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My daughter had recently graduated from college and she was truly moving away from home the next week. I wanted to do something special with her so I decided to take her along on a motorcycle trip through Wyoming and Colorado. It was sure to be an unforgettable trip.

We were in a motel in Thermopolis, WY, packing the bike and getting ready for the day's ride, as the awful 9/11 scenes unfolded on tv. "We are now at war!", one of the news people exclaimed after a WTC tower collapsed.

My immediate concern was whether we should continue the trip or beeline for home. Was a nationwide calamity about to envelope us all? Would the power grid be disabled making travel impossible? Would I ever see my family again? Not wanting to alarm my daughter, I kept my questions to myself. Neither one of us had much to say.

As we toured northern Colorado it was obvious that things were different. Atop the high passes, people were looking skyward...half of them looking for airplanes that weren't there and the others looking for more ominous and dangerous things. It was there that I decided it was time to go home.
 

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Yesterday, 9 - 10 - 11, was out 35th wedding anniversary. So, Monday, 9 - 10 - 01 was our 25th wedding anniversary.




We had planned something special for our 25th. We had booked a hotel on the beach in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. We had lived in SoCal for 16 years and had never visited Catalina.


Monday was wonderful. Nice ferry ride over to the island. My wife, myself, and our two small dogs going to Avalon - - -


Tuesday morning (9 - 11 - 01), about 6 a.m., I got up to take the dogs for their morning walk. I took my camera so I could get some shots of the bay, the casino, the long pier, etc.


After the dogs were through I took them back to the hotel and went back to my photo walk. I walked out onto the long pier shooting pictures of the Casino and boats at anchor in the bay.


As I walked past a small restaurant / bar on the pier, which had no outside walls and with my back to it, I heard a broadcast about some sort of 'attack.' I turned around and saw a couple of guys in the restaurant standing like stone statues.

I walked over and listened for a minute. Obviously, something was on the radio that had their attention.


OK, I am on Catalina Island, land of good times, wonderfully weird folks, etc. I 'naturally' thought this was a local radio station doing a special radio show similar to the Mercury Theater's 'War of the Worlds.'


After a moment, I asked one of the guys if this was real. He said it was. By that time I had heard enough to realize it was in New York and a building had been hit by an airliner.


I immediately went back to the hotel room and turned on the TV. The wife asked me why I came back so early. By that time the TV was on and we were watching the first tower burn. Then, the second tower was hit - - -


Surreal.



Joe T.
 

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It was my day off, but I was riding in to do some paper work.

It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.

Ridng home it seemed very quite and there were LEOs all around the airport.

John
 

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Teaching a class full of 5th graders. School went into lockdown.
 

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At home getting ready for work.

Next door neighbor was on American Airlines Flight 11. He wasn't suppose to be on the flight. His fiance wanted to visit a girlfriend for a few days. He decided to take an early flight back to Los Angeles.
 

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Wife and I had the week off. We were sitting on the couch watching the news didnt move all day. Just in shock
 

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The wife and I were on the way to the airport in Montreal, to get a 9 AM flight home to Phoenix.....it took us a drive to Chicago 4 days later and getting a flight from there to get home.
 

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No I was at the Texan Vs Colts game. The Texan handed the Colts their ass to them and beat them 34 to 7:yes1:
 

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I was on USS Mitscher ( DDG-57 ) standing watch, and after the news we were preparing to get underway
 

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Had just walked into work, and my son in law called and said a plane had hit the WTC. Turned on a small TV we had at work, and saw the second one hit.

Then heard about the Pentagon.
Went outside and took our Flag to 1/2 Mast.

Kept the news on at work all day.
 

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I was at home sick as a dog with the flu and was watching CNN when the first tower had just gotten hit. Watched as the second tower was hit and realized that our world had changed forever. I have never felt so empty and angry at the same time.
 

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My wife and I were at the hospital with our daughter. We had been there for a week, and was watching the morning news. When they cut away from the news to show the WTC, the nurse came in and ask what movie we were watching. I said, this is live, she said, Ive never seen that one. Very sad day, I will never forget.

I did ride today, perfect day to ride.
 

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I was on top of a roof working on an A/C unit finished up and came inside to get paperwork signed. When I overheard on the radio that a plane had struck the WTC. Left got in the van and turned on the radio and went to the shop. Never will forget that day.
 

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Was in a motel room in Jackson Hole Wyo. 3 of us spent the night on day 3 of a 10 day ride. Walked to the office to get some coffee and saw the 1st tower burning. Went back to the room and told my 2 brothers there was one hell of a fire burning somewhere. Turned on the tv in the room and saw the 2nd plane hit.
Ride aborted and we headed out. Had a line at the gas pump and filled up. I had the only radio in the group so periodically pulled over to update them. It was the most eary(sp) ride I have ever been on. Little traffic, and absolutely no airplanes. We split up and headed home.
 

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I was at work. Since I worked in a TV shop, we all saw the news right away. Nobody got much done that day.
 

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This happened back when I had the ol GL1000. I wasn't riding. I was in my dorm and on the internet in some chat room somewhere. Someone said something about a plane hitting a building...can't remember the conversation, but I ended up turning on CNN a few minutes before the second plane hit. It was a weird feeling...wondering if it was just an accident...to realizing it was a terrorist event (yep...Im one of the few that use that label). Also to add to everything was that I didn't know how many more targets there were...how many more buildings were going to be hit...etc. Stomach turned as well here.

The following day..wednesday, I met up with a regular GWRRA group and we did our weekly DQ run...I think. I remember being out and not seeing planes up in the sky except for one...figured it was military. Was up in Fargo so it might have been something from Minot.
 

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I was out west bagging towns/cities for Team Strange's Presidential Tour. I rode the entire day without knowing what had happened -- no radio on my Valkyrie Tourer and my CB was off since I was in fairly rural South Dakota areas. What's remarkable is that no one said anything to me at gas stops or lunch in the Badlands NP. It wasn't until I was in a motel room for the evening that I turned on the TV as I was cleaning up for dinner. Not paying too close of attention, I literally thought I was watching a Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis and actually marveling that Dan Rather had agreed to be in the film. About 3 minutes into the "film," however, I realized this wasn't a film and started to flip channels. I then, of course, realized what had happened even though it wasn't really registering. It was so unbelievable as to be unbelievable. I called home immediately, or tried to call home -- kept getting the "all circuits are busy" message. I eventually got through; my wife asked me to high tail home the next day, which I did.

By hindsight, I had a few tip offs that something wasn't right: the road leading to Mount Rushmore was closed by 9am. Several flags in Rapid City were flying at half mast. When I stopped for gas in Winner, SD late in the afternoon, I had to wait in line for a pump. But I didn't connect any dots.

Indeed, ignorance is bliss. And truth can be stranger than fiction.
 

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I was at work, they had the tv on in the breakroom.

I did the only thing I could, got on the computer and switched my 401k stuff from stocks to a savings account with a steady income. I knew there would be $$ issues.

I did ride my ST1100 to work that day
 

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I was installing new door decals on one of our Airpark Fire Engine Pumper Units.

FAA Flight Service called and said hold any departures on the ground and any already in the air, we were to instruct them to return and land immediately...ALL AIRCRAFT WERE GROUNDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!!

One of our airpark residents at the time had a daughter that worked for UNITED and had planned to go to Los Angeles from Boston with a friend to a concert. She even had a reservation for the doomed flight, but was late getting off work the night before and decided at the last minute to cancel and sleep in. AND that's what she did, so much she wasn't answering her phone or the Police knocks on her apartment door. Her parents here were about to go nuts, when around 1:pM (central time) she just happened to call her mother. Her mother had told her what had happened and to turn her TV on. How close she came? That's one time sleeping in paid off. Everyone was so RELIEVED!!

The rest of the day was being glued to the TV as everyone was, with one exception, a structure alarm fire (large hay barn totally involved) about 6:30 PM. I never thought a alarm would have been a relief, but somehow it was.

Scheduled for 9-15-2001 was Holleyfest (an airpark fly-in held annually) billed in 2001 as "Holleyfest 2001 an Aviation Odyssey" It was all but!! Aircraft were still grounded on that Saturday with the exception of IFR Flights and they had to file flight plans and come in one at a time. Even from the Municipal Airport 4 miles away. We had about a dozen planes show up but hundreds of fellow aviators and just friends all drove in. It was a time we all needed!! The local radio station even did an interview with the father at Holleyfest that Saturday about what had just taken place with his daughter that they just knew was on the UNITED Flight that had crashed.

My mother passed away in October 2003 at the age of 84, but that day we had many long distance conversations over the phone. We talked of what was happening and she was telling me of her thoughts that Sunday Morning of December 7th 1941. Alan Jackson pinned it in that song about calling up your mother! I SURE DID!!!

Yes, who can forget? NOT I !!!!!
 
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