9-11 Madness

It was a gorgeous fall day
I was on a ladder fixing a chimney
I called the homeowner to ask a question
She said all the phones were down in NY City
Told me a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers
It was a horrific incident to imagine
I finished my job and headed home
I sat on the edge of my couch watching the TV
In awe of the devastation and loss of life
Smoke billowed out of the upper floors
A plane load of jet fuel created a living hell
For all who were trapped on the upper floors.
It was then the word came across the screen
A second plane was headed toward the second tower
It was suspected that it was an act of terrorism
This was utter madness to think anyone could do this
But, right in front of America’s eyes we all watched
The second plane hit the tower igniting a ball of flames
This was not a bad dream, rather madness at its worst
First responders raced to the scene and into the towers
Attempting to evacuate as many as they could
People poured down the stairwell and into the streets
Worst of all was the realization that all the people
Above the crash were trapped in this ill-fated doom
Paper was floating down like a tickertape parade
Some people panicked by the madness began jumping
Falling to their death
About this time TV reporters began noticing
That the fire and heat was going to cause the top
Of the towers to collapse… some questioning
The buildings’ stability to withstand it all
As we all watched in horror the unbelievable happened
The first tower began to implode on itself
Collapsing all the way to the ground
In a Mushroom Cloud of smoke, ash, and twisted steel
Within minutes, the second tower collapsed
People ran screaming down the streets looking for shelter
The tsunami of dust raced after them overtaking them
Covering them with a gray white ash as people ran on
High-heels were left laying in the gutter as thousands
Raced to cross the bridge and away from Manhattan
Numb adrenalin was the only feeling left to experience
Shock blanketed the nation as the death toll kept rising
With some, it was anger at the cowards who did such a thing
That created hell on earth in New York and also in DC and  Pennsylvania
The heroes were the first responders many whom gave their lives
Racing into the inferno to try to save as many as they could
It was an awful day for mankind!!
“Where were you when the world stopped turning?” (Alan Jackson)

It is interesting that Lara, at d’Verse, asked us to write about madness on the eve of 9-11. I remember that terrible day like it was yesterday! As I watched, I could not believe my eyes as Radical Muslim Terrorists hijacked airliners attempting to crash them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the White House! Three of them succeeded, but the heroic actions of the passengers caused the last plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania, rather than the White House. It was madness at its worst! This is my account as I remember it.

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Thanks to Alan Jackson who wrote the above song to remind us of what is really important in life.

39 thoughts on “9-11 Madness

  1. I was in Turkey then, vacation. In the village I was in they had a large tv-screen outside that blurted loudly in the late midday sun. I didn’t know what had happened but it felt eery. I went for a coffee and saw the planes crash into the towers and it took a while before I realised this hadn’t been an accident. The next day I bought a newspaper although I can’t read Turkish. But the pictures spoke for themselves. The atmosphere in the streets was muted that day, a strange cautioness, worries. Everybody felt this was not only effecting the US but all of the world.

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  2. I was on my way to a trip to Hongkong. At the airport they were showing the attack at the towers on a huge display. First I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought maybe a trailer for a new Hollywood blockbuster before I realized what was going on. It became a flight with very mixed feelings because there were no news updates during the flight. This day has probably changed our world and life more than any other day since 2nd worldwar. The 90s have been a great time in my memory – full of hope and unlimited possibilities. A lot of this has been destroyed with this day and everything that followed.


  3. A beautiful song by Alan Jackson. “Where were you when the world stopped turning?”
    I was at a staff meeting in the company where I worked in Brazil. It was devastating news for us. The company had major clients in the United States. I had relatives and friends in New York City. Had they been affected?


  4. It wasn’t until the third plane hit that I could grasp it was intentional terrorism. I was on the west coast, so was just getting up and ready for work. My very young daughter came into the room where the TV was on and asked if this was going to be something she would remember her whole life. I think the import struck her before it did me.

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  5. Excellent writing Dwight — wonderful descriptors, powerful emotions. I never will forget the horror an anger I felt. My son Justin and I were going fishing, paying for breakfast, leaving a little diner, and behind the cashier the early story hit the TV. He and I spent the rest of the day, and the next, glued to the TV. Your piece here inspired me to finish and post a piece I ha been working on about 911. Thank you for sharing this Dwight! 🙂

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  6. My older daughter was in high school 2 blocks away from the WTC. I didn’t hear from her until the middle of the afternoon when she waited on line at a pay phone halfway home and called (neither of us owned a cell phone then–not that anyone’s worked that day). All afternoon and evening people were walking by our apartment building on their way home (we lived at 106th st). Miraculously, everyone I personally knew who was down there survived. (K)

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  7. Two days in history are imprinted in the attic of my brain — December 11 and September 11. Since I’m ancient, I still remember my parents and visiting relatives huddled by the console radio as word of Pearl Harbor came across the air waves. Both days signal events that changed the course of history. Your recount is well written.

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