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When The World Changed Forever
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Ten years ago this week, terrorist destroyed a lot of lives, and a little bit of property. Whatever country you are a citizen of, your world is now very different from what it was 10 years ago. In some ways, those of us that lived insulated lives lost some of the innocence and naïveté that we had.

Share your experience, your fears, how you've changed, how your kids have changed. Let this be a place to mourn loss, and celebrate heroism.

I don't watch television, but I understand there are a lot of shows addressing the events of ten years ago. Yahoo has a new story every day, NPR has specials, people are talking about it. I agree with what they're doing. I think it's time to embrace this recent history and let it hurt one more time.

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We were discussing this at work the other day and sharing where or what we were doing on that day. I actually was up in NW PA visiting my parents when it all happened. I watched in horror on the TV. Then really was scared when that plane went down only several hours from where we were. We were not sure if we would have to detour around to get back south or not. I am still in awe at the bravery and heroism of the many people that day that risked their own lives to help all of those people.

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I was home, between jobs. I usually lounged in bed for a while, then made coffee and started my day. For absolutely no reason, that morning I woke up and turned on the radio (NPR) and went back to bed. I was still sleep fogged and it took me probably half an hour to realize that something bad had happened, and it wasn't some war review program. I turned on the only tv I had, which was a little black and white that barely worked. After a few minutes of trying to see through the fuzz, I called my brother and told him I was on my way over to his house to watch what was going on.

It was all very surreal.

Now we have sniffer dogs at the ferry terminals, and coast guard boats with giant machine guns mounted on the front escort the ferries back and forth across the Sound. You have to take your backpack with you when you go to the bathroom, and they do a visual inspection of the interior between each run.

When I see a low flying plane, I always do an almost subconscious check to make sure it's aimed towards a runway.

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I was in college. In my early morning class someone said, "Hey, did you hear about the plane that crashed into the WTC?" We thought they meant an accident and didn't know it was anything serious. I got out of my class and when I got home my roommates had left the TV on. About 10 minutes after I got home the second plane crashed into the towers. I watched it live on TV with one of my roommates. It was surreal. We didn't go to our afternoon classes. We all just sat there glued to the TV watching news coverage on every single channel, even MTV had the news. I tried to call my parents as soon as I realized it was an attack and not just an accident. My dad had already been called up to active service and my mom didn't know where he was headed or how long he would be gone. No one had heard from my cousin who worked only blocks from the WTC or my dad's cousin who often had business there. Phone lines were jammed for a few days. They eventually were located and safe. My dad's cousin had actually needed to go to the twin towers that day but had the flu and called in sick for work.

My church held 24 hour prayer vigils and offered counseling for students struggling with being stuck in school across the country while all this went down. Granted we were not in NYC or even NY state but many people thought the school should have canceled classes for at least a few days. The things I remember most about that week were the looks on the faces of everyone as they walked to class. Everyone looked shocked, angry, confused, broken, lost....No one smiled for a long time. Everyone mourned even if they didn't know someone who died.

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When I see a low flying plane, I always do an almost subconscious check to make sure it's aimed towards a runway.

I do that too, Jess. I do it because, as a Canadian living in the nation's capital, there is always a little niggling fear when I see a low-flying jet that we are due, that it could be our turn at any moment. That's what's new for me........the feeling of when?......

It is a sad, sad day coming. Every September 11th I go to one of our local fire stations and speak with the guys, feel the sadness with them, the loss......it is a good place to be on this day.

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I remember September 11, 2001, well.

I was out of work, having been let go from my position of six years two months previously. I had planned to wait until vacation season was over, and look for work in the fall.

It was a Tuesday. My wife operated a pet food and supply store, where I helped out. Tuesday was when we got our weekly delivery at that location. The truck would arrive around 9:30. Jacquie had gone in to open, and I was to follow for the delivery. I got a call from her that said a plane had crashed into the WTC. I went online (dialup in those days) and looked at CNN. I saw that TWO planes had crashed into the WTC. I called her back and said, TWO planes - no coincidence. There was a TV in the store, and she put it on the local station. It stayed there all

day. I got there before the truck did, and Dave, the driver, had heard something on the radio. He asked if we had the TV on.

We had two other delivery helpers at the time. One was a retired senior officer (Platoon Chief?) with Toronto Fire. When the merger of six departments happened in 1997, there were redundancies, and he retired. He watched the TV coverage with us, as we received and put the order away. We watched as each tower collapsed. He was amazed, and said the heat from the fire would have to be more than he had ever seen to cause that.

The world changed forever on that day. It used to be a pleasant experience to travel by air. My work caused me to fly regularly until late 2005. I have not been on an airplane since then and have no desire to try. Even though he is dead, bin Laden won by destroying the lives we once had.

That is my 9/11 reflection. Yours will differ.

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I was sitting in my 6th grade reading class when someone came in the classroom saying that someone hit the WTC and everyone thought it was a big joke. It was a few classes later that the teachers finally got it through all our heads that it was serious. It was just a massive shock.

My biological father was supposed to be there for his job that day and it was his luck that he didn't make it for some reason and watched it happen from across the river.

As far as my children they are too young to understand what any of it meant, although we will our going to be talking about it in homeschool this year with the 5 year old and she said that she wants to make cookies for firefighters this year since she saw something about it on tv so I think we will use that as a way to broach the subject with her. Although I do think that it made me even more cautious of a person.

At the time it also made me want to join the military even more and even more proud of our military personnel then I already was. Years later that is what made it so that I was standing behind my husband when he enlisted in the Army reserves during war time (although he has since been honorably discharged).

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I was watching the Today Show. The newscasters were sitting in front of a window and suddenly you could see the smoke over their shoulders. It was prediagnosis and I had an acupuncture appointment soon after that and although I was very shaken I went anyway. While laying there with all the needles I heard the acupuncturist and another person laughing in the outer office. He then came in and told me that a plane had also hit the Pentagon. I don't know if they were laughing about that but I never went back to him. I did a lot of crying that day and the days to follow.

My son had joined the Army exactly 2 weeks before and they allowed the recruits to call home that day. At family day shortly after that they reassured us that our sons and daughters would not immediately be mobilized. That was little comfort. The following spring I got a call from my son that they were giving him a medical discharge. I was never so happy to hear my son had a medical problem as I hadn't slept well since that awful day.

I poured my grief into a painting of the wreckage.

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I had had the day off that day. I was alone at my (then) fiance's parent's house to borrow his mom's sewing supplies. I had the TV off at first, but then decided to turn it on for background noise. I tuned in about 5 minutes after the second plane hit. Needless to say, I didn't get much sewing done that day. I couldn't believe what I was watching. Then I actually needed to act. My ex-fiance's parent's lived very close to MacDill Air Force Base which was central command. They were concerned about the proximity and possible threat, so they told me to take the dogs to his sister's house about 30 miles away instead. The whole drive, I kept looking in my rearview mirror, paraniod that my hometown would get bombed and I would see the smoke begin to rise. We also had family that worked near the towers, but after we finally were able to get through to them, we found that they were okay.

The 9/11 attacks also affected my trip to England. A few weeks before I was to go to study at Cambridge for the summer was when the attacks on the London underground happened. I had such sympathy for the English people! There was talk of postponing the classes since most of us were flying into Heathrow, but they went on with it on schedule. When I got on the flight, I was sickened at myself for stereotyping, but I couldn't help it. I was so nervous about a man dressed in long clothes and wearing a turban and long beard who also boarded my plane. I knew this was irrational, because if there was a muslim terrorist on board, he would dress to blend in, but it made me nervous all the same. Obviously, and fortunately, nothing happened, but I couldn't sleep the whole flight, so I had terrible jet lag that first day.

I clearly remember going to the WTC when I was 10. I still have the souvenir t-shirt and pictures from that visit. If 9/11 hadn't happened, I might not be so protective of these trinkets. But now, there is no way I will ever dispose of them. They are like talismans to remind me that there was a time when we didn't worry about horrors like that, though they have happened in history (I think of Pearl Harbor). Hopefully, it won't be too long before we can get to that frame of mind again.

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I remember that the sky was as blue as I had ever seen it. Blindingly blue.

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I remember that the sky was as blue as I had ever seen it. Blindingly blue.

I remember that too. And I just read an article today about the only American astronaut who was on the International Space Station that day. He could see the smoke plume from when the south tower fell.

http://news.yahoo.com/astronaut-in-space-during-attacks-shares-unique-footage-of-9-11.html

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I was at home with a head cold and could not believe what I was seeing on TV while lying there on the couch. It was so surreal, like living in a nightmare. The utter horror and pain people went through (and continue to go through) really tugged at my heart. The desperate anguish on their faces is what I remember most. And all the ash and massive destruction.

Not too long after we were in York, England, where there was a bomb scare. We were walking around the York Cathedral when the police escorted us away by the arms and told us to go back to our B&B immediately. There was quiet murmuring but otherwise everything was eerily quiet. People were waiting and wondering what would happen next.

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The " Stealth" bomber from Whiteman AFB just flew over. Probably going for a fly by at an event or football game. It reminded me that the skies had no airplanes, hot air balloons, com trails. - except the various jets and helicopters from Whiteman and Ft Riley.

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It's probably just me, but I will be so glad when this anniversary has passed. I don't WANT to relive that day. I won't even be turning the radio on tomorrow.

That day, I was living in Connecticut, and my husband had just left me a few months before. I felt so alone and scared. I had the day off from work and was just about to step out the door to go do laundry when the first report came over the radio. Then Mom called. I stayed and listened to the radio for a while, and when Mom called back and told me the Pentagon had been hit, I totally lost it. I think I screamed. I'm not sure.

Eventually I left for the laundrymat, where they had the TV on. I went to the other side of the room so I wouldn't have to see it. (I'm SO glad I threw my TV away back in the 80's! If this affected me so much, how could people who watched those planes hit the buildings, over and over again, ever get to sleep?)

Later that night, lying sleepless in bed, I heard a small plane go over. All planes were supposed to be grounded! What was it? I kept waiting, shaking in fear, to hear the explosion. It never came. To this day I have no idea what that plane was all about.

Later I found out that a lady and her two year old daughter who had been customers at the store I was working in were on the first plane.

So, there's my story. Now, anybody got a good recipe for gluten free and corn free doughnuts? Anybody want to talk about their favorite song? How about the weather? ANYTHING but the memories of that day!

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So, there's my story. Now, anybody got a good recipe for gluten free and corn free doughnuts? Anybody want to talk about their favorite song? How about the weather? ANYTHING but the memories of that day!

I know, it's one more day. I'm kind of using all the stories to accept, and internalize all the sadness I feel for the people, for the innocence, for the soldiers and civilians in the wars afterwards. One more big hit of sadness, then I think I can let it go. People died not so we can exist, but so we can live. One more day, then smile, and laugh, and take back life.

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It started as such a beautiful September day. The skies were so intensely blue with bright sunshine and warm temps. Perfect. My new puppy was about 9-weeks old. She was lying on the floor sleeping and I was on my computer. And then the phone rang. It was my daughter-in-law calling me from work, which was unusual. She asked me if I had the TV on. Well, no, my TV is rarely ever on during the day. I quickly turned it on to CNN in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center. She asked me where Cindy was (my daughter, her sister-in-law). Working. Flight attendant. United Airlines. Based in Boston. I felt a paralyzing fear come over me.

I sent an email to my son-in-law at work. No response. I later found out he was so upset that he couldn't work and went home. He called me a few hours later...it seemed like an eternity. What a relief, she was safe! My daughter actually flew out on Mon., Sept. 10, and ended up in Orange County, CA. He had just talked with her and she was still asleep when our world turned upside down. It was wonderful when I also heard her voice again. I was really, really scared. She had a late check-in on 9/11. A check-in that never happened that day or the next or the next...I think it was the weekend before any air travel resumed. She volunteered to work the flight back home. She took two or three weeks off and then went back to work. Pretty traumatic. And lots of time to think.

Since air travel came to such a screeching halt, airlines were offering generous voluntary leave. She knew she had to do something else with her life. She went back to college and got her degree in 2004 as an art major. They lived in Portland, Maine, at the time and decided to move back to Denver where they had lived for ten years prior to her transferring to Boston in 2000. When United called her back to work (I think in 2005), she quit. She is now in her third year of grad school at UCD (class of 2012).

Yes, I also know what you mean about planes. I lived in a small town practically on the MD/PA border. Fighter jets from the NJ National Guard patrolled our skies. We were either in or very near Camp David air space. Oh, how I hated weekends. We always knew when President Bush was at Camp David and he seemed to come so often. Those fighter jets started on Friday nights and didn't let up until late Sunday night or until he returned to Washington. One Sat. it was so loud I rushed outdoors to see what was going on. A fighter jet was so low that people could reportedly see the pilot in the cockpit. Unnerving.

I don't know how much TV I will be able to watch tomorrow. It brings back a flood of memories of how our world has changed forever. I get bleary-eyed just thinking about it.

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It's probably just me, but I will be so glad when this anniversary has passed. I don't WANT to relive that day. I won't even be turning the radio on tomorrow.

I don't want to relive it either. I doubt that any of us do. But I do feel that remembering is appropriate.

Here in Canada, and in much of the former British Empire, we commemorate the the end of the First World War on November 11 each year. We remember those who died in that war and other armed conflicts since. We are not reliving the wars, but are showing respect for those who are not able to be with us to remember.

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I was abroad, and had only been in Japan for a few weeks, so I was not only in a completely different time zone, but I understood very little of the language and thus news coverage. I do remember waking up for a toilet trip in the night and noticing that my host family had to TV on rather late, but I didn't go in to see why.

Found on why the next day, but the enormity of it really didn't sink in until I returned to the US the following summer. The security differences and inspections were much more intrusive, especially for a jet-lagged teenager who was only half thinking in English and having to explain souvenirs/gifts that she only knew Japanese words for. (Very weird, now, looking back at the photos of family and friends seeing me off the airport gate.) I didn't understand why people kept thinking that I should not go to NYC for college. Even then, I think I still don't quite comprehend what exactly was going through the American psyche just because I was not here, and I am only now hearing much of the footage being played in memorium. It's been a complex play of emotions as NPR has recapped stories and interviews this week.

Despite living in NYC for four years, and regular visitor ever since, I've never been to ground zero. Not quite sure why, but somehow I've avoided it.

Going to war in Iraq was quite horrifying, especially given the year I had just spent in a country that had been bombed beyond recognition in places, and the number of high school classmates that were in the armed forces.

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We had dinner out last evening with friends, one of whom is a firefighter. He knew one of the emergency response workers who perished at the site. I asked him about the huge ceremony that occurred yesterday at the firefighters memorial here in downtown Ottawa, and about the activities that will go on all day today. He spoke about it all, but quietly, with a tired, sad look in his eyes. Then he finally said, "I don't want to do this, every September 11th, anymore.... .. ... .just too much".....

So interesting to hear the feelings of him.

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I was a contractor working at the Washington Navy Yard that day in Dc. The first I knew anything was going on was when the Navy LT commander in our office asked me if I could find a piece of wire to make an antenna for one of the conference room room training tv's. Those TV aren't used for anything but playing training tapes normally so aren't set up to recieve broadcasts. He had heard something about it and wanted to see the new reports. We rolled a TV out of the conference room to the main office area. I got a piece of wire and we jammed it in the broken off antenna mast and got a signal going. And saw the towers burning.

Not long after that one of the techs on my team called from the Navy Annex near the Pentagon. He was very excited and shook-up. The Navy Annex sits on a hill. He told me was just getting there and walking through the parking lot when he heard a loud noise. He looked up and a jet flew right over his head not far above the roof of the Navy Annex building and straight into the Pentagon. He wasn't sure what to do so I told him to go home.

The Gov sent all the workers home not long after that, although they mostly just sat in their cars gridlocked trying to get out of DC. I stayed at work as we started trying to sort out what needed to be done to get the networks working again. My company was managing and maintaining the computer networks for most of the Navy offices around Dc at the time, including the Pentagon and other large office buildings. The phones became jammed not long after this and we couldn't reach our people in the Pentagon to confirm they were ok. We could see the smoke rising from across the river behind the 14th street bridge though.

It was several days before we confirmed status on all the Pentagon team. One pregnant woman had gone home but not notified anyone, but she was safe. One man was burned on both arms but he recovered in time. Everyone else on our teams got out ok.

The next month and a half we worked double and triple shifts straight through weekends. We moved some high level officers from the Pentagon to the Navy Annex and set up a new network for them there.

The section of the Pentagon that was destroyed was the first section that was renovated and had just recently been completed. The whole building smelled like smoke for many months after the attack and you could still see soot on the ceilings in the hallways.

What surprises me most about the 9/11 attacks is how few people were killed compared to what could have happened. There were reports that 40 to 50 thousand people worked in the twin towers routinely, but only a fraction of them were there during the attack. It could have been so much worse. I thank God it wasn't worse.

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