Though I was only in 5th grade, the events of 9/11 will live on forever in my mind and my heart. I remember my mother quickly turning on the news after my Dad called her in a panic. I didn’t know what those two burning buildings meant and as the day continued my confusion and worry only grew stronger. It was when my Dad comforted a complete stranger at a gas station when I realized the impact this event had on our nation. It brought us together, and we have been stronger ever since then.
I came downstairs that morning and found my step-dad and mother standing in front of the TV with their hands over their mouths, tears falling from my mothers eyes. As i took in the scene on the screen I wasn’t sure what to think. I didn’t know what the Twin Towers were and did not know this man, bin Laden, who my step-father was claiming responsible. As my mother drove me to school that day she eagerly listened to the radio as the tears still stream down her cheeks. “Mom, why are you crying so much? Do you know somebody there?” I asked. “No. I’m just worried about your brother” she replied. My oldest brother had just graduated Army bootcamp in August of 2001 and she was afraid our country would soon be at war. She was right. And, although my brother did not have to deploy to the Middle East until 2010, it was that infamous day that I learned about the value and sacrifices the men and women of our armed services make daily. Thank you to all the troops that protect this great country, and condolences to those who were affected by this tragedy.
I was late to school on September 11, 2001. I was in 6th grade, and my mom was driving me to school when I heard the the radio dj, a woman who was typically peppy in the mornings, report somberly about a plane crashing into a building in New York City. I remembered being confused by the gravity in her voice. I asked my mom if she was joking, and she responded quietly, “No, sweetheart, she’s not.” It’s something I will never forget.
I was 17 and a high school junior. That morning in Human Geography I was supposed to be delivering a report, ironically enough, on the Middle East’s political situation. On my way to school I had heard reports about an accident at the World Trade Center but it must have just happened because no further details were given.
A few minutes into my report our principal came into our room and asked to speak to our teacher, who had instructed me to continue with my report for the TA. I finished and sat back down, and we all sat in silence wondering what was going on. A few minutes after that my teacher returned with our math teacher (whose classroom was next door) carrying a big TV to hook up.
Just as we started watching NBC’s coverage of the World Trade Center we saw the second plane hit the South Tower. At that moment it hit us that this was not an accident and the implications of what that meant were far beyond any of our comprehension, but we were scared, dumbfounded, amazed, and glued to the television.
The rest of the day was surreal; like a weird dream. Our principal asked everyone to congregate in the gym for a public announcement and discussion about what was happening (as it was happening) and soon after we all spent the rest of the day glued to the TV as we watched everything unfold. Some students went home to be with family but the majority of us stayed in school, myself included. Everything academic was postponed for the next two days as we all tried to make sense of what had happened and what this meant for our country’s future. My high school was small and we all knew each other well, but for some reason we felt much closer to each other the rest of the year. Old grudges didn’t really matter for those few days. These events matured me a lot.
I, thankfully, didn’t know anyone who perished on 9/11 but that doesn’t mean my life hadn’t changed, and my heart goes out to everyone who was forever changed by this moment in time. I still remember when it was fun to fly, and days when you could accompany a friend to the terminal as they waited for their flight, and (as a kid) when you could talk to the pilot midair and receive a wing pin for meeting him or her. It pains me to know those days are long gone, but I’m grateful I got to live them.
On 9/11, I was sitting in my 4th grade class listening to my teacher. She got distracted by the sound of the TV in the computer room next door and went to see what was going on. She came back crying and described that two planes had flown into the World Trade Center in New York. I didn’t fully understand it at first. I thought it was some sort of horrible accident. It wasn’t until I went to PE that day and the PE coach talked about the events with us did I realize that it wasn’t an accident, but an attack. I was in shock. I couldn’t understand how people could do such a horrible thing to others and themselves. As soon as I got into the car after school, I asked my mom every question I could. I turned on the news as soon as I got home, trying to understand what happened. The one thing I could grasp was the pain and sadness people felt. I felt. I was sickened by families being torn apart and the destruction the attacks had caused. I remember wanting to do anything to make it better and joining the nation in unity against the attacks. As the years go on, I am still trying to understand how people could cause such destruction.
I had planned to visit my aunt in New York on September 13th, 2001. Obviously my trip was canceled.
3 months later I drove to Best Buy with my dad, who was set to fly out to Baghdad as an army doc in the 21st CASH. We were going there to buy a laptop for the first time (we take it for granted, but laptops weren’t that big of a thing in 2001), which he would later use to watch movies and play video games on his off-hours in his tent. A few months after he was deployed his CASH got regular access to internet, so we could email back and forth. I often sat in front of a blank email feeling like I have nothing new to tell him.
While he was gone my mom and I would go to barbecues with other army wives, which were generally awkward. Our neighbors put yellow ribbons on our trees and front door. We eventually moved back to our extended family in Miami. She ran all the time in the heat to exhaust herself so she could sleep at night. She started keeping her cell phone on at all times. This was because every once and a while, early in the morning, her cell phone would ring, and it would my dad calling from a satellite phone. Once he mailed me a box of prayer rugs and sand.
He eventually came home. My little sister was born shortly thereafter, followed by my little brother.
I was eight years old when the events of 9/11 occurred. What i remember from that day and from what I learned after the fact are somewhat blurred in my head. My parents explained to me that the the world trade center and the pentagon had been attacked. I had no clue what those things were. As I got a little bit older I saw United 93 and I watched as terrorist took over a plane and as brave passengers fought and crashed the plane. I eventually was able to see youtube videos of the world trade centers falling and of the pentagon being hit. I am part of the last generation who will have memories of 9/11 as my grandparents will be the last ones to remember 12/7/41.
I was in Philadelphia on 9/11 and my best girlfriend was in NYC. Her brother Thomas Holohan Jr. was one of the firefighters from Engine 6 who responded that morning. After the towers fell, no one wanted to believe there were no survivors and everyone kept up hope that somehow they had found their way into the tunnels below the WTC and were safe and waiting for help. I went to NYC to be with my friend. I remember how eerie it was walking around a quiet NYC and on each corner there were hundreds of lit candles and even more flyers that people put up of their loved ones.
At the time I worked for a major Telco. We were on a conference call with our counterparts at our CO in Manhattan. During the call, we lost the connection. We tried repeatedly to dial back in only to get a busy signal. Our first though was “&^%$# We are the phone company. Why can’t we get a connection?” It wasn’t until another office mate ran into the conference room and said, “You guys have to see this” and drug us down the hallway to TV that we found out why.
We found out from a news cast that Twin Towers had collapsed and one of them had fallen on people we had been speaking with moments before. The entire building they were in was crushed flat, taking them and large part of the phone service in Manhattan with it. We lost a whole office full of people we had been working with for months. Even though we never met them face to face, we had become “phone friends” and their loss cut us all deeply.
Later I found out that the wife of one of my dearest friends had escaped the carnage simply because she had run out of lipstick. She had stopped at a store across the street to purchase some. As she was making her purchase, she saw the first plane hit the building. Horrified, she ran back to the subway and went home. Until Anna called to let us know that she was not in the buidling, we thought she was among the missing because her offices were on the 85th floor and she was scheduled to be in a meeting that was due to start a few minutes after the plane hit.
My uncle Rob was working in the Pentagon at the time. We had several bad moments as we studied maps trying to see if we could tell where his office was located in relation to the damaged part of the building. Unable to remember exactly where he was, we eventually gave up. There was much rejoicing when we were able to speak with him later that evening.
I am still quite hurt by 9/11. So many lost.. and for what… I would rather have all of the 9/11 celebrations cease so that I need not face an annual reminder of the ones I still grieve for.
I was in third grade, having class as usual when the principal came on the intercom and told the teachers to be aware. We students had no idea what was going on, I didn’t know anything was wrong until my mom picked me up from school early and wouldn’t let me turn on the TV. Even when I learned what had happened, the true gravity of the situation didn’t hit me until much later.
My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones in the attacks.