WhereWereYou

This is the place to share the memory of where you were on September 11, 2001. This has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with wars, nothing to do with citizenship. It's only to share a snapshot, a moment in time, of where you were when you heard. Are you a pre-teen and 9/11 is one of your first memories? Or are you old enough to remember Pearl Harbor? I hope to hear from all walks of life. Write your story in the "comment" area below, and pending review, your story will be posted here.

Submit Your Story (400 characters or less)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praying for Brother at the Pentagon

I was in bed when the phone rang. My boss called to tell us to turn on the television.

I was preparing for work when we heard about the Pentagon.

I have a brother who works there. When I got to work my friends met me and took me into an empty office to pray for my brother. I finally got a call about 45 minutes later that he was out of the building and unharmed. It was an unnerving morning. My brother lost a great many colleagues that day.

Mary Roy

Friday, September 11, 2009

On a Fellowship in Maryland

I live near NYC, but was on a journalism fellowship in Maryland and watched the coverage on television. My boyfriend was in NYC and that was the day he was to move into my apartment; instead he worked all day from his Brooklyn apartment, sending and editing photos from there, as a photo editor for the NYT. I didn't know until 4pm that day if he was alive, as he would have been near the Towers when the planes hit. It was a hard day not knowing where he was or how he was. A friend of ours lost his son-in-law on Flight 11, we later found out.
Caitlin Kelly, Journalist
New York

In Bed with a High Fever

I woke up with a fever of 104.5. Because I clearly wasn't going anywhere, my husband took our son to school and put the radio on for me to listen to. It must have been about 8:45, just when things were happening and facts were few. Early afternoon I was in the ER--it turned out I had sepsis from acupuncture treatment for a sinus infection--and I can't tell you how safe and blessed I felt in a hospital in rural Vermont while chaos reigned seemingly everywhere else. I know I had a dangerous, if flukey, condition but it was hard to feel sorry for myself.

Judith D. Schwartz, Writer
Vermont

Thursday, September 3, 2009

On a Sailing Trip

My partner and I were cruising on the Chesapeake Bay for a two week vacation. We pulled into the marina at Solomon's Island at about 5 P.M. I walked to the grocery store to buy a few things and heard news reports over the grocery store loud speakers system. I went back to the boat and told Lorraine that we needed to get to a television because something big had happened earlier that morning. It wasn't until we got to a restaurant with a television at the bar that we even knew what had happened. We felt numb with grief, sadness and certainly isolated, because we had no knowledge until almost 12 hours after the fact. We saw many navy ships patrolling afterwards.

Joyce Walsh
Director, Victim Assistance Program
Chesapeake, Va.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

At Home with My Husband

My husband and I were home alone after all the kids had gotten off to school. He called me downstairs as the newscast of the first plane began airing. I stood there in front of the TV and watched the second plane hit the tower. In that instant, the realization that this was not an accident flooded my body. Fear enveloped me as I realized that our country could well be under a full blown attack; and my immediate concern was get to my five children, who were at three different schools across the city.

Without hesitation, my husband and I both set out in different directions to get the kids home.

Jude Brooker, Artist
Norfolk, Va.

Friday, August 14, 2009

At Uncle's House

Three weeks earlier, I moved from Barbados to New York to get my Masters at NYU.
I was at my Uncle's home in Brooklyn, ironing my clothes, getting ready to head into the city. My uncle called and said to turn on the TV. While talking to him on the phone, I watched the second plane hit. He started yelling, "Did you see that?! Two planes! It's an attack!"

The feeling of intense fear was instant. It became my constant companion for the entire year I spent in New York. I'm still doing the work to move out of fear; still learning to trust that there is beauty in the world.

Erica, Barbados

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Class at the Pope-Leighey House

I had a class at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria, VA. I took the Metro and then some bus… I must have passed by the Pentagon some minutes before 9 am. The class had just started when someone from the staff turned on a mini-TV and the next thing I remember is all of us glued to the tiny monitor, watching in disbelief. Some of my classmates started crying after not being able to contact friends and relatives at the Pentagon. Going back to DC in the afternoon was a nightmare. At the same time, my family in Bulgaria was dead worried about me and much relieved when I eventually I got hold of them.

Svetla Kazalarska
Bulgaria

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Watching With a Customer

For some reason, I turned on The Today Show while I was folding laundry before work. I called my husband, who reassured me it was probably just an accident. I tried calling NYC to check on my brother-in-law (who worked near the towers), but all circuits were busy.

At work, we went next door to the glass shop with a customer to watch the news on TV. Then our shop manager told us a plane crashed in Pennsylvania. We thought "what a weird coincidence."

Several years later the same customer came back to our shop and asked if we remembered watching together.

Pamela Meyers, Auto Repair Shop Owner
Florida

Friday, July 31, 2009

In Traffic Near the Pentagon

I was in a taxi, on my way to work at U.S. News & World Report when I saw the smoke just begin to rise from the vicinity of the Pentagon. I'd heard on the radio about NYC, so, as traffic stopped, I jumped out of the cab and ran against the current of people fleeing the Pentagon in order to take photos and see what was happening. The building was belching smoke and victims were being evacuated as workmen's acetylene tanks exploded and jet fighters thundered past us overhead.
Doug Stern
Alexandria, Virginia

Monday, July 27, 2009

Studying Math

I was sitting in Algerbra II class when our pricipal came over the loadspeaker and told us what happened.

My little brothers were in middle school near Langly Air Force Base, and mom sent me to go pick them up. I remember thinking I wasn't going to make it there.

Patricia Lauren Shaffer
Virginia Beach, Va.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

While Answering Calls

I was working at a mail order company, answering incoming phone calls. I first heard about what was happening from one of the callers, who just started sobbing. My boss brought his portable TV out where everyone could see it.
As we watched the towers explode, one of my coworkers burst into tears. We found out later that two of her cousins died in the towers.
But that night fighter planes ran routes over Miami.

Tamara, Novelist
Tallahassee, Florida

At a Hollywood Health Club

I was driving to a meeting with a producer with whom I was putting together a TV magic special. Just before I got onto the freeway, I tuned in to a station that was preempting their regular coverage for round-the-clock coverage of the towers tragedy. I pulled over and listened.

Later I was in a Hollywood fitness center. 150 TV sets were all tuned in to the news channels. I sweated and watched.

I worked out until my body was pushed past the limit.

The next morning, I saved all the newspapers with their screaming banner headlines. Those papers are now wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a box in the garage.

David Groves, Magician and Writer
Los Angeles, Ca.

A Premonition

My dear friend Dottie was visiting me in Virginia Beach from New York when we turned on the TV that morning to witness the collapse of the towers. Dottie herself worked in an office in the Empire State Building and had friends in the towers. That morning, as we watched the towers, she told me that she went inside one of the towers when it had first been built. She had such a horrible feeling of doom that she left immediately and never went back.

Ellyn Kingsley, retired teacher
Virginia Beach, Va.

Friday, May 8, 2009

In the Car in Boston

I had a 10 o'clock appointment in Lexington and hoped to vote beforehand (a replacement for Congressman Moakly). But I broke a small bottle of nail polish and cleaning it up made me late.

I turned on the radio in the car, which I remember was hard to do because of my wet nails. The NPR news came on about the first plane. By the time I got to my desk at work, the second plane had crashed.
I called my boyfriend in downtown Boston to warn him to come home. He told me not to panic.
In town and in our building, every TV was on. We began making phone calls to friends: "are you okay?" Not everyone was. My parents lost two friends that day.

Chelsea Lowe, Journalist
Boston, Mass.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sleeping In

I slept a little later than usual since I didn't have class that day. I was expecting to see the tail end of Good Morning America and the weather forecast. I canceled class that afternoon, and spent the entire day watching. The next day my students needed to talk about it. And then when I got home I watched some more.

I worried about my Egyptian family, most of whom live in the United States.

Kathy Brobst, Professor
Virginia Beach, Va.

At Work in Kissimmee

I was at my office and one of my co-workers started telling us. I think her husband called her from home and we were trying to call people to get confirmation.
My office closed. I went home and started calling people I knew in New York or had family there. I also called my family in D.C. I think I was in shock. It felt something like a hurricane day, where you go home and batten down the hatches.

Sarah Henderson, Educator
Florida

Sunday, May 3, 2009

At Home in Florida Doing Chores

I was folding whites on my bed and the Today show was on. We saw the first plane crash into the tower and thought it was an accident. When the second one hit my husband and I knew it could not be an accident. It was scary.

I will never forget that day - it's as clear to me as the day President John F. Kennedy was shot. For me it was also the beginning of a few years of Post Traumatic Stress and depression.

Lisa Russell, Artist
Florida

Friday, May 1, 2009

In Third Grade Class in England

I was in year 3 at primary school. So I was about 8 years old.
At lunch break, Lara from year 5 told us all that her mum had texted her and that planes had crashed in New York.
I got home that afternoon to my (American) mother, who was sobbing and had the TV on at full volume. The clip of the first plane diving into the first tower was on repeat. I wasn't really aware at the time of what was really going on.

Arendall
Berkshire, England

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Visiting Juveniles in Prison

I was eating breakfast at McDonald's with some out-of-town guests. The TV was on there with no sound and we saw the first tower burning. I remember thinking it reminded me of "The Towering Inferno."

Next, I drove to Chicago to visit two teenage girls in juvenile prison. They told me stories of terrorist attacks and burning buildings that had fallen down. I paid little attention, because they tended to stretch the truth. But later I called a co-worker who confirmed it. I was in shock! i couldn't believe they fell.

Reverend Clay Boyd
Virginia

In a Meeting

I had not long had a baby and was working from home. Mum was watching Sky News while minding my son. I had a meeting with my financial advisor about my pension upstairs in my bedroom/office. Mum shouted the news up the stairs and we all came down to watch the second plane. I feared what might happen in the next few hours as almost anything seemed possible. Planning a pension seemed pointless. I wanted all the family on one place as I really did think people might start lobbing nuclear weapons at each other.

Beverly
United Kingdom

In Washington, D.C.

I was interning for a small newspaper four blocks from the White House in DC. We ran upstairs to the publisher's apartment to watch the news all morning. Then he made us finish out the day saying, "I've seen worse." I ducked out at 4pm and the city was like a ghost town. A businessman offered to share a cab with me and dropped me off at my apartment. Everyone came together.

Dawn Arteaga
Washington, DC

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In eastern Ukraine

I was in Kharkiv, working with a group of American guests from a Kharkiv-Cincinnati exchange. We were watching it on the news.

Aleksey Soldatenko
Kharkiv, Ukraine

At the Animal Hospital

I was at work at the animal hospital. I walked into the office where the television was on and several people stood watching.

I called Rick at home. I contemplated NOT calling. I knew he would rush into Chicago to the newspaper. I was worried the city wasn't safe. Maybe the next target? But I knew he would want to go. I had to tell him. I had to tell somebody.
Jan Tuma
Chicago, Illinois

On the Magnificent Mile

I had just gotten out of the shower when my wife called to tell me that a plane had hit one of the towers.

On the train ride downtown the conductors urged everyone to get off and return home, as the city was emptying out. Only a few of us chose to continue on: me (a Trib newsartist), and another reporter.


After a long and mind-numbing day, a coworker and I exited the Tribune Tower out onto a deserted Michigan Avenue. Immediately, heavily armed cops began running toward us, shouting for us to get off the sidewalk. As we glanced around we could see armed cops at every intersection up and down the Magnificent Mile, traffic lights set to flashing red.

Rick Tuma
Chicago Illinois

In a Montenegro Newsroom

I was in a newsroom in Montenegro working with a local journalist. He got a call on his cell from a friend, who told him, "tell the American you're working with that two planes have crashed in New York."

All the online newsites were jammed, as were all of the phone lines to the USA. My sister in England called. She was crying so hard she couldn't speak. She held the phone up to the tv, tuned to the BBC, and I heard it that way.