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AccessDenied

My 9/11 thread.

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OK. It's over a week later. But this is still something that haunts me. I do get wierd feelings around the time. Perhaps even a little PTSD. I wasn't even in America. I was safe, here in Canberra. And it ties intimately with Atomic.

 

I've been tossing up whether to post this for about a week. There was a thread that popped up that made me back off. But, I need to get this out.

 

--------------------------------------------

The night it happened (Australian time).

I was talking on IRC in the Atomic channel. Suddenly, someone mentioned (don't remember who) "A plane has just crashed into the WTC". I turned my TV on. Win TV. I remember the channel. The channel stopped. Then we started discussing about what a horrible accident it was. Then the 2nd plane. This was horrible. It was beyond coincidence. Then reports of the plane in Pennsylvania.

 

Back in time a bit.

The first plane crashed into the building.

I called my brother. My sister-in-law is American. "Bro. You need to turn on Win TV right now. A plane has just crashed into the WTC". I don't know what they did. I've never asked. She had only come over to Australia about 6 or 7 years previously.

 

I finally got to bed about 3:30am when news reports just started being repeat after repeat. I had work in the morning.

 

Next morning. Turn up to work. One of our callouts. The one I was most qualified to attend. The US Embassy. Herein, my story really starts.

 

I arrived in Yarralumla early afternoon. Police were everywhere. I barely pulled up and had a police officer knocking on my window (They were just about running over to find out what I was doing. Parking 50 - 100m from entrance).

"I've been called in by S. T. in the security section to deal with x" (S.T being initials. Nothing more). "Stay in your car". Radio by police officer. Phone calls made. "I need your ID". Drivers license handed over. Security license requested. This is the first and ONLY time I had ever been requested my security license in 5 years. All clear given. I could now proceed to next level of security.

 

Pat downs. X-ray of tools. Metal detector. This was done by the security guards (Australian security company). Further phonecalls made. I was allowed in.

 

Now I was in the US Embassy. From here-on in, I was dealing with US Citizens (There are and were Australians working in/on the Embassy grounds. I didn't meet or see any of them).

 

Guard desk. Manned by marines (I call them marines. I believe they are. But I don't know one US military force from another. There's too many of them).

It was odd. I had been here dozens of times before. They joked with each other. They called each other names. They recognized me. "Sign here Sir". This was not normal. This was not "Heeeeeey Dave. Howya doin man!" as I had gotten in the past.

Their faces were worried. Many of the guys had red-faces. Their eyes were damp. They were treated like they were Generals (without being called "Sir").

 

The entire embassy normally felt 'busy'. But it didn't feel like 'beehive busy'. Buzzing. Whirring. Chatter. Now? It was *BUSY*. Everyone was doing their job. But there was silence. It wasn't anger. It was determination. That's the best word I can put to it this day.

 

I was there for a trivial thing. A door was acting up. Nothing more. Nothing less. Swipe reader playing silly buggers. It happens. I fixed it. But it was odd. I got so much respect. It was like "You are here to help us". Even for something trivial. The gratitude I got for fixing up a minor annoyance.

 

I could only offer the guys on duty a beer if they needed it (I gave my card with my mobile #). They didn't take up my offer.

----------------------------------------------

Years later, my parents moved into a town-house complex. The next house was owned by the US. "Rented" to US diplomats/officials. MY family got on well with them. (/waves to Shelley and Lee if they ever see this! They've since done their time and gone back to US) My mum and dad got invited to the US embassy for a big feast/evening/thing. It was a HUGE night. Kind of a US-Embassy "night of nights". People are being signed in at the marine's desk. "Good evening so and so. Have a nice evening." (Repeat over and over)

Took my mum and dad's drivers license (I have an unusual surname). "Mr and Mrs XXXXX. Are you by chance related to David XXXXX?" "Yes. He's our son." "It's a pleasure to meet you sir. maam. He has helped us so often in the past. Your son is a wonderful person. I truly hope you have a great night" Next couple "Good evening so and so. Have a nice evening"

 

-------------------------------------------

I still remember arriving at the Embassy and seeing the people to this day. It sticks out in my mind. I can't see 9/11 footage/articles without thinking about the people I worked with that day. Those that had lost family/friends. I made such little difference in their lives and they treated me and my parents like I had saved someones life. I just fixed a screwy door. Such a tiny thing.

 

America and Americans. I don't know what to say after that. I'm glad I did something. Perhaps I just gave them the message "Even a common Australian, as a individual civilian, is here for you". Perhaps that's what I did. I don't know. But whatever it is I did, I'm glad I gave something, no matter how miniscule it was.

 

AD

 

An addition. Why the PTSD? I've left out a lot. I truly have. I can't begin to convey the emotions and feelings I had walking through offices. People desperately trying to call people on the phone. People elated when the phone gets answer. People devastated when a phonecall doesn't get answered.

 

I wrote the first post as 'stream of conciousness' and left out lots. And that's the way it is. But the people in the embassy. They still kind of haunt me. I could do nothing. I was completely and utterly powerless.

 

AD

Edited by AccessDenied

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I don't think I was in IRC that night but I have the capture that someone uploaded around somewhere.

 

The night in question I was laying on my 3-seater lounge watching The Bill - I was somewhat tired and fell asleep probably around 9:15 or so.

 

Woke up to the live coverage probably 10-15 minutes into it I guess - watched for 30 seconds or so, thought "interesting movie concept" or similar then started to channel surf (remembering we only had about 5 channels on FTA back then).

 

It became fairly quickly obvious it was no movie when every other channel had essentially the same thing on. It also became fairly obvious once the second plane hit that war would be waged - I remember someone posting on this forum something like "Some Middle-Eastern country is going to get bombed back to the Stone Age".

 

Before that night I'd reasonably regularly lay on that lounge and often fall asleep - I don't think I've done so more than once or twice since.

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I was working that night, like almost every night for the last 20 years. I walked past a bloke on the stairs, told me a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. I laughed and asked how the new Tom Clancy novel was going. 20 mins later I'd seen the 2nd plane go in, and then an hour later the towers come down.

 

Will always remember that night/morning.

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I don't remember what I was doing - something inconsequential, no doubt. A friend online told me to turn on the news. I came out to find that every channel was playing the story that an airliner had hit one of the towers. Just as I was trying to convince myself and everyone else that someone had just fucked up in an unbelievable way, the second one hit - and then there was no doubt about it being intentional.

 

That night had a large dose of unreality about it from then on. I went to bed at some ungodly hour when I'd heard the same story for the 15th time.

 

I've never met anyone (to my knowledge) who had any direct tie to the WTC/Pentagon events.

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You know what I was doing? Running a DnD game. So whenever someone asks if I remember where I was, I and some of my friends can say we were jousting with elves.

 

We got a call from a friend who's known for the odd prank, and he was drunk, so when he rambled about terrorist planes and buildings collapsing, we didn't pay attention - until someone checked online and the world pretty much changed there and then. We gathered across the road, at a friend's place, and watched the whole thing. Saw the second hit, the towers collapse, and... yeah. It was unreal, in the true sense of the term.

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Hmm,

 

Of all places I was in Kununurra, finishing up an analysis job and at a BBQ - my biggest concern was how I was going to get home, Ansett were on the verge of going broke and they were the only airline flying in there. Get back to my hotel and as I walked in the door I turned on the TV to get the latest on the airline and instead see the second hit.

 

My 'phone rings, my wife asking "are you seeing this?"

 

Spent most of the rest of the night on calls to the states - most here know I guess that defense work is a part of my life and I had friends there, working in the towers and at the Pentagon. Lost several, the one that hit the big house I discovered part of it, the port engine, had wound up in my old office.

 

Somewhen I fell asleep, woke up wondering if it was all a dream, no, it was not.

 

Ansett never flew into that town again and I had to drive 1,000ks to get to Broome to get home, most of the way out of mobile range and wondering, all the way, just what the hell had happened, wondering about people that I knew were most likely involved, close, or perhaps killed.

 

Got home to find my wife had not slept in 36 hours, stunned, horrified, actually taking notes - 9 months before we had been there, in the top restaurant...

 

Days and days of endless analysis, my boss knew I was going to be called in to help on that, just told me to go do it.

 

I suppose it's why I hate the conspiracy theories so much, I was getting an endless stream of information, some of it contradictory, some just plain wrong, the jumble, like the one you mention D, just a reported rumour.

 

I don't know how much I slept, very little is my recollection, I do remember being damned angry, because as the pieces came together it was very obvious that if only some of the idiots had shared what pieces they knew instead of being protective and even suspicious of each other it could have been prevented.

 

I don't suppose the theories will ever stop, but, that's the nature of information overload and plain stupidity.

 

Cheers

Edited by chrisg

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i was always deeply affected by the confusing mix of emotions in this mostly instrumental song. sadness mingled with gentle hope, disquiet giving way to resolve, exultation rising brazenly out of desolation. you could say it haunted me.

 

but for years i had no sense of any literal reason for this combination of elements, until earlier this year, when i saw the clip for the first time. and just stood there, arms slumped, mind blown, and tears welling as the once mysterious snippets of dialogue took on new layers of meaning, terrible and beautiful.

 

i guess am most affected by the spirit of pathos with which BMG have produced this offering, and by the triumph of how palpably the music alone conveys its essence.

 

 

The following pieces of paper blew into the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York following the attacks at The World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. The Exhibit 13 video was created by the Blue Man community in response to those tragic events. We remember.

Edited by @~thehung

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cool story AD, i always wondered what went on in the Embassesy

 

I saw it on TV and thought it was previews for a new Die Hard movie , when i found out it was a Militant religous group in charge of the government In Afghan that was on a crusade(ref:jihad) i decided to join the army bout a week later. zero regrets, It confirmed to me that religion isnt real and No ones God protects (or smites) anyone.

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I was 11, I remember staying up late-ish, the whole night there had been continuous scrolling text on the FTA channels about some Richmond player (I think) fighting an appeal to play in the finals or something. Mum stayed up even later, and was watching Foxtel, more scrolling text appeared and she thought it was more football stuff, until she realised she was on a Foxtel channel. I woke the next morning to find my morning cartoons weren't going to air for several days.

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I was actually watching TV some times I just cant sleep , and it come up on the screen , the footage running, smoke pouring out of one of the towers, every now and then a talking head , Then Blammo plane hits the second building.

 

People in the street screaming in fear, anguish, horror all of the preceding, was kind of other worldly at first, the buildings collapse first one then the other, deep in me, anger grows at them that believed they had some kind of justification, to do this abomination, I could not sustain the rage and still function, it has slowly morphed into a cold loathing, and now is just a wilful hope the those responsible get their due.

Edited by Waltish

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Really xnatex ?

 

interesting, I thought you were older :)

 

Cheers

whys that? did you think i joined before 2001?

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:)

 

Yeah, not really sure why, just an assumption from some things you have said.

 

Cheers

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haha, who would want to join the military outside of war time ;)

Quite a lot of people. IIRC, they had trouble with personnel at the beginning of Gulf War 1 - people who'd joined up for a career suddenly realised they had a real danger of dying.

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Yes, there are plenty of people in uniform who treat it as just a job until they suddenly have to do what they have been being paid to prepare for.

 

Never really understood it but there is a big difference between the various forces.

 

Military flying, especially naval is inherently dangerous, it's a rare carrier cruise for example when there is not a casualty or casualties. The fast jets that I flew, well, some were just plain dangerous and not terribly reliable.

 

The army boys, no disrespect, are in peacetime probably a lot safer, but in combat a lot more in danger.

 

Cheers

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Its facinating how different events affect different people.

I was in primary school back then, and all I remember was that CheezTV was cancelled and I missed Pokemon.

Threw off my entire day.

 

Nowadays I understand what happened, obviously, but even now long-distance empathy is a weak point of mine.

If I saw someone crying, or could help directly, my heart would break for them. I'm incredibly empathetic 1st hand.

But from this side of the ocean, its a fact to me. and not much else. 'This happened, it was bad'.

I'm just not in a position to understand the reality of it.

 

I will do all in my power where I'm directly involved, and feel like a failure to life if I cant make a difference.

But try as I may, If I'm not there, it just doesn't tug at the heart, or the mind.

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I was in Atomic IRC (oh.. the memories!), as usual it was going off, probably 40-50 people in there.

 

Gramyre was the one that dropped the news, and the group reaction was a mix of shock, some bad jokes and general disbelief. It all got very heavy very quickly.

 

My telly was in a different room so I wandered over to have a look. And that was it. Ran back for a quick goodnight to the room, would have been nice to share the experience with everyone, but already quite a few were dropping away to hit the TV.

 

There was a screenshot of it all on Mael's old Atomicwaste site. Just did a quick google but it seems to have gone. If anyone has that old image it would be a powerful reminder on that night.

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I was in Atomic IRC (oh.. the memories!), as usual it was going off, probably 40-50 people in there.

 

Gramyre was the one that dropped the news, and the group reaction was a mix of shock, some bad jokes and general disbelief. It all got very heavy very quickly.

 

My telly was in a different room so I wandered over to have a look. And that was it. Ran back for a quick goodnight to the room, would have been nice to share the experience with everyone, but already quite a few were dropping away to hit the TV.

 

There was a screenshot of it all on Mael's old Atomicwaste site. Just did a quick google but it seems to have gone. If anyone has that old image it would be a powerful reminder on that night.

Found Atomicwaste with the Wayback machine but the link to the irc log of that night, on the community page didn't work.

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20011203171933/...e.net/home.html

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20011220144845/.../community.htm#

Edited by Waltish

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Chrisg, Cybes - yeah that comment was kinda tounge in cheek, I know the type of people you both are talkin bout

They usually get nicknames like

 

linger, chit monger, dream team, chocos (lol)

 

The ADF is pretty good with its latest wars tho, you have to EARN your way on the deployment and you can get sent home if you are turd or fuck up. For every person who didnt want to go on a deployment there was 20 with their hand up.

 

We havent had a large scale deployment (touch wood it never happens again) since WW2 so if you are scared you have plenty of places to hide, as long as you are happy to paint gutters and be called names.

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Yes! That IS a picture of the WTC collapsing.

 

Good boy! Have a treat!

 

Who's a good boy?!! Who's a good boy!!!??!? Get the ball! Get it!

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