My 9-11 Recollections

I originally posted this at my old Townhall blog.  15 years later, the images of that day still bring tears of sadness and rage.

It is one of those moments in time that everybody will remember what they were doing when they heard, like the Challenger explosion, Ronald Reagan getting shot, the final Vietnam cease fire going into effect, Neal Armstrong’s “One small step for Man”, and for those even older than me…when JFK was hit by multiple assassins in Dealey Plaza.
I was sitting at my desk in the Quality Assurance Division of Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Ft Worth, TX. I was inputting data into my tracker for some safety requirements, since my main job at the time was Safety Manager for the Department. Our Division Chief, Gunnery Sergeant Batastini suddenly called out, “There’s reports of a plane hitting the World Trade Center!” Somebody commented that there must be some heavy low clouds in NY. I said that during WW2, a B-25 Mitchell bomber had run into the Empire State Building, while someone else said that a few other small planes had hit the skyscrapers of NYC before. We didn’t think much of it.
I finished inputting my data and decided, for some reason, to check the weather at JFK. Let’s see how much that poor pilot had to deal with. As I was trying to bring up weatherdotcom, Gunny said, “There’s video of the crash……wait, THAT’S A SECOND CRASH, THE OTHER TOWER’S ALREADY BURNING!” There was a simultaneous “OH, SH!T!” from the rest of us, as we scrambled to get behind his desk and see what was up. I don’t remember who said it, but there was a “Godd@## Muslim terrorists!” which we all immediately agreed was probably correct.
Someone grabbed the television that was in our publications library, got an extension cord, and put the TV out on the loading dock (the only place in the building with reception). As word filtered to the work centers, every one sent a couple of people to the dock to report in relays back to them as to what was happening. That’s where we found out about Flight 11 and the Pentagon and Flight 93 near Shanksville, PA. Nobody was getting any real work done, unless it was a high-priority item.
Eventually, I grabbed some paperwork that needed to go to the base safety office. After making that delivery, while I was driving back to AIMD, the first tower fell. I was listening to WBAP 820 AM and their live feeds from ABC News. I stopped my car and cried like a baby for a few minutes. I got back to the loading dock just before the 2nd tower fell. About an hour later, the Base Commander closed the base to all but those living there, security personnel, air traffic control, and the fighter squadrons.
That evening, all the houses in our neighborhood that had flags had them half-staffed, and just about every house had a candle (or 2, 3, 4, 5) in the window or on the porch. Tears flowed freely (as mine are now, just remembering), and we all hugged each other. White, black, brown…all with a burning hatred now for all things Muslim.



Categories: General

5 replies

  1. I was getting my two young boys ready for school while they watched TV when one of them said, “Mom, turn it back!” Not understanding what they were talking about I looked over at the TV and saw the pictures of the towers burning. It took a minute to register what was happening. I remember not being sure how to explain it to my boys, who were 9 and 7. On the one hand I didn’t want to scare them. On the other hand I wanted them to have an appreciation for what was happening and to know that they were witnessing a tragically critical moment in history.

    Thanks for posting this reminder, Crawfish. No one should ever forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was on my way to work that morning when the first news hit the radio airwaves. It was hard to concentrate on driving safely while so engrossed in the radio reports and I don’t even remember arriving at my office.

    I had a small TV in my office and we all gathered around to watch as television reports started to come in. Needless to say, only absolutely critical work got done that day. We all were gathered around the TV or listening on a radio throughout the day. My whole office was shell-shocked. No one knew the details for a while, but it was obvious that those hijackings were no accidents – we were at war and none of us knew what to expect next.

    It was a sobering event – I’m only glad that Dubya was president then and not a pantywaist like Obama who would probably have apologized that the World Trade Center buildings jumped in front of those innocent Muslim terrorists.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone turned up a video of Obama jumping for joy (like Trump described) when he heard the news of the planes hitting the buildings. The man is a traitor.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Who among us could ever forget it? Hard to believe that many in our midst today didn’t live through it.
    We were at home and my mother in law called to tell us to turn on the TV. We did and never turned it off.
    Tears. Fears.
    It was eerie when I went outside. No planes over head. NONE. But that flight 93 had been very close to us.
    God rest their souls.
    God help us realize we are still at war.

    Liked by 1 person

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