Where were you on September 11, 2001?

An explosion rips through the South Tower of the World Trade Towers after the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into it Sept, 11, 2001. The North Tower is shown burning after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the tower at 8:45 a.m. -Robert Clark / Associated Press

September 11, 2001, is burned in my memory for all time.  I was no where closed to ground zero in New York. In fact I was 1, 775 miles away in Colorado.  But the sights and sounds broadcast on the television and computer of the planes crashing into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field, were still life changing. Launching America into a new consciousness, the threat of global terrorism was front and center.

I had just started a new job, I was getting ready for work when I stopped to check my email before shutting the computer down at approximately 8:00 a.m. , MDT. A friend’s email popped up with urgent on it then an IM. The message said “Turn on your television before you head to work.  It’s awful, we’ve been attacked.”

A damaged tower collapses -(Det. Greg Semendinger / NYPD)

I tagged him back “What? I gotta go.” But upon his insistence, I headed down stairs flipped on the television. To my horror I saw the video of the fiery blasts that rocked the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes. I’m not sure how long I stood there watching the events as they unfolded that morning. That particular scene was burned into my memory.  For the first time in history, the FAA grounded all flights over or bound for United States air space.  It was an eerie sound… or no sound  at all I guess.  Where I live, air traffic from local airports and the numerous air force bases are an everyday occurrence. But the dead silence was unnerving.

Anyway, I finally tore myself from the television, got in my SUV and drove to work. There I found my boss and a few co-workers glued to the computer screens and MSNBC where World Trade Center’s North Tower collapse 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11 was being aired. Continuous news coverage and updates at ground zero.  Not much work got done that morning  in our office. I think we were all in a state of shock.  How could this happen? Within a couple of hours, the business owner called and told us all to go home.

Firefighters raise a flag late in the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, in the wreckage -(Thomas E. Franklin / Associated Press)

Coverage continued all day and at 8:30 p.m., President Bush addressed the nation, calling the attacks “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declaring that America, it’s friends and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”

From that day forward, there was a new normal.  It couldn’t happen to the United States, but it had. We’d been attacked on our on soil… so many American lives lost on that one day, through the actions of a few. A day millions will never forget.

So…where were you the morning of September 11, 2001?


Posted in My Say What Blog and tagged , , , by with 4 comments.

Comments

  • Charlotte says:

    I was in NY. Two of my brothers worked in the immediate area. My husband saw it happen from his office window. Frantic phone calls in such volume that the cell towers couldn’t put some of the calls through. So many ppl who were there were so traumatized but they were grateful to be alive. One of my brothers had worked in the trade center during the first attack in ’94.There was such confusion and shock. Children in my daughters schools were called out of class to be sent home because as we later learned one of their parents was among the victims. We all went to give blood but there were only a handful of people who lived to need blood.
    The feeling of shock lasted a long time. In some ways it is still there. So many people enlisted or changed jobs to be among first responders. People stayed glued to television.
    If you haven’t seen the memorial you should go. I finally went last year. And it was still too tough to go through the entire thing.

    • Wow, what an experience! The shock still remains with most that watched the events unfold. I want to go to the memorial, but not ready yet. One way we will make it to the north east and will see the memorial. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Sandy Tilley says:

    I was teaching a classroom of eighth graders.

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