T Nation

Has 9-11 made an impact on your life?


We've been discussing this at work. And would like the t-mag commuinties thoughts on this. I am mixed in between yes and no.


I would say so, can't really see how you say otherwise.

Now the level of impact is going to vary greatly among people, but I cant imagine many people in america can say, "no impact at all".


What a dumb fucking question. If it hasn't changed your life, you need to get the fuck out of this country.


Yeah, I'd say so. Pre 9/11 - civilian; post 9/11 - soldier.


I was affected pretty deeply - watching something like that happening LIVE from the other side of the world was pretty dumbfounding.

And to the guy at my work who took the anniversary of 911 as his invitation to revisit that tired old "Terrorists are bad, but America is worse..." rhetoric, shut yer mouth or I'll put my fist in it...!


Definitely. I live in New York, and it is disturbing to see groups of National Guardsmen with automatic weapons patrolling Grand Central Station, and other public areas.

When the terrorism alerts are "yellow" everywhere else, they are "orange" here... always one step higher.

A recent poll found that like 60-70 percent of New Yorkers expect another terrorist attack here. That's not good, to live with that kind of stress long-term. I know a bunch of people who have left the city, some of them just coincidentally post-9-11, but in general some people are deciding to leave.

The economy here has been hit harder than other places in the states, it seems to me. Unemployment is at 8 percent. The city is in a huge financial crisis, and has had to close fire houses, cut back on things like public library hours and after-school programs, and all kinds of other cut backs. The federal gov't was supposed to help with 20 billion in aid, to help with the cleanup and rebuilding, so far New York has only received a fraction of that, and the total costs were estimated at 100 billion at one point. Property taxes went up, and so have other taxes. Post-9-11 babies being born to mothers who lived in lower Manhattan have lower birth weights than normal, which is not good

I don't know anybody who died, but a lot of people were obviously affected personally, and that does affect the overall mood of the city. Tons of people here were traumatized. They said on the news that the number of people on anti-depressants here has taken a huge jump in the last 2 years.

You can't help but be affected by the stories you hear about that day. The firehouse in my neighborhood (Brooklyn) lost a guy that day. By the time they arrived, people had already started jumping out of the building. As they ran towards the entrance, this guy got taken out, by someone who jumped...!!! The fire department chaplain was in the group too and he ran over to give last rights. As he knelt over the fireman, he was killed by falling debris.

My heart really goes out to the city workers, firemen, cops and security people, who lost their lives. As people raced out of the buildings, they raced IN.

Another story... a couple of guys carried someone in a wheelchair down like 70 flights of stairs, which took 20 minutes. A couple minutes after they got outside, the building collapsed.

I don't know how anyone could NOT be affected by this.

Fitone, I thought you lived in New Jersey. Are you saying 9-11 hasn't affected you?


fitone, I can't explain how interested I'd be to hear your reasons for why your life was not affected at all.



Where do you live? I live in Brooklyn Heights.


Washington unemployment is at about 12%, though the "official" reports won't say that (too afraid that consumer confidence would fall, they say it's at 8%). I've seen so many people layed off from Boeing it's sick -- people with young children, people with 25+ years in the company.

Yeah, it's affected me in that regard. Also, not a day goes by where the images of that day flash through my mind.


I live in Williamsburg, in the Italian section, close to Greenpoint.


I don't think it's made a large, long-term impact on my life. I'm not heartless; when it happened it scared the shit out of me, and the memory of it can make me sad. . .but it hasn't changed who I am. Some people say they've become more spiritual since then, or closer with their families or friends, or they've learned to enjoy and appreciate every day of life more because they know life is fragile. Maybe I experienced some of those effects in the short term, but I went back to my old ways before too long.

I know that's not the answer people like to hear, but it's honest.


I had a longer response, but it kind of bent toward the political -- or at least some people would have thought so. So this is all I have to say now:

Flying has gone from something that I tolerated pretty well to something I'd rather not do if I don't have to. Not because of the fear of terrorism, but because the increased security measures are randomly and arbitrarily applied. What is it about teenage boys and middle-aged women that is so dangerous? Every time a new report comes out about the TSA, you see how much stuff gets missed. The 9/11 hijackers didn't succeed because they got on the airplane with box cutters. They succeeded -- once they were on the planes -- because they exploited our belief that hijackers don't want to die and should be appeased. That's not something that's ever going to happen again. They succeeded before they ever got on a plane because it seems we didn't understand the nature of the threat. I'm not sure that's really changed. Where else does our conventional wisdom, our basic understand of a particular situation, leave us vulnerable? Is somebody actually thinking about this?

I pray someday things will be more normal again. They probably will because it's what we all want, whether we're willing to admit it.


It made a huge impact on my life.

I was a student pilot at the time, and made the decision to try for Police Officer because of that day. Never made it in, but I HAD TO do something. I wanted to at least help get back at the SOBs, especially considering Im young , fresh, and motivated. I joined the Air Force.

At the time I worked for US AIRWAYS. I had flight benefits which I never cared to use much. After 9/11, and after seeing how scared some of our passengers were - you'd think they'd signed a death sentence - I wanted to fly. I flew every week on my 2 days off unil I was laid off later on, possibly because in a way - a possibly naive way - I had the mentality 'why dont you try that one more time with me on board motherfucker'. I seriously ran through all my options in the plane if it happened again, and had someone been that stupid, I'd have killed them or have been killed trying to.

I dont need to mention the deep camaraderie we had with every other american from 9/11.

One thing I can say is every american I know would gladly give his life to prevent another 9/11. We just need to be ready.


I read this post at another site that I often read, yet one at which I have rarely (if ever) posted. It's a site dedicated to military special operations personnel, and its forums are populated mainly by those who are either currently serving in the military or who have done so at some point. This was posted on 9/11/03 by an active member of the forums there who is a former marine, and it summed up my exact feelings since Septemeber 11th 2001 so succinctly, I don't think I could say it any better myself. (The whole thread can be found here: http://www.socnetcentral.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28414 ). So after receiving permission from him to paste it over here, here are the words of RipperTOW over at SOCNET (thanks RipperTOW):

"The value of hate...

On the way into work today, I flipped channels on the AM dial looking for something interesting on the talk show circuit. What I heard from most was a kind of mourning wistfulness. One show aired a special bit, where individuals shared how 9/11 impacted them. It was all stuff like this:

"I play with my kids more."

"I realize that life is precious, and you never know when it's going to be your turn."

"I take more time out to do the important things in life; to smell the roses."

"I try to remember how important it is to live your life one day at a time."


These thoughts have their place. But their place is not at the forefront of America's consciousness only 2 years after 9/11 and in the midst of a war against its perpetrators. Where were the statements like:

"I remember that there are people in the world who want to destroy our way of life, and steel my resolve to see justice delivered to them."

"I am reminded that America must never quit until the bastards who did this are dead - all of them."

"I am consumed by rage that the masterminds of 9/11 still walk freely on the earth."

These, more than the wistful reflections, are the feelings that need to dominate today. I think the reasons these kind of statements are rarely heard (outside of bbs' like this one, in which many of the better people of this country come to share ideas), is twofold. One, many people are somehow still blind to the fact that the threat that brought us 9/11 is still active and alive. Either through overt evasions of facts (leftists) or through a lack of gray matter, some people just do not see that it is our entire culture that is being threatened.

The other is a group of idiots masquerading as psychologists who have announced that hatred is categorically a bad thing. But today, on the anniversary of the single-greatest attack on innocent Americans in our history, I say it is time to affirm the value of hate. Hate has an important place in the world. It is the appropriate and healthy response to seeing the things you love and cherish threatened or destroyed. It is an affirmation, in these circumstances, of the love you have for those things you value. Can you imagine the kind of vicious, sub-human, evil who can look on Bin Laden with blithe indifference, following the premise that it is wrong to hate? Such a person is vile to even think of. Should the mother resist hating the slime who wishes to abduct her children for pornographic movies? Is there some "healthier" emotion she should feel? I argue that it is evil to even assert such a thing. There is only one emotion which is appropriate and "healthy" to feel about such a person - hatred.

Hatred is the emotion that is properly dominant during the period between which you recognize the threat to (or destruction of) your values, and the time that you have eliminated the threat (or vindicated the injustice). It is the emotional fuel that helps you press through the difficulties that are involved in fighting against evil in the world. It is the white-hot coal burning in your chest that you can hearken back to, reminding you of your purpose and steeling your resolve in your difficult moments. Only hate can serve this purpose, when your values are being threatened or destroyed. Once the threat is eliminated, or justice is done, then is the time to let reflection and mourning become dominant. But not before.

Imagine you are in a house that is on fire, and while making your way out of the house with your wife/husband and children, you see a beam fall from the ceiling and kill your spouse instantly. Would you collapse there on the floor in the burning house, mourning your loss, while the fire that killed him crept closer to you and your children? Of course not. Imagine you are in a crowded bank lobby, and a random person pulls a knife and slits your girlfriend's throat before you can stop him. Are you going to ignore your immediate reaction of anger (it's unhealthy, after all) and begin mourning your girlfriend while the bastard still stands there? And if you punch him in the mouth, but do not knock him out, and some leftist in the peanut gallery exhorts you to stop on the grounds that the assailant hasn't given his side of the story yet, are you going to reproach yourself for not making an effort to first understand every nuance of the scumbag's twisted motivation?

If not, then I ask you today to do something not many others will. Invoke the image in your mind of your fellow Americans - someone's mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter - being forced to make the choice between flinging themselves off the 92nd floor of the WTC, and being burned alive. Remember them tumbling, head over heels, in peaceful resignation at so much that was possible to them, but was denied on the grounds that the "material happiness" they found is an affront to some bearded caveman in a mud-hut with an affinity for 7th century mysticism. Bring it into your mind until you can taste the bitter rage that you felt that day, when you took your AR in your lap and called your old unit, or whatever else you did. That is the affirmation that the victims of 9/11 deserve from all of us, because if we are going to extract justice from its perpetrators it will have to be because we so love this country, and what it stands for, that we burn with hate at those who would destroy it. Today, in memory of 9/11, rekindle your hatred of its perpetrators. Until they are all rotting corpses, hate is the appropriate emotion that should dominate on this day."

No one could put it better.


9-11 helped to display one of the USAs many strengths: the ability to set asides minor differences and be united as a strong collective when tragedy strikes.

People worldwide may call Americans egotistical in their view of life, but this display of Union far outweighs any asshole`s opinion IMHO.



First, I live just outside of the city and I lost a two friends in the attack. I really can't quite explain it, but my complete attitude has changed. One of the things that has been greatly affected is my time in the gym. The gym has been on the things that has helped me cope with this and move forward.

I still remember calling my dad from work, where he watched the whole thing happen from his office. I Remember calling my g/f and letting her know how I felt...it helped me realize just how much I was in love with her.

And the final thing is that I am a development engineer for a company and that makes and repairs engines for the airlines, so it has affected my career too. Besides laying off over 200 people from my division alone and suffering through a 10% pay cut, which pails in comparision to alot of things, it has been difficult to deal with the fact, that something I helped make was used as a weapon to kill 3,000 people. It really made it hard to go back to work and design something that could be used as a weapon again. I guess it still sits my head everyday.



JimMcD, fully agree on the hijackers using boxcutters thing.

I only fly 1-2x per year when we take the kids to a grandma's house (not fun either, flying with 3 little kids is NOT FUN).

And I would say that myself, like any good t-man, would not allow a hijacker to do such a thing anymore. Maybe if they had fully automatic weapons or a flamethrower I would remain in my seat, but anything lighter duty and they would have to deal with me in one way or another. And i'm betting several other people on the plane would also have that belief, much like how that pennsylvania flight seemed to go.



A mix of yes and no? How did it NOT affect you?

I fly over 200K miles/year for work, so yes, it impacted me. A coworker died in one of the towers, so yes, it impated me. And I watched the whole thing right outside my office window, so yes, it impacted me. And it impacted the way I look at people, the way I look at the world.

It even impacted the people OUTISDE of US. I'm not taking about Iraq or Afghanistan. I'm talking about other countries where people can't get visa to visit US or international students are not allowed to stay in US during summer, etc.

So given this...if you consider yourself American and say that you were not impacted, you need to ... follow another forumite's suggestion.


Here's how it didn't affect me. When I got on the plane for my vacation that I took on labor day weekend 9-11 did not run across my mind. It did effect my friend though for a brief moment.

I whole heartly believe we can not change our course of our destiny only "God" knows when is our time to go to "HIM". We can not prevent it. The only reason I say that I have gone through so much and I should be dead, but I am not.

I hate to put it this way but 9-11 was it a wake up call from a higher calling?

I don't think about 9-11 day in and day out.

I live my life as it ought to be. I don't worry about when I get on a plane am I going to live or die.

I am going to hoop on that train/subway and go to work day in and out not worry about wheather I am going to live or die.

Now, I fell sorry that thousand of people died in 9-11 but, lets live on and past that and not dwell in it.9-11 is what it is history and we can't change it. So let history be. Can we ever prevent it from happening again.

I personally don't think so. Its, up in God's hand. If, he want it to happen again it will if he doesn't it won't we can't control that.


Sorry fitone, you're going to get flamed quite bad this time.

Don't take it to heart too much. :slight_smile: