Any Memories From the Day of Days? - 9-11, 20 Years on

Michael B-C

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
20 years ago today…. I was still so, so naïve…

So I wonder what it was that drew me to the twin towers that day. It was around June 2001. My first trip to New York. Though based in Ireland, at the time I subsisted on the Yankee dollar, working from afar for New York University running a theatre programme out of Dublin for affluent American kids with a parental vagary that their child of Irish extraction should return to the old country and immerse themselves in Guinness and indigenous drama under my tutelage.

As part of my contractual obligation that had begun that year, I set out on what would become a biannual trip to the Big Apple to meet and entice prospective travellers back across the watery divide. I’d never been to the States before and in truth I was one of those few people it seems who wasn’t instinctively enraptured by the pan-galactic wow-factor of the New York vibe. So it was with a degree of reticence I touched down at JFK airport and made the long (and expensive) taxi ride to my hotel in Lower Manhattan. Despite the journey I wasn’t tired – in fact I was instantaneously restless, as if I had arrived unintentionally in a place that needed answering but for which I had no dictionary or road-map to even know what the right question or direction were. A walk was what was needed to survey the scene and see if my instinct that I didn’t belong here was in fact mere European snobbery.

I don’t remember if I set off to find them or whether in a way I just stumbled upon them. But how did one just stumble upon the twin towers!? My detachment instantly evaporated. Two giant, impossible edifices, Babylonian in their implacability, Babel like in their defiance of the skies above. The giant plaza was a bustle with nonstop comings and goings but I just stood there and stared up at their steepling impossibility. Brazenly (oh the days!), a surprisingly pressing instinct took me over and slipping down to the concrete slabs, I stretched out fully on my back to take in their giant insistence spread-eagled against a crystal clear sky. Behold! Such an acute, out of time vista.

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The bizarrely adorned exterior steel casing (later I learned installed to safeguard the buildings from threat of demolition by a wandering plane… the mere idea of such a thing…!) seemed to stretch up to eternity, like so many bony claws with never ending finger nails, an implacable, unending monument to raw power and intent. I lay there in something close to a reverie for perhaps 15 minutes; no passers-by seemed to care or think this act in any way out of the ordinary. Hey, it’s New York after all!

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I wondered if I had the nerve to make it to the top. Gingerly I rose and headed into the foyer. I don’t know what I expected to find, but certainly not this; the windows that had been previously lost against the towering exterior, took on a graceful if grandiose Gothic aspect and the dwarfing scale of the interior rose up in tandem with them to the belly of the ceiling high above. I remember feeling very, very small as I ascended a wide set of stairs in search of a public lift system, and as this feeling grew I slowed to a pace quite out of tune with the hustle and bustle all around me, only making it half way up before stopping, and peering down into the teaming life below. An unease that had been growing on me ever since my arrival suddenly became quite intense. Something told me this place wasn’t safe. This place was wrong, was a defiance against some invisible law. This huge, heaving, solid certainty was not one bit safe. Why I thought that, I could not say – but I felt it – it crept across my skin; the impossible weight above, pressed down on me, only held in place by some hubristic proclamation of its intention to remain despite and in defiance of gravity itself. Though I knew it was irrational, a persistent voice in my head kept telling me it was all about to fall. This very instant! Get out it said, get out before it’s all too late….

So I did. I turned and fled, feeling most foolish - never making it to the top.

Three months later, 10th September 2001, a production I directed of Shake-speare’s Richard III opened in Dublin. A play that examines with timeless, minute perception the impact on the body politic of psychopathy allowed to run riot. I had no idea why I chose that play to do then but it had come to me as an insistence so I followed my instinct. It was early afternoon Irish time, say a little after 9.00am New York time on the 11th, and I was walking to the theatre to meet the cast to give them their post opening night notes ahead of that evening's performance. One of them ran up to me from behind, wide-eyed, voice shaking; ‘Have you seen? Have you seen the television…? The twin towers in New York are under attack… It's like something out of Hell...‘ The rest as they say, is history for all the world’s a stage.

Still in a state of shock, I had to step out in front of a full and sombre house that night and ask them if they thought it appropriate for the show to go on under such circumstances. A momentary still of hollow silence followed and then an elderly gentleman from the states slowly got to his feet and in a shaking voice full of dignity said that he and his wife had come here specifically tonight to bear witness to this play as it was for them the only way they thought they could make sense of what had happened – that these words needed to be spoken and heard. That this was the purpose or art. That it was of vital importance to them that we go on. And so we did.

Two months later, November 12th, I was back in New York. Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ had begun in the weeks before and US ground troops were pouring into Afghanistan. The anthrax false-flag was still ongoing and security at JFK airport was intense and threatening. Anyone landing on US soil was viewed with seriously mistrust and no amount of personability broke through the look of ice in every eye. I instantly regretted being there again.

I stayed in the same hotel but the landscape surrounding it was utterly changed. And of course there was this big empty hole in the skyline. And a big hole in everyone I saw. Ghosts everywhere, dust and despair and so, so much anger and pain. I sat at the window of my hotel watching a never ending line of dumper trucks still hard at it removing the debris from what was nothing but a gigantic wound in the ground. I was much later to learn that I had witnessed the deliberate destruction of the forensics of a crime scene.

The day I landed, a now oft forgotten and still in some ways inexplicable event took place; American Airlines Flight 587 out of JFK crashed into the neighbourhood of Queens, killing all 260 people aboard along with 5 people on the ground. Subsequently blamed on pilot error, at the time on the day everyone was convinced they were back! The city was in panic and I remember deciding to stay in my room and get prepared for anything to happen…

It took seven years for me to shake off the brainwashing of the time. I think it was that early SOTT video Pentagon Strike that finally cracked my edifice of denial. And now here we are 20 years on going through the endgame that was set in motion that day… it seems like an eternity ago but also just more of the same never ending dream like state that we slipped into that autumn and never really awoke from. I try to remember this when I get so despairing about how it is possible that so many educated people have totally fallen foul of the Covid con; the bewitching started a long, long time ago and 9-11 was one of many – if still the most absurdly obvious – spells along the way. And if that didn’t wake enough people up back then to their impending peril, nothing else to follow surely could…

So here we are. Waiting, waiting for the next grotesque move by the beast. It’s surely coming soon. For those towers just keep on falling.

Any memories from the day of your own folks?
 

Opossum

Jedi Master
I remember that day like it was yesterday. My daughter called and told me to turn on my television and I watched the official news story. Immediately, without a moment’s hesitation, I knew the truth. That’s when I completely stopped believing the news. My life has never been the same and I rightly predicted on that day that this current chaos would come in my lifetime. What I mean is the end of the illusion of freedom. I wish I would’ve been wrong.
 

Carl

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
That was a great read Michael. What a turning point, and what a bad dream we have been living in ever since. How sad that people have been driven by terror so much that they have abandoned even their own five senses.

I don't remember much from my childhood at around 9 years old, but I sure as hell remember 9/11. Everyone glued to their TV screens. The fear and uncertainty gripping us, the adults losing their heads and having no good answers, and a strange, unspeakable feeling that something has just changed forever.

Indeed it had. Suddenly none of us were safe. Suddenly trust and innocence had started to evaporate. Suddenly we had to go and kill the rag-heads in the desert, and for the first time I felt like there was a distinct and real other, like the devil coming to get us. My cousins were off to Afghanistan to perpetuate the misery. I was secretly finding the Al-Qaeda beheading videos online, rusty knives and gargled bloody screams and all, not even a teenager yet.

The world was now a darker place. We were absolutely all under threat. But worst of all, as it evolved, there became a sense coming from "on high" that we were the threat, that absolutely nobody could be trusted. Take off your shoes at the airport, look out for suspicious backpacks, avoid big crowds and don't you dare say the word "bomb" in public! That strange sense of always being a suspect, always being watched, no matter who you are, never really went away.
 

NOONE

Padawan Learner
je me souviens de ce jour, je revenais du travail... et j'ai mis la télévision et j'ai vu cett image sans croire. alors j'ai changé de chaine en espérant que ce n'était pas ce que je voyais... j'étais affolée, j'ai appelé mes proches pour savoir s'ils voyaient ce que je voyais... et je me suis dis: "ce n'est pas possible, ils n'ont pas pu faire cela"...
j'étais collée à l'écran sans comprendre...
Quelque chose d'horrible venait d'arriver...
traduction avec Deepl
I remember that day, I was coming back from work... and I put on the television and I saw this image without believing. Then I changed the channel hoping that it was not what I was seeing... I was distraught, I called my relatives to know if they were seeing what I was seeing... and I said to myself: "it's not possible, they couldn't have done that"...
I was glued to the screen without understanding...
Something horrible had just happened...
 

unkl brws

Jedi Master
I was living in the U.S.A. at the time, in Michigan, and I was at work when it happened. The company I worked for had the reports coming in on tv in a large conference room later that morning and a lot of us congregated around it. They suspended work for the rest of the day so we could watch. I remember walking into the conference room and watched the second plane go into the other tower. What a punch to the gut that was to see! I also distinctly remember how beautiful the weather was that day; perfect temperature and a clear blue sky.

In the days, months, and years that followed, the explanations and actions of the U.S. government in response to this event left me asking "Wait a minute, that doesn't seem right. What the hell is going on here?!"

And here I am. Still asking questions.
 

Brandon

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I was up late chatting on the internet when the Americans in the chatroom started talking about it.. I hadn't really heard of the World Trade Center at the time, didn't know what was going on. The next morning saw it on TV and felt the same way I felt after watching The Matrix, two years earlier..shellshocked.. I'd been into reading weird stuff, channelled messages :) and conspiracy theories etc online for a few years by then, but this was the first time I went "ok things are really really weird and the TV is full of lies" for real. My friend wrote a song with the lyric "So 9/11's been and gone, but it was 11/9 where I'm from" and that seemed to sort of sum it up...

Ten years later to the day, my mum had her stroke. I was staying with her, she was preparing to have a heart operation. The hospital had to delay the op by a few days and during that time, on the night of Sept 11th, it happened. She survived, just, but never recovered any movement or language abilities.. been looking after her ever since. I can't believe it's been 10 years... 11/9 eh...
 

Ursus Minor

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you Michael for conjuring up our memories of that tragic day 20 years ago. 🌇 ✈️

My personal memory is having been called by my mother early in the afternoon asking me whether 'I have seen it.'
Seen what? "Well, the attack on New York!" My mother could be a little dramatic at times so I wondered if she had been watching a movie...

"Turn on your TV," she demanded of me and "watch for yourself. It's an attack by muslim airplanes!"

That didn't seem to make any sense either but the tone in her voice made me turn it on.
📺 😦
I was stunned and anxious to make sense of what I was seeing. The term 'Towering Inferno' came into my mind.

Luckily I had been on the internet for a couple of weeks at the time and I went searching for comments and info only to find out that there were other folks out there who found the events odd and probably staged.
I remember having been very disappointed and alarmed that the main stream media, even the 'quality papers' were just parroting the official story which made me turn my back on papers and television quite quickly.
(You could say that 9/11 was t h e single important event that made me 'wake up'.)

Not unlike today I was saddened to find out that the great majority of 'normal' people were falling for the explanations of media and politicians hook, line and sinker though things seem to have improved as the number of believers went down from probably about 95% (9/11) back then to currently roughly 65% (COVID 19), I guess.

It didn't take long for me to stumble over Laura's site then, the other single important event that shook up my view of the world which would keep shaking it up for many years to come.
 

ryu

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Thank you for your post @Michael B-C. I was 12 years old when it happened. I remember switching the channels to find the cartoon my sister liked to watch after school. Their were flash news on all channels, I had no idea what the WTC was. After a while we understood that something was wrong, and we called our mother. She thought at first it was a film or a joke, but she paled when she realized it was real. My parents and many adults were afraid this would provoke another world war. It was the end of a world, when we look back.

It was strange for me and the other kids. Why would muslims do that? I had grown up with muslim kids and there was no problems. To everyone, Americans were the good guys, why would anyone attack them? We didn't understand the necessity to go to Afghanistan or Irak, these peoples were innocent. I would learn later that nothing was so simple.

It was the end of peaceful times...
 

Quill

Jedi
In that day, I came home from work(3 or 4 pm), and for some reason I had the TV on, and wondered why there is a broadcast from other than usual finnish channel.

Back then I couldn't connect that 9/11 incident to anything, but it sure had an impact on me.

Also, as Michael B-C mentioned the false flag anthrax thing, that had an affect on me too, as I was one of the guys, who managed the hospital's (where I worked), postal traffic. I watched closely for any possible powdery incoming letters or packets. I sensed threat and fear in me, but as the time went on, it settled, as nothing alarming happened.

That was perhaps the thing, that initially got me to doubt, and to question the MSM narrative.
 

dredger

Dagobah Resident
I was 28 and this day I was at the office, in a well-known company at Luxembourg who had one office situated in one of the 2 towers. It was in the middle of the afternoon, around 6h of difference of time. I remembered I saw the clip (or just photos) of the plane going in the first tower on one of my colleague's screen, then later heard rapidly about the second tower also hit.

As I was in charge of updating some applications on the servers located in our regional offices, I rememberred that from my computer I made a simple "ping" command toward the New York server, which was located, I guess, in one of the 2 buildings, and as you guess the ping did not answer back, this was real ! People were not particularly alarmed, this was far from us.

A few months after, I was starting to agree that it was an inside job, it's around this date that I slowly started to look at the world with other eyes, but just a begining.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I was working as a maid ( I don't know if this is the right word) in a hotel in Barcelona. I was working the evening shift.

When it happened the guys at the reception called me, they were watching the show on TV. I was not aware of the drama, I thought it was just a fire in one of the towers. I continued to work a few rooms. A bus of tourists arrived at that moment and I saw some customers in the corridor where I was. They looked sad, discouraged. I asked them if they had a good trip, a gentleman with a mustache and glasses said: we are upset about what just happened.

It's strange how you can remember small details when something monstrous has just happened. I remember the silence of the hotel hallway and the face of the man with the mustache. And the sadness in all the tourists that were arriving and looking for their rooms.

It was only when I got home that I learned what had happened. That same evening we had an appointment with an uncle and an aunt of my husband who were to leave Barcelona for Montreal the next day. But given the situation they were in uncertainty. The next day we went to see them at the hotel, they invited us for lunch, they were preoccupied because they had to take the plane. On the street I remember that everything seemed so clear, and at the same time there was an air of danger in the air. It was like being in an adventure novel.

Afterwards the endless propaganda on TV, to make you want to vomit but I was so ignorant, so stupid. I believed everything. Now I can see how they lied, how they had A scenario all prepared in advance, so well done. Articles about Bin Laden, about terrorists, about arabs, Antrax, etc. Terrible pictures of people jumping off the towers, they really manipulated me emotionally. It makes me understand a little bit how when you don't know the reality you can be fooled, scared like a little child.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you for your post @Michael B-C. I was 12 years old when it happened. I remember switching the channels to find the cartoon my sister liked to watch after school. Their were flash news on all channels, I had no idea what the WTC was. After a while we understood that something was wrong, and we called our mother. She thought at first it was a film or a joke, but she paled when she realized it was real. My parents and many adults were afraid this would provoke another world war. It was the end of a world, when we look back.

It was strange for me and the other kids. Why would muslims do that? I had grown up with muslim kids and there was no problems. To everyone, Americans were the good guys, why would anyone attack them? We didn't understand the necessity to go to Afghanistan or Irak, these peoples were innocent. I would learn later that nothing was so simple.

It was the end of peaceful times...
Very interesting! Thank you. to see the 9/11 by the eyes of a little girl of 12. Incredible.
 

Doug

Jedi
I was 9 years old and in class in second grade when the buzz of what happened started circulating amongst the teachers. Our teacher actually turned on the TV in the classroom to verify what happened! It's a bit of a blurry memory, but I remember at least watching the towers burn for a bit. Amazingly, I just did not at all get what was going on.

I was a really sheltered child growing up in relatively affluent suburbia so my parents never talked to me about it.

It was 9 years later when I was in high school on the anniversary of 9/11 that I decided to watch a documentary on the History Channel about what happened that day as I still had NO idea! My thoughts extended no further than, "we've been at war for this event for almost a decade, I think I should know a little about what happened that day". It wasn't a conspiracy documentary just a 'what happened' documentary. I remember crying watching people jump from the buildings. It was when I watched the towers go down that I said to myself, "wow, I don't remember anyone mentioning that it was a controlled demolition". So I googled that..... and fell all the way down the proverbial rabbit hole.
 

Ulysses

The Force is Strong With This One
My office at the time was in midtown Manhattan. Shortly after the second tower was hit, we made the assumption that the city was under attack. We sent employees home and activated our backup offices in New Jersey, and for a time I was occupied making sure my group would have staffing available in Jersey for the subsequent week or so.

In the middle of this my brother rang to make sure I was ok. He was an architectual engineer living in another state, and in our conversation he assured me that those towers wouldn’t fall - that they were specifically engineered to withstand hits from passenger aircraft.

He was correct, but a very short time later they did fall - one of the most sickening moments I can recall.

By early afternoon, our building was mostly empty. I stepped outside and onto 6th Avenue and gazed for a time at the enormous, brownish cloud hanging over the lower end of the city. The streets were packed with people walking north (trains and subways had closed), and many had walked all the way from downtown and were sweaty and covered with snowy dust.

I drove a couple of colleagues home, and the roads leaving the city were empty save for police vehicles flying past. The weather was unforgettably gorgeous, a crystal blue sky and not a cloud, but a shocking and ominous feeling pervaded everything.

For the rest of the fall, the city had a distinctly somber air. People didnt blare their horns in traffic jams or shout or act rudely - or if they did it was far less noticeable. There seemed to be a quiet courtesy and sense that rudeness would be misplaced or inappropriate; a shared feeling that something very horrible had happened that couldnt be forgotten or put right.

NY was always a hard-edged city, but its people showed hearts of gold at that time. For awhile, it seemed that getting, spending, and living at the office wasn’t so important. The many acts of individual compassion and assistance around that event sharpened my conviction about the underlying goodness in so many people.
 

Alejo

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I remember I was sitting in my bedroom listening to a radio morning show, it was a silly funny kind of morning show. I lived in Colombia back then and but had family in NJ, across the Hudson from Manhattan.

I remember hearing about the first airplane hitting one of the towers and it being reported as an accident, transmission resumed on my morning show and then it was stopped once again as the second airplane hit. I ran to the living room after the first airplane hit, told my family and they looked at me like I was crazy, did nothing of it and went back to my room. After the second airplane hit, I went back and told my family, they wouldn't believe me either.

Since I went to school in the afternoons, there was a rule in my house that our tiny tv could not be turned on in the mornings. So we didn't have the news on for the first while, then I asked them to turn the TV on should they not believe me and wish to verify it. They did and we spent the rest of the morning following the news.

A few family members who were in NJ at the time, would call periodically, to give us an update until lines collapsed. I went to school that afternoon and there was very little attention to any classes and the teachers felt just as distracted, we talked about it for the entire day.

Even at that young age, me and my classmates knew the world had changed. The air was uneasy, no one did much at school. I can't remember when did I talk to my family in the US after that morning, but it was a while, after a few days the feeling dissipated, and it became a matter of following the news as the rest of the world did.

I think we will all remember that day for the rest of our lives,
 
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