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Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?


DawnM
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I was working.  I lived on the West Coast so it was 6am for me.  I was getting ready for work and heard something on the news but didn't really understand the intensity.  I just knew something happened, in fact, I think at that point they were still thinking it was a plane crash, accidental.

 

I left for work around 6:30am and by the time I got to work, everyone was talking about it.  I was a school counselor so there was discussion about what to do with the students, my district was determining whether to send them home, cancel school for the next day, etc.....

 

By the next day, LA had armed men on the streets, for protection.  Two of my colleagues couldn't make it back to LA because the planes were grounded.  I remember being on the phone with one of them discussing options.  

 

It consumed our thoughts for days and we had the TV on in our office for days.  We did work, mostly to assure students life would be ok, but we were glued to the TV.

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I was working, visiting a customer a few hours away.  When someone told me, I didn't believe it.  In fact, I went from accusing him of a really bad joke, to being a "filthy, rotten liar."   I traveled for work a lot then, and I am glad I was at that site, as it was the only one within driving distance.  I also went home with the customer/co-worker/friend that evening and held hands with her daughter while watching the TV.   

 

Several years later, I was in Portland OR for work.  The hotel had given me this miserable excuse for a map to a restaurant.  So, I was driving a little funny because I was trying to figure out where to turn.   A cop pulled me over.  I showed him the map along with my driver's license.   He was surprised to see TX on my license.  He said, "What is someone from Texas doing in Oregon with a New York car."   I said that I traveled for work and I was visiting XYZ company, and that since 9/11 I had never been given a rental car from the same state.   He got sad and told me to continue on.   I hadn't meant to pull the 9/11 card, but it was true.  Everyone that could, drove home and turned in their car locally.  The companies decided to just leave them where they were.  

 

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I was at church, my workplace at the time.

 

When I heard that a plane had hit the WTC, I pictured a cessna. Then the second one and I learned that they were airliners.

 

I remember vividly thinking, "The world will never be the same. Everything is different now. "

 

I suppose that was a defining moment for a generation, like JFK's assassination. :(

Edited by ScoutTN
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Trenton, NJ, at work, watching it happen on the news.

 

Fighter jets were filling the sky.  There was a line winding around the hospital next door for blood donations.  It took forever to get in touch with dh, who worked in NY (including the towers) on a regular basis. I had no idea where he was supposed to be working that day.  I remember getting in touch with my mother in GA, and her telling me to get all my money out of the bank.  If I had had money in the bank, it wouldn't have mattered much b/c my boss wouldn't let me leave the empty fitness center I was running.  And the bank did close.

 

It's also the day I realized I was pregnant with my daughter.

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I had dropped the kids off at preschool and heard it on the radio. I came home and watched the news coverage; it felt like I was home forever watching in horror. I picked up my kids at 11:30. I recall spending the rest of the day watching my neighbor's kids as they all played outside as their dad was on a plane that had been grounded and did not know how he could return.

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I was at home, but woke up and saw the towers fall on tv. At the time we didn't know how many people had gotten out, so I and the rest of the world initially thought that up to 20,000 people had died.

 

I worked in a trauma center, so in the days and weeks after, groups of responders from all over the northeast were brought in for treatment and vaccinations. I thought this was very interesting because I live in the south, so hospitals all over were helping take patients. These folks were not people from the towers, but from the wave of responders from all over the country who went to New York to help.

 

We live next to a huge army base, so for weeks afterwards, the sound of helecopters was constant as the army base patrolled its borders.

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I've paused to remember. I'll mark events all day.

 

( I'm afraid if I read this thread someone will say they were in middle school and I'll have to think just how old I am. )

 

I was dropping my dd off at preschool and taking my homeschooled first grader to OT with my newborn in tow. I told ds's OT at the end of his appointment. It was during the appointment the planes hit. The OTs dh worked at the Pentagon.

 

It was a long stressful day. Dh did not come home from work even though one block from him buildings were evacuated. He said streets were gridlocked. Neighbor's dh, who was told to leave his office, left his car walked 6 miles across the Potomac River to the school where she worked and they drove home together. I told my dh to go to the garage and give the worker there his phone number so he didn't lock dh's car in. Dh left work at 5 to completely abandoned streets in DC. I stayed home all day with the TV off. I decided the kids didn't need to see anymore than they had.

 

ETA I did try to get out late morning. My mom came to watch the kids so I could go to a funeral. She didn't think I should try to go. It was for another neighbor's baby (who had only lived hours). I really tried to get to the funeral, but traffic was crazy and we just couldn't get there. I always felt bad. No one made it to the funeral.

Edited by Diana P.
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On my way to work in Denver at a Federal Building.  They sent us home pretty quickly but I didn't fully understand the magnitude until watching it unfold on TV.

 

I later spoke with my former consulting partner, who had had a meeting scheduled in the WTC that morning but it had been cancelled just hours prior.  If I had not taken a new job, I would have been with him at that meeting.

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I was living with roommates in Orange County, CA. I was attending community college and trying to start my life over after lots of drug use.

 

I went to campus and there were huge TVs on in the common area near the cafeteria. Everyone was stunned and glued to the TV. There was a heightened sense of worry in southern California feeling like we could be next.

 

Because of what was happening and where I was in my own life the whole world became more sobering that day.

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I was a sophomore in highschool sitting in study hall trying to get my homework done for my next period class when the librarian walks in and turns the news on. She turned it on just in time to see the second plane crash into the building. She felt awful about her timing but of course she had no idea that was going to happen. We were all so confused and it took a few silent minutes.to realize what was going on. We got let out of school around 10:30. I spent the rest of the day watching the new with my grandmother and listening to military planes from Dover air force base fly overhead every now and then. It was the first time I ever really listened for planes.

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West coast, heard about it at 6-6:30am our time. My aunt had called my mom and she told me, but I didn't believe it (my aunt lies/exaggerates a lot), but turned on the news and found out.

 

Such a sad day for our country. It took me a while to comprehend the magnitude of it. I had moved to the US in 1999, was not fully aware of the impact of this until a day or two of watching news. I come from a very violent country, but none of our guerilla attacks have been of this magnitude. I remember being so sad, just the feeling of "this can't happen here, not in the US".

 

I don't know anyone who was there, or who lost a loved one there, but remembering 9/11 is always hard for me. Close to our home another town puts up a wonderful memorial, where they put a flag for every victim (2966 I believe?? Somewhere around that number), and a card attached to each flag, with info on the people who died. We have taken our kids probably 3 or 4 years in a row now, most of them weren't born yet in 2001, only our oldest.

 

Sad day for our country. I pray for the USA, and the entire world, as terrorism continues to affect our lives often :(

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I was at home with my then youngest (my eldest daughter) while my two stepsons (6&9) were at school. I was on the computer/internet and did not have tv at home. Our internet was slow.  

 

 I was reading message boards online and I turned on the radio when I first heard there was a problem. I remember leaving the house for a little while and went for a drive wondering if I should pick up the boys from school. I made the decision to keep them there. 

 

I also remember, over the next several days and weeks, when I went to the store or for an appointment and there was a television, I would stop and watch because it was really the first time I had seen the events. 

 

To this day I can't decide if I regret not seeing something so important in my lifetime, or if it was a good thing. Over the years, I've seen many clips, but I think listening to it on the radio, as opposed to watching it on tv made it a slightly different event for me. .

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Remember the lack of noise from aircraft? So still.

See for me it was the first time I REALLY heard the planes. Before then it was all background noise. On that day, I longed not to hear them but still did because an air force base is roughly 40 miles from me and where ever they were going took them passed our house many times that day. It was nerve-racking because my brain just kept trying to convince me that this time it wasn't a military plane.

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We were at the children's hospital for an appt with the cardiologist, for dd 4 months old and I was already plenty on edge about that (and then soon she was freaking out because the ekg stick-on things were pointy and were poking her - the doc and staff acted like they've never seen a baby cry that loud before and I long wondered if he could even properly evaluate her.  She never did have an echo though many years later I took her to a cardiologist again and at least she wasn't screaming that time).

 

TV was on in the waiting room and we saw the news of the first plane and then the second.  Too much info to process that day.

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Remember the lack of noise from aircraft? So still.

 

Oh my goodness...this.

 

I was working at a Target in a very busy shopping center in St. Louis. DH and I were newlyweds and had just moved here a few months before. I was the store operator, so I didn't work on the floor. It was my job to sit in the back and watch the break room TV and update all the other team members as we learned what was happening. And then later that day, answer the barrage of phone calls from customers looking for American flags, which we quickly sold out of.

 

But what I remember most about that day is leaving the store in the afternoon when my shift was over, to an almost empty parking lot (unheard of...finding a parking space was always a challenge after the stores opened) and silence from the skies. It was completely eerie. I didn't know a city could be so quiet before that day...and I hope to never hear it so quiet again.

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We were the west coast so we got the news later when dh's mother called. She has been known to get her news from unreliable sources so I didn't believe it at first. We didn't have a tv, but we did find one to watch a bit, but I didn't want to stay long because my two oldest boys were little and didn't need to watch it over and over.

 

9/11 had a huge impact on us, of course, but the aftermath even more. A friend of ours was arrested and charged with terrorism and finally acquitted a long time later because there was absolutely no evidence. Before 9/11 there was an undercurrent of fear about Islam, but it became so much more prominent afterward and has negatively affected so many Muslims we know.

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We were in our house in a rural section of Cali, Colombia. We were eating Breakfast. I think we had planned to go to the supermarket after Breakfast.  My SIL called on the phone and she told my wife a plane had hit the WTC. At first, I hoped it was a light, General Aviation aircraft, but it turned out to be a civil turbojet.   We turned on the TV and saw the 2nd aircraft hit the other tower. Any thoughts I'd had, that the first plane  was somehow an accident immediately changed to the knowledge that the USA was under attack.  My wife is Colombian, but she is the wife of an American and the mother of an American. My wife cried. We watched more TV in those first days that we usually do in months.  Please include all of the victims and survivors of 9/11 and their families in your prayers.  This is a hard day for all Americans, but especially for them.  

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Dropped my kids off at daycare and was driving to work enjoying the beautiful day with the radio off.

When I got to work someone told me about the plane hitting. I rememeber saying "a prop plane? Did the pilot have a heart attack?" Zero understanding of what was happening. Then I called my husband who was on his way to work. Who was fortunately running late. Had he been on time he would have been right under the wtc when the plane hit. Instead he got to watch the towers fall on his way into the city while I was on the phone with him.

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I was in our apartment in Orlando. We had moved here from New Jersey just a little less than three years before. I was cleaning up after feeding the kids breakfast and getting ready to transition into our homeschooling plans for the day when my husband called and asked I was listening to the news. I'm an NPR fan and often have the radio going in the morning, but that day I didn't or had already turned it off.

 

I went into the bedroom and turned on the small TV in there so the kids wouldn't see. 

 

It was surreal, because just a few years before, my husband would have been in one of the smaller buildings next to the towers. Before we moved, I did some feelance work for a publisher in Manhattan, and on days when I had to pick up or deliver materials, I would often bring our daughter into the city with me. We would hit one of the parks or indoor play spaces and go to Dad's office to meet him for lunch. 

 

And I sat there and watched it all go down in smoke and dust.

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I was a freshman in high school. I was sitting in my lit class reading Dante's Inferno when it happened. Someone came and pulled our teacher out of the room to tell him what happened. He came back in and explained it to us, complete with drawings on the chalkboard to illustrate.

We spent the rest of the day listening to the news on the radio in every class.

 

Sent from my HTCD200LVW using Tapatalk

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I was in college in the Midwest. I had an 8am Mideast history class, then I went to the TA office that all the humanities TAs shared to work a bit before my next class. The religious studies TA was checking CNN on her computer before starting her work and told me about the first plane. All the news websites started crashing because so many people were trying to get updates. The college set up open lecture halls with TVs so students and faculty could watch coverage. My dad traveled for work often then. He was on his way to a meeting in New Jersey when his flight was diverted and grounded in Maryland. I was a wreck until I heard from my mom that he was safe.

 

I can't believe it's been 15 years. I remember so many details of that day so clearly.

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I was starting my junior year at MIT.  Classes were cancelled, TVs set up in the common areas and the campus was in eerily silent shock.  Everyone know someone who worked in New York or DC and then the news spread: two of the planes had taken off from Boston.  Everyone knew the odds and just waited to find out which friend or colleague or professor had been on one of the flights.

 

Wendy

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My dh and I heard it on the radio while eating breakfast. We thought we had misheard and turned on the TV. We watched in shock until dh left for work and I got everyone ready to go to my first doctor appointment for pregnancy #4. I heard dd2's heartbeat for the first time that day. So wonderful and yet such a shocking, sobering, frightening day. It seemed like that was the first day I was really, truly a grown up.

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I was working as an itenerant teacher. I had just finished up with one student and was checking out of his school when the secretary told me what happened. The schools were in a semi-lockdown and all of my department was called back to our office rather than trying to visit the schools. We spent the rest of the day watching news on TV.

My MIL called my DH crying because it was too much like Pearl Harbor got attacked when she was a kid.

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Right outside DC.  A group of us, who could not get in touch with our family members who worked in the Pentagon, banded together, drank coffee, and watched TV.  I will never forget the relief when each person found their loved one.  Mine was the last to be reported ok.

 

Other family and friends were not so lucky.  :(

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I was in college, getting ready for morning classes. Someone called one of my roomates and said we had to turn on the news so we did, just before the second plane struck. My Palestinian roomate said "oh no, they're going to blame this on Muslims" and I said that unfortunately it probably was Muslim terrorists. I felt really bad for her.

 

I had family in DC and was worried about them.

 

I Kind of expected classes to be cancelled that day but they weren't.

 

I was in the Air Force ROTC and we all knew this meant huge changes for our military futures.

Edited by maize
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I had dropped oldest DS at school (first grade) and youngest DS at preschool. I was taking the dog to the vet for his yearly check up when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit one of the towers. At that point they thought it might have been a sightseeing plane or something like that. I got to the vet's office a few minutes later and it was eerily quiet. Just me, my dog and a lady with a Greyhound in the waiting area. All of the staff must have been in the back watching TV. They also had a TV on in the waiting area. The Greyhound lady and I just sat there in stunned silence. Even the dogs were very quiet (probably not unusual for a Greyhound, but it was very unusual for my dog). I thought about just leaving, but I think I was in a little bit of shock. I didn't really know what to do. I just sat there watching TV until I was finally called back. That only took a few minutes, then I dropped the dog off at home, watched TV for a few more minutes and then went to get youngest from preschool. I debated picking oldest DS up early but decided against it. I figured he was perfectly safe there. I think about two thirds of the kids in his class were picked up early that day.

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also west coast. it was a beautiful day here too.  I was getting kids ready for school.  I had high school, middle school, and elementary school.  my mother called and said a plane had hit the tower.  then I turned on the tv and watched in shock. there were families who kept their kids home from school that day.

 

later that morning 1dd, who was in school in upstate NY, called in hysterics.  I had dropped her off at college two weeks before.  her school lost alumnae, faculty/students lost family, and a classmate lost a parent.

 

eta: dh's cousin was stationed at the pentagon.  right outside the initial impact zone.  his lab was destroyed in the subsequent fire.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Dropped my kids off at daycare and was driving to work enjoying the beautiful day with the radio off.

When I got to work someone told me about the plane hitting. I rememeber saying "a prop plane? Did the pilot have a heart attack?" Zero understanding of what was happening. Then I called my husband who was on his way to work. Who was fortunately running late. Had he been on time he would have been right under the wtc when the plane hit. Instead he got to watch the towers fall on his way into the city while I was on the phone with him.

No way. How glad I am your dh ran late
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9/11 had a huge impact on us, of course, but the aftermath even more. A friend of ours was arrested and charged with terrorism and finally acquitted a long time later because there was absolutely no evidence. Before 9/11 there was an undercurrent of fear about Islam, but it became so much more prominent afterward and has negatively affected so many Muslims we know.

So sorry about this. We were talking about this a few days ago with some friends. Sadly, what some folks do impact so many others. 9/11 impacted the US, the world in many ways, and yes, many Muslims who have nothing to do with it :(
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One of my sisters had nightmares for months and months following 9/11--she was in school in the DC area, in about the 4th grade. The teacher turned on the TV news and just let it play all.day.long in that classroom full of kids, some with parents who worked at the Pentagon. It was awful.

 

My brother in Junior High had the opposite experience--the school told the kids nothing at all, they knew something was going on because all the adults were whispering and parents kept coming to pick up kids throughout the day, but they could only speculate and pass rumors.

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I had just dropped my oldest dd off at preschool, and had stopped at K-Mart.  I was in my car in the parking lot when Phil Williams, a comedic local DJ came on the radio announcing that a plane had hit the first tower.  I didn't really know what to make of it, or if it was even true.  But driving home, I became more and more concerned as I listened to the news reports.  My dh was at home, along with my infant twins, packing for a trip, and I was supposed to take him to the airport that day.  

 

As I walked in the door, he had the TV on and I saw the 2nd plane hit, live.  Everything stopped.  He and I just sat there and watched the news, stunned.  I was in a bit of a panic on whether or not to go pick up my dd, but in the end we decided that it was best for her to not be at home watching us watch the horror, and that she was just as safe at the church as she was at home.  We kept the TV and radio on because we lived near a national security target, and I was afraid that something would happen here.  

It still impacts me to this day.  My dh could have easily been on one of those planes.  He traveled every other week via air.  Every trip he takes, even 15 years later, I think about 9/11.  

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Dropped my kids off at daycare and was driving to work enjoying the beautiful day with the radio off.

When I got to work someone told me about the plane hitting. I rememeber saying "a prop plane? Did the pilot have a heart attack?" Zero understanding of what was happening. Then I called my husband who was on his way to work. Who was fortunately running late. Had he been on time he would have been right under the wtc when the plane hit. Instead he got to watch the towers fall on his way into the city while I was on the phone with him.

 

 

Wow.  So glad he was running late.

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In a meeting in downtown Washington, DC. Someone turned on a TV when the first tower was hit, then news of the second. When we stepped out of the conference room and looked out other office windows, we thought the White House had been hit when actually it was smoke from the Pentagon.

 

I worried some about one of us taking the Metro from then on and even though we're now in the Midwest, I worry about longer flights especially to the coasts.

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I was running late--trying to get the house cleaned up before the pet sitter came, doing last minute packing for a trip across the country to a family reunion (actually to meet my mother's extended family for the first time), and worrying that the cab wouldn't get there in time and we'd miss our plane.

 

We didn't have a TV or the internet, but we did have a Cidco Mailstation, which was a little device you could use for sending text only emails. I did NOT have time or patience for forwarded chain letter jokes, which was what I thought my father was doing not just once but incessantly, and I didn't even think airplane terrorist jokes were funny.

 

Everything changed after that day, everything. I never did meet those people who share my DNA. My 12 year old had become a future journalist and my 9 year old knew that he was going to have to go to war.

 

He still handles that better than I do.

 

Love you my hero, my son.

Edited by Guest
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I was in Vancouver, BC, where dh was doing his grad degree. I was asleep and my MIL called from the East Coast to tell us. I spent the day watching the TV. Ds was 10 months at the time and took his first step from the couch to the magazine basket that day.

 

I have lots of family and friends in DC (where I grew up and lived until I was 31), including ones who worked at the Pentagon. Dh has lots of NY family. So, I remember e-mailing to get in contact with family and make sure they were okay.

 

The other thing I remember vividly is that folks had been teasing me for refusing to leave ds with a babysitter and go to dinner over the border. I had said I was worried that they would close the border and ds would be left in Canada with no family except an elderly uncle in Ontario. Folks had laughed and said, "They'll never close the border." Yes, they sure did on 9/11.

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I was at school. It was my week to supervise breakfast (all the teachers rotated) so I was in the cafeteria with the students. Another teacher had had the morning news on in her classroom as she was getting things ready for the day and heard the first announcement about plane #1. She came running through the cafeteria headed toward the front office. When she saw me, she skidded to a stop, grabbed my face, and got in real close to whisper (so the students couldn't hear), "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center!"

 

And I just didn't even comprehend. I said, "How could something like that happen?"

 

And she said, "I don't know. Nobody knows what's happening. They think maybe the plane got lost." And she went running on to the office to alert our principal and the office staff.

 

That was seriously the most stressful and crazy day. News filtered in and was passed along to teachers in whispers. They put the school on partial lockdown, but we were told not to tell any of the students what had happened. Parents were showing up all day to check their kids out, because we had a lot of military reserve and National Guard families, and everyone was in a panic thinking daddy was going to ship out tomorrow. So even though the kids didn't know, the tension in the school was so high that they could tell something was wrong. 

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I was abut 6 months pregnant, working a temp job at a nearby city clerks office, and dh was unemployed. I am on the west coast, and at that time didn't really go on email or news or tv as soon as I got up. I was driving to work around 8:30, listening to the radio, and at first thought they were just talking about a plane crash. When I finally realized what had happened, I had to pull over. As a temp, I worked in the break room which had a large tv, so when I got to work I got to watch the coverage all day. I called dh, who was home and hadn't heard about it, and at first he thought I was talking about a bomb at the World Trade Center. I remember having to explain it several times, that it wasn't a car bomb, it was two commercial airplanes, that it wasn't an accident. By then it was almost four hours since it had happened. I saw the planes hit the towers so many times, they just kept the news on all day while I sat there trying to do data entry across the room.

 

It was after that I started looking at news and email as soon as I got up. I couldn't believe I had gotten up and ready and out the door and didn't even know anything had happened.

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I was in a large display window on a busy street in Boston, setting up the new fall window design. I wasn't listening to the radio, but I could see that something strange was going on based on the reaction of people on the street. Someone from the store above us came down and told us what he had heard on the radio. I was there for another couple of hours, dealing with the decision not to open the store, and figuring out what I should do with the windows, not knowing when we would be back.

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I was 16.  I was at school and rumors were circulating.  I didn't believe them and made . . um, unwise . . . remarks.  Eventually enough real information had circulated to confirm that the whole 9/11 thing had in fact happened.  The school was very particular that the teachers not discuss it or show footage on TV so that our parents could handle it as they saw fit.  Most people's parents picked them up over the course of the day.  So I had this really surreal experience where the teachers stuck to their lesson plans and tensely pretended nothing was happening.  The students passed information in whispers and then disappeared.  

 

The other element of my experience is that I lived near Offut air force base.  When 9/11 happened they locked down the base, no one in or out.  Many kids parents were either military or sub-contractors, so a lot of people's parents were trapped in the lock down.  George Bush flew into Offut, because they have Strategic Air Command underground there.  So there was also that.  

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I was on my way to a dr appt, in Boston and was going to drop my 3 kids (3yo twins and 9mos) off at a friend's house.  Happened to turn on NPR in the car on the way just a bit after the first plane hit.   I was confused at first and thought they were doing some kind of retrospective report about that bombing that happened in the garage under the WTC a number of years back.   More of it happened on the way to friend's, and I called the dr. and said no way was I coming into the city that day.

 

I ended up staying at friend's house, our kids played while we listened to the radio.  I didn't see any images until I went home at naptime and was by myself, and then it was pretty much limited to their naptime.  

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I was home sick on the couch with pneumonia.  My mom was babysitting DD who was only 7 months old because I was too sick to watch her.  Mom called me to tell me what was happening.  Two days later I was hospitalized because I was so sick. I remember the prayers over the loud speaker several times a day.  But a lot of my memories of the time are fuzzy because of how sick I was.

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