Where Were You?–10th Anniversary Of 9/11

At approximately 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001 I was home chatting on the phone with then State Senator Bill Finch. It was one of those did-you-see-what-I-just-saw conversations. At first neither of us, like most of the rest of the world, really knew what was going on. It was freaky watching CNN, the jet slicing into the World Trade Center. And we were still on the phone as one of the towers cratered. Bill’s boys were both teens and at that moment you think about the things that matter. It was time for dad to check in with his kids. From Mayor Finch:

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Mayor Bill Finch today asked the Bridgeport community to remain vigilant and assist in the fight against terrorism by reporting any suspicious activity to the Terrorism Tips Hotline at 1.866.457.8477. All calls will remain confidential.

“The memory of the September 11, 2001 attacks will forever be etched in our minds, but we must remain aware that terrorists and violent extremists may view this anniversary as an opportunity to make their presence known in our midst once again,” said Mayor Finch. “I urge everyone to stay alert, and ‘if you see something, say something,’ report it to the Terrorism Hotline and help us continue to make Bridgeport the safest city in Connecticut.”

City emergency personnel will be closely monitoring bridges, bus terminals, train stations and our ports and other critical facility locations within the City to ensure safety.

“Our emergency personnel worked closely with federal agencies during the Faisal Shahzad arrest to ensure our residents remained safe, and I’m confident we will do so again in light of any threat to our area” said Mayor Finch. Shahzad, a Pakistani American, was convicted in the attempted May 2010 Times Square bombing case.

U.S. officials are urging Americans to go about their business as usual during the Sept. 11 weekend, but to be alert after federal authorities sent out a warning late Thursday regarding a ‘specific, credible’ threat targeting New York and Washington, according to news reports.

 In honor of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy the following observances and events will be held in Bridgeport this weekend:

• The 10th Annual CT United Ride – “CT’s largest 9/11 event ceremony” – kicks off in Norwalk on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 8 a.m.. Hundreds of motorcyclists will travel 60 miles through Fairfield County, ending at West Beach in Seaside Park, Bridgeport. Greet the riders along the route, or come to Seaside Park to welcome them at the end of the ride. All motorcyclists are welcome.

Pre-registration is Saturday, Sept. 10 at Captain’s Cove Marina 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday September 10, 2011.

• 10 a.m., Diocesan Blue Mass at St. Augustine’s Cathedral – honoring all men and women who serve in police, fire and emergency responder roles.

• 4 p.m., CT Fallen Heroes Foundation 9/11 10th anniversary commemoration at Captain’s Cove Seaport, Bridgeport – Local, state and federal dignitaries including Mayor Finch and Lieut. Gov. Nancy Wyman will join hundreds of guests in remembering those who gave their life to defend their country since 9/11.

“I encourage everyone in our City to take time to reflect on what September 11 means for all of us,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “On this anniversary, I’d like to send my support and encouragement to everyone in our City, and across our country, whose lives were touched by the events of that day. While September 11 may be one of the worst tragedies in recent history, it also serves as a reminder of the spirit and resiliency of our nation.”



  1. i was walking down a hallway at Harding High school back to the classroom I was working in. An art teacher leaned into the hallway to tell a security guard an airplane had hit the Pentagon. The teacher met me at our classroom door to tell me about the Twin Towers. My daughter was sent home early from high school. While I waited her to arrive, I called my mother to check on her. When I asked about having the TV on, her words were “wait until you see the pictures.” The silence after supper that night was deafening–there was nothing flying overhead.

  2. I was at my second job in Hamden. As I listened to the radio reports of emergency people rushing into the building, I kept saying to myself “No, No, get out, the building is going to collapse.” I heard of the second plane striking the other tower and it horrified me. I kept telling my two co-workers nearby the buildings were going to collapse because the steel beams were under an extremely high amount of heat. With the weight of the top floors, a collapse is inevitable. Days after the 1994 finger incident at the Capitol, reporters asked me what I had to say to Senator Alvin W. Penn’s position I was crazy and should be institutionalized. I responded by stating we haven’t seen “crazy” yet and warned instead of worrying so much about me, they should pay attention to “the one-man army” out there waiting to define what crazy really is like. Soon after, Timothy Mcveigh, a former Army soldier struck the Alfred P. Murdoch building in Oklahoma. We’ve all heard of all the other attempts and terror attacks by single individuals or as I call them “the one-man army.” There are many more out there preparing to strike and it won’t be on September 11th (at least not in America). I don’t think it’s going to be in a plane or train, but the target and intention is going to be one that strikes at the American’s hearth and mind. Call me crazy–get in line–but all my visions have come true.

  3. I was home in my office and had the TV on when the first plane hit. I saw the second plane hit the tower.
    I called four of my employees who are retired New York Fire Marshals and they were gearing up to go to the pile. I told them I would meet them in the area of the pile. Three of my guys worked the pile and the fourth worked the morgue.
    My company Travelers was at the scene with their CAT vehicle and I arranged for them to set up computers in the morgue because they were using paper and pencil to record the fatalities.
    Those who know me know I wear a NYFD hat all the time. I have worn it since 9/11 and it honors a NY Fire Marshal who broadcast from the highest point in the towers. I wear the hat in his honor. His name was Ron Bucca, may he and the other 342 of my brothers rest in peace.
    May all those who died in these four incidents rest in piece.

  4. I was counting the vault at Home Depot. The TV was on after the first plane hit. CNN. Watched the second plane hit. My mother was en route to New York City to see a Broadway show and the bus was turned back to Connecticut. My brother Joel was stranded in Japan for 3 days until he was cleared to return to the United States. I remember that day like it was yesterday. May G-d bless all of the families and friends that suffered a loss.

  5. Just flew in from Ft. Meyers FL the night before on a stormy and windy night to Hartford. The guy next to me said he was worried about the flight as it was quite bumpy. I assured him the plane we were on was easy to fly and not to worry. It was the same model jet as those which flew into the twin towers. How prophetic. I was called the next morning to turn on the TV and saw the second plane hit from the cameras atop the Rockefeller Observatory. How terrible. I saw those two towers rise in 1970 while working on Wall Street. It’s difficult to imagine the horror and terror.
    And to all those who saved thousands of lives in Shanksville PA … heroics of that sort are hard to fathom.

  6. It’s 6am on 9/11 and I just watched an hour of trade center footage. It has forced me to look at my life and my city. In 23 years as a firefighter eight of my friends died in the line of duty. I have seen other friends die after I retired. Why did they die? They died because they wanted to help others.
    Why did the firefighters and police officers die at the world trade center? They died because they wanted to help others.Those heroes who entered the trade center when others were leaving knew in one fashion or another they were going to die and yet they kept going in.
    This is the makeup of the average American from all walks of life. Americans have always put themselves out there to help and protect others.
    Today it seems for the most part different. Yes the firefighters and the police officers put themselves out there every day. The military which is only 1% of the American population puts it out there every day, in fact 77 young heroes were wounded yesterday by a truck bomber.
    While the fabric of the average American has not changed, the POLITICAL situation in all areas of America has changed. Almost everyone has forgotten what JFK once said, “Ask not what your country has done for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
    We are surrounded by politicians who do not give a damn about us, they only care about getting reelected.
    We need to get off our butts and vote. We have that opportunity on September 27th. I am begging all who are reading this to get out and vote and to get your friends and neighbors out to vote. Remember all the heroes I have mentioned earlier, don’t let their sacrifices be for nothing.

  7. I was at work. When we heard the news we plugged in an old television (using a hangar as an antenna) and watched the second plane hit. We sat in silence. Supt. Salcedo announced she was closing the schools. Mayor Ganim said any employee who wanted to leave could do so. I left and picked my children up at school so I could explain to them what was happening. We went to People’s Bank where I withdrew a large amount of cash (not sure why, but I felt I needed cash on hand and the bank was packed). We went back home, locked the doors and watched the television. My children kept asking “mommy, what is happening.” I said, “I don’t know.”

  8. I had just come from Dunkin’ Donuts and brought a coffee to a co-worker who told me there had been a terrible accident and a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Within minutes another co-worker bolted into our office and said another tower had been hit. At that point, time stood still and everyone went into a panic knowing this was no accident and our great country was under attack from a violent and ruthless force. All political differences aside, every citizen of the USA stood united in fear that day. No one should ever forget. Today we must remember and commemorate the terrible tragedy imposed on our country.

  9. My home had a serious fire a couple of days before 9/11. I was living out of a suitcase in a nearby Homewood Suites. I was on my way to find my insurance adjuster as my eye caught the TV screen in the lobby. I stopped in my tracks, watched for a few minutes and ran to get my daughter from high school. Explaining why this world would generate such hatred for the USA was a very difficult set of conversations. Comprehending the heroism of the emergency responders was inspiring. Supporting my son and daughter’s patriotic efforts after that day was amazing. I think the 9/11 generation is the best tribute to all of those lives that were tragically lost. We may forget how to get along but they remind me we must.


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