On September 11, 2001, 19 militants hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.


History.com, 9-11 Attacks

Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks

In 2001 my husband and I were living with my parents and driving an hour to Vermont Technical College for school. I didn’t have class that day. My husband called me and told me to turn on the news. I felt shock, disbelief, sadness, and fear as I watched the reports of the first plane crashing into the twin towers. All those feelings were multiplied when the news reported on the second plane crashing into the twin towers and the plane crashing into the pentagon. Heavy, sobbing cries came when I saw that the fourth plane had crashed, that the heroes on board had found out what happened to the other three planes and decided they would sacrifice themselves and everyone on board to make sure their plane didn’t kill anyone else. Sixteen years ago, and typing those words are causing a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I didn’t know any of the victims personally, but this changed my country suddenly and permanently.

The rest of the day was confusion and fear, watching all air travel shut down and strand thousands of people all over the country. I shook my head as all kinds of theories were shared…I wanted reliable, verified information, not conspiracies and speculation. Facts didn’t come quickly. For a week, the only planes in the sky were US military. Forever after, the way we board planes has changed. When I was a kid, picking up someone at the airport meant meeting them at the gate as they got off the plane. That’s unheard of now. Changes have rippled through many aspects of life, all traced back to that event.



What memories do you have of this event? How did you and the people in your life feel about it?



6 thoughts on “The September 11 Attacks

  1. I was at work at Roclkland District Middle School (Rockland, Maine). It was planning time for the 6th grade team. Someone had received the news that we should turn on a TV away from the students. We watched in utter disbelief. Parents were calling and coming to get their children. We tried to process what we were seeing and keep calm so we could reassure our students that they were safe. All I wanted to do was get my girls (they were 1 and 3) and go home. I didn’t, they were safe, we were safe. What I remember in the days after was the silent and deep blue sky.


  2. I remember my husband calling me and saying to turn on the news. I just sort of walked around the house numb for a while until it was class time. The number one thing that struck me was just how eerie and quiet the world was, especially living in Los Angeles with no air traffic. Class was short because no one could focus, and I ended up making a couple of pieces of art based on my feelings that day, how awkward and …bruised… everything felt.


  3. I was driving to work on Powers and was approaching Platte when the news of the first plane striking the World Trade Center came over the radio. I thought it was an accident but shortly after I got to the office the second plane hit and they had pulled a TV into the conference room. I worked as a Life Saftey Inspector and was scheduled to works at what was then the Sheraton Hotel at Circle and I-25. When my coworker and I arrived all of the maintained staff were huddled around a TV just as the first Tower collapsed. Over the next hour, all of the planes in the US were grounded and stranded aircrews and passengers from the Colorado Springs Airport began to flood into the hotel.Due to these circumstances, our work for the day was canceled and my coworker and I stepped outside to reflect on what was happening. Almost immediately we noticed an eerie quiet and then the roar of jets as fighters screamed overhead. With three flight still unaccounted for and NORAD and the Air Force Academy listed as high-value targets, Colorado Springs had constant air cover. After a while, we drove back to the office to find most of the office personnel surrounding the TV. For a brief moment while in a daze and staggered by the loss of life being reported the strangest thing crossed my mind: I wondered how much loss the US economy suffered that day because we were all stunned. By noon my boss sent us home and like many others, I think I spent the rest of the day watching various news reports.


  4. I called Rob, AmyBeth’s husband, on the phone. He said to turn on the news. The 1st plane had hit & smoke billowing up the tower. While I watched a 2nd plane came in & hit the other tower. Shock.

    Months later on a newsgroup discussion, a British troll claimed the death toll was exaggerated; everyone who jumped were not killed due to the plane crash, but were simply suicides.


  5. I watched the second plane hit while watching the news of the first plane. My phone rang an hour later, and I was asked to drive to NYC with my Search and Rescue (SAR) dog, a beautiful black and tan German Shepherd named Luke. I made the somber drive, listening to music the entire trip. My dog and I were there for several days. We did find the remains of a firefighter. The quiet among the chaos, the smells, the silent tears; these are all things that will stay burned into my brain for the rest of my life. 9/11 is a time in history that means so much to me for reasons I can’t find the words to explain, yet it is one of the worst times in my life; much like it is for many who witnessed it– either on television or at Ground Zero.


  6. I had just gotten up in the morning and came downstairs to get something to eat. I didn’t have to get to work for hours still. I turned on the TV and the first plane had already hit the first tower. I was stunned. I called my “boyfriend” at the time at his work (a big no-no) but I was just so shocked and wanted to make sure he new what was happening. We were on the phone when the 2nd plane hit and we all knew something wasn’t right.

    I got dressed and rushed off to work. I wasn’t sure if the subway service might be cut just to be safe. All the big towers in Downtown Toronto were being evacuated at 11am. So the subway was busier than usual but it was super quiet. Everyone knowing what had happen and unsure of what would happen next. All that day/night we had the news on at the group home I worked at. One of the clients became fixated on what happened to the towers, but did really understand what was happening.

    A few days later when the planes were allowed to fly again, I remember hearing one overhead, looking up and having a shiver run down my back.
    (Born late 1978)


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