Where Were You on September 11th?

10 September 2015

Every generation has a historical moment that they will remember forever.  I will always remember where I was on September 11, 2001.  I was a sophomore in high school and had gotten to school early that day.  I heard people talking in the hall about a plane hitting a building in New York, but I didn’t really think much about it.  In my first period speech class, the principal announced what was happening over the loudspeaker.  My entire high school was silent.  We moved through the school day like normal, but watched news coverage in every class.  

Everyone has their own story to tell from this day.  A few of my friends shared theirs with me. 

Where were you on September 11th - A blog post of teacher's reflections

I was half-way through my undergrad. I had a new born baby and was in the apartment alone. I remember my mother calling and telling me to get diapers and gasoline. I watched the news before leaving for class, and saw the second tower get hit. By the time I got to my first class it was all everyone was talking about. Our classes ended up called off for the rest of the day.   Sarah Koves, Kovescence of the Mind  

On September 11, I was a senior in high school in New York City. It was a Tuesday, and I was enjoying a free period sitting in the lunchroom with a few friends. The radio was on and the DJ suddenly said there are reports coming in of a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. We all stopped talking and listened to hear more. The DJ repeated himself. We immediately started wondering what this meant. Did the pilot have a stroke behind the controls? How could a plane not avert a skyscraper? Was it an accident? It must have been a prop plane giving a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the controls must have malfunctioned. Of course it must have been an accident! Our lives changed when the second plane hit. Two planes is not an accident. That's when more facts started pouring in: they were commercial planes, they had been hijacked, we heard "Al-Quaeda" for the first time, the towers fell, and our world crashed around us. My math teacher's daughter worked in the WTC but thankfully made it out in time, a freshman lost her mom, many other students lost a parent or older sibling. One of my friends' mom had the amazing, "I went to the deli for a bagel instead of eating at the office cafeteria" story and she survived. Instead of being taught economics in 3rd period we learned what Al-Quaeda was. Instead of studying Shakespeare in 4th period we learned about the plane in the Pennsylvania Field and the Pentagon. We were scared, we wondered what else was going to happen, and we questioned the motives of the terrorists. We had to wait for a parent to pick us up before we could leave the building. I will never forget driving across the bridge heading home to Long Island and seeing a hole in downtown and black smoke still rising. I will never forget how for 24 hours the TV news kept showing footage of the man jumping and falling headfirst to his death, and even at 17 years old questioning why they kept and kept and kept replaying his death. I will never forget learning about the immeasurable loss suffered by Cantor Fitzgerald. I will never forget hearing the recordings of those on the PA field plane speaking to their loved ones or leaving messages for the last time. My parents remember in as much detail where they were when we landed on the moon, I have 9/11.   Stephanie's History Store  

I was teaching. The bell had just rung for lunch and a neighbouring teacher ran into my room and yelled "Terrorists are attacking America!" (We're Canadian). I was totally confused...how could that be? I ran to the staffroom where they had taken in a TV, and the room was in complete silence. Everyone was in utter disbelief. I'll never forget it.   Room 213  

September 11th began like any other day, except the radio announced a plane had hit a tower in New York. How sad. It wasn’t till I was on my way to work an hour later that the car radio announced a 2nd plane had crashed into another tower in New York. I started to cry. It wasn’t an accident, it was deliberate. I knew a profound sorrow and grief. The teachers at work were milling about talking about the event transpiring in New York. I immediately arranged all the teachers on my floor to congregate the students in several rooms to watch the news on the few T.V.’s we shared. It took the District 30 minutes to ban all news broadcasts about the terrorist event, but by then all the 6th grade teachers on the 3rd floor and our students were on the same page and had the same information. We could help our students understand what had happened that day. It helped to process this terrorist event as a group, and not be whispering tidbits in the hallway about what each of us learned piecemeal.   A. C. Sandler  


To me, September 11th is a day to remember those who died in the attacks and in the war resulting from the attacks.  As you move through your day, give a thought or prayer for those whose lives were permanently changed by this event.

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