While driving to work we heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and there were ongoing news reports via NPR regarding what had taken place in NYC. Our take on it was "wow, they are really big buildings and probably nothing will come of this; freak accident and hopefully everything will be okay (except for those that were initially impacted by the rogue plane)
I dropped my partner off at his workplace in downtown Anchorage and then headed to my office in South Anchorage. As I was driving I was listening to NPR, as we had been our our way to work. News became more grim as I was listening and it became rather intense.
As I was driving to my office I noticed military jets flying low around downtown/west Anchorage and then local radio hosts broke into the NPR feed to let us know that a Korean Air plane was possibly hijacked and that downtown Anchorage was being evacuated.
I turned my car around and called my partner and picked him up at his office downtown. We proceeded home to Wasilla listening to NPR while on the road and we spent the rest of the day on the internet or watching horrific accounts of not one Trade Center impact but two and two buildings falling and then we learned of flight 93 grounding in Pennsylvania.
It was a surreal day. The thing that brought it all home for me was when I was picking my partner up downtown in Anchorage and military jets were literally screaming through the air around the inlet and the downtown buildings. I kept thinking to myself "who would target downtown Anchorage, of all places, for a terrorist attack", but after hearing what had happened elsewhere, I also began to think "why not"?
Luckily the KAL hijack was a mere miscommunication between tower and pilot, but the surreal feeling of that day is still something that I can recreate in my head whenever 9/11 is mentioned.
It was a strange day in Anchorage and every September 11 I remember the feelings of fear and disbelief that ran though my head on that day.