How I remember September 11th 2001........

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knife7knut
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How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by knife7knut » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:09 am

For all of us,there are certain dates whose events are forever burned into our memories.Just as those before us who remember the signing of the Armistice that ended hostilities in World War One(the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month)or the attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th 1941,the three that stand out most in my mind are November 22,1963, the 20th of July 1969, and September 11,2001.
For those not familiar with those dates,they are in order:the assassination of President John F. Kennedy;man's first landing on the moon,and the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. If you were alive on those dates,you will likely remember the day with remarkable clarity.
For the first I was underneath a 1950 Oldsmobile laying on the frozen ground trying vainly to install the transmission back into the car.
For the second,my girlfriend and destined to be my first wife and I were sitting in our living room on our new(from Morgan Memorial)sofa in our new apartment that we had just moved into that week.
For the last........well you will have to hear the story of how it came about so hang on for a bit:

It all started with my visit to an ear,nose,&throat specialist to try and do something about my constant snoring and dry mouth which had been diagnosed as sleep apnea. While at the doctor,I happened to mention that it felt like there was something on the rear side of my tongue that felt like a piece of food was caught there.
The doctor looked at it and suggested that a biopsy was in order which he performed right there. I didn't think too much about it until he personally called the following day and informed me that the biopsy had shown that it was malignant form of cancer called "squuamus cell carcinoma" and that it should be removed as soon as possible. He mentioned that the success rate was very high(about 80%)and that it shouldn't take more than an hour or two. All this I learned on Friday July 13th.
Had I been of a superstitious nature I might have had some apprehension but I'm not so I didn't. In the next few days he worked out a schedule so I could have the operation performed on August 9th. And so it began...........
One of the things he had mentioned was that squuamus cell is a very primitive form of cancer and also very unpredictable.He said that it likely had been caused by my having smoked at one time(I stopped in 1983 which is a whole other story)and that it likely had lain dormant until something had triggered the growth.
Whatever had triggered it's growth had done so with a vengeance as it had spread so rapidly that instead of the scheduled 1-2 hour operation it had taken over 8 hours to remove it all. I woke up in the hospital unable to speak or even swallow. I finally was able to do so by coughing slightly which triggered the muscles to swallow.
When I was able to look in a mirror I was shocked to see metal staples running from the back of my left ear to the start of my shoulder and halfway across my throat;a total of more than forty. The only thing I was able to swallow was Jello;yogurt,and bouillon. This was to be my only food for the foreseeable future.There was a benefit in that I lost about 65 lbs.(which was good)over the next 6 months but gained it all back and then some(which was not good).
I was scheduled to go through radiation and chemotherapy when the incision healed and when the staples were finally removed I was fitted with a mask that shielded the rest of my head and was cut out strategically to allow them to precisely aim the radiation.The material of the mask was a mesh that became pliable when soaked in hot water and was laid over my face and molded to shape. I had to lay perfectly still for almost an hour while it cured whereupon it was removed and the necessary openings made.This was to be worn when the radiation was applied.
The treatment consisted of radiation therapy applied five days a week for twelve weeks and the chemotherapy once a week for six hours at a time for twelve weeks.
My first appointment was for 10am and as it was about an hour's drive to the hospital we started off around 8:30am with a bit of apprehension as I didn't quite know what to expect. As we were driving into the hospital on US-12 we were listening to a local college radio station when they interrupted the broadcast to relate that there was a report of an airplane that had crashed into one of the towers in New York City. We didn't really pay too much attention as it wasn't a confirmed report. That changed when we got to the hospital and found virtually everyone listening to the radio reports.
And that my friends is how I remember September 11th 2001. Four days later we were to take a whirlwind trip from Michigan to Massachusetts so that I could attend my high school class's 40th reunion.But that is also another story for another time. That and the trials and tribulations of enduring three months of radiation and chemotherapy.
This September 11th will mark the 20th anniversary of both events.Here is a pic of my mask.
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royal0014
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by royal0014 » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:28 am

JFK was assassinated November 22nd, not the 11th .
I'm sure that is a simple mistake on your part ... ::tu::

As always, your story is an interesting read into an interesting man.
I'm glad you persevered to be with us here today .. .. ..
Chris
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by eveled » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:26 am

Funny how you said “with amazing clarity”. For me Sept 11th is all hazy, and almost surreal. I don’t remember much of it at all.

That cancer story and mask are unreal.

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by jerryd6818 » Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:49 pm

I wonder how many don't remember those dates (Kennedy, man on the moon & 9/11) but they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. I know I don't recall the Kennedy date but have a clear memory of exactly where I was and how I found out. Same, same for 9/11.
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knife7knut
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by knife7knut » Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:51 pm

royal0014 wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:28 am
JFK was assassinated November 22nd, not the 11th .
I'm sure that is a simple mistake on your part ... ::tu::

As always, your story is an interesting read into an interesting man.
I'm glad you persevered to be with us here today .. .. ..
Thanks for correcting that;I'm not exactly sure why I typed the 11th instead of the 22nd. I corrected the text.
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by KLJ77 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:39 am

Interesting and thought provoking topic, Ray. Thanks for sharing your experience...and I'm glad your medical situation turned out okay. ::tu::

As to the assassination of Kennedy, I was 11 years old, sitting in a grade school class room when one of the teachers came into the classroom and announced that JFK had just been shot & killed. Time stood still for most of the faculty and students. School was let out almost immediately. My best friend and I walked home, talking about 'what happened and how'. Most of my recall is more about how adults were responding and carrying on over the news. I didn't fully understand the huge implications of that tragedy until many years later. But the teacher coming into the classroom and making the statement has stuck with me even unto today.

Moon landing: What moon landing? Seriously, I don't remember a thing about that...sadly. And I don't even know why I don't.

(9/11): This was HUGE for me. I was working as a DOD Police officer at the shipyard at the time, on night shift, 2100 - 0500 hours. (9pm - 5am) I got home about that morning about 5:45am, took an hour to wind down a bit before crawling into bed. It seemed as though I had just gotten to sleep when the phone rang at about 9:45am on that fateful Tuesday morning. It was my brother...and the first thing he said to me was; "Bro, have you seen what's happened?" "Turn on the TV, now!" And there it was...the visual of both towers in flames and smoking like two candles against a bright blue sky. The media talking heads was total chaos...no one knowing exactly what was going on, other than the stories of planes flying into the twin towers. Speculations, guesses, innuendos and conjectures being touted on every news channel. Two more planes being talked about that had lost contact with ATC's...transponders turned off or not working. My brother and I watched people jumping and experiencing the shock of witnessing that together. And then the most unbelievable sight of seeing those two towers being brought down.

As my brother and I talked on the phone for over 4 hours that morning, watching everything happen, we saw the Pentagon hit, and then Flight 93 go down in Pa., and the towers coming down. I had to finally hang up and get some sleep, for I had to be up NLT 7pm to get ready to go back into work that night. I'm pretty sure I only got about 2-3 hours solid sleep. Due to this event, we were shifted to 12 hour shifts, Reserve Army units were sent to the SY to assist with security / manpower. This lasted for almost 18 months.

I'll NEVER forget that day, what I was thinking, what I was feeling, and eventually, the anger and emotions I felt about an event as devastating as this, and one that should have never happened. To this day, I still have a hard time controlling my emotions when I think about how that day evolved, the lives lost, the sacrifices made by so many innocent people, and the firemen & police who rushed toward the danger to save lives, only to be swallowed up within the bowels of those buildings crashing down upon them.

I need to stop...but, that's where I was that day. In my living room, watching TV and talking to my brother, watching it all unfold.
LJ

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by jerryd6818 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:50 am

On 11/22/63 I was stationed at MCRD San Diego, going through Basic Electronics School. It was lunch time and we were walking across the grinder towards the chow hall when one of the guys coming from the opposite direction shouted out, "Hey! Did you hear Kennedy got shot?" Say wha?? That's all I remember about that day.
Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

This country has become more about sub-groups than about it's unity as a nation.

"The #72 pattern has got to be pretty close to the perfect knife."
--T.J. Murphy 2012

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by Paladin » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:29 am

On 11-22-63, I was in grad school in Lubbock, Texas. I had a graduate assistantship and had gone to the apt for lunch. I flipped the TV on and soon there was Cronkite making his announcement. The Bride was working as a dental assistant and both of us returned to work. I remember how varied the other student's responses were and I was astounded and disappointed at some of them.
The moon landing of 1969 found me working in the thriving (not) community of Big Spring, Texas. I was unable to stay awake for the event but the Bride stayed up for the whole thing. I watched it about a thousand times on re-runs.
On 9-11-2001, I was working in San Antonio, Texas and I picked up the news on my truck radio. I cancelled all but one appointment for the day and watched the tv most of the day. I remember the adrenaline, I remember the anger and the feeling of helplessness. That anger wasn't to subside for quite a while.

Ray
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by royal0014 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:45 am

Wasn't born yet for the JFK or moon incidents ...

But on 9/11, I was sitting in the recliner holding my then 10 month old son
so his poor mother could get some sleep (I worked 3rd shift, so .... )

Flipped over to the news for some unknown reason and saw the first tower burning.
When the second tower was hit, I woke up the wife to see the news.
In her sleep-deprived state, I don't think it really registered in her brain ... she went back to bed.

I sat there for awhile, looking at my boy, wondering what the hell kind of world did I bring him into
::tear::
Chris
i woke last night to the sound of thunder
how far off i sat and wondered
started humming a song from nineteen sixty two
aint it funny how the night moves

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by Dan In MI » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 pm

For obvious reasons, I have no memories of the 1960s. But I remember 11 September 2001 very well. Some time before that, I'd filled out a leave chit and received counseling about carrying a negative leave balance. I didn't care; I wanted to celebrate my birthday at home. When I finished the day's work (I'm not talking about chewing tobacco), I was supposed to quickly change into civilian clothes, grab my baggage, and hightail it to the airport.

Then news of the first attacks came on the TV.

Many Sailors and Navy civilians were transfixed, looking on in horror and disbelief. I knew that I wasn't going on leave. NSWC Dahlgren, VA was soon devoid of civilians. Later that day, I went outside for a smoke and was "volunteered" for duty in the galley. The lockdown lasted for three days, and instead of spending my birthday at home, I went out on the town and got drunk to the point of illness.

It wasn't until later that the enormity of the whole thing set in. What if I had left the day before, and been stranded across the country? What if I had left that morning? The previous year, Christmas leave was mandatory. Following 11 September 2001, I didn't take leave again until 2004, and I almost had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the airport when I changed duty stations in 2002. Since that date, I have only flown three times, most recently in 2006.

Needless to say, that event had a bit of an impact on me.
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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by schradefan27 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:37 am

As to 9/11 - I remember it well as I had business associates in the Trade Center.

Something which is interesting and probably saved a few lives - The NY Giants were on Monday Night Football on 9/10 - and likely resulted in a few folks heading in the work late on 9/11.

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by Just Plain Dave » Sun Jan 09, 2022 2:35 pm

Don't know the dates of Kennedy or Moon landing.
Was only three in 63 but I knew something bad had happened.
Watched everything NASA but have a terrible memory for many dates.
On the morning of 9/11 I was to go to Shepherd to get Industrial soap.
Saw the first plane from my house.
Dad lived two streets away walked into his house and saw the second plane hit.
Took a shotgun with me that day.
Looking for the magic penny!

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by MissouriGuerrilla » Wed Sep 07, 2022 3:57 pm

I've always had the thought of those who were out in their fields and farms that had no idea what was going on. Out on tractors or taking care of their farm animals. Maybe people who had went fishing for the day. I can't imagine when those, who missed the morning, finally come around to what was happening. Probably wasn't very many. But I'll bet there was a decent few who walked into their tvs and stood there jaw dropped.

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Re: How I remember September 11th 2001........

Post by Elmo » Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:14 pm

Was going too US history class, second period. 11th grade Cherryville High School. Somebody said Trade Center had been bombed, in hallway. Got to history class, seen history made on T.V. Give me goosebumps typing it out.
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