September 11th, A Short Remembrance

I’ve written about this numerous times on my old site, but I thought I would share a bit on the new site.

On September 11th, I worked in the suburbs of Chicago and left my townhome at 7:45am CT. At the time, I left for work thinking that it was a small commercial airliner that hit the towers. How wrong I was.

I arrived thinking it was no big deal and arrived at work thinking it was a small matter. In Chicago traffic, I arrived 45 minutes later to find it was a major airliner and that another had hit the Pentagon. It was devastating.

I never felt the same after.

Our CEO sent an email sending us home at about 10:00am CT and I stayed because I was a news junkie and didn’t want to miss any events. It was traumitizing and I felt it for days. People were filling up their cars even though there was no immediate threat to gas supplies. I ended up in Connecticutt a year later and managed to visit Ground Zero at the time. It seemed holy, and I’m not even a believer.

Rest in peace, victims of terrorists.

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Robert Prather
About Robert Prather
Robert Prather contributed over 80 posts to OTB between October 2005 and July 2013. He previously blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished. Follow him on Twitter @RobPrather.


  1. I was on a business trip. I was talking on the phone to one of my employees about a task I had for him to complete. He kept losing the thread of the conversation and eventually told me he was watching TV about a plane that hit the world trade center building. I remember thinking about a plot in a book where terrorists hacked into an airport navigation signal and caused a plane to crash. I couldn’t believe a pilot would trust his instruments more than his eyes and follow the instruments into the side of a building. I turned the TV on and shortly afterwards saw the second plane hit.

    I then cancelled my afternoon meeting, checked out of the hotel, got in the rental car, and drove 24 hours straight to get back home, picking up two colleagues who were supposed to meet me in Detroit but got diverted to Chicago.

  2. DC Loser says:

    I was working in the basement of the Pentagon that day, supporting a global command and control exercise. We had TVs in the room and I watched it all unfold from the moment they switched to the North Tower after the first plane hit. At that time they were thinking it was a small plane hitting it by accident. When the second one hit, there was no mistake it was intentional. I called my colleagues back in my office at Bolling AFB to turn on the TV. Our exercise was pretty much OBE (overtaken by events) and we just watched the TV awaiting further instructions. I jokingly said that Pentagon security better be on the ball because we could be next. 15 Minutes later someone ran into the room and said to get out as a plane hit the building. The evacuation was eerie as it was very calm and looked like a normal firedrill. Only when I went outside did I see the smoke. I knew from the TV there could be more coming my way, and that it was not likely I would be allowed back in the Pentagon that day. The radio had all kinds of rumors and unconfirmed reports of bombs at the State Dept. I decided to get out of there and go home, seeing as the road headed that way was completely empty. I made it back in 30 minutes. The roads were all strangely deserted with occasional emergency vehicles headed into DC. I heard the two towers had collapsed on the radio driving back. I couldn’t reach my wife as all the cell phone lines were jammed. When I got home, she burst into tears and we hugged for a long time. We kept our kids home from school that day and just watched the TV, and spent time at a neighbor’s house. My parents and sister live in NYC and I couldn’t get in touch until that evening to tell each other we were all okay. The skies were silent for the next few days (I live under Dulles’ landing pattern). It was all very strange and it all stayed with me. I still think about this every now and then. I was lucky, many others weren’t, and they are always on my mind. God Bless them and their families. Be kind to strangers and you never know when your number is up.