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9/11 -- Never Forget


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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:08 PM

Some thoughts I wrote last year.


Growing-up, I remember always hearing adults say they remembered in vivid detail where they were when President Kennedy was killed. When those adults recounted their stories and personal reflections, you could see on their faces the immediate recollection of pain and horror. I was not yet 7 when the Challenger disaster occurred. Home with the chicken-pox, I do have vague remembrances of that day. In some ways I wish my memories of 9/11 were as equally hazy.

On the previous anniversaries of 9/11, there have been regular calls to ‘never forget.’ While I understand the sentiment, I do not believe any one that lived that day could forget the details. On September 11th, 2001 I was working for the Baltimore Orioles. While I also did Ballpark Tours, worked on the Phones, and other gopher type tasks; my primary position was in the Box Office. Getting to work at around 8:30 am that Tuesday morning I recall my walk up along side The Warehouse, remarking to myself what a beautiful day it was. The sky was a deep clear blue, and the air was crisp with the feel of Fall.

In the Box Office, there were two TV’s in the Windows facing the Babe Ruth Statue and the retired numbers. A fellow worker came down to where we were right around 9 and told us to turn on the TV’s, one of the WTC’s had bit hit by a plane. We turned on the ‘Today’ Show on in the background as we prepared to open at 9am. When I saw that the New York skyline was just as blue as it was in Baltimore, my first inclination was terrorism and I said ‘Bin-Laden’ out loud thinking back to the events of the U.S.S. Cole. When the second plane hit, there was obviously no doubt.

In the subsequent minutes afterward, myself and fellow workers were glued to the TV, as we were being approached at the Windows. The O’s had been scheduled to play Toronto that night and people were clamoring for September tickets as Ripken’s career was coming to an end. We were telling people at the Window that it seemed unlikely to us that that there would be a game. One person asked me, “What do the events in New York have to do with baseball in Baltimore?”

When the Pentagon was hit at 9:36 am, everyone understood immediately that everyone everywhere was impacted. It seems somewhat irrational now, but the Warehouse was closed and workers were sent home. There were legitimate worries that the Warehouse and the World Trade Center in Baltimore could be targets. I’ll always remember that helpless feeling of getting home and not knowing what to do. I’ll always remember being with my gf (now Wife) Laura later that night and wondering together what tomorrow would bring, being stricken with horror for the lost, and the overwhelming sense of anger.

The rescheduling of home games from the week of 9/11 to the first week of October, meant that September 30th, ’01 in New York was no longer Ripken’s last scheduled game. A group of O’s employees would still bus up to the Big Apple that last weekend in September. The City was still smoking. The signs and pictures of the missing still lined the streets. It was a City and a Country still in their initial days of mourning.

In the time since, I’ve interacted with people that have much more harrowing stories. I know one Gentleman that was in the Towers. I know friends that were friends/family of Elizabeth Wainio (a fellow Catonsville High grad) who died on Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. When you think about what those people went through, providing your own recollections seem so trivial.

Still, a decade later the events of that day remain imprinted and vivid for all of us. Here is to the lost, and the hope that there is not another day we will recall so clearly for all the wrong reasons.

#2 DJ MC

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:21 PM

While I also did Ballpark Tours...and other gopher type tasks.

Hey, hey, hey...WATCH it ;)

I remember the air being sucked out of the room (in the literal sense, with everyone gasping) in my freshman history class at Maryland while we watched the first tower fall. Then, after watching through that class, going to my next class and the professor teaching because classes hadn't been canceled yet.

#3 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:41 PM

I worked at JHU, right across the street from the main hospital entrance. I remember some were afraid it might be a target....that does sound irrational now, but it seemed very real then. They cancelled classes before noon but I stayed 'til 5 to keep televised news feeds running for students and others to watch throughout the building. At the end of the day I had hoped to just go to the gym to work out a bit, relieve some stress, and go to bed. But the gym was closed too, so I just went home. Still remember looking up at a crystal clear sky as I drove and not seeing a single exhaust trail from an airplane. Surreal day.

I had tickets to what seemed like a meaningless mid-September O's game vs. the Red Sux. Figured it would be my last chance to see Cal play. Well, after MLB ironed everything out it turns out that game was my last chance to see Cal play.....and everyone else's too.

#4 NewMarketSean

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

I worked at BWI at the rental car center...heard the first plane hit while listening to Stern in the McDonalds drive thru. I still remember the planes lining up to land. Suddenly the airport was a ghost town and we all left early to be home with our families. The next week we received rental cars from all across the country as people had to drive home since flights were grounded. It was all so surreal. It seems so long ago, but still feels likemit was yesterday.
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#5 Domenic

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:47 AM

Had just gotten out of my course on the American Presidency which was Tues/Thurs from 9-10:15 PM. Sports and history are my two passions, and I can tell you backwards and forwards the power of the President under any circumstance (basically the class was a free "A" for me). That day we talked about the special war powers of the President, and I remember the prof remarking that none of us had ever seen them used in our lifetimes, nor would we probably ever. I got out of class and was walking to the next one when someone ran up and told me the news.

I wasn't a big fan of college and I'd just as soon as not gone; I'd always look for an excuse to go home and sleep in my own bed and my own surroundings. (I know that sounds odd, but that's how I was.) So when I called my parents to say I wanted to come home at least for one night my mother figured it was just another excuse. She didn't think a "plane crashing" was enough to warrant me leaving campus "where I belonged." I hopped on the city bus and came anyways because I didn't want to be away from my family at that time.

Eleven years later I honestly still have a tough time believing what happened that day. We should all thank God that we live in a nation where we were so surprised and so shocked at the events of that day. By that, I mean that destruction as such is common place in the countries inhabited by the men (and the ideology) who attacked us. Few people in nations such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc would be surprised to see blood shed in their own towns and villages. As a nation, we've remained vigilant and strong, and little by little we've taken out the people that conspired in this act. No matter where you stand politically or for whom you voted or for whom you intend to vote this year, we should all be proud of that as Americans. In closing, I loved the commercial that became prominent after the attacks that showed a neighborhood with a voice-over saying "the terrorists intended to change our country by attacking us." It then faded to black and re-appeared with American flags on all of the houses, and the voice over said "they succeeded." May God bless the United States of America and all who love her.
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#6 Oriole85

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:54 AM

It's hard to believe it's been 12 years. I don't think anyone will forget where they were when they heard the news. It was my Sophomore year of high school, at the end of second period, when the principal came over the PA system to tell us what was going on at that point. Third period on, we just watched TV and were dismissed from school shortly after lunch.

 

Like many other tragedies, you saw the best and worst of humanity all-in-one. Going to the airport, sporting events, and other public areas and events are a general reminders of just how much our world has changed. I believe we as a society our stronger as a result despite the terrible events. 


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#7 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:58 AM

I saw it live on TV in my high school's library. I was an aid because I had already completed by credits. I was watching the news and saw the second plane crash live. It was unreal how hopeless the feeling was when the narrative shifted from plane crash, to holy shit... this is a terrorist attack, are we at war? etc. 

 

One of my really good friends that year came to me a few hours later (after the crash at the Pentagon) and was crying profusely because her dad works at the Pentagon and she hadn't heard from him yet. That was ridiculously tough. I still think about that quite a bit. Watching someone I cared about a lot have to sit there wondering if her dad was still alive. 

 

I'll keep my thoughts to myself regarding everything that's happened since 9/11/01... but as for remembering 9/11 itself, I still can't wrap my head around the thousands of spouses/kids/parents/uncles/aunts/best friends, etc. that lost a loved one that day. Just so sad. 


"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#8 Oriole85

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:04 AM

I saw it live on TV in my high school's library. I was an aid because I had already completed by credits. I was watching the news and saw the second plane crash live. It was unreal how hopeless the feeling was when the narrative shifted from plane crash, to holy shit... this is a terrorist attack, are we at war? etc. 

 

One of my really good friends that year came to me a few hours later (after the crash at the Pentagon) and was crying profusely because her dad works at the Pentagon and she hadn't heard from him yet. That was ridiculously tough. I still think about that quite a bit. Watching someone I cared about a lot have to sit there wondering if her dad was still alive. 

 

I'll keep my thoughts to myself regarding everything that's happened since 9/11/01... but as for remembering 9/11 itself, I still can't wrap my head around the thousands of spouses/kids/parents/uncles/aunts/best friends, etc. that lost a loved one that day. Just so sad. 

Living so close to DC, there was a lot of panic as many had relatives who worked at high profile spots such as The Pentagon. If you recall also, there was lots of rumors floating around including the State Department being bombed.

 

9/11 really put a lot of things into perspective.


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#9 Mackus

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:23 AM

I saw it live on TV in my high school's library. I was an aid because I had already completed by credits. I was watching the news and saw the second plane crash live. It was unreal how hopeless the feeling was when the narrative shifted from plane crash, to holy shit... this is a terrorist attack, are we at war? etc.

 

Weird, my story is extremely similar.  I was a guidance aide 2nd period my senior year.  Heard about the first plane and checked online, figuring it was a small plane in an accident like had happened years before.  We ended up turning the TV on in the library and saw the 2nd plane hit, and then both towers fall.  Insanely surreal. 

 

And great point about how many tens of thousands of people must've lost someone very close to them.  And even then it's bigger since it really was an attack on all of us, even if many of us were lucky enough to not be more immediately impacted.



#10 Mackus

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:27 AM

One thing I always remember on this date is a couple weeks after the attack, we got a postcard in the mail.  My uncle is Turkish, and Muslim.  His mother still lives in Turkey.  She sent post cards to everyone she knew in America expressing her condolences for the attacks.  I had only met her once, and yet she addressed the card to everyone in my family, by name.  Even my parents probably have only met her a couple of times at most.  I just thought that was a really thoughtful and caring thing to do and really helped me to separate the radical terrorists that attacked us from the Muslim population as a whole, which I think is a really important thing to try to always keep in mind.


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#11 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:04 AM

In May, I saw poll somewhere that many HS graduates had very minimal knowledge of the events of 9/11.  I found that very hard to understand. Some people trying to make sense of that poll suggested that their parents had shielded their kids from understanding or discussing the events. I think that is rather sad.


I get that there will come a time where a large % of the population was not alive that day, and those people will never comprehend the scope of the events and how the world can really be defined as before and after. The people that were alive that day though, need to honor the dead, by doing as good a job as they can of reminding everyone of the events. (Not just that day, but what led to it... and the aftermath.)

 



#12 NewMarketSean

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:09 AM

I forgot it was 9/11 until I clicked on a Yahoo news story when I got to work. Crazy to think it was 12 years ago.

 

I was working at Hertz at BWI. I was listening to Howard Stern that morning and the build up of "oh this must've been an accident" to "wow, this has to be intentional" is something I'll never forget.

 

I remember seeing all the flights lining up in the sky to land after the FAA grounded all flights.

 

Still gives me chills.

 

The next week, we returned cars driven from all across the country. 


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#13 Adam Wolff

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

Obviously, everyone has their story and remembers exactly where they were. I was in 8th grade Geography class when an announcement came over the loud speaker about something happening in New York. I remember them being pretty vague with the details, although I'm not 100% sure on the timeline of when the announcement was, so they could have been being vague because no one knew what was going on yet, or just vague to keep everyone calm. At some point we had a TV brought in and started watching the coverage. I think I was just young enough to not immediately appreciate the significance, although I knew it was obviously something terrible, but as more details came out, it started to hit me. I can't imagine what it must have been like for those who feared a parent or loved one could have been killed, and even more so what it must have been like to get the news that they were one of the victims. It's just something I can't even fathom. 


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#14 Oriole85

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:31 AM

I've said the story before, so apologies for those who have heard it before...

 

Rob and I were working for the Orioles Ticket office, and were at the Warehouse that morning. I can remember walking along the Warehouse to the office. I can remember the blue skies, and the crisp air.

 

Another employee came down after the first plane hit, and turned on the Today show. I remember saying after the first plane.... the skies are just as clear in NY this morning. The odds of that being an accident are low.

When the 2nd plane hit, I said out loud 'Bin Laden.'  I certainly wasn't overly knowledgeable about terror networks, but that was a name that I had familiarity with since the USS Cole.

While Rob and I (and a few others) were watching the coverage.... people were coming up to the windows and still looking for tickets. While they were understandably unaware of the horror unfolding, I remember telling someone that I did not expect there would be a game tonight, and him responding "What do the events in New York, possibly have to do about a game in Baltimore?"

Still shaking my head all this time later.

If you take yourself back to that morning, there was horror in not knowing what was next. We wound up closing up and going home, because there were actual worries from some that the Baltimore WTC or even the Warehouse could be a target from someone else. Guess that seems crazy now, but that morning it seemed plausible.

In May, I saw poll somewhere that many HS graduates had very minimal knowledge of the events of 9/11.  I found that very hard to understand. Some people trying to make sense of that poll suggested that their parents had shielded their kids from understanding or discussing the events. I think that is rather sad.

I get that there will come a time where a large % of the population was not alive that day, and those people will never comprehend the scope of the events and how the world can really be defined as before and after. The people that were alive that day though, need to honor the dead, by doing as good a job as they can of reminding everyone of the events. (Not just that day, but what led to it... and the aftermath.)

You can never tell a story like that enough, no need for an apology!

 

I don't think it's so crazy to think any landmark would've been targeted at that point with all that had happened.

 

Here's something, kids in Kindgarden at the time of 9/11 are graduating high school next year. So if many don't have knowledge of the events of 9/11 now, scary to think what it will be in only a few years.


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#15 DJ MC

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:12 AM

Freshman year, College Park. Woke up at nine for a class at ten, took my shower, turned on the TV (which I never did) while I got dressed and saw the aftermath of the second plane. Walked across campus in a daze. Arrived at my American History class, where my professor had the news on through the projector (ABC News with Peter Jennings anchoring) while he prepared to give his lecture. Just as he was about to start, the first tower collapsed, and he just sat down and we watched the coverage for the rest of the class.

 

It was the first time I realized what it meant to have the air sucked out of a room, because when the tower fell then entire class (a hundred-seat lecture hall) gasped.

 

You can never tell a story like that enough, no need for an apology!

 

I don't think it's so crazy to think any landmark would've been targeted at that point with all that had happened.

 

Here's something, kids in Kindgarden at the time of 9/11 are graduating high school next year. So if many don't have knowledge of the events of 9/11 now, scary to think what it will be in only a few years.

 

I was going to make this point, too. If a kid graduated high school in May 2013, they were six when the towers fell. I have some memories from when I was six, but very little of the world going on around me (that was the year the Berlin Wall fell and the Why Not Orioles, so it wasn't like it was a boring year, and I don't remember either from when they happened). Considering that the world is still sorting out the overall meaning of the events of, preceding and moving forward from that day, I'm sure that kids ten years from now will have a better understanding of the events than kids today.


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#16 DJ MC

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:26 AM

Also, let us not forget what makes today truly important:

 

http://deadspin.com/...bear-1292543781


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#17 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

Also, let us not forget what makes today truly important:

 

http://deadspin.com/...bear-1292543781

 

So Alabama shouldn't be aloud to remember a legend because some terrorists decide to own 9/11 every year in the history of our country from that day forward? 


"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#18 Oriole85

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:38 AM

So Alabama shouldn't be aloud to remember a legend because some terrorists decide to own 9/11 every year in the history of our country from that day forward? 

On the other end of the extreme, scrolling through my FB TL someone actually wrote (paraphrasing), "The best way to honor 9/11 is to realize how insignificant it is in the events of world history." I really wanted to go off on this person, but decided that was probably exactly what they wanted and I didn't want to engage in a long protracted dialogue that would ultimately go nowhere.

 

I got no problem with honoring the Bear today. If you have a birthday today, are you not allowed to celebrate it?


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#19 Ricker Says

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:40 AM

On the other end of the extreme, scrolling through my FB TL someone actually wrote (paraphrasing), "The best way to honor 9/11 is to realize how insignificant it is in the events of world history." I really wanted to go off on this person, but decided that was probably exactly what they wanted and I didn't want to engage in a long protracted dialogue that would ultimately go nowhere.

 

I got no problem with honoring the Bear today. If you have a birthday today, are you not allowed to celebrate it?

 

Exactly. Remember 9/11, AND honor things that deserve to be honored. 


"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#20 mweb08

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

I was a college student still living at home and was awoken by my mother who told me what was going on. I turned the TV on, watched the news, then drove to school while listening to Howard Stern, who did a very good job IMO. This was definitely one of the saddest and shocking days I've experienced in my life. I definitely won't forget. There's also a lot that can be learned from that day and what led up to it and came since but that's for another time and place.<br />




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