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Where were you on 9/11?

I was working at Newark International Airport at the time of the attacks. I could see the Twin Towers clearly from there. It never occurred to me before today that there is a chance that I looked into the eyes of some of the passengers, crew and the scum that hijacked the plane that day. A day that changed the way we live.

By Shelton8
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Walking back to from the dining hall to our residence hall with my roommate. Didn't believe it when we heard people talking about an attack. All of our courses turned into discourse about what was going on. First class that day, the towers hadn't fallen yet.


I was living in New Orleans at the time. My husband (at that time) was military.
I was on campus at the local community college that day, going from one class to another and as I was walking past the student lounge, I saw a large group of people standing around watching the TV. I can still see and feel that moment when I realized what had happened. Everyone was just standing around stunned. There were no sounds just pure disbelief and shock. Classes were canceled and as I was driving home I started to cry. It seemed like weeks before I was able to stop crying.


At work. We were all listening on the radio. Out initial reaction was it was some freakish joke.
How wrong we were.

Hastur Level 8 Sep 11, 2018

In the dentist's chair, getting my teeth cleaned. I could tell something had happened by the way everyone was acting, but I couldn't ask questions. For about 5 minutes, I was the only one in America who had no clue what was happening.


I worked for the company who manufactured FDNY's turnout gear at the time. We had a half dozen'ish firefighters from FDNY visiting, getting ready for a PPE standards conference (we were working on some new thing and these guys were field testing it). They were all watching the news in a conference room, before going out to a controlled burn for the day (this is how you entertain visiting firefighters, burn shit), when the first plane hit the news I was in there shooting the shit with them (I grew up in the shop and FDNY quartermasters, some of these guys were more like uncles). I'll never forget how silent everyone went all at once. As soon as they started live coverage on the ground we started trying to make out back patches so we could tell who was going in. When the second plane hit they all started trying to figure out how to get home. There was no way to get back into the city that night, was what they were being told. When the first tower fell, we started comparing notes of who we had seen go in and hadn't seen back out on the street. My Uncle Jack sat on the floor of the conference room, with tears streaming down his face for what seemed like hours. A retired FDNY veteran, who had seen it all, was numb with horror. Around 3pm or 4pm, we finally got word that all of the guys could get back into the city in a semi truck if we were sending goods to help the relief or search and rescue efforts. So, the company owners rented two straight trucks and we filled them both with boots, bottled water, replacement heat channel knee pads and everything else we had on hand that we thought would help. I think it was about 4am on the 12th when they finally pulled off for the city. We were aware of the other flights at the time, but because of the businesses relationship with FDNY, my personal relationship with so many of the firefighters and the fact that we had so many retired and active FDNY captains in house that day was 100% about New York for me.

Minta79 Level 7 Sep 11, 2018

It was my fifth day as a teacher (6th grade), and the principal came around to the classrooms at about 10 o’clock and told us to turn on the TV, because something important was happening in New York... I don’t think she actually knew what was going on, she just wanted the newly installed “cable in the classroom” to be used I suppose! My TV didn’t work, so I didn’t know all of the details until lunchtime in the teachers room, and everyone was just silently watching and crying. For the rest of the day tons of kids kept getting paged to the office for dismissal, which was so frightening because I work north of Boston and we didn’t know if it was over or more horrors had happened closer to home.

Jenelle Level 6 Sep 11, 2018

I was in the Marines on MCAS New River, in Jacksonville North Carolina. I remember we watched on TV from very early on and while the second plane hit. After that we went to the radar displays and watched the skies clear in about a 300 mile radius ( I worked in the air traffic control radar facility).

Acseeley Level 5 Sep 11, 2018

I worked for a computer software firm and our headquarters was in Tower 2. Worst effn day of my life. I was in Maryland that day at one of our satellite offices teaching a training coordinator class. Lost a lot of really good friends especially a girl who I'd just met and she had recently married.


I was at work. My ex called to tell me that a plane had just hit the twin towers, and I didn't believe him. He called back a few minutes later and told me about the second plane. We had the slowest internet at the office and no TV, so it took us forever to find out what was going on. The rest of the day was pretty much a blur.


That was the day the cast had to go off the books, so I was in my bedroom memorizing my lines for a community theater play. I received a call from a member of my family asking if I was watching the breaking news ---" A plane has hit one of the World Trade Center twin towers", he said. I quickly turned on the news and within a few seconds, I saw the 2nd plane hit the second tower.

"It never occurred to me before today..."

What a daunting realization, Shelton.


I lived in Overland Park, KS. I was a stay at home mom, the kids had gone to school and I always had a radio on. And then what I was hearing on the radio made me turn the TV on. OMG,

My sister ran a daycare in her home and did a brief span of Channel 2 in the morning. When they interrupted that program with real world news? That's when she called me.


I was at my desk, working, here in Cary NC. I remember it was a beautiful day, clear skies, bright sunshine. They put it on every screen in every conference room, and I remember noone said a word as we watched the horror unfold.

zeuser Level 8 Sep 11, 2018

I actually remember exactly where I was when I found out. I was running my crew in my landscape maintenance company we were at a little mini mart gas station doing maintenance when I heard the news


Home on sick leave. Watched the 2nd tower plane crash live.

PBuck0145 Level 7 Sep 11, 2018

Wow like it was yesterday.

My sister was visiting from CA - we were packing up my parents house in MA (my Mom died that March and later we were all so relieved neither parent lived to witness these events).

My eldest sister (also in MA) called and said "Turn on the TV" - I said "What channel?" expecting her to say some morning program with something funny on?
What she then said was "Any channel.".

So I walked to the remote with the cordless phone in my hand - and then I sat down hard. Only the first plane had hit by then.

We sat there just stunned. We watched as the second plane hit as well.

No tears just abject horror.

We actually kept an appointment with a realtor shortly thereafter - both towers were down - and we were in the middle of nowhere CT on a Lake - at the end of a dock. I remember looking upwards and there were zero contrails in the sky? (Bradley International/ Worcester Airport/ and TF Green all intersect in this area - there are always contrails).

We all sort of stared at that sky probably thinking the same exact thoughts.

It was such a universal moment for so many? It all changed that day.

I remember going to a candlelight vigil - I think it was the next evening with all my siblings? My brother was still in CT at that point. It was not so much religious - as people needed to gather. We were so shell shocked as nation.

My memory is a bit eidetic and I so clearly remember bringing my sister back to the airport about a week later. I know there was a delay getting flights back up?

I totally remember seeing someone in military regalia - with a semi automatic as I walked her in to her flight - and then could go no further with her. So terribly scared something would go wrong again and I'd lose my sister this time?

And not just that one person - but many at check points.

I returned to work while my sister was still staying with me - and met a woman who was in the WTC - she was an insurance rep. and she was giving the a NYTs company benefits meeting.

When we realized where she was from - OMG? I wanted to cry. I wanted to hug her but knew we'd both be crying in front of all those people?

I did speak to her briefly afterwards and that stays private.

I don't know if I knew at that point that anyone had actually walked down and out? She did.

RavenCT Level 9 Sep 11, 2018

That was the day I found out I was pregnant. When I got to work everybody was around a small tv watching the news. I remember Katie Couric reporting it on the Today Show. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. []


Getting in my car to go to work. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the radio. At the time, I was a restaurant manager and we had tv’s on in the dining room. We had so many people in for lunch that day so they could watch the news. People just cried and were in disbelief.


At work. My husband called me and told me to get on line and watch the news. Wow! And then i went to pick up equipment for a sleep study. And missed the mass Exodus from work (i work for CDC). The feds were worried we'd get blown up too and sent everyone home. I'm told people sat in traffic for hours.

moonmaid Level 8 Sep 11, 2018

At work, we pulled it up on the TVs.

jwd45244 Level 7 Sep 11, 2018

I was asleep, then I saw the T.V. set was on, I called a friend and he brought me up to speed.

TimFromla Level 4 Sep 11, 2018

I was in my 6th grade math class at the time of hearing about the attacks.

snifflz Level 7 Sep 11, 2018

I was in college. I rode my bike to school that morning alongside my younger brother. We joked about how we never watched the news and that if something big ever happened, we would have no idea....

We got to school and our first class was a religious class that we had taken together. They began the class with a prayer in which the woman saying the prayer emotionally expressed a great deal of concern over "all the people that had died." I wondered if she'd experienced a personal tragedy.

The teacher then got up and asked if there was anyone that didn't know what was going on. I raised my hand and said that we didn't know. He then told the class. I was stunned.

I went through the day in a daze, avoiding the TV's that were on everywhere. I couldn't bear to watch the footage. Because of that it was days, maybe weeks, before I found out the towers had collapsed as well. It was a full year before I finally watched the news footage. It's still so heartbreaking to me.


I was puzzled by the long line of vehicles waiting to get into a nearby military base, but I didn’t hear of the attack until that evening.

But as I was working that afternoon alongside a roadway with my daughters, a police car drove by slowly. I picked up a very strong feeling of love and protection—I could feel the emotion of the policeman. He was thinking that he was ready to give his life if necessary for the protection of such as us.

Call it woo all you want. That was my personal experience and I’ll never forget it.


I had just turned 21....and still lived at home. My Mom woke me up with the craziest face I'd ever seen on her and said we were gonna be at war. I worked with my Dad and he said "fuck this we're going to work ". Wierd day of work and talking to absolutely everyone including strangers about the latest.....hard to explain to my kids how strange that day was


At work at my IT job. I first heard a plane hit one of the twin towers, and I thought of the small biplane that crashed into the Empire State Building back when. But then I hear a second plane hit the other tower, and my soul shuddered...

godef Level 7 Sep 11, 2018
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