20 Years [DOT 11/9/2021]

I guess everyone will be thinking back to that fateful day twenty years ago. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been twenty years. I was living just outside of Washington, DC (where I still live).

My now ex-husband had flown to California the day before and was then grounded for 6 weeks. I remember being at home alone waiting for the other shoe to drop. It never did, here at least.

The internet will be awash in 20th anniversary articles, so I’ll just leave these here:

‘Come From Away’: How to Watch the Hit Broadway Musical Online for Free

Some of the most iconic 9/11 news coverage is lost. Blame Adobe Flash

The 9/11 photos we will never forget

Denmark lifts all coronavirus restrictions and celebrates ‘a whole new era’

That’s a shame.

Escaped zebras bamboozle Maryland officials: ‘They’re just too fast’

I, too, had nothing to do with the missing zebras.



  1. You and I were in similar circumstances on 9/11, I see. In my case, Better Half had flown out early that very morning to The Deep South. He picked up his rental car and turned on newsradio and before he could even get to the meeting place he turned right around, went to the airport rental car outpost, and said, “I’m taking this car back to New York.” Everyone was so stunned by what had happened that the agent said, “Just take it and give it back whenever you can…”

    So all the phone lines were down as was the Interwebz. Finally BH managed to get a call through to me (from Maryland, actually) saying that he’d been driving and driving. I said, “Try to find somewhere to stay for a while. They’ve closed all the bridges and tunnels so you’ll be sleeping in your car on a highway in Weehawken otherwise.” 

    But still he persisted. He was indeed turned away at the Lincoln Tunnel, but he went up to the George Washington Bridge and they let him through for some reason. Then the hard part began because we lived on the west side downtown, and the WTC is/was on the west side even farther downtown, so the West Side Highway was converted into an unofficial emergency-vehicles-only corridor heading south. He crawled through the local streets and finally arrived home at 3:30 AM on the morning of Thursday, September 13th. I think he established a land speed record.

    But on a brighter note, kind of, I was reading an account of how a case is being brought in Britain against Facebook. It seems, and I know that this will shock you, that when employers advertise jobs the Facebook algorithm discriminates on who gets to see them. Mechanic openings went to a 95% male audience; “nursery nurse” jobs to a 95% female audience.

    I have never been on FB and didn’t know they listed jobs; I thought they just trafficked in conspiracy theories and cat photos.

    What caught my eye though was the felicitous name of a lawyer involved in the case: Barrister Schona Jolly QC. That, my friends, will be my next screen name.

    • My ex was working on a contract at North Island naval base which obviously went to death con 10 or whatever. Contractors couldn’t get on base for months and his company grounded him. He spent the next month-ish at his friend’s house in Pacific Beach drinking beer and hanging out. When he could finally find a rental car he drove it straight home across country! 

      • Also, and to get a little cringe-y, I can count on less than one hand the number of times I have cried in front of Better Half. I was fast asleep at 3:30 AM on the morning of Thursday, September 13th, our dog at the time snoring contentedly beside me, when I was awakened by the sound of a key in the lock and the opening of our door. I hadn’t expressed any emotion over the previous two days, and I let it ALL out.

        Better Half’s response: “What’s wrong with you?”

    • So I live in the suburbs of Chicago, where obviously nothing happened on 9/11, but on that day no one knew what *could* happen. And for some reason, our power went out, so I had to dig up D batteries to load into a boombox so I could listen to the news and know whether we were under attack or not. Disconcerting as fuck. 

  2. My sister was walking to work down near Wall St and watched the first plane hit. She said everyone was shocked but they’re NYers so just carried on. She also said that stuff was starting to rain down on them as she walked. She got to work and called her boyfriend who went up to the roof to see what was going on(she lives in the East Village) and he saw the second plane hit while he was talking to her. He watched both towers come down and she got trapped at her job for 14 hours that day. She’s at the Memorial right now. 

  3. I first heard about the WTC being hit by a plane on the Howard Stern Show.  I thought it was a joke or a really bad accident.  When the 2nd one hit then I knew this was the real deal.
    Spent the rest of the day in shock watching CNN like everyone else.
    Anyway, got knocked out of shock when the Iraq invasion talk began.  Still pissed about that.  The wrong fucking nation, but thanks to opportunists like Cheney and the Neocon gang that couldn’t shoot straight like Wolfie and Dick Perle.
    I ended up volunteering in the reserves 10 months later, but my boss refused to let me go on leave for basic (6 months)  ending whatever chance I had to go to Afghanistan.  I doubt I would have seen any combat (eye sight issues) though if I had gone.

    • I had a long talk with a friend (my late one) about going.  He asked if it was worth it throwing away your career for an emotional moment/call to the flag.  I spent a long time pondering that one before declining.
      My parents weren’t much help.  My mom freaked out because she didn’t want her son to join the military.  My dad was harping on “what good will that do for you?”
      Looking back, I don’t regret not joining up but except for those odd what-if.  Thanks in part to PM Stevie Harper’s photo ops and pathetic attempts to look tough that helped get Canadian Troops get killed.

  4. Was enlisted infantry USMC at the time, deployed to Okinawa.  There was this asshole squad leader who over the past month or two would periodically wake up everyone on the floor with some made-up emergency.  So, of course, when we were woken up and told about this, we though it was him being a jackass again.  Until some people up late watching tv told us it was true.  We were given a small window of time to get cleaned up and dressed, and then we went to the armory and got our weapons, and took a truck to the nearby air base.  For like the next two weeks, we just stood around the gates of the airbase, with our weapons and live ammo, and asked various people for ID for ~12 hours at a time.  And then we went to sleep in some condemned barracks.  I was lucky, I had a day shift, the people doing the night shift also had to show up for formation, PT, etc. and never got more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time.
    The air base didn’t even want us there, but I guess our company/battalion leadership needed to feel like they were doing something…

  5. I feel like the baby of the group here but I was a junior in high school and that was the day we learned that all the TV classrooms had cable because we just sat and watched tv in shock most of the day. We students had previously only thought the tvs were for showing educational materials (on VHS naturally).

    Also, the nuns that ran my high school were very smart and did not put up with shit from students nor parents. Parents were calling to try to come pick up their daughters and Sister Sheila (principal) was like “Nope, this is not a valid reason to take your daughter out of classes today.” because these morons were worried terrorists would fly a plane into the Gateway Arch. Which (1) my high school was miles and miles away from and (2) doesn’t even make sense as a target. Like I remember hearing one of the nuns blurt something like “oh yeah Boeing is in St. Louis and Scott Air Force Base is pretty close in Illinois but oh yeah sure you think the Arch is a high risk target? Get over yourselves. 

    Also on a stupider note, I worked at Blockbuster that year and that was the day one of the Spiderman movies came out for rental/purchase and there was a big scene with him web-swinging between the Two Towers so we had to rush to pull all the product from the shelves and ship it back so that could be edited out. 

    People rented pretty much every comedy we had on the shelves as escapism, too. 

    • oh gawd, there was so much stupid “there is credible reports that Al Queda is targeting <insert insignificant nonsense here>”
      And all the “there is going to be a follow-up attack on the anniversary” bullshit.
      I got in so many arguments about that shit in the following weeks/years.  And while I was enlisted, we all had to take some stupid correspondence course on “Terrorism” through the stupid “Marine Corps Institute”  And while that course was mostly useless, it did at least cover some of the basics, like what is a likely target for terrorism.
      I think one of my main arguments was that they (the “terrorists”) didn’t need a follow-up attack, the first one was successful beyond their wildest expectations – we upended our nation and put the bill of rights through the shredder, we’ve started multiple wars that will be just further stir up anti-american sentiments and be a better recruiting tool for terrorist organizations than anything they could have hoped for, and suburban america is literally staying awake at night worried some “jihadist” is going to suicide bomb their local mall or whatever.  Shit’s fuckin absurd.

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