Opinion

9/11 Reflections – The Day America Lost Its Innocence

ground zero

It has been 18 years since America and everyone privileged to live in this great land, was forever changed. I recall hearing adults talk about where they were and what they were doing when JFK was shot, and during the attack on Pearl Harbor

Having not been born during either shocking national incident, I never really fully understood how watching the news unfold would leave such a lasting mark on your soul.

I was an educator in a rural Ohio school district during the 9/11 attacks. School had only been in session for a little while when the first plane hit the World Trade Center tower. Several of us were in the elementary school break room – work room while the students were at gym class grading papers when Miss G. nearly ran into the room and flipped the television channel.

She excitedly announced that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers in New York City. Our overall initial reaction was, “Oh, what a shame,” thinking that a small plane or NYC tourist flight had met a tragic end.

As we watched the smoke flowing out of the building, it seemed hard to believe that a small aircraft could have caused such damage. We listened eagerly to the speculations by journalists on television about what likely happened – they knew virtually nothing at the time beyond the simple fact that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

Less than a few moments after turning the workroom television channel, I remember saying, “Is that another….” while pointing at what looked like a second plane as it plowed into the building.

There, in that moment, everyone in America knew with absolute certainty that we were under attack. This was not a horrific accident where a few precious lives were lost, but a coordinated terrorist attack of epic proportions.

Unfortunately, we did not know at the time how right we were about the magnitude of the attack. That did not come until the Pentagon was hit and a handful of brave Americans thwarted the plans of the radical Islamic terrorists, and took their plane down in a vacant field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Attempting to retain your composure while standing in front of a classroom of children oblivious about what was going on – awaiting what more news from the television set was extremely difficult. Teachers, not students, were now passing notes.

“Another plane went down…”

By the time the third and fourth planes went down, parents were understandably flocking to the school to retrieve their children.

I was supposed to run in to town and pick up Burger King gift certificates as rewards for an ongoing monthly program at our elementary school. When I asked the principal if she still wanted me to go, she said it was up to me. I said that keeping as much normalcy in the school day for the still unaware students, was a good idea. She agreed.

While I meant what I said, I really just wanted to get out of that building and breath – not knowing how much longer I was going to be able to keep my emotions in check. Watching people jump out of 90 story windows to escape the pain from the heat generated by jet fuel flames and the smoke will forever be seared in my mind.

When I got to Burger King I just went through the drive thru window to get the gift certificates. Mingling with other folks just felt like too much to deal with at that moment. Bryan, the manager I had frequently worked with on school projects, came to the drive thru window. He was visibly shaken, yet a sense of relief showed on his face, as well.

Bryan said he had been frantically attempting to get a hold of his sister one her work satellite phone for an hour. She had been scheduled on one of the flights that went down.

He said there was some bumping on the flight and her boss chose to take the available seat so he would not be late for a meeting and had her stay behind to catch a later flight.

While Bryan, being a nice guy, surely felt bad that his sister’s boss was surely among the victims of the radical Islamic terror attack, he was clearly overjoyed that his kid sister was still alive.

The school was ultimately placed on early dismissal – not many students were left in any of the buildings by lunchtime, anyway. My daughter was in first grade at the time.

Once we got home I had to figure out a way to explain to her what had happened and why we wouldn’t be celebrating her great grandmother’s 86th birthday that evening as planned.

Looking into her sweet little face it was heart wrenching to grasp that neither she nor any other child in the United States would be growing up in the same America that I had enjoyed.

Like everyone else, my eyes were glued to the news for days (weeks, really) after the 9/11 attack. Even though we watched the terror attack unfold in real time, it still was nearly impossible to grasp that all of this was real.

On September 10, 2010, about 3,051 children kissed their parents good night for the final time. Spouses of first responders hugged their loved one good-bye hoping they would return safely home soon, but far too many local heroes gave their lives helping others.

Many of those selfless individuals are still suffering and dying today due to the exposure to Ground Zero during the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts.

As I watched the news this morning, I thought about all of the children born since 9/11. They would grow up hearing the adults in their lives talking about where they were on this day just like I heard “where I was” stories about the JFK assassination and the Pearl Harbor attack.

They will grow to understand the magnitude of the event but have no real personal connection to the event because they had not lived through it.

Being able to avoid dealing with a tragic event during childhood is, of course, a good thing. But could such a disconnection lead the next generation into complacency when it comes to dealing with terrorism threats? I hope not, but that is a very real possibility.

Where were you on 9/11 and how did it impact your prepping efforts?

Tara Dodrill

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.
View all posts by Tara Dodrill →

36 thoughts on “9/11 Reflections – The Day America Lost Its Innocence

  1. Tara,

    On 9/11/01, I was at my family’s apartment in Orlando. I was writing a paper for one of my MBA classes when my wife called and asked me to meet a friend of hers in the parking lot and give her some sewing stuff. A short time later, I met the woman, and she told me that a plane had just crashed into one of the WTC towers. I went back upstairs and turned on the TV, a minute or so later, I watched the second tower get crashed live. I knew then, as did anyone with a working brain cell, that we had indeed been attacked by terrorists. I was glued to the TV for the rest of the day.

    #1 daughter came home from high school a little early and I did have to rip myself from the TV to go pick up #2 daughter and my son from their private school at the usual time as my wife was in the middle of teaching a sewing class. Some things kept on being normal, I guess.

    Over the following days, I tried to get my military retirement cancelled and recalled to active duty. No such luck. Just as well, since I had medical issues that would have prevented me from doing my old job (security police). I was just P.O.d to the max and wanted to kill something/someone.

    As far as changing how I prepped, the event really didn’t change much as I wasn’t into serious prepping then. Basic hurricane preps, that was it.

      1. Tara,

        Thanks, it was my honor to serve. Since they wouldn’t take me back, I sent them my #1 daughter. She saw some ugly stuff in Afghanistan.

  2. I had just brought my son to his private school. (at our church) when the pastors younger son ran out to me in the parking lot and said the World Trade center had been hit. I went back inside and watched on the TV in the office when the second tower got hit. I prayed a short prayer for the victims and families cuz i had to get to work (was already running late) later learning about the other two planes. In later years ive done some research, and given the footprint of the destruction, the fact that the building 7 came down without being hit directly, and other discrepancies, have come to the conclusion that it was a controlled demolition, used as an excuse to start another war. Call me what you like. 😁

    1. Babycatcher, Yep and MORE! BIGGEST HOAX on the Amercan public. Like you I may be partially blind about some things, but not stupid…ie. to find a pristine engine and pristine passport among all of the documents and other items that were completely incinerated,… absurd, and illogical.Was planted is my conclusion… from info.. the engine came from a salvaged plane junkyard..
      How does millions of $$ go missing, get announced by a public official.. and the records of all those transactions burn the next day, before they can be assessed…or accessed.? Why does owners of a building found to be full of asbestos and other hazardous building materials need to have many million $$ worth of insurance with a rider that in case of a terrorist attack it suddenly is multiplied? ( and then such an event occurs- within 2-3 weeks) How does England TV show the second plane 7 minutes BEFORE it hits.? Plane that hit pentagon was non existent. impossible angle had to be a missle… and i am just a stupid house wife. so how would i know a plane did not come at that angle with materials in palce around that building>> common sense and laws of physics is impossible for a plane to have done that damage… and killed those who were targeted… Yes everyone who died was targeted in some manner. They had to have victims to make the American public mad enough to go to war. and the WAR mongers and Satanists were in charge.
      I do believe our first responders were targeted,( and those who worked there and were not told to stay home or work from home that day.)… those who set off the explosives knew, and those who installed the explosives knew. it took a special explosive to melt the columns, was not done with diesel.Does not get hot enough to melt the steel. Ask people who work with steel and weld, bend and manipulae it, How hot does that grade of steel need to get? Just ask… That is why all debris was recycled and dumped in ocean so quickly. could not have anyone examining the evidence.
      Call me what you will.Stupid ? Just born? naw.

      1. Anonamo Also,

        Call me what you will.Stupid ? Just born? naw.

        I’ll not call you anything except you are somewhat wanting in education of basic physics, chemistry, strength of materials, and structural analysis.
        To an engineer with such training, the pancake collapse of the towers made perfect sense with no explosives required. The fires were fueled not only by jet fuel (kerosene); but, all of the other materials such as urethane in the furniture cushions and the steel did not have to melt, only be heated enough to be weakened. Structural steel heated to around 750° to 800 ° F will begin to soften, and those temperatures could easily have been reached inside a 1700 foot rocket stove fueled with kerosene, urethane and other combustible building materials.
        Steel can weaken and suddenly collapse without much warning, and in the fire service it is well known that a wooden building, like an old barn, is much more stable than one made of steel for this very reason.
        To see a conspiracy within a government that cannot always deliver the mail on time or provide simple medical care to our veterans, seems short sighted to me.
        To complain about government inefficiency (and we all do) and then think they could pull off such an event is just plain illogical.

  3. Tara,

    Being able to avoid dealing with a tragic event during childhood is, of course, a good thing. But could such a disconnection lead the next generation into complacency when it comes to dealing with terrorism threats? I hope not, but that is a very real possibility.

    Unfortunately, this is still a valid question, since I see too many of our youth not being taught the history of this great country, or only having focus on the bad things, like we once allowed slavery.
    Some of the socialist candidates and their MSM cohorts don’t make things any better.
    My prepping didn’t change at all, since we had already been on our current property with the same mindset for 17 years at the time.

    As for my experiences.
    I missed Pearl harbor by more than 10 years; but, do recall the JFK assassination, although it really didn’t sink into that 12 year olds head other than a few days off from school, and most of the adults around me discussing things I didn’t quite understand.
    On 9/11/2001 I heard about an airplane crashing into a skyscraper in NYC that morning on the radio while driving to work and didn’t think much about it at the time, since a B-25 aircraft had hit the Empire State building back in the 1940’s and while rare, such things do happen. As I entered the building at work that morning, there were TV’s on and computers streaming the deliberate crash of the second plane into the other tower, and I had that “Oh Crap” moment, since it was most definitely not an accident. We then heard about a plane crashing in Somerset county PA, just one county over from where I grew up, so I called my brother who had just seen an on scene report on the local news. It was reported that the aircraft was flying erratically and low with the wings dipping back and forth until it finally just dived into the ground and crashed. We later found out about the brave souls on that plane who tried to take it back, losing their lives; but, most likely saving hundreds of others.
    My next “Oh Crap” moment came later that day while trying to get some work done. At the time I worked for UUNET that along with CompuServe was a WorldCom company.
    Another engineer and I were completing and testing a piece of monitoring software used to monitor internet nodes all over the country. This software checked on the health of different network devices and helped predict failures allowing people in the NOC (Network Operations Center) to make corrections or send out maintenance personnel to resolve problems. Most people just take the internet for granted; but, there’s a lot of monitoring and people working to keep it up and running.
    We had equipment in the basement of the towers, used to provide internet service to the companies in the towers and the surrounding areas, and at the time processed about 80% of all credit card transactions nationally.
    All of a sudden, the other engineer yelled for me to come and look at the monitoring screen. It showed an over temperature alarm on both tower 1 and tower 2 and as we watched the towers fall, both of those network elements changed status to “Unable to communicate”.
    While the events took place 600 miles away, we both got lumps in our throats and simply didn’t know what to say. Even with that remote involvement in the event, it still sticks in my mind today.
    I later found out from an old college roommate who lives in Colorado; but, lived in Boston at the time, that he had originally been ticketed on the Boston to L.A. Flight; but, the meeting was cancelled a few days earlier.
    Those are the situations that make you pucker up and count your lucky stars.

    Finally, if anything good can come out of a tragedy like this one, here it is:
    September 11th and the Hospitable People of Gander, Newfoundland
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/31491/september-11th-and-hospitable-people-gander-newfoundland

    There is also a musical about this event.
    Come from Away is a Canadian musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired … Wikipedia

    1. TOP,

      I was in the 5th grade at a Catholic school when JFK was assassinated. I was in our religion class and the parish monseigneur was talking with us when mother superior made a PA announcement about the killing. The monseigneur went absolutely white as a sheet, excused himself, and left. Turned out he had been a priest at the Kennedy family’s parish earlier in his career and knew JFK. That made quite an impression on a ten year old kid.

      A few days later, my father and I were watching the funeral procession through Washington DC to Arlington. I still clearly remember the intensity of the muffled drums beating the Funeral Beat. Also the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch Regiment playing at the cemetery and their Pipe Major playing, as lone piper, Flowers of the Forest (the most common pipe funeral lament played in Scotland and the British military, not Amazing Grace).

      1. Zulu 3-6

        A few days later, my father and I were watching the funeral procession through Washington DC to Arlington. I still clearly remember the intensity of the muffled drums beating the Funeral Beat. Also the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch Regiment playing at the cemetery and their Pipe Major playing, as lone piper, Flowers of the Forest (the most common pipe funeral lament played in Scotland and the British military, not Amazing Grace

        Was this in person or on the TV?
        I watched it on the TV; but, at age 12, don’t remember it with quite the majesty you describe here; however, it does bring up a question I’ve had for years
        As an adult with Scotch Irish background I love the sound of the pipes and as a trumpeter / bugler I’ve attended a few funerals for veterans or have seen them for fallen LEO’s and have a question I’ve never had answered.
        Where does the tradition of “Amazing Grace” on the pipes originate for these solemn occasions?

        1. Amazing Grace was written by an Englishman in the late 1700s. Over time it became quite popular in the United States too, though not as a lament. People just enjoyed the song and it began to be sung at funeral services, not just in the US, but also Great Britain, Canada, and most other countries with Christian populations.

          It is often sung at funerals in those other counties too, but was not written to be specifically a funeral song and often is not used as such in any country. In Great Britain, Canada, Amazing Grace is normally sung as one of the hymns in the actual service, not at the graveside like seen in the US. Cultural differences is the main reason. I think since the US really doesn’t have a history of people writing pibroch laments to commemorate notable deaths, Amazing Grace has kind of slipped in there.

          Flowers of the Forest was specifically composed as a lament commemorating the death of Scottish King James IV at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 where a Scottish army was defeated by an English army. As a lament, is it not normally played except at memorials or funerals. Flowers of the Forest is almost always played by a lone piper at a graveside service. More recently, the British and Canadians also play it at the dignified transfer ceremony of deceased soldiers being loaded on aircraft to be taken back home for burial.

          If you’ve ever seen the movie “Garden of Stone” (which I highly recommend), the movie opens at a military funeral at Arlington Cemetery with a lone piper playing Flowers of the Forest as he slow marches through the headstones. That movie can get a bunch of tough combat vets reduced to tears (especially if some adult beverages are involved).

    2. Something has been bothering me a bit all this week and while it’s a simple thing, I’m going to blurt it out here to get the opinions of others.

      It has been 18 years since America and everyone privileged to live in this great land, was forever changed.

      It’s not just this phrase; but, similar discussions on the TV & radio and the use of the word ”America” to mean the ”United States of America”
      This misuse of the term goes clear back to a discussion I had in college with some exchange students from one of the south American countries, although I don’t recall which one since it was nearly 50 years ago.
      We were talking about how great ”America” was and they interrupted and quite correctly informed us that they too were ”Americans”.
      Whether you hail from Ohio, Florida, Peru, Panama, or Nova Scotia, we are all Americans and it’s a fact I think all of us should understand, and perhaps think of how it affects those other ”Americans” or make them feel.
      We have all no doubt heard the phrase and description of “The Ugly American” as a term used to reference perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, U.S. Citizens both abroad and at home.
      Any thoughts?

      1. TOP,

        My thoughts on the “America” moniker. Our country, the United States of America, is located in the North American continent, as is Canada, and some would argue, so is Mexico. Canadians and Mexicans do not call themselves “Americans” simply because they live in the North American continent. We, on the other hand, have the word “America” in our country’s name. Thus Americans.

        Those people in South America live in countries that do not have “America” as part of their name. Ergo, they might be South Americans, but are specifically Brazilian, Peruvian, whatever. The vast majority would NOT refer to themselves as Americans. Those South American students are comparing apples to oranges. Their countries did not Make America Great and have no special claim to be called “Americans.”

        The book title, “The Ugly American” did not refer to the behavior of Americans in foreign countries in general. It referred to the protagonist who was rather plain looking and considered himself ugly. He spent his time in the made-up southeast Asian country in the bush living with the indigenous peoples, learning their language and culture, and giving them the help they needed AND wanted. He was the opposite of most official Americans (the ambassador, etc), who were portrayed as stand-offish, officious, and boorish. They didn’t bother to learn the local language and culture, unlike what the Soviet officials were doing. This book was a major influence on JFK establishing the Peace Corps.

      2. I’ve been party to that discussion but we still tend to speak of the United States of America as just America. If someone is a citizen here we just call them an American. But I do know that could just as correctly be a Bolivian or Argentian or a Canadian.

    3. Wow, seeing those temperature readings followed by the towers falling must have been surreal and as you noted, a very emotional experience.

  4. I remember 9/11. My husband wasn’t feeling well. We were still in bed three time zones away from NY. My son was still in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk, VA. He has Good morning American on while getting ready to head to the base. Their background was the twin towers and N.Y. skyline live. He saw a plane hit the towers and called me. I turned on TV and saw the second plane hit then later we heard about the other two planes. My first cousins son, his wife and young daughter were employees there. I didn’t know till later that they missed their commuter train because of a flat tire. They arrived in time to watch the buildings burn then come down.

    1. Thank goodness their train got a flat tire, I can’t imagine what that day was like for them and your family until you heard that they were safe.

    2. Amazing story about your first cousins son, wife and young daughter missing the train and thus possibly saving their lives. There are many stories like yours of friends & relatives who’s lives were saved by some fluke such as a flat tire, doctors apt, or even stopping for a breakfast sandwich and being just a few minutes later than normal. I wonder how many felt some guilt of having been luckier than their co-workers. Kinda a ‘why was I spared thought process.’

        1. I don’t know? I’m certain not everyone avoids it altogether, especially on an anniversary like this, life goes on, but I’m certain the thought does cross their mind now and then.

      1. Jean,

        I wonder how many felt some guilt of having been luckier than their co-workers. Kinda a ‘why was I spared thought process.’

        That is actually called Survivor’s guilt; or Survivor’s syndrome and is a mental condition that occurs when a person believes they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not.
        While I’ve never been in a traumatic situation as bad as 9/11, I’ve been in situations where I was better off than others by the timely missing of an accident or having resources others did not have in a bad situation.
        I don’t know how it speaks to my character; but, while I felt lucky on those occasions, I never felt guilty and did offer assistance to those affected.
        Perhaps some of us just have a different outlook on life and survival as those depicted in the 2009 book: ”The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life” by Ben Sherwood.
        A brief description of the book reads to me like the mission and goals of any serious prepper.

        There are plenty of books about coping with adversity. But it isn’t until now, with The Survivors Club, that we discover the human factors that determine survival. It’s a combination instruction book and security blanket that blends compelling true stories with cutting-edge science to deliver some of the most important lessons we’ll ever need to learn. The book will: –list the most important traits necessary for survival (e.g., adaptability, tenacity, faith) –identify the 5 types of survivors–debunk myths (like only the strong survive), explore the frontiers of survival science (How much strain and punishment can a human body endure?), and introduce readers to counterintuitive thinking, ever heard of posttraumatic growth? Provides a Survivors Tool Kit, including an online test that measures one’s Survivor’s Quotient. Each one of us eventually joins the club of millions who face life’s inescapable tribulations and tragedies. This is the companion we need to prepare us for and guide us through the worst.

        It’s a good read.

  5. I will never forget…
    I was working in a local hospital ICU, and it was shift change. My friend and coworker’s sister and BIL lived not far from the Twin Towers, and her sister actually worked there. We were glued to the televisions. We convinced her to let a coworker drive her home. It was surreal.
    I went home from work and of course continued to watch coverage…I debated keeping the kids home from school, but decided it was best to keep some ‘normalcy’ right then.
    I am crying right now, thinking about it…
    My friend’s sister ended up going to a meeting in CT early that morning, and wasn’t in the Towers at the time. That wasn’t planned. She had been in the Towers earlier that morning. Their appartment was not affected by the devastation, but they had a front row view of it all. It was a harrowing several days until my friend was able to get in touch with them.
    So yeah, 9/11 touched me like it touched every American. I wasnt there. But I still had a first hand connection.Thankfully, it turned out well. But I will never forget.

      1. Grammyprepper,

        I can not put into words the panic we all felt, while still trying to be professional and do our jobs.

        I suspect it was the same for most of us; but, the difference is that as a medical provider, you had to do your job, lest other suffer.
        I can say that in that WorldCom engineering facility where I worked at the time, productivity suffered greatly that day and at least a bit for the rest of the week.

          1. Zulu 3-6,

            I did not experience anything close to panic. I was extremely angered and I wanted vengeance. Still do.

            I saw no panic either; but, an event like that became the nearly full time topic, as we listened to various sources trying to get the real story, since every news outlet had their own source and spin.
            To this day there are some who still see conspiracy; but, there are also those who think the moon landing was staged.
            It seems that some mysteries will never be solved to the acceptance of everyone.
            As for revenge, I think we tried that; but, still have people in harm’s way and I’m not sure what we can do about that.
            Do we spend blood and treasure in the Middle East to keep the fight there or allow another potential attack on home soil?
            I have my opinions; but, I’m glad people with more experience, training, and intelligence assets are there to make an almost unwinnable decision.

          2. TOP,

            The vengeance part was mishandled from nearly the get-go. We shouldn’t still be in Afghanistan and the Afghans or other Muslims who didn’t learn to play by our rules should be dead and their families still in mourning and afraid of any thoughts of vengeance of their own.

            We play too nice with people who do not view mercy with anything but disdain. AQ, the Taliban, and ISIS should no longer exist except as a bad smell. Any nascent terror group should learn what “like crap through a goose” means.

            People need to learn that if they associate with terrorists, are family members of terrorists, and/or just live near them and aren’t smart enough to move away, they are as much of a potential target as the terrorists themselves. Collateral damage be damned. The rest of the world be damned too if they don’t like it.

          3. Zulu 3-6,

            The vengeance part was mishandled from nearly the get-go. We shouldn’t still be in Afghanistan and the Afghans or other Muslims who didn’t learn to play by our rules should be dead and their families still in mourning and afraid of any thoughts of vengeance of their own.

            It goes well beyond 9/11/01. I saw a brief interview with retired United States Army 4-star general & Vice Chief of Staff John M. (Jack) Keane, now a Fox News Contributor and he was rather blunt.

            He was involved in interviews / interrogations of KSM who finally told us that when they bombed the Marine compound in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 US service members and we did nothing, Osama Bin Laden decided we were weak and could be attacked at home with no reprisals. Since KSM had studied here, he understood the limits; but, Bin Laden took actions anyway. Reminds me a bit of Isoroku Yamamoto whose warning about Pearl Harbor was ignored; however, in that case, retribution was total and complete.
            Ronald Reagan is one of my favorite presidents; but, in this case he was too soft on our enemies, and we paid the price nearly 20 years later.

            We play too nice with people who do not view mercy with anything but disdain. AQ, the Taliban, and ISIS should no longer exist except as a bad smell. Any nascent terror group should learn what “like crap through a goose” means.

            I agree and if we don’t get cooperation from the non-radical members of Islam, assuming they actually exist, removing Mecca & Medina during the Haj should perhaps do the trick. This would no doubt upset certain freshman members of the house; but, quite frankly, I don’t give a thought to their bigoted, ignorant, childish tantrums.

            People need to learn that if they associate with terrorists, are family members of terrorists, and/or just live near them and aren’t smart enough to move away, they are as much of a potential target as the terrorists themselves. Collateral damage be damned. The rest of the world be damned too if they don’t like it.

            I think much of the rest of the world has already been dammed, since their open borders and lax immigration has brought potential terrorists into their midst’s and they have yet to determine how to fight it.
            Unfortunately there are some groups living in harms way that cannot easily get out of the way, like the Yazidis; but modern technology and pin point accuracy with such weapon systems as the JDAM, could still wreck havoc with little collateral damage.

            My personal philosophy is simple: “Should you want me as a friend , you will find no better a friend; but, by god, you do not want me as your enemy.”
            I also think this would work well for a nation

    1. No matter how many years it has been, those emotions just keep flooding right back when watching the annual remembrance coverage. I am so glad you friend and her family were safe.

        1. Tara and others,

          My personal motto is: Nemo me impune lacessit (No one strikes me with impunity). It’s a long time motto for many Scottish units.

          1. Zulu 3-6,

            My personal motto is: Nemo me impune lacessit (No one strikes me with impunity). It’s a long time motto for many Scottish units.

            Being partially of Scotch Irish ancestry, I had heard that one; but, it’s been a very long time, so thanks for the reminder.
            Adding to that one, another favorite of mine is: “revenge is a dish best served cold”, the etymology of which seems to be unknown and almost mythical.
            Best that your opponent either know something is coming and be on edge, or better yet, get completely blindsided. I have one each of these going long term and still in progress here, even though the DW thinks I should drop them both, since she doesn’t quite understand.

  6. I recall where I was when JFK was assinated. The school system called in the bus drivers and we were sent home early. Everyone was watching the news, and Even as a child, I knew that my parents as well as other adults were scared. It was also shocking to seeLee Harvey Oswald get shot right on the TV screen. Entire country was on high alert.
    On 9/11/01, I was at work in my cubicle, and overheard someone saying that a plane had hit one of the twin towers (WTC) in NYC. I remember thinking, that crazy? As chatter continued, I wondered frommy cubicle to the lobby for a cup of coffee, and was shocked to see a crowd of people standing by the TV monitors by the elevators. Others like myself thought it was a small plane that had hit the towers, not a commercial airline. Then, right before all of our eyes, the other plane hit and There was no doubt that this was deliberate. I recall thinking, this isn’t real. As other reports came in, we were told we could go home if we desired. I parked in a concrete parking garage and recall how peranoid it made me feel to be inside that concrete structure to get my car (A fear that remains with me to this day unfortunately). I recall how quiet it was on my way home, and I did the most bizarre thing. Instead of going directly home, I stopped at Party City (on my way home), and bought an American Flag. They had virtually sold all of their American Flags. They had three left and I got one. When I got home, I got my gun, sat it next to me with this American Flag and watch the aftermath of terrorists attacks on American soil. I can’t begin to tell you the anger and vile I felt for satilite photos of Muslims celebrating this attack and burning our flag in their streets.
    I would have been like Curt Russell in Tombstone….’You tell those terrorists American is coming for you, and he’ll is coming with us.’
    None of this affected my prepping except for a realization that we are no longer protected by geography location alone due to technology. I try not to disrespect anyone’s religion, or beliefs that are different than mine, but damn if it’s not a slap in the face of our forefathers and democracy to have people elected to a political office who are not American Citizens, and want to destroy our political system that is based on Christian beliefs, and use our children to accomplish their agenda’s. Sorry I got on my soap box!

  7. I was on a logistics tech crew working in the State bunker in Albany. The FEMA warning point for the State was just outside my group’s office door. Our crew came back from a break in the kitchen, and the Warning Point operator pointed to the TV monitors and said “A small plane has hit the World Trade Center.” He then offered the opinion that FDNY might want State assistance.

    Not likely, I thought to myself, as most people in the city seem to think the world ends at the Bronx/Yonkers city line. One NYC newspaper actually had a story about troubles at an “upstate” high school, which turned out to be in Westchester one exit out of the Bronx.

    Then we watched the second plane hit. The Chief called the four of us into his office. He pointed to the senior man, and told him to “Go home now and sleep,” and report for an 8 PM to 8 AM shift. Except for the Warning Point, we did not normally work 24 hours, but worked 8 to 4 or 9 to 5, depending on the department.

    The chief pointed to the next two techs, told them to go home and pack their suitcases, they would be taking the mobile command post to NYC at 8 AM the next day.

    Finally, he gave me a shopping list of supplies to get on the phone and order. Long distance from Albany to Virginia was not working, I had to use the Government Emergency system to get calls to go through.

    The bunker was hopping, as support agencies sent representatives to the EOC. There were new agencies that never had an assigned seat, and some desks had to be shared.

    After the change of shift briefings at 8 pm, I left to go home. I had enough for one day. I wanted to decompress on my hour’s ride home. I turned on the radio to hear some music, but the ownership groups had tied all the broadcast stations in the market together into one giant simulcast talk show, with people calling in about their feelings. I turned the radio off.

    When I got home, my 26-month old granddaughter was staying over, so I laid down on the living room carpet and played Barbies with her, which got me back to normal.

    The Command Post did go to NYC, parked at Ground Zero, and communications with it were almost nil. Cell phones did not work. Satellite radio and phones were shadowed by the surrounding buildings. I don’t recall trying the shortwave, but assume in retrospect that there was too much man-made static in NYC for them to hear us.

    Whet the techs DID have was high band digital pagers. I loaded short messages to them via the internet. For example, ” The Governor is coming to your location in 45 minutes. He knows where you are.” I interpreted the subsequent burst of garbled static on the satellite 2-way as “Message received.”

    We wound up working 13-hour days, 6 or 7 days a week for a couple of months in support functions.

    During WWII, people prayed to the Creator, in churches, factories, in private and in public. Since then, people stopped acknowledging the Creator, because to do so is to admit to our own sin. My belief is that America worships the god Money and the god Technology. The World Trade Center was a temple to both.

    I think that God lifted a pinkie finger of protection that day to show what can happen to a country that does not acknowledge their Creator. People flocked to churches and synagogues for one month, until the TV showed images of smart bunker buster bombs being dropped in the sandbox. Then the non-believers were reassured that Technology was still “reigning on its throne.”

    1. Guest Tech,

      The bunker was hopping, as support agencies sent representatives to the EOC. There were new agencies that never had an assigned seat, and some desks had to be shared.

      While we’ve never had quite as large an incident, and do setup the EOC to do tabletop exercises on a regular basis, it seems that nothing is ever quite like the real thing.

      The Command Post did go to NYC, parked at Ground Zero, and communications with it were almost nil. Cell phones did not work. Satellite radio and phones were shadowed by the surrounding buildings. I don’t recall trying the shortwave, but assume in retrospect that there was too much man-made static in NYC for them to hear us.

      As I recall most of the cellular base stations were located on high spots, like the roofs of the towers; but, even if some were working, the overload would have taxed the system well beyond its design limits. When I worked designing Telco equipment, our benchmark was whether we could make it through Mother’s day and I suspect 911 far outweighed that benchmark.

      Whet the techs DID have was high band digital pagers. I loaded short messages to them via the internet. For example, ” The Governor is coming to your location in 45 minutes. He knows where you are.” I interpreted the subsequent burst of garbled static on the satellite 2-way as “Message received.”

      How well do the satellite systems work inside that urban jungle of tall buildings?
      We operate satellite here on occasion to ensure equipment is operational and even in a rural setting with unobstructed skies, we sometimes still have issues

  8. As per usual I’m late to the comment section, I usually only have time on the weekends to look. I was at home getting my stepson ready for school, and my daughter, was 16 month’s old my husband, came home and we watched NBC news, I turned on the tv for half hour each morning to see the news, I called my parents, and told them to turn on the TV, my mother in law, called us too ot was a scary day indeed though I didn’t keep watching just would see snippets of it just because I didn’t need that much stress, and sadness, my family prayed for the victims, and first responders, it’s still sad this many year’s later and those who survived are now dying of all the crap that was in the buildings, that makes me sad too 🙁

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