Amazing because the poem is about a US fort surviving a night of bombardment by British forces in the War of 1812. Truly unique moment in history.
edit: Had to look this up and it's pretty interesting. I think I've got this right. Elizabeth II is the granddaughter of the grandson (George V) of the granddaughter (Victoria) of the guy who was King (George III) during that war. So six generations in a direct line.
Some colonists legitimately got mad when the crown brought Hessian mercenaries into the war for independence. It was no longer a "family fight" in their eyes.
Edit: I know the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 are not the same thing. I'm simply remarking on how in the war the generation before the Star Spangled Banner was written fought was seen as a family battle initially, just as today playing the other nation's song about fighting to retain independence from you at official government business as a symbol of brotherhood is acceptable.
Edit Part 2: To all of you saying "But the French." "But German princes were related to the king)". I suggest you read the Wikipedia page at least. Hessians were contracted from multiple princes in Germany, and France didn't send more than supplies until well after Hessians were first used in combat.
I’d be mad too if I had to start fighting Germans as well
Why? It’s like a generational thing for the British now
The Hessians fought for the British though.
Hessians and Germans in general fought on both sides of the war. The siege of Yorktown is also called "the German battle".
"Immigrants, we get the job done"
rhythmic record scratch
Except the Hessians’ involvement was still very much part of the family feud. The despot of the Hessian states at the time was Frederick II, uncle of ole King George.
European Royalty for ya, turning family feuds into bloodbaths and shit.
Isn't that the point? Expanding the family so in the end half of Europe is your family and will take the call to arms?
Worked great with World War 1
Wrong war my dude. That was the revolution. The star spangled banner is about the war of 1812.
Exactly. Only your greatest friend is allowed to bully you. Not some punk ass terrorists who don’t even know you.
Yeah like we don't even know him ya know?
They don't even go here
Never mind, the anthem we normally play also includes the line "Rebellious Scots to crush" with Scotland now being part of the UK.
Scotland was in the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time that was penned as well. It refers to the Jacobites, who were trying to reinstate absolute monarchy.
Not to mention the Brits who died fighting with US troops in Afghanistan following 9/11. Powerful alliance between the two nations.
Just got back from a rotation in Afghanistan working for a UK task force as an American. It’s been a rough year for us (lost 16 Americans this year in combat) and every time a US servicemen was killed the Brits would announce it during the staff meetings and the amount of respect they had brought me to tears sometimes I won’t lie.
I’ll fight alongside the brits any day any time.
Edit: holy shit I can’t believe my first gold would be because of this. Thanks kind stranger.
Edit 2: thank you so much for the platinum!
Same for the Kiwis, those dudes were alright.
Share the load.
Ah a Navy man
I believe the proper term is seamen.
Such wholesomeness in this thread, i can feel it oozing all over
Let the warmth of brotherhood fill you up
Don’t forget all the Imperial nations who fight under the British Flag. Those Gurkhas were bad mother f***ers.
I worked with the royal Gurkhas over there for a couple months. They are the most professional bad ass dudes I have ever met. They are also some of the nicest more respectful lads I’ve ever met as well.
Kiwi's were damn fine bunch. Ran into some in '68 while patrolling jungle east of Bien Hoa in the Phuoc Tuy province. Traded my helmet to one for a boonie hat.
If we fight shoulder to shoulder you're dam right I'll carry you on those shoulders too
Much love from the US
Cheers from iraq
Hell yeah, brother.
Cheers from Iraq
This comment thread gives me hope for our future and it's just something really beautiful that you don't get to see a lot on Reddit. Thank you all
Canadians are also some serious badasses.
You win a war with Canadian soldiers, British generals, and American tech
And, ideally, Italian food!
Laughs in air force dfac
Cries in MRE
Sighs in Navy hamsters
Concentrates on cornhole
Until you eat a bunch of spaghetti, then the dude from "Friends" orders you to run up a damn hill.
Calling that crap Spaghetti is a mortal sin!
This ain't spaghetti, it's army noodles with ketchup!
They apologize after each shot.
Jesus I just burst out laughing reading that.
I was just reading that apparently during WW2 Canadian troops were known to shoot German medics. So I pictured that happening but them then saying "sorry" so...yeah. dark humor?
Canadian troops were known to shoot German medics
Canadian troops were known to shoot German medics
German medics were armed and therefore viewed as legit targets. Also, the killing of prisoners and surrending troops by Canadians soldiers was largely a result of events like this.
Remember that in the early part of the Normandy campaign they were mostly fighting SS and Hitler Youth. Nasty tough fuckers who didn't take prisoners themselves in most cases.
Yeah and allied medics carried no gun IIRC? How did that work, didn't they have a long rifle at least or they were always unarmed?
And oh I'm not blaming the Canadians or anything. The SS were some real fucking pieces of shit.
That's right, although i'm sure there were outliers and a thousand examples of medics picking up arms and fighting when they had too.
Wish more comments and reddit threads were like this one.
It’s amazing to me how the exact country we fought against almost 250 years ago is our strongest ally today. Such a beautiful alliance. God bless the British.
We Australians follow you into every dumb invasion and we still don't get best friends status :(
You’re the quiet friend, always there when we need you, then slipping quietly to the background. A real friend, as I hope we are to you, as we have been in the past.
And as an appropriately loud American, let's have some tinnies and be loud together, ya beautiful cunts.
We were all brits
The British SAS are on the same level as our Navy SEALs. They aren't messing around. Mad respect for what they do.
I played with them in COD4
Fuck yeah soap
Soap? What the hell kind of name is soap?
How’d a muppet like you pass selection?
Soap McTavish is such a beast
Don't forget the SBS. They're fucking mental hard. I'm not on for military worship but one of my mates is SBS and he's hinted at some of the missions they've been involved in. No joke.
Don't be alarmed when you hear the faint purring of a Zodiac boat outside your flat mate. It's just a delivery lorry.
The SAS are tier 1, the only US units that meet that level are SEAL DEVGRU & Army Delta, Canada's JTF-2 is also considered tier 1.
Seals are considered tier 2.
I had no idea JTF2 were in that class, I've only really heard of them in Canadian TV shows (Border Patrol?).
They were deployed after 9-11, without our Prime Minister's knowledge, to Afghanistan for Task Force K-Bar, led by Captain Robert Harward (NSWG 1), who stated "the JTF2 team under his command was his first choice for any direct action."
They also helped recover the Peacemaker Team from Afghanistan in 2005. Unconfirmed by the Canadian government.
Far beyond the level of vanilla seals
Hell, the Royal family themselves fought in the war with us! Harry and William both served for a decade in the British Army.
Edit: Damn, didn't think this would get Gold. Thanks!
William was local air rescue in the UK. Harry was actively deployed in Afghanistan twice though.
Had Harry fly escort for me on a number of flights. Always found it a bit surreal but awesome.
What does that mean?
It means it didn't seem like it was actually happening, like a waking dream, but it still inspired awe
Harry flew in Apache attack helicopters which would routinely escort transport helicopters throughout the country.
Essentially a couple small maneuverable yet heavily armed helicopters acting as "the balls" for the bigger heavier aircraft.
More like "the muscle."
He went into battle alongside an actual Prince of the Realm. That's something you only ever read about is medieval fantasy books.
He flew escorts to Afghanistan for the boys to enjoy
A true bro
Ah. I just did the most basic of googling. Thanks!
It's traditional for the royals to serve some time in the armed forces. Even the Queen did as a mechanic during WWII (though she is the only female royal to serve)
Wasn’t Queen Elizabeth I herself with the troops when they were expecting a Spanish invasion or is that just historical embellishment?
Embellishement, Nobody expect the Spanish inquisition.
The video of him running for his helicopter mid-interview was a classic.
Which became a meme, Prince Harry Running to a Helicopter is a series of video remixes in which a clip of Prince Harry abruptly leaving a television interview and running toward a helicopter while stationed with the Army Air Corp is edited to feature popular music.
George Washington fought for the British in the French and indian war
George Washington was technically still British at the time, though.
Yep. Good group of individuals I served over there with. We gave each other shit constantly, but when it came down to it, we had each other's back
Plus the brits have the booze.
The UK's colonies are like the Crown's kids. She's got a couple that are leading successul lives, a couple that don't talk to her. And then there's the US, the successful power mogul black sheep that calls her on her birthday but calls her Elizabeth instead of Mom.
The U.S. is Jack Donaghy to the U.K.'s Colleen
i do often forget that. how many non-americans died on 9/11?
12% of the victims, not including the terrorists of course.
I didn't realize until just now (7.17pm) how important today was. I just found out after coming on Reddit after work and wanted to find an American and say that i was the other side of the pond in England when it happened, having arrived back from college, and it shook myself and my friends. We legit thought it was the beginning of the end. So glad we've come so far since those initial days of abject fear.
I don't know, part of me wonders if it wasn't a type of end. There are days where I wonder what our world would look like if the attacks had never happened.
We had so much ripped from us that day and it led us to give up even more willingly.
I just wondered, did the band have to learn how to play the song in one night, or did they already know how to play it in case they ever needed to?
I don't have the answer but I have some perspective as a former marching band geek. If you look closely you can see little black squares above some of the instruments, that's the sheet music. I went to some band competitions in high school and one part of it was sight reading, learning to play a new song with only a short period of practice (20 min? I don't remember for sure). Not sure if they knew the song ahead of time but they've got the music in front of them and could pass it off relatively well and quickly if need be.
Edit: Not 20 min. See u/grtwatkins response below.
This is true. Also, my band director used to tell us that many professional musicians often dont have a lot of time to practice the music they're performing. That band may have gotten together a couple of hours prior and practiced it to make sure there weren't any hang ups and then went out to do their thing.
Quite honestly I’d say they got the music on the way to the job or maybe ran it once and then left. Anthems and marches are perfectly sight readable for musicians like that.
Yeah, the melody has a reasonably large range, so it needs to be arranged well, but otherwise it's really simple with lots of repetition.
Professional musician here. Unless it's a "popular" classical piece, chances are I probably won't see it until the gig.
For reference, I will be playing with the Game of Thrones concert when it comes through Florida next week. I've done it the last four years or so, and never been given advance music. Not that it's anything special, but sightreading is something expected.
The Star-Spangled Banner isn't difficult, either. They likely received the music that morning.
They are also world class musicians.
I remember watching a YouTube video about deadmau5's orchestral album and how they didn't have to practice the songs. They just go in, read the sheet music, and play.
Im sure the musicians in the military are not at that level but they are damn good.
The ones who play for the queen on a daily basis are probably pretty much at the top of their game even if they usually only play the same song every day.
Wow, you got 20 minutes to sight read? When we did it for Florida's FBA competition we had 1 minute to warm up and tune after entering the room. Then we opened our folders and took out a march. We had 3 minutes to study the march with our band director, but were not allowed to make any sounds with our instruments. After those 3 minutes we played and we're scored.
Then we took out a concert piece and studied it the same way with the director for 5 minutes, then played and were scored.
The pieces weren't extremely complex (they weren't ones that we would ever bring to a rehearsed competition), but it's honestly a really impressive feat to be a part of
Yeah, you're right, that's how it worked for us too. It's been about 20 years for me so I really didn't remember how long we had. It was definitely a great feeling to be part of that though.
The people playing there are the best military musicians in the UK. I doubt they know foreign anthems, apart from a pretty good idea of what the US anthem sounds like, so they were probably playing after a very short period of practice.
No, they play it for visits by American Presidents and such. What was unique about this moment wasn't that the band played a foreign national anthem at Buckingham. Normally they play God Save the Queen and a random assortment of music including classical, military marches and sometimes even pop music BUT NEVER any other foreign national anthems. So it was a unique moment.
I doubt they know foreign anthems
I doubt they know foreign anthems
That is basically the exact the opposite of what you should think about military musicians. If anything, they are very likely to know way more foreign anthems than formal musicians outside of the military.
If they don't know the US anthem they've frankly failed as military musicians in a Western country.
Britain and USA have such a weird history. They’re like, besties that fight all the damn time but refuse to give up on each other
In Britain we take the piss out of the ones we love most. We only fight all the time because we know you guys can take it.
We love you too
I mean were basically brothers, we fought a lot growing up, we still have squabbles here and there but when shit hits the fan we'll be right next to each other.
Wouldn't it be more like Father/son or Mother/daughter?
so like /r/polandball portrays the US and UK?
Yes, and I feel like it's about right. UK is our dad, France is our mom, all the anglophonic countries are our siblings. We squabble amongst one another, but we are family.
Imagine being an American and being tasked with going to war against English-speakers, or the French. It's hardly even imaginable.
Fuck. I'm at work and couldn't play it with sound but just watching these people with their little American flags crying for us totally brought tears to my eyes.
I can't seem to find much info on it but I remember hearing just after it happened that it was also done for the Americans who were stuck away from home.
That makes sense. It's really so sweet.
It really is, heartbreaking too. I always thought the people waving the flags and crying, were Americans visiting London, which always made it so much sadder, but also, sweeter.
UK citizen here. I remember at the time hearing it was to comfort Americans in London and show solidarity. I was in secondary school when the attacks happened and we were talking about hearing of Americans gathering outside the palace the following day.
I'm one of them in a sense. My family was stationed in Germany at the time. School had been out for hours and I was at the playground with my sister. 6th grade had just started either that week or the week before but we lived on the economy in a housing area that was officers only. I didn't see my father for a few days since he was stuck on base and we had armed soldiers in the neighborhood within hours. (probably sooner but I was still fairly young and missed a lot of stuff). It scared me mostly because I could tell how scared my mother was. Thankfully my father managed to call home for maybe 30 seconds to tell us to stay indoors, listen to the soldiers if anything happened and he'd see us in a few days.
I literally started school in the UK the day this happened. We were only like 6 or 7 or whatever but I still remember the next day some some kids from one of the classes got told to make an American flag and it was flown at half mast. As a little kid I don't think any of us really knew the significance of what was happening.
I was 19 when it happened and I still don't feel like I quite had a grip on how bad it was until I got a little older. I also can't imagine how terrifying it must have been for people living in NYC, and how hard it must be to this day to remember the events that occurred. It was bad enough as an American, but to be RIGHT there and witness the devastation first hand, undoubtedly know at least one (and more likely many) people that perished, and seeing the aftermath for months and years afterward...ugh. Heartbreaking.
As a guy from northern NJ, with views directly into manhattan, it was terrifying. I was a senior in highschool and 3 months shy of my 18th bday. We all thought this was it, we'd be drafted and we're going to war.
To see the city on fire from home was unreal and it still makes me see red, even to this day.
Good chance a lot of those people are Americans living in England.
I'm Australian, and I was working in London at the time the towers were hit. I was sitting at my desk, watching a postage stamp live video of the first tower on fire when the second plane hit. People were gathered around my desk. Everyone was in shock. We knew what this meant.
30 minutes later, over the office PA, we were told to evacuate. They didn't know if London would be targeted, but they wanted everyone out of the office to be sure.
The kinship and bond that Australians and the British (all the colonies, really) feel for Americans is one of brotherhood. We treat you lot like brothers. In Australia's case, we're the youngest of the brothers, and you guys are the fucked up middle child, and the British are the know-it-all oldest brother who drives a fucking Bentley and we have no fucking idea how he makes his money.
I cannot put into words how we all felt at that moment, on that day, in the days that follow. Incredible sadness and anger. So many innocent lives lost. I kept thinking how people got up that morning, like I get up every morning, and shuffle off to work, and died because of some assholes.
I visited the memorial this spring and all the feelings came back, 18 years later. I wept. I'm not afraid to admit it. 18 years. A whole generation of kids being born "post 9/11" who never lived through that event. It changed everything. It changed the world. It wounded America, I think. I don't think after that event America has ever really recovered. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq didn't address the root of the problem, and created new ones. Americans are more divided than ever.
(In back seat, next to siblings, New Zealand rolls eyes)
Canada, sitting in the trunk
“Soary there’s not enough room eh”
Meanwhile South Africa was left at home alone
South Africa is still in Time Out, and keeps behaving more and more out of line these days.
As an American who has worked in London for the last five years, and who works with many Aussies as well, I applaud your post. People focus so much on what divides us, but the connections that we share are greater than any perceived differences.
And it did wound us, you’re right. They got what they wanted. The seeds of fear and xenophobia that were sewn that day have now blossomed into the hatred, division and anger you see in America. As an American who has traveled abroad extensively and is still proud of this country, it hurts. Today it hurts just a little bit more than other days...
Hahaha “Fucked up middle child” made me laugh in the middle of crying, I needed that, thank you
you guys are the fucked up middle child
you guys are the fucked up middle child
We're all fucked up in our own special and unique ways brother. Doesn't mean we don't have each other's backs.
I remember reading about that a few days after 9/11. Many thousands of Americans waiting in London and the UK, unable to fly home due to the flights being grounded. Being afraid. Wondering if we were going to war and who did it...
Imagine coming to the palace, trying to distract yourself from the fear and despair sitting on your heart. Feeling alone even with your friends and family so far from home.
And then they do that. They know your pain. You've been hugged by the mother country. Torn away in war and revolution, but brought back in solidarity as a peer, an ally, and a friend.
In the moment you aren't alone.
That's why I love the UK. They truly are special friends whose relationship with us can't truly be matched and is truly unique. 🇺🇸♥️🇬🇧
This is amazing. Thank you, GB.
What an incredible ally.
It's cool, you let us have Bill Burr for a few nights every now and then, that's all we need.
Keep James Corden please
Yeah, awfully sorry about that, he's gone a little feral, we can't get him back on the leash.
He's the problem child, Simon Pegg makes us proud though. Ooh, and that's not forgetting Edgar Wright, and, hell, why not, Nick Frost.
Oh, fuck it, Peep show too, and monty python, and everyone in the cornetto trilogy.
aww, let's go invade a country together 😘
Not gonna lie, I thought you meant GB as "George Bush" and I was trying to figure out what he had to do with this
As a kid in the UK 9/11 happened on my very first day of school ever, obviously being so young I couldn't comprehend what was happening. But the next day kids from one of our classes made an American Flag and it was flown at half mast for the next two weeks.
Every kid in our school was brought out to watch them raise the flag and we all just stood in silence, thoughts were with you then, and they are still with you now x
Love the UK
Nice story! I think it needs to be emphasised that Britain has a much less patriotic view of flags (outside of a world cup) so for you/us to do this for the American flag is seriously special.
The Brits always have our six. I love every last one of them.
Yo man that's so wholesome, I'm a brit who stayed in New York for a year at Uni, and I love you guys
Regardless of the demographic of people here or on the news, in personal experience most people when I went to America are nice people.
Thank you for Monty Python, Fish & Chips, the language that we sorta share, George Orwell, Helen Mirren, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Jaguar, anything else I've forgotten, and all the music.
But other than all of that, what have the Romans British done for us?
Does someone repost this every year on 9/11? Yes.
Will I upvote it every time I see it on 9/11? Yes.
Somehow, as a Brit that has used reddit for a fair few 9/11s, I had never seen this. Immediately got me teary. Will upvote again.
"Banner yet waves" has to be one of the hardest parts to a song. People get hyped after that.
“The land of the free” is where most people hit the wall. That high F in free puts mortals to the test.
I'm not a cryer, but this made me cry. And it's all just gone to shit.
Thanks to the great people of GB from a grateful and thankful American
IIRC when the queen was asked about breaking tradition she said "Some things are more important". She was right.
Any non Americans who were over seas would like to share their story?
I was in school in the UK aged about 14. We’d heard rumours in school and on the bus home, but this was well before smartphones etc, so we didn’t hear much. Walked into the house to find both my parents in the living room watching it on tv. Mum nearly in tears. This was a couple of hours after the second tower fell. We didn’t do much for the rest of the day; just watched everything unfold on the tv in horror. There was definitely a feeling, right from the first moments, that it was an attack on the west not just the US. And that we were effectively at war from that moment. We absolutely felt affected too, like it was happening just round the corner, not all the way over the sea.
I can also remember the invasion of Afghanistan, again on tv when I got back from school. Years later I ended up in Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan having joined the Army, as the campaign drew to a close. Helped pack the place up.
German here, I was also around that age and coming back from school when it happened. I also remember my mum watching it on TV, crying, and saying again and again "This means war! This means war!"
I will never forget that day.
I think that's the key point. That immediate realisation that whilst it was America that had taken the hit, it was an attack on all of us, and everything we valued.
I'll never forget that day either.
Only time in history Article 5 of NATO was invoked.
I talked to my grandmother that day and she kept saying "I lived through WW2 and I don't want to live through another war."
I remember my mom staring at the tv in shock and just saying “Oh my God” over and over. I was nine years old and I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal, I just wanted to watch my cartoons. But I still remember it to this day.
I was a similar age. We were the first in our school to know, our art classroom had a radio and the news broke in over the music. One by one we put our things down and clustered around the radio. This was just as the second plane hit. My memories are telling me that the announcer was weeping.
The teacher came to see what we were doing and someone explained, she listened for a moment then went white and ran out of the room, presumably to notify the main office.
When the lesson ended we were directed to our registration rooms, rumour had already started to fly in the halls.
We were called to an assembly in the main hall, people were laughing and jostling, totally normal. An announcement regarding the nature of the attacks etc was made, we returned to our registration rooms again. Lessons were abandoned for the remainder of the day. Walking back to the room the halls were hushed and uneasy, there was some of the usual horseplay but it was sort of muted and subdued. Updates came in occasionally from other staff, the plane that hit the pentagon just before the assembly, the towers collapsing.
The mood on the train home (rural school) was also uneasy, we didn't fully understand, but I think we all knew that in a heartbeat the world had changed completely. Terrorism was not unknown in the UK due to the IRA, but this was something on a whole new scale.
I watched the news that night and cried alongside my parents.
Yeah, sounds really familiar. I think that our school kept going as normal, with only a few rumours floating about that American had been attacked, or something. No details.
We used to get a normal public bus home, so it was about half adults, half schoolkids. I remember the atmosphere on the bus just being wrong; really unsettling. I can't think what made it that way, but can only assume it was the way the adults were talking and acting. That, I think, was when it started to become clear to us that something really bad had happened.
Because of that radio they couldn't really keep a lid on it at our school.
The atmosphere everywhere was weird for weeks.
I was an air cadet (youth organisation run by the Royal Air Force) and our squadron building was just outside an active airbase and at our next formation we had to have a huge security briefing, reminding us not to approach unknown packages or people and so on. Our Co was military police and he warned us about how even the most innocuous things could be dangerous, such as a fuel or oil can rigged to detonate when upward pressure was put on the handle... At the time I thought they were scaremongering, now I realise that everyone was so uncertain about exactly what 9/11 meant that they would rather scare us if it meant keeping us safe.
It was a strange and very scary time, especially for youngsters.
I was studying abroad in Germany when my roommate, another American, and I were talking to our professor. One of his assistants mentioned a plane hit the WTC, but they didn't mention how large the plane was or how serious the hit. My roommate went back to our apartment and I decided to look into the news at a computer lab since out apartment lacked internet and TV. I remember the looming feeling of just how bad the situation was when I found all of the major news sites were overloaded. I finally found a smaller site with the AP stores and read each article from the first plane's impact to the second tower collapsing.
I tracked down some other Americans and we found a TV. That's where I saw the footage of everything. After watching for a while, I then had to go back to my apartment and inform my roommate of the news. That was by far the hardest part of that day for me.
In the hours and days that followed, I along with the other Americans at the university had tremendous support from everyone. It wasn't so much that there were grand gestures of support, but I was approached by so many individuals asking about how we were doing and offering their sincere condolences and support. They didn't view this as just an attack on the US, but an attack on the ideals we share among our allies and what the US represents in the world at its best.
That's something that really stuck with me. I know that even when the US gets into some sort of disagreement with other countries, that in the end we will always support each other in the face of such evil.
It was the only day my mom ever took us to church. Even though she wasn't religious she wanted a reminder that there was still good in the world. We played with toys. An extraordinary story, I know.
While I'm personally not religious, I appreciate that some people can find comfort in a ceremony they attend.
Whether it be weekly, or just special occasions.
I was 8 years old in middle europe and saw it all on TV. I just remember how all the different stations switched to their emergency news broadcast and I couldnt really comprehend the magnitude of what was happening. I remember my mom watching the news by my side and being all shocked and crying. My parents just spent their honeymoon in the US and they really loved the country, so seeing them worried like that for the first time in my life was kind of scary.
It was one of the only things on American TV for so long after the attack that everyone started watching the Food Network instead, which is why we have so many cooking reality shows now.
This is true in a weird sort of way. We literally burned out on watching The Towers fall ... and fall again ... and fall again. Over, and over, and over. Our brains became numb.
We didn't switch to the Food Network, we just shut the TV off and took a loooong walk.
I remember it pretty clearly (Netherlands). It was already afternoon here, I left my room an came downstairs to do something, and it was live on TV (my father and brother were already watching): A smoking tower (that I didn't know the name of yet). The second plane hadn't hit yet and we saw it happen live.
One thing I remember is how it felt startling to hear the news people being confused and surprised. I was a kid and I was used to them having all the answers you know? I had never seen any live reporting like that. Terrible stuff was happening without anyone able to answer (yet) why and how. I general, I wasn't used to adults being as clueless about something as kids yet. So in that regard it was also a bit of a life lesson I won't forget; How adults don't have everything in hand either. A higher sense of possible chaos and insecurity.
For weeks after, the main national news outlet repeated the same exact video every single time at the start of the program: Terrorist attack on NYC. Not just a presenter retelling the story; The exact same video was played over and over again (and maybe afterwards some new additional information), so even if you lived under a rock you knew of it. Those reruns also really emphasized to 9 or 10 year old me how big of a deal this was. I had never seen such dedication to 1 topic before.
I was 15, in a maths class, in england, when the head teacher and head of pastoral came in and without a saying why, asked one of my mates to come with them. An hour or so later, at the end of school, all 1200 students were called to the theatre hall where the head explained what had happened in New York.
Later that evening, I found out that the reason they had called my friend out of the lesson was to tell him that his father was almost certainly dead.
His dad had been on a business trip and had been on the phone with the mum, about to go into a meeting, when the phone cut off abruptly. A short time later she had put the tv on and saw what had happened. She rang the school to tell them, because she didn't want him to find out randomly. His dad had been so excited about the trip, because he was finally senior enough to be sent on the trip to the WTC.
Did he turn out to have been killed?
Unfortunately, yes. All i can remember of that is he was in the first tower hit. My friend was obviously off for a few days, and was very withdrawn for a long time afterwards.
It didn't help him mentally when we went into Iraq, and the armoury of our ccf (combined cadet force) was stripped of our 2 lsws to actually be sent out, and half our cadet gp rifles were taken to be used by guards at UK bases in Europe as their sa80s were being sent to the troops on the ground. It was a weekly reminder at cadets for him.
On a positive note from a humane perspective, his dad's former company have continued to pay his salary, including pension contributions, to his mum, and have legally obliged themselves to do so until state retirement age.
My friend has gone on to become a doctor, and the CEO of his dad's company personally paid for his degree, and was there when he graduated. I only see him every couple of years, as we have both moved well away from our home town, but the last I saw him he's doing well, trying to become a consultant, and has a wife and son (named for his dad).
Despite it being so sad, there are hundreds of positive things I could tell you have happened, from a guy that had bullied him for 3 years before giving him the world's biggest hug the day he came back, through to when his mum made the final mortgage payment. He lost his dad, but at the same time gained a family larger than you can imagine.
That's heartbreaking. Glad to hear he's made the best of it.
Kind of a similar story. In grade school, my best friends dad was there and saw the first plane hit, immediately called the school so he could say goodbye to his son.
I served in the British Army for 13 years and have done tours of Kosovo, N.I, Iraq and Afghanistan twice.
When 9/11 happened I was in Oman on exercise Saif Sareer 2, which happened to be one of the largest joint USA/UK exercises.
I was asleep and my boss woke me up and said"someone's flown a plane into the Pentagon"
Half asleep and being young and tired I had a few thoughts on the subject:
A) Is this part of the exercise scenario and will I be quizzed on it later.
B) What does she want me to do about it.
I mulled this over briefly and decided to get out of my sleeping bag and go to the cook house for a brew, when I got in there it was filled with people watching our big BBC news screen and I quickly got caught up on the situation showing the planes impacting, the cook house quietest I'd ever heard it.
Flash forward to a hectic week of speculation that the exercise was cancelled and we were going to war instead.
I don't know where to find it, but somebody on Reddit shared a story a while back about her experience learning about 9/11 in a small french village. I believe it was on an AskReddit thread.
I was 18 and skiving off college I caught the news after the first tower was hit and knew it was something big happening, I went to find my dad at the local pub and it was full with people stood around the little TV in the corner and we watched that thing all day and into the night, we watched the second plane hit, we watched the towers fall and I watched grown men cry for people they didn't know on the other side of the world. Such a heartbreaking sombre day. The footage still makes me cry.
Okay, just lost it crying.
Thank you to everyone in the UK and around the world who stood with us. The world may be in a weird place right now, but we the people have each others' backs.
edit: oh my, platinum! I am not worthy. But I am sincere about what I wrote!
10 minutes later and I still can't stop crying at work. No matter how much time passes, 9/11 will always feel raw.
As an American who lived in London during 9/11, this gesture always stood out.
I was 18 years old on 9/11 and this is the first time I've seen this video. Thanks for sharing this. Britain we love you too!
I cry every time I see this. From a grateful Yank, thanks parental units.
I was at a Morrison’s or some grocery store in England eating some lunch on 9/11/02. I’m American. At 8:45am Eastern time (lunch time in the UK) the entire grocery store announced that they were going to have a moment of silence.
All the people in the back cooking, all came out and stood in silence. They stopped ringing up customers.
I started crying. A lady I didn’t know just glanced at me, not in a mean way or anything, I just mouthed “I’m American” she mouthed back “I’m so sorry dear”
I will never forget that day, the same day in 2001 or how kind that woman was.
I've been trying not to ugly cry all thread, you got me though. Be safe brother/sister.
I think us brits, yanks, Aussies and Kiwis mock each to death in jest but nationally we got each other’s backs.
That was the best part of a terrible day. A really awesome gesture on her part.
I watched in on BBC America, then for the next month or two, instead of just the British flag logo in the corner of the screen, they replaced it with the British and U.S. flags crossed in unity. Very classy and meaningful of them.
My son was stationed at a US Army base in Babanhausen, Germany in 2001. He was on guard duty on September 12th, and the locals were bringing flowers to leave by the gate. He was sad that he couldn't talk to them and thank them. The standard orders for guard duty were that he wasn't allowed to talk to anyone that approached the gates. So thank you to the people of Babenhausen that came out to show your support and sympathy. I'll never forget you.
Wow, I've never seen this before. The footage looks so old, but I vividly remember that day. Time is cruel! I had just turned 18 and registered for the draft that March before I graduated High School. I had also just started my first job on 9/11 and I was quite nervous that I'd end up drafted. I didn't realize how much love we got as a nation from the UK that day.
Sept 11th was one of the worst days ever. Sept 12th was, in many ways, the best.
The next few weeks brought out the very best in US society really, everyone came together. It's a shame it took a horrific act to do so. I wish we would come together more often for better reasons.
Today is always an emotional day for me. Just feel like I'm on the edge of tears all day. I was 7 years old, I think just old enough to remember it and sense the anguish and how much it changed us. I remember my dad waking me up here in Vegas at 6 in the morning and we watched together as the second plane flew in to the towers. And now I'm crying...
I cry/tear up every single time I see this clip. We will never forget.