was comprised of some of the best cops it had ever been my honor to work with as a supervisor. I left work that morning and went home to bed in a depression because I felt that there was no way I would be able to keep first platoon. It was the biggest concern I had at that time. I had no way of knowing how drastically my life was about to change as I drifted off to sleep.

    I was awakened by the telephone. The time was 08:50. I answered sleepily to discover that the caller was my brother-in-law. He was highly agitated. “Where’s Pete?” he asked without pre-amble. I told him that Pete was working evenings and was probably at home asleep. I asked him what was wrong and he said that an airplane had just struck the World Trade Center. Accident (like the Empire State Building in ’46) or attack was the first question to enter my mind. I put on the TV while still on the phone. Tower 1 was engulfed in flames and smoking badly from the upper third of the building. The coverage was live. I hung up on Eric and immediately called Pat who was in California. I told him about the first crash and we speculated before hanging up. The TV had a live feed of the towers from a rooftop uptown. I watched as the second jet came screaming in through an arcing turn to slam into Tower 2 with the resulting horrific fireball and explosion. I called Pat back and found that he was also watching the live coverage. Terrorist attack; well coordinated and with more to come was my reaction. He agreed and said, “You know you’ll be going in” and I said that I was going to get ready now. We wished each other luck and ended the conversation. I beeped my wife and when she called I told her what was going on and that I was reporting to my command. I asked her to stay close to home with the boys.

    I was figuring that I wouldn’t be home for at least two days. I needed a shower so I took a quick one and by the time I got out the news was announcing that a plane had struck the Pentagon and another one crashed in Pennsylvania in a field. As I was dressing the phone rang and it was my sister, hysterical in tears. I told her that I couldn’t talk because I was leaving for work. There were reports that as many as eight passenger aircraft might have been hijacked for this wave of kamikaze attacks. The White House was being evacuated, as was the Sears Tower. Four more possible planes unaccounted for. I got in my jeep and headed for NBSI. By this time all bridges and tunnels in the city were closed. The cops guarding the entrance to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge didn’t want to let me across. I ordered them to get out of the way and drove through. Crossing the bridge and being the only vehicle on it gave me a bad feeling. I looked to my right to take a look at the Statue of Liberty, sure that she would not be standing for much longer. Only after reaching landfall on the other side did I look down at the jeep’s speedometer and was surprised to find that it was pegged.
    NBSI was bedlam. Name Redacted (newly promoted to Sergeant) was looking for enough pieces to constitute half a uniform. I ordered everyone I saw into full uniform and to make sure that they carried their ID cards with them because we would rapidly get to the point where uniforms were not trusted. As I was dressing I noticed my hands were shaking. I really didn’t know if I would live to see the end of the day. I looked for a gun to loan **** but they were all at home except for the two I was wearing. I had the limited capacity people gas up vehicles for the full duty people to use while responding once they were dressed and ready to go. About that time the first tower fell. We heard it on citywide by the FOD and ran outside to watch it from across the bay. I grabbed ***** and asked him if he knew what his most important job was now as a boss. He wasn’t sure what I meant so I told him, “You’re first responsibility is to bring all of your people home safe”. He nodded his understanding. With the advent of the collapse of the first tower we began throwing rescue equipment into the vehicles we were taking. We emptied the building of rams, sledges, pry bars, box lights, anything we thought would be valuable in a rescue operation. I even loaded the hydro-ram into the jeep. As we were preparing to go we heard a female MOS screaming hysterically into the radio over citywide that she was trapped and that the building was collapsing around her. I now believe that what we were listening to was the last transmission of Police Officer Moira Smith of the 13th precinct. Moments later the second tower collapsed.

    We left NBSI in a ten-vehicle convoy, the CO and I leading in my jeep. Lt. *** ***** had half of our people on his rosters and I took the other half. All of my first platoon guys had already gone on with the first wave that left prior to my arrival at NBSI. You could see the smoke from the towers for miles in all directions. I remember what a crystal clear day it was with bright sunshine. It made it all the more difficult to watch the obscenity that was taking place in the lower Manhattan skyline. We decided to take the Brooklyn Bridge in because we didn’t know if the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel would even be passable with both towers collapsed. As we crested the top of the Gowanus before it descended into the trench the CO and I were looking at the horrific view of the skyline when he said, “I’m going to make your day”. I said that that wasn’t possible. He then told me that he was leaving me in charge of first platoon. A small part of me was glad, but the reality was that it wasn’t one one-thousandth as important to me as it had been less than twelve hours ago.

    We finally reached our staging area located at Pike and Front Streets where the Pathmark is right across from the bulkhead. My first impression was of the twilight that had overtaken Manhattan on such a cloudless day. The smoke and haze towered into the sky for miles. The second thing I noticed was the sound of jet aircraft. What a comfort it was to look up and see the twin-tail, delta-winged silhouette of an F-15 fighter. It was the only comforting sight of the day. There was no organization at the staging area. Tons of personnel responding with no assignments at first. An unbelievable number of Metro One ambulances with codes taped onto their windshields were lined up, ominously without people to transport. There was also a whole fleet of School Safety vehicles for god only knows what reason. The CO kept stressing that there was no perimeter security for the mobilization site, so of course that is what NBSI was assigned to along with a few other commands. Rumors were rampant in those first hours. We were told that there were at least two hundred cops killed when the second tower collapsed on a command center. It was rumored that the Chief of Department, (Esposito) and First Deputy Commissioner (Dunne) were dead as well. The truth was that it was FD’s command post that was buried in the collapse and their C of D and First Dep who were killed, but that information didn’t become general knowledge until the next day. FD lost 343 men, and NYPD lost 23 including female PO Smith.

    Within hours there were trailer loads of bottled water, respirator masks, and gloves. United Rentals had dispatched hundreds of generators, cranes, light trucks and other equipment, most of it looking brand new. The response was tremendous. During the day we had been holding back a large group of madmen ironworkers who were attempting to get down to the collapse site to cut steel and begin removal operations. At times we thought they were going to attempt to fight their way down. They eventually were escorted in, but I doubt that they were able to accomplish much given the heat and flaming wreckage conditions of that first evening.

    I couldn’t take being on the outer perimeter and having nothing to do with rescue efforts. As darkness came we decided to leave the security perimeter to the Sergeants assigned. The CO and I loaded cases of water and respirator masks into the jeep and began making our way down to the site. Television and cinema pale by comparison to the reality of this scene. As we traveled down towards the site the air became dense and unbreathable. It was raining ash, much the way I have always imagined the streets of Pompeii must have looked during the eruption. The entire area was monochromatic, with different shades of gray being the only color visible. My first view of the building site itself immediately evoked thoughts of Dante’s inferno. Before seeing it, I thought of a typical building collapse where there was hope of finding survivors. One glimpse of the reality dispelled those thoughts. The image of a section of the exoskeleton of tower 2 reaching into the sky for a few stories before ending in a jagged claw will remain seared in my memory until the day I die. The base of the building sites was filled with an inferno of glowing hot steel and burning debris. Ash, paper, and other debris was a foot thick in the streets for a ½ mile in all directions. The rest of the Trade Center buildings were aflame and obviously doomed to collapse as well. We made repeated trips to drop off water and masks to the FD and PD personnel, all of whom were shell-shocked and grateful for the items that we had. We wouldn’t have been able to get through to them if not for the four-wheel drive abilities of my jeep. There was no large-scale rescue effort that first night. The wreckage was too intensely hot for anyone to approach it unprotected. That first night was dedicated to the discovery of bodies and body parts blasted free of the building just prior to or during the actual collapse. I tripped over a torso that had no head or limbs. Another member of NBSI found a heart with some ribs attached. Legs, arms and fingers were as common on the street as the papers that had been blown out of the towers as they fell. It was a scene of total devastation and defeat.

    We were dismissed at 0100 hours with orders to report back at 0430 the same morning. I went back to NBSI and fell asleep in my office swivel chair fully clothed. I had the realization that we were living through a historical event that compared to or even surpassed the significance of Pearl Harbor. I felt that life was never going to be the same. It was infinitely more precious and certainly much less assured.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  8. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

    Nov 3, 2005
    Seanmac, I can't even imagine.
  9. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Wow... Seanmac... I am speechless. I have watched and listened to a lot of 9-11 stuff from all over buy what you described was on another level... Thank you, brother. I don't know how I would have reacted in the face of such devastation.
  10. ntcmpjg


    Jul 25, 2011
    Fort Bragg,NC
    Seanmac that is a sad story I have no idea how I would have handled myself. Thank you for sharing

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. 3Speedyfish3


    Jun 12, 2011
    My Shift was much like k9medic's. Watched it unfold at a high school with the SRO. Dealt with the panic that ensued.

    Thank you for your Service and Sacrifice, Seanmac.

    Thanks to all you guys. I am proud to be a part of the Thin Blue Line.

    God Bless America.

  12. Roadkill_751

    Roadkill_751 5 or 6 rounds?

    Aug 29, 2005
    North Georgia

    Thank you for your service to our country, even though you were at groundzero, your agency NYPD represented all of "US".

    On that day, our shift at the Sheriff's Office was working. Several of us deputies went to the firing range to shoot in the morning. At the time of the first plane hit one of the other deputies that just arrived at the range said that he heard a news report of the first plane hitting WTC.

    A few minutes later, our Sheriff got onto the 2 way radio to announce that the Trade Centers were attacked, at the end of his transmission he announced for all deputies to take a moment of silence for all that were lost in the attacks.

    After the attacks, the citizens feelings towards public safety was something I have never saw for all of my years in LE. I have never heard so many thanks for my service to the public, cards, food, and drawing from the school kids. I will never ever forget this day.

    On the anniversery of 9/11 the cards, food, and drawings from the kids were left for us in the briefing room at the precinct.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  13. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    Sean I was thinking of you when posting the list I do every year. You had a front row seat to hell on earth.

    As for me it was my day off when my sister called to tell me the towers were gone. I was pissed when I turned on the news. My first thought was to get there right now. There were quite a few hurdles to making a code 3 run to NYC. In my boxers instead of full uniform. The nearest available squad car was 3 miles away from me. NYC was a two day code 3 run.

    Once the shock wore off I went down to the PD and helped a CSO practice the dummy drag. She was initially thinking about cancelling but I told her, "This is war we need Little Epa to be ready." (She was very short but worked out with a power lifter at work whose nickname was Epa, backwards from Ape, so she was "Little Epa")

    That night my PD threw a couple of extra people on patrol. One was a rare two man car for us. One of the guys said, "You drive, I'll sleep, then we change later." The passenger was awakened by the sound of a horn staring at a green light at the biggest intersection in town. The driver had fallen asleep with the car in park "just in case" he fell alseep.

    I worked 9/12 my usual day shift and everyone broadcast updates as they heard them on the MDTs in case people had been away from their cars on calls. When it became apparent there weren't going to be very many alive coming out of the rubble we just listened to news radio when we weren't on calls.
  14. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Anything going on with the memorial services today? I don't usually drive with the AM/FM radio on and there are no tv's in our headrests in the units.:whistling:
  15. OXCOPS


    Dec 31, 2000
    I was just starting the second day of a 2-day class about three hours away from my jurisdiction. On the drive there, I can remember a local morning show joking about how dumb someone could be to fly their plane into a HUGE building when the skies were clear. At the time, reports were coming out of a small single engine plane.

    Once we got to the training center, class didnt start right away. We ended up in the commander's office watching the TV. Shortly after, the second plane hit. Almost immediately the commander's phone rang. It was the admin issuing the alert to activate their SWAT team, deploy to the airport and lock it down.

    Five minutes after that, my chief called me and told me to get back home ASAP. I remember the words..... "Your car has blue lights and a siren for a reason. Use them."

    Also at this training center, troopers from all over the state were down on the range for their firearms qualifications. Out of coincidence, we all hit the interstates at the same time headed back home.

    I can only imagine what was going through the minds of motorist we passed when they saw 18 police cars running 100+ MPH in a full code caravan as they listened to the day's events unfolding on the radios.

    Once we got home, we were on duty doing various tasks for the next four days. I learned to nap on the training mats in the PD gym.
  16. I worked 1600-0300 HRS the night before. I woke up just before noon and flipped on the tv to see the footage of the airliners crashing into the WTC. I was a little slow to catch on and thought it was a movie as I started flipping through the channels. After the third channel in a row showing the same footage I finally clued in and turned up the volume (little bit slow to wake up). I felt sick at what I was watching and realized this was a major event that would affect everyone had just happened (minored in history in college).

    Thanks for your service to those who were there.
  17. I had just arrived home after performing an 2200x0635 tour (steady midnights) at my Command in Brooklyn. One of the Lt's (and good friend) in my command lived a few blocks away from me, at that time, in Nassau County (NY), a suburb just east of NYC. I was just about to hit the sack when my phone rang. It was the Lt.(who also did a midnight) telling me that a plane had struck one of the WTC towers. I turned on my TV and we continued talking and watched the second plane hit. I told him, "see you at the command" after which I hung up, took a quick shower, packed a bag and asked my landlord to watch my dog for a few days..

    I began traveling west bound on the Southern State Parkway and met up with multiple other off duty MOS in their POV's traveling in the left lane of traffic with their 4-ways on (in addition to red and/or blue warning lights on the dash, if they had them). The NY State Police were detouring ALL traffic off the parkway, except for all of us, who were "tining" (ID by means of our shields or "tin") the Troopers, who then allowed us to continue on our way. Enroute, I made several calls to family letting them know that I was "OK" and I would keep in touch over the next several days. I had my scanner on the NYPD SOD / Traffic frequencies during the entire trip and a million things crossed my mind, none of them good.

    I finally made it back to my command (Highway Patrol Unit 2) where everyone was ordered into uniform (yes, even Detectives) and we assisted in getting every piece of drivable equipment gassed and ready to go. Several of our day tours units were unaccounted for, as communication was a bit hectic as you can imagine. My unit was relegated to keeping the highways shut and escorting heavy constructing equipment to and from Ground Zero. My first of several trips to the site is something I'll never forget. My first trip wasn't until after sunset and we accessed the site via the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, which connects Brooklyn to lower Manhattan just south of the WTC. The power was still on as we entered from the Brooklyn side, but as we reached the center of the tunnel, the power was off on the Manhattan side and we drove into "complete darkness". We continued to drive into what I can only describe as a "nuclear winter". Ash and debris were still "floating" in the air and we reached the exit onto West Street, the only illumination was from our headlights, ESU's MLG's (light generators) and other PD and FD emergency vehicles. This is one of the most erie experiences I've had in my years in LE. Bodies and body parts were strewn about and at least some were marked with traffic cones, so they wouldn't be run over. I came across a body (torso) of a female. She was wearing a pink floral dress and was missing most of her extremities, but her dress was in almost pristine condition. To this day, I still have no idea who she was. I pray for her, all the innocent victims and our brothers and sisters lost that day, some I knew and most I didn't..:fallenofficer:
  18. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    Ajon, I can't even imagine the surrealism of the scene... And the bodies you saw... Just... Thank you and to all the brave men and women of FDNY, NYPD, PAPD, and all those who came from all around to assist.
  19. msu_grad_121

    msu_grad_121 BOOSH

    Sep 16, 2009
    NW Burbs

    I was at college and had just woken up, eating breakfast in the cafeteria and noticed the TVs were on CNN. I remember thinking "what idiot could fly their plane into the WTC on a day like this?" Just as I was finishing, I heard someone say "Oh my God" and looked up just in time to see the second plane hit. I was completely dumbfounded, and less than a minute later, my pager went off mobilizing everyone.

    I ran up to my dorm room, grabbed my uniform bag, drove to the university PD and checked out my handgun, then drove back to work. I must've made a trip that usually takes me 75 minutes in under 50. As soon as I arrived, the Lt. handed me a rifle and deployed me to the high school.

    I called my dad to tell him what was going on, and then tried to get in touch with a very good friend of mine and her husband, both of whom worked within a mile of the WTC. Finally got through to them, and then called my professors to inform them of what was going on. The first one I talked to was more than understanding, the second one was a total jerk and told me if I wasn't in class, she would basically fail me. I told her to do what she felt was right and stood my post.

    3 days later, I met with her and the dean of the college, who informed her in no uncertain terms that I would not be failing that class, no matter what. After 3 days of 12 hour shifts and the uncertainty of that time, it felt kind of good to have the dean tell her to pound sand.

    It's been said over and over, but thank all of you from the NYPD, FDNY, PAPD and every person who took part in the operations at the WTC, as well as everyone who has lost someone in those attacks. The world cannot thank you enough.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  20. indigent

    indigent Bamboozled

    Jul 2, 2005
    The events of my day pale in comparison to those of others here.

    Thank you Sean and Ajon for sharing your stories.