Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2011

How did you hear about Sept. 11? What do you remember from that day?

September 8, 2011


The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 is right around the corner. Everyone has commemorations planned.

TV stations and radio stations all have special shows planned. The Journal-World and have a host of Sept. 11-related stories planned for Sunday — and we hope you've already seen Chad Lawhorn's piece on the memorial in Anthony, Kan.

So, now we turn to all of you. We want to know where you were when you first found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Who broke the news to you? What do you remember about that day?

I'll start with my story.

I was still in high school in the Parkway School District in suburban St. Louis. I had just finished a test in an English class (the test was over the Scarlet Letter) and I asked to use the restroom. This was about 8:30 a.m., Central Time. I walked through one of our commons areas and saw a group of teachers and students gathered around a TV. I walked over and watched the towers burning on CNN.

I returned to my class and broke the news to my classmates, but I really didn't know the significance at that time. Most of the rest of my classes that day consisted of watching the live coverage, first as the Pentagon was hit, then as Fight 93 crashed in rural Pennsylvania. I'll never forget being in my French class and seeing the face of my teacher. He was an older teacher — he retired that year — and was emotionally drained by what had happened. It left an impression on me.

As the day ended and I drove home, something else struck me. At that time, St. Louis was still a major hub for Trans World Airlines, and the landing pattern for Lambert International Airport went right near our high school. Except, on that day, there were no jets in the sky. No contrails. It was the first unplanned suspension of commercial flight activity in the country's history.

When I got home, and finally was able to control a remote, I checked all the channels. I was stunned and amazed to see that not only were the broadcast networks and cable news channels all airing live coverage of the day's events, but all of the entertainment channels were as well. I distinctly remember marveling at the fact that both MTV and BET had interrupted their regular programming and replaced it with a simulcast of news.

That's my story. What's yours? What do you remember from that day that we'll never forget? Share your story in the comments, below.


Laura Herring 6 years, 9 months ago

I was 13 and in eighth grade. I remember getting to school early that morning, about 7:45 CST, because the cast list for our fall musical would be posted and I was hoping my name would be on the list. It was, I had made the cast for my first show.

Classes started like I was walking on air, I couldn't wait to get home to tell my parents. My first class of the day, which started at 8:20 at my school, was a music appreciation class and we were using the computer lab to research jazz artists. I remember my friend Jacob, who never liked to do what we were told, logged onto and told me "the Twin Towers were just bombed." I told him to stop joking around, that he wasn't funny, then he turned his monitor and showed me the pictures.

For the rest of the day it seemed like everyone was moving in a fog. Some teachers left TVs on in their classrooms and some tried to ignore what was happening. I know my algebra teacher tried her best to teach us something about slope but truthfully I remember very little of that.

At the end of the day I still couldn't wait to get home but the big news about the cast list was gone from my mind. I got off the bus and ran inside to my parents to find them both eerily quiet, I assumed because of the attack but I was wrong. I knew my mother had a doctors appointment in Kansas City that morning but didn't think anything of it, until they sat me down (my sisters were both off at college) and explained that my mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer that morning and would be starting radiation therapy the next day. Suddenly what was happening in New York paled in comparison to the battle that had just started in my own home.

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

It's time to get over 9/11.

It's been a tough decade: 911, Katrina and the Great Recession.

It's time to look forward, to think big thoughts, and make our future bright again.

The 'can't do' RINOS need to get out of the way. After all, all three catastrophes happened, or were made worse, under their watch.

Joe Blackford II 6 years, 9 months ago

"On September 7th, 1988, President George Bush addressed the American Legion in Louisville, Kentucky. "This is Pearl Harbor Day," he declared. "47 years ago to this very day, we were hit and hit hard at Pearl Harbor..."

We can look forward to more political misstatements on 9/11 for the next 47 years.

But Hey, it gave KSU a good excuse to invite 300 potential bio-terrorists to make their home at NBAF. The ljworld is the only KS newspaper to ever report the 2001 Anthrax Mailer worked 19 years for the KSU Colonels (Ret) David R Franz, Jerry & Nancy K. Jaax.

oldvet 6 years, 9 months ago

"I've now been in 57 states — I think one left to go." —at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon, May 9, 2008 obama without his teleprompter

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

My brother was in Tower 2 when it was hit. He got his people out, but we lost three family friends in those buildings.

I also spent over two years in 'Nam after I enlisted and lost a lot of friends there.

It's not about losses, it's about getting up, shaking off the dust, and moving on...looking towards the future and doing what you can to make things better. THAT"s the American Way, not moping around and hand wringing about a past we can't change.

The only thing the past can teach us is how to approach the future. Something RINOs refuse to do...or worse deny any truths learned from the past that don't fit their agenda.

onrywmn 6 years, 9 months ago

I was working as a special education para in the Resource Room at Central Jr. High. A teacher said something about a plane hitting the tower, and then someone turned the TV sets on. As everyone watched in horror, a seventh grade girl asked me what was going on. I explained it the best I could, trying not to scare her. She looked up at me with such sad and innocent eyes, and asked me, "Why would someone want to hurt us? They don't even know us!" It broke my heart. I also remember worrying about my family and if they were safe and not knowing if the U.S. would be attacked in other parts of the country, especially here. I was so glad when I found out that my family was safe.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 9 months ago

I was listening to NPR when they said something like they were getting early reports that a plane hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was maybe it was like a little Cessna. I looked at the time and hoped no one on the ground would be hit by the falling debris.

okbyme 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in Chicago a few miles from O'Hare airport. I had just come down stairs to breakfast at the hotel I was staying in and walked past a group of United Airlines employees who we sitting in front of the TV looking at the first tower. Then the second aircraft hit. I am not sure I will ever forget the cries and shrieks from those folks who were watching their collegues die on TV.

My boss and I went to our first meeting of the day kind of dazed. We met them in the lobby and just watched the TV for a bit. Obviously, it was not a day for business.

As we left the client's office, the skies over Chicago were still. If you have ever been around O'Hare, it is a very busy place. No airplanes in the sky was errie. The hotel said we could stay if we wanted and the rental car agency said just go where you need to go and do't worry about it. Just turn the car in and let us know where it is.

The two of us drove back to Kansas City listenig to the radio on the way back. At one point, we were driving across Iowa and two jet fighers passed overhead, followed by what could have only been Airforce One.

Spent a good deal of cell phone time like many people, trying to verify everyone I knew in New York was okay.

Won't forget.

Jake Esau 6 years, 9 months ago

I was sitting in my 9th grade humanities class at the old Seabury campus on E 1850 Rd east of Lawrence. Don Schawang (a teacher then, head of school now) was just finishing the class when the head of school came in and asked Dr. Schawang to come speak to him outside the classroom for a minute.

After a moment, Dr. Schawang returned and finished the last 5 minutes of his lecture. At that point, he said "before you go to your next class, everyone is going to need to go to the gym (which doubled as the cafeteria and common gathering area)." We all headed to the gym and sat down with no idea what was happening.

Chris Carter (the head of school) then explained to us that both the world trade center towers had collapsed and that the pentagon had been hit by a plane. I do remember one girl running from the gym crying because her father was a general in the army and she didn't know if he was at the pentagon or not (he was not). I didn't realize the magnitude of the towers collapsing (I thought the Empire State Building was bigger) until I got home and saw it on the news that night.

It's hard to believe it's been ten years... it seems like it wasn't all that long ago.

handley 6 years, 9 months ago

My wife and I were on vacation and were in Canada on the 10th and stayed in a motel in Browning Montana on the night of the 10th and saw it on the news the next morning. If we had still been in Canada we would have been detained for several days.

akt2 6 years, 9 months ago

I was volunteering in my daughter's kindergarten classroom that day. The adults had tears in their eyes as we said the Pledge of Allegiance that morning. The kids did not know. They are sophmores now.

Adrian Turner 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in KCMO Fire Station #50. The captain was in his quarters watching the events unfold. I and a few others joined him and I will never forget the all too vivid picture of humans dying in flames and others choosing to leap to their death rather than burn.

All firefighters just off their 72 hour shift returned to the station as they were called back.

Beth Ennis 6 years, 9 months ago

I was sitting at my desk at Leavenworth City Hall. One of the city clerk's came back and said the fire chief had just called to tell us that a plane had hit the world trade center. A few moments later she came back and said a 2nd plane had hit the 2nd tower. At this point I went to the HR office where a TV had been turned on. By the time the pentagon got hit everyone was sure we were under attack. My son was at Leavenworth HS and my daughter was at college in Colorado. Neither one of them had cell phones back then, so I couldn't call them. It was all I could do to not leave work and go and grab my son and go home with him. I resisted and we all watched the news on both TV and on the internet. I was watching TV when the towers collapsed and I remember thinking at the time that everyone must have gotten out. There was no real sense of time and in my mind there had been plenty of time to get everyone out. How wrong I was. I also remember convincing the Parks and Rec director to cancel softball games that night. I was on a team and knew that there was no way I was going to go play softball after what had happened. My son had to work that night and I sat home alone watching all the events still in disbelief that it had happened. Since that night, my son, who is now in the Army, has been to Iraq twice. I now work for the Army and have co-workers who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan many times. The world is so different now. I flew for the first time just 10 days after the attacks, which was just 2 or 3 days after flights took off again. I almost cancelled the flight and drove (family wedding), but decided I wasn't going to do that. On the bus ride to the airport from the parking lot, the few of us on the bus discussed what we were feeling about flying again. I was worried, I can't say I wasn't. That day, Chicago's O'Hare airport was as empty as I had ever seen it. It was very strange. By the time I returned home from that trip, O'hare was almost back to normal again, but that first time flying so soon after flights resumed was something I will never forget.

hujiko 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a sixth grader at Catholic School, in music class. Stormy morning in Lawrence. A student is talking about a plane hitting a building in NYC. The teacher comes in and begins to discuss what has happened, but at this point no one knew the full gravity. One kid finds out about the Pentagon and says there's a nuclear reactor under the central courtyard. Next class, this teacher is from NY and has drawn a crude map of Manhattan on the white board. Her brother is a fire fighter there. She explains the location of of the twin towers, but we don't hear anything new. No TV coverage, teachers whispering in each other's ears. Handling the event much like the Challenger Disaster, leaving it to parents to explain. Much of the day is a blur, no teaching went very far. All discussion turned toward the events at some point. Mid-afternoon, the school is called for Mass. The sixth grade class is asked to show the rest of the students it is okay. Young children are confused but calm. Many teachers are bawling in the pews. The preacher is praying for victims. For those in the planes, for those in the buildings, for those on the ground, for the fire fighters and first responders, for the families, for the troops, for the country. After school, Mom and I are driving home, gawking at the lines forming around the gas stations. I go to a friends' house. We eat pineapple as his Mom cuts into a fresh one. Brilliant blue skies. Absolutely beautiful. Nothing could go wrong in our world yet it did. I go home, my Father is there with my Mom. Silently watching news coverage. The towers fall, they are back on the screen, burning. They fall again. The news reporters are barely holding it together. Blinking. My sister, a ninth grader isn't interested in watching it. She saw it all happen from her school, live. Day ends. It's still beautiful out. Everyone is inside. Silence. Nothing will ever be the same.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at work at a retirement facility here in Lawrence. A delivery guy from one of the local pharmacies came with meds for the assisted living unit.. I had to unlock the unit to let him in. As I did so, he said, "Did you hear? A plane just hit the World Trade Center!" I told him that was a really poor joke. The guy looks at me and says "It's no joke." By the time I walked back into the nursing care area, the news was spreading rapidly, as several residents had their t.v.'s on. One very elderly man was weeping and said, "I thought Pearl Harbor was the last time we'd be attacked on our own soil." The rest of the day was a blur of shock, fear, pain, and absolute disbelief.

I strongly believe we should live our lives, but never, ever, forget.

Mike Hatch 6 years, 9 months ago

I was working nights and didn't get up until 2PM to go into work at 3. I heard bits and pieces on the radio, but didn't really understand what the deal was until I got to work. Then all the talk of the scare of no gas. I admit I'm one who waited in line for an hour at one of the stations on 9th street to fill up that afternoon after clocking out for an early lunch. At least it wasn't at one of the stations that was price-gouging (at least not at the time I was there). It wasn't until I got home around midnight that I saw video on the news of what had happened and how bad it really was.

Kendra Stevenson 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a sophomore in high school. I remember I had just finished up with weights class and was in the locker room changing. I decided to check my phone and my mother had sent me a text about how a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. So I called her and right then she told me how the second aircraft had just hit. Throughout the day some teachers would discuss what was going on but most tried to ignore it and continue on with "normal" class.

MattyPro12 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a sophmore in college and had woken up early that morning about 7:30. I turned on the TV just as they started talking about the first plane hitting... And then the second plane hit.

I called my mom and asked if she was watching what happened and then woke up my roomates and we all watched NBC for the rest of the day. No going to classes, no eating lunch, no football practice... no nothing. We just sat there and watched it all happen right before our eyes, shocked that this was actually happening.

Later that night we finally got hungry, so another roomate and I went across the street to Carl's Jr to get everyone food. I rememer the gas station across the street had jacked up prices to close to 5 dollars a gallon.

I also remember calling my Grandparents that night, mainly because my Grandfather is a retired Airman and wanted to talk to him. He later told me that when he worked at the Pentagon, his office was located where the plane had hit.

It's hard to imagine that it's been 10 years already. I always find myself watching the as it happened coverage on the anniversary... It's almost like watching a movie as the firefighters start to go into the second tower right before it colapses... You know what's going to happen, but you always hope that this time it will turn out differently.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

The phone rang, long distance from Tennessee.

I didn't believe it, and so I verified it by turning on the TV.

I called my sister in California, and she didn't believe it either.

Phil Minkin 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at work at a childcare facility in a church in Lawrence when the secretary said a plane had hit the World Trade Center, no details. When the 2nd plane hit, at the police's suggestion, we went into lockdown with no one allowed to enter of leave the facility. People were stationed at the doors to lets parents come and pick up their kids if they wanted. When I got home, a friend who was visiting was scheduled to fly out that afternoon. Flight canceled and he had to stay 3-4 more days.

wmathews 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a senior in high school. I walked into journalism class and my teacher already had the TV on. I called my mom, and while I was talking to her, the second plane hit. When the government ceased air traffic, we ran outside and watched the planes turning around and flying back to KCI. My friend Ellie got a great photo that was used in the yearbook. The towers collapsed when I was in my American Government class. My teacher jumped out of his chair when it happened.

That evening, I didn't want to go to rowing practice in the West Bottoms, but Mom made me go anyway. There was a rumor spreading that fuel was going to run out, and the lines of cars to get to gas stations were clogging the side streets.

Mom told me years later that she made me go to practice because she didn't want me to stay at home and be afraid. She wanted me to realize that if I stop doing the things within my control that make me happy, the terrorists win. I'm forever grateful that she was able to see beyond the events of that day and be a strong parent when I - unknowingly - needed her guidance. That experience continues to influence how I choose to live my life.

Mike George 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm a construction manager and was standing in the parking lot of a secure federal facility in KCMO when one of our construction laborers called me on my cell and told me about the first plane hitting. I looked up, and the sky was filled with tracks of airliners turning around in mid-flight to return to the nearest airport - many circles in the sky. And then two trucks of armed federal troops arrived at top speed to set up a "defense" of the facility. Work was over for the day and the security meetings started.

trinity 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at co-worker had gone on an errand&came back with an ashen face, asked me if I'd heard that we were under attack; I thought he was foolin'. Until I got online&saw a headline on CNN. The only tvs were next door at dispatch, so i went over there to look at the news&saw the second hit. Then the rest of the chaos. Went outside for a cigarette, saw the perfect circles in the sky from planes being turned back-that was chilling, went in&got some of my friends at work to come look. I remember it as being just a picture perfect beautiful day, weather-wise. Our building (a county courthouse) locked down&closed early. At home watching the news, my then-9th grader busted in from school early&was crying, so afraid that her dad would be called back in to the service; I assured her he was too old&had been out way too long for that. Most of the rest of that day is just a blur, like someone else said. I think we just sat staring in disbelief at the news on tv. And crying a lot.

bhawley 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm a young one, so I was in eighth grade at the time. I had been in my early morning gifted class, and we all went to our homeroom, which was math. Everyone was watching TV, and they told us what had happened. My second class of the day was social studies, and interestingly enough, my teacher refused to turn on the television (in the class that related to the situation most!). While he had the TV off, the second tower was hit, so we missed history in our history-related class. The rest of the day, though, was solid TV coverage. We watched in every single class.

Sandra Ward 6 years, 9 months ago

I was working at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). I had opened my office door and couldn't figure out why the office next door had their television on so loud. I was finishing up some work and kept hearing something about a plane crash. I went down the hall and my colleagues beckoned me into our waiting room, just in time to see the second plane crash. There are many different nations represented on the base and in our building. I'll never forget how the British workers immediately came to us and offered to see our clients that day. Members of the public laid flowers at the gates, people in our village came to say how sorry they were, and they estimated that 98% of all Belgians stopped at noon on the following Friday for a minute of silence. Even on the highway. We knew five people who were in the attacks and they all survived, thank goodness. Another friend knew five people and they all died. Where I worked, everyone knew someone who had been in danger.

bevy 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at home because two of my children were sick. My then-husband was in the bathroom, and I was watching TV in the kitchen. I remember yelling through the door to him when I saw the footage from when the first plane hit - it was on the TODAY show. Like most folks, I thought it was an accident. Then, live, I saw the second plane hit. That's when I knew it couldn't be an accident.

When I was growing up, my mom used to talk about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how her folks wouldn't let her go anywhere during those few days - not even over to her neighbor's house to play with her best friend. I never understood that mentality - until 9/11. My oldest daughter (then 11) was at school about 15 miles away. It took EVERYTHING I had not to run to the car and go pick her up. It was one of the most visceral reactions I have ever had in my life, to any event. It took me a half hour to talk myself out of it. A half hour in which I thought about how close we are to Fort Riley, and Forbes Field, and Fort Leavenworth, and KCI, and what that could mean to us if this was only the beginning of the attacks.

I eventually settled for calling the school to ask them what was being done for the kids. They said that the older kids were being told about it, and they were talking about it in class. They encouraged me to stay at home and let my girl come home on the bus as usual. I did, but it was one of the longest days of my life. I will never forget the heroism I witnessed that day as the firefighters and police went inside the building. I will never forget the horrifying thoughts of people on the airplanes - what their reactions must have been when they realized they were going to die. Or what it must feel like to kiss your spouse or child goodbye in the morning, not knowing you will never be able to do that again.

I will never stop praying for them and for their families. I hope that America never forgets.

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

I was leading a fiber optic road crew and had my men stationed across the street from the World Trade Center in Dallas, believe it or not. I had to run back to the hotel right next to DFW to grab schematics when I got a call from a sweepstakes I'd entered where I'd won a free 7 day cruise from Miami thru the Carribean. While the lady was entering some particulars on the other end she asked if I'd heard we'd been attacked. I got to my room about 5 minutes before the first tower went down.

jaywalker 6 years, 9 months ago

I sent my folks instead (I'm a junior, so my dad could pass for me!). I was just too busy with work (those were the days!).

RoeDapple 6 years, 9 months ago

I was fixing my breakfast. Ham and eggs with onion and tomato and whole wheat toast. My then 24 year old daughter called. "Dad, are you watching TV?"

jonas_opines 6 years, 9 months ago

My day was kind of surreal even before I found out, I remember. The night before I had set my alarm to get up and go to class, but had screwed up the time in the process, so my clock wound up being an hour behind time. Thus I woke up, walked to class, on got there exactly an hour after it had started, for one of the hour and a half Tues Thurs classes at KU. Didn't know everybody looked at me strangely, then after 20 minutes everybody got up and left. Oops.

Then, with a break in my schedule, took my regular jaunt to see my RA friend in McCollum, who told me what had happened.

JJ11 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a teaching practicum student in Oklahoma City, and was walking into the elementary school with several other student teachers from my college, when the librarian stepped out into the hall and told a couple of teachers to come and see something. We followed them, and stood in the library watching the TV for a few minutes before we had to get to the classrooms. From what I remember, the school kept things pretty quiet while we were there that morning, though I do remember someone coming into the room to whisper that another plane had crashed. I think I spent the rest of that day (when I wasn't in classes) just watching the coverage on TV. Being at a Christian school, we did have a prayer service later that night.

mrhoads 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a junior at LHS and every day before my first period Modular Technology class started, our teacher would turn on the news while he set things up. I was one of the first people to show up and I found him just staring at the tv. I walked over and watched, stunned as they showed the footage. I seriously thought it was a War of the Worlds styled prank at first. Nice photoshopping, CNN! And then all of a sudden a second plane hit and I realized it wasn't a joke. I don't remember actually doing any work, just standing in front of his office with the rest of the class, all of us completely silent. The rest of the day was spent in a haze and repeatedly explaining how things had happened to people that hadn't seen the video yet. There were tvs set up in the halls and I think a few in the cafeteria. Most teachers would let you leave class to go watch them. All of mine tried to still hold class, but they all devolved into discussions about what happened, about our country and why someone would want to do that to us. I'm sure there were announcements over the loud speaker about all of the planes, but honestly, I can't remember.

When I got home, my parents, brother and I chatted a bit and went for a drive. We tried to get gas, but there were insane lines and price gouging, so Dad decided to wait until the next day. I also remember trying to find out more information online, but the internet had slowed to a near stop.

bjcoleman35 6 years, 9 months ago

09/11/2001 I was a Senior in High School. I remember walking down the hall to my first class of the morning which was Ceramic Arts 2 and a good friend of mine asked me if i heard about the planes flying into the World Trade Center Towers in NYC and I just remember thinking "what stupid pilot didn't see 2 huge buildings" then i went to class.

Once reality had set in my teacher had told the class about what had happened and the severity of the situation took full form. For the next 2 hours we sat in the Library watching the news.

I still remember sitting next to teachers and friends watching the televisions and watching our world as we knew it was unraveling.

CloveK 6 years, 9 months ago

High school freshman sitting in English class. We turned the TV on after the first plane hit and saw the second one hit live. The entire class sat there stunned as the towers fell. Every class from then on out we watched the news.

Mike Ford 6 years, 9 months ago

I was working and my boss told my co-worker and I to go get gas for out vehicles as many places that day started gouging on gas prices. I thought that this event was on the watch of the Republicans who were so bent on putting their people in office in 2001 that they ignored the warning signs from the CIA and others. I have been angry at how my civil liberties have been eroded over the last decade.

persevering_gal 6 years, 9 months ago

I was 17 yrs old and a senior in high school. I was playing hookie from school that day and turned on the TV, and I thought I was watching a movie when I saw the first tower on fire. I changed channels to see the same thing on just about every channel.

I was in absolute shock and witnessed the second plane hit the other tower on TV. Later that day, I discovered that my friend's office at the Pentagon was destroyed. Thankfully, he was not in his office that day.

Despite not knowing anyone who died that day, seeing the horrific looks on people's faces and the people jumping from the windows was absolutely devastating. I'll never forget that day when complete strangers were helping one another or the day I visited Ground Zero.

Linda Endicott 6 years, 9 months ago

I was home, off work after having gallbladder I was in bed, watching TV, when everything started happening...watched CNN all day, saw the planes hit the towers and the Pentagon, watched the towers fall and the other wtc buildings fall, watched people running from the sudden clouds of debris...

It seemed so surreal...and the worst was watching all those people who were posting pictures of their missing loved ones everywhere in NYC, asking anyone to let them know they were okay...when they probably knew just as well as all the TV viewers did that they weren't okay...

betti81 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a sophomore in college getting ready for biology class. I had the radio on and thought it was a war of the worlds thing at first. My roommate decided we should turn on the TV and I am pretty sure we watched the 2nd plane hit live. We didn't know if we should go to class but we did anyway. I kept calling my sister to see if she had heard from her friends in NYC. Our professor tried to have class but people kept getting up to answer their phones or leave. I went to my next class and our professor let us leave. As I was walking down the hill to catch the bus, my mom called to tell me my little sister's best friend and her 2 sisters had been in a car accident, two of them died. I don't remember watching much TV coverage those days but no, I will never forget that day.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Watched it happening on the boob-tube in the KSU student union while eating breakfast and preparing for my 0900 statistical analysis class.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Came out of class and got a call from a panicked friend in K.C. who informed both towers fell and the Pentagon was hit. Went straight home, opened the gun safe and strapped on my 1911 (condition 1, expecting a herd of hajis to come down the block at any moment). Watched more boob-tude. Hoping for the best while prepared for the worst. Is that crazy?

Ralph Gage 6 years, 9 months ago

We were having a management meeting at the J-W and Dolph Jr. galvanized us to put out a special edition. The "extra" was distributed free. The next morning's edition was one of the first produced by staff working from today's News Center. Good work by John Taylor on the desk, and others

NY152 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at the doctors office. They had CNN on. The nurse called my name three times before I could get up out of my chair. It was a horrible day, could not believe what I was seeing.

Citizen77 6 years, 9 months ago

On vacation that week so I was sleeping in. My roommate at the time pounded on the door and told me I needed to come look at the tv. Started watching about 20 min before the first tower fell. Saw it happen live (on tv).

SWJayhawk13 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in my seventh grade history class when the first plane hit. When our "block" moved to our science class, the teacher kept saying it wasn't true, that it was just a rumor, it was a conspiracy, etc. Looking back on it, she was a little bit nutty... but anyway, once they turned on TVs in the library, it was very clear that it wasn't just a rumor. I was sitting in the library watching the news when the second plane hit.

riverdrifter 6 years, 9 months ago

I was on my way to work and was at 31st and Haskell when KY102 reported that an airliner had flown into the WTC. I went to work and while we had it on TV a coworker and I just decided to go do some field work. 10 days later a friend and I decided to go ahead with a long-planned grouse hunting trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan. On the way we encountered retired RVers by the thousands. I commented on this to one lady and she told me "You know, when something like this happens, the roads open up for us." She was right. There was nobody out there. We never saw another hunter and had great hunting. The highways -even the interstates -were deserted. I-35 from KC to the twin cities was one long ghost town.

gphawk89 6 years, 9 months ago

Sitting at work. No TV or radio allowed. Couldn't get much information from any news website because they were all overloaded. My engineering manager came by my desk several times during the morning to let us know what was happening, noticeably more upset each time. By the time the second tower fell I could tell he was nearly in tears. I didn't find out until a couple years later that he was with both the NYPD and FDNY earlier in his life.

gphawk89 6 years, 9 months ago

It's weird how you remember things from specific, seemingly insignificant points in time during an event like this.

I remember going out to lunch and listening to the events on the radio, picking up a new headliner for a '82 Chrysler LeBaron, stopping for gas at a 7-11 and getting a Pepsi in a 32oz foam cup.

I got back to work and in the hour I had been gone they had set up armed guards (heavily armed - as in assault rifles) at all of the gates leading to the parking lots. They were completely searching every vehicle coming into the lot.

Later in the afternoon I remember seeing a quarter-mile long line of cars waiting to pull into a service station to buy gas and realized how fortunate I was to fill up a bit earlier in the day.

I remember the eerie quiet due to lack of air traffic later in the day. In a strange way it made for a very peaceful, sunny afternoon. The next night, working late, I remember looking out the window and watching that quiet be shattered by 4-ship of ANG F-15s taking off in full A/B. That had me a bit worried that something else had happened.

Armored_One 6 years, 9 months ago

I was taking care of my disabled grandfather when 9/11 happened.

He was up before me, which wasn't uncommon, and by the time I got up, the first plane had hit the towers.

That was the only time in my life that I don't remember wishing my grandfather a happy birthday. He was born on 9/11.

I remember watching the America that I grew up believing existed and frequently heard was just a fairy tale roar to life. Fearless men and women charging in to save perfect strangers. A unity that, until that day, existed only in the history books about Pearl Harbor. I remember going to the store the next day and overheard one of the first conspiracy theories. I also heard that person get taken to task by someone that had apparently served during WWII.

I remember not being the only person to applaud when the gentleman that had served walked off from the man with the theory.

America was once again something to be proud about, not ashamed to admit to. My pride in this nation has never faltered, but the shame over the way it is run, however, is an ever growing weight.

The only thing that really stands out, bigger than everything else, was my grandfather. A man that I had never once heard pray, or even mention God, was praying.

In some ways, it's still surreal.

Armored_One 6 years, 9 months ago

I was taking care of my disabled grandfather when 9/11 happened.

He was up before me, which wasn't uncommon, and by the time I got up, the first plane had hit the towers.

That was the only time in my life that I don't remember wishing my grandfather a happy birthday. He was born on 9/11.

I remember watching the America that I grew up believing existed and frequently heard was just a fairy tale roar to life. Fearless men and women charging in to save perfect strangers. A unity that, until that day, existed only in the history books about Pearl Harbor. I remember going to the store the next day and overheard one of the first conspiracy theories. I also heard that person get taken to task by someone that had apparently served during WWII.

I remember not being the only person to applaud when the gentleman that had served walked off from the man with the theory.

America was once again something to be proud about, not ashamed to admit to. My pride in this nation has never faltered, but the shame over the way it is run, however, is an ever growing weight.

The only thing that really stands out, bigger than everything else, was my grandfather. A man that I had never once heard pray, or even mention God, was praying.

In some ways, it's still surreal.

Armored_One 6 years, 9 months ago

Bah, system hiccup. I'm very sorry for the double post.

domino 6 years, 9 months ago

I was working in a restaurant in Central Kansas at the time - no TV but we listened to it on the radio. What I remember most about that day was a group of 7 people coming in together for lunch. When I asked them if they prefered smoking or non-smoking, the oldest gentleman said he wasn't sure - thought it was a strange reply. Come to find out, they were a group of people who had all left Oklahoma City that morning on a flight to Minneapolis, MN. When they were in flight, the pilot came over the radio and told the passengers there was an problem and their flight would be landing in Omaha. As soon as they landed one guy turned on his cell phone and had messages from his wife and daughter - both in a panic - asking if he was ok but not saying what was wrong. When he called his wife back he found out about the attacks on the Wold Trade Center. This group of people all ended up renting a van together (the last one the rental agency had) and traveled back to Oklahoma City together. The bonding of those strangers to me signified the coming together of our country at that time. I still get chill bumps when I think about that man telling me his whole story about being on that flight.

PrimalScream 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in college and in my first class of the day when everything started happening. Somehow none of us found out during class (even though we all had cell phones, those were the days before incessant texting). I was walking to my second class and saw the planes turning around in the air and everyone staring up at them. I had no idea what was going on. I had never seen that before, but it didn't occur to me that anything was wrong. I sat through my second hour and twenty minute class and the TA didn't say anything about the attack - the TA spoke English as a second language and was not very fluent. I didn't even hear about the attacks until my 11 AM class started and the teacher just started in with, "How do you all feel about the events of today?" I had no clue - then she said we had been attacked. I freaked - I felt so out of control finding out that I didn't even know for almost three hours after it happened. Then of course I stared at the TV for the next two days, in shock.

CreatureComforts 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in high school in Boston. Heard that a plane, possibly from Boston, had crashed in to WTC. As soon as the second one hit (also from Boston), our high school stopped everything and we spent the day watching TV.

I grew up and went to school in Charlestown, Boston which isn't far from Logan Airport. I just remember how quiet the skies were that day compared to normal.

northtowngrl 6 years, 9 months ago

It was a beautiful sun shiny morning here in Lawrence and I had just dropped my kids off at school and was getting ready for work myself. I remember hearing the Today show cast talk about what a beautiful fall morning it was in New York also. Soon after that, the first plane hit tower one. Knowing that my mom worked in mid town Manhattan at a law firm in a high rise building I was immediately worried. Especially since they were already on high alert because of talk of the trial for the first terrorist attempt at the subway stop under the towers. After the 2nd plane hit I knew we were in trouble. I knew my mom's building was probably in lock down, but I tried calling her anyway. Couldn't even get a line through. Kept trying her cell and office phone all day long all the while watching the horrible news and worrying about my mom, my nephew and friends in the City. Finally heard from my mom about midnight. She and her office buds had walked from Midtown Manhattan to New Jersey. (my mom lives just across the Hudson river) stopping at bars and restaurants along the way to get news, rest and drop off or pick up others along the way (and once to buy tennis shoes). No buses, subways or taxis were running and all the bridges and tunnels were closed to automobile traffic so the only way out of the city was to walk. It was a long long day of worry and sadness. I later learned that my nephew spent the day with his classmates up on the rooftop of their school watching the both towers fall. The school wouldn't let the students leave until parents came to get them and most of them were there until well into the evening.

optimist 6 years, 9 months ago

I was just arriving at work that morning when my wife called to tell me that a plane had crashed into the WTC. I knew immediately that it was no accident but I didn't realize that it was an act of terrorism. I at first assumed it was a small plane flown by a disgruntled nut committing suicide recalling the guy that flew his plane at the White House a few years before. Then I remembered the 1993 bombing at the WTC and wondered if it was something bigger. I was still on the phone as I was thinking about these related events and I was discussing it with my wife as I heard her gasp followed by "another plane just crashed into the other tower". I asked her if she saw the plane and she said she had. She described it as looking like a passenger aircraft and I knew then that it was terrorism and probably not domestic. I became very angry because I knew the loss of life would likely be significant given the timing of the attack. I immediately went into the office and shared the news with my co-workers. We set up an old television we found in a storage room. I had to put to use my military communications training to rig an antenna (my MacGyver moment). We watched for a couple of hours checking in frequently while we worked throughout the day. Later I recall going out before lunch and seeing con trails in the sky where the aircraft were returning to KCI after all air traffic had been grounded. The skies were so quiet. It was eerie. Then I saw gas stations raising prices to over $5.00 per gallon. To this day I still won’t buy gas from the stations that exploited tragedy.

That day we witnessed the best and worst in America.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 9 months ago

I happened to flip on the morning news shortly after the first impact, and thought I had accidentally tuned in a Die Hard movie. After it sunk in that I was watching reality, I thought, "Get everyone on the ground further away! Those buildings are coming down." Structural steel can only take so much heat before it turns soft. I did think they would topple as opposed to pancake. I spent the next hour or so wondering who to call and why they would have any reason to listen to me, hoping I was wrong, or that someone on site understood that physics doesn't care about human life.

dogsandcats 6 years, 9 months ago

I heard about the first plane hitting on the radio in my car on the way to work. When I got to work, they announced they were setting up extra TVs in the cafeteria so people could stay updated. My boss wouldn't let us go to the cafeteria, so we listened to the radio in the office. We didn't get any work done anyway. I was on various news websites all day. I didn't get to see any video footage though until I got home that night, and I watched them play and replay it all evening. The next evening I was out to dinner with my then boyfriend and I felt guilty that I was just going about my life while others were so tragically affected. I looked around at the other people in the restaurant and wondered if they were feeling guilty too.

Michael Rowland 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a senior in high school. I was in my AP US History class when we got word and turned on the TV. Everyone was too stunned to actually do class the rest of the day, we just moved from room to room roughly on schedule.

Jean Robart 6 years, 9 months ago

I was at KUMed for a doctor appointment. I saw heavily armed policemen in the lobby, and asked somebody what happened. I went to my car to get my ghettoblaster, then found live tv in the cancer center, and saw the second tower collapse. Then heard about the pentagon being hit. I called back to my campus office in Lawrence, and asked if it was an accident, and the guy i talked to said,"uh,no."

Jeff Plinsky 6 years, 9 months ago

I had just started at a Junior High here in Lawrence. I had only taught at high schools before that. I pulled into the parking lot as Max and Tanna, the DJ's on KY 102, mentioned that a plane had hit the WTC. I went inside and didn't think much other than it was a tragic accident. I was on my plan period watching when the second plane hit. I remember very vividly having a lot of anxiety because I didn't know how to help the younger kids get through the day. It turns out, they are tougher than I thought, and handled it really well.

I didn't have a TV in my classroom, so I kept hitting refresh on CNN, and the kids and I read the reports as they came over the wire. Not seeing the complete video until after we had had a chance to process what was going on was probably a good thing. Watching the video later was perhaps the worst emotional experience I've ever had. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it since that week because it is too painful.

The freshmen I am teaching today were 5 years old when it happened, and have no meaningful memories of the event. They have lived their entire conscious lives in a world at war, but don't usually know why we are fighting. I think that perspective has helped me identify with my grandfather who remembers Pearl Harbor, and is frustrated that it doesn't mean as much to me as it does to him.

Eclisse 6 years, 9 months ago

I am 11 years old in 6th grade at Deerfield Elementary School in Lawrence, KS back when they still had 6th grade. My reading quiz is done, turned over, and I'm waiting expectantly for the rest of my classmates to get done so that we can move on. I'm antsy. My teacher, Mrs. Mahlios, looks up from her desk, confused when another teacher walks into the computer lab attached to ours. There are glass windows and doors and I watch as she gets up and moves to follow the teacher. The TV is on and I am angry that I have to sit here and be quiet while the teachers get to watch a show.

We all turn and see one of them is crying.

I don't remember much in between that and when they brought us all together in the middle of our common space to talk about what was happening. They gave us very little information and didn't allow us to watch the news coverage. That was fine because I had the rest of the night to stay up with my mom and dad, who let me sit with them.

antney 6 years, 9 months ago

I was serving on active duty stationed at Fort Carson. Prior to 9/11, we were a peace time Army trained and eager to deploy somewhere, anywhere. We were all playing flicker ball that morning with the battalion commander when our staff duty officer came to report that the world trade center had been attacked. We all scrambled from the playing field, threw on our battle rattle, and went to serve our nation. We never did finish that flicker ball game.

alex_garrison 6 years, 9 months ago

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was on vacation. I was 12 years old and on my second trip to the little town in northern England where my mom went to high school. My parents and our host family had spent the day — it was rainy and cold, like most of the year in that part of the world — in Driffield, East Yorkshire, walking around shops, that kind of thing. I remember buying some antique coins.

We returned early in the evening, what would have been late morning in the U.S. As we walked into the house, my host family’s 8-year-old grandson told us, “I think some buildings fell down in America.”

All of the planes and both of the towers had already gone down by the time we learned anything of the attacks. By the time I heard anything about it, newcasters had already shifted to trying to make sense of it. The coverage from British stations was just as constant as I’ve heard it was here.

I remember my dad calling family ultra-long-distance frantically, and wondering out loud if we would be able to get home. Our flight back to Kansas City was scheduled for the next day.

After hours of sitting in the living room, all of us watching the TV and chain-drinking cups of tea, my mom told me to work on my homework. I eventually had to go back to the seventh grade at Piper Middle School.

We delayed going back to London for our flight home. We continued our tour of ancient churches — not the most interesting fair for a 12-year-old; after all, once you’ve seen one, I thought, you’ve seen them all.

But just a day or two after Sept. 11, something about them was different. American flags went up everywhere. Little candle vigils hastily put together had boxes stuffed with donations of 5-pence coins. Where exactly would this change go? It didn’t matter; tourists and English alike just wanted to feel they were doing something, anything, that might have some impact — just a response, marking an outpouring of feeling for people very far away who weren’t necessarily hurt, but knew that something about their world had changed.

I was very young; I can’t imagine being this poignant in my thoughts at the time, but seeing these little makeshift tributes to nothing really but the idea — or maybe ideals — of America, I seem to remember thinking of the work slogan of my grandfather and uncles, all funeral home directors in a family business in Iowa: Funerals aren’t ceremonies for the dead. Funerals are for the living.

Eric Gruber 6 years, 9 months ago

I wrote about this last year on my blog because I knew it would be asked again and again and again and because I knew I'd forget one day.

bevy 6 years, 9 months ago

Eric, that is beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 9 months ago

I was 37, working in Lenexa, listening to NPR. They mentioned the first plane and I thought "horrible accident". Then the second plane hit and I knew "terrorists". Only a few people where I worked were allowed to access internet sites that could live stream news. I told them what happened and they brought it up. It was hard to get stuff done that day.

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