9/11 - Six Years Later - Some Reminiscences

Discussion in 'Indiana Glockers' started by R. Emmelman, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Guest

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    My 9/11

    In April of 2001 I was let go from my job at a local engineering firm and spent the next five months looking for employment. I finally got a job with a company that did contract work for the US Postal Service. The facility was located very close to Indianapolis International airport and being the technical geek that I am, I kept a scanner with the airport frequencies with me. I could hear both ground and aircraft transmissions and most times I was listening to departure and approach. Only radios with headphones were allowed to be used at work so as not to disturb each other.

    That Morning

    September 11, 2001 started as a routine day for me. I arrived at work at 7:30 and the wife took our daughter to school. I was busy doing something and had not turned on my scanner. As I was doing my job someone loudly yelled out “Quick, listen to WIBC!” Just seconds later someone stated that the local radio station was reporting that a small airplane had run into one of the World Trade Center towers and that it was on fire. My first thoughts were that some private pilot was confused and accidentally hit the tower. A few minutes later someone announced that it was not a small airplane but a jetliner and the tower was heavily damaged and on fire. I was still thinking that this must had been an accident and the aircraft made an error while on approach or departure. It was with the announcement that the second aircraft hit the other tower that I figured that this was no accident. It was at this point I decided to start listening to the airport communications.

    Incoming Aircraft

    Listening to the approach frequency I could hear the controller tell all aircraft to start their approach by the most direct route possible. As aircraft started calling the controller gave instructions to safely guide them directly to the runway. As the aircraft that were already on approach to Indianapolis started to land, other aircraft that were ordered to land at the nearest suitable airport started calling for instructions. Some of the aircraft asking for approach and landing instructions were not familiar to the controller and several times she had to ask about their capabilities and requirements. Small aircraft were directed to some of the small regional airports. It was truly amazing listening to the controllers work with so many aircraft in such a short amount of time without one mishap. Although you could hear the stress in their voice, the controllers maintained a cool and professional demeanor throughout the two hours of grounding all aircraft. One thought that would come back shortly to haunt me was that with all the aircraft hurrying to land, surly there was going to be an accident.

    Where Do I Go?

    With so many aircraft landing and none taking off the next problem faced by the controllers was where to park them. As the tarmacs and ramps filled up the only other option was to park them on the unused runways. Many people were now stranded and with the air traffic now shutdown and no way to get to their destinations. Also there was concern about having adequate and proper concessions for the aircraft once they were released.

    The Pentagon Has Been Hit – There has been a crash.

    At the news of The Pentagon being hit I became very concerned. It was at this point that I realized we did not know how many more attacks may happen. I felt comforted by the knowledge that the place I was working at was not marked as a federal facility and in fact was purposely kept out of the public view. As with any event this size, news disseminated through radio or television contains errors and rumors. One such rumor was that sever aircraft were still missing and may be heading for more targets. It is very sobering to think that we have no control or foreknowledge of what may happen next. As for my fear that there surly would be an accident, the news of the aircraft crash in Pennsylvania seemed to confirm it. It was only later that we learned this was not an accident but the thwarted effort of more terrorists.

    Watching It Unfold, Live

    That afternoon when I arrived home I started watching live feeds from the news satellites. This was just the time that WTC 7 collapsed and I watched it live. As the events of the day unfolded, there were many memorable news feeds. I continued to receive satellite feeds for quite sometime into the recovery and have hours of tape made from these.

    Four Aircraft and then Quite Skies

    One interesting tidbit, when I arrived home my wife mentioned that on her way home she noticed four aircraft flying at high altitude. It appeared to be three smaller and one large aircraft. Air Force one?

    As one who has an interest in aircraft, I guess I am more in tune to airplanes as they fly over. I still will look up when I hear aircraft pass overhead, even though I have seen hundreds of commercial flights. For the period that the flights were grounded I noticed a strange absence aircraft in flight. The familiar contrails and sight of the sun glinting off of a jetliner were missed. Although I don’t live in close proximity to an airport, I did notice the extreme quite of the night.
     
  2. IPDBrad

    IPDBrad Guest

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    Great post, really interesting perspective!

    Like most people, I will never forget where I was when the planes hit. I was driving home listening to Bob and Tom, I had just turned the radio on and they were discussing the first plane into the North Tower. Then they announced the hit on the South Tower.

    I got home turned on the news and was dumbfounded by the damage done. I got dressed for court, and headed downtown, but got a page that court was cancelled due to the attacks. I went to roll call and sat there watching the news all morning long until my afternoon shift started.

    Like everyone else, all I did was watch the coverage on tv then listen to it in my car. Shocked and numb probably best describes the feeling I had. Working that day, everything was very slow and quiet as if the entire city was taking a breath and mourning. There was one exception, gas stations. I can't remember taking any runs in the neighborhoods, however, I took several disturbances at gas stations on district. There were traffic jams, back ups and arguements at each one. Pretty shallow. Already stories were breaking about price gouging and people were quasi-panicked about gas prices going up and a lack of supply.

    Over the next weeks things got back to "normal".
     

  3. KSFreeman

    KSFreeman Guest

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    I was on my way to court in Delphi listening to Bob & Tom when I heard that the first plane hit. Something inside of me told me "this isn't good" and I knew there would be others. I kept flashing back to the Tom Clancy book where the Japanese pilot hit the White House.

    I ran up to the courtroom and ran back to the court office. The clerks and office staff were clustered around a television when the second plane hit. I knew it was them and I felt really sick.

    If only we did not have the stupid soccermom rules about no guns on planes. If only one armed man had been there. If only, if only . . .

    I worked all day, but I went home for lunch as I was having a bathroom remodelled and wanted to check on it. The two guys I hired were not working but were watching CNN with their mouths open.

    In the week to follow it was the only time I have seen military aircraft over Lafayette. The feds and their survellience vans followed and stuck out like sore thumbs.

    Bad times.:shocked:
     
  4. Pitmaster

    Pitmaster

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    I had just got my haircut and was on my way to work. I flipped on the radio to listen to the Bob & Tom show. They were talking about this and I thought it was one of there humorous skits. Then realized what an accident this must be. All of a sudden one of them says "Holy S***, another plane just hit". I knew the world had changed. Went to a meeting a few minutes later and when getting out, the world had changed.

    At that time I was the director of a college counseling center. and on an email list of directors. I must say that the discussion and actions of how to respond to this incident was very professional and focused on dealing with the fears many students had. Lots of college kids were walking around in a daze that day, as well as faculty and staff.
     
  5. dwh79

    dwh79

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    I was on my way to work and like has been said before we heard about the first and watched the second and again I just felt numb and just stared at the TV.I will always remeber where I was. I know other generations rember Pearl Harbor And Kennedy but this is my generations memory of where you were when it happened. I always heard talk on how people just remebered exactly where they were when they heard the news but could not truly understand untill it happened to me.
     
  6. epsylum

    epsylum Guest

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    I was in the office when a coworker called telling us that a plane hit one of the WTC towers. He was getting meter reads as I had to do that day too. So I went out to do my off-site meter reads. The whole time I was listening to the radio in the car and every location I went to had a TV on with people standing around it. I got my work done, but got to hear it all play out. The second plane hitting, the buildings falling, etc., etc. I heard it all as it happened.
     
  7. EAJuggalo

    EAJuggalo

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    I got off work at 0500 CDT, went home went to sleep. Got up about noon, walked out into the living room and my roommate is sitting frozen watching CNN. She never watches CNN, she asked if I had my tv on, when I told her I didn't she told me to go turn it on, wouldn't even tell me whats going on. I sat unmoving until I had to go to work at 2100.

    What's really messed up is what my girlfriend went through, she was a senior in High School at the time. They pulled everyone out of the school and made them sit in a field next to an oil refinery without telling them why. The only way they found out is some of the parents started calling the kids' cell phones to tell them to come home.
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I had worked a 16hr shift for DOC. Funny how you remember trivial things, but I remember I had some errands to run at 8am on 9/11, so I went in at Noon on 9/10(usually worked 4-12), with intentions of getting off at Midnight. Well, midnight came, and they were short help, and asked me to stay till 4am, so I did.

    I got home about 5, and laid down around 6-630, and dozed off. After the first plane hit, my phone rang, it was a friend of mine, who was pretty upset, she said, "I think something is really wrong, a Plane just hit the WTC" Still half asleep I turned on Fox and watched the coverage. I admit the first thing I thought(probably like a lot of people), was some sort of crazy accident, mechanical failure, or whatever. Talking to my friend and watching TV, I watched the second plane hit. I flew off my chair and yelled some things that aren't GT safe, and knew then our world had changed forever.

    At that time, my friend lived alone and was pretty upset, so she started the 7mi drive to my apt. I wasn't a very active poster on any internet forums, but I did read TFL quite a bit, and so I logged on to see what people were saying....

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80340&highlight=Plane+hit+World+Trade+center

    Reading that thread, makes you remember and relive that day all over.

    God bless, and God bless the families of all those who lost loved ones that day.

    IGF
     
  9. absrio

    absrio

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    I was sitting in Fort Wayne in school outside of a computer room when a Professor came running down and said to another a plane just hit a building. So I got up and walked back to my Fraternity house and watched everything the rest of the day. I was watching it live when the 2nd plane hit.

    My mom and my brother back in Illinois were outside talking about what had happened and saw 3 planes in the horizon. They both new all planes were grounded except Air Force One. So she grabbed the camara. She has a picture of one large commercial looking airplane with two smaller planes in very close proximity to the sides of it.
     
  10. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Guest

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    Not quiet true. Some flights were allowed to continue. Medical emergency flights and of course military. I did hear one poor pilot take off from I believe Eagle Creek the day after and was told by ATC to land or the Air Force would land it for him. Chances are that your brother/mother did see AF-1 or some other high ranking military/government official.
     
  11. pistolman

    pistolman Guest

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    I can remember exactly where I was on 9/11/01. I was stationed at Fort Meade, MD while serving the country in the United States Air Force. I was out of the work area attending some training with my supervisor. The staff of the building we were in interrupted class saying that "there is something on TV that you may want to see." The entire class and everyone in the fitness center stood in awe as we watched to news reports. After about 20 mintues, the instructor decided that some of us probably need to get back to work.

    I tried to get back into the facility that I was working in but my mission was not deemed essential at that moment and I was told to go home. I remember the lines of cars trying to get home that day. I can remember on the drive home seeing lines of cars coming out of gas stations. When I got home, my wife was sitting on the couch and just couldn't move because of what she was watching.

    In the days that followed, I sat at home waiting on a phone call to know when to get back to work. When I did get to return to work, security was pretty tight being a federal installation.

    The only thing that brought joy into my life was the birth of my daughter on 9/15. Of course, she was born at a military installation which was a task in itself. Security was pretty tight there as well and I only parked about half a mile from the entrance.

    Most of my military career was completed during the post 9/11 era.

    Just my story of the day.