The Day Before The Day We All Remember

BY  |  Monday, Sep 10, 2012 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (9)

This year, even the days of the week match up. So we find ourselves thinking back to today 11 years ago. What was happening on Monday, September 10, 2001? What were we doing, thinking about before our world changed forever?

On Monday night, Michael Jackson performed during a star-filled tribute concert at Madision Square Garden in honor of his 30th anniversary in show business. The Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Jets at the Meadowlands, 45-24. In Manhattan it was 86 degrees and so hazy, and then so stormy, many folks probably longed for one of these perfectly clear blue skies.

All over, it was business, family life, and leisure as usual. Mayoral candidates in New York City were pitching themselves before the next day’s primary election. The home Yankee-Red Sox game was called for rain. The New York Giants lost to the Denver Broncos 31-20 in the first Monday Night Football game of the season, a game that didn’t end until long after midnight. Some fans would overslept the next morning.

President George W. Bush flew to Florida for talks and appearances about education. An artist supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Project filmed a thunderstorm from a 92nd floor window of Tower One.

The Time magazine on newsstands on the 10th announced that Colin Powell was a “global eminence,” questioned Bush’s stance on stem-cell research, discussed an archealogical search for the Queen of Sheba, and reported that pollution and commerce were endangering the Taj Mahal.

Last year, on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, ABC posted photographs and recollections, from the day before.

I have no idea what I was doing on Sept. 10, 2001. Probably asking my second grader about his new teacher, and listening to my three year old’s stories about preschool. Like it was for so many other Americans, Sept. 10, 2001, the 253rd day of the year, was just another day. Until, 24 hours later, it wasn’t. By then, it was the day before, the last day of — something.

Photo: ABC News (David Kuz) via Flickr Creative Commons.


  1. POSTED BY johnperris  |  September 10, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    From 6:45 to 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning, members of St. James’ Episcopal Church will offer prayer sheets for September 11th to their neighbors at the NYC-bound DeCamp bus stop on Bellevue Avenue and the NYC-bound platform of the Upper Montclair train station. St. James’ clergy will be present to talk or pray with anyone of any faith who wishes conversation or prayer on this 11th Anniversary.

    In addition to Sunday mornings, St. James’ church is usually open for prayer on Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Tuesday, September 11th, the church will be open for prayer from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

  2. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  September 10, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Great story, Lisa… Great question… Which for the life of me, I cannot answer. Will ask mrs. prof, she’s the family memory.

    Regardless of what though, as you remind me, it probably “was just another day.”

  3. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  September 10, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    Last night, FOX News ran news clips and stories from 9-11-01. Has it really been 11 years? Watching some of these graphic clips and hearing the stories took me back there again. I still get chills up my spine. I still remember how surreal that day was.

    I don’t remember much about Monday, September 10, 2001. It was just another day at work. I do remember the weather being beautiful, as early September usually is: cool sunny morning, crisp air, sort of like it is today. It was the week after Labor Day and everyone was caught between not wanting to say goodbye to the the lazy days of summer and trying to cope with the impending autumn’s list of responsibilities: kids back at school, clients back from vacation and as demanding as ever, leaves dotting the lawn waiting to be raked up.

    I was in my office around 9:20 AM on September 11 when an assistant came running in, telling me that a plane just hit the World Trade Tower. This had happened before and I just chalked it up to pilot error. I followed her into the conference room where a few of my co-workers were standing around the TV. And then it happened: The second plane hit. I knew then that this was no accident and I also knew then who was responsible.

    I’ve written before on this site about how that surreal day unfolded and my eight-hour journey to get home, so I will spare you. But many of us can attest how much our world has changed since that terrible day. If you live or work in NYC, you know that security has been beefed up everywhere, from armed guards in Port Authority to actually physical structures designed to deter car bombs in front of some buildings. There are still random backpack and bag checks in the subway station. There are very few buildings you can enter in the city without being asked to show ID or get your photo taken. I grown accustomed to many of these changes and while a few are inconvenient, I am thankful they are in place.

    The airlines, in my opinion, are another story. They have gone WAY overboard in their security efforts, targeting elderly women wearing diapers and children in wheelchairs, while missing some REAL threats to security. There is much room for improvement here.

    Every year, the Essex Running Club and Fleet Feet hold a memorial run up to the monument at Eagle Rock Reservation for a moment of silence and reflection. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, it will always feel eerily chilly right around the monument and the plaques bearing the names of all of those who were murdered. And, we should remember that these people did not just die, they were murdered. And you SHOULD feel anger. Don’t let anyone tell you anything differently.

    I post this because about two weeks following the events of 9-11-01, I attended a poetry reading in Montclair. It was supposed to be an open mic event but the organizer announced that he was going to open the mic to thoughts about 9-11. This was all fine and good until he said, “But please, no anger.”

    I left because I had nothing to say.

  4. POSTED BY PAZ  |  September 10, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    My mind has abandoned all thoughts of 9/10. I will delve into my insignificant archives to find where PAZ WAZ on that day.

  5. POSTED BY cathar  |  September 10, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    “Memory” cannot adequately serve to recall that day. But in some ways, yes, 9/11 was our version of Pearl Harbor. But with a higher, more localized death toll.

    It also forced us to take a serious look at folks we’d probably only viewed as quaintly distanced and dressed nutters before this. Meaning “radical,” definitely fundamentalist Islamists. And since that day they’ve often seemed in the rapid ascendancy in such countries as Libya and Egypt. We’ ve also been forced to examine our ideas about how best to urge our concept of religious tolerance upon the rest of the world, since in nations where Islam holds sway the practice of other faiths is often severely constrained. (The frequency of church burnings, Copt expulsions and so on seems to rise regularly across the Islamic world.) We even learned about the practice of “dhimmitude,” which surely does not agree with the idea of all men being equal before God.

    Does any of this make us better off today? Do we even sleep somewhat better knowing that Osama bin Laden’s corpse rots somewhere in the ocean depths? I kind of doubt it. (And if one is Israeli, one’s sleep is probably especially roiled lately.)

    This may not, in other words, be the best time during which to urge remembrance upon us. Or to search for peaceful significance as a result of the aftermath of 9/11.

    On the streets of Paterson, for example, walls are frequently papered with advertisements for gatherings of Islamists which sound distinctly militant in tone. Yet these gatherings, which seem to occur with some frequency in New Jersey as in the rest of the country, go distinctly unreported in our local papers. (They also often seem, for some reason, to feature as a guest speaker the controversial former British MP George Galloway; the man seems constantly on tour railing about the faults and failures of the Christian West.)

    So no, I don’t think things are appreciably better 11 years later. And I see no real dialogue offered from any “side” in this matter. Given such bleak prospects, it even seems pretty darned silly to talk this all over with the clergy (however well intentioned) of St. James. Call me, maybe, when the current government of Iran falls and is replaced by a genuine democracy.

  6. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  September 10, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for that call to come, Cathar. The extremists (in one form or another)are alive and well all over the globe.

  7. POSTED BY PAZ  |  September 10, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    If WE make Iran fall, it will go to the extremists.

  8. POSTED BY Conan  |  September 10, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    “If WE make Iran fall, it will go to the extremists…”

    Hasn’t it already, Paz?

    I was at work in Parsippany the day before September 11, 2001. We shared an office building on Route 80 with a branch of AON, the reinsurance company that was HQd on the upper floors of one of the towers. I remember seeing the shock and horror on the faces of some of the AON employees in Parsippany the next day, as they heard what was happening to their friends and colleagues.

    Tomorrow, I will wear my NYFD hat wherever I go.

  9. POSTED BY cathar  |  September 11, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    What a sad, lousy day this one seems. The date will always be draped in sadness and set aside in a corner of one’s heart, not to be touched but always to be respected. But I find the reading of the names, which has just begun as I write, very touching. And an absolute wrench at the emotions.

    I do hope that many of the usual squabblers on this site, whom I suspect post mainly to impress themselves, will stay silent today through at least the reading of the names. (Though they probably won’t.) The inadequacy of politics is brought home by thoughts upon a day like this one.

    Still, September 12, 2001 was probably worse. Because then we had to start assessing the damange. Which we’re still doing.

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