You probably have heard many 9/11 stories and even have your own to tell. Here is my story and the way I remember the events taking place; when I first got word, a fire had broke out in one of the W.T.C. Towers in Manhattan, NY on September the 11th.
It’s been 9 years ago today. Although today may be the anniversary of this event in American history, this is one anniversary we don’t celebrate. We only remember it, because we made ourselves a promise nine years ago today, that we would never forget and we make that promise one more time again. We Won’t Forget. We Will Never Forget.
My story begins online and I recently had heard about a website, where you could play tons of different games and they were all free. The name of this website is Pogo and one of the games they offered there (and still do) is Spades. A card game which is typically played by 4 people. It’s a lot like the game of Hearts, but there are some differences. I love to play Spades, but it’s hard to get 4 people in real life to play this card game. The online gaming community makes this very simple, since there is always plenty of people online and especially at Pogo looking to play Spades.
Now I had been playing Spades for awhile at Pogo, so I wasn’t too new to the games over there. I had played enough Spades, where I had a good online friend and Spades partner, who would play with me on most nights. She was a nurse working a 3rd shift at a hospital and she would often get some free time in the overnight hours, to come online and play Spades with me. We made a good team and won a lot of games.
Now on the night of September 10th, I came online and started playing Spades at Pogo. A few hours later, my Spades partner (the nurse) found which room I was in and she sat down to play a few hands with me. She eventually had to go back to work, so I continued to play with strangers online for the remainder of the night. It was already daylight and I continued strong for a couple of more hours, but was beginning to get real tired. I live in Georgia on the east coast, so it probably gets daylight in my area, about the same hours the Sun starts to peek out in New York City.
Well I was getting ready to call it a night and was playing my last few hands; when a new player came to the table and began to chat. He first said “anyone watching the news?”. Another member in our Spades game said “yes”. Then between the two of them chatting, I picked up enough to know, that one of the World Trade Center Towers was on fire. I then spoke up and told them this would be my last game, I had been up all night, and I think I will go lay down and watch the WTC fire on TV as I drift off to sleep. So I got off the PC and turned on the TV. Sure enough, the first channel I turned to, had the burning tower and was showing a live shot.
My first thought, when I seen the tower on fire for the first time was “how are they going to get water that high up or a ladder that high to put out that fire?”. I continued to watch the TV and listen to all of the speculations going on. There were some reports that a plane had hit the building, some reports suggested a mail bomb went off, and a few other things were floating around out there. So at this point, no one knew for sure what was going on or why the WTC tower was on fire.
Then the news people switched off to a news reporter, who was talking about the fire and you had a good close-up of the burning building in the background. A plane came into the picture frame for just a brief moment; then it hit the other WTC tower. My first thoughts after seeing the plane hit “OMG…the water plane which was there to dump water on the fire has accidentally hit the other building. This is so awful…..OMG!”. At this point, my tired body and weary eyes from playing Spades all night long, was suddenly gone and I sat up to see what they were going to do now. It wasn’t long after the 2nd plane hit the building, is when the TV reporters started to say this was a terrorist attack. I really thought it was a small airplane (filled with water), that hit the 2nd tower on that September morning. I didn’t realize just how big those buildings in N.Y. were and how they could make a jumbo jet look that small.
I went and told my daddy to turn on the television, so he could start watching the events that were unfolding in New York City. I then called my cousin up; which he didn’t answer the phone, but I just left him a message on the phone recorder to turn on the news. Shortly later, he would call me back and we talked on the phone for a few minutes. It wasn’t long after we had hung up, when the people on TV asked for everyone in America to please stop making phone calls, unless it was important or an emergency. Seems the phone was the first place a lot of people went to, so they could pass the news about 2 planes crashing up in New York.
The next thing I remember happening was the reports of a fire near the Pentagon and speculation began about it and if it was related to the NYC events. There was also reports of about 10 airplanes; which air traffic controllers had lost contact with. Reports from Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and the northern Virginia area were all reporting about unusual incidents and it looked like 9/11 was much bigger than what we know today and the reports that actually had some truth behind them.
Now the whole 9/11 day; which included 4 airplane crashes, all took place in about a 2 hour time frame. No further damage from the skies had took place; once noon time on the east coast had got here, all of the events were well behind us. There was two things that happened after; which I personally found to be amazing. The first thing was the smoke in Manhattan. There was so much smoke around this part of New York City, it just continued to come from the area where the World Trade Center had once stood. In fact, 2 weeks later, we could still see tons of smoke at the crash site and I found that to be incredible.
Another thing I can clearly remember is the TV commercials. Once your regular programming had been interrupted with the first NYC plane crash, the news stations on all of the channels never broke coverage. From those first few moments on Tuesday morning, until Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in the East, the news ran non-stop. We had 6 days (if you count Tuesday) of 24 hour news; which really was 24 hour news of commercial free programming. The guys on the air never took any breaks and never went to a commercial once. The Sunday following 9/11, they took a 30 second or 1 minute break, and this was the first commercial TV viewers had got, since the breaking news coverage had interrupted the normal programming. Now this brief 30 second or 1 minute break, was a 9/11 commercial and I believe it was Red Cross, asking for donations and paying tribute to those who had died on 9/11 and were still trapped on that following Sunday. Most people don’t remember the non-stop media coverage we got after 9/11 and my hat’s off to those guys. They ran 6 days of commercial free, live programming, so concerned Americans could have the latest stories and information; which was coming in all that week and beyond.
That is my 9/11 story. Just another American who remembers what they were doing, when they heard about the tragic and awful events of that beautiful, fall day in the Big Apple of New York, the Pennsylvania Field, and at the site of the Pentagon in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
*PS – My spades partner, who I enjoyed so much, I never have seen her again. Last spades game I ever played with her, was in the early morning hours of 9/11/2001. She was a nurse from Texas. All I can remember, don’t even remember her POGO screen name.
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