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Day 7: Haunted
Day 7: Haunted

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Collection: First
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Location: my hotel room
Date: Sep 11, 2006
Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 50
Shutter: 1s
Galleries: Emotive, Self Portrait
Date Uploaded: Sep 12, 2006

Viewed: 1766
Comments: 16
Favorites: 0

9/11/01 was very hard for me. I live near Washington, DC, and I work for the US goverment 4 blocks from the White House.

I flew to Boston that morning for work, going over Manhattan 30 minutes before the first plane hit. I sat on the left, enjoying the gorgeous view down on the city. Iím a private pilot, and I had flown myself past Manhattan at a very low altitude only a month before. It was fun to see it again from 30,000 feet. I had planned to return home that afternoon, so I didn't even have a bag with me.

Both planes hit while I was on the Boston subway to our regional office. When I walked in, no one had heard anything, so it was just a pleasant Tuesday (this was before everyone had a cell phone, and smartphones hadnít been invented yet). I called my colleague at home just to check in before our meeting. I can still hear him asking ďare you all ok?Ē and telling me two planes had hit the World Trade Center. As a pilot, I knew that one was very unlikely on that beautiful morning, but two was an attack. I never went through the phase of thinking there was an accident. That was the beginning of the horror for me.

News trickled in slowly for the first bit. I remember frantically trying to get to various news websites. Then we found a TV.

My day-long workshop was cancelled; we all spent the day huddled in front of TVs in our hotel rooms, scared out of our minds about being downtown in a major city full of high-rise buildings. Meanwhile, there were reports of a bomb at the State Department, another plane circling the Capitol, and a fire on the Mall.

I called my wife and left a message to pull the kids out of school and head west. Anywhere. Anywhere other than near DC. She didn't get the message until it was all clear, and I didn't know they'd stayed home until later.

Many of us took the train home the next day, passing through New York. Before arriving in Newark (a short ride further south), we stopped on a bridge and were told there was a bomb scare. That was a harrowing addition to an already tense situation.

Arriving back in DC, it took every ounce of willpower to get on the subway home. Deep in a hole was the last place I wanted to be.

I then ended up heavily involved in my agency's response to the attacks, leading what we put on the Web. Some of the most rewarding work I've ever done.

Three months later, a thunderstorm woke my wife and me up, straight from deep sleep. In my groggy mind, a nuclear weapon had gone off, and I threw her off the bed away from the window. That reflex has submerged since then, but it's still there.

To this day, I respond much more strongly to emotional movies, books, etc., especially where people put themselves on the line for others. And I dedicate myself at work to helping my agency respond to disasters manmade and natural.

I find it ironic that I've been on business trips on 9/11 since that day; it's hardly when I want to be away from home.

Update on 9/9/11:
Over the years, I've avoided almost all mention, news stories, and thoughts of 9/11/01. This year, I've allowed myself to look at some things around the 10th anniversary, but it's still hard to do.

What I hope everyone does:
- tell your loved ones how you feel
- keep a 3-day supply of food and water (1 gallon/day/person)
- plan how you and your family will rendezvous if the phones go down and you have to evacuate
- carry critical contact info on a card in your wallet

Day 6:
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Day 8:
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09/11/2018 10:42:39 AM
Excellent accounting of such a horrifying event...it is a day that will always be RAW in my mind ...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2008 10:42:07 AM
Wow....Thank you for sharing your story. I live upstate NY, and was petrified for awhile when a plane flew over as it was at first rummored that one of the planes that flew into the WTC may have flown over here in its regular flight pattern. Later reports show it didn't come quite as close to me.

Message edited by author 2008-09-11 10:47:37.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/13/2006 11:08:10 PM
A great shot, very haunting - and thanks for sharing your story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/13/2006 12:49:05 PM
WOW Amazing shot. Very spooky, but I'd crop the nose out a bit more. Draws the eye AWAY from the negatives space you created on the left.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/13/2006 09:48:44 AM
I echo what the others have said about your photo. As for your story, there's not much more to say other than I suggest at least two weeks worth of emergency food and water. Look how long it took emergency responders to reach Katrina victims. Definitely keep more food and water in storage. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It helps to make us all more aware. GOOD SP!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 11:08:07 PM
Great story. Nice job on the photo. I really like the feel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 04:08:28 PM
Very nicely done. The about and the image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 06:39:04 AM
Great photo, love the eye lines. Powerful commentry as well. I started a new job on 9/11/01 and everyone was excitied about the new installion we were planning on my first day with the team, then we got the news in the UK around 2:20pm-the office was dumbstruck, in silence, in fear, never seen anything like, and never want to again.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 06:21:40 AM
very cool i like how even though it all has a blueish tone the veins in your eye still relaly stand out against it and that makes it extra cool.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 05:00:45 AM
Awesome, moving, wrenching. Keep up the good fight. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 04:54:50 AM
This photo coupled with the story is powerful, powerful work; the complement each other so much that the sum is greater than the two parts.

Very very well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 04:21:01 AM
The photo works excellent with the back story, a very strong piece of work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 03:06:11 AM
Wow.... Photo does fit in nicely with this emotional story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 12:54:04 AM
WOW my man you just brought me closer to 9-11 as I was 2000 miles from the tragedy. My girl also has brought me close to to 9-11 she lived in NYC during that time. Heavy duty! Thanks for doing what you do.

That is an awesome image even more so with the story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2006 12:35:11 AM
Interesting point about the light. It's from my laptop (that's the catch light in my eye). Wasn't intentionally blue, but you're right - it fits.

Message edited by author 2006-09-12 00:35:57.
09/12/2006 12:31:13 AM

I was planning on doing something for the anniversary and changed my mind. It wouldn't have fit.

Yours does with the blue TV glow. I was glued to my TV for the next week after 9/11.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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