Monday, July 21, 2008

My September 11th Story

I would listen to a radio station called Star 98.7 out here in California. They had two clowns, Jamie White and Danny Bonaduce, who you could NEVER take seriously. That day however they were both deadly serious and it shocked me.


I was in the shower and could only listen to what they were reporting. If I remember correctly they thought it was just a high rise fire, which alone was a pretty terrifying idea in an urban area like New York City. I quickly finished my shower and turned on the television but I had a two and half hour commute to work so I had to leave.

My supervisor at the time was a real hard-ass with me so I covered for everyone else in my department while they sat there watching the news. I would get occasional peaks of what happened when people had televisions set up at their desks but I didn't really see much.


I heard it all on the radio on the drive to and from work. It was more terrifying that way.

I was intrigued and curious to find out more information about what occurred exactly and the terrors everyone was reporting on the radio but I didn't want to be morbid and search for internet videos.

Until recently.

It is one thing to hear about people falling from buildings, and its another entirely to see them falling helplessly. They chose to fall to their deaths than to be burned alive. Unbelievable.

I found one website with a good record of the media circulating at the time. I remember seeing the view from some news camera as the second plane collided into the World Trade Center. It was very close and just below the explosion. I never saw it again.


I am curious to know what your experiences were. Especially if you are a resident of another country. How did you feel? Did you care? Were you glad?

I am being serious, I hear so much hatred towards the U.S. I wonder sometimes if people just want us all to die sometimes.

What are your honest opinions and experiences?

Update: I found the transcripts from Flight 93. You have to use your imagination but it is still very moving. I also located a website hosting the audio file from the Airport.


Anonymous said...

i was waking up early to go to a dentist appt. my mom yelled at me to get out of the shower and watch was history in the making.
the ride to the dentist was silent as my grandma and i listened to the radio. at the office it was silent. no one was talking.
when i was in the dentist chair, the dentist almost cut me about five times because he was too focused on the tv.
at school we watched tv. i broke down in class and i was the only one who cried.

HektikLyfe said...

Whoa, sorry to hear about the dentist thing.

I forgot to add that the most footage I had seen of the events was in the theater when we saw Fahrenheit: 9/11.

Has anyone else seen that "documentary?"

Jose said...

9/11 was on a tuesday. I had gotten Fired from my job on the monday before. I thought i was going to be able to sleep in. my roomate called me and woke me up and told me to turn on the TV. i watched in despair the whole day.
it still makes me very emotional to think about it and all the lives that were loss for a very stupid reason. RELIGION>

Carmen said...

I'm from Mexico, and I remember being at school and my boyfriend at the time call me so that I could watch it on the tv nearest me... everybody at the cafeteria didn't get what was going on
I remember feeling sorry for all the people who died, their families and feeling really scared... and I sincerily hope that the war you're figthing at badgad end soon and everybody return home safe.

HektikLyfe said...

>Jose: Whats worse is that it wasn't even for the typically brainwashing religious justification. It was a misinterpretation of their own religion. Intentional or accidental is still up for argument.

>Carmen: I would like to know why you in Mexico felt scared? Do you know anyone in the U.S.? Did you feel scared on behalf of the people near there? Or do you fear the repercussions of a global superpower showing such a huge weakness?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im Indonesian residing in Singapore right now. I was just about to respond ur question about how do i feel for the incident. I personally think that the incident are full of mystery. That i watch all of these documentary, but i feel there sill sumthin missing on d story. Well as a human i can say, we all are always curious about things.
How do I feel when it happens, well.. i think that those story in d bible are true and d world is coming to an end.. hahaha.. but.. i pretty much feel that way.
Were i happy about the incident? NO! I mean, i dont want anybody hurt. But its just not my power to do that. I just feel so bad that it happens. Since i was small, i always think that US is a big and powerful country, one of the best i can say. But having that kind of accident, it makes me think that even in a great country country, unfortunate incident can happen. WHat can possibly be happen in Indonesia, with all those corrupted people ruling the country.
As the more i think about it.. i feel that world peace is just a dream. Sorry for being skeptical bout it. But all i can do is just hoping.. hoping for a dream..


HektikLyfe said...

Yes there are a lot of us here in the U.S. that are also curious about some of the missing pieces of the puzzle. We are afraid we may never know the complete truth. We continue to live our lives in fear of possible repercussions from actions taken by a leader we never put in office to begin with.

Anonymous said...

hey, i am from germany. i remember coming back home from school and listening to the radio (we don't have a tv at home). first i couldn't believe what they said, and the news reports were very unclear about what had actually happened. for me it was really emotional and i felt so sorry for all the people who died and their families. and of course i was shocked, especially when i heard it wasn't an accident but a terrorist attack. and i got scared a little bit, too. because this attack showed that horrible things can happen everywhere and anytime, as 7.7. in london showed as well. and i hate to think about the pointless killing of so many innocent people.

HektikLyfe said...

Yes my experience was similar. Something about the radio made it seem so much more dramatic. Not intentionally downplaying the actual events, but your imagination can make things so much worse can't it? It helps me to understand how people lost their minds during the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast in the 30's.

Moni said...

I am frome Europe wen 9/11 hapend I was at home watching tv when I changed the chanel I saw the news and I stoped I could not belive that people were so cold hearded to such thing.I was alon at hom and I prayd for all of the people that were there at the seen I was just hopping that some how there would not be dead people and that some how this would have been a dum movie trailor or somthin.
See I was living in Switzerland and overthere americans are not realy wellcome. But I did not heare anny rude remarks everyone was just in chock we could not belive that there were people with such hatrude in there heart.
Even now that I live in the US and am married to a american I just feal sad that 9/11 happend and I hoppe and pray that somthing like this will never hapen again.

HektikLyfe said...

What saddens me even more is how short our bond lasted. Usually when a society is devastated by tragedy, people come together. It was only a matter of a couple of years before we started fighting amongst ourselves again.

Even the politicians were fighting for the scraps of September 11th. All wanting to claim heroics to further their careers.

Even a church. This particular church has impeded the process of rebuilding. They have finally moved but it took millions of dollars. :S That causes people to lose faith in both society and the church. As if they need that.

Carmen said...

I have family who live in Texas.. but anyway,here in the news they were talking about war but IN the states, so... being your neighbor country, of course I was scared.. with all do respect to my country, if your country suffer such fatal consecuences and you have so much more to protect and defend yourself.. imagine if we got involve... besides, I was 17.. I used to believe everything I heard on the tv or the news

Paula said...

I'm from New Zealand. When the attacks happened it was around 2 in the morning I think. I was watching what was happening on t.v and saw when the second plane hit live. I basically had no idea what was going on, as no-one really did at that point. I don't think it occurred to me that it was a terrorist attack, just some kind of freak navigational error or something. It was bizarre to watch and I had no idea that people were jumping from the buildings at that time. It was more horrifying the next morning when I woke up after more information had come in. It was a scary time because there was speculation that other targets would be hit around the world. I really did feel for the U.S, as everyone did. But I think some of the animosity directed at America from the rest of the world is because the U.S presents itself as super-power number 1 country and it's citizens the best in the world. Terrorist attacks happens all around the world on a regular basis, yet they only warrent a 3 minute news report or a page in the newspaper. Reports on the 9/11 attacks were on t.v for weeks and there were whole lift-out sections in the newspaper with articles and images. Feelings were running high after all that and when the U.S decided to invade Iraq and looked for allies our neighbour Australia joined. New Zealand didn't and at first I felt ashamed that we wouldn't get involved. Now, I am so glad.

Moni said...

I just do not understand why there is monye being spend out side of the US when there is still lots that needs to be rebuild and taken care of since 9/11 hapend.
I do not understand why it is ok to spend the tax monies of hard working americans on other countries but the US it self is in need of help and atention right now.
I belive that after 9/11 hapend the government should have taken priorety in protecting the US people first befor going and trying to save any other country.
I am not american but the Country I com from the Government protects us people of the country first and thinks about others later.
It may seam harsh but I feel protected and it makes me feel like I am paying my taxes so that I can help build a program that protects me and the people I love.
I hope it dose not ofend any one but I do belive that the US needs to focus on it self for a while befor it can go out and safe others again.
But thats just my personal opinion.

Moni and Nathan said...

I just read Paulas coment and I have to agree with here cuz I hear Americans that make fun of Switzerland for being nutral and for not joining in the wars and what not all of the time but I am alway glad that my people do not have to die for someone that does not even apricate our colture.
I do belive each country should take care of them selfs, thats the only way we can minemize misunderstanding and arguments that lead to war.
But like I sad befor it is my personal opinion.

HektikLyfe said...

>Carmen: I understand your fear. I can relate it to mine. We are on the West coast, far from the tragedies on the East, but we still felt fear because it was close to us. Plus, we didn't even understand why. What was it that we were doing to these people so far away that would make them hate us so much that they would sacrifice the lives of thousands of civilians?

>Paula: You touched on the idea I had. People were more scared because they thought it might happen to them, not out of compassion for others. There is still that great division between people that believe that borders define who they are. This is one thing that I believe differentiates third world countries from the rest. I think the misconceptions that the U.S. presents itself and its people as #1 isn't something we as a nation are out there publicizing. We don't have banners or T-shirts that proclaim that. As a matter of fact there is more distaste between our own government and people than anywhere else I have ever been. The U.S. is constantly trying to kick people out, arrest and subdue its citizens. I don't know where you guys get this idea that we think we are the best. We don't. We DO think it is the land of opportunity and the constant flow of immigrants proves this. "Our people" are EVERY people. There is no "Native American" anymore. Our culture is a mixture of ALL cultures which in and of itself is a great thing.

The news media is not representative of the desires or interests of the country. These are businesses that get paid to present information by their advertisers. Have you watched news media from other countries before? Are they 100% reliable? We all want the truth but we may never really know it.

You are glad that your country did not join as an ally? Why? Do you feel safe? What would you think would happen if the U.S. and its allies lost? Do you think you would still be safe? For how long? These people who murdered so many innocent people for a reason which is still unclear, did it for their God. Their is no logic. If their "God" had selected New Zealand as a target, who do you think your government would have ran to for help? Would you have been proud to be an ally then?

>Moni: I couldn't agree with you more. The American Dollar is doing worse that it has for many years. But unfortunately, as Bush's election has proven, the American people are no longer in control of what their own government does anymore. If it were up to me, many things would change. First of all businesses would be penalized for employing outside of the U.S., just like Japan. Businesses would be taxed heavily for importing, just like Japan. So much of what is consumed comes from beyond our borders it is no wonder as to why the world economy suffers along with us.

I agree with you wholeheartedly moni. The U.S. and the U.N. which is mostly the U.S. anyway, should but out of international affairs to lick its wounds. Let the world fend for itself for a little while.

>Moni and Nathan: Now here I do not agree. "Americans" make fun of Switzerland. That is a lot of generalization there. We as a group can not be blamed for the insensitive words of a few comedians. Which like most popular comedians these days are probably Canadian to begin with.

It is no secret that the Swiss have remained neutral throughout history. That seems to be a policy. Respectable to a degree. Ask yourself this. How many American's have died for people that have not appreciated our culture? How many countries hasn't the U.N. been sent in to defend and support throughout history? The U.N. is backed financially and militarily by the U.S. more so than any other country.

This I know. More Americans have died defending the rest of the world than any other group of citizens has died coming to the defense of the U.S.

In a perfect world, Moni, your solid borders may work. But as the barbaric attacks in New York have proven, people will go after what they want regardless of what laws your country lives by.

May Allah show more mercy on your country than it has mine if it ever becomes a world leader.

Farhan said...

I don’t like to talk about controversial things, especially on the internet. But anyway, Hektik, here is my response to your blog: I was in Hyderabad, India during the 9/11 attacks. There was a power outage in our area that night during that unfortunate event. me, my dad and brother were having our dinner (candle lit because of the outage). My mom was in Canada to attend a wedding. Anyway, the phone rang and I picked it up, it was my dad’s friend. He sounded so very SHOCKED and told me “a plane hit the World Trade Centre!! Are you listening to the news right now??!”. I was not so surprised or shocked. I had no reaction at that time. I was just like “oh, okay. Let me give the phone to my dad”. Why? Because I had no idea what the WTC was. Anyway, I handed the phone to my dad and he heard the news from his friend (who was listening to the radio). My dad was shocked as well. After their conversation was over, he told me and my brother what the WTC buildings are and the significance of this attack. Then I understood what happened.
A few minutes later, the power was on again and my dad switched on the TV immediately. He put CNN on, and then we started following the news. My cousin’s husband also came over to our place that night. I don’t remember how I felt while watching the news reports on CNN and NDTV. But was a glad? HELL NO! Why should I be glad if someone (or a big group of people in this case) dies? Any loss of life is a bad thing.
When I heard that Osama is the mastermind behind these events, I was angry! He and whoever the terrorists were were Muslims, and they were completely misrepresenting the religion I am a part of. Because of 9/11, I think Muslims are the most misunderstood people on Earth. Somebody even called ME a terrorist a little more than a year ago.
What pisses me off even more is when news reporters coin new words like “Islamicists” or whatever, making all Muslims look like the people who want to kill people of every other religion.
Islam is a religion of peace and nowhere in the Quran does it say that suicide bombers will get 72 virgins after dieing.

HektikLyfe said...

>Farhan: I greatly appreciate your commentary for that exact reason. I prefer discussing controversial topics online. It keeps people at a non threatening distance if they lose their temper AND it keeps people from saying, "I didn't say that!"

But my favorite reason, is the ability to look back at it years later and reminisce.

I in no way meant to offend anyone by assuming there were people out there that were glad people in the U.S. died. It was a serious question. I hear people say those things online and on numerous forums and websites. There is so much hatred for the U.S. and its citizens, military or not, that I firmly believe there are people out there like that and I was wondering if anyone who read this blog was one of them. I wouldn't hate them. I'm just confused by their logic and would love to hear their justification for the hatred of innocent people.

As for the news media's distortion of reality, I couldn't agree more.

During times of war, this country has a history of alienating anyone and everything that isn't like them. Subtle racism becomes accepted to a degree. Raids and deportations are commonly performed.

Threatened INS calls under the guise of "Voluntary Deportation" is also made public.

Somehow the finger pointing goes every which way but North.