I'm a little late in getting this thread started, but I was curious to see if anyone was interested in sharing their memories of 9/11. This forum seems to have a very diverse range of people in terms of geography and age, so we might get a wider range of answers than those typically shared during this time of year, which could be interesting to learn about.
My memory of 9/11/01 is not too full of interesting details. I was in 5th grade in Southern New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia (and about a 2 hour drive south of NYC). Even before the news seemed to reach my school, a few of my classmates were picked up early. Pretty shortly after the WTC towers were attacked, I seem to recall some of my teachers going into each other's classrooms to talk. Some of them got a little emotional, and I remember one teacher saying "they hit the towers". As a 12 year old, the sentence made me assume that she had knowledge that I didn't, and a more complete understanding of the situation, such as who "they" were, and what the reasons were. Two decades later, I have come to understand that this was likely not the case and that people sometimes cope this way when they are in shock. I kind of remember the teachers eventually turning on the television in the classroom to watch the news, but I don't really remember understanding the context of what was happening. More and more students were picked up throughout the day, until it seemed that over half of my class had gone home early. I remember getting home from school and asking my parents if they were concerned our town would be attacked, too. They explained to me that our entire town was not even as populous as the WTC towers in NYC. My dad called his sister and their family who lived in Manhattan at the time, who were all thankfully safe.
While I am fortunate that the events of the day did not impact my life personally, I will note that they did serve as the catalyst to my interest in geopolitics. By high school, I had read a number of books from primary sources about the United State's subsequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their use of controversial private military contractors. It got to the point that I almost went to school for political science instead of engineering, but that is another story.
In terms of how 9/11 impacted the engineering world, it looks like ASCE has a number of interesting articles discussing how the design process was (and wasn't) changed by the events of that day. 20th anniversary of 9/11
Some of the articles here have noted how impressive it was that the towers managed to stand for as long as they did after being damaged. Others pointed out the updated building codes that have come out in the last 20 years, some of which now relate to blast protection. I also recall reading about other changes to large buildings, such as reinforced elevator sh
Postafts, fire suppression systems that wont drain if damaged, and "firemen only" stairwells.
Another article I read noted that while some people feared that 9/11 would lead to "the end of tall buildings", globally, their construction has only increased. Do any of you have anything you'd like to share on this topic?
Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE