Ten years later, can you still hear the beeping?


I do.

We all wondered what that sound was. It is the 95 decibel blare of a PASS device (Personal Alert Safety System).  It means that a firefighter has not moved in 30 seconds. And on that day, most never moved again.

Ten years later, can you remember what raced through your mind when the second plane hit the South Tower at 9:02:59 a.m.?

Ten years later, do you remember people holding hands and jumping, not wanting to take their last 10 second journey alone?

Ten years later, do you remember hearing about a third plane and then a fourth and wondering how many more there could be?

Ten years later, do you remember the sea of people walking around with pictures of their loved ones? Or the never-ending walls of posters?

In the ten years since, have you take inventory of your own loved ones who had passed away before 9/11 and gave thanks that they did not have to see that day? It may be strange, but I have.

Ten years later, we got Osama bin Laden. But on 9/11, they got my high school buddy.

Ten years later, what do remember about 9/11? And what will you never forget?

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24 Responses to “Ten years later, can you still hear the beeping?”

  1. Aimee-Michelle Gower Says:

    The sound of the locators. To this day I cannot stand that sound!

  2. 9-11 Chirping Sound | Collapsed Towers | PASS Says:

    […] the sound of the PASS (Personal Alert Safety System) alarms worn by firemen, which continued chirping after the buildings collapsed, each one representing a life lost.  I never have been able to erase […]

  3. Tyler Says:

    I’ll never forget when the south tower went down because my uncle was on the 77 floor and when it went down I was clinically dead for a half an hour

  4. Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb – We Climb Because They Climbed | FireBoss Realty - Around Town Says:

    […] The climb will continue until 09:59, the time of the first tower collapse. At that time, the climbers will activate their firefighter distress alarms (PASS device), TAPS will be played in the stairwell and the participants will observe a moment of silence. A PASS device is 95 decibel alerting system that indicates that a firefighter has not moved in 30 seconds. On 9/11/2001 the media described the alerting of PASS devices as car alarms and building alarms. However, firefighters across the nation, intimately familiar with this distress signal, knew the true meaning of the incessant beeping. (Click here for a reminder of this eerie audio) […]

  5. Jess Macy Says:

    Ten years later, I can still remember the feeling of empty, sheer panic, that I did not know where my son, who is FDNY was. I was in FL, burying my mother-in-law and stuck there. His siblings did not hear from him for a very long time, and neither did I. It seemed like an empty, bottomless pit yawning in front of me. And, to this day, I know that feeling.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Dear Jess,

      I am thinking the best of thoughts for you and your family. My brother was a first responder and went on the 13th as soon as his ladder company got proper clearances to go.

      I hope this post helps keep the memory of the heroes as well as the fallen heros and innocent victims alive.

      My best to you.

      ~Mike

  6. Matt Says:

    I am fortunate enough to live 2 doors away from a New York City police officer.

    He was at yesterday’s memorial service at ground zero.

    During the ceremony, a woman approached him, and told him that she could not find her family.

    He smiled, and replied, we are all around you!

    She hugged him and cried,,,,,

  7. Matt Says:

    I am fortunate to live 2 doors away from a New York City police officer.

    He was at yesterday’s memorial service at ground zero.

    During the ceremony, a woman approached him, and told him that she could not find her family.

    He smiled, and replied, we are all around you!

    She hugged him and cried,,,,,

  8. Jessy Says:

    Mike, Thank you for posting this. I have been looking since last night for any video of the “beeping” at Ground Zero. 10 years ago, my girls were 3 and 4. too young to understand. I watched the news for a week straight and kept them playing in their room as much as possible. If they came out, I stopped them at the hallway or made them “look at me”. Of course they would catch a glimpse of the tv and ask. But I answered at simple and non-chalaunt as possible. They knew planes hit a tall building. They knew it fell down. They knew it was bad men. That was it. This year, we all watched the footage together. The “102 minutes that changed the world” and one when 2 guys were filming NYFD making a documentry. But I remembered the news. I remembered the “beeping”. And nothing we saw played that. So I went hunting. I wanted them to know the severity of it. Why it happened. Why we are at war. Why they wear red, white and blue on 9/11.. Why we will NEVER forget. As an American, this is/was history in my lifetime. While it happened in their lifetime too, they never “saw” it. But as their mother, they WILL understand it. Thank you.

  9. » 9/11/01 and Memory - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion Says:

    […] the sound of the PASS (Personal Alert Safety System) alarms worn by firemen, which continued chirping after the buildings collapsed, each one representing a life lost.  I never have been able to erase […]

  10. Matt Says:

    I remember that morning like no other..

    I thought the attacks would never end!

    Pass alarms are still screaming for first responders!

    They have cancer, and are not covered under the
    Zadroga bill.

    I am crying!

  11. Murray Izenwasser Says:

    Mike, I just posted my story, as promised. Ten years later, and I can finally really talk about it: http://murrayiz.com/2011/09/10/my-911-story/

  12. Blackford Oakes Says:

    Ten yeasr ago, we were all Américains

    In the ten years since, we blew it all away.

    They won

  13. Annette Says:

    Michael,
    After the initial shock one of my next thoughts was that in some strange way it was a blessing that my Dad did not live to see the unthinkable in a city where he was a police officer for so many years. Although it is painful to remember, I thank you for reminding us. We cannot let our guard down. They say “Never Forget”. I think some have not necessarily forgotten but tried to put it behind them, because it is so painful to recall. Blessings.

  14. Christina Tierney Says:

    Ten years ago…wow, it still feels like yesterday. The whole world stopped. I worked Government accounts in Texas. My primary client was actually Fort Hood, the US Army’s largest military installation in the free world. Talk about high alert. ESPECIALLY after the Pentagon was hit. I remember walking through the halls of the post afterward and seeing so many people who had worked at Fort Hood now on walls of remembrance. The post was always “open” which meant anyone could drive on and off without ID check or inspection of POV (Personally Owned Vehicle). After 9/11 you did not burp without possible body cavity search. I was so terrified since we lived so close to the post that we would be in harms way. After moving back home, it was sad to see the shooting where I took my boys as little ones to the Fourth of July Fireworks shows, and Memorial Day Picnic celebrations. I’m grateful every day that we live in this amazing country. I mourn the loss of the 9/11 mourners throughout the year. Especially since this is the attack on our country that I remember. I’ve often wondered if that’s how the WWII folks felt about Pearl Harbor.

  15. Chuck Says:

    Ten years later I remember the clearest sky ever on that morning.

    Ten years later I remember the eerie quiet as I left my office building just 25 miles north of ground zero.

    Ten years later I remember the panic trying to get in touch with loved ones.

    Ten years later it’s hard to remember what it was like before this happened.

  16. Rob Says:

    Well, I was in Times Square, in my 26th floor office. Thinking back, it could have easily been any tall building, and it could have easily been me.

    Every year I contemplate sharing as much as I can remember, and every year I decide not this year. Perhaps I just want to eventually forget about all the suffering and death.

    I watched the buildings smoke and smolder from my Yonkers balcony for months and I shed many tears. The non-stop news coverage lasted months.

    Well, anyway, there’s a little bit.

    Rob

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Rob, my brother is a fireman and now lives in Yonkers. After his ladder company got clearance, he went down 2 or 3 days later. He said he got the feeling that the NY fireman wanted to “dig out their own.” He only went for one or two days.

      ~Mike

  17. Heather Says:

    Hearing about the first plane on the radio and turning on the TV news before the second plane, and realizing that it wasn’t an accident. Wondering how many people I knew were in the Pentagon. Thankful that my then-husband’s business trip to LA was the following Tuesday, and that he hadn’t left from Dulles Airport that morning. Friends trying desperately to reach loved ones working on the Hill and at the White House as we heard of a fourth plane heading for Washington, DC. The scrambling of fighter jets over DC. Wondering where the hell the president was, and why he wasn’t saying anything.

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