What were you doing on September 11th, 2001? How do the events of that day hold meaning for you now?
I was at my desk at Georgia Tech Research Institute (part of Georgia), working, when word began to circulate. I remember going to the Dallas Morning News web site b/c I knew NYT, W. Post, and other major national news sites would be overwhelmed with traffic. I remember getting digital video of one or the other of the towers falling and calling over all these people in my department to watch it. A while afterward, a bunch of us found our way to the office of one of our senior mgt., who had a TV, and just stared.
Within and hour or two, the campus was evacuated, everybody let off work. I was worried about using MARTA (terrorism threat and/or terrorism drill) so I walked home, which at that point I had never done. That walk the 2 mi. home was surreal. I remember a gas station or car dealership around Spring St. had one of those giant, giant American flags waving and it looks so iconic. I also remember how every time I heard any sound, esp. airplanes, helicopters or sirens, I'd freak out and start checking the skyline.
I finally got home and found many of my neighbors had been let out as well. Nobody was talking; it was all just stunned silence and staring at news reports. Back in my condo, I started watching CNN and other 24-hr. news channels and did this for hours. Caleb and Daniel came over and we sat on my spare mattress, since at that point I had no couch. We were all in a horrified trance that day and for days after. Meanwhile my whole neighborhood was in lockdown, owing to all the skyscrapers as well as gov't buildings, esp. the huge federal building a few blocks away. There were military helicopters circling, lots of sirens, and it was super scary.
That night some interesting things happened in terms of my relationship to the Internet: 1) It was the night I first starting IM, as catscradle and others wanted to chat and 2) I started on the prototype for Inception magazine. I felt like it was important to create something on that day of destruction. That the magazine's logo is a naked man in a fetal position is probably NOT coincidence.
As far as what 9/11 means to me, to me it not so much about the actual event and the lives lost and/or changed that day, although of course that deserves respect and acknowledgment. For me 9/11 represents the end of the Good Times and the coming of Bad Times, for our country and beyond our country as well. Maybe everything was just as bad before 9/11 but it really threw everything out of whack, 'til now it's really Hell in a handbasket.