On this day September 11th, 2001


Mi General
MI.Net Member
Apr 17, 2019
Not quite September 11th here in the UK - but it's less than hour away, thought someone should raise this and I'm doing it now before I get too drunk (Because it's a Friday) and maudlin.

I don't know, just seems odd to me that there's been very little fanfare about the anniversary of an event that has had a massive effect on the last twenty years for a lot of countries - whether you were in the US, or another country that then ended up with forces in Afghanistan or another country that ended up being affected by the "War on Terror".

I suspect it will probably pass quite unnoticed in the UK tomorrow, but I believe that more Britons died on September 11th than in any other terror attack on home soil - including the Troubles in Northern Ireland through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I dunno - I just find that really odd.

My personal memory of it is that I was on what was called a "year in industry" whilst at university - go and work for an actual company for a year during your degree to get an idea of how the world actually works. I was at an instrumentation company in Leamington Spa - due to the time difference I guess it all happened here at lunchtime. We all crowded into the office of the quality control manager because he was watching what passed for live coverage back then on the internet. They eventually sent us all home early at about 3pm because nobody was doing any work and "out of respect" for our American customers.
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I had just discharged from the Army, I was doing a bit of guarding, waiting for the next Police recruit course to kick off. Came home from work to see one tower in trouble and then saw the second plane go in. Got a call the next day to take over access control to the US Consulate in town and did that for the next 18 months or so.
I was on a training/qual flight & got a message over the ACARS & had to reread it several times "USA under attack in multiple major cities" & finally got on coms to confirm the message then what cities, my Mom was in NYC, asked Coms to call my wife on landline to check on family. We all became Americans that day & joined the coalition of the willing.....& still do. I still remember all the details of that day.
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I was bundling a 4 and 6-year-old into clothes for their trip to school. Breakfast sorted, I turned on the TV for some morning news. It was just after the first plane had hit, and all talk was about a terrible "accident". I watched the second plane hit and told my wife "we've been attacked. We're at war".

Later, saw lines of folks buying U.S. flags. Flags sold out everywhere, and just about everyone on our street was flying one.

We live just far enough from San Diego airport to see the landing/arrival patterns, but not close enough to get too much noise. On a walk that evening I was most shocked by the empty skies, the lack of noise.

I was at a Korean restaurant with work mates - after a completely unproductive day at the office. A table full of young Korean men were talking at the next table: all of them were going to enlist. Hearing that gave me a great sense of pride and hope.
From my navy.mil acct the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa CNO well done 911 mssg to all shipmates:


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My then-girlfriend and I had emigrated to New Zealand six months prior and we were on our first trip back to the US on our way to Europe for work with NZ return travel thru the US when we got caught out.

There’s a brief story in it that I’ve never told anyone, but my now-wife can confirm that and it provided motivation over the last 20 years.

I rang my Mom as soon as I could, she was absolutely hysterical because she had transposed our flight itinerary.

Air NZ guaranteed us a seat on the first flight back to NZ, but instead of just sitting and waiting weeks in the middle of nowhere, we just drove including an epic first leg from Boise to Vegas in just under 6 hours, and then observed things at a much slower pace.

For a time, everyone was united. Having at least one America flag on your car was mandatory.

When we finally got back to NZ, I immediately spoke to a few NZ Army folks who I was storing vehicles for while they were deployed to East Timor.

They gave me the name of a recruiter and I joined.

I got to Afghanistan as a NZ gov’t contractor between 2012-2014 seeing the remains of the Bamyan Buddhas up close that I distinctly recall on the front page of the Christchurch Press newspaper in early 2001 being blown up by the Taliban, before the world changed.

In 2016 as a student at Stanford GSB I was the very awkward fart in the room during a talk by Karl Eikenberry who was one of the first conventional generals on the ground in early 2002 and ambassador to Afghanistan in 2009-2011. I had a couple of shitty questions to ask him.

20 years ago we were barely able to text across the street in the 1st world.

In 2021 I‘m in daily contact with the last of my interpreters in Afghanistan trying to support the effort to get her out, getting real-time updates from friends and folks here.

We don’t need a lessons learned from the Kabul evacuation, we need as AAR of the last 20 Years. WTF.
What I was doing right when the second plane hit the WTC seems fairly irrelevant now, but I was at home because no classes for me this early afternoon GMT+1 so I randomly turned on the TV and pretty much all French TV were airing the events live. By the time I turned it on, the second plane had already hit and it made no doubt anymore that we were watching a major attack.

OBL, the taliban sheltering him were quickly under accusation. I was fairly young but I just quickly realized we were off for many difficult years. 20 years later I just think I was way off mark even.

Flagg is on the money. Despite Joe call for “unity”, Americans are witnessing Antifa or BLM torching the Stars and Stripes on US soil. The rest of the world is in no better shape if that’s any consolation to them.
Woke up to the clock radio alarm, which was set to play the news station. I could tell right away from their voices that something not right was going on. Stumbled into the family room to turn the TV on and got to see the second 767 go in.

Showered, shaved, and went to work here in Boise on a brilliant summer mornin. I remember I put my Glock under the back seat of the truck. I do remember a few hours later hearing that a bunch of big long- haul airliners were landing at the airport. Interesting to hear that it sounds like Flagg was onboard one of those.

In the evening, I talked to a few family members on the phone and got a call from a high school and college friend. Another friend of ours had been on watch in the Navy command center at the Pentagon. He is buried at Arlington
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I was on 12-hour duty that day, we only had one radio.
My colleague ran in that something had happened in the USA, the air traffic had stopped. .

We got on the radio and listened to the news coming in slowly. When I got home, I just watched the TV as more and more details came in.
I spent the whole day working in the woods, marking a thinning in an old oak stand. Missed everything. Drove home without checking the internet or listening to the radio. I was taking a shower when my girlfriend (now SWMBO) came home and told me about a terror attack in the US.

I've been listening to German DLF and Bayrischer Rndfunk news radio the whole day yesterday. Read the local newspapers, as well as French and German ones today, from the whole political spectrum. Now I am just frustrated and riled up. Everybody's dog and Jean-Claude "5 promille" Junker exactly know what should have been done. And the Afghans and Taliban and the Muslims were just victims of American politics......On 9/12 Dubbya should have nuked Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and flattened Berlin, Brussels and Paris for a good measure. If you have friends like the Eurowussies you do not need ennemies.
Driving up the M6 motorway, with a colleague, first one went in, possibly an accident.......second one went in, I just said thats it then, its war, US will pursue them to the ends of the earth.

Got home and watched the news.
I was a bit under 18yrs at the time. I had a driving school that afternoon (UTC+3 timezone), some theorical or legal stuff about traffic laws. I had previously arranged my buddy to pick me up since the lectures were some distance away from where I lived. After the class I couldn't see him at the parking lot where he usually would park, so I called him.

An another friend picked up the call and he was very excited, he's voice was shaky. "We ain't coming to pick you up now, the World Trade Center has been hit by planes and the Pentagon is on fire." At first I thought they were just coming up with a rediculous excuse for not being willing to come get me, but my friend placed his phone to the tv speaker, they were watching the Euronews live coverage and I could hear the anchor lady going over about smoke and and flames and all that.

When guys finally told me they were coming over to get me, I went to this local fast food joint that always had a tv on (music tv) to wait for them. I told the girl at the counter to please change the channel, since apparently there was something major going on in US. She just shrugged (I've been wondering sometimes, how was it for her to learn about the incident.)

After we got to friends place we could see the towers come down. Seeing it felt unreal and frightening. After some time I went home to spend the rest of the day and evening in front of the tv, thinking about what will come out of all that. You could tell that things would change. Anger, sadness and an odd form of determination were the prevailing feelings at the time.
I was on Station Guard Duties at a UK airbase. On nights. So when I woke up at what must have been 1400ish I watched the planes collide live on TV.

Then went in for my shift at 1830 where the alert state was through the roof and we were stagging on in CBA and helmets.

A couple of months later I set foot in Afghan for the first of many times.
I remember every moment of that day, so long ago.

We Will Never Forget

I was settng up with my future colleagues the company here. We were working mostly offline, had no internet of our own during the day. One of the guys came back from a meeting and told us and it just sounded impossible...

I watched CNN all night from the hotel once the day ended. Thinking it had to be CGI because it simply did´nt look real.

A few days later, I have to say that the speech of W with the bullhorn marked me. Would I have learned that Afghanistan had been nuked, I would´nt have cared an instant.

New York is one of my childhood cities. The trip to the top of the towers was a favorite of mine.
Lilbet continues to be a class act. Today 11Sept at the changing of the guard at Windsor Palace, London, England, the US National Anthem.......Bravo Zulu Ma'am.


  • London Windsor Palace 11SEP2021.mp4
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The original ACARs message that went to every aircraft airborne on 11SEP2001....a few minutes another ACARs message would demand all private & commercial flights land immediately at the nearest available airport. If you were over the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans headed to the USA you either had to return to your flight origination or land outside the US borders if bingo fuel was an issue. I remember a few years after at Camp Bastion I was full of piss & vinegar, wanting to kill bad guys when we got the new rules of engagement that we couldn't shoot unless we were fired upon 1st because we were the good guys wearing white hats. Killing innocent civilians thru collateral damage would look bad. It wasn't my call & still isn't but the judicial use of nukes is something that one day will need to be in our quiver if we want to protect our homelands.
At the time I worked in for small company based out of Scotland, I was their only US employee. I was working at home in my small upstairs office when my wife called from Hanscom AFB and asked me if I was watching TV. I said "no, I'm working, why?". She said that a plane had flown into the WTC and I ran down and turned on the TV just as the second plane went in. I told her what she already suspected, we're at war.

My 8 yr old son got home from elementary school early and I'm pretty sure that was the day he decided that the USMC was what he was going to do after he graduated high school.

My wife worked with folks at the Pentagon and thankfully all were OK. Her former boss though was on AA 11. Col Charles "Chuck" Jones USAF Ret. Rest in Peace

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