9 years later

On 9-11-2001, when the first tower was struck, I was dead asleep, comfortably. I was halfway through the second month in my new job, right out of residency. I’d worked the 7p-7a on Sept 10th, and it was just another day.

My wife woke me up, as when she’d gotten home from the school run she’d turned on the TV and heard about the first plane. “A plane has hit one of the World Trade Center towers, you need to see this” is what I recall her saying, and even though I was about 45 minutes into sleep I thought ‘it has to be a light plane, bad weather, somebody trying to run VFR’, etc. But, I got up.

That’s why I was watching TV when the second plane hit the second tower. It wasn’t a mistake.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I thought about myself briefly. I was still in the Inactive Reserve then and had joked, until that moment, that “it’d take an Act of Congress to bring me back to active duty”, and I immediately realized Congress was going to be ready to do a lot of things in response to this attack.

And then, I had exactly the same response as everyone else who didn’t lose a loved one: shock, anger, disbelief.  Amusement at the line of people at the gas station in Midland, and wondering what the future would bring.  Sadness a the loss of life in the planes, the first responders, in the buildings.  Senseless loss and death brought to us by barbarians who hate us.

I’m quite disappointed in the TSA security theater when I fly today, unhappy that the `100% bag matching’ doesn’t work, and sad that we’re all inured to the realization this is the best our government can do, or has the will to do.

Prayers for the dead, and those who lost.  Respect and Love for those who defend us, and hope we’ve learned enough to prevent a recurrence.


  1. “Prayers for the dead, and those who lost. Respect and Love for those who defend us, and hope we’ve learned enough to prevent a recurrence.”


  2. My sister who lived on Staten Island and worked two blocks from the World Trade Centers in the financial district missed the ferry that morning. One of my nieces was sick and she had to take her to the in-laws before work and missed the ferry to into Manhatten. She was on the second ferry when the 1st plane hit and was re-routed back to Staten Island.

    A sore throat saved her life. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the those that have fallen and those that are continuing the fight for freedom.

  3. Nicely said, Grunt Doc.

  4. In my ER Saturday–we just started talking in the station about where we were and how we heard about 9/11. One doctor said he did know for 1 1/2 days for he was fishing in Northern WC. We seldom sit down and share like that in the ER.
    I remember being downtown Chicago that afternoon–Never heard the city so quiet. Laurie Anderson refused to cancel her concert–for she lived very near to ground zero at the time. I slept through all the real-time action-to friend frantic phone messages from my hubby working near the Hancock building. One of his coworkers left that day and never came back to work–just drove away from her whole life that day.

    I just remember also the footage of the ER’s standing ready to help–and with each passing hour it slowly dawned on me–there were going to be few patients. I cried for them and for the lost. The hopeless feeling of that days haunts me still. I now cannot go a day without checking the news.

    Thank you for sharing.