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Archive for September 10th, 2005

Recalling September 11, 2001

September 10, 2005 @ 10:36 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

My friend Darin wrote about his memories of 9/11 in his blog recently and that got me thinking back to that fateful Tuesday…

I was still living in my first condo on the 9th floor of the other building at Holland Cross. It was a sunny day and I had been standing on my balcony looking down Holland towards Tunney’s Pasture to see how long the lineups were at the PSAC picket lines. (PSAC had been striking every Wednesday for the previous couple of weeks.)

The radio was on and I heard a snippet saying an airplane had just crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. That prompted me to turn on CNN on the tv and watch for a bit. At this point, no one knew that it was a terrorist attack, though that went through my mind the moment I heard about it because the chances of a commercial airplane hitting a building like that by accident are extremely small. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen (here).

There was a closeup on the impact site on the screen. The width of the tower almost filled the shot with just a little sky on either side. Suddenly, something flicked through the background of the image and I thought “no, that couldn’t have been another airplane”. I pondered that for about 20 or 30 seconds before CNN confirmed that an airplane had just hit the other tower.

I watched for quite a bit longer before finally deciding to head off to work and try to cross the picket lines. Walking through the mall in the commercial complex at Holland Cross, I paused to watch the tv in the dentist’s office for a few seconds. I think one of the buildings had started to collapse and everyone figured it was just a matter of time before it completely collapsed.

Continuing through the mall and walking around the edge of Tunney’s Pasture to the Parkdale side, all people were talking about was what was going on in New York City. At some point, someone said that one of the towers had collapsed completely.

The picketters were still preventing people from going in, so I continued north along Parkdale, stopping to chat briefly with an assistant director I knew. One of the strike line captains had a walkie talkie and I overheard someone on it say that all military personnel were to be allowed to cross the lines immediately. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as I thought “oh, that can’t possibly be a good sign”.

I continued north along Parkdale and stopped to chat with an assistant director I knew who was one of the management representatives. She and I talked about things for a bit and I continued around the north end of the Pasture where the strike line didn’t exist. (Tunney’s Pasture is quite large and it would have taken more people than they had to completely encircle it.) I made my way to the building I worked in and had a fairly unproductive day.

At some point shortly after I made it into work, PSAC ended all the strike activities because of what was going on in the US. There was a tv set up in one of the conference rooms and people stepped in and out of it all day to check on the latest.

I don’t remember exactly when I heard about the plane that hit the Pentagon building or the one that crashed in the field when the hijackers were overpowered by the passengers. I do remember being awed by the passengers’ braveness and hoping that I’d act like them if I ever were in such a situation — which I pray I never am.