Where were you on 9/11?
From inside Ground Zero and far outside, WORLD asked several key observers to remember and reflect for its Remembering 9/11 10th Anniversary Special Issue:
Diane Langburg, a psychologist who counseled many who survived the attack.
Michael Leary, who was part of an International Prayer Breakfast at the UN that morning.
Heather Mercer, who had been arrested by the Taliban and was in captivity in Afghanistan.
Bill Bangham, who was in Kathmandu leading a prayer retreat in Nepal for Christian workers from central and southern Asia.
Wendy Merdian, who was leading a women's Bible study in Amman, Jordan.
Laurie Mylroie, who was part of an investigation into the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Then we asked to hear from you
Where were you on 9/11? Here are some shared remembrances from your fellow WORLDmag.com readers:
BY njpache 08.29.11 AT 10:28 AM
I was on Parris Island, S.C. for Marine Corps Recruit Training. My platoon and I were on team week and were assigned to work in the chow hall. A coke delivery driver came in and gathered us around him, drew us close, and told us NYC and D.C. were hit, that they were gone, and that we were going to war. A year later, I was standing on the steps of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
BY Sawgunner 08.29.11 AT 10:55 AM
I was then working on nights at Brooke Army Medical Center at Ft Sam Houston Tx. I had got back home by about 8am that morning and was well into my usual routine: eat breakfast with my wife and newborn daughter, after which I would head straight to a darkened bedroom and sleep thru the day.
We were tuned into KTSA 550 AM that morning. The hosts were Trey Ware and his father, Ricci. Their newsman was a retired USAF man named Brent Boller. Boller broke in to the usual radio chatter with the news and my wife and I then turned on the TV.
My first thought was some pilot was negligent and some airline would pay a huge tort settlement. But when the second plane hit the other tower suddenly all thought had to shift from lawsuits and damages to actual war.
I have so far not been to the 'stan but I've served in Iraq twice.
Prior to 9/11 I think few of us in the military had any understanding of the phrase asymmetric warfare. BY Mercy-vs-Justice 08.29.11 AT 12:24 PM
I was on my way to college class, but every room I passed had students crowded around the TV. When I finally got to my own class, I saw the 2nd plane hit. It had to be terrorism, & I knew that the world had changed. I changed my major, got a BA in History, and wrote "How we got into this mess" for my thesis. There's a lot of PC smoke about Islam, today. The Qur'an can be read in two ways: the reasonable parts that Muhammad used in Mecca, & the belligerent parts that he used in Medina. All are mixed together, and the reader can follow either way. Basically, the only guarantee of "heaven" (those 72 virgins) for Muslims is martyrdom in defense of Islam. Otherwise, you can only hope that Allah is merciful to YOU when you die. This is why the 9-11 terrorists did shameful things the night before; they knew they would get the virgins anyway.
BY anjcarrick 08.29.11 AT 1:39 PM
Late in the evening on 9/11, we turned on our TV. As missionaries in language study in Kobe, Japan, AND homeschooling our three children, we had had a huge day, as usual. I normally did not flip on the TV to relax, but on this night, I did, just to see what might be on for a few minutes before heading for bed. There I saw a scene showing smoke coming from a plane-shaped hole in one of the Twin Towers. At first, I laughed, and called my wife to come see this totally unbelievable movie line. After all, any movie that showed this kind of crackpot thing must be a B-rated movie. But as we began to look at that impossible scene, we saw a second plane approaching. And when it hit, and, when we heard the way the newscasters were talking about it, we realized this was real-time news. We did not sleep that night. Absolutely surreal.
But the huge learning curve for us was the reaction of the conservative Christian denomination we were working with in Japan. I have always voted Republican since that has been the Pro-Life ticket. But my brethren in the Reformed Church in Japan deeply questioned President Bush's strong bent for war. Being an absolutely conservative, peace-inclined denomination in a peace-inclined country, the RCJ brethren asked me searching questions about why the Republican party seemed so bent on war with other nations. They preferred the Democratic party since it preferred peace. While they were pro-life, as well, for them the more important issue was world peace.
After returning to the USA, I faced the election pitting McCain against Obama. For the first time, I felt conflicted as to whether to vote Republican for pro-life reasons or to vote Democrat for peace reasons. McCain's liberal leaning made me wonder if he would be soft on pro-life, and Obama's strong "get us out of Iraq" campaign promise made me sure he was a pro-peace candidate. In the end, I voted Republican with an anguished heart.
Looking at the upcoming 2012 election from an INTERNATIONAL perspective (particularly a conservative Japanese Christian perspective), the only candidate that seems to be Pro-Peace AND Pro-Life is Ron Paul. It seems our country does not know what to do with this candidate, but I can tell you that, from an international perspective, he is who the world is probably rooting for.
BY radright56 08.29.11 AT 3:14 PM
We were getting ready to go to work when we heard. My son, who was in the army at the time, had boarded a plane that morning. We knew he was in the air at the time, but we didn't know his location. I arrived at school (I am a teacher) and told the secretary to let me know immediately if they had any information. Then I tried to teach. At 11:30 that morning my math lesson was interrupted by a phone call. My son was safe. I thanked God for the news, and at the same time mourned for those who were lost. We must never forget!
BY Nancy librarian 08.29.11 AT 5:34 PM
I was in Pakistan, working at a school in the Himalaya mountains just north of Islamabad. I had just come back to my little apt from dinner to hear the BBC World Service Newshour radio broadcast on my shortwave radio receiver. As soon as the announcer said a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center, I ran back to the staff lounge off the dining room, hollering the news to the staff lingering over their coffee, and they all charged after me to see what CNN might show us on our newly set up computer monitor rigged to accept cable TV. We watched in horror as a second plane flew into the other tower on live TV. I remember sitting there in shock, weeping and asking aloud who hated my country that much to do such a thing. Actually within a few minutes the only other American present turned to me and we both said "Osama bin Laden", the timing was too much like the attacks his group had done recently in Africa. Within an hour the news commentators were also saying that name, and of course we know the story now.
My life was really turned upside-down by that day. My school closed as it looked like Pakistan was going to descend into civil war. Thankfully that was averted and we reopened the next February, but then in August of 2002 we were attacked by Al-Qaeda wannabees, and I found myself evacuating from Pakistan for the second time in less than 12 months. Because of the deaths and trauma of that attack, it was almost 2 years before the school was able to restaff and reopen, but by God's grace we did, and the school continues to function, though it is only half the size it was. I am very thankful that President Bush was in the White House, unlike commenter #4. While Japan has a population raised to abhor war, Muslims are raised to despise anyone who fears war. If the president had not been resolute then, Muslims would have seen this country as weak and contemptible. That is their view of our current president, actually, though they like it that he is in power because he makes them feel stronger. What Americans view as magnanimity or kindness, Muslims generally see as weakness, caving in to them.
God has put me in places I never expected since that day, and very much changed life for Americans in Pakistan. The government of Pakistan works very hard to keep us safe, and to keep their own terrorists under control, but given the teachings of Islam, they have an uphill job. Please pray for Pakistan, and especially for the Pakistani Christians there, they live life on the edge!
BY jschicke 08.29.11 AT 6:16 PM
I was pulling into my job at AT&T, listening to WABC (Curtis & Kuby) when a caller they were speaking with was discussing the first plane crashing into one of the towers with them. He suddenly shouted that another plane had crashed into the other tower. I knew this was something much more than just an accident. I walked into work, and though the work day didn't officially end until later that morning, everybody was fixated on the tv screens depicting what was happening. It would be quite a while before I could hear a plane fly overhead and not think it was getting ready to swoop down for a crash landing.
BY dmaganza 08.29.11 AT 6:16 PM
I was home with my girls ages 1 and 3. My mother called in a panic. She worked within view of the towers and told me something terrible had happened and I should turn on the TV. Then I saw the hole towards the top of the South Tower, the smoke billowing out. I knew what the people inside the building were going through. I had been one of them. I worked on the 80th floor of the North Tower for 10 years - until I had my first child 3 1/2 years before. I had a beautiful view of the harbor from my office that I totally took for granted. I was there for the bombing in 1993 and I knew immediately this was much, much worse. There would be no escape for the people above the impact. I cried. I was devastated. It was like I was there with them. And then the 2nd plane hit, only 4 floors above were I sat for 10 hours a day for 10 years. I wasn't there, but at that moment and for weeks afterward I pictured those people's final moments as if I were there … even one of them I guess.
Shortly after 9/11 I subscribed to the NY Times in order to read their series called "Portraits". Instead of obituaries of those who lost their lives that day, they were windows into their lives and what was happening to them right up til that moment. It's like they have been frozen in time. They produced a hard cover edition of all of them and I own it and read through it every September 11, remembering people I've never met but could have passed on the street or rode the elevator with. People that could have been me.
We must never forget!
BY khendrix97 08.31.11 AT 5:16 PM
The routine at the Health Care Center where I work was interrupted when I passed the lobby television and heard excited voices announcing a plane collision with a World Trade Center tower. I stopped to watch, wondering how such a horrendous accident could happen. And then the second plane struck and my heart sank. This was no accident.
Through the remainder of the work day I kept a radio on, and when I got home I watched the reports over and over. I felt a deep need to personally memorialize the tragedy. Days of meditation on the phenomenon of the bodies disappearing into the air we all breathe reminded me of communion-all partaking of the same body. The innocent were massacred-it was a mass sacred. The rapid departure of a great number of people reminded me of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt - the original occasion of unleavened bread that has since been used in religious commemoration and communion. This picture distilled into these twenty-two words:
of ninety nations.
Communion of ash:
sacred mass of the
to the world served.
(This poem was published on page 92 in Candles in the Dark, Flames for the Future: Preaching and Poetry in Times of Crisis, Editor David James Randolph New Way Media, Albany, CA, 2003. My name at the time was Kathryn McKee.) I retain the copyright.
BY kippo 08.31.11 AT 10:04 PM
I arrived at a meeting of the Dallas Firefighters Association Executive Board after completing my 24-hour shift at a Dallas fire station. At the time, I was a lieutenant assigned to an EMS supervisor position. It was my 40th birthday and I figured I'd go home after the meeting, relax, do a little yardwork and go out to eat with my family that evening to celebrate.
As I entered the office, I noticed everyone gathered around a television. One of the guys said that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. No one realized that the plane was a commercial airliner and we were all thinking it was probably some small plane pilot who got lost and confused while navigating the New York skyline and, pushed around by the crosswinds generated by the skyscrapers, ended up planting his plane into a building. Certainly not an everday occurrence but not likely to threaten the building and well within the capabilities of FDNY. Then we saw the second plane hit.
I immediately left the meeting and went to the fleet maintenance shop where reserve ambulances were stored. I contacted my supervisor on the way and suggested that we start stocking units immediately in case the New York incident was part of a coordinated event that included Dallas and other large cities. After getting approval, I met another EMS lieutenant at the shop and we stocked three ambulances, all that were available for immediate service. We spent the rest of the morning sitting in a break room watching the news reports. Although the reserve ambulances were never needed, they remained stocked and ready for several days.
One thing I do recall is that while I was driving from the DFFA office in West Dallas to the shop in South Dallas, I saw a commercial aircraft over the downtown area headed for DFW airport. High above and a couple of miles behind was a smaller jet, barely visible. I realized later that the smaller jet was probably a fighter aircraft trailing the airliner until it was clear of the downtown Dallas area.
In the days that followed, efforts at Ground Zero were complicated by many first responders-firefighters, police officers, paramedics and others-who "self-deployed" hoping to "help out". Anytime responders show up at a disaster scene, unbidden and without an assignment, they tax local manpower and resources that have to be detailed to deal with them. A lot of local folks who could have contributed in New York were wasted dealing with people who had no business being there and should have known better. I was proud that my department offered assistance immediately but waited until we were specifically requested before we sent people to help. Whenever I read a chest-thumping account of some "trained" responder who "rushed to the scene to help" on 9-11, I can't help but think how unprofessional and utterly wrong that was; making a bad situation worse.
The Dallas Firefighters Association also offered to help through our IAFF counterparts in New York. Eventually, they requested that we send firefighters in dress uniform to attend the funerals of the fallen. Normally, many hundreds of firefighters attend funerals for firefighters killed on the job in order to honor them and their families. But there were so many funerals in New York and their manpower was so strained, only a few could show up at many of the services. We responded by sending delegations on one-week rotations over the next few months to attend as many funerals as our guys could get to. A lot of close friendships between Dallas Firefighters and FDNY members grew from that effort. When one of our lieutenants was killed at an apartment fire a few weeks ago, FDNY was well represented at the funeral.
BY BMacD 09.01.11 AT 2:29 PM
I was working as the headmaster at Penobscot Christian School in Bangor, Maine. I had called someone I knew at a local radio station to get information on running a community calendar event on the air, and she asked me if I had been watching the news. She told me to find a TV and turn it on. I got one into my office and began to watch the tragedy unfold. I was watching when the second plane struck the second tower and when the towers fell.
I got on the phone with my boss, the school board vice president, and he suggested that school should be closed immediately. He said he would be right over to pick up his kids, and so my secretary and I began calling all the families to come get their kids. As it turned out some of the parents couldn't get there until school was out, anyway, so I stayed until after three that day. It was one of the most shocking events I have ever witnessed. However, a couple of days later we had a chaplain from the Air National Guard (and a minister in the OPC) come speak to the school about the attacks. He brought God's word and grace to bear on the situation as we sought to regain our bearings in light of the terrible events.
My wife and I lived at the end of the runway of the Bangor International Airport, which was also used by the Maine Air National Guard. We were used to the very low-flying refueling planes going over our house-sometimes so low that we could see the rivets in the plating. When all flights were grounded that day, and for the next several days, the silence was deafening and eerie. Then, when flights resumed it was difficult to get used to again.
But I'll tell you this: When the invasion of Afghanistan began and the Air National Guard used that runway to support the invasion, the roar of the jets was welcome, indeed.
BY NJLawyer 09.01.11 AT 2:41 PM
I was at home that beautiful day having breakfast, watching the news. Like President Bush, I thought a small aircraft had lost its way, but when I saw the second plane fly into the South Tower, I said aloud "we're at war." Of course, I did not know with whom, nor did I know that a plane would hit the Pentagon or that the passengers of Flight 93 would stop the terrorists flying that plane at the cost of their lives. Nor did I imagine at that moment that both towers would fall.
I was glued to the television that day, and when the transmitter failed, I found a small cable station still able to broadcast. So many people from my town did not return home. The Catholic Church across the street was open to all, as was the Episcopal Church down the street. The next day I was in the park down the street, and as I watched the flag wave a bit, tears fell. I was thinking that they had hurt my country. A jogger saw that and sat down next to me. We began to talk, and I realized that she thought I had lost someone (I had not), and then I realized she had - her twin brother. They were 69 years old. He was retired and had gone into NYC to Cantor Fitzgerald to check on his retirement account. He had been obliterated instantly. With one hand I held the sister's hand and rubbed her back with the other. I asked her to tell me about her brother and listened as she stared at the ground and told me through her tears what he was like, about his travels, and stories of their youth together. I told her those memories would remain with her, that her bond with her brother remained as well. When I went home later, I went into the Catholic Church to pray for this woman in her grief. She comes to mind every year, and I always listen for her brother's name when they recite the names at the memorial in NYC.
BY Chas 09.01.11 AT 4:20 PM
It was a beautiful day in Hendersonville, NC. I had just moved here from Northern Virginia in May. I was outside working on the property. I came in at noon for lunch and turned on the radio to listen to Rush. Instead of Rush, I heard lots of commotion I didn't understand. Then I turned on the TV. I saw a plane flying into a building. I thought it was real time for about five minutes until I realized it was hours ago. I had no idea of who was behind it, but I knew things would never be the same because this was a deliberate coordinated action.
BY Joe B 09.01.11 AT 4:44 PM
I was at work in Mayfield Village Ohio. I had got my coffee when a friend came to me and said that Terrorists had crashed two airlines into the World Trade center and one into the Pentagon and a fourth plane was in the flight path of Cleveland. Later we learned that the forth plane crashed in Shanksville PA. The day after the attack, one of the guys who worked with us a Muslim fellow who had converted to Islam. He was happy and excited. Another guy in our group had been a Marine Sniper. The manager had to send both of them home for the day because the Marine was going to do the Muslim guy in.
BY Pastor Roy 09.01.11 AT 4:53 PM
I was at work,when the radio reported it. I prayed….
BY kBells 09.01.11 AT 6:11 PM
I was in a hospital recovery room where my husband had just had carpel tunnel surgery. The nurse came in said a plane had hit a building in New York. She turned on the TV and we saw the second plane hit live.
BY Jillanne 09.01.11 AT 6:18 PM
I was driving my daughter to school. The radio was on and that is how we heard. They did not call off school, but, I was concerned enough to bring her back home. I recall the eery sound of silence. No planes in the air. I went home and placed our flag on the pole….someone stole it the next day
BY Cheryl 09.01.11 AT 7:27 PM
I was at work. A couple of us had been chatting, and one woman came out of her office and said something like, "A plane hit the World Trade Center. They think it might be terrorism." I pictured a small plane and didn't think much of it (assuming it wasn't terrorism). I went back to my office.
Within minutes I noticed I could hear several radios around me (unusual in the normal quiet of an editorial department). I got up to see what was going on, and ended up realizing people were funneling into a conference room with a TV in it. We watched a replay of the second plane hitting. At some point the Pentagon was hit too (I think I saw it live), and I went back to my office and called my sister and my mother, neither of whom had heard yet.
For the next few hours I went back and forth between that TV and my work, trying to get at least a little bit done. Finally they sent us home. I was glad when flights were cancelled; Chicago seemed a potential target. Later in the week I heard a small plane and ran to the window. The next day I opened a copy of Newsweek or Time, just delivered on September 12, to find a "clever" ad for Luftansa that used the image of a plane between two tall buildings. A few weeks later I was driving to work when I saw a plane angled toward the John Hancock center. I could not stop watching it until it banked and went around. I "knew" it wasn't going to hit it, but I simply couldn't stop watching just in case. It changed the way we view airplanes, and so many other things.
The next day (9/12) I was in the parking garage at the end of the day, and a friend from another department saw me. "Are you OK?" she asked, seeing I looked down. No, I told her, I wasn't. Instantly she asked what was wrong. I said yesterday, and she responded something along the lines of oh that, I assumed something had happened to you. I didn't know what to say. Something happened to every American that day, even those of us who didn't personally lose anyone. (And weeks later that friend told me she'd finally realized how bad that day was.)
BY michelle 09.01.11 AT 10:58 PM
I was sitting at this desk reading my e-mail. Just before I logged off AOL, I noticed a photo of the burning tower but didn't think much of it until I saw the words scrolling across the screen: "by order of the FAA, all planes grounded in the US."
It was six in the morning here in California. I turned to my husband and said, "it's like the War of the Worlds, turn on the TV.
We watched for a long time, but I turned it off when my child got up for school. Seeing those firefighters carrying thick hoses toward the towers and looking up, I got chills. I knew some of them , maybe all of them, were going to their deaths.
Before I walked my fourth grader to school, I sat down and told her what had happened. We prayed for the fire fighters and the police officers.
I think those prayers were probably the only constructive thing I did all day long.
BY Aaron Harrington 09.02.11 AT 12:16 AM
My wife and I had just gotten married a week and a half earlier. I was working at a hardware store and living about 45 minutes away. My sister-in-law called just before I left for work that morning and said the Pentagon had been bombed.
I got in my truck and drove to work, not knowing what was going on, but when I got there, they had the radio on and everyone was very grave that day. All except a couple of guys who came in and were jubalent that someone had "finally tought those guys a lesson".
I didn't know what to say, but after thinking it over for ten years, I wish I had said this:
"The people who did this did not do it to them, but to us. They did it to America, and if you had been in one of those buildings, they would have gladly killed you as well. If they had had enough planes, they would fly one into this building right now. They hate us for our way of life, and for our values, and for what they see as sin. They hate our religions and our freedom. So, if you enjoy saying those things, then thank God that those people are not in charge of this country."
BY Kim 09.02.11 AT 7:54 AM
On September 11th, I was in a classroom with 20 something 3rd graders. One of the teacher's had a daughter that worked for a radio station. She told the rest of us. She also dated an Alabama Supreme Court Judge, and he told her that Osama Bin Laudin was behind it.
Word came down from Central Office that we weren't to have a radio or TV on. We weren't to discuss it in front of the children. They were to be protected. They weren't to know that their lives had changed.
I did get a call that one cousin who worked at the Pentagon had called her parents and she was safe. The other sister hadn't been heard from. We didn't hear from her until several days later.
That afternoon I couldn't wait to find out what all had been going on in the world, but when I got home to my own child I realized that I had to protect her from those images as well. As result, I probably know less about 9/11 than any other historical event in our country's history.
I just realized that third grade class is now college bound-at least I hope most of them are.
BY Ajisuun 09.03.11 AT 6:25 AM
I was on a small mission station in The Gambia, West Africa, a Muslim majority country. I had just gotten home for lunch when a fellow missionary knocked on the door. He said, "America has been attacked." A fellow missionary on furlough in the U.S. saw what was happening and immediately called to inform us. Since we had limited internet, no television and seldom listened to the radio, it might have been a while before we heard.
My co-worker and I hunted up a radio and fiddled with it until we found BBC. We listened in horror as they announced that one tower had already collapsed. Minutes after we found the station, the news came that the second tower had fallen.
The missionaries already had a meeting scheduled to discuss some issues, so we gathered together and prayed instead. Living in a village where everyone is Muslim but us and a handful of converts, we didn't know how people would act. In the days that followed we were overwhelmed as people in the village came to express their condolences and ask if we had family members who were hurt or killed. They all expressed horror at the idea that the men who did this terrible thing were Muslim. To a person they said, "The people who did this might say they were Muslim, but they weren't good Muslims. Muslims don't kill people." The brand of Islam here highly values peace and abhors violence. Obviously hearing those thoughts eased our minds and allowed us to reassure our families that we were not in any danger.
Just a few days later, a few of us had to travel to the capital city. Every place where we saw a TV on, it was tuned to CNN or BBC endlessly playing the video of the plane flying into the tower. We were mesmerized and found ourselves seeking out places with televisions all over town. It had seemed surreal to us, very much "War of the Worlds" as our main information to this point had been radio broadcasts. But seeing the endless loop of terror drove it home to us that America truly had been attacked.
BY jaausc 09.03.11 AT 8:26 AM
I was on my way to help a friend who was bedridden due to back surgery. When I arrived at her house she told me what had just transpired. I sat on her bed and we watched together. We quickly called her husband, who was a private pilot, and he told us not to worry. That they would not be using private planes for what they were doing. Ironically, three months later, he would die in a plane crash in England,leaving her with three small children to raise. So the families of 9/11 and their loss was on our minds and reinforced just a few months later.
I will never forget watching for days on end and praying. I remember walking outside and looking up at the usually busy Atlanta sky and there was not one sound or sight of a plane……
Yet I had a strong sense of beyond the clouds, the lack of planes, beyond our nation's pain and anger and loss, that He was there and that there would be ultimate justice someday………..
BY Louise 09.03.11 AT 5:32 PM
At first, it was a normal Tuesday in every way except for being an exceptionally gorgeous Fall day when you feel like all's right with the world. I was enjoying my walk to work on a wide concrete sidewalk next to the grounds of the state capitol in Albany, NY. Then, the news on my earphone radio made me think that a small airplane had hit one of the towers again, as happened a few days before. But the fast and furious reporting dispelled that pretty quickly.
By the time I got to my office, all the radio, internet and live TV reports were too difficult to keep up with and the second plane was even harder to believe. With the info coming fast and furious and iffy, I called my daughter-in-law at home with my youngest granddaughter outside of DC.
Flight 93, the Pentagon crash, all yanked me back to the truck bomb in '93 that was more believable than this horror in the skies now. I was pretty terrified and praying for all those under threat and in power while I tried to make sense of it myself. Even now there is no sense to it. And that's what they wanted. Still do.
BY KatieCumbie 09.04.11 AT 9:16 AM
I was at work in a supermarket bakery (my pay-for-college job) when a co-worker listening to the radio said "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." The other staff and I assumed it was a small, private plane - some inexperienced pilot or trainee taking off from LaGuardia and catching a crosswind. But ten minutes later, my boss came behind the counter with a stunned look on his face to tell us that ANOTHER plane had crashed into the second tower - and both were on fire. I still remember the reactions of my co-workers when my first reaction (thanks to a steady diet of WORLD Magazine!) was "Oh, my word - that sounds like Bin Laden." The blank stares of the fifteen people in that bakery clued me in to how oblivious America had become to the threats that surrounded her. With the rest of our nation, we watched on the break room TV in horrified shock as the towers collapsed, and the rest of the day passed in a strange blur - but I will always be grateful to WORLD for preparing me in some small measure for what was to come.
BY Armastatud 09.05.11 AT 11:40 PM
I wonder if I and those my age are the last ones who were below the age of ten but able to comprehend what happened on that day. I was in first grade (homeschooled) on the morning of the attacks. I don't really remember seeing the actual footage or fully understanding what was going on, but I knew something bad had happened. My grandparents, who lived in New York at the time, would probably have been able to see the smoke, I was told.
I have one fairly vivid memory from that day: I was standing at the top of the stairs to my basement, where the TV was on and the rest of my family was gathered. I remember this sense of oppression, foreboding, danger, and a sickening feeling in my throat. I was later told that not only were the Twin Towers attacked, but other people on another airplane that was hijacked had decided to crash in an empty field instead of in the Pentagon. For a little six-year-old, that was one heck of a reality check. That whole day felt off. I remember that.
I know a country song that really speaks about 9/11 and why we should remember it. The song is called, "Have You Forgotten?" and it's by Daryl Worley. This is the chorus:
"Have you forgotten
How it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten
When those towers fell
We had neighbors still inside
Goin' through a livin' Hell?
Don't you tell me not to worry 'bout Bin Laden.
Have you forgotten?"
It's really weird to think that most of the younger people I interact with, like the children at Sunday School, weren't born back then. What would I teach younger people about that day? I desperately hope I wouldn't instill just anger and bitterness. What I would hope for is for our country and our young people, of which I still am one, to appreciate just how gracious God has been in keeping our country safe. Think about it: In some other countries out there, little bombings or violent acts might be more typical than not. That just goes to show how safe we normally are… I wish it hadn't taken something like this to make us all aware of terrorism, though.
BY JohnV 09.06.11 AT 9:15 AM
I was in math class at the local university in 10th grade. My dad had just crossed into Canada a few hours earlier on his way to go hunt; he couldn't get back in so he just enjoyed the hunt and came back afterward. I figured the Chinese were invading, haha!
BY wrkngal 09.06.11 AT 9:34 AM
I was at my job as a nurse and on the phone with a patient. He took a long time at one point to respond - he had his TV on - and he told me that a plane had hit the twin towers. I found it hard to believe, but after we hung up, I turned on the radio, as did the whole office. Reports were sketchy, but when I heard about the Pentagon, I wondered if we were under attack and it was World War Three. When I heard a plane went down a few miles away in my home of Pennsylvania, I thought the world was ending…
Where were you on 9/11? Here are some more shared remembrances from your fellow WORLDmag.com readers:
BY NJLawyer 09.06.11 AT 9:37 AM
I have a friend I didn't know 10 years ago who had surgery on Monday, Sept. 10th on her neck, I don't remember exactly what was done, but drains were still in. A nurse came into her room on Sept. 11th and told her she had to leave. Her family was appalled - she'd just had surgery! She and everyone else were kicked out of the hospital to make space for the injured from NY. They, of course, never came.
BY LittleRedHen 09.06.11 AT 12:40 PM
At six o'clock on the morning of 9/11 my husband and I boarded a plane in Seattle, on our way to Ecuador. We were planning to visit missionary friends who would take us to a coastal jungle village, inhabited by Black people whose ancestors had escaped from a slave ship many generations ago.
At 7:00 a.m. we were eating the airline breakfast-cereal with milk and a banana-and thinking about how many miles we should have covered by that time…probably we were over southern Oregon, we guessed. Looking out the window, I realized that the sun was now shining on the right side of the plane. Earlier it had been shining in our eyes through the left hand windows. We began wondering: if the sun is on our right this early in the morning, we must be heading north-but why?
Just then we heard a clicking sound that meant an announcement was forthcoming. The captain came on the intercom and told everyone, "We are heading back to SeaTac. The State Department has ordered all planes out of the sky." All the passengers sat there in stunned silence, questions swirling in our heads. What is going on? Why the State Department, and not the FAA? What could possibly have happened that would demand such an unprecedented response from our government?
By eight o'clock we were back on the runway at SeaTac, one of the last planes to land. We were rushed through the now-deserted airport. At one point we passed a bar where a TV was turned on, but we were not allowed to stop and listen to what was being said. We picked up our checked bags and went to the shuttle station to arrange a ride home. When the van was loaded and pulling out of the airport, the driver asked if we wanted to listen to the radio. Of course, we all wanted to know what was going on. It was hard to comprehend what we were hearing. An hour later, at home, we turned on the TV and watched the unbelievable pictures of that terrible day.
Over a week later, when flights were almost back to normal, we were once more on our way to Ecuador. When we visited the jungle village the inhabitants were shocked to see us. They had heard something about the events in New York and Washington and believed that everyone in the United States had died.
BY quanticobaby44 09.06.11 AT 4:08 PM
I was in a church staff meeting 35 miles over in New Jersey. Our secretaries kept coming in with unbelievable statements like, "A plane just hit one of the Trade Center buildings," and then again, "Another plane just hit the other building." I thought at first we were being attacked by another nation and wondered how "they" could have gotten through our defenses. We prayed and finally adjourned the meeting…and then we saw the pictures online.
Our cell phones and telephones did not work for a long time. I don't know why. We saw the pictures on our computers. My husband was out of town. I mentally went over where our 3 sons were-the oldest in Kentucky and sons 2 and 3 in northern NJ.
And suddenly I remembered our son #2 went into NYC every other Tuesday or so to a client at the Trade Center. And there was no way to find out if he had gone in that day because the power was down. My mind refused to think that he was dead, or dying in all that mess. I began to pray and pray for him and all the others…
About an hour later son #3 in NJ called in to the church-we still could not call out…just to make sure I was OK. I was so relieved to hear his voice, and asked him to call my daughter-in-law and see where his brother-son #2-was today. He then called me back with the news that his brother had NOT gone in to the city that morning…
That hour of not knowing is always with me. I thank God our son was not over there that day. He told me later he would have been one of those getting off the train under the towers… Later, when the communications got fixed, son #1 called from Kentucky, and I was able to tell him his brother was OK. And I could tell my husband everyone of us was OK.
I always remember those that did not come home. How sad for so many. How sad. I will always remember, and I pray for God to bless us…
BY SusqueDuck 09.06.11 AT 5:47 PM
I was nine years old and homeschooled when 9/11 happened so unlike most children my age I was not sitting in a classroom. My mom had needed to get our van fixed and she had taken my five younger siblings and I to the car shop with her. We were sitting in the lobby and there was a television, my mom was flipping through channels trying to find something to keep my siblings and I entertained. She passed a news channel that was showing footage of the towers burning and quickly flipped back. I remember being annoyed with my mom until the other people in the lobby started to realize what was going on. I didn't understand much of what was happening until later but I do remember feeling very scared. Now looking back, I realize that 9/11 affected us all, but it has permanently changed my generation. It has changed how we have been taught and raised; it has created our opinions and expectations, for better or worse because when we were young our country was attacked and as a result for half of our lives our country has been at war.
BY Sylvie 09.08.11 AT 6:19 PM
I was in my freshman year of high school. This was my first year back to Christian school from homeschooling, and I was still getting used to textbooks, uniforms, and new classes every 45 minutes. On the morning of Sept. 11th, we were called to assembly next door in the chapel. I walked in and sat in Row 6, seat 26. Our principal stood up and told the students (7-12) that planes had hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I listened but didn't know why it was important; I had never seen the WTC and barely knew the Pentagon existed. I quickly learned where they were.
No one did any work for the rest of the day; every teacher turned on a TV or radio and we sat listening or watching. Over and over the footage of those planes played on the TVs.
I went home that evening and we turned on the TV for dinner (something we never do.) During dinner a loud noise shook the house. We were certain another plane had crashed (we lived just 10 minutes away from Wright-Patterson AFB. The whole neighborhood ran outside, some saying that a bomb had struck the VA hospital (there was a grass fire.) We learned later that a plane had been seen in the sky, so the Base scrambled two jets to intercept it. What we heard were the sonic booms.
The next night at church we sang and prayed Psalm 91.
BY Rom116 09.08.11 AT 11:46 PM
I was in school. My class heard that the towers were hit in I think my first class. When I got home, (in Yonkers, I lived in a church home so there was an excellent view of the entire Manhattan skyline from the third floor) I saw the smoke rising from the World Trade Center, and I could clearly see both buildings burning. The towers were due south from where I lived. I did not see them fall though. It was the first time in my memory that I experienced the feeling of indignation. I don't remember much for the rest of the day, but I do remember being overjoyed that my father got home safely from work.
BY turtlegirl784 09.09.11 AT 2:08 PM
I was 17, and on vacation with my family (one of the upsides of homeschooling is being able to vacation whenever you want). We were in Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side. My mom had gone down to the lobby for something, and had heard or seen about something going on while she was down there. Both towers had already been hit by the time we started watching the TV, but I clearly remember watching as they fell. After awhile, we had to leave the hotel and head to our next destination, but it was very surreal. I remember thinking how weird it was to be able to see the U.S., but knowing that we couldn't have gone home if we'd wanted to.
Our next hotel was in Toronto, and the entire staff was very friendly and expressed their sorrow at the event. We even had a letter from the management delivered to our room. Thankfully, the borders were opened again before we had planned to re-enter the US.
BY rogergoldleader 09.09.11 AT 2:23 PM
The day before had begun ordinarily…
He remembered waiting at the bus stop
in the pre-dawn mist and dew
beneath pink and purple streaked sky;
while in other places teams of men boarded jets.
He had been anxious yesterday morning
riding the bus and then the Metro
still new in the job, wanting to make a good impression
wondering if he would get that document revised
by the suspense and before his 1000 meeting.
He arrived at Pentagon Station
as the first jet took off at 0759.
By 0815 he was at his desk
the computer slowly booting up
and in half an hour he had finished the document
when the program froze - his changes lost at 0846;
While to cries of Allah Akbar Flight 11
took out North Tower floors 93 through 99.
But he did not know this
when Karen stopped by:
Could he cover a meeting for her
in the DCSPER's¥ office at 0930?
Yes, I know they didn't give us any notice
or the analysis we asked for
but she had a conflict and he knew as much
about the survivor benefits matter as she did
he said he would
provided I get this document done -
Ugh, what is wrong with this program? -
but tell them I will have to leave before it's over
because I've got another appointment.
Robert stuck his head in the door a little after 0900:
A plane hit the World Trade Center. The TV's on in the conference room across the hall.
After Robert left, he thought maybe it was a private plane,
but when http://www.washingtonpost.com said it was a commercial airliner
he went to the conference room to see
a second jet had plowed into the top of the South Tower.
All there on TV
For all to see instantly
Spectacular shocking stupefying
There must be thousands of people dead or trapped
he stared dumbly
at people hanging out of windows
to escape the heat, some leaping
alone or holding hands
he could watch no more
and on the way back to their cubicles he said
I wonder how long before we are hit
there are three airports here
and the Pentagon's a big target.
We should leave the building he thought
but it would not be right
our place of duty is here:
E Ring, between corridors 6 and 7
even if it's just a desk and computer that won't cooperate -
Why has it just froze up on me again?
No changes were saved when
he lost the document for the third time that morning;
he would never make that 0930 meeting.
A boom at 0937,
followed by a mournful sigh
of air rushing through the building's plenum
the walls and ceiling tiles in his office
made a crackling noise as they stretched out and back
followed shortly by cries of get out get out we've been bombed.
Smoke was already pouring through the corridors
As he joined hundreds of others
weeping and terrified
being directed through
the inner A Ring
and finally out Corridor 2 into the sunlight
of the gorgeous fall day
with the fireball in the sky.
Robert, he said, I think we're at war.
When the South Tower was collapsing at 0959
The milling Pentagon workers were
being herded further away from the building
there's another plane headed for DC someone said
but as mighty Babylon was brought momentarily to her knees
in a cloud of ash and molten glass
some of her people rose up as one
with a vote
and fought back.
They could not save themselves,
but on Flight 93 at 1003
they would lay down their lives for others.
The police kept moving people
away from the building
until they were far away
there was no way he could get home or call
to let his family know he was alive.
By 1100 he found a hotel lobby with a TV
And watched the planes crash again
And the buildings fall
Again and again and again
was all he could think
The Metro eventually began running again.
He made his way home
Where his wife and children grabbed him
And hugged him and wept when he came through the door
because until then
well, they just didn't know….
Because they had just moved to DC
they didn't have cable TV yet, so that afternoon
he found an open store, bought a TV antenna,
and for the first time that day
his wife and children
saw all that had happened.
But neither he nor they could truly comprehend it
other than he said we will not be afraid of evil
and he would go to work the next day
even though his daughters asked him not to.
And so on this day, September 12th,
he saw the Pentagon was still burning
as the Yellow Line emerged from the L'Enfant Plaza tunnel
to cross the Potomac.
He was allowed in the building
but his office was cordoned off,
So he made his way to the south parking lot
where rescue and aid workers
were preparing meals and rest areas
he spotted Robert and they volunteered
packing lunches and keeping drinks cold
for the first responders.
Shortly after 1200 Robert got a call on his cell phone -
What? Oh that's awful. When did they find out?
He was there for a meeting?
Ernie Willcher was killed, Robert said.
Ernie had just retired from their office four months ago,
and joined a national consulting firm.
He had met Ernie just once, when Ernie stopped by the office
to talk to Karen and him about the survivor benefits issue
Ernie's firm was working on for the DCSPER.
After that, neither Robert nor he said much.
Later they were asked to help carry folding chairs
into the restricted area
and set them up in tents for the search and rescue teams.
They rode in on a golf cart
right up to the black smoking maw
where pieces of plane littered the ground
around the impact point,
where the walls of the building had collapsed into
a chasm of scorched debris.
and yet, there, on an upper floor
exposed to the outdoors:
a flag in its stand, completely unscathed.
He stayed until 1700 then went home
after the firefighters and Marines
draped a huge American flag
over the building's south side to cheers and applause.
He kept together
and got the family ready
for a church service that evening.
He kept together
until the program on the car radio
played the goodbye voicemail a man left for his sister
before the North Tower collapsed at 1028.
he could no longer keep together
when the realization dawned
while sitting in the back pew at church:
Ernie was in the 0930 meeting.
The 0930 meeting he said he would attend for Karen
if he could just finish that document.
The meeting that was taking place
at the point of impact
With no story of harrowing escape,
or supreme sacrifice for others,
his circumstance barely a footnote.
Yet he now belonged
to a peculiar fraternity
of utter dependence on sovereign providence;
composed of those with a story
who, being present that day,
were delayed from danger,
because of Intervention
the train was late the kids were sick the computer seized up
each member acutely aware
of the slim margins
of time and proximity
that differentiate one's present existence
from those who occupied a different place;
that, but for the grace of God
In whom we live and move and have our being,
We would be gone.
Here then was cause for holy fear:
Did not the same God sovereignly superintend all events
and bring days to number?
Why did it please Him to spare some?
To spare me?
Unlike those who,
focused as they were by impending death,
behaved courageously to the last
used remaining moments to call loved ones
in sorrowful farewell
or those who
most grievously of all
could only nauseously contemplate
with compressed concentration or frantic fear
extinguished hopes and unforgiven sins;
whether helpless on a plane
or on a level above a burning floor
from which they would desperately leap
their silk ties and skirts flapping in the descent
as they oh so briefly contemplated in utter shock
why why I never anticipated my life
would end this way when brushing my teeth this morning.
No, he had been spared
had a lifetime left to contemplate a different why:
why in God's providence
he walked through his front door
into the arms of his weeping loving family
instead of being numbered among the dead.
Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, or G-1.
BY rachelcb7 09.10.11 AT 10:55 AM
I was 7 years old and sitting at a little kiddie table with my younger sister. I remember the movie we had been watching before- The Rescuers.
My friend just asked me how I felt…but honestly I don't really know…I was 7. But I knew it was bad.
BY txchic41 09.10.11 AT 11:02 AM
I was at school in 3rd grade, w were in the middle of math class (i think) when an announcement came across the intercom system.
BY CarolynCorbett 09.10.11 AT 11:19 AM
I was 9 when I woke up and saw the TV was on and everybody in the family was really serious. A HUGE thing for me was how in the months following - almost EVERY car on the road had an American flag on it, and a bumper sticker that either said "united we stand" and "God bless america." It felt so good how everybody was so united, but it shouldn't take a terrorist attack to unite us.
BY JKWheeler 09.10.11 AT 11:23 AM
I was four and at preschool. I barely remember the day itself, but its stories and its after-effects have been an indelible part of my life. I've always been particularly moved by the story of United Flight 93, and to honor the dead ten years later, I wrote a poem.
To United Flight 93: May we forgive, but never forget.
J. K. Wheeler
It was for you we went to war,
drummed up troops (when I was four).
That was ten long years ago,
but have you been forgotten? No!
For you, and for all those beside
who that day died, or might have died,
who spoke their last with loved ones hours
before those plans hit those two towers,
who lost the touch of parents' hands
or couples' walks on moonlit sands.
You knew not of the role you'd play,
not in New York that fateful day,
but near a Pennsylvania town -
yes, where Flight 93 went down.
You knew not, when you got on board,
of the strange working of the Lord,
of your great heroic part,
greater than my poet's art
can well describe. It seemed a trip
not doomed to soul from body rip
(there was no siren's direful wail,
no weatherman with great storm-tale).
And then you saw, or heard a cry:
"Hijackers have the plane. They'll fly
it somewhere, make it crash - perhaps
the White House - wake up from your naps!"
You knew you'd die, but would you be
but victims to that villainy?
You took a vote for your decision,
"To fight back" was the proposition.
"Aye" had it; it was settled; now
to take the cockpit - no matter how.
Time to call and say good-bye;
time now, brave citizens, to die -
die saving those who knew not yet,
still busied with some smaller fret,
like, you, good Traveler, who'd abhorred
the fact the man behind you snored;
now, with him, the doors you storm
in courage far beyond the norm.
Although you could not change your fate,
to save another 'twas not too late.
We know the end. Why need I tell
how, burning, to the earth you fell?
But only you. This field was not
the other targets' funeral-spot.
Ye heroes, I am proud to say,
were an American array.
BY shgeorge18 09.10.11 AT 1:58 PM
I was getting ready to drive to work at the US Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs; I heard someone on the radio say something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center…but at that point, they were thinking it was an accident & maybe a small plane. I heard more as I was driving to work. When I got to work, my coworkers had the TV on & we kept it on the rest of the day before getting sent home early. Our son Dana was in the Navy & stationed on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier as a "nuke" & they were actually several hours out of the Persian Gulf headed home. They were ordered back in & the Enterprise was the first carrier called into service. If I remember, my husband & I received one more email from our son telling us how those not on work duty were watching the coverage on the TV's in the break room. Then email was shut down due to security. I don't think we could have endured the wait without the prayers of friends & family.
Until we were able to connect with our son, I tried to wear some red, white & blue every day to support our troops. My sister bought me a handmade silver USA pin. I've been wearing it ever since to continue supporting our men & women in the service of our country!
In November 2001, our daughter & I were able to fly to Norfolk to watch the Enterprise come home…what a joyous occasion to be reunited with son & brother!
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
BY Hannah 09.10.11 AT 3:05 PM
I was 13 years old, vacationing with my family at my uncle's cabin in the mountains of Perry County, PA. We had no TV, so we first heard of the events when my mom got a phone call from my grandma saying that a plane accidently hit the World Trade Center. We didn't realize that his was an attack until she called back, and I heard Mom say, "A plane hit the Pentagon?!" All we had was the radio for the reports of the next several days, so we experienced this very 21st century attack in a 20th century way. I clearly remember the reassurance of hearing the president's voice. Even though I was young, I grasped some of the enormity of the event. I wrote in my journal that night, "Are we at war? Will everyone remember the September 11th, 2001?"
BY Bear 09.10.11 AT 8:21 PM
I was in Pucallpa, Peru. An American colleague first told us about it, but details were scant. Later, a Peruvian colleague had a group of us over to his house to watch the events on tv. In the days that followed we received numerous messages of condolences from our Peruvian friends and those in government positions.
BY phos 09.10.11 AT 9:05 PM
I was studying my history when my mother called up the stairs about the news she was hearing on the radio. We listened to the reports as they came in, praying quietly for those caught in the attacks.
What strikes me now is how surreal it seemed, the idea of planes crashing into skyscrapers and collapsing them. Since then, such incidents as the underwear bomber have shown that anything can be used as weapon by those who hate.
'No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.' Isaiah 54:1
BY DHBrooks 09.11.11 AT 6:44 AM
"Pray for the U.S.! It's under attack!"
"Yeah, right!" I dismissed the text message from a fellow missionary as a hoax until an alert scrolled across the bottom of the television screen.
The events that would become known as 9/11 were underway.
The Philippine networks transferred to CNN, and within minutes I saw the second plane hit the south tower. This was no 21st Century War-of-the-Worlds joke. The Twin Towers resembled lit cigarettes. Building fragments and bodies rained down like a ticker-tape parade. Then the burned out shells collapsed like the walls of Jericho, belching plumes of smoke across lower Manhattan. People ran for their lives.
Eventually, the local networks returned to their regular programming. I missed the President visiting ground zero, heroic firefighters at work, the national memorial services, and stories of ordinary Americans dealing with the shifting ground of the new world order. A mental fog as thick and deadly as the one that swept the streets of New York settled upon me as I sat on the sidelines. I heard people were flocking to churches and wished I could join the national dialogue. I felt I was in the wrong place and wanted to be home.
I did the only thing I could do. I picked up my Bible turned to Psalm 46 and read, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…." The psalmist later admonished, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
The familiar psalm reminded me of God's greater redemptive plan and challenged me to remain engaged, where He placed me.
Thinking back on 9/11, I could mourn the tragedy in my humanness, but my marching orders hadn't changed. I was deployed where God wanted me. My allegiance isn't to an earthly kingdom, whose time has been set before the creation of the world, but to my Lord and King. Whether home or abroad, I'm called to be an alien and stranger, serving the living God. I'll never truly be home until I reach my heavenly home.
Someone said, "Home is where the heart is." I asked myself after 9/11, "Dave, where is your heart?"
BY Scroop Moth 09.11.11 AT 1:37 PM
The evening before 9/11, one of my brothers phoned to tell me that Dad, who had been ill for a decade, was having a bad night and couldn't last much longer.
The next morning, two friends drove me to the George H. W. Bush Airport in Houston. We listened to NPR and then played CD's the rest of the way from Louisiana. The vast airport looked deserted and I realized that the approaching skies had also been empty. As we rolled to a stop in front of the international terminal, a security guard ran up the sidewalk and ordered us not to stop. I told him I was a passenger, but he turned and hurried back to the entrance, without saying anything more. I looked in bewilderment at the only other people in sight, two business travelers who were standing on the sidewalk, waiting. One of them told me, "they knocked down both of the towers of the World Trade Center." He advised me not to expect flights for a week.
In my mind, the NY skyscrapers toppled over on their sides, crushing other buildings.
I told my driver to go. I had a vague idea where Greyhound was and we found it without difficulty. My friends stayed with the car while I went around front. People were pouring across a construction zone from some of the glass towers in one of the downtowns of Houston. A crowd of people stood on a small plaza outside the station. The busses were not running. Two businesspersons offered me $1,000 to drive them to Lafayette or Lake Charles, LA. I told them to wait. Somehow, I heard about an "Amigo" bus station across the street. This was a bus line that carried Mexican laborers up to North Carolina and beyond. The lobby was locked, so I walked up to an Amigo bus that was in preparation for departure and spoke with the driver. After a conversation in Spanish, he took me into the closed station where someone sold me the last seat to Mexico.
My friends in the car were terrified. As they remember 9/11 today, objects were falling to the ground around them, the police were racing back and forth, and the traffic lights didn't work. My friends mix up what they experienced in Houston with what they later saw on TV. Nevertheless, they were certainly afraid. They did not want me to leave them and they did not want $1,000 to carry strangers back to Louisiana. They were also afraid because Amigo would not allow them to help carry my bags all the way to the bus. They wanted a drink, and all the little stores from Texas to Louisiana were closed.
I expected commotion at the Mexican border and worried that it might be closed. Thus, I was surprised and relieved when Amigo glided across the Rio Grande bridge without a single formality or so much as a glance from US authorities. We slipped out like OBL leaving the US Army at Tora Bora.
Instead of staying in Matamoros to find a flight (maybe it was Nuevo Laredo - I don't recall), I continued on overnight by bus, and spent the hours with my thoughts and cell phone and without access to news broadcasts.
By the time I got to Dad, he was in a coma. I reproached my brother for the lack of oxygen canisters, but Dad had refused them. Pneumonia was his friend, of course. About two hours later, I helped mother to walk over to his bedside. She was serious and glad, a fellow-traveler on a difficult journey who finally hears a departure announcement - her own came a year later. A terrible mask had lifted from my father's face. My brother lay next to him on the bed and touched him gently, like he was a baby that was going to sleep.
BY artisanpatriot 09.11.11 AT 8:09 PM
I was living in Colorado Springs, CO while attending Pikes Peak Community College and working at a building supply retail chain as an answer desk consultant. I rented a room in a 3 bedroom house on the south side of town about 3 miles north of Fort Carson, the US army base. There was a TV in the living room downstairs that I rarely watched. For some reason that morning at about 9 AM, I decided I would flick it on to get some news or weather on the local channel. After the turning the TV on, my reaction to what I saw as being a sarcastic take on what I thought was a preview of sequel to the 1970's movie thriller "the towering inferno". In an attempt to save time and avoid the annoying commercial, I promptly switched the channel only to find the same images of the World Trade Center tower on fire. I tried again on a different channel and, there it was again. I sat down and decided that whatever doubt I had would be over in a minute or so and wondering why a Hollywood movie would be getting so much attention. Another couple of minutes gone by, different channel, same exact picture. By now I noticed that the images were accompanied by reporters and captions saying it was a live broadcast. These were the twin towers that I had observed many times, having grown up in metro NYC. These towers where a stronghold of American freedom, an impenetrable fortress of accomplishment in world commerce, and a landmark of architectural achievement being the tallest inhabited structures in the world at the time of completion. This was getting to be too much, so it was time to turn it off, get on with the day's agenda, and tune in later to the late night news to find out what went down, assuming nobody was seriously injured, the fire being extinguished in an hour or so, and this simply a matter of either arson from some sick individual or an overload of electrical current as the ignition source. Just as i was rising from my seat to click the off switch, i witnessed what i thought was either some kind of video trick, or some kind of illusion. In that instant, there appeared a large aircraft flying into tower 2, causing an explosion. This was no longer a movie preview, or any sort of video experiment. This was real!
BY LIBBY GOINS 09.12.11 AT 12:20 AM
I was 9 year old living in Dallas Texas, but I still remember what I was doing and how I felt when my grandpa called my mom and told her to turn on the news. I was going to private school at the time, but I happened to be home the morning of the attack. My family didn't watch a lot of TV back then, so we had no idea that anything had happened.
We turned on the TV around 8:50 to find disaster and confusion in New York City, which quickly spread across the nation. I remember feeling scared and confused as to why anybody would want to run into buildings and kill thousands of people. I didn't fully grasp the significance of that day, but over the years I have come to fully grasp the magnitude of the situation.
My dad was in China on a business trip on 9/11 and he had caught some sort of flu, but couldn't return to America due to the airways being shut down - especially for international flights. I am not completely sure, because I was only 9, but I think my dad was stuck in China for a week.
I am now a Jr. at the University of North Texas majoring in History and minoring in Political Science /Pre-Law. I am heavily involved in politics and have worked on over 30 conservative Republican campaigns nation wide since I was 13. For my Legislative Process class at UNT, I attended the university's roundtable discussions on 9/11.
A handful of distinguished speakers came to be apart of the panels for the discussions. But as I sat there listening to them discuss domestic and foreign policies after 9/11 and about the Patriot Act or about how America really is polarized on many issues surrounding 9/11, I could not help but feel as if we were missing the point. My favorite speaker was Jeffery Fegan who works as one of the head security at the DFW airport. I feel as if we had many intellectuals and professors and lawyers on the panel who hide behind the mask of research and PHDs, whereas Fegan seems to be a regular person who lived through the aftermath of 9/11 and who really saw the effects from the ground level on how our world changed.
America has been the beacon of freedom and liberty since her founding, and regardless of what biased belief one has, it is clear that she was founded by people who were affiliated with some form of Christianity. Ergo, American has often been referred to as a "Christian Nation." I believe we are less of one today than we have been in the past, but compared to most of the world I would still agree with that statement. I have taken Modern Middle Eastern History and have studied the Koran and other Islamic heritage.
Personally, it was offensive to have Muslims on the panel during the second half of the discussions, because no matter how many times they say that the Koran teaches to love on another, it will not make up for the thousands of lives lost at the hands of a hand full of Muslim men. My least favorite speaker was on the second panel who spoke on Islamic brotherhood worldwide. She also mentioned that she would like to see the Koran reformed so women have more rights, unfortunately I believe she is fooling herself if she thinks that Islamic men will truly be in favor of that considering that their reward in heaven is to violate women for eternity. As a woman I do not understand the appeal for any woman to be a Muslim.
"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge - huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.??Thank you. Good night. And God bless America."
- 9/11 Speech Given By President Bush
BY Sonbuchner 09.13.11 AT 5:08 PM
Where were you when the two towers fell?
If you were alive you remember it well.
The towering infernos a vision of hell.
I was in chapel when I heard the news.
A plane or a bomb, which one was true?
Watching the screen, our eyes were all glue.
Up in the air, in the bright blue sky
We saw the jets crash in and die.
With slack jawed faces all wondering why?
Twin towers-the heart of our nation.
Tumbling down with much tribulation.
And Pentagon punctured in deep penetration.
One Hundred-two minutes to transform our lives.
The time to decide who lives and who dies.
The planes that would land and fall from the skies.
The final flashpoint - Flight 93
The fatal resolve of what America can be.
"Let's Roll" on the lips, of men truly free.
Hero's went up, as Towers came down
The dust of their ashes, has covered the ground.
And domed the earth in a burial mound.
Though years may soften the pain of that day.
The brave sacrifice they can't take away.
A debt to our best we can never repay.
BY prayingforfamily3 09.14.11 AT 10:49 AM
I was being briefed on the reality of terrorism in a government building which we were told was a potential attack site. We waited and prayed hoping that we would not be attacked. This was ironic because little did I know at the time that government capabilities were behind the attacks on my computer at home and that the government was actually involved in trying to corrupt me and lay stumbling blocks as well as terrorize me. Even sadder was the discovery that christians were involved. Pray that the Lord would intervene over our nation and change the direction of our intelligence, that redemption in Christ and changed lives would become enter into the darker corners of the intelligence community; that they would become light, especially in the hard work that they do perform to keep people safe. What I have learned is that the Lord (see Jeremiah 18) is this country's only and real defense. Pray that those who are Christians or become Christians would be safe and be freed.