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First-Person Account Of Today's Attacks

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the add-yours dept.

News 1084

Vergil Bushnell was on his way to testify in hearings at the Patent Office's headquarters outside Washington, D.C. when a hijacked jetliner slammed into the Pentagon, and arrived just after news of the attack reached the hearing room. He sent in this description of the experience. If you witnessed any of today's attacks, this is the place to add your account.

I was scheduled to testify today at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's "Patent Theatre" in Crystal City, Virginia, on the intellectual property aspects of the proposed Hague Convention on Jurisdiction. I had sweated for days over a prepared oral statement about the treaty's implications for student coders and journalists.

My friend Rob Carlson and I left Baltimore early (shortly after 7:00 a.m.) and deposited ourselves at an outlying Metro stop, intending to take the subway into Crystal City. We arrived without incident.

Upon disembarking at Crystal City, I gave the sounds of various sirens little heed -- even as the municipality's Battalion Chief (fire department) roared past, red and white lights flashing.

"There must be a fire nearby," Rob said, glancing upward as fluffy chunks of ash drifting down into the USPTO's courtyard like huge downy feathers.

The hearing room was uncharacteristically vacant. I sat down next to my former boss, Consumer Project on Technology director Jamie Love, and flipped open my laptop to read over my prepared oral testimony.

"Did you hear? A plane hit the World Trade Center in New York!" Jamie whispered excitedly, ensconced in a pile of laptop peripherals and scattered newspapers. I froze momentarily, floppy disk half inserted into my laptop. Looking up, I noticed most of the hearing's attendees appeared to be in shock. A few sat rigid in their seats, hands folded in their laps, staring ahead in numbed silence. Others milled about, busily discussing the foreign policy ramifications of the morning's events. No one seemed to be concentrating on the hearing.

Federal government officials present -- (I recognized members of the U.S. State Department, Copyright Office and PTO) reacted differently -- receiving the sporadic stream of dispatches and rumors from PTO staffers running in and out of the Theatre with detached contemplation. It appeared that the Feds had discarded their usual mantle of chatty, diplomatic ambiance, and had switched into Crisis Mode.

"If anyone really wants to testify now, they can. At this time, we are not evacuating the building," proclaimed a Patent Office functionary. No one took her up on her offer, and several folks murmured quietly about the inappropriateness of proceeding with the hearing given the context and magnitude of events.

More runners entered the Theater, bearing news of additional disasters -- some alleged, some actual. Rumors about the destruction of various Washington agencies and landmarks whipped throughout the conference room.

I closed my laptop, which had been teetering idle on my lap for several minutes. People started for the door, hesitating in case the unspoken consensus for scrapping the hearing was improbably reversed. Cell phones were whipped out of suit pockets and family members dialed to no effect.

"You can always submit written testimony." declared U.S. delegate to the Hague Conference and PTO attorney-advisor Jennifer Lucas as the long-planned hearing disintegrated.

I felt a mix of emotions: disappointed that I wouldn't have the chance to testify and lock horns with the MPAA and other industry lobbyists, and guilty for having such self-centered thoughts during this crisis.

Rob and I headed out toward the lobby. He decided that we should skip the elevator and go down a flight of stairs to the lobby.

The courtyard of the Patent Office facility (which had been nearly deserted when we arrived) was packed with a milling, chattering crowd. Security guards peered about pensively as if reassuring themselves that the building was indeed still standing. Soon after, a shout went up that the Patent Office was being evacuated.

The head of the U.S. Delegation to the Hague Conference (and State Department legal advisor) Jeff Kovar brushed past me with an associate in tow.

"We're walking to the State Department." Kovar grimly mentioned to no one in particular, and started the long hike back to his office.

Rob and I weaved our way through gridlocked traffic and headed toward the Crystal City Metro station. Several Federal Marshalls stood about -- one wearing a boxy bulletproof vest, another wearing a pink blouse with a lanyard ID. Military personnel huddled together on the sidewalk, segregated according to the hue of their uniforms. Fast moving, thin white clouds rushed overhead. I wasn't sure if they were really smoke pluming from the Pentagon.

We jumped into a Yellow Line train alongside a pair of blue-shirted Air Force officers. I watched as an orange ladybug crawled up the silver-stitched epaulet of the officer closest to me, and informed him of its presence. He stared at me for a silent moment before carefully removing the insect.

"That's the least of my problems," he said. "Thanks anyway."

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entropy# rm /bin/laden (-1, Flamebait)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282893)

entropy# rm /bin/laden

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (0, Funny)

11223 (201561) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282906)

ls -l /osama
lrwxrwxrwx 1 username username 1 Sep 11 19:15 osama -> afgahnistan/osama
rm -rf /afgahnistan
afgahnistan: permission denied
rm -rf /afgahnistan/osama/bin/laden
rm -rf /afgahnistan/osama/bin
rm -rf /afgahnistan/osama
find /afgahnistan | xargs rm -rf

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283100)

Why can't you even spell the name of the country that all the retards are calling for war with?

Is it because you're American and too dumb to do anything except believe the shit that CNN dribbles into your ears?

Media Archive (Good Bandwidth) (2, Flamebait)

beefdart (520839) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282955)

We here at school have begun collecting images and video to help out with the bandwidth problem the news sites are having... Here [rit.edu] Also feel free to send anything in...

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282997)

terrorist@bombed:~/bin/sadaam]rmuser terrorist
unable to rm
terrorist@bombed:~/bin/sadaam]whois sadaam

Whois Server Version 1.3

Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for "SADAAM.COM".

>>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 02:14:32 EDT

The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
Registrars.

terrorist@bombed:~/bin/sadaam]rm -rf sadaam
action completed
terrorist@bombed:~/bin/sadaam]logout
exit

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283006)

I'm not in the mood for any jokes right now. Thx. I lost a friend today. I'm not sure rm /bin/laden really "captures" the moment.

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (-1, Offtopic)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283058)

Hey, I found your friend. Hope you've got a lot of tape...

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (2)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283138)

Leave. Don't return.

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283060)

Moderation Totals: Offtopic=2, Insightful=1, Funny=1, Overrated=2, Underrated=2, Total=8.

boffo. we can't agree on anything tonight

Re:entropy# rm /bin/laden (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283134)

Moderation Totals: Offtopic=2, Insightful=1, Funny=2, Overrated=3, Underrated=2, Total=10

Semi OT: Again, my condolonces... (1, Redundant)

kirby697 (109327) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282896)

to all those hurt and touched by todays events. Hopefully we can start getting in there and rescuing people sometime today. Good luck and godspeed to all those helping.

Re:Semi OT: Again, my condolonces... (2)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282919)

They'll certainly need all the help they can get. It's literally a warzone, not to mention the dangers of working in a mostly-collapsed building. There are most likely trapped survivors in the wreckage, yet it's still too dangerous to enter most areas.

On a positive note, it's great to see how many people are giving blood.... even here in North Dakota.

Keep it up! Our prayers are with you all.

Good News (1, Redundant)

docstrange (161931) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282903)

New Slashcode seems to be holding up even under this load.

My most sincere condolences go out to the people and the families of those who are effected by this act of terrorism.

I only wish the press would not speculate so much, as it is causing more problems, and we don't need any more problems today.

I just want to go home, and hug my family.

Re:Good News (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283113)

Matrix.net [matrix.net] has an interesting story detailing the bombing's effects on 'net traffic, and how it responded to the increased load.

It was unreal (1)

alen (225700) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282904)

I work by the citicorp building in Long Island City in NYC. I went outside a few times to see it. It was unbelieveble.

The whole time I thought I was living through a Tom Clancy novel.

Mirrror for movies and images. (5, Informative)

Nemith (114402) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282908)

Here is my contribution to the already crowed sites out there. Hopefully the University doesn't get too mad :)

http://w3.uwyo.edu/~bennetb/attackonamerica [uwyo.edu]

If you have any articles, movies, or photos. Email them to me @ bennetb@uwyo.edu.NO.SPAM

To the Firefighters and Police of NYC (4, Insightful)

knightf0x (218696) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282911)

Our thoughts and prayers are with you

Re:To the Firefighters and Police of NYC (2, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282975)

cnn.com says: New York City reports at least 78 police officers missing, 200 firefighters presumed dead.

Uhh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282999)

...why was that mod to a "Troll"?

moron... read the moderator guildlines.

Kill Them All. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282912)

Kill them all.

The Day Innocence Died (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282913)

September 11, 2001-The Day Innocence Died

Like most people, I wake up each morning thinking the day will be like any other day. I shower, listen to the radio, have breakfast, and walk the dog. I say "goodbye" or "see you later" to my dad, I set out on my day. I make a mental note of the things I wish to accomplish before the end of the day and tentative plans for the rest of the week. I never stop and think, "what if I don't make it home today?". "What if I never see my family again.
But today, for thousands of people, their worst nightmares were realized.

As I walked to work, I saw a crowd of people standing around a car, listening to the radio. I heard " a plane crashed into the World Trade Center". Like most, I thought, "what a horrible accident". I figured a plane had engine failure, got off course and crashed. By the time I reached my office, about five minutes later, I heard that another plane crashed into the second building. By then, we all knew, it was no accident.

I immediately turned on my radio and noticed that there was no one in my office area. I walked to the lounge and discovered my co-workers huddled around a television. It was then that I saw the awful crashes and explosions. I saw the airplane, deliberately fly into the second building of the World Trade Center. And then, the explosion. It was a sight I will never forget.

I went to the phone to contact friends and family members who work in the area. After a few hours, I reached my aunt, who actually watched from her job as the plane crashed into the building and saw the people falling and jumping out of the window. I then returned to the television to discover that another airplane had crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington DC. The shock on everyone's face was immeasurable. We all started to wonder
"who's next"? Where? When? Then, we heard that the Capitol had also been hit and one of the Twin towers collapsed. I wondered what it would be like to visit that area in the future and see just one building there. Of course, they would rebuild, but it would never be the same. And then, we heard. Another explosion caused the second Tower to collapse. The building wouldn't be lonely anymore. It had joined its twin. Gone.....Forever. And
then, the tears rolled down, not just for the people who died but for the institution itself. I love New York. I love its history and atmosphere. I was just at Brooklyn Bridge a few weeks ago taking pictures. That beautiful New York Skyline that symbolizes so much will never be the same. My home. My life. It all seems different. I keep thinking of all of the people. All of the bodies, lying in the debris. All of those people who started
their day not knowing they wouldn't return home. All of their loved ones waiting, hoping, praying for a telephone call telling them that everything is ok. Waiting for a phone call that will never come. Today I cry. Not because I lost a friend or family member in this tragedy. But because like so many. I lost a part of myself. I've read about dozens of horrible, tragic incidents in American and Global history. I've seen photographs and
depictions of wars, conflicts and crimes against humanity. But I don't think anything will ever remain in my mind as vividly as this tragedy. As I sit writing this, there is a cool breeze blowing through my window. But unlike your average summer day, it is filled with smoke.

As I walked home with dozens of people, some crying, some shaken, some covered in soot, I felt an overwhelming need to be home with my family. Even those I knew were safe at home and no where near the disaster area. I called my father, sister, aunt, grandmother and cousins, and told them I loved them. I embraced co-workers and offered sympathy for those who lost loved-ones. I attempted to donate blood, but they were so overcrowded they turned
people away. And today, for the first time in ages, of my own freewill, I went into church, and cried. I cried again for those who died. I cried for their loved ones and I cried for all of us who lost a part of ourselves. Our sense of security, our livelihoods, our innocence, forever gone.

N. Johnson
Brooklyn, NY

Re:The Day Innocence Died (1, Redundant)

Pengo (28814) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282963)

I copied this from an AOL news-board, I hope the original author doesn't mind. I actually started crying when I started to read it and thought it was worth passing on to slashdot. (Yes, good things can come from AOL users! :)

God bless him, and god bless the souls of those in NYC. Your friends abroad (in Uk) have you in our prayers.

.mark

Please mod the parent up (0, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282970)

As someone who lost a relative on TWA 800 my heart goes out to all those killed in the plane crashes and in the Pentagon and WTC today.

Freedom will survive!

Re:The Day Innocence Died (2, Redundant)

MrEd (60684) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283099)

A well-written tale, to be sure.


I just get a little miffed by the title - One thing I have not seen at all on any of the network broadcasts yet is someone talking about "Why would someone want to do this?". When you ask that question, you can find many answers, answers that might shock you. The American government has done some pretty gruesome things in the name of "Democracy", and continues to do so. Innocent? The government, the corporations... no.


Americans are the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. They just seem to be completely oblivious to the world around them, except when wars or terrorists bring it home.


I'm not defending the terrorist attack. I just think that it needs to be looked at in a greater perspective.

time to nuke those towel head bastards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282914)

Fire the nukes, boys!

lost a friend (1, Flamebait)

Operandi (231803) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282916)

my girlfriend had a friend in one of the airplanes that went down. anyone who calls for forgiveness and not retaliation for this act should have to pick one of their friends to be killed and then see how they feel. fucking barbarians.

Re:lost a friend (1, Insightful)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282980)

The question is, what will retaliation accomplish? Sure, we'll feel all good about it in the longer term, but if we attack the terrorist(s) (if we figure out who exactly did this), that might just enrage other affiliated terrorists, making the terrorists will kill in retaliation martyrs. The things we need to do, and in this order (some sort of in parrallel):
1. Help save those trapped in the rubble
2. Beef up security against terrorists attacks (i.e. find out how the terrorists were able to hijack so many planes)
3. Find out who the terrorists are
4. Find out what they want/why they did this
5. Evaluate their rational (maybe we gave them cause, it's possible)
6. See if it's possible to both hold the leaders responsible and appease their demands if it's reasonable.

The key thing is a dialogue. If the terrorists want to complain about something to the US, and we just ignore them, then that could explain why the go to such drastic measurers.

F-bacher

Re:lost a friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283086)

So why did Hitler attack Czechloslovakia? Yes, let us have peace for our time. You f*cking idiot. You can't appease religeoug bigots. They will not rest until our way of life is destroyed.

Re:lost a friend (0)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283118)

The key thing is a dialogue. If the terrorists want to complain about something to the US, and we just ignore them, then that could explain why the go to such drastic measurers.

I fail to see your reasoning. If the terrorists decided they needed to kill 10,000 innocent people in the process of getting their point across, their cause wasn't just.

5. Evaluate their rational (maybe we gave them cause, it's possible)


cause? this now gives us cause to destroy the group that is behind this attack (the only rational thinking invloved is finding out the responsible party).

Losing close friends sucks, yes - BUT. (5, Insightful)

Troy2000 (103452) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282991)


my girlfriend had a friend in one of the airplanes that went down. anyone who calls for forgiveness and not retaliation for this act should have to pick one of their friends to be killed and then see how they feel. fucking barbarians.

Do you think innocent people aren't going to die when we retaliate? Do you think innocent people aren't going to die when the terrorists respond to our retaliation?

If our retaliation were to consist of 30 bullets to the heads of all terrorist leaders, thats great - I'm all for it. But I'm very weary of the words I'm already hearing from the pentagon - threats against any nation that harbors terrorists. That doesn't mean we're targeting terrorists, specifically, you know.

The obvious mechanical response to violence is more violence... but violence doesn't solve violence - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Re:Losing close friends sucks, yes - BUT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283095)

I agree with you.

We should wait for the terrorists to turn themselves in so that we can execute then.

Until then we should wait. Ghandi would be proud!

Re:Losing close friends sucks, yes - BUT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283106)

People living in Germany that allowed Hitler to come to power were not innocent, were they? "When they came for the Gypsie's, I said nothing, when they came for the homosexuals, I said nothing, when they came for the Jews, I said nothing, and when they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me ...."

Re:Losing close friends sucks, yes - BUT. (1)

xiaix (247688) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283111)

Are we referring to the "innocent people" who were dancing in the streets celebrating this "victory" ? Somehow I am finding it hard to be sympathetic to their plight, I guess I already used up all my sympathy on people who deserved it.

11th post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282921)

ya know, the trolls should be coming back right about now.

eggtroll : MIA
CmdrTaco on: Accounted for
AC's: MIA

I wasn't there in person... (4, Interesting)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282922)

but watching both buildings collapse on TV was crazy enough as is. I had been laying in bed trying to oversleep for my Poly Sci class, when my roomates mother called. My other roomate (I have 2) answered the phone, half-awake, and mumbled something about a terrorist attack in NY. I'm thinking that it's just one of my friends pulling a practicle joke, but I thought I'd turn on the TV to see. Every other station had a picture of the two WTC buildings on fire.

Now I'm thinking bombing, although it's kin dof strange that the bombs would go off near the top of the building. It was bad, but it didn't look like a significant number of people were going to be hurt/killed (significant > 300). Then of course, right before my eyes (and the reporter didn't even seem to notice, incidently), one of the towers just collapses, almost in slow motion. That's when it hit me - a lot of people just died.

Right before I went to my poly sci class, the other tower collapsed too. I had no idea what was going to happen next. Maybe a plane was heading for D.C. and going to hit the white house? Maybe that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was heading for Chicago (where I'm from). I'm just glad this wasn't even better planned out. Think, if they (whoever is behing this) hijacked planes in Chicago, San Fransico, Los Angeles, etc, a whole lot more people would be dead today.

F-bacher

A Perspective from Capitol Hill (4, Interesting)

hotseat (102621) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283131)

I was in one of the House of Representatives office buildings near the Capitol this morning, when the reports came in from New York and then from the Pentagon, across the river.

The place was pretty calm, but our Congressman ordered us to get out and later the whole building was evacuated. It was a fairly bizarre experience being on the Hill surrounded by all kinds of people (aides, politicans, interns like myself, senior officials from various places around for meetings) with us all being moved away from the Capitol (the presumed target of any attack on Capitol Hill itself) and told to get home, whilst simultaneously the entire city was gridlocked and the metro system suspended.

There wasn't blind panic, but there was a definite feeling in the air that we were a serious target if there were going to be more attacks. Fortunately, there were not, and I managed to get home soon after 12, once Union Station's metro stop had been reopened.

The scariest thing about the whole experience, though, was not the possibility of attack against Congress, but the certainty that the event will be used as justification both for additional killings ("We must strike back against those responsible for harbouring these terrorists"), probably without taking the time to find out who really did it (just look at the debacles over the Lockerbie bombing and the US missile attack on a Sudanese asprin factory) and also for a forfeiture of even more civil rights in the name of security.

Speaking as an outsider, but one who has been working within the US political system, I find both prospects deeply scary.

Tom

This is what i've been looking for (1)

neclimdul (252554) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282927)

I've been wanting to hear what happened from people. i'm just dreading the day when all of them are on the talk shows...

A name for today's attacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282929)

Given the date, and the several calls to emergency lines from hijacked aircraft, today's attacks may go down in history as the "911 attack".

whoa... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282931)

whoa....

World War III (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282932)

it's coming

read more (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282937)

doesnt work

First Person (1, Insightful)

talonyx (125221) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282939)

Wouldn't a FIRST PERSON REPORT of the attacks come from somebody NEAR THE WORLD TRADE CENTER when it happened?

Hell, I was alive when it happened, put MY story on slashdot!

EXACTLY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282968)

Can you say misleading?

Passengers on planes (5, Informative)

jhaberman (246905) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282940)

A lady I work with has a friend that had a daughter on one of the flights. She said that her daughter (the passengers) were allowed to call loved ones and say goodbye before the planes crashed. To think of that just makes me sick to my stomach. My thoughts and prayers are sent to all.


I'm off to give blood


Jason

Re:Passengers on planes (5, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283082)

According to one of the networks (I don't have any clue which at this point...), one of the stewards/stewardesses was able to call someone (IIRC, it was the airline), and told them teh exact seat number of the hijacker. Let's hope that this will help in figuring out who was responsible.

Gah.. open the floodgates (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2282948)

Open calling to all trolls and karma whores to make up stories or make an uncalled for mockery of this disaster.

Almost a witness (3, Informative)

Alpha_Geek (154209) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282952)

If I had woken up 1/2 hour earlier today I might have been at the Pentagon Bus Depot (other side of the building) when the plane crashed. That scares the hell out of me. I see that helipad every day when the bus is pulling up the the Metro stop at the Pentagon.

Another interesting thing for everyone. Apparently U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson's wife called him from her cell phone on the plane that crashed into the pentagon. Apparently the hijackers used knife-like weapons. Here is the link [akamaitech.net] .

Akamaitech.com - tragic coincidence (3, Informative)

coljac (154587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283070)

Akamai CTO was on one of the planes.

http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,46710, 00 .html

Feelings, comments, & more (1)

compupc1 (138208) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282954)

I'm not completely sure what to say here. I guess there were two thing that really troubled me. One was how many emergency response persons were killed after responding to the first crash. I have the deepest respect and reverence for the firefighter, police, military, emergency response, and volunteer persons that were killed. Secondly I am wondering why after the first crash, air traffic control staffers didn't throw up a red flag.

Oh, and at the time of posting, there have been 4953 comments posted on this topic.

Re:Feelings, comments, & more (2)

Locutus (9039) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283074)

> Secondly I am wondering why after the first
> crash, air traffic control staffers didn't throw
> up a red flag.

I agree. They should have a nation wide warning when a plane is hijacked. It wouldn't stopped this but it might have helped save the 200 or so emergency response people killed knowing that another plane was heading it's way and that this was deliberate.

Maybe not but this type of data should be distributed as quick as possible so SOMEONE can put the pieces together.....

:( It's a sad day indeed.

LoB

Low-tech attack (1)

p3bf (459005) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282964)

Be thankful this was a low-tech attack, and that the planes weren't delivery mechanisms for biological warfare. At least we have witnesses / survivors / first-person accounts.

Psychologically, the target choices are quite devastating (not only because of loss of life) but also due to patriotism and symbols / symbolism. I can think of targets of lower public profile that could have caused much more ultimate devastation.

Which makes one pause, does it not.

Amazing and yet unbelievable (2, Interesting)

quantax (12175) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282967)

I looked out my apt window this morning and saw guys wearing army fatigues with Colt M4's directing traffic. Once I managed to get my dialup to connect (kept dropping for obvious reasons) I stayed connected long enough to find out that two planes had flown into the WTC. From there, everything seemed to be fake. I mean, shit these are the two symbols of America. Who the hell could knock them down? Several hours later I walked downtown with a friend to see it all for myself. The streets were empty, eminating the feeling of loss. Once we got close enough, there were cars all over that were smashed to varying degrees, covered in dust, papers blowing across the streets. It was a scene out of a movie as many have said. Too bad it isnt. I hope swift justice comes for those who are resposible for this act of disgusting terrorism.

We are so sorry... (1)

Nubrian (160158) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282977)

I watched live from Australia last night everything that happend and it was the most frightening thing I have ever seen.

I am so sorry USA that something so dreadful has happend to you. There aren't words to describe how sad a day this is.

From across the river in NJ (4, Insightful)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282984)

It was about 8:55 that someone came into the noc, and said 'My mom just called, someone crashed an airplane into the world trade center'. I got up, and went down the hall to our executive conference room, which has a great view of NYC. To my shock, there was huge clouds of smoke billowing around the upper third of the building, and I could see flickers of flame comming from the huge hole. Someone in the office had a pair of binoculars, and I could see even more details. There was a bit of debate over how this happened, and if this was accidental or not. I was on the view that there was no way this could be an accident.

After looking at this sight for a few minutes, I went back to the NOC, and was informing coworkers of what I saw. Someone came in, and said "Another airplane hit the other building!". I ran down the hallways again, and sure enough, there was the flames and the fires. I felt sick, as I was sure this was not accidental. And one of my first thoughts was 'Bin Laden.'.

I don't really remember the next few minutes that well, but I do remember standing in an office nearby when the first building went down. Puffs of smoke were comming up from the bottom, and we all thought another bomb had gone off. Remember, at this time we were hearing reports of bombings at the capital, the pentagon, the mall, and the whitehouse. We all stood dumbly as the bulding fell, and I don't think anyone spoke. And a little after that, the other one came down. I did not see that one, for which I am glad. The sight of the first one is going to haunt me as long as I live I fear.

God help us, God help the victims, and God help those poor bastards who did this. Our revenge will be terrible.

My brother the federal employee in DC.. (3, Interesting)

drew_ri (236095) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282985)

My little (24 y/o) brother is a federal employee from Boston. He works for the Department of Energy, and was down in DC for work this week.

When I heard about the attack in DC I immediately freaked out. I tried calling his cell phone, only to find the cell switches flooded. I could only hope he was not near the Pentagon.

My mother finally did get in touch with him. He basically was told to evacuate the office, which was next to the Capital, and to go home. Unfortunately for him "home" was a hotel across from the Capital building.

He did call later with an update, he managed to take a train out of town and had to walk a long while to reach Georgetown U. He told mom that it was a completely surreal experience, with crowds running and walking aimlessly, while jet fighters were looming above.

I never was so scared for anyone's safety. Ironically, this AM my brother was in a seminar in public speaking and dealing with anxiety. I guess they picked the wrong day to run that class :/

My warmest wishes and prayers go out to those less fortunate.

Future of Encryption (and our civil rights)? (5, Insightful)

camusflage (65105) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282987)

I know it's just the INTP [ibiblio.org] in me talking, but I have to wonder what kind of civil rights atrocities we're going to be looking at in the days and weeks to come.

If you thought the FBI wiretapping Little Nicky Scarfo on only a search warrant was horrifying, consider the bully stick that will be bandied about now. Encryption is bad. Terrorists using encryption got past all our intelligence. Outlaw encryption now! If we didn't have to go through all that judicial rigamarole to keep an eye on terrorists, we would have done better. We promise we won't wiretap anyone without a magistrate's approval who doesn't really, really, REALLY deserve it.

As shocking and horrifying as what happened today is, and as unbelievable that the intelligence community knew nothing about it (or did they? [slashdot.org] ), I am scared shitless about what we have ahead of us.

Coincidence? (0, Offtopic)

loconet (415875) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282990)

In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb" , "The third big war will begin when the big city is burning" - Nostradamus 1654

Two brothers torn apart by Chaos=israel / palistine(or the 2 towers?)
while the fortress endures = whitehouse


Is this true? only time will tell

Re:Coincidence? (1)

coljac (154587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283083)

New York = City of God is a hell of a stretch.

Re:Coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283098)

A bit presumtious to call New York the 'City of God'. The place doesn't exactly inspire holiness now, does it ?

Re:Coincidence? (4, Insightful)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283112)

Shove Nostrodamus up your nostrils. This is real. He lived in a fictional, fantastic world. Don't get the two confused.

The plane that went down in PA (2, Interesting)

mR SlIcK (463372) | more than 13 years ago | (#2282995)

After all that happened today, what I wanted to do was get my ass home and try to find out as much information as I could. No one I know lives around the areas that were hit, but it was a huge event that will be remembered for years. Then I got a call from my aunt. Her daughter's husband was camping in Somerset county. She said he was within about 2 miles of the actual crash site. I coudn't believe it! He said he was going to remain camping there though, knowing him I wasn't surprised. It was quite a strange feeling knowing he was so close. I know him pretty well because I did work for him for a bit last summer. He owns Netsville (www.netsville.com). Today is a very sad day....

Life imitating Hollywood again? (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283002)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005221K/ qid=1000253354/sr=2-8/ref=aps_sr_d_3_2/102-5341976 -1662552

Yes, the movie The Seige. Noteworthy is the comment by one of the user-written reviews. "The story is implausible"

This whole ordeal seems unreal.

level heads (5, Insightful)

niloroth (462586) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283003)

I realize this is slightly off topic, but none the less.

If anyone remembers after the OKC bombing everyone thought it was Arabs (specificly muslums), and there were instances of violence agains Arabic Americans. We do not know yet who did this, and even if it does turn out to be Arabs, or Muslums, please make it a point to speak out against any type of retaliation agains Arabs and Muslums in the US. No more inocent people need to suffer for the actions of a few extremists. We all need to make sure that freedom in this country survies through this disaster. It almost scares me that things like this need to be writen, but humanity being what it is, I figure it can't hurt.

Thank you
Justin

Re:level heads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283115)

Whether or not the palestinians did this, they should pay the price for jeering and cheering the loss of life in the streets.

What you can do now. (4, Insightful)

quakeslut (107512) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283008)

Here in Manhattan I watched the two towers go down from the street outside my apartment. Unbelievable, what more can you say?

I ran downtown to be of some use, and made my way deep into the financial district shortly after the second building collapsed. Large groups of us volunteers gathered, waiting for instructions, but unless you were a doctor or CPR certified, there was not much you could do. A few of us volunteered to give blood, and we were put on a bus that led us through the carnage of the area surrounding the towers. Inches of ash and soot. Entire blocks covered in papers, most halfway burnt. Eventually, we were rerouted, and taken to Saint Vincent's medical center to donate, but turned away due to the incredible volume of people willing to donate.

I'm planning to donate tomorrow, and if you live in Manhattan, please do so as well.

In the meantime, despite all the horrendous acts of the past 12 hours--all the heartache, all the loss of life--please, let's try to keep a level head about things. If we go off bombing another country, there will most likely be civilian casualties there as well--what more evidence do we need to see that life is precious? I saw too many dying people carted in on stretchers at St. Vincent's today.

Even if they die in another country, they are still people, and bleed red like you and me.

Fear for friends lives (0)

pngwnpwr (115518) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283009)

I have good friends in and around the Pentagon and a good part of today was spent in fear for their lives. While watching the disaster unfold in NYC I thought of my friends in DC almost immediatly. The first message I sent (via ymessenger) was "Get the hell out of DC" which went unanswered. My friends did get out of DC, the story of my best friends "escape" is actually interesting but I do not have the ability to tell it right now. My story is nothing compared to others so I will stop this now. Forgive me for this mess of a post, I thought I could do this but right now I cannot. Just very sorry for the people who lost friends and family today. One thing is certain, this country will never be the same. Best wishes to those who are going through hell right now.

I found out from Penny Arcade (5, Insightful)

The Artificial Kid (520277) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283018)

I'm from australia. I got up at ten to seven this morning and logged on. I went to penny arcade for a dose of the funny and I found an image that said "We don't feel like talking about computer games right now. Our hearts go out to anyone involved in this God awful tragedy" with a link to CNN.com. I followed the link, expecting a joke, or a hoax page or something. I began reading down a bulleted list of the appalling things that had happened and immediately scanned the page for some sign that it was all made up. Some 'CNN.com@*****' or ANYTHING to tell me that this wasn't real news about the real world. It was off the human scale. It was something you simply couldn't imagine happening. I called my girlfriend into the room to have a look and she said 'bullshit' then began to read the story, our fear growing in unison as we learned of the terrible events. We went directly to a local news site to get some corroboration and there it was, large as life. We had been about to leave for a walk to the beach and back before breakfast. We bought the Sydney Morning Herald on our way down the hill and there was a picture of the World Trade Centre with its guts spraying into the street on the bow of a flowering, orange explosion. There were the faces caked with plaster and concrete dust and the fires. There were the words of desperate fear and shock. There was the disaster. We took the paper to the beach and sat on the steps above the sand for ten minutes holding each other and reading the stories. My eyes filled with tears not for the victims (whose suffering is too distant and unimaginable for me to understand) but for a human race that could do this to itself, that could produce to groups whose only desire was to do the worst possible things to each other. It is something monumentally sad to me, that faced with the beauty of life we could squander it on violence and destruction. Even the world trade centre towers themselves seemed timeless when I visited them two years ago. Now they are simply gone, forever. Unimaginable. A little while after me, my girlfriend's eyes began to water and I held her. Then we dried off, picked up the paper and walked home. This is a terrible thing, and americans should know that their horror and shock is ahared by many around the world.

USA was asking for this to happen. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283020)


8 years passed by us so quickly and nothing was done to improve America's military. People who ignorantly wanted an immediate cruise-missile attack would discover that our cruise-missile stock is at 33% of capacity from its over use in our previous president's term. The terrorists, I may add, were not brilliant in their attack. They could've dumped Anthrax in the drinking water aqueducts, but made their approach more memmorable. USA must improve itself and think of how it has been acting these past years. Be thankfull we have a good, new president

That's what happens. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283023)

This was clearly a strike against the Jews, Zionists in particular, and their principle supporters in the American banking and Federal institutions. It was clearly retaliation for the US' pro-Israel, pro-Zionist policy in the Middle East. Guess what?

That's what you get. What goes around comes around. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, etc.

I, as an American, am disgusted that the US has allowed itself to be hijacked by people like Donald Rumsfeld, Madeleine Albright, James Rubin, William Cohen, Richard Holbrooke, Joseph Lieberman, and the zillions of other Jews that work collectively to ensure America's undying support for a country that murders innocent people (in the name of pro-active self-defense).

This was no surprise, and maybe it'll make a few people realize that we, as a nation, shouldn't be sticking our collective nose in the Middle East, where it doesn't belong.

light a candle, say a prayer, give some blood (2, Insightful)

brood (126904) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283027)

The people who executed this attack are now as dead as the victims. That's one of the worst things about these suicide bombings, who do you blame, who do you retaliate against? Maybe they were the ones that planned the whole thing in the first place, maybe they weren't. As of this moment all we can do is try our best to help the victims who are still alive, and say a prayer for the departed. My condolences go out to those who have lost a loved one.

My Own Experience (1)

TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283028)

I was in school in White Plains, NY... half the student body was already in the auditorium because the teachers were on strike... Then we were told about the attacks. The administration said "The best and safest place for you to be right now is home." The administration of this school being morons, that of course meant that we would get to sit in the auditorium for another hour or so. Then we went to various classrooms, where we watched a horrible reception of CBS 2 for an hour and a half. Finally they just let everyone go.

There was a bus there to take kids into the downtown area, and I got on it so I could take the bus home from downtown White Plains. I had about an hour to wait for the bus, so I went inside "The Westchester", a high-class mall where I usually wait around for these buses. Most of the stores were closed down, and then there was an announcement that the mall was being evacuated.

I went to another mall "The Galleria", not so high-class (someone was shot and killed there last year), and thirty minutes later they closed that down too. The bus was coming soon, so I walked over to the bus station. On the way there I passed the big courthouse building, entirely surrounded by police and yellow tape.

I got off the bus in my hometown and my mother was there to pick me up. She works at a hospital and said she had to go right back after taking me home, because they were waiting for casualties from the attack. This is about 50 miles away from NYC.

I tried to turn on the TV to get some news. I don't have cable, and all I can get is CBS channel 2. Everyone else must have been broadcasting from the big antenna....

There are a lot of pictures and movies of the attack here: http://www.fxracer.com/trade [fxracer.com]

Especially look for pictures WTC55 and WTC56 and one or two more around there. People were jumping out of the building.

Tim

If they want new blood supplies... (-1, Troll)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283029)

...just stick a siphen in the middle of the WTC rubble! I'll bet there's just piles and piles of ripe, juicy organs spewing their red, life-giving gold into the charred metal and crumbling concrete. And chances are that the blood is heated, too! Gee, I hope that Count Dracula doesn't find out! A tee hee hee!

Re:If they want new blood supplies... (1)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283045)

This is the most disturbing post I have ever read on slashdot. I know some people need to use humor to deal with crisis (I commented earlier to a friend that 20,000 people died and I get a day off of school [I wasn't laughing]), but this is just aweful. Ascii porn and goatse.cx links are inappropriate, this is down right morally repugnant. You really could offend someone. Hell, I'm really offended. It does a diservice to the memory of the people who died and doesn't take into account the graveness of the situation.

F-bacher

Re:If they want new blood supplies... (-1, Offtopic)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283129)

I'm sorry, but I'm just feeling so goddamned silly. This whole event is just such a shock, and just so fucked-up on such a grand scale. I mean, this is like Oklahoma City times a billion. I live in DC. I have friends in New York. The whole situation is FUBAR out the ass. And if posting offensive crap on /. helps me vent, well fuck you and your mom.

And think about what my post says. It's the truth, isn't it? That's what I've been thinking about... the bodies, buried in a grave of office building debris... the people screaming as jet fuel boiling away their flesh... the lucky few who were turned into human puree in the .5 second that it took for the fireball to eviscerate the building... the souls who lept from the roof, and are now only so much gooey paste on the streets... the firefighters and police officers who ran in to help, and then though "Oh, shit..." as the builind collapses beneath them... the people who were on the streets shopping, or kissing, or reading as firey death in the form of 747 parts rains down from above. Just think about all of the gore. Think about the gallons of blood and charred bones that lie beneath the World Trade Center.

It's fucking disturbing, isn't it?

Well it's reality. And it should help you realize the enormity of the tragedy. Like how I was vaguely pro-choice until I read about exactly how a abortion is actually performed. People need to think about the carnage. And wake up.

And the media circus! The endless loop of footage and bullshit analysis from the "news" agencies. The countless "terrorism experts" who look as if they're stifling grins, who are thrilled at the attentino they're getting. Bitchy little reporters covered un dust, trying to fix their hair as they recite absolutely pointless monologues. It makes the situation all the more FUBAR.

Sincere Condolences (2, Interesting)

MarkOShark (254729) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283030)

I'm in New Zealand, and am watching the unfolding events over the Internet. I feel sick in the stomach at what I've seen and the senselessness of it.

My greatest condolences to all those familys and friends who have lost loved ones, and my prayers and wishes of support for those who don't know yet. I don't have the words to tell you how much compassion I feel towards the people involved - those who have died, survivors, loved ones and emergency providers who have to pick up the pieces.

I believe that people the world over are equally as shocked and supportive as I am.

I can only hope that justice and cool heads will prevail in the events to come; that those responsible will receive their punishment; and that further innocent people are not hurt.

CNN Live Feed audio reflector (1)

Turnesol (55609) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283042)

CNN Live Feed audio reflector


A sound feed for all those people who dont have access to CNN


server1 [shoutcast.com]
server2 [shoutcast.com]

Message to Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283044)

I think it's about high time we looked into what is so wrong with this country that people feel so inclined to attack it. Mourning is a nice gesture, but if we don't stop and examine the sanity of our Middle Eastern policies as well as our activities in the rest of the world, the death will continue.

experience from earlier today (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283046)

From Sahara, in the East Village, NYC.

I woke up to the sound of the first plane flying overhead. I said to myself "wow that sounds like it is pretty low" then I heard it crash and jumped out of bed.I watched the first building collapse from the roof. Took pictures of it. People were jumping out of the windows of the towers because they could not evacuate in time. My whole neighborhood was on the rooftops. When the buildings collapsed, the whole village screamed all at once. People were up there screaming and yelling and crying. I helped this old woman call her friends that live and work there who she could not reach. She was hysterical. My landlord's brother was in one of the towers. Most of the phone lines are down, including cell phones which have lost their towers. Subways, busses, bridges, tunnels, trains were all closed. Now some of it exiting Manhattan has been opened. Six NYU dorms were evacuated and all the people living in them were herded into a gym.There was an amazing migration of people north through the streets.The area looks like an apocalypse. Everything is grey and cloudy and there is 5 inches of debris on the ground. It looks like it is snowing. City hall looks like it is standing in a desert. Police were going up and down the streets yelling into loudspeakers. I'm so used to hearing sirens now, it is like birds chirping. They are concerned now of biological weapons so hopefully the wind won't shift and blow smoke my way.Third building just fell. They fear more because they are on fire and can't seem to get them out.All schools closed. All hospitals filled. They need more blood. Death toll has been climbing all day.

A dark stain on my soul I'll never get to erase (1, Troll)

MSisNOT4Sale (183186) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283048)

I have unrelenting sympathy for the people and the families affected by this. This is not only a wakeup call but actually a call to arms to those who are against the people of the U.S.

I was there today at work, roughly 10 miles from the world trade center when it all went down. I was on the roof of our office watching the whole thing. The buildings disappeared in front of my eyes. I saw with my own two eyes the second plane slamming into the second tower. I almost cried and shook. Later on I heard reports of people jumping out of windows to escape fiery deaths. If you were at ground zero, you could pick out the people falling.. is that the father who wouldn't be coming home to dinner? Or how about that girl, will she make tonight's date?

Whoever had done this accomplished nothing except ruining and killing thousands of lives and pissing off millions of people. If you think that the U.S. was not very popular in the Middle East, think of what will happen to them here in our backyard. This attack is magnitudes larger than Pearl Harbor and we were at war back then. If the Bush administration calls something other than war then there will be a huge backlash against arabs and people of the middle east here.

For what it's worth, the middle east should be turned into a sandbox. But something was sombering today, if they had nuked NYC, I would've been dead. I was due smack dab between the two towers at 8:40 this morning but I woke up late for work

Summary of Bush's address tonight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283049)

"Payback's a bitch, Mohammed."

Summary of events in NYC today... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283128)

"Payback's a bitch, America."

Link to previous post along same lines (2)

krital (4789) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283050)

Just to let y'all know, I had a previous post along these lines and figured that it was relevant:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=21544&cid=2279 948 [slashdot.org]
When I woke up this morning, I heard sirens going off all over the place. I had no idea what was going on, but as soon as I got up my roommate was running into the room yelling about the Pentagon being bombed. We looked out our window and saw black smoke billowing out across the city, and decided to see what it was.
There were all manner of different people clustering to see what was going on - there were tourists from Russia, reporters, agents from every conceivable branch of the government en route to the Pentagon. We saw a number of generals standing in the shade outside of it, and there were military personnel all over the place. Most of the streets were blocked off, too. Pennsylvania Avenue was strangely devoid of traffic, and I know that at this point they aren't letting anything remotely near the White House.
I figured that I'd add that there have been a number of bomb threats going off around the city - most notably to me at the Marvin Center at the George Washington University, because that's where I tend to get food. They evacuated the Center and shut down the entire school for the day - you can see the University's warning message at http://www.gwu.edu/~virtual/message.html [gwu.edu]
Oh yes, and while I was walking to and from the Pentagon, my friends and I happened to see - or at least we believe we did - Marine 1, the President's personal chopper. Seeing as he wasn't in DC at the time, it was probably Cheney or some other officials checking out the damage. It was a damn sight to see - the chopper was accompanied by a fighter plane, and it is ENOURMOUS. The thing is easily bigger than you'd ever think it could be.

SSSCA and Terrorism (4, Offtopic)

mikers (137971) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283052)

This might be important in a while - not right now... But

The SSSCA seeks to limit our copying and mirroring of copyrighted content. It would have been impossible to mirror news and events (pictures, view, text) from content owners such as ABCNEWS.COM (Disney) and MSNBC.COM (Microsoft) today if all hardware was locked down.

Seeing as these content owners (ABCNEWS.COM) were not able to keep the information flowing, shouldn't content controls be easily circumventable in times of crisis? Isn't the fact that all these news sites were down testiment to the fact that the SSSCA is a bad idea? Where would we be without individuals mirroring and copying information when the major news portals were down?

I obtained a lot of my info from mirrors today - not the major sites. Thank goodness for the individuals who mirrored information from the major news sites. I hope that in a few years time they will be able to do the same should another trajedy like this occur.

My Neighbor Survived (5, Informative)

Royster (16042) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283057)

His office was on the 30th floor of 3 World Trade Center (not one of the towers). His office faced the towers and he saw both planes hit. The explosion from the second blew out all of the windows in his buildings. He saw burning people
jumping out of the towers and strike the ground. He was outside a few hundred yards from the towers when the first one fell. He dove into a subway entrance as a black clould of ash and debris came rolling across the plaza. His friend broke his ankle in the dive for safety.

He knows of 10 friends who lost their lives today. Two of those are friends he grew up with.

His account is horrific. He saw someone dismembered by the falling debris just a few yards from where he was.

What a phone call (4, Insightful)

AntiFreeze (31247) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283062)

At around 9am this morning, I got a frantic phone call from my boss. He said that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, and had taken out fifteen stories. I listened in disbelief. Our office is a mere five blocks north of the trade center, and I am there almost every day. Today, I am in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Then I heard an explosion over the phone, as my boss excalimed "Oh my God! There was just a second explosion, this has to be a terrorist attack!" He had to run -- for hopefully obvious reasons -- and I have not been able to contact him since.

This isn't informative in any way, but I simply wanted to put it in writing. If you read this, thanks for hearing me out. Sometimes just writing out what you feel is quite helpful. Most of my family is in New York, and so are most of my business aquiantances. I have no idea how they are all doing, nor how soon I will be able to return. To everyone else going through this uncertainty right now, I wish you the best of luck.

3 miles away from pa site (0)

NecroN (17120) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283063)

I'm a mere 3 miles away from the site of the Pennsylvania crash site and it's nuts. I've never seen this many cops in my rural town of Shanksville. Roads are shut down for a 2 mile radius. Thank heavens it came down in an old strip mine where no houses were. 2.5 miles to the south and it would have landed in a commuinty on a large lake. 3 miles and it would have landed on my house. Lets offer our support to the lost and families of the lost.

I was right by the Pentagon (1)

Godfather (12225) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283064)

I'll try and make this short, the President just came on..

But me and my roommate where on our way to Pentagon City when the plane hit the Pentagon.
I said, hey isnt that plane flying to low?

Then the next thing I know there was a huge explosion and fire was billowing out of the pentagon. Needless to say it was a sobering experience..I never really thought that something like this could happen in this area..

Go here for first hand accounts.... (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283066)

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking_point /newsid_1537000/1537530.stm

FooGoo

We must overcome.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283067)

In these troubling times, all of humanity must overcome our differences and unite. In this trajedy something in all of us was lost.

Sometimes it takes the worst to bring about the best in human beings. Hopefully good will come out of this horrific act.

What do you say? (1)

Halster (34667) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283068)

I sit here, a world away from this most disgusting and disheartening tragedy, just wondering what to say.

Last night Australian time, somebody told me that two planes had crashed into the WTC. I could barely believe it, but on the radio in my car it was confirmed.

I returned home in time to watch the ABC (US) coverage, and was shocked by just how unprepared and shocked the reporters were.

Almost everybody that spoke (both in the US and in Australia) had very shaky voices. I even had to get myself a 'stiff drink' because I was so shaken by what I could barely believe was happening.

It's hard to express anything without resorting to cliches, but I just hope, maybe against hope that the estimates of casualities aren't as bad as we all think, because it would be the only silver lining to this cloud that will hang over the US, and (trust me), the rest of the world for a very long time.

I was there (5, Informative)

richieb (3277) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283080)

I work in a building on Water St, probaby less than a mile from WTC. I was complaining to a coworker about the corporate proxy server being down, when someone said "A plane crashed into the World Trade Center".

I also thought, what a horrible accident, but I assumed that it was a private airplane. Today was a beautiful day to fly after all(I'm a private pilot).

From one corner of our floor on 48th floor, we get a clear view of the towers. We all went there. The north tower was on fire and there were papers floating in the air. I was trying to find out what kind of airplane caused the fire.

While standing there, I caught a sight of another airplane, a twin engine jet, it was banking to right. It came, what seemed like slightly below where we were and smashed straight into the other tower. A huge fire ball went up covering almost the entire upper third of the tower. Then it was gone and the second tower was on fire.

A second or so later, we heard the explosion and felt out building shake. At this point we all realized that this was no accident and we all ran to get out of the building.

As the elevators were full we ran down the staircase and then got out on the street.

Since clearly there would be no further work today, I decided to walk to Brooklyn to my mother-in-laws house. When I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge we saw F-15s circling high over New York.

Just as I reached the middle of the bridge we heard a crash. I turned around and saw the huge tower of World Trade Center collapse....

I feel horrible...

...richie

what you can do (5, Insightful)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283087)

if you're wondering what you can do I have a couple of ideas for you.
1. give blood. the local red cross nationwide will be holding blood drives tomorrow if they haven't managed to start today. Don't bother going to the red cross site its attackdotted. just look up the red cross in your white pages. or go to the mall thats where my local is holding their drive tomorrow (thr first of many)

2. you can give money if you can't give blood. its easy too. I don't know about other places but hear in southeastern virginia you can go to Food Lion (local big box grocery store) at the register there are 1$, 3$, and 5$ coupons that can be scanned and add the amount to your bill. instantly you've given the red cross money to help.

I've already given my 5 bucks and tomorrow am heading for the mall to give blood. I suggest we all do the same.

I'm not military but I work on base. NAS Oceana in va beach VA. my entire community is in shock. we are the largest military town in the world and also a huge target. schools are closed businesses are closed streets are empty as family members say goodbye to sailors, soldiers and airmen as they are called into duty. the aircraft carriers that are underway for new york and D.C. are based here. I've probably served them a hamburger. (yes, mcdonalds) don't know if I'm going to work tomorrow or not.this is all too bizarre.

3. Lastly. most importantly, we should keep a level head, put aside our differences and back our president no matter how much we may dislike him. (card carrying democrat here) now is not a time for finger pointing and antagonism.

President's speech at 8.30 (-1, Troll)

hebertrich (472331) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283092)

What speech ?
He said nothing .
Niet zero.

In my opinion he just lost any chance to be reelected ! What a WIMP !
This one should be thrown out of office TONIGHT !
FIRE THIS ASSHOLE !

Re:President's speech at 8.30 (3, Redundant)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283102)

The parent comment will be modded to flamebait... but I think I have to agree with it.

There was nothing said in that statement. As usual, Bush couldn't even read it properly.

At least we're going to go after 'em...

DC Aftermath (1)

th3walrus (191223) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283096)

I live just outside of DC and work closer in to the city. My fiancee woke me up with the news that the Pentagon was attacked. I don't think I've ever jumped out of bed so quickly. We sat around watching the news for about 3 hours until I finally had to go into work. I told my fiancee to stay inside today and that I'd keep in touch with her throughout the day. I work out near Dulles airport which was where the plane that crashed into the Pentagon took off from. It's just terrifying to think that just yesterday these terrorists were walking the streets where I live.

I made my way into work up route 66 toward DC. The sky was filled with emergency and police helicopters. Every 5 minutes or so a cop/FBI/Secret Service car would fly up the HOV lane towards DC with it lights on. The lanes going into DC were almost empty, but suprisingly the lanes coming out of DC weren't all that bad (although a lot worse than normal for that time of the day). I got into work and our building was on security alert. The doors were locked and almost everyone had gone home already. Not many of the people around the building really talked about the situation. It hit too close to home for all of us here in DC. Even things that came about due to consequences of the attacks (schedule changes, etc.) were talked about as if they had nothing to do with any attack.

Coming back home tonight was so strange. At a time when the highway is normally packed full of cars, there were actually very few cars. Everyone had already gotten home to their families.

We have many friends that work at the Pentagon, as many people who live in DC do. Haven't heard from anyone yet, but I'm sure it's been a busy day for them. I just hope that nothing like this happens again for the rest of my life.

It'll be a long time before the DC area, and really the world, will be back to normal.

Completely Insane (1)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283097)

I heard about the first hit en route to work and thought little of it. When I got in and then found out about not only the second attack and the Pentagon strike, I just could not believe it. Every single person in our office that could get a connection had feeds from various websites.

I work in the only skyscraper in the Chicago suburbs, just 10 miles from downtown, and about the same distance from O'hare. There I was just thinking that 10 miles ain't that far away from another high profile target like the Sears Tower.

The elevators were jam packed with folks getting out of the building, and while the building did not officially evacuate, our company did decide for everyone to leave. I honestly think it was the wisest course of action.

We can only wonder right now where that plane that crashed in PA was headed, and while I feel for the loss of the lives of the people on that plane, I am glad in the sense that it did not hit its target.

I have my problems with the policies of the US government at times. But dammit, this is our country, and god help whoever is responsible for this. They best be on good terms with their God, for they are going to soon be meeting him, and us.

Blame Adequacy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283103)

BLAME ADEQUACY

Times have changed.
The trolls are getting worse.
They won't obey the admins,
They just want to spam and curse!

Should we blame the Geekizoid?
Or Slashdot 2.3?
Should we be blaming Kuro5hin's Rusty?

No! Blame Adequacy!
Blame Adequacy!
With their flaming little whines,
And trolling posts so full of lies!

Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
It's the trolls' brand new assult,
And it's Adequacy's fault!

Don't blame Slash,
For my friend Jim,
He went to Adequacy,
And now he acts like Michael Simms!

All my other friends,
Would never have acted like rats,
But now they're indistinguishable from Katz!

Well, blame Adequacy!
Blame Adequacy!
It seems the trolls have gotten long,
Since Adequacy came along!
Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
They're not even a cool website anyway.

My friends were once the very very best of karma whores,
But now they're ranting raving frothing trolling right-wing bores!

Should we blame the spammers,
Or those who moderate?
Or should we sit around and masturbate?

No way!

Blame Adequacy! Blame Adequacy!
Self-righteous trolling that we see,
And that bitch "nakedac",

Blame Adequacy,
Shame on Adequacy,
The nerds we must herd,
The crap we must tap,
The trolls at that place,
Must all be erased,
The fascists we see must all cease to be,
Before somebody thinks of blaming me!

It wasn't a Cesna? (1)

implex (468133) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283105)

I stumbled down the hall. My bags were packed by the door for my flight out at noon. I had been woken by the TV. Strange, me never watch TV in the mornings. The last time we did was the Santana High school shootings. It was just down the street.

My wife was glued to the set, her face illumined by the glow of the TV. It was only just after 6am in Southern California. With out looking at me she said an airplane had ran into one of the WTC Towers. I couldn't see the TV at the angle I was standing.

I mused out loud "Must have been a Cesna or something. Nothing big would ever get near downtown New York." I wondered if the people in my New York Office could see it, they are only a couple of blocks from there.

I move closer to the TV and can see more. "That wasn't no f*cking Cesna!" The smoking gaping whole in the first tower was black and ragged. It was at that moment that the second plane came into shot, tearing into the other tower. I think my jaw did actually drop. Last June I had been in New York. I had been in that tower.

A sense of dread seemed to fill me. What had just happened. Terrorists? Obviously. Then the news of the Pentagon. How long later was it when I reeceived a call from my boss "You heard?" "Yeah." "We're closing the office today. And cancel your flight out."

The rest of the day has been flipping channels and reading news accounts... Does this sh*t have a point?

You've got to be kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2283108)

This qualifies as a "first person account" worthy of such prominant display? Perhaps you'd like my "first person account" of watching the towers collapse on TV. Shesh, this is the best you could do?

A Third Person Report (4, Insightful)

SteveM (11242) | more than 13 years ago | (#2283135)

My cousin, Maryann, worked in the WTC for the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

She was on her way to work, on a bus in NYC, when she saw the first plane hit. She, and the others on the bus thought it was an accident.

Then she saw the second plane hit and realized it was no accident.

She got out of the bus and started walking north. She went to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, but it was closed. As she worked for the Port Authority, they let her in to sit a while. She is short and overweight, and not used to all that walking.

She then heard that trains were leaving from Penn Station. So she walked on down and got on a very crowded train.

She didn't want to go home and be alone, so she went to my parent's who live a couple of miles from her home.

She told her story to my mom and dad. And cried and cried. She had worked there for over thirty years. She doesn't know how many of her freinds and coworkers are dead. She does know that her best friend is alive. She can't get the images out of her head.

Eventually her husband made it home and took Maryann to their house. Other cousins and friends came over to be with her, and a doctor cousin brought her a sedative.

It turns out one of the planes hit the floor she worked on.

I have not spoken with Maryann. My parents told me this story, thus it is a third hand story.

My parents and my cousins live in NJ. I live in NJ. I work in Torrance, CA. I fly out and back ever other week, Philadelphia to LA. My boss flies out every week to LA from Newark. It is possible that he and/or I new some of the flight crew (we've been back and forth for several years now). I'm sure I'll be quite nervous when I fly home, and each time I fly for quite some time to come.

I am a regular blood donor and last gave blood last Tuesday. Please give blood if you are able. Thanks.

Steve M

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