Seth Coburn Shares His 9/11 Experience [AUDIO]
On September 11th, 2001, at 8:36 EST I was hard at work on the seventh floor of an office building in Framingham, MA. Little did I know at the very instant, my life, and those of everyone around me were about to forever change.
A little before 9 am, I received a phone call from my wife Dawn, asking me if I was near a television. I said no, but I could get to one. All she could tell me was to get to one, that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. Thinking that a private plane, or possible a commuter plane has had mechanical problems, I thought it was an accident. I did not know until after I had strolled into the common area and saw most of the staff standing around, what had actually occurred.
I made it into viewing range just in time to see the second plane hit the towers. Reports were just starting to come in regarding other jets that were missing and theories of what was occurring were still fresh and starting to come into news rooms across the country and across the world. I sat with 50 or more people staring intensely, all of us in stunned silence over what we were witnessing. Employees at an international company, who hailed from around the world, watched together as America was under siege.
I couldn't completely fathom what was going on. Then reports started to come in regarding the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. having also been hit by a third jet plane. The theories and accusations started coming in at that point. I watched with members of the staff from Arab countries, people I had worked, ate and laughed with for 2 years. I watched these people start to sink within themselves as accusations stated to fly on the television networks.
When the flight numbers of the hijacked airliners began to become public, I felt as if I was hit by a punch to the chest. American Airlines flight 77, scheduled from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles had been the flight that struck the Pentagon. United Airlines Flight 93, scheduled from Newark, NJ to San Francisco originally was aimed towards D.C. also, but apparently was partially retaken and crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA. United Airlines flight 175 which took off from Boston and was headed for L.A had been the second plane to hit the Trade Center Towers, hitting the South Tower at 9:03.
Then the blow that knocked me off my feet.
The first plane to hit, that struck the North Tower at 8:36 a.m. EST, was American Airlines flight 11, scheduled from Boston to Los Angeles. It was the exact same flight I had been on just one week earlier, flying home on family business. I had been on the flight with not only the crew that manned the route that day, but possibly the hijackers that had been on a "dry-run". I was floored.
I later found out that 5 members of the management team from T.J. Maxx, Inc, which was located in the same building as the one I worked in, one floor above, were on the Boston flights. 5 people I had rode in elevators with every day, chatted with, and sometimes took breaks with. And now they were gone. The atmosphere of the company I worked for was never really the same. Trust in people that had been friends and colleagues was strained. Soon after, the company was sold to a larger conglomerate, and soon after that I left the company.
I can say that the people that sat in that common area and watched the horrific events of September 11th bonded in silence. Forever changed, we will all remember where we were when the world stopped turning on that September day.