I remember working for the City of Garland, Texas Fire Dept. as a civilian service provider. Whe Admin. Captain/PIO came in and told our fire chief of the attacks. Our chief then worked on gathering a contingent of firefighters together who wanted to go assist their fellow brothers and sisters at ground zero. We were all just in horror and terrified that this could ever happen to us after Pearl Harbor. I pray for those past and present who continue to hold with steadfast resolve to protect our freedom for their safety and for the families of the ones we lost on that tragic day that God continues to bless and comfort you. God bless America.

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I was in my fourth grade classes, Someone notified everyone in the school through the PA system and asked the teachers to tune in on the classroom TV’s. I remember the images of the smoke from the twin towers on the screen, it was scary. We, the students, didn’t comprehend what was happening. Our teacher, Ms. Franz, explained to us what was happening, she told us how the towers were very big and important.

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Elisabeth Brubaker

I still remember where I was and what I was doing 10 years ago. Sitting in my headmistresses office in Villanova, PA getting our new candy striping uniforms. A teacher came in and told the headmistress what had happened. As an 8th grader they only told us what happened, the upper school girls were allowed to listen to the radio. We gathered with our advisory groups to talk through what was going on. One classmate’s dad was supposed to be at a meeting in the towers that day- he chose to go to another meeting instead.

I am grateful I didn’t know anyone who was in the towers that day or on any of the planes but as I sit on my rooftop in New York City now I can sense the void in the air where two strong and beautiful towers once stood. I ache for the day every life lost and every person that fought to save those lives can all be honored together.

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I was in the 4th grade when this happened and I didn’t really know what was going on until I saw the planes crash into the Twin Towers, but still I didn’t really realize the significance of what happened until later on. My dad was a Lt. Col. in the Air Force at the time and I just remember how the base was put on lockdown that day and throughout the rest of the month. I think that was what really hit me of how bad things were because I had always seen the base as a safe place for all. It’s just amazing how one little act effected so many.

I will always remember seeing the photos and videos of what happened on 9/11 because they were so disturbing and made you really appreciate what you had and what America stands for as a whole. Freedom will always be a part of who we are.

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I skipped downstairs and plopped down at the kitchen table like I did every morning before school. My mom poured me a bowl of cereal and simultaneously turned on the news. I was aimlessly digging through my backpack as I heard my mom turn up of the television volume and whisper, “Oh my gosh.” I looked up from what I was doing and saw a plane crashing into a very large building that immediately broke into flames. At the time, I did not think much of it. I was confused as to why my mother ran to the phone to call my dad and said a prayer out loud. I asked her why she was so upset and I still, to this day, remember her saying, “This is very bad. Play for the people in those buildings. This is very very bad.” Hearing the panic in my mom’s voice sent shivers up my spine. We continued to watch the news and the reporters seemed just as confused as I was. After a couple of minutes another plane crashed into the second tour. This is when my mom’s face turned white. She handed me my backpack and walked me to the bus stop. She told me not worry and if I was scared I could call her and she would come pick me up from school. I got on the bus still not knowing what to make of what I just witnessed. None of the other kids seemed to know anything about the plane crash so I just sat quietly in my seat staring out the window. When I got to school I quickly found my best friend, Adele and asked her if she had seen the plane class. She told me that she had watched the footage on the news with her mom and was scared. We walked to our first class together which happened to be math class with one of the nicest teachers. One of the more outspoken boys in my class brought up the plane crash in front of the entire class which caused an uproar. As 5th graders, we were all very scared and like me, all of the other kids weren’t sure what to make of the situation or the impact this attack was going to have on our futures. Our teacher reassured us that it was her job to keep us safe and she would do everything in her power to protect us. She gave us each a hiding spot in the classroom that we could go to just in case something did happen and this made all of us feel a lot safer. My memories of September 11, 2001 are something that I will never forget.

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I was living near downtown Portland near the local heliport often used by various news organizations. I had the day off and once I woke up did not turn on the radio like I usually did. It was an unusual beautiful sunny day for September in Oregon. I did not hear the usual fleet of news helicopters flying overhead to go tell everyone that the Stadium Freeway was backed up, which is was most weekdays and therefore not very newsworthy, but I just figured something had happened in the suburbs, up in the mountains, or over on the coast, so the silence did not alarm me.

Around noon Pacific time, I did finally turn on the TV. Since I didn’t have cable the picture was a little fuzzy at first, then instead of the local mid-day news anchor’s voice, I heard Peter Jennings’ unmistakable voice saying something about “you can see the smoke from midtown.” That got my attention. Something big was happening in Manhattan. I believe it was shortly after that that the second building came down. After watching enough news to figure out what had happened, I went to the one place I knew most locals would be gathering, Portland’s living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

It was a very interesting time. There was a moment there when most of the world was on our side, with even the French were saying “today we are all Americans.” Sadly, that feeling did not last long.

I could write more, but I have assignments to do for class.

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I was in my 7th grade homeroom class. My English teacher, Mrs. Morris, came in and asked to turn on the TV. We watched in disbelief as the events unfolded. It wasn’t real. The tears on my teacher’s faces made it real. I didn’t understand the full extent of what was happening. Although I had been in the US for almost a year, the next day it felt as if I set foot in a different country, like I was no longer welcome. It may seem odd that a 7th grader would perceive the events of that day in this way, but the hijab on my head made me different. All of a sudden, I was the “other.”

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Emily Robards

September 11, 2001 was a few weeks into my SMU experience. I was a first-year living in McElvaney Hall. I remember my dad calling and waking me up to tell me to turn on the TV. I was shocked at what I saw but thought…I’ve got to get on with my day and get ready for class. I went down the hall to shower and when I came back out the 2nd tower had been hit. I then realized the enormity of what was happening. I was an aspiring journalism major so I pulled out my handheld video camera and began to record the day. I took video of the TV in our dorm room, the assembly at the flagpole and interviewed friends on campus.

10-years later and thanks to my SMU degree, I am a professional journalist. Now I get to cover history changing events like 9/11 and I’m looking forward to being a part of the anniversary coverage.

I still get tears in my eyes thinking about that day and all it changed. Thanks SMU for comforting your students then providing a safe home when things seemed uncertain.

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Nicholas Makarenko

I am a New Yorker and my family will never forget what happened that day. My son was only 6 months old and had been sick and unable to eat for days. After 3 days in hospitals and seeing my baby deteriorate we got the good news that all he needed was a simple surgery to restore his intestinal blockage. My son was transferred to Colombia Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan around 12:30 AM on 9/11/01. My wife and I we so tired from the sleepless nights that we feel asleep on the floor outside the operating room. Several hours later we awoke in the recovery room with to hear the babbling of our little boy, full of life again as if nothing ever happened. In an instant doctors and nurses rushed into the room and turned our TV on to what I thought was a movie playing. Then we all heard that the first plane struck the Twin Towers. Several of the doctors ran out down the hall, so I immediately followed them. At the end of the hall was a large window peering downtown to the towers with smoke billowing out of the first tower. What occurred next seemed like deja vu. All of us watched as the second plane struck and in that instant strangers became united with gasps and tears. What felt like eternity watching the towers fall from that hallway window was life changing. Back in the room with wife and son amongst the chaos of hospital staff clearing out rooms, the news on TV, and sirens in the distance, I realized in the midst of all this pain, confusion, and death that out of all of that life, freedom, and joy abounds so much brighter. The innocent smile of my 6 months old boy unaware to the tragedy that just occurred wiped away and fears about what might happen tomorrow. My son will carry that day with him for the rest of his life with his scar from his surgery. As a family we are always reminded of what was lost on that day, but more important yet celebrate life, unity, and pride of being American and a New Yorker!

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I remember the day vividly. Like it was yesterday. I was in the fifth grade. Our class of 48 was split into two groups, one in the library, and one in the main classroom. I was in the classroom, when one of our two teachers came in crying hysterically. She was from New York. As students we were curious why she was upset. We began asking questions and our teachers began to tell us what happened. They wheeled in TVs to the classroom as we all sat and watched. My mom came to pick me up early, and we went home, and like everyone else in America, sat in front of the TV to watch the coverage. My dad worked in the restaurant business, and had been at work all day. Around 7 o’clock that night my Dad called from work saying he really wasn’t feeling well. He had chest pain, and was very uncomfortable. My mom and I went up to check on him. I remember the atmosphere everywhere we went was so dull. After standing next to my parents as they talked my mom said I had to go to my grandparents house while she took my Dad to the hospital. Of course, I was worried sick. I later found out my Dad had a heart attack that evening. Since then my Dad has been on heart medications, and has constant check-ups with a cardiologist. We remember this day at our house. With family in New York, (which my Dad thinks contributed to the heart attack – his strong ties, and being from there) we always remember how blessed we are. We later found out that my Uncle was supposed to have a meeting on one of the upper floors of tower 1 that was cancelled 5 minutes prior to the first plane crash.

God Bless the families of those lost on 9/11/01

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