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9/11 as the Chilling Details Unfolded Online

Read the minute-by-minute horror and fury. And never forget.

Paula Bolyard


September 11, 2013 - 10:00 am
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On September 11, 2001 the blogosphere  was still in its infancy and Twitter was five years away. Instead of tweeting, Americans turned to e-mail lists, message boards, chat rooms, and forums. At the time, Free Republic was — and still is — a popular forum for sharing news and discussing issues — including many issues the mainstream media ignored or couldn’t keep up with. On 9/11 there were twenty-one different threads at Free Republic related to the attacks — the first comment was posted at 8:52 a.m., just six minutes after Flight 11 slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. By the end of the day there would be thousands of comments as Freepers discussed the attacks and sought information.

It’s heart-rending to read through the threads and relive the play-by-play as the events unfolded. But it’s also fascinating to see the crowdsourcing aspect of the forum as Freepers across the country pieced the story together and tried to make sense of the senseless.

The Free Republic moderator who collected and archived the threads wrote:

Bookmark this thread, and bump it from time to time when the nation and the press seems to forget why we need resolve in the face of evil. Forgive some of the early misinformation and broken photo links, and recall the horror and fury.

To help us remember the “horror and fury” I’ve gone through the threads and posted a sampling of the comments on the next few pages. I did not edit the comments — I left spelling and grammar the way they were originally posted on 9/11 — I think it helps to convey the sense of urgency in the comments.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (3)
All Comments   (3)
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Before Twitter, FR was the best source of instant news. If it wasn't a conservative site, I'm sure this thread would have been archived and taken to the Smithsonian. Every year on Sept 11th, one of the FReepers will link to the original thread. I pray it never goes away.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I neither knew nor cared much about Free Republic at the time of 9/11 but then found it to be the best aggregator of 9/11 news.

Credit where it is due.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It was my custom and habit back then to get up at 5:30 AM Alaska Time (Eastern minus 4 hours) pour a cup of coffee, turn on the radio to a local station with a live announcer, light a cigarette and wake up with my coffee, cigarette, and the radio. That morning when I turned on the radio it was Peter Jennings' voice not the local guy and I knew something big was happening so I turned on the TV. It is an Alaska fact of life that time is sorta elastic because of TV delays, DVRs, though they didn't exist then, and such, so time is a totally artificial construct. I don't know what I saw live that day but somewhere and at some time I saw it all. I knew all Hell was going to break loose so I awakened my wife then quickly got dressed and went to work. As usual, we had employees scattered all over the State and Nation and with the planes all grounded, they were stuck wherever the plane set down. I had an arbitration that was supposed to start the next day in Anchorage. The union rep had come down to Juneau to talk to me about settling it and, failing that, how we were going to proceed. With the grounding, he and I were stuck in Juneau and the arbitrator was stuck in Anchorage. I don't remember when or even if the arbitration ever took place. My overarching memory of that day and those immediately thereafter is how quiet it was. Alaska moves by air and airplane noise is in the background all the time; and then there was no airplane noise; no Alaska Airlines jets in and out of JIA, no helicopters taking tourists up over the Glacier, no floatplanes taking tourists down to the Taku Lodge, no air taxis flying people to the outlying towns: it was quiet!

We got the usual "Do we have to come to work?" stuff. We got unions huffing and puffing and threatening to blow our house down over whether people had to work or how we were going to pay people who were stranded, or whether the National Guard members we were calling up should be in their union. We had a Democrat governor, but we still had a little self-respect so we respectfully told them to go f*ck themselves and dared them to file grievances. They didn't.

I guess I dealt with it by making myself very busy with my job and my job was very busy for awhile there. But then, there's still a lot about that day that I can't see or remember without tears in my eyes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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