1. In my office on the corner of 17th and L in D.C. listening to the radio. Hearing a mix of fact and rumors (like “the Capital’s been hit!”, “The USA Today building in Rosslyn is on fire!”), watching traffic grow heavier and then completely jam all the streets. Deciding that it was better to stay put than to try and get out of Dodge. By 3pm D.C. was a ghost town.

  2. i worked at a surgery center. i remember staff and patients alike standing in front the t.v. in shock. the tears wouldn’t stop for most of us and someone was reapeating over and over “MY GOD” “MY GOD”. my mother called panicked wanting me to leave because of the weapons disposal plant close to us. the rest of the day was a blur

  3. I was at work & a friend sent me an e-mail telling me to turn on a radio & that the twin towers were hit by an airplane. I could not wait to get home to be with my family. Did a lot of praying that day & still do. Still have the email, can’t delete it.

  4. California..Getting ready for work, my friend called saying “turn on your TV!”
    Disbelief, shock, and later in the day, anger. Everyone at work holding back tears throughout the day.

  5. I was Director of the Sam Rayburn Museum in Texas, just arrived at work and turned on TV to catch the morning news and saw it all…I kept thinking they were showing replays of the first tower falling couldn’t comprehend that both towers and so many lives were gone. I remember the silence that day…I lived under a flight path to DWF and it was always very noisy with low flying planes…with the ground stop the silence was unnerving.
    Spent this AM at neighborhood fire station during moment of silence and bell ringing in memorial…hard to hold back the tears. I won’t forget!

  6. Having been married for many years, this was the first time we were ever separated, due to his job. Sept 11 was his first day of work in another state. I sat in our living room watching, crying, and wondering where this would lead us as a Nation. I was also wondering if he knew about it yet and trying to remember if I said “I love you” the last time we spoke. After that day, I make sure I never have to wonder about that again.

  7. I had just gotten into my office in Tysons Corners when my boss told me that a plane had just hit the WTC. At first I thought was that it must have just been a small Cessna or something and how awful that was. I also thought about how lucky my boss and his family were since they had just spent the weekend in NYC and had stayed at the WTC Marriott. A few minutes later, when I found out about the second plane, my insides went cold for there was no mistaking that we were at war.
    The guys in our IT department had a small color TV, so we were able to watch events as they unfolded. No work was to be done that day as we all watched in shock, horror and tears. I remember all of the rumors and misinformation that was being reported that day. After the Pentagon had been hit, we began to get frantic calls from our office in Rosslyn saying that they heard that the Gannett Building had also been hit. I’ll always remember the fear in her voice as I told her to evacuate. I’ll also never forget the fear and panic of my dear friend and co-worker Debbie. She lives near Dulles and at that time, we were getting reports that there was another hijacked plane that was circling the airport. She was terrified for her children who were only a few miles away from there at school.
    It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I learned that my dad’s friend of 35 years and his wife were on Flight 77. They were to meet up with other members of her family in Hawaii to scatter her father’s ashes. One of Debbie’s neighbors was also on that flight with a couple of his co-workers.

  8. I had only been on the freeway a few minutes and since I am in California, the sky was still pitch black at that time. I noticed that the brake lights of all the cars in front of me starting coming on. Instinctively, I turned on the radio, thinking that I would check the traffic reports. The voice of the DJ I normally listened to stopped me cold: “This is no joke” he said.
    I drove in stunned silence. In fact, to this day, I don’t remember the 40 mile drive to work. Rushing into my cubicle I got online as quickly as I could to try and find some news. I was sick to my stomach to read that my company’s office took a direct hit. Those images will forever be burned into my memory.

  9. I was in my morning routine,getting ready to go into work,turned on the tv news and couldn’t believe that a plane had crashed into the tower. Got my husband and as we both watched the second plane hit…it was like we were watching a movie…it couldn’t be real….but it was. In shock I went on in to work,a small shop in a historic town. We had a small tv and my co-worker and I watched in horror and disbelief as the towers fell. We learned of the Pentagon and the crash in PA. I’m not quite sure when the anger set in. In the days that followed people that wandered in to the shop would say they felt some sort of comfort being in the small town homey atmosphere. I know I just wanted to embrace my family. I prayed a lot,I cried a lot.

  10. My sister and I were at college, in the 8 a.m. Spanish class we attended together. That day we watched a film on Argentinian gauchos (I’ve forgotten all the other “cultural films” we viewed, but I’ll always remember the subject of that one.) The class ended about 9:15 and we drove home through a light drizzling rain, having no idea that anything out of the ordinary was going on. However, I do recall noting that traffic was much lighter than usual and wondering where everybody was. When we got home we were met by our mom’s stunned exclamations of “We’re under attack! America is being attacked!!” I turned on the tv in time to see the south tower fall, and stayed glued to CNN the rest of the day. For the rest of my life I’ll always associate Aaron Brown and Judy Woodruff’s voices with Sept. 11; they managed to stay so calm, and that helped a lot. One little thing that has stayed with me is the north tower collapsing and Judy Woodruff solemnly saying, as if she had momentarily forgotten she was on live news, “God rest their souls”. Amen.

  11. It was a beatuiful late summer day, and my husband happened to be home because he was working a 1-9 shift that day. I was exercising one of my most treasured freedoms- home schooling my son. My husband was working out in the garage, and came running in to say that a plane had hit a WTC tower. I immediately asked if it was a small plane or commercial airline… because in a flash of intuition, I knew that a commercial airline meant an attack. He was sketchy on the details, but I had a growing foreboding and conviction that it was a terrorist attack. When the second plane hit, we knew. As the drama of the next few hours unfolded, we were trying to get as many details as possible. Because we live in New Jersey, and all around us- New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania- were living an absolute nightmare, we wanted to be ready. Ready to help the victims, to fight the enemy- whoever that was, we didn’t know-, to secure the safety of our home. As all commercial flights were grounded, and traffic sounds from the turnpike ceased, the silence was huge, complete. Then came the vibrations that you could feel through the ground, through the air… it made your head hum… there was an incessant rumble that was to stay with us for weeks after, as our mighty military at McGuire AFB and Ft. Dix began flexing their muscles. Normal air traffic sounds were replaced with our Air Force patrolling the area. The horror of knowing communities all around us lost loved ones began to sink in. There were no coping skills. I was deeply impressed with the dignity of our President that day, and the days following. He gave resolve and hope to our bewildered minds.

  12. I was on maternity leave. I had just come back from church where I had been arranging for my son’s baptism. I was talking to my Mom and my brother called. “Turn on the tv, a plane hit the twin towers.” Like others, I thought it was a Cessna or something. My mother, father and I were pretty much glued to the tv for the rest of the day. Every once in a while my brother would call…”They’ve hit the Pentagon”; “They’ve tried to hit the capitol/white house…etc…” I watched in shock as the towers collapsed. It felt surreal, like it had to be a movie and couldn’t really be happening. When I finally went home I received a call from my friend at work. “Are you being recalled?” (I was a Navy Reservist at the time.)

  13. I had just moved to Birmingham and was on my way home from getting my new driver’s license (which starts many conversations now because it’s due to be renewed every four years on 9/11…) and I had just turned the radio on. They were talking about some accident from what it sounded like and I turned it up to see what was going on. When I started getting more details,I floored the gas pedal and raced home. I about half killed myself trying to get in the door to turn the tv on, and I sat glued to Fox News for the rest of the night, on the phone to my family, crying and frankly more pissed off than scared because I knew when that 2nd plane hit it was no accident. I haven’t had nightmares in years but for 3 weeks I dreamed about terrorists. The dreams stopped but I haven’t stopped being angry and I can’t until these people are stopped for good. It’s not that eat-you-up-inside anger. It’s the determined kind that makes you remember and makes you want to succeed. It’s the kind that’ll keep you alive because if you have that kind of anger, you won’t get soft and forget and get all touchy-feely about the sons of bitches who killed 3,000 of our brothers and sisters on that day.

  14. Was getting ready for work, had a late appointment that morning and decided to drive directly there vice going to the office first.
    I NEVER turn the tv on in the morning but for some reason I did, they were reporting the first plane crashing into the Tower. I stood there horrified and frozen…switching stations and wondering what the heck was going on. I then watched the second plane flying into the other Tower and collapsed to the floor, I knew we were under attack. I didn’t move for the next several hours, crying and watching Fox News…all day and into the night.
    God rest the souls of all who were murdered that day. And may God bless our Military for taking the fight to the enemy.
    Semper Gratus.

  15. I was working at my small Montessori School in a small town in TX. I listened to NPR in the mornings, and caught some of it. My assistant came into work and told the rest of it. We were stunned. We made the conscious decision to turn off all news so that the small children (aged 3-6 years old) wouldn’t hear it by mistake. We tried to keep our little world free of those horrors for just a little while.

  16. I was going in to work late that morning because I had to take my car into the insurance agent of the guy who had rear-ended my brand new car a few weeks before. At that point in time, I got up to the clock radio, and the radio would turn off after an hour. The radio had turned off before I left to met the agent at his office, and I never turned the TV on in the morning. When I arrived at the insurance office, the agent asked if I had been watching TV. No, I had not. He explained that the WTC had been hit by a plane. At first, I just assumed a small aircraft. No, it was a big jet. They had the TV on in their office. Before I was finished with the insurance agent, the Pentagon had been hit. I knew it was Bin Laden, and I knew we were now at war. I stopped back by the house before going into work. I turned on the TV and called the office, to see if they knew yet. I saw the first tower collapse. Since I was in Arkansas, I was in no immediate danger, and I had no friends or family that were in New York or the Pentagon. At that time, I traveled frequently, as did all of my co-workers. Luckily, no one was on the road that week. Since that day, I always have the TV (FNC)on in the morning (actually, I don’t turn it off at night). My first trip after 9/11 was to Columbia, SC. My co-worker and I flew out of XNA on the morning of 9/22. We were two of three passengers on an American Airlines regional jet. The other passenger was an off-duty flight attendant. We were asked to sit at the back of the plane to help maintain the balance of the aircraft. We didn’t get the normal safety spiel from the one flight attendant working the flight. Buckled up? Yep. Okay. Yeah, we fly all the time. The connecting flight from Atlanta to Columbia, SC was about half-full. The following week, we turned out of Columbia, SC this time my co-worker and I being two of four passengers, and with connecting flight back to XNA being only half-full. It took a while before flights were full again.
    A friend of mine had a cousin who stood on the roof of his building in Manhattan and saw people jumping. This same friend’s boyfriend had a brother who was at the Pentagon that day. Stephen had been a Dustoff pilot in Vietnam. He survived the attack that day, but he was often in the part of the Pentagon that had gotten hit. I think he helped in getting people out that day. Stephen later killed himself. My friend and I suspect that the events he witnessed on 9/11 may have brought back traumic memories from Vietnam, and he neglected to get help in dealing with it. There is not yet and end to the deaths that can be traced back to the events of that day five years ago.

  17. I was sick and couldn’t sleep. It was like 5:30 am here in California. Instead of trying to fight the flipping and flopping of trying to sleep, I turned on the TV to have it lull me to sleep. I saw the news “live” as soon as it hit the airwaves. When the first plane crashed it looked like severe plot error but when crash #2 came, it was clear to me that a war was underway. I remember calling my California friends and waking them all saying that we were being bombed. I was afraid.

  18. I was at work, and the person in the next cubby was watching a news feed on his computer. He called us all over, told us that there had been explosions at the WTC. We wandered back and forth to his desk for a short while, until he started telling us that one of the towers was gone. We found it impossible to believe.
    Some of our friends had turned the TV in the conference room on, and we drifted in and were captured by the horror of the people jumping from the building rather than burn to death. I remember feeling cold and angry – that someone … anyone … could deliberately use a plane full of people as a weapon.
    I work in technical support, and our company put out an email about the events – and asked members of the support teams to let our management know if we would be willing (if needed) to fly to New York and help the city and companies there deal with the aftermath. Everyone on our team volunteered, although none of us were called.

  19. I was in my office and my boss called out to us all to come to his office where the TV was. I spent the day wandering back and forth between my desk and his in a daze. I saw the second plane hit and I knew it was no accident. But at the same time, it seemed so unreal – like a Bruce Willis movie trailer.
    My late husband was still a highway patrol officer then and he worked a double shift, securing the state house and capitol building. My son was a freshman in high school and was in class. They announced it over the intercom and all the classes that had TVs were innundated with students and teachers from the rooms that weren’t TV equipted.
    He came home that night and told me, “if they’d take me, I’d enlist.” He dropped German at the quarter, started MCJROTC, intending even then to enlist as soon as possible. He was 14. He’ll be deploying soon.

  20. I was driving into work. I remember it was the day of the week I usually spent the morning in quiet prayer. I wish I could say I was doing some super spiritual thing–praying protection for the president or whatever. But, honestly, I don’t remember praying over anything specific before I left the house. Anyway, I was oblivious to what was going on.
    I was actually just getting on the highway when something didn’t feel right. I noticed there a distinct lack of traffice for that time of day. I normally leave the radio off on the way to work and enjoy the quiet. But, I turned it on then. And, my blood froze.
    It actually took a few minutes to figure out what was going on. It was everything I could do not to cry, so I could keept seeing well enough to drive. The only thing I could manage was a strangled cry, “Oh, God! Help them!” I just repeated it over and over. I arrived at work and let myself just cry in the parking lot for a bit. I think the south tower fell as I went inside.
    Through the day I alternated the mantra, “Just carry on,” in my head, and with the heart cry, “Oh, God! Help them!” The term “Them” kept taking on a different identity–the families of the lost, or the police and firemen, or the survivors. A lot of the time, though, it was just a blind cry to God.
    I remember little of work that day. I know I did my job. I remember my wife called me to see if I had heard the news. I remember going by the sales office at one point. They had a TV hooked up. I saw a live picture of the North tower burning, but still standing. I had a recurring flashback all day about my high school graduation dinner. My parents took the family to the restaurant on the top floor of the Trade Center. And, I remember crying when the second tower fell. In fact, I remember crying several times through out the day. I remember barely being able to talk most of the time. And, I remember calling home–twice–to tell my wife I loved her and ask about the kids.
    I remember thinking of friends I had in New Jersey, during high school. I hadn’t thought of them much over the years. We lost touch and moved around a lot in the years afterwards. But, back in high school, many of them had parents who worked in the City. I cried wondering if any of my friends worked their now. And, whether any of them were gone.
    But, that’s all I can honestly tell you about that day.
    The thing I remember most happened at church that evening. Many there had to talk through the hurt and fear and anguish. I just cried quiet tears. Until an ex-Marine (please don’t give me an arguement about there is no such thing here, ok) told of being at work–as an air traffic controller. He described the tears as they pulled out the book on how to ground all the planes in the air. He told of how his son, also a Marine, called as he boarded a ship–unable to tell his dad where he was going. The son simply called to say he loved his dad. I thought of my daughter, who had just entered military service. That ex-Marine and I looked at each other and cried.
    That’s where I was. Sounds pretty mundane. I know a lot of people had a similar day. I know there were many who experienced much worse. But, I also know no one was untouched by it all. I also know there is a bigger question. A question that, personally, I don’t really have an answer for.
    Where am I now? Even as I write this, I’m feeling the same deep ache all over again. And, I’m crying those same anguished tears. Yes, it still hurts with an intesity I can’t describe. It hurts partly because there’s been no closure to it all. It also hurts because the terrorist’s goal was achieved. You see, despite my faith in Christ, I am very much afraid it will happen again.
    So, where are you now?

  21. Like most others, I had family calling while we watched the screen. As the towers fell, my 80+ year-old father called to talk to #3 That’s me, number 3 of 6 kids. “You have what you need?” he asked (yes sir); “You know your assignment?” (yes sir, to protect the children); “at all costs” (yes dad, at all costs). “Love you” and click. My pop: First Marine Division, Guatacanal. And me? Suddenly grateful for every bit of training he allowed his little girl. Thank you for letting me say so.

  22. I was driving to work in Newark, NJ. I went into work early that day because my husband was home and able to get the kids on the bus. (Normally I wouldn’t get to work before 10am, but on 9/11 I was in Newark before 9am.)
    As I am driving down Rt 21 at a certain point I can see NYC. I have always been in the habit on my drive to work as I get closer to the office I always look over to my left to see the NY Skyline. That day was no different except I saw smoke coming from the twin towers as if a small plane hit it. I turned on the radio and phoned my husband and told him to turn on the news and see what was going on.
    When I got to the parking deck of my office I could see the twin towers clearer but at that point there was smoke coming from both towers.
    I went up to my office and another department had a TV on. Some people were saying that there were other planes that were still unaccounted for. By 10am I got a call from my husband who told me to come home. He said he wanted me out of the area and back home (2 hours away from Newark). I left work and as I was driving out of the parking deck when I looked over at the twin towers all I couldn’t see anything but smoke.
    As I got halfway home I hit traffic and between learning about the towers falling and the pentagon I just started crying in the middle of traffic. When I arrived home I found a note from my husband who had left to try to go to the city to help out.
    He worked for NYC EMS in 1993 and was at the Twin Towers, that was his area. He still had a lot of friends who worked for EMS and knew they would be the first to respond like he did in 1993. He couldn’t get into the city. He went to stay with his brothers rescue team since they were on call to go, but they never did get the call.

  23. I was in the Rader clinic at Ft. Myer, Virginia, and we were all glued to the TVs there looking in horror as we saw the planes go into the Towers. Then, there was a terrific BOOM! and the plate glass doors shook like a leaf. I didn’t have my cell phone, but went racing down the hallway to the pay phone and called my husband who was at work in Crystal City, and frantically asked if he knew what had just happened.
    He looked out his office window and said, “Oh my ___, there’s huge ball of black smoke over your way.” We had no idea what had been hit, and as it was, we were just over the hill from the Pentagon and the Boom was the concussion sound from the explosion when the plane hit.
    Immediately, soldiers began running through the halls ordering everyone to evacuate to a grassy area between the commissary and the clinic. We could all see the smoke over the tree line and realized it was the Pentagon.
    One of the civilian employees at the clinic began wailing, “my husband, my husband,” and then she collapsed on the lawn and everyone crowded around her. I always wondered if her husband survived and got my answer one day–he was one of those who were at ground zero, and they never found any trace of his body.
    What do I remember the most? The silence. We were all standing outside and there was utter silence for about 5 minutes before the wailing sirens could be heard as the fire engines raced to the scene.

  24. (Like the new site)
    I was in St. Louis, while my wife and new son were in Indiana. I was in a meeting with other store managers from a Christian company that I worked for. My wife left me about three voicemails, which pulled me out of the meeting (we had no tv or radio in the meeting, so we were totally clueless). I called her back, and she told me of the “accident,” the first plane hitting the tower. I went into the meeting and told the other managers, to which we then took a break. We were meeting in a mall conference room, so when we went into the mall itself, we could see the disbelief on the people’s faces, for the second plane had already struck, and the pentagon was also hit.

  25. I was at work when I heard them say over the radio “A small plane has struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan”.

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