From the Desk of John Rourke – September 11th, 2015


September 11th is a date that forever for most of us will bring back terrible memories. It is one of those days that people remember exactly where they were at and what they were doing. I was at work when I heard that planes had hit buildings in New York. I called my wife who was at home and she told me it was all over the TV. She said it was obviously a terrorist attack and the news was talking of another couple plans that had gone down.

I remember standing in the Quality Control lab thinking. I had questions going through my head…..

“Is this the start? Is the S getting ready to hit the fan?”

“Where else will attacks happen?”

“What will the attacks be like?”

“What if a nuclear bomb is used?

Then I thought about my family. Should I go home? Why didn’t I prepare more? Should i go and buy more food? Water? Supplies?

We all know what happened and how it turned out. Terrible tragedy.

On a personal level the event provided me a memory. A memory that for a short period of time I thought the end of the world as we know it was possibly at hand. That feeling realizing I should have done more to prepare stay with me today.

How did this day effect each of you?

Please share…..




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  1. I felt like I was in shock that 1st day. Over the next few days, as the details of what happened were dissected and laid out before us, the news footage playing in a never ending loop, the film images of people forced to decide whether to burn or step out into thin air 80 stories up, I grew more angry and vengeful. Had I been younger I would have signed up as some of my friends did. As time went by something inspirational happened. This country came together in a common suffering and a common purpose, and a shared patriotism.

  2. Wasn’t in the mindset then as i am now….but the event did lead me in the preparedness direction. It was actually my day off, was sleeping, (crazy schedule days and hours both at work.) My husband came home from his night shift and turned on the news to see coverage of the first plane having hit the tower. At that point the news was taking the perspective of it being accidental. He didn’t buy that line and woke me up. We watched the second plane’s impact together in disbelief. Now, well life will never be the same in our minds. My journey into preparedness took a while….but my husband’s not on that journey, yet. The frustration of his blindness and denial to what is coming, (and the complications it brings,) is ironic considering how he could see the situation then for what it was.
    Rourke, i never considered what that event would seem like to a prepper. SO very insightful and sobering …..
    When the event of the future occurs, i hope i can see it for what it is. Thinking of you all here…will remember and pray for you all, especially then.

  3. Rourke and everyone- Sept. 11th is a very Sacred day to me in that Todd Beamer and fellow passengers saved many more from being killed and possibly saved the White House. That day turned me into a SUPER PATRIOT ,intensified by awareness of Terrorists and has forever been in my heart .and psyche.We watched the TV for days and then sent supplies to NYC -many items that we had on hand from being preppers -batteries, dog food for the rescue dogs etc.
    This day Americans were murdered un necessarily and unless we stop the Iran Deal it will occur in a much worse way the next attack. -here and in Israel.
    The silver lining through the pain and tears was to see the Congress PRAYING together and Pres.
    Bush vowing to get the murderers. Seeing the American flags on homes and cars was a symbol of unity that
    I had never seen in my life before and that I wish continued.
    My husband and I put our arms around one another when the second plane hit and then I called our children both away at college at the time..
    NYS Museum has a very powerful section devoted to Sept.11th. When I first saw it I sobbed. I keep a photo of a burned fire truck on my kitchen wall so we will never forget -nor will future generations.We have a photo of the three fireman hoisting the flag amidst the rubble.
    Someday I hope to visit Shanksville.I have read books about true stories of those who were burned at the Pentagon .My heart and prayers go out to everyone who lost a loved one on that day.I always watch the memorials on TV or attend a service.
    If you want to feel the impact see the movie UP,CLOSE and LOUD. Arlene

  4. Rourke I have tried to send you things at your CDEmergency address and they are always returned.
    What is your correct address? Thanks. Arlene

  5. I live in Central Time Zone, so I was at work early in morning when I heard from a coworker that he heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Wow – how could the pilot had missed that, must have been a really big snafu. We went to the conference room where we have a big screen TV mounted on wall and watched the images shown. We were standing there when we saw the 2nd plane come in and hit the other tower. Stunned, I blurted out “This isn’t an accident – it’s an attack. The people who did this know people are watching TV and this is a message”.

    We went back to our desks and I went back to the message board I was on before I had gone to the conference room. The message at the top was TURN ON YOUR TVS NOW!

    Still stunning, hard to believe 14 years have gone by.

  6. I we had just begun prepping that summer due to a feeling something was about to happen. We were living in high-rise apartment building with nowhere to garden and no bug out plan and knowledge we needed one! I had just barely started my subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and was becoming aware how vulnerable we were.
    Having been married to a Palestinian for four long years I was aware of the culture but had nit yet removed my rose colored glasses so this event was quite a shock to me!
    I must say that I am now 110% more suspicious of everyone and, although we do reach out to the homeless locally, my major concern is now my household and our safety.

  7. I was still preparing to go to work and had turned on the TV ~ I thought a movie was on and was in shock like everyone else when I realized it was real. They hadn’t edited the videos coming in and it was the people jumping out of the windows that made me come out of my shock and break down and cry. Work was cxld that day and I think like everyone else I was just a zombie sitting in front of the TV , waiting for some answers and like a movie wanting to see justice happen at the end. I also thought maybe this was the start of the end. 🙁 Been preparing ever since.

  8. driving home from work and heard on the radio some air plane hit a tower then got home with tv on both , hubby and my son saw the fall of the towers, then my 4yrs son stated as he grabbed his toy gun put on his watch and hat heading to the door, ” im going to war mom” i said not yet little man your time will come. was glad he was willing to wait and not just run out the door.

  9. Firstly, I remember the IT dept I worked for back then was big and had a hacker that worked with us. First time I had ever heard of the “dark net” was when this event happened. It seem really weird, because he,(hacker) came into the room with this blank, fear look on his face. He was giving us information real time, before the news even reported it. He tells us a huge commercial airliner flew into WTC and it was no accident. I was like, no way..where are you getting this information from. He said a little and then ran back to his desk. Before to long the local news picked up the story and eventually we saw everything else live. However, he was still giving us information real time better than the news was giving it.

    The second thing that struck me was FURIOUS Anger when I saw the second plane hit….I literally start packing my desk up and said I’m fixing to quit and re-enlist in the Marines. Somebody stopped me by eventually talking me down from quitting saying doing my part to fight didn’t mean I had to literally go fight again, but I could fight by supporting the community and the economy. I was the darnedest thing, but it actually made sense. I agreed I would not quit….for now.

    The third thing was when the plane hit the Pentagon…OMG! The blood that rushed through my neck and body. You see, revealing a little bit here, but…my brother worked at the Pentagon. I told my boss, I was leaving and I didn’t give a *beep* sorry, but it’s what I said. I told him I needed to see if my brother was just killed. He said just go and don’t worry about it. Of course my mom and all of the family were trying to reach him by phone. No calls were getting through. Finally, after some time had passed my mother reached my brother’s wife. My brother and his wife had/have a lot of political pull. At one point my brother’s wife worked for Norman Schwarzkopf along with other high ranking officials. She was one of the very few people they let off the base when it was locked down. My brother only got one call to his wife as he was rushing code 3. I’m alive and I’m headed to the Pentagon. I really don’t want to share to much here on this board in the public, but I will say this. He’s been part of the protection detail for Madeline Albrecht, Bill Clinton, George Bush, etc.. and it is not the CIA either. As it turns out the plane hit his office at the Pentagon and killed several of his men. It was no accident they hit that side of the building as part my brother’s detail was anti-terrorism. He was delayed at the base, by God’s divine intervention, people came coming up to him and saying..hey, can you take care of this real quick…and hey can you just this or that. Those people God put into my brother’s path delayed him enough that he was on his way to the Pentagon when the jet hit, sparing his life. As things settled down through the days and the pictures and stories started coming in I was in tears of anger.

    I remember when I went to the WTC site a year later. I remember telling myself not to start crying before I got the site and walking past the church that had everyone’s pictures on it. However, when I got to the site, saw that massive hole in the ground, signed the construction wall everyone was signing, and the cross that was still standing there from the ibeams. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t tears that came was anger. I was furious and ready for America to go into Afghanistan and kick their rear end. It was until years later I started getting ready, not because of this event, because America was still America then. Even after those attacks. Today..there is another fight on, the fight to preserver America, but that…is a whole other story.

  10. I was at work, about 23 miles from the Towers. We could see the smoke. My DM was visiting. We went to a diner to see the news, as we were unable to get online.

    Later that day, I found out a friend, Wayne had dies in the 1st tower. He managed to call home first, from inside, and talk to both his mom and brother.
    His brother was my brother’s best friend.

    Copilot of one of the planes was the brother of another friend, Tom.

  11. We were giving report to the morning shift when the news of the first plane came out. My best friend’s sister worked in the WTC. She was frantic. We got her calmed enough to get home. We were in constant phone contact throughout the day. Luckily, her sister was delayed getting to a meeting at the WTC and was safe, but the wait for that news was excruciating. Shock and anger were definitely prevalent feelings at the time. The patriotism, the way we Americans rallied together, was unstoppable. Too bad we can’t raise that same kind of patriotism today.

  12. I was in fifth grade, mom came and took my siblings and I out of school, we went home and started packing because we were honestly scared that this was just the start and we would have to flee the country. That day will forever stand as a reminder to know that just because something terrible hasn’t happened in awhile, doesn’t mean it won’t happen soon. That day will also stand as our “burning of the reichstag”, think about that and let it sink in.

  13. I wandered by and saw what I thought was a movie .. then realized it was live TV. I went through who, why, how almost instantaneously .. and in a couple seconds it didn’t matter, because I was ANGRY.. All I wanted was a piece of who did it .. I will always want to defend .. and like it or not I want vengeance in kind.. Capt.’s right there is another battle now.. Just as close to home .. more pernicious and pervasive.. Just like before I am ANGRY and want to defend my country and family .. the other part as well .. They need to realize.. we are here and we are able.. or not…. I really don’t care what foreign or domestic enemies realize.. or whether they understand or agree.. They get no quarter..

  14. Karen, Are you still married to the Palestinian? Have you been able to improve your preps ? I hope so.

    Capt. Michaels and everyone-YES anger is still with me over the hostages that were taken 32 ? years ago, for the USS Cole attack and the next WTC attack ,the Shanksville attack, the Pentagon,. and the monumental attack on Sept 11th 2001 . Rudy Guiliani is one of my heroes.
    Iran said today that Israel will not be there in 25 years- and they would like to say the US wont either .How dare they ?
    I understand there is an exc. film out called War Room .I am hoping to see it . The other is 90 Min. in heaven-both about prayer .
    Heads up folks there was a huge solar flare that came off the sun today -an X flare which is strong heading
    to earth -due to hit tomorrow or Sun in the northern regions . May see some incredible northern lights.
    With prayers – Arlene

  15. I work shift work. Was coming off dogs asleep at the house. The wife called and woke me up telling me we are at war. Remember just sitting up in bed watching the news. Felt numb, like a zombie. Sad to say I only started getting thoughts of prepping just before the Muslim in chief was elected. And then just buying some firepower before he came for our guns. During his 1st term I really woke up and started dabbling into prepping. Can’t get the wife involved but I am starting to get a bit frantic, trying to catch up. I am just sick to see this nuclear deal with Iran. Taking in all the Muslims and letting all the Christians die. What the hell! Sorry sad POS letting all this happen. I pray that we make it long enough to recover from all the crap going on, in the USA and out. The whole world is insane.
    Prepping and Praying-Jeff

  16. I was overseas and watched live on CNN the second plane fly into the second tower. I felt helpless because I could not return home due to air travel being shut down!!!

  17. For us Baby Boomers and the Millennials, this will be our Pearl Harbor.
    I remember hearing about a plane hitting the building on my way to work (California), when I got there I could not access the internet, it was locked up from the traffic, so I was reading pass downs from prior shift and working on my briefing outlines for the morning in my bull pen. A meeting broke up and as everyone poured out I felt a weird energy level coming from the personnel, they all had this look on them, My stomach sank into my big toe, I am think crap the company just folded and they got the news. As some of them filed by my desk, the first person turned and looked at me and said “We’ve been attacked”, I could tell he was not joking, The guy behind him said “They bomb New York, someone flew an airliner into the Trade Tower” I said “What?, my brain about short circuited”, the third guy said “It’s War!”, Now I am thinking What the FRAK! is going on”, i ran to the IT Dept, they had it playing out, then I saw the second plane hit. For the next few years I was getting calls to come back to work for the agency, some young man telling it’s a target rich environment, we need your skills etc etc.

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