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Where were you?

I was walking from English to Calculus my senior year at Danville High School when the first plane hit. Apparently, the administrators at our school told the teachers not to tell us about the attack or turn on the TVs, but thankfully, my Calculus teacher Mr. Moore never listened to them anyways. After sitting down in class, seeing Mr. Moore watching the TV, and realizing what was on it, shock set in, followed by panic a few beats later. At that time, my sister was in grad school in New York, and lived only a few blocks from the World Trade Center. A friend went with me to the office, where I got in touch with my parents to make sure my sister was okay. She was; in fact, she and her roommates spent the day helping people off the street and into their building to clean off and letting them use their phones to call loved ones. My mom was out of town, so my aunt checked me out of school, and once I was home, I called my brother, who was in New Zealand to tell him the news. It was very early there, and he and his girlfriend had just found out, but wanted more details. I read them the information off TV, but when my brother asked me why the attacks happened, I had no answer. My dad came home early from work that day and we sat and watched the news for hours in silence, trying to figure it out.

Where were you?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

95 responses to “Where were you?”

  1. kelkat

    I had just got off duty from the fire department. I was on the computer and decided to turn TV on…and the 1st tower had already been hit…I was stunned. I sat with amazement watching like everyone. Watching the 2nd tower being attacked…then watching them both collapse…thinking about all my feel brothers on the fire department that lost their lives that day. Very sad…

    1. Bart Edwards

      The more we give attention to the things the terrorists had success with that day, the more of that kind of terror we will encourage. It’s like giving a bum ten dollars. It might make you feel good, but in the long run it incentivizes bad behavior. We should suffer some things in relative silence, and grieve and beat our breasts behind closed doors if we must, but all of the public bereavement is counterproductive, and the Islamic bad guys love to watch us wallow in our lamentations.
      Even on days like this, we have to think with our heads, and not our hearts.

  2. kelkat

    *fellow brothers

    1. Bart Edwards

      More importantly, where were you when Todd Beamer and 39 other great Americans aboard Flight 93 started the war against terror in the skies over Pennsylvania by taking down that airplane — destined for the US Capitol — in a cornfield five miles north of Shanksville, PA?
      I would like to see less focus on the Pentagon strike and the other one, and more celebration of those who fought back and said, “Not here, you don’t.”
      Here’s to Flight 93.
      Let’s roll.

    2. wow

      Bart, I understand the point you’re trying to make but I’m a little shocked at you referring to the event that took the lives of 2,753 people as “the other one.” Regardless, I don’t think anybody will ever forget the sacrifice of Flight 93’s heroes.

    3. Adam

      Bart, you are a jackass. We cannot make light of the people that died that day. They deserve to be remembered as they were innocent people who had no part of this fight. We are not like these terrorists and do not want to be. That’s what makes us different from them. We have hearts.

  3. Tim

    I was working from home when my wife called and told me a plane had hit one of the towers. I assumed it was a small plane that had got lost in fog or something. I had no idea of the magnitude of the situation. I turned on the television in time to see the second plane hit. At first I was confused and thought it was a replay of the first plane. I’m not the smartest guy but I remember how it felt in my gut when it dawned on me that is was likely a terrorist attack. For the first time I felt unsafe in my own country.

  4. ClayBob

    I was in sophomore history class in Franklin County High School.

  5. Adam

    In the B&E Building at UK

  6. Rambo

    I had signed into base housing at Scott Air Force base and was sitting in the waiting room watching it all unfold on the television.

  7. deWildcat

    Working in College Park, MD. – all my friends that worked at the Pentagon came home. But, they lost friends. I lived on the Chesapeake Bay – many weird nights that followed – the only sound in the air were military jets. Saw a Naval carrier travel up the Bay to be anchored near Baltimore – more air support.

  8. uknbama

    I was rocking my 2 week-old newborn when it came on the news. As a former flight attendant, I was horrified that something like this could happen in our country. I pray that something like this will never, ever happen again.

  9. UKCatNKy

    I was sleeping in my apartment at Royal Lex because my first class wasn’t until 2pm. My mom called and my roommate came and woke me up. Didn’t really believe how bad it was at first until I turned the tv on.

  10. Spencer

    My dad was actually on a plane to NYC that same morning, from Tampa. Thank goodness he was okay, made an emergency landing in Cleveland.

  11. skinny pete

    I was in my dorm room at UK. I woke up and watched the news. They said they had reports of a plane hitting the tower. I figured it was a fluke so I turned the tv off and did some Spanish homework. When I was finished, I turned the tv on and saw that the second tower had been hit. I watched for a while longer but had to grab a shower before class. By the time I came back, both towers had fallen. I still went to class and the professor still lectured but he said anyone who wanted to leave could and they wouldn’t be penalized. Given that I feel like UK cancels class now for an inch of snow, I was surprised that class went on as scheduled that day.

  12. technicolor yawn

    On my way to class at UK and heard it on the radio, Twitch I think, and remember him saying “this is not a joke”

  13. Nate Treblinski

    Today I kissed the bronze plaque in the US Capitol honoring the men and women of Flight 93, those who refused to let a bunch of terrorists with box cutters fly a jumbo jet into the US Capitol. I remember where I was when I heard that those courageous people fought back.

  14. LlamaCat

    I think Mercer County took the exact opposite approach to the news. I remember sitting in a world history class as a freshman and the teacher just stopped and turned on the TV. I had been to Battery Park and the WTC just a year before and it was just surreal to see the events unfold. They eventually let school out early that day and rescheduled the football game that week. I don’t think anyone is without a detailed account of where they were or what was going through their mind.

    1. Roflectomy

      Whoever you are, we might have been in the same classroom.

  15. Cat fan behind enemy lines

    I was at work for a 3rd party insurance company. One of our biggest clients was Cantor-Fitzgerald. All but 3 or 4 of their workers were killed that day. I remember processing claims for their FSA accounts just the week before. We sat at work and watched TV and listened to the radio trying to figure out what was going on.

  16. asdf

    I was at work that morning. A co-worker’s brother was missing at that time, and he was confirmed dead by the afternoon. Tough time.

  17. ukfan515

    I was in my first grade class. The teacher turned on the TV and let us watch. They said that “it was something we needed to see because it would have a huge impact on history and out lives”. Boy were they right. I may not remember much else from when I was that small but I do remember that day and I will never forget.

  18. technicolor yawn

    It is amazing reading these comments, and how so many people are connected to those who were there or near

  19. Sam

    I had just gotten to elementary school. My classmates and I were told by our principal in our first grade classroom.

  20. Section 133

    My wife and I were at a beach in the Florida panhandle. Woke up and turned the Weather Channel on to check the day’s forecast while making coffee. In the background I heard them talking about all US flights being grounded. I thought……what the hell? Turned TV over to NBC just as the Pentagon was hit. After the towers fell, we went out to the beach and no one knew what was going on. Giving that news to bunch of strangers on a beautiful day at the beach was surreal.

  21. Tyler

    I was in Senior English at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky. One of my classmates came in and told us what happened, I remember telling her there was no way and it must have been a spoof. We transitioned to Year Book and watched the TV for the rest of the day. I remember leaving school and driving around in a daze not knowing what to think…

  22. CatFan26

    I was in English class my senior year of high school. Another teach came in and told our teacher to turn on the TV and we watched just as the 2nd plane hit.

    1. CatFan26


  23. thast budda

    At work and in a small office area listening to the radio. Once the reports came on I pulled out a hidden black and white 4 inch screen TV I used to watch UK games on the weekend. One person after another walked in to watch on that tiny screen. My boss being one of them. He was a hard ass but he never said a word about that day or the hidden TV

  24. Lahinch02

    Driving into Lexington on Leestown Rd. Heard the news on the radio. Had to pull off the road to regain my wits, cry and pray.

  25. GoCats

    I was at work in Lexington – some one on the floor told me a plane hit one of the Towers, he had heard it on the radio. I thought oh no a small plane has gotten lost in fog and hit the building – it has happened before even in NY. I walked back to the office and they had the news on. Then the second one hit and we watched NBC in the conference room as they fell…My Uncle was on his way to work in Washington on the road that runs right by the Pentagon (He worked next to the Capitol so yes thank you even more Flight 93). We had a difficult time tracking him down – very scary few hours – we were lucky he was ok…Horrible day.


    I was a senior at Harrodsburg HS and had just gone from English to Media Productions. The students from first period were all still glued to the TVs watching as the fire took over first tower. I remember watching as the second tower was struck. In awe, we sat and watched it unfold. I don’t remember if we let school out early, I do remember going to lower the flag out at the front of the building and the one at the football field. We did play our football game that Friday and i was interviewed by one of the Lexington news stations before the game about why we chose to still play our game against Paris. I remember thinking that if we change the way we live our every day lives, we weren’t honoring the lives lost or the ones out protecting our freedoms.

  27. GocatsLEX

    I was in Mr. Gorelick’s(Kenny G’s brother) music class at Wake Forest when he broke the news of the first plane hitting. He dismissed us and I went back to my dorm to stand, jaw on floor, watching the coverage. Rough day doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  28. Ray

    Geology 220 in Funkhouser had just let out and I ran into my roommate at the bus stop behind the building. He tells me “We’re under attack!” I didn’t believe him but did notice his face looked like he’d just seen a ghost. When I got home, there it was on TV. Unbelievable. There were conflicting reports on whether or not classes were cancelled for the day, but I went anyway. I sat down in Chemistry 105, Dr. Holler gave a 10 minute impassioned speech on what had just happened, and then dismissed class. You could have heard a pin drop. I’ll never forget that.

  29. Lush

    Was a young Project Manager in a meeting talking about budgets and timelines. Our offices were at the airport here in Lexington. Our receptionist busted into the meeting to tell us what was going on – she said “Oh my God they are attacking us”. Of course the FAA immediately grounded all air traffic that day once everyone figured out what was going on. Planes from all over the place started landing at the airport, they couldn’t find enough space to put them all. Some of the people in our office pulled their kids out of school and went home that day. Others hung out and watched the coverage on TV. Some did what we could to help out with all the air traffic. Everyone knew that life as we had known it changed for good. And we were right it hasn’t been the same since.

  30. Jim Porter

    My wife and I were in Beautiful Estes Park, CO, at the base of Rocky Mt. Natl. Park. The tragedy
    seemed so surreal contrasted to the serenity of the snowcapped mountains.

  31. neverforget

    I remember sitting in my dorm room at UK trying to convince a buddy of mine that the Kirwan and Blanding towers were not going to be attacked. About 30 minutes after they ordered all planes grounded, I saw a plane flying in the distance. I knew it wasn’t anything to be worried about but it still had me nervous for a minute.

  32. jaws2

    I was in my business office and called everyone in the company to come in and see what was happening on TV in the conference room. Later, when the towers fell, I called everyone in for a short prayer.

    My wife was in Paris France at the time and said people all over were talking about something happening in NYC, but that her and her friends had no idea what actually occurred or the magnitude until I was on the phone with her. It took several extra days to get back the the US and I drove down to Charlotte, NC to pick her up. She didn’t want to take any extra flights. I’ll never forget this day, and no one in the USA should.

  33. I recall

    I was flying on a Delta Jet and had no idea what was going on.

  34. Chaz

    I was at work when a customer walked up and asked if I had heard what happened in NYC and he told me a plane had crashed into a building. My mental image was some small plane had gotten lost or the pilot had a heart attack and flown into the building. There was no TV in my workspace so I had to rely on the internet to find out what was going on. I didn’t see the videos till much later. Found out the next day my niece had baby-sat two children that were on the plane with their parents…that was the first one to the building. My brother-in-law’s brother worked in the area. He wasn’t killed, he became one of many trying desperately to get off the island. Suddenly it became one degree of separation. My niece still has nightmares. I’ll never forget.

  35. I recall

    Part II

    We were sent to Myrtle Beach and once I got on the ground I saw yellow tape everywhere with loud speakers saying the airport was closed and all flights cancelled. I went to the AVIS counter and pick up a rental car (it was closing too so I had to do some fast talking) I drove back to Atlanta.

  36. BCHS

    I was in Honors English at Boyle County High School. We were in the library and the teacher pulled us back to the classroom to watch the news. Then next period I had spanish and the spanish teacher said that it wasn’t “that important” and when she tried to turn off the T.V. the first tower fell.

  37. BlueLady

    I was in New Orleans attending a conference. I had my hotel room TV on by chance and saw the drama unfold. Like others, I initially thought the first tower was hit by a small plane. I was scheduled to fly back to Lexington the next day, but all planes in the U.S. were grounded. Those from out-of town scrambled for rental cars and train tickets in short supply. Some even bought used cars to return home. I was able to get a rental car two days later and drove 12 hours back to Lexington, stopping only for gas. It was an amazing drive. Already the U.S. flags were out. I saw them on many trucks and hanging from overpasses along the way. I will never forget.

  38. ukfan515

    These stories are amazing and this is one of the best comment sections I have ever seen on any site, especially this one. Usually the comments are plagued by trolls and fans from other fan bases. But on this day our college affiliation did not matter. We were all Americans.

    1. Pam

      So true!!!!! Amen and God Bless America!!!!!!!

  39. Ben's Dad

    That evening, carrying my two-year old son, I walked into the front yard. We live in a rural area, so we usually see an abundance of aircraft lights and satellites streaking across the dark sky. But, nothing but stars and stillness on that silent evening. Not even dogs barking or any animal noises. I whispered to my innocent, sweet son, “No planes in the skies tonight, Benjamin.” I still get chills thinking about his face turning to the sky to search fruitlessly for a single plane.

  40. Catscan

    And still no one can comprehend that the buildings falling were controlled demolition. Look up building 7 for more proof.

  41. DSwanson

    I was in physics class Junior Year of High School, our teacher turned it on. One of my eventual fraternity brothers at UK’s father was in one of the towers. #neverforget

  42. Corey J

    Sophomore year of high school, US History class. Second row back, desk against the wall. Our teacher had previously served on a submarine in the Navy. I’ll never forget his comment when we heard a plane hit the Pentagon. When he said aloud, “Oh sh*t,” my heart dropped. If he was scared, and he had military experience, what chance did us normal people have? That’s where most of our childhoods ended. We were all adults after that.

  43. Dale

    I was at home sitting in my living room. I was getting ready to go to work when I turned the news on and they were talking about a plane that had hit one of the WTC Towers in New York. I think it was Matt Lauer that was reporting at the time. I was watching when they reported that a second plane had hit the other tower. It was a beautiful day, very pretty out and sunny. I didn’t go to work that day. I went out to get some gas because everyone thought that there would be a run on things like that. I don’t think I got any gas, because it was too busy. I can remember feeling confused, almost as if it were a dream. I think that my whole reality was turned upside down from that moment on. We were no longer going to be safe. That idea that we were untouchable due to the distance that the oceans or mountains provided was no longer a reality. The Tornado that hit Magoffin Co./Morgan Co. a few years back was somewhat similar. Our reality of the weather and safety was put into question. The days and weeks after 9/11 are some of my most fond memories of our country. We were one against evil.

  44. FurdTurgason

    I was in Charlotte, where I had just arrived for work. Saw a bunch of coworkers across the hall gathered around a TV but didn’t think anything of it. Then I heard one scream “Oh my God what are they doing?” I was glued to the coverage the rest of the day. Saw it as an isolated tragedy until the words came across the bottom of the screen “Fire at the Pentagon” when my mind started racing as to who was attacking and how many of them were doing it. Met a friend for lunch and couldn’t get over how bizarre it was that here we were having a routine lunch on the day of our Pearl Harbor. It was so beautiful out that day. Tragedy isn’t supposed to happen like this, I thought.

  45. Big Ron

    I was in NYC that morning on my honeymoon. Saw the collapse of the second tower with my own two eyes. Worst day of my life.


    I was running in Millennium park, got back in the truck and heard it on WKQQ. I thought it was a joke. When the joke didn’t stop I figured it was real. Went to the Wellness center and watched with a stunned crowd. Jim Stevens commented, he said” that tower is swaying” I thought , “It will never fall”. I was so wrong. The station called. We started shift early that day. DPD

  47. Pam

    I was at work and my mom called me to say that a “small plane” had crashed into one of the towers, which is what they thought at first. After that we all gathered around a TV at work and were glued to it all day, in silence. My heart still breaks for the families of all who were lost, in the towers, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA. All I could do for weeks after was watch the coverage, for some reason I couldn’t break away from it, it was so unbelievably sad and heart wrenching that I think I felt guilty going on like life was normal, when in truth, normal had changed for everyone in the USA on that day. That November, I went to NYC, for a UK game. I will never forget that trip….. they were still digging for bodies, the ash was still everywhere. The missing posters were on huge boards inside Grand Central Station and a memorial wall completely surrounded Ground Zero. We went to Ground Zero, and there were thousands more people there, paying respects, leaving tributes, saying prayers, but the eerie silence as thousands of people wandered around said it all. I will never, ever forget the events of that horrific day and the days and months that followed. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

  48. Gary Rawlings

    I was stuck in a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge where I had a front row view of the whole thing. The first plane flew right over us. When I saw the second plane hit, we’d just gotten off in the city. Saw people jumping, saw emergency workers’ faces as they drove past me on Broadway toward their death and saw the towers fall. I still have nightmares.

  49. Never Forget

    Like so many others I was at work that day. What I remember most is wanting to be home with my children and husband – to touch base with those closest to me. That evening I tried to limit watching the news and talking about what happened as much as possible. My kids were only in second grade, too young to hear all the grim details. I can remember going into my bedroom, closing the door and crying where they couldn’t hear.

  50. Lisa4uk

    I was at work. We had a TV in the break room and I remember someone coming out saying that one of the towers had been hit by a plane. As the next plane hit, it became evident that it wasn’t an accident and more and more of us gathered in the break room staring at the TV in disbelief.

    I remember wondering at that moment if the world as we know it was ending. Were we ever going to be safe again? But, we soon realized that Americans would come together and fight as we always do. That day changed us all forever. #Never Forget

  51. tom

    Just gotten coffee and leaving cafeteria in at Pentagon,headed for South Entrance to return to car and work on E Street. Near Navy section when plane hit Pentagon

  52. CatGrad7072

    At work here in Louisville watching TV with my co-workers. As the second tower went down, I heard a voice in the crowd behind me say, ‘I bet our old buddy Osama Bin Laden is behind this.’ How right he was.

    I had a work-related trip to Istanbul scheduled for later that week. I remember thinking, ‘I won’t be going overseas this weekend.’ Still haven’t made it to Istanbul.

  53. Carey Grannis

    I was off work that day getting ready to go play golf. My dad called and told me to turn on the tv. I turned on bout a minute before second plane hit. I never made it to golf course. I sit and watched tv non stop rest of the week. This is my generations version of the JFK assasignation. Anyone old enough to have a clue about what was happening will always remember where they were!

  54. AFCat

    I was an E-4 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida working and passed a group of co-workers in the break room watching the news. We were all shocked. The base quickly went to lockdown mode and couldn’t leave our building for several hours. We all just stood around the TV silently watching…

  55. CTB88

    I was in my eighth grade Social Studies class at Rockcastle County Middle School, our teacher had it on tv because she felt it was important for us to see. I couldn’t believe what I was watching, it was so surreal. I just remember feeling scared because at that point we really didn’t know what was going to happen.

  56. BillyWildcat

    I was teaching Middle School at Blue Lake Academy in Eustis, Florida. Another teacher knocked on my door and had obviously been crying. She told me that one of the towers had been hit and that NYC was under attack. I got on the internet and found what was happening to provide more details to some very concerned kids. Before too long, our principal gathered all classes together and we held hands and prayed. Never before, and probably never again, will an assembly of 200 kids be so quiet. There was no laughing, no yelling and no running around. Just a couple of hundred silent kids who were forced to grow up way too quickly…

  57. theycallmetater

    I was at a staff meeting at the local jail. Someone came in the room and handed the director a note. She ended the meeting and asked for a TV for the room. I assumed it was a local, jail specific story so I went ahead and went down to the library to work. When I found out what had happened and heard rumors of another plane possible headed for DC I went back up and started trying to call my wife who was in DC at work. I watched the events at the local library where I worked until they sent us home at 1. My wife eventually made it home from DC around 5 that evening.

  58. Will

    I was a computer programmer sitting at my desk and my first thought was who is watching Hawaii, Seattle, and Los Angeles? I was confused and not sure what was going to happen next. However, never have I seen so many American flags fly in Lexington.

  59. Buddy Richardson

    I was mowing the grass at Fire Station 1, Hurlburt Field Air Force Base Florida. We stopped mowing to watch the live coverage.

  60. JumperCat

    I was a junior at Somerset and I had chemistry first period and our teacher wouldn’t let us watch what going on. The rest of the day it was on and I remember all is guys being convinced we were ready to join the service. We were juniors and that zeal faded eventually but a lot of Seniors that year went.

    I’ll never forget we had a home football game that week. There was the looming question of whether we should play. It was decided we should play and our Superintendent gave one of the best speeches I’d ever heard about why. He basically said that canceling the game meant terrorists, in some small way, got what they wanted. There are certainly more important things than sports but sometimes sports are the right thing and in the right time and place they bring us together.

  61. anthony

    I was asleep. I was selling cars at the time and didn’t have to be in to work until noon that day. I was awoken to the words someone just crashed a plane in to a WTC building. Complete disbelief.

  62. YSR2KSR


  63. Catlogic15

    I’m in Dulles right now waiting to board connection to Louisville. Flight 77 originated here. Really quiet for a major airport. Felt weird going through security, the same security the hijack team went through 13 years ago today.

  64. BluKudzu

    Crystal City. Saw it. Heard it. Felt it. Tasted it. Smelled it. Never will I forget it.

  65. UKnowMe

    I was at my first job out of college listening to Howard Stern when the reports started coming in. Amazing to go back and listen to that replay of that brodcast and feel the raw emotion of that day.

  66. TylerinNC

    I was in my Senior year at Boyle County and was in AP Chemistry class. We had no inclination anything had happened until we left for our next class. A day that I don’t believe anyone will forget.

  67. Karen

    Early morning in a pediatric dental office in Jacksonville, Florida. We had the radio on easy listening music station as background noise. I heard the DJ being loud and serious so I turned up the speaker. He was saying a plane had hit a tower, and we all thought one of the taller buildings downtown was hit by a small plane. I switched on the ceiling tv above an empty dental chair and watched something totally different. The parents in the reception area came back to the gameroom where we turned on all the tv’s to the news. Between patients, we would catch up on the news. As with all of you, we just couldn’t believe it was happening.

  68. BPM

    Was in law school in Chicago at the time. For some reason I remember how beautiful a day it was in Chicago that day – perfect weather. I woke up early for class and immediately turned on Sportscenter, as I always did, and they said something about a plane crashing into one of the Towers. I immediately turned over to CNN and watched as the second plane hit. It was surreal. Cell phones went down pretty quick in the city but I eventually got through to my family here in Louisville and told them nothing had gone down in Chicago. I went to a liquor store and stocked up and took a cab to a buddy’s place in Wrigleyville. Didn’t really move off his couch for 2 days except to smoke as we watched the news coverage non-stop. People were in and out and not much was said. So many emotions from everyone.

  69. Jason

    I was hungover and living at home my freshman year of college, my dad walked downstairs and say “Jason, get up, this is your future…” and he walked back upstairs. Ill never forget that.

    1. Jason

      *said… I didn’t finish college

  70. Keller

    I was in junior English at Bourbon County high school. The teacher turned the TV on but still wanted to discuss the book we were assigned. Everyone just watched the TV instead. When the second plane hit she finally gave up on the lesson. We spent the rest of the day in each class just watching the coverage.

  71. Leroy Bird

    I honestly don’t remember

  72. Cathy

    I was in Lexington going to a bible study class. My sister and her roommate Ed were flight attendants for American Airlines flying out of New York. Thankfully my sister was on vacation and not in New York but friend Ed was flying back to NY from Lexington. He made it to Chicago before it happened. Got on the second flt out of Chicago and made it to the runway where they had to wait because “something was going on in NY”. Luckily he managed to rent a car and get back to Lexington but the first flt out of Chicago ended up in Canada for several days. My sister was very spooked by the fact just the month before she had been filling in for flight attendants on vacation and was working on those flights to the west coast. She resigned her job soon after. I pray for all the families and friends that lost loved ones on 9/11. God Bless America.

  73. The Dude

    I was a letter carrier in PeWee Valley, KY. It was the only day the postmaster allowed us to bring in a TV in the entire 16 years I worked there. I was packed and ready to head out on my route when the first tower came down. We stood around the TV for the next hour, watching in horror as the second tower came down.This day will be remembered for ever. They attacked our country, but stiffened our resolve. They hate us for what we have: freedom. We live for what they lack: freedom.

  74. Tinfoil Hat

    I was sitting in the waiting room in the Lexington Jeep dealership waiting for replacement of four brakes and two rotors, watching events on the TV. The repair work finished after the first two planes hit, and I went into UK (I was in graduate school). I ignored my lab work and sat in front of a TV in a conference room with half of the biochemistry department for a couple hours.

    A professor from another university was visiting to give a presentation, and he couldn’t go home due to all the airplanes being grounded. I spent the afternoon driving him around Lexington to purchase extra clothes and toiletries for his now-extended visit.

    I have a cousin who was and is an investment banker in Manhattan. I called relatives and was luckily able to confirm that he was not near the action.

    1. Tinfoil Hat

      Add on to my earlier comment:

      I remember the unreality of the day. The first plane seemed like a horrible accident. The second plane seemed like a punch in the gut. As the third plane and fourth plane reached their final destinations, all I could think about was whether a fifth plane was on its way. Was an hour enough to consider the attack to be over? Two hours? Three?

      Later in the afternoon, there was only anger. Who did this? Where are they and how can we turn their home into a radioactive wasteland? I believe the real paradigm shift was that the attack came from a non-state actor. How can you take revenge upon an entity that isn’t tied to a location and disappears into a population? There is no capital to bomb, no standing army to destroy. Heck, I feel like the rationale for the Iraq war was simply that we knew Saddam Hussein and Iraq were bad guys and were (probably/maybe/hopefully) involved with the attack, and we certainly knew how to get ahold of them.

      The professor who was overseeing my thesis research (i.e., my boss) was an Australian that had been in the U.S. for a few years. While he was appalled by the attacks, he later expressed his surprise at the bloodthirstiness of the afternoon. I consider myself to be a fairly levelheaded and reasonable person, but for a few hours, I would have been happy if Bush had launched enough nuclear missiles to kill every living thing from the Mediterranean Sea to the western edge India (barring Israel). I was certainly not alone in this feeling, and many highly educated, logical, normally peaceful people around me were also crying out for revenge.

      The morning of 9/11/01 and the afternoon were both horrifying in their own ways. That feeling of vulnerability, indignation, hatred and desire for revenge from the afternoon helps me understand how violent extremists come about. Let’s cut religion from the picture. If you told 1000 Americans at 1PM on 9/11/01 that they could strap a bomb to their chest and run into a room with the people who caused the attack, I expect that at least one martyr would be made.

  75. Daniel

    I was in the first grade and our principal came on the intercome and we spent the rest of the school day watching the news.

  76. roons

    Kirwin 1

  77. TravisC

    I was in 3rd grade, and I heard absolutely about the attacks during school. Our teachers didn’t say anything about what had happened. I remember a few kids got checked out of school by their parents, but I didn’t really think anything of it.

    I didn’t know what had happened until I got picked up by my mom at my great grandmother’s house. So it wasn’t until about 3:30 that I heard what happened, and it wasn’t until about 3:45 that I saw what had happened on TV.

  78. Dc cat

    I was at work in the NYC area when news came. My entire team found a conference room to watch the tragedy unfold. An hour or so in, we learned that one team member’s sister was in the WTC that morning. It woukd be several hours before she could connect with her brother to let him know she was fortunate and had made it out. Our building was evacuated given the type if work

    I had been in the WTC during the 93 bombing. NO COMPARISON but the fear even that day was palpable. I simply cant imagine 911.

  79. Luther

    I was in DC in the Bureau of Engraving gift shop getting pushed out by overzealous security guards. Once outside, I immediately saw the the smoke from the Pentagon in front of me. Had to take a train to VA to rent a car to get out since all flights were cancelled from the DC area airports. The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing but it would probably be even worse today…

  80. Dio

    I’ll never forget it either. I remember this was one of the best summers of my life. I had just graduated high school and had a crappy restaurant job. But it was night shift which was awesome. Because my parents both worked day shift and my sister was in school. So I had the whole house to myself every day.

    I was up early watching WGN. I still remember the show! It was The Wayans Brothers if anyone remembers that. And I even remember the episode. They all went camping and were in a cave or something. Pops was talking and it stopped there and went to “Breaking News”. The first plane had hit and it was obvious by this point that it wasn’t a small aircraft.

    The news kept asking how such a terrible accident could happen. I too thought it was an accident at first. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking no one could screw up this bad.

    Fast forward a few minutes, still laying there watching. See a plane in the background. I jump up to a sitting position. Then for some reason I thought it was a helicopter flying off in the background. TV quality was not as great back then…especially when you had a smaller tv. So I kept trying to follow what I thought was a helicopter off to the side.

    Then boom! I couldn’t believe it. Just craziness. Then I laid there the rest of the day glued to the tv until I went into work Worked with this guy who was in college and he just kept going on about how the world will never be the same.

    Finally able to talk to my dad the next day and he never said much or was never really patriotic. But I still remember when I asked if he thought they would ever catch Bin Laden….he said “Yah, they eventually will…or he’ll die tired.”

    Crazy how time flies…

  81. Jane Doe

    I was at the gynecologist. I had just been told I had a tumor in my uterus and would have to have a hysterectomy because it was probably cancerous. I was just processing that wonderful news when I went to the front desk to pay my copay. The girl at the front desk was watching TV and said, “We’ll be going to war for sure”. I asked what happened and she said a plane had just flown into one of the twin towers.

    I left and went to work in Frankfort. On my way, I passed the Bluegrass airport about the same time they announced on the radio that the airports were closed. It was a surreal feeling. I remember not feeling very safe driving to work because planes were still crashing into buildings. I made it to work but couldn’t work because I was in a state of shock, both by my personal news I’d gotten in the day and from this horrible chain of events.

    Life has never been the same in the aftermath.

  82. Pristina - Kosovo

    I was working as a radio technician in Pristina, Kosovo. Supported the U.S. Office there (kind of like a Embassy – but – can’t be called an Embassy because Kosovo wasn’t independent of Serbia then). I had just finished and was headed to my apartment when I got a call on the radio, head home, stay indoors.

    Turned on the TV to see the aftermath of the first plane hit – then the others. Didn’t know what was going on exactly, but, kind of out there flapping a the time.

    Ironically, apparently the U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Camp Bondsteel were asked to send some people up to help secure the Department of State Official Compound, but, apparently the commander refused, something about not enough troops – so, when I returned to work the next morning (September 12) – the compound was being secured by Jordanian Military, with Armored Personnel Carriers, AK-47’s, all from the U.N. Mission there – that was a little weird feeling. But, the Jordanians were good dudes. I’ve since worked in Jordan a few times, good people there.

    Now, much of the rest of the areas around Jordan – I don’t think of so highly.

  83. Definitely Not Val Kilmer

    I don’t remember much, I was just in the 2nd grade. I remember getting back from Recess and seeing the TV on with what I think was the pentagon on fire. I remember my teacher crying and telling us we were going to leave early. They didn’t tell us why, so we were very happy. I remember going home and seeing my mom sitting on the couch crying, and then trying to hide what was happening since I was only 6 ans she didn’t want me to know about it. The next day the school explained to us what had happened, Unfortunately, My generation is fairly ignorant of what happened because we were so young, but I still get emotional when I think about it.

  84. BlueRedNeck

    I was working for Ford, at the truck plant, when one of my coworkers came up from the cafeteria downstairs to tell me that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Like many, I was picturing a small prop plane, because those types of things had happened before. I went downstairs to see, and immediately realized that this was something much bigger. There was a crowd of maybe 50 people around the TV when the second plane hit the tower, to many gasps in the room. We couldn’t believe it. I remember how strange the drive home felt that day. No planes to be heard or seen anywhere.

    About a week later my wife told me that she was pregnant with our first daughter. While I was elated with the news, I remember having a feeling of trepidation at what kind of world this child was being born into. Now 13 years later, I have two beautiful daughters, and I still worry about the world that they have inherited.

    1. Chaz

      I was feeling the same in the 80’s, what kind of world are my wife and I bringing children into? We have had three children and they have taught me that they will adapt, they will survive. I’m a 50’s child. In many ways that was the happiest and most carefree time to have grown up in, once you got over the threat of nuclear war. It’ll be better for your children, stay strong and teach them what you know is good in this world. And please don’t say OK to a credit card till they’re 25 years old.

    2. BlueRedNeck

      Chaz, wise words there! Thanks for sharing. We do our best to raise our girls to be good people – and good Cats fans! 🙂