October 10, 2001

The Commons of the Tragedy: How the Internet was used by millions after the terror attacks

Voices from the commons

Personal accounts

An eyewitness account

johnreinan on The Well

Tue 11 Sep ’01

This is an eyewitness account from a friend of mine. He e-mailed it to another friend, who forwarded it to me.  I’m not able to contact my friend to get his permission to post this, so I’m leaving off his name. But I know he won’t mind if I pass it along.

I keep playing this back in my head, and it just did not seem real, nor would I ever could have imagined a series of events happening such as this morning. It is true, everything seemed to be in slow motion. I arrived here Sunday night with my wife, she was going to spend the whole week with me. This week is my birthday. I reported to [xxxx] and [xxxx] yesterday at 200 liberty street for the next phase of the Wall Street Journal Redesign. Monday we just came up with the workload for the next few weeks, and built some page designs.  I came back to the hotel at midtown had dinner with my wife [xxxx], where we discussed our days events and plans for tomorrow. [My wife] said she want to come in with me to the downtown area on Tuesday morning and visit the top of the World Trade Center. She found a 2 dollar discount coupon. The next morning we both ate breakfast and my wife decided she was not feeling well enough to join me this morning. So I left for work this morning at 8 a.m. I got on the number 9 train from Times Square, and read a chapter in my book. Before you know it, it was 8:40 a.m. and I was at the World Trade Center station at Cortland Street. I got off the train walked up to the street exit and right as I saw daylight, I heard a huge explosion and then many pieces of metal debris, some the size of car hoods, were falling all around myself and a very large crowd of people. We all responded by trying to go back in the train station exit, but there were too many people trying to exit, and so we all squeezed against the side of the world trade center. After a while the debris stopped falling we crossed liberty street, and looked up and saw the first tower engulfed in flames, eye witnesses said a plane crashed into the building high up. Then to my horror, I started seeing people jump to their deaths. As each person fell, I started praying. Many people fell, and we were not sure where to go or what to do. Then a loud noise of an aircraft became apparent, and I remember seeing a large airline jet smash into the next tower, followed by many flaming pieces falling all around us and many people being struck by debris and flaming pieces. I ran into an entryway of the building across the street and seeing many pieces of debris take out windows. Plus a large crowd outside being hit as they were on their way to work as pedestrians. At that point the police ordered a mass evacuation, and I remember thinking this was a terrorist act, it is just too coincidental too be anything but I decided to just start running north up Broadway, by the time I reach Chambers street, I kept trying phones to call my wife and say I was ok, nothing was working, all circuits busy, cell phone did not work. So I just got on a train and ran to my hotel room, my wife was in tears, I was shaking like a leaf. I was still shaking and very sad, then I witnessed the towers falling on the news channel, and I just stood there in disbelief. I am sad, angry, nervous, happy to be alive, but humbled by others deaths today. (all at the same time). I cant get the visions of bodies falling, I still pray for their families, the world will never be the same again. I am very sorry to be writing this actually.

A grief shared

LadyMarchHare on Beliefnet.com

9/30/01 4:22 PM

I cry at strange times in strange places and at the strangest triggers. Today I went grocery shopping and started crying when I noticed the biggest selling Halloween costume: A rack of Firefighter costumes. Kids want to be like their heroes and many kids have seen and decided that wrestlers and cartoon characters, comic book characters aren’t heroic enough for them anymore. I cried while I watched a little boy try on the helmets. Right there in the store. Is it just me?

A call for revenge

musicman on the Well

2001-09-12

Uno what, heres how I’d repay the act. For each floor on the WTC towers – a total of 220 floors right ? ok one nuke for each floor. Thats 220 warheads, lets get rid of the evil in this world – The Middle East!  Come on George W, show us your Texan attitude and make them pay!!!!

A call for calm

app2bcom on the Well

Tue 11 Sep ’01 (11:33 AM)

I fully expect we will be living under martial law before the sun sets and perhaps for an extended period of time.  Now THAT is scary.  Please don’t join the knee-jerk, hell-bent-on-revenge lynch mob that is already boiling up.  In fact I would suggest that we all do whatever we can to quell any such continuing escalation of blind terror.  Keep your heads, people. Get the facts. Don’t believe the Corporate Media. Seek out independent investigative journalism.  It Does Exist!

A warning against discrimination

master of spergulismo on the Well

Tue 11 Sep ’01

So how do you expect this to be accomplished without giving the control addicts in our government the tools they want to suppress whoever they feel like? Whose civil liberties are going to have to go so that we can all be safe?   Who gets to choose who’s in a “terrorist” organization, and therefore may be suppressed?   Remembering that our response to Pearl harbor was to lock up every American citizen with Japanese ancestry.  And this suppression was used by many businessmen as an opportunity to buy up their homes and businesses at pennies on the dollar. Are we now going to blame all Palestinians (including the couple who own the store across the street from me and who are just as appalled as I am)?   Are all Muslims now suspect? When you so eagerly call for the “elimination” of certain people, don’t we first want to make sure they were involved?   Once again we see how easy it is to blame all of the “other” for the acts of a few.   And we don’t even know who those few are.

A word of consolation from afar

Psanner on the Well

Sept. 11, 2001

Deepest condolences to you

Hi there, i am german, and following the news since 1pm CET. I was sleeping as this is the second day of my long awaited vacation. When i wake up and switched on the tv the first thing i saw was the first tower collapsing. My first thought was “hey guy – wake up from that bad dream here”. Me and my wife still can’t believe it. We hope that the tragedy does not spread any further as already enough hurt has been produced. Our deepest fears are that extreme counter reactions will happen now! Can this be the first step to a war? OK, let’s stop that thought!