Maybe a quick note from the center of the action. Sorry if this is a bit chaotic - I'm still in shock.

I work on Rector Street, about 2 blocks south of the World Trade Center, less than a minute walking. I came out of the subway at about 9:30 am, just a few minutes after the second plane had gone in. At this time I didn't know what was going on - I could only see one of the towers (they block each other out) and I saw there was a huge fire. People on the street just sort of stood and looked up. I thought it was "just" a fire, so I made my way down to where I work through a crowd of people, thinking I might be able to get some work done today after all. Papers were floating around everywhere. A lot of ashes flying around. When I made it down to my office, I found out about the 2 suicide crashes into the towers. At this point, the towers were still standing. We immediately left and ran out to get on the train. My colleague John had a walkman radio and heard that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. I later found out that about 3 minutes after we entered the underground train station, the first tower collapsed.

I took the train uptown. We got stuck between 2 stations for about 1 1/2 hours. After 30 minutes, people started crying, praying out loud, preaching, screaming. The power went out for about 10 minutes - remember this is underground, so it was total darkness for a long time. I had no idea what was going on, the city might be going up in flames, I didn't know. I just tried to stay calm and breathe evenly. After 1 1/2 hours the train finally rolled into the Union Square station.

I got out of the station to a scene of chaos. People were everywhere, covered in ashes, bleeding, lying on the streets crying. When I looked south, I was so completely, totally *shocked* to not see the Twin Towers - just a cloud of smoke. I was completely confused and just started walking in a random direction. I kept trying to call my girlfriend on the cellphone, but no cellphones were working. There were lines of people at the public phones, most of them in hysterics, so I just kept walking. I passed a bar with a TV, stepped in for a second - this is where I found out that the Towers had both collapsed. I remember considering ordering a drink at this point (11 AM or so) - the whole bar was filled with people just staring ahead, drinking liquor.

I just kept walking and came up to about 35th street. I live uptown, at least 15 miles from where I was. Subways weren't running, buses were nowhere in sight, and all cabs were taken. Many of the people I passed were covered in ashes and/or blood. In the end I just walked up to a cab with 3 people already in it, knocked on the window, and asked to come along. I eventually made it up to where I live by about 2 PM. At this point I'd been able to make contact with my girlfriend and her parents, and my parents.

We have one good friend who works in the World Trade Center. We were not even sure whether he was still alive. He just gave us a call, while I was writing this, to tell his side of the story, as seen from one of the lower floors of the first building struck. The things he saw ... people jumping out of the 50th-60th floors down to the pavement close to him ... He says he can't watch the news coverage, he can't handle it.

I don't know. I am completely shocked. This is not even terrorism, it's an act of war. I keep seeing the images of the Downtown area, where I've worked for about 2 years altogether, and it's unreal. I simply can't wrap my mind around what happened today.

Oh my gods. My wife woke me up this morning, as she had heard about the World Trade Center on the radio, as she was waking up. I got out of bed, and I was glued to the TV for 3 hours, watching the coverage on CBS. I still have trouble wrapping my mind around it. I also can't stop replaying the footage of the 2nd plane crashing into the tower in my head. It's utterly silent, and the plane is just gracefully gliding into the side of the building. Then, a second later, I see the explosion rip out the side. I also can't get the image of someone leaping out of a high floor of the WTC out of my head.

This is definitely an act of war, to my mind. The trouble is, we don't know who we should go to war against. My wife and I went down to the Red Cross office in West Ashley today to donate blood. By the time we got there, about 2 PM EDT, the line was already quite long. They were handing out free nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, and red grapes, and cookies, and water to everybody. That was pretty cool, and it made the wait easier. Then they sent people around asking Type O and Type B blood donors to come forward, as that would be used first. I'm O positive, so I came forward, and sat and waited for a while inside, after filling out my initial paperwork. Then I called work, as I was already half an hour late, and they wanted me to come in, so I did. I'll wait to donate until next week, so as to assure the Red Cross some blood reserves. My wife called about 6:30, having just got in the door and filled out her paperwork. I haven't heard from her since.

This whole mess has got me feeling nationalistic. Part of me wonders whether I should join the military - I feel like I should do something for my country. I don't think my wife would like it, though, so I probably won't. Make of that what you will, I don't care. I want a happy wife.

I woke up today, at 0700 without breakfast in my home office... Brushed my teeth, and showered. However, I had to scan a few of my pictures for the Photoshop class.



Oh, screw this! I went to college, and I saw order - a urgent, sped-up order trying to finish the classes and coffee. The TV & Radio department pulled up monitors with cable connections, receiving the latest news on the last building standing, in a silent praying mass in front the eye of the now. I see meditations from the actors, in the expanse of the large classroom lies women in the lotus position amidst this chaos.

The coffee guy at noon closes up shop, with the Jewish girls still talking with the guys on and on. I've met my share of buddies and co-workers, in a rush moving out of the campus.

I went back home on foot because the buses were full. With each step, I called my only friends in Manhattan - my cabaret buddies. One of them was Meyer, Betty Buckley's publicist, who works in the city. Well, as I was walking to home a few blocks away, he was home right outside the college campus.

At home, I called Jamie deRoy. Granted she lives far up north, I still am worried because her friends (Karen Mason, et al.) are in the city too. Paul Rolnick, Karen's husband called Jamie before, so I have half-confidence that she's okay.

I dreamt of blood, and I see Hermetic's death - and this too!? What kind of God is this who let this happen?

The alarm woke me up at 6:57 this morning. It was a normal beginning, my second week of college, getting into the swing of things. Eight o'clock class every morning M/T/W/Th, seventeen hours of school per week. I thought I had a lot to worry about. I was wrong.

Lounging outside the auditorium, waiting the endless forty minutes between Japanese and Intro to Buddhism. My eyes are heavy, almost closed, mind wandering and body occasionally twitching. Somehow I managed to see a shape pass in front of me. I opened my right eye slightly, curious. There was a guy sitting on the bench across from me. He smiled. I opened my eyes the rest of the way and smiled back sleepily, going so far as to sit up from the fetal postition I had taken on the bench. He said he had seen me in the lecture last week. There are 550 seats in the lecture. Why did he notice me? Who knows. And how did he manage to find me, half asleep and rolled into a ball on a bench in the corner behind a pillar of concrete, crumpled napkins on the floor from the bagel I had stolen from the cafeteria for a mid morning snack, no makeup on, and wearing a shapeles hoodie but shivering nonetheless? No clue.

He asked if I would like to go get some coffee before class started. I said sure, the bagel heavy in my stomach, and thankful for the two dollars I had slipped into my pocket this morning.

As we were walking down State street, we saw a man sitting outside Starbucks with a radio, brodcasting for everyone the news. Dave, my new friend, nearly broke down in tears. He's from D.C.. His mom is a reporter there. She could have been in the pentagon.

We skipped class and ran up to the language resource center to watch CNN on a big screen TV. I felt sick to my stomach. Dave was shaking uncontrolably.

After watching an hour or so of the breaking news, we ran back to the dorms. He lives just across the street from me. It was a long walk, but we made it in less than five minutes. I've never had a problem keeping up with people when it comes to walking, but I think I met my match.

I ran up the eight flights of steps to the forth floor, and walked in to find my roommate, Megan, in tears, balling on the shoulder of my other roommate. Megan is from Brooklyn. Her brother works in the World Trade Center. Top floor.

She was hysterical.

She couldn't get through on the phones. Her friends at NYU were instant messaging her, saying they were locked in their dorms after witnessing the events of the morning in person. Megan could not stop crying or eating mint Girl Scout cookies. Mostly crying.

We watched CNN in our room for a few hours more, hearing that 266 people had died on the planes alone. Then the phone rang. It was Megan's mom - she had heard from Meg's brother. He was okay. But there's a story behind it.

At 8:30, he got a craving for a cigarette. Smoking is not allowed in the WTC, so he had to go down 110 stories and all the way outside to have a smoke. As he was heading back inside, he heard the crash. He stayed outside.

I've never heard of smoking saving a life before. There's a first for too many things in this world.

Driving home from school, listening to NPR, I heard an interview with a man who had been right near the World Trade Center after the planes crashed into it but before the towers began to crumble (or, I suppose they were beginning to crumble, but they had not fallen). I think he was a construction worker of some sort. He made a few remarks, and interview seemed like filler to me, just blank noise between sound bites, but then he said something that has been seared into my memory. Before he said this, today's events had seemed like a distant, unreal dream; now they are terribly real in their humanity.

Reporter: Can you tell me anything else?

Man: I looked up, and there was dust in my eyes, but I could see people in the windows up above 90 stories, above where the planes crashed. I didn't know what they were doing, if they were trying to signal for help... then they started jumping. They had to choose between being burned alive or jumping to their deaths... I saw one woman; she was practically melted into the concrete.

So often the stories of the individual are lost in the face of tragedy, and this should not be. What were the thoughts running through their minds as they contemplated their options? Jump or burn, no other choice. Every one of those forced to make this choice was a person, perhaps a relation to someone, perhaps a friend to someone, perhaps a lover to someone. Marxist theory should not dominate the recounting of history. On TV, I just saw footage of people climbing out of the windows on floors above the gaping holes cut by the planes. They're standing on window ledges, looking down, and then simply falling. The camera is too far away to see their faces, or even their distinct shapes; they are like shades cleaving from the flaming wreckage. One can almost believe that they are only shadows and that they will simply glide away through the smoky sky rather than plummet to the ashen earth; then the descriptions of bodies "melted into the concrete" asserts itself, and they are not shadows at all, but people.

This is not a tragedy because some nice buildings collapsed and American freedom is threatened. This is a tragedy because people died, horrible, painful, infinitely unimaginable deaths. History must not forget the individual in its headlong rush into the future.

Today sucked.

September 11th, 2001
Transcript of President Bush's speech to the American people, Tuesday, September 11, 2001:

BUSH: Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors.

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.

None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night and God bless America.

Transcript courtesy of The Washington Post.

Outside it's so quiet right now. A beautiful, late Summer night. There is a dog barking in the distance; you'd never hear that over the tunnel traffic on a normal night.

The sirens have slowed to about three or four an hour. Occasionally a fighter jet comes overhead.

On the TV there seem to be three different loops: First, what happened? Then, who did it? Later, what will we do to them?

I haven't talked to anyone today nor heard anyone in the media capable of even considering the question of how many people are dying under that still-smoldering crush of debris. Thousands might be dying about five miles from my bedroom window. There's nothing that can be done about that. There's no amount of vengeance to answer that question.

I am a cadet at the United State Military at West Point, NY. We are located about 50 miles directly North of NYC on the Hudson. If you don't know what USMA is it is a military college that give a top of the line education in exchange for 5 years of you service as an officer in the army after you graduate. I am a freshman (plebe) here. We are totally military oriented. The majority of teachers are officers and our environment revolves around the military.

About 0900 EST I had just woken up from a nap and was working at my computer. A plebe from across the hall come over and told me to turn on the news; a plane had hit the WTC. I did that and saw the disaster. My roommate just got back from a class and started watching. We had not heard many details but with knew this was going to be big, especially in our area of work.

0930 I headed to my Psychology class. Before class we put the TV on and watched the news. Even the teacher was somewhat upset. While I was watching (before 0945 when class started) the bottom of the screen had a line about a fire at the Pentagon. This was all I heard until I came out of class at 1040.

I walked out in the hall and everybody is abuzz. I asked someone what was up and found out both the building have collapsed. I went back into a classroom with a TV on to set what was up. I found out that both buildings were down and a plane hit the Pentagon. Then they said a plane near Pittsburgh was hijacked. I am from around near Pittsburgh. Around this time I headed back to my room. An auditorium was open with CNN playing and many cadet's in there watching.

Back in the barracks I walked past my roommates Team Leader's room (TL is a sophmore -yuk-who is responsible for squaring away their plebe). She called me in to watch (technically its against the rule for plebes to use their computers to watch TV or listen to music until Christmas break). We realized this was big, really big. A good number of Cadets are from military families or know someone who works in the Pentagon. This was around 1110 and we heard there were several planes that hijacked and the Capitol Building was bombed (this later turned out as false).

Lunch formation was 1200. We were told that business would go on as usual. The Corps of Cadets would continue activities as normal. No classes were canceled. The skies were clear all day; no smoke or anything.

Security is much tighter. The post is open only from one road. We must carry our military ID's everywhere in every uniform. We are not permitted to order any food into post (we have a MickeyD's that delivers). The barracks are open only from one entrance. All passes and off post privliges have been suspended. High accountabilitystandards are being enforced.

Everyone is upset. It hits us especially hard. We are a target as the nation's youth and future of the military. We are prepared for anything. Believe me, we in the military are not all gung-ho about nuking them. We are rational people. This is a travesty against our country. We as a people cannot stand for this. Go Army! Beat Navy!

Now this is odd. In the daylog for September 11, 2000, exactly a year ago, there is a writeup (by juliet) mentioning being at the World Trade Center. For her birthday. Meeting other noders. How odd.

I couldn't sleep last night. I went to bed at 1-ish, and awoke at 2-ish, thinking that it was time to go to work. I got up and put my contacts in and did my morning routine, only to look at the clock and realize I'd only been asleep for an hour. I felt refreshed. I wanted to stay awake. I went back to sleep anyway.

I awoke again quite a while before my alarm. I had an overpowering urge to be awake. Please let me be awake. So I stayed awake, and got ready for work (again), and Mary picked me up and we went to the bookstore together, and soon enough the news trickled in that the U.S. had undergone a catastrophic attack. I felt pretty detached from it. It didn't quite seep in.

The day wore on. The store opened. Customers talked with us of nothing else. Employees talked of almost nothing else. I was annoyed at the loss of an important clipboard. A co-worker called and told us to turn on the news. We informed her she was a bit late for that.

Day continued. I came home. Within minutes of walking in the door (but before I got online), I got a phone call. Opening sentence: "Did you hear what happened?" Yes, yes, I did. When it was established that I had, in fact, heard the news, I was invited out for Sonny's Bar-B-Q (where I will eat salad) and Putt-Putt. I accepted.

I got online. Four people IMed me and acted like they thought they would be the first to inform me of the terrible news. Yes, yes I heard. Yes, I heard well before you did. It almost seemed I knew before anything happened, given my restlessness and clinging to the waking world as if it were about to escape me. No, I am not interested in looking at footage, gawking at pictures of the carnage, or updating myself on the death toll.

More people continue to IM me with their first words discussing the news and how horrid it is. Yes, it is horrid. I don't know what else to say. Yes, I have a relative where it happened. No, I don't know if she's okay. No, I don't know how to contact her. Yes, yes, oh definitely it is horrid. Wow, can you believe it? I can.

I'm so upset by this that I'm almost beyond feeling it, like trying to imagine how far away another galaxy is and really grasp that feeling of distance. After what I wrote about death yesterday, it is unthinkable that this much more life has been lost, and it is overwhelming what I feel about everyone who's now gone for such a stupid reason. I shake when I think about their circumstantial deaths, and the fact that this is not over yet. It's such a huge horrible thing and I'm still going about my day.

Some have mistaken me for callous because I don't want to talk about it like the rest of the world (she says, as she nodes about it). I don't want to discuss it. It's already taken me through all the proper emotions and they're recurring in cycles, and I'm scared and sad and sorry and worried and angry and freaked out too. But if one more person IMs me or calls me and says "OMG, can you believe what happened!!!" or "Have you heard the news?" I think I shall shit myself.

Too bad it's not even 3:30 yet and there's a lot of this to come.

Some part of my mind is still worried about whether eating at Sonny's will throw my diet off, and thinking if I eat light I'll be fine. Some part is thinking about work tomorrow, and being annoyed that I got little done. Some part is pondering writing normal, everyday nodes that don't have anything to do with the bombing or death or war. Some part even wonders what I'll wear tomorrow. But there is this gnawing piece of me that won't stop thinking about it, about how I am "safe and sound" while we are in a state of emergency; I continue to dwell on those people and all that lost property and the motives behind this ridiculous stunt. And I treasure my stupid, everyday life even more, cherish it.

I'm still so glad to be awake. And alive.

I am alive in NYC.

My girlfriend's mother woke us up this morning with a phone call telling us to turn on the TV. I saw everything everyone else saw on television today. From where I live, Lexington and 29th Street, we can see the smoke, but things seem for the most part okay. The smoke is blowing south towards Brooklyn. The streets are clear of cars, and the people on the sidewalk are all in shock, walking like zombies. I spoke to friends in Park Slope Brooklyn, who said the sky was black, the air smelled like burning plastic, and it was raining paper. One of my friends found papers on the roof of his building in Brooklyn with the address of the World Trade Center on the letterhead. This friend by the way, is legolog on E2, and I can vouch for his safety.

We have packed our bags, and are prepared to leave the city if it is necessary and/or possible. Hopefully there will be no more disasters in the coming hours and days. There are soldiers in the street in some parts of the city, and emergency vehicles driving back and forth frantically attempting to help the situation. The hospitals are overwhelmed, and there are blood donation centers set up every few blocks. I spoke to some friends who were in the area when the third building near the World Trade Center collapsed. So far, I think I have contacted everyone I know that works or lives in that area, and they are all okay. My heart goes out to those who lost friends or family in the attack. What is happening today is truly incomprehensible. It is completely surreal, and I don't know how to begin to process it yet. The one thing that has stuck with me all day, is what my uncle said when I spoke to him today:

"God help us."

Judging by the length of today's daylog, this writup is almost certainly redundant, but there are things I must express, and I fear the emotions and thoughts might fade if I take the time to read the rest of today's logs.

Being a very individualistic and rebellious person, I loathe the concept of authority, and naturally despise The Establishment. And although I recognize its necessity, I'm not a big fan of government. Lately I've felt that American Culture has been on some kind of decline. The media has taken over our culture, and the civil rights we hold so dear are gradually being handed over to corporations. All this doesn't contribute much to my sense of patriotism.

Then something like this happens.

Terrorists attack, destroy, and kill the things we take for granted. Using our planes to destroy our buildings and kill our people. Here, in our country. Attacking the heart of our way of life.

And suddenly I realize that there are places in the world where things like this are commonplace. That there are people who face terrorism every day. Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, and far too many other places.

And it dawns on me that at times like this, I appreciate the fact that Big Brother is watching over us. That the most powerful military in the world is prepared to respond to whoever did this. That justice will be served. Because there are too many in this world who are not so fortunate.

And reflecting on this, it makes me a little ashamed that it takes a tragedy of this magnitude to make me realize just how proud I am to be an American.

This day has been insane.

Today I went to my first lecture and took the bus home for my 4 hour break. On the bus home I heard some people talking about a plane crash... and some crazy man yelling about Palestine.

I got home around 10:40, with my dad yelling for me to "get in here and see this! WHOLY SHIT!".

So I got in there and I saw it, and it was like a movie. A plane flying almost THROUGH a building, and them falling down. And I say "What the hell? Oh my god."

I stayed home and called my bf to wake him up and tell him to turn the TV on.

I live in London, Ontario. Which you would think is detached enough from New York, being in another country. But I, and my city, was affected. Around noon I sat on my back porch, listening to a radio broadcast that took over 4 of our radio stations and talked to my bf.

I looked out at the beautiful day, thinking "I don't want to live beside the U.S. if it's gonna be WW3." I was most likely over reacting, but justly so.

For anyone to bring one of the worlds powers to it's knees is a big deal. All the deaths and injuries are horrific. Today is a terrible, scary day.

Anyone who thinks, sarcastically, "big deal" about this, stick it up your bum. Cause it is.

The London airport was set up to take in those overseas flights that were supposed to land in the U.S.
All air traffic in Canada was also stopped.
Our newspaper put out an afternoon issue, which it hasn't done in 20 years.
The highways not to far from here were closed.
Our mayor was reassuring people they were safe.
The blood donor clinic here was over flowing with people lined up to help all they could.
People are offerring their homes to people who are stuck in London because of flights routed here.

When you get a response like that in a city in a different country, it's a BIG DEAL.

My sympathy goes out to all those affected by this.

I'm tired.

Yesterday's tragic news segued into today's tragic news. Yesterday's news left me stressed and twitchy just about all day. Today's news left me with almost-immediate aches and pains from head to toe. Stress hurts, have no doubt.

I've always believed that I'm a fairly difficult person to horrify--I simply tend to be too cynical and pessimistic to be seriously affected by most bad news...but hearing about jetliners hijacked solely to make a big boom and ratchet up the death count, and watching video of the plane crashing into the second tower and of the two towers collapsing to the ground left me literally slack-jawed with horror, marveling at the magnitude of the disaster even as a cynical little voice inside was whispering that I should close my mouth and try to salvage my cynical, disaffected reputation.

But every time they replayed and replayed and replayed those video clips of thousands of lives being snuffed out, I got more used to them, which felt even more horrible.

And after a full two days of tragic news and horrific scenes and enraged calls for revenge--forgive me--I'm tired. I want to have something else to talk about, to think about, to have dreams about. I tried writing unrelated nodes, but everything twisted back around to The Topic At Hand. I tried watching a Powerpuff Girls cartoon--nice and light and silly, I thought--but now the giant monsters destroying Townsville weren't very funny. I tried reading some old Silver Age comic books, but now the concept of a world where superheroes prevented all disasters felt as offensive as our world, where no one prevents the disasters.

It's just Tuesday, but this has been a terrible, terrible week.
Today began for me just as it began for nearly everyone else: it was like any other day.

I woke up, took a shower, and then came to my room and got dressed. I went back to my room, as I always do. I turned on the TV as I always do. It just turned to commercial break. I watched through the commercial, because I wanted to see a report dealing with the scam and the McDonald's contest. Jerks... $20 Million. And I wanted to win that.

I eat breakfast and finish getting ready, head out to the car. As I turn it on and get ready to turn on the radio, I hear something on the station that I am tuned to. I hear the DJ's speaking about smoke rising from the twin towers.


I didn't listen for long. But I got goosebumps. I wasn't cold. It wasn't the last time I would get goosebumps this day.

It also wasn't the first time. I get goosebumps whenever something bad like this happens. As my teacher announced that there were gunmen at Columbine High School, I got goosebumps. The school was 1 mile south of my home. I had seen it from my window before they built the other houses in front of me. The announcement and ensuing news coverage brought goosebumps every time I really thought about what happened. I had been to the school before, and picturing the gunmen running in the halls gave me goosebumps everytime I thought about it.

I put in a CD, and reflected a little bit. After a few songs, I took some time to listen to the radio a bit more.
"...I can't imagine that any American would crash a plane into the World Trade Center on purpose..."


I arrive at school and tell a friend who hasn't heard yet. And then another. It all seems very strange. It sounds like Tom Clancy's Executive Orders. Had anyone told me yesterday that anything like this would happen, I would say that it sounded like the plot of a bad movie. Four planes coordinated to be hijacked and crashed into buildings? Sounds like a bad action movie to me.

I head to my first period. The TV is turned to a news channel. It is grainy, but the sound is decent. We turn it down for the morning prayer. We are asked to keep the victims in our hearts and our thoughts. How can we not? We turn the TV to a channel with a better picture (but no sound). This is the first picture that I have seen of smoke billowing out of the building. It has yet to collapse.


It seems almost surreal. It seems impossible. I learn that the Pentagon has also been hit. It sounds even more unrealistic. I watch as the towers collapse. It is hard to see, but it is clear that they have fallen. I see video of the plane crashing into the second tower.


Other classmates talk about their opinions of what is in store for the country, and about what has happened. I think that most of what they say is somewhat ridiculous, but even so, what do I know? I continue with my day. I hear about the plane near Pittsburgh. Every so often, the reality, the sheer gravity of the situation, sinks in.


In English class, my teacher talks a little bit about what has happened. He compares the hallways now to the hallways 3 1/2 years before after Columbine. Then, people barely talked. Now, some joke, though some are clearly very affected. He says that it is nearly impossible to deal with something like this. We each have our own ways. He tells us (predictably) that he deals using literature. (I notice that many others deal by telling jokes. To each his own). We read from Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize winning J.B.. The ideas of the three comforters (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) are just that, quite comforting. I move to my final period. Another period where we discuss what has happened, and its implications. I still feel that the ideas of others seem somewhat ridiculous. But still, I have nothing better. I recognize the great symbolism in attacking the World Trade Center. No one else seems to think that this is significant. I wonder why.

We turn on the TV and watch. We notice that World Trade Center 5 and 7 are near collapse. I didn't even know that there was anything more than the two towers. I stories of people jumping out of the towers from as many as 90 stories up. Some were holding hands. The question will later be posed by another friend as we watch, but you have to imagine what desperation would lead someone to do this. But, there is no footage of the plane crash.

By the time I am halfway home, number 7 has collapsed. Forty-seven stories is nearly as tall as the tallest building that I am used to, the Republic Plaza in Denver.


I arrive home, and promptly plop down to watch. After only a few minutes, I see the footage of the plane crashing into the side. From one of the angles, I can see it slam into the building, appearing to come out the other side, and then explode.


I see the pictures of the collapse, and the smoldering buildings, and the people covered in dust. The antenna tower on top of one of the towers disappears into a cloud of dust. I look at the picture of the skyline on my wall, and see that tower stretching into the sky.


A friend comes over for a few minutes to do homework, and we watch together a little bit. We see the footage again. We see the people jump. And then there is the footage of the person jumping out.


What would possess someone to do this? How horrible could it be? I can tell that my friend is deeply affected. She is suddenly hit with the realization of what this person is doing. It grows quiet.

My friend has to leave, and I continue to watch, although by this time I have seen everything. The screaming, the different camera angles, the dust clouds chasing after the people. The collapses. The file footage of Osama Bin Laden. It repeats fairly regularly, but still, every so often...


The perpetrators of this act clearly felt incredible animosity for the United States. They were willing to die for their hate. As Americans, this idea scares us. We can't relate to it. The bombers have succeeded beyond their dreams. They struck fear at the heart of America. They not only killed thousands, but they destroyed a major symbol of America. When one thinks of American capitalism and wealth, one thinks of New York. And when one thinks of New York, one thinks of the skyline. A skyline that is forever changed. Maybe I still haven't realized that the towers will never be there again. The skyline that appears on the picture in my room is forever changed. Striking on American soil, at a symbol that nearly all Americans recognize, puts fear into people's hearts. I don't normally pray, but I pray tonight.


I had the odd experience this morning of getting to drive across the 14th Street bridge on my way back home from my evacuated office building in Crystal City, and see the Pentagon burning. I didn't particularly want to evacuate, but hey, it wasn't my choice.

Upon coming home, I mostly listened to the radio all day, called family, and absorbed everything. The only thing that I think has changed, is that we, as a country, cannot, and do not feel insulated anymore. We are a target, for a number of reasons, and we are a target that can be hit.

Hopefully this will not lead to a crackdown on our civil liberties, and if it starts to, I will fight it tooth and nail. The goal of terrorism is to make your enemies live in fear. I will not live in fear, nor will I stand idly by while my government takes away my freedoms in pursuit of an illusory safety.

Perhaps we will begin to reflect on how we became a target. We meddle in many affair that are not legitimately ours, and do so with a capriciousness that should have raised eyebrows long ago. I hope those eyebrows raise in the days to come, and we take stock of our foreign policy. We cannot intervene all over the world, and expect to be safe. At a minimum, a return to the Monroe Doctrine, a policy of keeping our nose firmly in our own hemisphere, would limit the reasons we give for people to lash out against us.

Don't get me wrong, I want revenge as much as anyone else, but I also want to go back to my life. I lived through this day, and consider myself lucky. However, I will not be paralyzed by fear, cowering at home, when there is work to do. I will be an example unto others, sucking it up, and returning to normalcy as soon as possible. As Americans, we show our strength not in the intensity of our reactions, but in the resiliency of our people.

With that, I'm going to get some sleep. That, and avoid the news.

I was on a flight from Dallas to Boston when it was turned around, and the captain came on and told us the horrible news.

Many of us used the air phones to find out further news and talk to loved ones.

Everyone at American Airlines was very professional. Being stuck between cities, they put all of us in hotels at their expense.

Today was horrible. I for one, will continue to fly when I need to (sure, I'll come 2 hours early), I do not believe we should let these terrorists stop our way of life.

My prayers are with any of you who know anyone involved in this tragedy.

Today will be looked at as a crossroads in history. However I do not have the arrogance nor the disrespect nor the composure to attempt to make a more detailed analysis of what exactly this day means in respect to history at this time. Instead I seek to comment on much more visible things. I apologise for any grammatical or spelling errors in this possibly muddled log.

Today, great men who lived became heroes, great men who died became legends.

Four flights were hijacked. 3 crashed into their respective targets. One did not.

This plane crashed into the middle of a unpopulated area. It appears to have been an intentional act of a pilot who was being hijacked and knew what was transpiring. Supposedly his plane was hijacked to attack Camp David. This was not necessarily the target. This man, this legend, whos name is as of yet unknown should rightfully be considered one of the great heroes of this day. He was not afraid to confront his own mortality, and he may have saved thousands of lives through this act. We may never know just who will continue to sit at dinner tables with their families because of this man, but suffice it to say that it is one of the great actions that speak to the character of great men.

Thousands of people died today. It is not necessary to say that the men who did this committed a horrible act against humanity. It is not necessary to say that the spirit of the United States was wounded as a result. It is not necessary to say such things, because we will never forget them.

My grandfather, Richard Tague Eltzroth, died at 2:51am of Heart Failure. He served in the european theater of World War II and fought in many of the major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge. He worked in the Intelligence division of the US Army for quite some time. He was a proud American, and a patriot, and I am thankful he died before seeing or hearing of the horrors that unfolded this day. In the space of 12 hours, I have become much more religious.

The United States remains one nation, grieving, but not destroyed.

Symbols of our country were not destroyed. There will be another World Trade Center. The Pentagon will be rebuilt. The Twin Towers may change in our hearts to represent something of a feeling of revenge, but although the structure itself no longer exists, the symbol remains.

Thousands of New Yorkers flocked to the collapsed wreckage of the buildings in order to help do whatever it was that needed doing. New Yorkers have soundly defeated the notion that New Yorkers are cruel and uncaring invidualistic people. Nobody living now will really have that perception again. People became heroes, people became legends. We will all have a favorite story of an example of heroism from this event.

This event was unique in that it was the first time we saw on live television, right before our eyes, an attack on everyone who is American or has respect for the United States. As I watched the first fire live I noted that there was another plane crash in the skyline of New York some years ago, on the Empire State Building. Circia 1946 or so, although I do not have an exact date in my recollection, the Empire State Building withstood the colission of a propeller driven war plane.

The next plane collided with the until then undamaged tower. It was live, although I could not believe what had just transpired. I must be watching video tape, I thought. Surely this could not be live television. But it was live, and I was a witness to the murder of thousands. And upon this realisation, I cried.

As the Twin Towers burned and began to collapse I witnessed the aftermath of the attack at The Pentagon. We were a nation under seige. We didn't have the knowledge that the fourth hijacked plane had or would crash in so more merciful a manner than these others. The Pentagon is often called by its inhabitants as the Puzzle Palace. And it is likely that there would be some people in the wing of the building that was hit who would not have an easy exit in the event of such an emergency, due to the nature of its secret rooms and its maze like corridors. Not without reason mind you, this is a good way to protect national secrets, even if it doesn't afford a great deal of protection from hellfire from the sky.

America remains on hold. All sporting events, all entertainment production, the country itself is on hold.

Today, it bears repeating, we have witnessed one of the most important moments in the life of the United States, indeed the flow of history in the world.

However in the aftermath of all of this we must keep in mind that there is a difference between the terrorists who did this and great men. Great men do not, and will not threaten Arabs or any other nationality or ethnicity of people based simply on assumption. Great men will not tear up the constitution for the sake of protection. Great men will not kill needlessly. Great men will prevail.

This is kind of a special day for me. Today, all of my friends got angry at each other. Today I learned that a lot of things about this country are too often taken for granted. I am deeply saddened by all the pain that has been caused today.

I don't know if my group of friends is going to be the same. It seems that everyone in the group has conflicting romantic interests. The whole mess is a very complex love triangle, and it seems everyone is trying to get over either one another, or someone else. I think it ended today. I'm sad that everyone is so angry.

And today was the first day I saw the headlines relating to Hermetic. I fancied him a friend of mine. I am very sad about him.

My heart goes out to all of those who are sad.

"a screaming comes across the sky."

A crazy sounding guy on the skytrain this morning, after the usual attempt to get my phone number, told me that planes were flying in to buildings in new york. I give him yet another skeptical look and leave the train.

I get in to work at 6:30am PST, and the US markets are all down. The TSE is down hundreds of points and it's barely open. I wander to the photocopier and am arrested by the sight of the TV in the compliance officer's office: new york is burning.

an hour later the TSE finally gets shut down. a client calls in, wondering what the market will do. I don't know, I tell her. They're closed for now. When they come back, well.. it'll be volatile, I say. The office is not volatile, the office is deadly silent except for the steady intertwined whining of AM news radio and TV news announcers, every face watching a TV screen or like me, playing reload reload reload with internet news sites, trying to find one with some answers. or at least some questions, to start.

a friend in toronto says all the bank towers are evacuating as a precaution. I smile, sitting on the 27th floor of a bank tower, remembering how long it took to get all the way down for a false alarm once. But whatever. I'm in lotus-land Vancouver, not wall street. Wall Street. It will be chaos in my industry for a while. Not just the terrorism, the effect that'll have short-term on the US's economy and markets, but all the little nagging logistics: lost paperwork, lost data, lost.. lost people. 110x2 floors of mostly finance, I gather. How many head offices in New York, how many headless companies now? I don't know. No one knows. No one is really asking more than half-heartedly. It's too big to apprehend all at once. Rome is burning while I fiddle, and fiddling seems wrong but what else is there to do but play?

I feel like giving blood, but I'm still not eligible to until May. I leave work at about 10. There's no business to be done today, and probably none tomorrow. I wander home, a bit dazed, stopping at the library. I end up taking out two copies of the same book by accident. I idle briefly in the section on religion, looking for something comforting. A book of homilies doesn't cut it. I consider cracking open the bible of all things at home, but the sunshine and sweet air on the way home seem to work best. The christian bible seems somehow irrelevent, for it contains god's covenent with man, the rainbow. If god's word is good, this was no act of His, but of men. Men are a little harder to come to terms with.

At school I wish I had a camera. Hundreds of students and staff, gathered around TVs like campfires, bewilderedly sucking in flickering images of fire. Fire where I don't find out, but watching seems to be a duty or at least something that can substitute for duty in the strange empty place this has opened up. I pause three times on my way through the corridor, caught in the silent zeitgeist of watching, watching, watching.

Chemistry class is cut short, but we learn the basics of naming things. It seems a comfort too. I name things all the way home, trying in some way to erase some of the vast unnaming that has taken place today. I get home and learn of a vigil at my church. I leave yet again and go to church. Short notice, only a silent dozen. Eventually some readings, some piano, some ragged hymns. We join hands and then dissipate in to the night, a little calmer.


What a storm has been released.

So this is my obligatory daylog for 9/11/01. I’ve never done one of these before. Obviously it’s a memorable day, but I have a different perspective than most. Which is not to say IN ANY WAY more valid or more important, just something people might want to read.

Please excuse my tense shifting.

I got to work at 8:30, the same time I always do. I went downstairs (I’m the only one who works in the basement of my office), checked a couple websites, and began noding.

Someone, I think it was GangstaFeelsGood, started typing into the chatbox the info he saw on the news. One plane crashed into the tower. Everyone assumed it had to be an accident. It wasn’t much longer until someone mentioned the second plane. I couldn’t believe that. I ran upstairs and I asked my coworkers about it. They’d just heard something from someone else, they hadn’t seen anything. We talked about it without making any sense for a few minutes. Small talk, rationalizing.

My boss walks in. “Could you see anything?” I ask him, not quite remembering what the view of the towers is outside. He stares at me. “I was up on the roof when the second plane hit. It was gross.” He turns and walks to his desk. Clearly he’s not gonna say anything else. But then: “Yeah, from the roof you can see everything.”

I work on Lafayette Street (equivalent to 4th Ave), just above 4th St. Standing outside the doors of my building, you can just see the tops of the towers. You can’t see the bases because they’re too far west.

So I go outside. The security guard, Norm, and lots of other people, are just staring. There’s a massive plume of black smoke pouring into the sky. I’m sure you all saw the footage, but the smoke was thicker than both towers put together.

I kind of stupidly assumed that this early in the morning no one would have gotten to work. Especially not that high up.

I got back on E2. We tossed back and forth updates about Palestinians, death counts, blah blah blah. I can’t remember. I’m not gonna go look in the archive.

I mean, it was very strange to me. Thinking that every morning now when I go into work, as I walk down Broadway, I’m gonna stare at those big black holes in the towers. Freakish, but fascinating. I’m trying to gauge what the long-term effects of this will be. What will be lost.

And then someone says that one of the towers COLLAPSED.

Well, that can’t be true, can it? It can’t just be DOWN. I mean…even if it were possible, it’s just too big.

I go outside. Now there’s still a column of black smoke coming out of the right tower. And next to it is a pillar of grayish-white dust. The sidewalks are mobbed with people walking steadily north. The streets are getting emptier of cars by the minute.

And the thing was, once the first one went down, you knew the second one was gonna go. You knew it was just a matter of time. But you didn’t dare say it. Not only because you didn’t want it to happen, but because you couldn’t even process what had already happened.

I’ve got adrenaline flooding through me. I need to go take pictures. But I don’t have film for my camera. I run (literally) a block away to the WIZ to buy it. About 30 people are crowded around the big-screen TV display, blocking foot traffic. I leave the store with film in hand. The mob of New Yorkers is so intense that I can’t walk against it. I have to go with it and go around the block the other way, walking in the empty street.

I go back down to the basement to load the camera. I click on the chatbox and find out the second tower is now gone.

If anything about this could be considered comical (and it can’t, to me) it would be that I missed seeing every development live when it was happening right next to me. Meanwhile, folks all around the world are informing me. Not that that’s bad, just…ironic, I guess.

I decide to go shoot the Dust Cloud anyway. I can’t get up the courage to ask my boss how to get to the roof since he seems so shaken by the whole thing.

I wander a couple blocks south and snap a whole roll. Chris-O said he’d post them on his site.

I wander back, not convinced I’ve done anything useful, and just click on the chatbox, waiting for…what? I don’t know. We’re just waiting out the cloud. I get kind of upset that no one’s told me I can go. Later I realize what was actually going on was no one was telling me to stay. They assumed I’d take off if I felt the need. I probably should’ve, but my E2 addiction was keeping me just a little bit sane.

I got in touch with most of my friends, made sure they were okay. I got in touch with my family, they know I’m okay. I didn’t know anyone who worked down there, although it turns out some friends of mine temped there last month.

Around 2:30, I decide I’ve got to go give blood and I leave the office. At this point, the trains were still down and I was thinking I might have to come back to the office couch to sleep or crash at my roommate’s girlfriend’s place on Houston St.

I go up to Beth Israel Hospital on Union Square. There’s yellow police CAUTION tape blocking the doors. I ask the guard where I can give blood (I’m type O negative, the universal donor, it’s very important that I give). He tells me they’re full up, that there’s a 4 hour wait and not even enough room to store what’s there. Well, I guess that’s good, right?

I head up to QXZ’s workplace. Walking through the park, I’m struck by how many people are relaxing. It reminds me of the way I saw people eating and laughing in outdoor cafés in Quebec City as protestors ran from tear gas clouds just a block away. But psychically, atmospherically, the situations are not the same. There isn’t that SEP vibe. Everyone here is feeling this. No one is talking about anything else.

QXZ and I watched CNN for hours. I got more and more nauseous as I saw all the footage. Eventually we found out the trains were running and we decided to take off.

I get off at my stop in Brooklyn. You can still see the fucking cloud across the river. It’s so big. It’s so much bigger than anything else that’s ever been in Manhattan.

I go home and a friend is waiting there for me. It’s really good to see her, she’s one of the ones I hadn’t heard from/about yet. She goes to volunteer at a hospital up on 77th, not entirely sure they can use her, but willing to help. Bless her. I asked her for a hug before she left, it really helped me out.

I’ve just been watching CBS News (all the other stations were knocked out with the towers) for hours and hours. I’m still not dulled to the footage yet.

Here’s the thing. This is something that happened to MY CITY. To the buildings I see every day. I saw so many effects that didn’t make the news. This is not a TV show for me. I saw the smoke and dust with my own eyes.

(Which is not to say that the way you feel affected by the news is wrong in any way. I’m just trying to express that for me personally)

I CAN’T GRASP THIS YET. Even after all this time. Forget about the people on the planes, forget about the Pentagon, where my dad used to work. Just on the level of the BUILDINGS being gone, I can’t accept this as fact, because it’s too big. It’s like Arthur Dent trying to grasp the destruction of the earth. It’s too big. It will not fit in my mind.

When I try to think about what this means as a news event? As something you hear about on TV? When I try to think about the ramifications for the whole country? For the WORLD? Forget it. My brain just shuts off.

I didn’t cry. I haven’t cried all day. I’m not one of those guys who doesn’t, or won’t, but I don’t do it a lot either. I might have to before I can get to sleep tonight. If I can.

This feels so silly. I have no right to be worried about this when so many have lost so much, and I out of sheer blind luck still have everything. But. I really wish someone were here to hold me and kiss me and tell me it’ll be all right. I don’t have anyone like that right now. So I’m even more sad.

I love all of you. Please people. If you believe in a god, don’t let him tell you who your enemies are.

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