911 Remembrance

Hard to believe it’s 19 years.
My wife and I were moving to Salt Lake City and driving cross country in two cars when the first plane struck.
Unlike everyone else who had a visual experience, we were without cell phones using walkie talkies to talk to each other. The only thing on the radio band was either Christian rock or NPR, nothing in between… We kept flipping to different NPR stations as we came in and out of range.
We spread a map out somewhere in Kansas. There was a small country gas station with about a line of 20 pickup trucks. Everyone was getting gas…
We were like “Okay, the major cities won’t have hotels, or gas so we got to find a place to stay tonight that isn’t too close to a major airport.” Much earlier, we passed St Louis and I remember seeing 20 or 30 jumbo jets up in a big circle - like elephants holding each other’s tails. Otherwise, the only contrails in the air were from occasional military jets scrambling somewhere.
Very surreal.
We finally got into the hotel at 9:00 at night and that’s the first time we “saw” the actual event.

Deepest respect to the people who died and their families who endure to this day

I had been married just over a year - we had just bought our first home. I remember watching the news in horror in our front room that morning. My wife was at work. That evening I remember sitting on our front porch together with her in tears. She was convinced (and I was too) that I was going to be drafted to go to war - as I was a prime candidate at the time if a draft played out like they did in previous wars.

We watched the news non-stop and I remember seeing horrific things live as the towers were on fire and then as they began to collapse, as the cameramen didn’t realize what they were actually filming.

I remember looking to the skies and not seeing any airplanes. We had some friends stranded in various parts of the country who were scrambling to rent cars to get home.

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I was in bed 9 months pregnant when my husband came running upstairs to tell me the weirdest thing just happened, a plane had struck the World Trade Center. We turned on the tv in our room just in time to see the second plane hit, at that moment we knew it was no accident and we were under attack. I remember just an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and couldn’t believe I was bringing a baby into a world that flew planes into buildings. My son was born the very next day (so glad he waited until the next day).

It was such a weird feeling to be in the hospital with a new baby when I normally would have been over joyed, but it just felt so wrong with all the lives lost. I worried what type of world my beautiful baby boy would grow up in. I can tell you that he has been a light to us and those around him as the happiest kids that I have ever seen. He always has the biggest smile on his face and just rolls with the punches such as a senior year cut short by Covid. I always say he is just what my world needed after such a tragic event.

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Watching the reports replay still makes me numb to this day.

Spent 8 hours worrying if family members in DC were ok. Had the one gone to work that day, the plane would’ve killed him. It fell onto his office at the Pentagon. He was out with the 24 hour bug.

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I was in Guatemala on a church mission. We were leaving a district meeting and on my pager, it sent news (we almost never got news as it was blocked) in Spanish that two towers fell. I had no context, and my companion from Honduras had no clue other that J.R. Tolkein. We later saw what happened and of course everyone had questions for me and the other Americans there. Our mission president told us to take a day to learn what happened (watch the news, read the papers) so we could discuss it intelligently, then get back to work preaching the good news of the gospel. I saved a newspaper from there.

This day is always a little weird for me as I’m still learning and processing what happened since I really didn’t have an opportunity to do it long ago.

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I live about 5 miles south of the Pentagon and at that time I had a job where I would frequently get some work done at home before going into the office late morning.

It was an absolutely spectacular morning, temp in the mid-70’s with no humidity and I had all my windows open enjoying the nice morning when I hear a loud “BOOM”. I thought, wow you don’t get to hear sonic booms that much and went about my work.

It was an hour later when a friend called to see if I was OK and I was confused, of course I was OK, why wouldn’t I be. Then he told me and I was able to finally account for why I heard such a loud boom earlier that morning.

Needless to say, I couldn’t go to the office that day.

Will never forget that sound.

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That’s SoCalPat a long time (maybe former) poster on this board.

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(GWB threw a perfect strike. Not a lot of velocity, but for any given dude to just throw it right down the pipe - impressive.)

I was snoozing, wifey woke me up to see the hole in the first tower on TV, which was clearly an airplane, perhaps a commuter, I thought. Then watching the live feed as the 767 came in low and slammed the other tower.

On the way into work listening to the frantic coverage as people were jumping… and then the towers came down.

Unbelievable.

It’s still unbelievable.

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We lived in Austin at the time. Austin was, normally very busy place. That day things kinda stopped functioning in Austin. In a bit of “screw the bad guys” our cycling club continued to put on the weekly races that were going on that Fall 2 days later. That race evening was our 4th anniversary.

On that day, I remember I had the usual morning show on (KLBJ). I wasn’t paying close attention to them since I had work to do. Then they started sounded odd, way out of their normal bantering and were suddenly very serious. Somewhere it struck me that something odd was happening in the world. My first thoughts was something happened in Austin. As I turned both the radio and a tv to news stations, I was proven wrong. The world suddenly changed on all of us.

I remember watching at least 2 planes hitting the towers. I remember being on the phone with my buddy as they came down. I had to ask him if he saw the same thing. He did. I couldn’t get a hold of my wife, which was odd, because I could make long distance calls. All in all it was a surreal day. Once Mrs. CCU and I could talk with each other, we just wanted to be together.

Neither of us accomplished much at work the rest of that week. All I could keep thinking of were the obvious parallels to Pearl Harbor, and wonder who did it. So strange a time for us.

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The Sunday after the attacks we sang a patriotic hymn in church. Everyone was crying. I remember seeing people who were usually very stoic be reduced to tears that day. That memory has always stuck with me. Just like it was yesterday. And it was nearly 20 years ago.

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https://www.911memorial.org/connect/blog/remembering-fdny-hero-battalion-chief-orio-j-palmer
Beyond his uncommon odd first name, Battalion 7 Deputy Chief Orio Joseph Palmer was well known in the New York City Fire Department for his dedication and his athletic endeavors. Today, a white rose was placed in his name on the 9/11 Memorial, marking what would have been his 60th birthday.

Rising through the ranks during his career, Palmer was considered to be one of the most knowledgeable men in the FDNY. The esteemed firefighter was also known for his athletic prowess. In 1989 he dedicated his first New York City Marathon to his daughter Dana in honor of her first birthday. He would go on to finish several more races and fitness challenges.

His wife Debbie Palmer remembers him as a light-hearted, humorous man who “loved goofing around with his three children and nieces and nephews.” She said he even made up fairy dances for his little girls. Orio, Debbie, Dana, Alyssa and Keith Palmer. Courtesy of Voices of September 11th, The 9/11 Living Memorial Project.

On Sept. 11, after taking an elevator to the 41st floor Palmer climbed 37 flights of stairs with approximately 50 pounds of gear and made it to the South Tower sky lobby on the 78th floor. He is one of the few reported first responders able to make it that far up.

He reported via radio, out of breath and gasping, “Battalion Seven…Ladder 15, we’ve got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones (victims).”

According to The 9/11 Commission Report, Palmer and his team freed a group of civilians who were trapped in an elevator one minute before the tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. Following his death, the FDNY named its fitness test after Palmer.

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That’s beautiful.
Peaceful Warrior

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I consorted with anti-government folk. When we heard the news later in the day, none of us owned a TV, my housemate asked if we should be attacking buildings also. I told them that I hadn’t received any communiques. Seeing TV images later, I wondered why the buildings fell like controlled demolition.

That’s an interesting question but I have to tell you, as a former firefighter that there’s absolutely no question why a building would collapse the way it did.
There’s no “controlled demolition” that can be done without thousands of feet of wires, massive holes punched into the walls and ceilings - all to place dynamite and high explosives in critical load areas. It’s virtually impossible to do it in secret.
Having a fully loaded airplane hit a building at over 400 mph hour with10 or 20,000 gallons of fuel burning will transfer so much heat through those beams (and they’re really only hanging on steel clips to hold the floor structurally intact. So, once everything heats up and warps all you have to do is drop one floor on top of another and that’s it. Game over.
Ask any firefighter and they’ll tell you they would rather be on top of a burning building with a wood roof structure than a steel structure any day. Wood roofs will get “soggy” and warn you before they collapse. Steel roofs hold the load until there’s a critical failure without warning

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Very interesting! Thank you for posting.

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Good info - also the buildings hardly fell like a controlled demolition. They sprayed debris all over the place and destroyed multiple buildings around them.

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If you weld or braze you can see how metal acts when heated. There’s a fine point between a good weld and a pile of scrap metal. It only takes a bit of excessive heat, either over time or really hot in a short period, to get from A to B.

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Also the “fireproofing” stuff they spray on the I-beams isn’t designed for the kind of colossal heat from tens of thousands of gallons of fuel.
That’s designed to try to minimize the heat damage to eye beams from maybe a couple of couches burning.
Anyway, all that stuff got knocked off with the initial impact.
Think about how a fast an electric stove transfers heat on the coils.
Well, I-beams transfer heat just as readily, but they’re not treated to heat and cool thousands of times like a stove-top

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Nice. Suck on that Charlie Sheen, you tool!