Chief Dick

NFL Opening Day--Sept 11

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On the morning of September 11th, I was working in my home office, as usual. My wife and I were still getting used to being parents of a wonderful little boy, getting ready to celebrate his 2nd birthday in early November.

 

It was a little after 9:00, and my wife came into my office and said she heard a report on TV that a plance had hit the WTC. I immediately thought it must be a small Cessna-type aircraft, and continued working, thinking I'd walk downstairs to watch the footage on TV in another 10 minutes, after I finished checking my email. About 15 minutes later, my wife yelled for me to come downstairs, that I had to see what was happening. As I made my way down the stairs, my wife let out a scream I will never forget...I ran to her in the living room, and she was trembling, barely able to get out another word...I looked up at the TV from the couch, and watched the footage of the 2nd tower erupting in flames. I was in a state of shock, but remember her mumbling over and over, "Another one hit, another one hit". We held each other as out son played obliviously in his toy room. As the hour moved on, the report came on that yet another plane had gone down, this time into the Pentagon. At this point, living just 30 minutes from Philadelphia, and less than 6 miles from the Limerick nuclear power plant, we were beside oursleves. What was next? We couldn't believe our ears when the next report stated that yet another plane had gone down "somewhere in Pennsylvania"...was it near the power plant? In the city where we know literally hundreds of friends, co-workers and clients work every day? Fortunately, the brave souls on United 93 never let that plane reach its intended target.

 

I will never forget those couple hours while our nation stood still, and we sat helplessly in front of our TV wondering if our time was soon upon us. While we were never really in any danger, I don't think I have ever been as scared as I was that day....or as sad as I was in the time thereafter.

 

We have since had 3 more children, and if our enemies from the Middle East gave me anything to take from that horrific day, it was to love my family and friends likes it's my last day...everyday. Wherever my work travel may take me, or whatever I am doing at home, I make sure to end everyday telling my wife, and each of my kids, how very much I love them.

 

God Bless those who lost loved ones on 9/11, and God Bless the United States of America.

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We have since had 3 more children, and if our enemies from the Middle East gave me anything to take from that horrific day, it was to love my family and friends likes it's my last day...everyday. Wherever my work travel may take me, or whatever I am doing at home, I make sure to end everyday telling my wife, and each of my kids, how very much I love them.

 

No doubt. Well said.

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I just watched United 93.

 

It's not fun to re-live that day, but damn is that movie amazing.

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I just watched United 93.

 

It's not fun to re-live that day, but damn is that movie amazing.

 

Haven't seen it yet. Still not sure if I want to.

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I just watched United 93.

 

It's not fun to re-live that day, but damn is that movie amazing.

 

The first time i watched it i was shocked at myself during the ending. I was watching the movie sitting on the couch but during the ending i was standing infront of the TV screaming and cheering when they rushed the cockpit.

 

 

As you all know, my father was a fire fighter at the pentagon on Sept 11th so it will always be fresh with me.

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I didn't know anyone who was hurt, but do know people who lost direct friends.

 

This year is especially weird (if that word fits) since the 11th falls on a Tuesday for the first time since.

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Haven't seen it yet. Still not sure if I want to.

It's a Schindler's List experience - I don't regret watching it at all, it was a fantastic film, and some of the stuff that goes on is mind-boggling (IIRC it was lauded for being accurate - and if so, it's amazing that the FAA and military were getting their news from CNN, just like all us Joe Schmoes).

 

About as soon as it started, I got a tightness in the pit of my stomach that didn't really go away. It's powerful stuff; but I think discomfort is both artistically and psychologically necessary at times.

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I wanted to wait until this day, this hour, this minute, to add my thoughts to this post.

 

Six years ago, I vividly remember being here at work and having a coworker come in my office and tell me that a plane had hit the towers. It struck me as very odd given that there was not a storm system on the east coast and the skies were clear. I somehow remembered a trip to NY and the Empire State Building that I had taken years ago in the 5th grade and hearing then about a B-25 that had hit the Empire State Building decades before because of clouds. Funny how little details like this can come to you at times. I thought maybe there was a pilot error again, but how?

 

The office all gathered around a TV in the break room and we watch helplessly as a plume of smoke rose to the heavens. It was a very confusing time and we all struggled to figure out how something like this could have happened. We all talked about the great concern for the folks in the tower that was struck. How would the ladder trucks reach to the top? That kind of thing.

 

The sound on the TV we were watching was not very good. It took about 5 or 10 minutes before I realized that the footage of the Pentagon was not a distant shot of NYC. It in fact was the second plane crash. And then we watched in horror as the third plane struck.

 

On the radio they were reporting that the FAA had ordered all planes grounded. I had initially thought that it was an over reaction. But when that third plane hit we all realized that this was deliberate. I can not describe the feeling. I don't have to. We all felt it. We all still feel it.

 

 

 

Today I still work in the Carolina's for the military as a civillian. A week doesn't go by that I don't want to go active duty and go to the Middle East. But, my wife and young children prevent me from doing more than my present duties. I resign myself to the fact that I am helping in some small way both as a DoD employee and a fireman.

 

As the commish of my local league six year ago I asked if anyone would object if we donated all the money to the Red Cross 9/11 fund. Everyone agreed and most of us matched the pot several times over. I am proud to say that we have made this a tradition in our league. Every year we pony up our money at the start of the year and the winner of the league at the end of the year picks a charity. Katrina victim one year, local orphanage another. Last year I won and, I hope, started another tradition. I picked a family of a fallen service member and sent an anonymous check to his wife and kids.

 

Gone but not forgotten!

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Gone, but never, ever forgotten. :usa:

 

:usa:

Edited by Big John

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My most vivid memory of that day was later that afternoon. I took a break from the coverage and was standing outside. I nearly jumped out of my skin as the Missouri Air National Guard came streaking over my head, flying low and fast on patrol over my city armed and prepared to shoot down anything that was percieved as a threat, because at this time we still didn't know if it was all over or not.

 

Our world had changed forever. One of my best friends is a fireman, and I called him that day and caught him while he was packing a bag to fly to NY on his own dollar to help in the recovery effort.

 

We will never forget. :usa:

Edited by Big John

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Before I begin, I honor those who ran in to the Towers when others were running out, I honor those who defend my country every day so that we can be free, and I honor those on Flight 93 who refused to accept this senseless act sitting idly by. You are all truly my heroes. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost a loved one, a friend, a colleague. I thank my three cousins who enlisted as Marines and who have all served time in Iraq.

 

This is a hard day for many of us. The raw emotion that all who have posted before me is evident; I feel your sadness, anger and pain and appreciate the care and way you've chosen to express yourselves. Please forgive my wordiness in advance...I've never written any of this down before.

 

I was working in White Plains, NY on September 11. White Plains is 30 minutes north of NYC in Westchester County. My mom passed away on August 7 and I had just returned to work a couple of weeks before. My girlfriend Kim called me to tell me that "something was going on" at the World Trade Center. She worked in Liberty Plaza for Deutsche Bank, right across the street from the Towers. She said that the building was being evacuated and would call me when she got outside. Fifteen minutes later, she called again to tell me that she was going back in, that the OK had been given to return to work. I remember very clearly that my instinct told me that something was very wrong and I begged her not to go back in. I told her to just get away from the area and to get out of NYC. She didn't listen and went back inside.

 

By now, the world knew what had happened, and when she called me a little while later to tell me that "pieces of the Towers are hitting my building" and they were being evacuated, I told her what had happened. We would not speak again for several hours.

 

I managed to get through to my brother and cousin, both working in midtown. My sister in law was down town for a meeting (she works on Long Island and never had to come into NYC, not once in 5 years). Somehow, with cell service increasingly becoming unavailable, we managed to get her in touch with my girlfriend and they made their way up to my brother and cousin. When my brother's boss saw what Kim looked like (she was filthy, covered with soot and even some blood), he send an intern out to buy her some new clothes. Then they all got on a subway (service was soon to be suspended) and got out of Manhattan and into Queens. I later picked her up at a buddy's house.

 

Since I was commuting via Metro-North RR to grand Central Station, I had to be driven home. My VP called for a car service. The driver happened to be of Arab descent. As we were getting onto the Whitestone Bridge, we could see Manhattan. The smoke cloud that covered the island served as the pinch I needed - this was really happening. The silence and embarassment this man felt, knowing who caused this, was evident. I'll never forget that car ride. It was strange driving to work the next few days, with public transportation suspeneded, not hearing any planes overhead and having the car searched every time I got to the bridge.

 

With my mom passing away, you can imagine how my family and I already felt. Now came the news that a child hood friend of ours, Peter Brennan, was missing. He was with rescue 4 and was into the Tower at the outset. His wife has just found out she was pregnant. My dad was extremely emotional over everything that was happening. He called a friend of ours, a private investigator and an ex-NYPD Lieutenant, and asked him to take him to Ground Zero. In the car they went and, along they way, they made a stop to pick someone up. It turned out to be Vinny Testaverde. He was along to see the "bucket brigade" crews and to lend some emotional help.

 

All day my Dad walked with these men, saw the effect Testaverde had on them, and they on him. He was allowed to shovel some debris and dump it into a bucket. He walked to Kim's building and, in the ash and dust, inscribed "Peter Brennan, 9/11/01" and "Barbara Iadanza, 8/7/01." He then turned around towards his group and completely broke down. Vinny Testaverde hugged my dad the entire trip back to Long Island.

 

Many things changed that day for all of us. The world changed as well. I am thankful my girlfriend survived that day, as she is now my wife and the mother of our 15 month old baby girl.

 

I love this nation, our ideals and what we represent. To those who criticize our efforts abroad, I remind you to consider what you felt on this day, six years ago, I remind you of all the pain and suffering these senseless acts caused and I ask you to support our troops and to support your President.

 

:usa:

Edited by Big John

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The Wolf said:
I love this nation, our ideals and what we represent. To those who criticize our efforts abroad, I remind you to consider what you felt on this day, six years ago, I remind you of all the pain and suffering these senseless acts caused and I ask you to support our troops and to support your President.

 

:usa:

 

 

Im gonna start by saying I too love this country and our ideals and the constitution. I always grew up proud that the world looked up to us being such a great country. After 9/11 I have seen Americans lose freedom in the name of safety. I have seen the world reaction to American policing of the world, and its not good. We are no longer the most cherised country and I know... it is all because we INVADED another country, who didnt attack us. We the united states threw our values out the window, we threw the constitution out the window, and we lost our christianity beleif of only going to war in defense. Now I enlisted post 9/11 to serve my country, but I have to ask this question..How long are we gonna be fighting?? When are we gonna say enough is enough? I think the people in afghanistan and iraq are gonna get sick of us occupying their land and it's just a matter of time before more and more of a fight. You can support the troops and disagree with the mission. Yes 9/11 was a tragedy and I feel sorry for any American who lost a loved one that day. But if you havent noticed America has killed more innocent people the past 7 years then we lost on 9/11. I love this country but please dont say support our president. A man that says he is above the law, above the constitution.

Edited by Big John

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The Wolf said:
I love this nation, our ideals and what we represent. To those who criticize our efforts abroad, I remind you to consider what you felt on this day, six years ago, I remind you of all the pain and suffering these senseless acts caused and I ask you to support our troops and to support your President.

 

:usa:

 

 

 

we all love this country. We all support the troops. Some of us believe in the Geneva Convention and believe torturing people is immoral and is UNNECESSARY. We can beat these people and obey international law.

 

The Bush adm used this feeling of unity after 911 to push this country way to the right. They used us for personal gain. That is immoral too.

Edited by Big John

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:usa:

Edited by Big John

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Outshined said:
:usa:

 

 

Thanks for bumping this.

 

And with all due respect, my hope is this thread remains a remembrance thread and not turn into a political bashing.

Edited by Big John

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I force myself to watch coverage of it every year, so I never, ever forget how I felt that day. :usa:

Edited by Big John

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Not exactly sure how to start, First I am in the New york Air National Guard. I actually saw the second plane hit on cnn, I was sleeping because I work nights. My wife actually woke me up, anyone that's been in the military knows what to do, You make sure your bags are packed and your ready for what ever is needed. We got recalled and were actually the first Airplane(Military Cargo plane C-130) in the sky that night, We flew into Stewart AFB and were bused to Randlls Island.(http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/units/fire_academy/fa_index.shtml)Check Link-Memorials and Honors. The ironic thing is the death of the firefighters and us being sent to Randall's, so even before I arrived at ground zero I was exposed to the tragedy without even stepping foot into the ashes. Now I want you all to know I never spent a day on the "Pile" I am a Civil Engineer"Generator Mechanic" I did security at check points with New york Cities finest. Yes we all spent time on ground zero, I fueled light carts and did what ever was asked. But what I will take with me for the rest of my life is....Everyone did......From the rescuers to the volunteers who fed us. We spent about 6 weeks all together at ground zero and the one thing I tell everyone is......When you saw it on the news it was one dimensional but when you were there..........words cannot describe what I saw standing in ashes and debris on the the corner of Fraklin St., Yours eyes burnt and throat was soar and the smell will be with me like a nightmare that never goes away! So when I had the opportunity to go to Iraq and serve my country I did without fail as those did that very day. I love my country and anyone who serves to protect it. Weather it be in a domestic role or in combat in Iraq/Afganistan deserves our thoughts and prayers. Remember a soldier with his country is never lonely....We do as were told without fail. God Bless America.......

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