This Friday will mark the 14th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. In the span of only 102 minutes, the landscape of our country, both literal and figurative, changed forever. While we can’t live in the past, nor can we change a single moment of that day, we think it’s important to remember not only the attacks and the victims, but the way we all felt that day and in the days that followed. Tragedy often promotes unity. Somehow in the days immediately following 911, differences were put aside, lines of race, gender, religion and class were blurred. Here we try to talk about the things that we all have in common, the things that unify us. Sometimes that means looking at things that aren’t always pretty or happy. So today we’re sharing first hand ‘where were you when…” accounts of that morning. We encourage you to share yours too if you haven’t already. Do it in memory of the 3,017 people who died, and the 6,291 who were injured on September 11, 2001 in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. And in honor of the brave heroes, and tireless volunteers who risked their lives to help that day and in the days that followed.
Mandy G. :
I was home. I was getting ready for work. I can’t even remember exactly how I felt. First panic I think. Then fear. Where were they going to attack next? And then numb I think. Once all the dust settled (literally), I think just numb, utter disbelief. It was like watching a movie unfold in front of you, but it was real.
Beth B. :
I was at work. I couldn’t believe that someone would have that kind of accident and fly into the tower. We all went into a conference room to watch the TV to understand what had really happened. I believe someone announced at work that a plane crashed into one of the towers… I remember some people starting to walk away from the conference room, and then the 2nd plane hit. Then our office went into a sort of lock down. When we heard something hit the pentagon we were all sent home. By that time it was chaos on the roads and it took me about 1.5 hours to drive from Moorsetown (NJ) to my home in Westmont (NJ). My friend came with me because we didn’t think she could get into Philly. We baked cookies for the afternoon.
Chris S. :
On September 11th, 2001, I was at the dentist office for my three kids in Enterprise Alabama. I was watching TV in the waiting room while my two youngest got a cleaning and my oldest got a filling done. The TV immediately switched to the news about the first plane to hit the 1st building. As I continued to watch the news, the dentist finished my son’s filling. I drove home and dropped my kids of with their mother. I reported into work and immediately began recalling all my soldiers to brief them on the current situation and (to tell them) that this terrorist attack was an act of war against Americans. I instructed them that they follow my orders and don’t hesitate to carry out those orders. Additionally, I told them that they need to prepare for deployment, if we get the orders to “move out”. I was very sad.
Kim G. :
I was student teaching at McDonald Elementary school which was very close to Willow Grove air force base. I was reading a story and the teacher pulled me aside and said that there was a plane crash. I was confused as to why she interrupted me…although sad but not a rare occurrence. It was probably a couple of hours before we knew what had happened.
Michelle A. :
I was driving to work picking up coffee for the Drs office I worked in at the time. Howard Stern of all people was the one that I first heard it from. I was in shock & scared. He was serious -that confused me the most. I grabbed the coffee & entered the office. The phones were ringing on every line. Not one patient came in that day. Each one canceled. We closed the office in the early afternoon but I stayed until 7 to answer phone calls. There were no tvs so I didn’t see any images until I got home that night.
Megan S. :
I was at home, getting ready for work and heard on the radio when the first one hit. I turned on the news and saw the second one on live tv. Driving to work and listening to the radio for the Pentagon and watched the whole day on TV at work. Immediate reaction was shock and disbelief. It was a beautiful day and I was in a great mood since I was pregnant with my first child and it was my birthday. After that, all I could think about was the families that were watching it unfold on tv and wondering about their loved ones. Heartbreaking.
Paul Z. :
I was actually home that morning with [my daughter]. My father came over right after the first plane hit the first tower before 9am. He told me about it and I put on the news. While I was watching the news about the first tower being hit, they were still thinking it was just a freak accident. Then the second plane hit the tower. So I actually saw the plane hit the second tower as it happened. It was crazy. The company I worked for at the time had a headquarters in one of the towers as well. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Receiving calls all day from people in shock. Again, the day was crazy. I really think seeing it “as it happened” rather than hearing about it and seeing a playback later, really shook me up.
Joe C. :
I remember watching in work with co-workers. The boss sent us home to be with family. I do remember vividly driving down (Roosevelt) blvd. and there wasn’t a car on the road with me at the time. And then I broke down and cried for about 2 lights before I could drive again. Then I moved forward to pick up my kids from daycare. Trying to explain to them about bad people in this world was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life.
Bob D. :
I was in Tampa Fla. working at Verizon Wireless Call Center. All of the tvs were on and nothing but news. No calls were coming in, everyone was fixated on the terror. We left work early and the whole town was quiet. It was hard for me to call back to Philly, calls were not getting through.
Stacie S. :
I was on maternity leave just having had [my daughter]. I had just taken a shower. A work friend called me and asked if I watching the news. I had not been. I remember asking her “oh, what channel?” Her answer still sends shivers through me. Her answer was “any”.
Bonnie H. :
I heard on the radio- Howard Stern. I was driving to work. Once I realized it was real and not some kind joke, I just sat in my car listening for I don’t even know for how long. You just knew that everything was going to be different after that.
Tim K. :
I watched it on the morning news in my office. I was watching the regular morning news like I always do when they broke in. I actually saw the second plane hit live. I watched for the entire morning… the Pentagon, Shanksville, the towers falling, wondering when it was going to stop. I was glued to the tv, obviously not getting any work done at all. I remember being afraid and sad. When I got home and turned on the tv again, they were talking about all of the people who were trying to get out of the city on foot. Walking miles, covered in soot and debris and who knows what, just trying to get out of Manhattan. It was like something from a movie.
Adam P. :
I was in 7-Eleven. The guy behind the counter was talking to a guy in the back and I didn’t understand what they were saying. Next thing you know the cash register guy’s face just went blank. He said, “2 planes just hit the World Trade Center.” I paid for my coffee and then sat in my car in the 7-Eleven parking lot for like 20 minutes listening to the reports on KYW. I just kept thinking no way is this even happening right now.
Lori B. :
I was at work in Philly. The entire morning myself an my co-workers watched. Everyone was glued to the tv. We saw everything happen live, except the first plane. If it was on television, we saw it. You couldn’t possibly tear yourself away. You didn’t know what was happening, what was going to happen. We all needed to be connected. Every moment was scarier and more surreal than the last. When they closed the bridges in and out of Philly, I knew I couldn’t get home to my children, and my fear was just inexplicable. I had to call my mother and explain to her why she had to go get my kids and get them home right away. There were a few moments when I actually questioned if I’d see them again.
I’m not sure anyone who, if old enough to remember the day well, can forget where they or what they were doing when it all happened. It’s one of those moments that is frozen in time. The images so vivid, the sights so clear that you can recall it in an instant. It was, simply put, a day that changed history. It changed the lives of thousands of people, and indirectly, of us all.
One Unified strongly supports the first amendment right to free speech. We value and respect the opinions of all of our readers. We understand that there is a small minority of citizens who believe that the events of September 11, 2001 were somehow staged, did not actually occur, or occurred at the hands of our own government (AKA “an inside job”). Today we respectfully ask that if you are among that population, that you refrain from using this site, this post, as a forum to espouse to argue your beliefs. Today we remembering. Today we are revisiting. Whether to not the events transpire the way we were told is simply not relevant to today’s post. The people contained in today’s post are sharing their experiences, their remembrance. Whatever may or may not have occurred, the feelings, thoughts, emotions and outcomes were the same for these people. This is the way it happened for them. Today is their day to share. And we again respectfully ask that you refrain from any kind of argument about the occurrence of 9/11.