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One of my coworkers was a firefighter whose squad went to help at ground zero for three days. She didn't talk for three weeks after that and she normally dominates the conversation at the lunch table.

Her job was to sort and tag. Yes, she saw some horrific things sorting through the rubble and had to tag some of that, too.

My husband works at a place where he could see the towers from across the river, so he remembers going up to the roof of the building and seeing the smoke.

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Because of my proximity to New York City, many people from my area commute to NYC to work. The saddest thing to me was seeing new obituaries every day for months after the attack. As bodies were identified, the families reported the death to the newspaper. It seemed to go on forever and there was no escape from it.

My kids were 12, 9 and 7 at the time. There are several spots in my town where you could clearly see the WTC. I used to always point out the towers to them and they always looked over. On 9/11, all there was to see was a plume of smoke where the buildings had been. It burned for days.

My assistant was the first person to tell me that a plane hit the WTC. I assumed that a small plane crashed into the building, that wouldn't be a suprise. When I heard another plane hit the other tower, I knew there was trouble. She called me today and reminded me it was 8 years since that day. I can still clearly remember her matter-of-factly telling me about that first plane.

I had a business meeting in 2008 at a building that was directly across the street from the Ground Zero site. It was a hole in the ground then. The conference room had a huge window that faced Ground Zero looking towards the river. That meant the building I was in would have been hit if the towers weren't there. Several people in the meeting were in this building on 9/11 and they were scared. I was stunned just being there many years later.

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In Europe most of us were watching tv and we saw it as it was happening. The news came some 5 minutes after the first plane crashed into the first tower.

Then some of us called our relatives and friends in Manhattan but the lines were useless on that day.

And then we wouldn' t believe it for weeks...

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tonight will be the first (and only) tv debate between the two most likely candidates for chancellorship in the upcoming elections...

contrary to the Obama-McCain ones these will very probably be one of the most boring tv shows this year, because 1. Mrs Merkel pretty much refused to do any campaigning ("I'm in the lead, and if I don't say anything I won't say anything wrong"), 2. they can't argue over the past 4 years of governing - because they did it together and 3. they won't argue too much about the future - because it's very possible that they'll end up governing together again!

:laughing: :doh:

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if nothing drastic happens then she almost certainly will stay chancellor too... it's only a question whether in a grand coalition with the Social Democrats (like it's currently) or in a small coalition with the liberal Free Democrats (let's hope it doesn't come to that :P )

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  • 2 weeks later...

in case anyone was wondering ( ;) )

preliminary official result (comparison to last election 2005):

Conservatives: 33.8% (-1.4)

Social Democrats: 23% (-11.2)

Liberals: 14.6% (+4.8)

Left party: 11.9% (+3.2)

Greens: 10.7% (+2.6)

others*: 6.0% (+2.1)

* including Pirate Party: 2% (+2) as the biggest of them

NOTE: you need 5% of the votes to enter the parliament

Angela Merkel (Conservative) will stay chancellor, but instead of with the Social Democrats, together in a coalition with the Liberals.

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