Chris said it well. I was working night shift at the heavy shop. We had the NPR satfeed playing over the intercom. One of the mechanics came to me laughing. He thought it was a radio play about a plane hitting the wtc. In minutes we figured out it wasn’t a play but the real thing. That’s when we turned on the CNN tv feed. Two planes had already hit but nothing was being said about the pentagon or pennsylvania planes. As I said before it was a nightmare watching the reruns of the first planes hitting over and over again.
Most of the time I’m too busy down here to feel isolated. It’s a way of life, but that day we all felt like we were on another world. Helpless. Most people got in touch with their families within a few days. But for some it was up to a week later that they were able to get a phone call through to relatives.
One of our firefighters from the previous year was on one of the first response crews. We heard later that when the towers came down his crew was lost. It was sad for all of us. Later we got the news that he had moved his truck away from the building just before the collapse and while somewhat buried he survived. There was some joy here when we got that news.