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What do you think about when you reflect on 9/11?

Asked at Borders on September 11, 2007

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Photo of David Voss

“I think about how much it changed the world. How it changed the way people think, the way people live - everything.”

Photo of Laura Kemp

“I’m shocked that it was so long ago. Six years; it seems like it was just a year or two ago.”

Photo of Naomi Cashman

“The first thing that comes to mind are all the people who have been affected by it in one way or another and all of the events that have taken place as a result, especially the tragedy of the war in Iraq.”

Photo of Rodger Matthews II

“I just think about how scared I was at the time. I was so young when it happened.”

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jonas 10 years, 2 months ago

The same thing as when I think about any tragedy. That life is short and unpredictable, and that you should appreciate what you have and who you have in your life, and that you should let those important people know what they mean to you, whether you have to say it openly or not. Everybody dies, it's just a question of when. The tragedy would be to die with great regrets, or with things unsaid.

KLATTU 10 years, 2 months ago

I remember America before it was afraid.

Over 70% of all Americans will die from disease. Including 9/11 and the Iraq War the percentage of Americans killed by foreign terrorists is way below 1/2%. The government is predicting the future costs of the Iraq war to be over $900 billion. How much preventative health care would that buy for Americans who have none? How much cancer research would a trillion dollars buy? Revenge is sweet I guess. Of course it would be sweeter if we actually went after the people responsible for 9/11.

Kat Christian 10 years, 2 months ago

I try not to think about it. It's just too scary to dwell on. I'm so sorry for the lives that were lost and those affected so much so that if I were to think about it all the time I don't think I'd be able to function normally. It was such a tragedy and to think that the culprits who caused this have not been dealt with is even more terrifying. I just live my life day to day with the best intentions and pray to God this never happens again.

coolmom 10 years, 2 months ago

i think about the shock i felt as i watched events unfold. i think about the people who were affected forever. i think about the fear that still affects our country and i think about how all of this will affect my children and yours.

smot 10 years, 2 months ago

9/11 is about hatred and a clash of cultures. Americans cannot get used to the idea that there are people and cultures that would love to see us die and our country disintegrate. This type of thinking is irrational but nevertheless, the truth. We have no choice but be at war with this type of thinking as it will not go away by "being nice" or "minding our own business". A strong response to this threat is the only thing that these people understand and respect. We will eventually defeat the current foe but there will always be others waiting at the doorstep.

ms_canada 10 years, 2 months ago

I just get a hopeless feeling. What did the destruction accomplish? What did the terrorists hope to accomplish? They were so misguided. They accomplished nothing positive. Did they really believe that they could bring down America? If you think about it - they have just brought more destruction to the Middle East, a war was started because of 9/11, thousands of their own people are being killed now. There are daily bombings in their own countries.( Actually not in the country of the terrorists themselves; Saudi Arabia.) No more bombings in America, which could be the case. Homeland security is really not a deterrent. Are the large oil tanks really safe? What about small targets like high schools, hospitals, state houses etc. Many small targets would surely get the attention of Homeland Security people. The only security that I can think of would be to make peace not war. And to do that one must know his enemy.

b_asinbeer 10 years, 2 months ago

At the top, it says that this was asked on Mass. Street. Looking at the pictures, it looks less and less like Mass Street, and more and more like Borders on 7th and New Hampshire. :o/

countrygirl 10 years, 2 months ago

It makes me sad and reminds me just how quickly things can change. Hug your kids and tell your loved ones just how much you care about them--because it might be the last time you see them. You just never know.

sanctuary 10 years, 2 months ago

I remember how it brought out the best in our country. There were so many heroes on that day. It took something horrible to unite all Americans and bring them together. Our nation hit one of its strongest points in history during the response to this event. Partisan interests were put aside. Remember Congress singing "God Bless America"? Patriotism was enormous; there were more flags flying and more discussion of what it means to be American. September 11 changed our world in so many ways, but this is what I remember most.

Cindy Wallace 10 years, 2 months ago

In disbelief.....the beginning of war on our home ground? In my office, people crying, hysterical. I could not help thinking about my Dad all day....just recently placed in a nursing was he handling it? was he by himself? would he be okay? I am 1,000 miles away....I can't wait to call him....I get home from him, he had a Wonderful day! very good friends took my Mother to see him.....he really enjoyed his visit. Called my Mother she talked about how good a visit they phone rings at 8:15 p.m......My Mother has called to tell my my Father is DEAD.....

......I am 1,000 miles husband drives a truck and is in Phoenix.....I have wonderful friends.....they take me home is in Lawrence, Kansas, gone for 23 heart never I am back home....both my Father, Mother and little Sister are gone....but I am home....with my children and grandchildren......

smot 10 years, 2 months ago


My statements are not a political statement.

I have nothing to do with defense contractors.

The question is "What do you think about when you think about 9/11" and my response is appropriate. Sorry that you disagree.

acg 10 years, 2 months ago

I also think about the heroes, sanctuary. I remember thinking that for all of the tragedy I was incredibly proud of New Yorkers. They showed amazing bravery, humanity and constraint, considering what was going on around them. I also remember thinking how stupid and futile the whole thing was. I can remember just sitting there, watching it on my office t.v., thinking that it can't be real, it was like watching a bad made for t.v. movie or something and the enormity of the situation didn't hit me for several days. Then I got mad, and I've been pretty pissed about it ever since. I can't stand religious fanaticism. I think, if there is a God and I'm not so sure about all of that, that he/she is incredibly offended at murder in his/her name. I want to grab those people and shake them and yell and scream and ask why, what was the point, what did you accomplish or gain? We're still here. We're going to be here. For all of the ranting any of us like to do about the breakdown of our society, the problems with our economy or government, and the issues with out environment, America is in it for the long haul, so all of those people are dead for no reason at all.

lunacydetector 10 years, 2 months ago

....that bill clinton was offered bin laden on a silver platter and he did nothing.

mick 10 years, 2 months ago

I remember hearing it on the radio at work and when I came home and saw the buildings collapse on the news I thought, "I didn't know it would do that!" Now I understand why those buildings came down the way they did. Why are those guys they said did this still alive and living in their home lands?

bowen 10 years, 2 months ago

more like Clinton HANDED Bin Laden to BUSH on a platter and BUSH chose not to do anything about it.

smot 10 years, 2 months ago


I will have to inform our government to disband our military immediately based on your citations.

I made no mention of the military in my original or second post.

I guess that all those men who died for our country while serving their country in an illegal organization (our military) should know of your disdain for them.

May God keep you from having to defend your freedom....I prefer to be in a foxhole with a person who understands the cost of freedom and the need to serve our country.

evergreen 10 years, 2 months ago

When I think of 9/11, I am reminded of the way our country rallied together to support one another--as a unified, national community. I am disappointed by the current polarization of our country, specifically along political party lines. "We the people" are better than that.

lunacydetector, b3, et al.:

National security is a nonpartisan issue. Leaders on both sides of the aisle have consistently dropped the ball. However, your statements about democrats and Bill Clinton are unfounded. (Actual facts to back up your opinion would be nice.)

Let's not forget that Osama bin Laden is a by-product of the Cold War and was directly supported by the US throughout the Reagan era. For a little background, see; for more disturbing details, read the report on US weapons at war,

"In the mid-1980s, bin Laden was one of Ronald Reagan's "freedom fighters" battling Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Various rebel factions received billions of dollars worth of arms, training, and logistical support from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Saudi monarchy." . . . "By promoting the concept of a global jihad against the Soviet occupiers, funneling most of their covert aid to the most conservative Afghan factions, and establishing a network of fundamentalist schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan (funded by the Saudis), the United States and its allies helped sow the seeds of today's right-wing Islamic fundamentalist movements." . . . "Bin Laden worked hand-in-hand with the CIA, as he and associates from his construction company helped build a CIA-financed underground training complex in Khost." . . . "The founding members of bin Laden's terror network were selected from among this diverse group, many of whom he might never have met if the CIA had not bankrolled the Afghan resistance." . . . "Throughout the 1980s, the United States supplied the Afghan Mujahedeen with more than $2 billion in weaponry and equipment, including approximately 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, manufactured by General Dynamics. The U.S. also supplied AK-47s, small and light weapons, intelligence on Soviet targets and intercepts of Soviet communications, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 explosives, a targeting device for mortars, communications equipment, anti-tank missiles and access to data from U.S. Navy satellites."

acg 10 years, 2 months ago

hey, maybe today, of all days, instead of arguing politics and pointing fingers and shouting from the rooftops that your candidate is/was cooler or more qualified for the job than their candidate, we can just hold the memory of this tragedy in our hearts and hold out hope for our troops, and the future of our nations and try to get along. If at any time people should be getting along, it should be today. Oh, and Christmas time. :)

Kontum1972 10 years, 2 months ago

3,000 died on this day and the death count on the military side has exceeded this not counting the heavily wounded....the best thing we could of done was draw back do a complete recon with our special ops groups then set out to find these a$$whole$ and take them out along with their families so they will not breed anymore..why is it they can do this crap in the movies but cant organize it in real time...oh..wait a minute...they had bin ladin cornered at tora bora..but they were ordered not to kill him and his cronies....because it would not have justified bush's war---->the bad guys are reason to go to war...aka Mil Indust Complex...war is big money....just ask haliburton...right Dick C?

now this war is slated to last for 10 more or longer the us military called for a draft....but it has been put on the back burner...

gogoplata 10 years, 2 months ago

How quickly and unexpectedly your life can be taken.

jonas 10 years, 2 months ago

Well, hell. This thread made it all the way past 10:30 before someone dropped idiotic partisan politics into it. Surprising.

katwor 10 years, 2 months ago

I feel sad when I think about the +3,000 people that were murdered on that terrible day. I hope their families will find peace in their hearts.

kugrad 10 years, 2 months ago

I think about the incredible opportunity we had to put our best foot forward in face of a horrific tragedy. Instead, we had leaders who squandered the good will of the world for their own short-sighted agenda. We had flag decals and hate. We had bumper stickers that said, "United We Stand," while our nation became more divided than ever. We lost sight of what it means to be an American while the mainstream media urged us on into a needless war with it's own theme music. Had we invested just the money that has been "lost" and is now "unaccounted for" in Iraq (billions and billions of dollars) in building schools, hospitals, and libraries and providing medical care and vaccinations worldwide, we would have the admiration of the world and the terrorists would have already lost. Instead, we created Al Qaida in Iraq, we gave terrorists a foothold, we played their game. They wanted us to overreact and make wrong, rash choices. We did. But we had a chance to live up to the potential of this great nation. We had a chance to be an example. We had an extraordinary chance for these deaths not to be meaningless. We could have done the right thing. This is what I think of when I remember 9/11.

PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 10 years, 2 months ago

This may seem strange, but what I remember most was that after watching coverage on all morning on my computer I left work and went to lunch. My office at work was in the basement of our building, so I had not seen anything outside all morning. When I stepped outside that noon, I remember how blue the sky was and how cloudless it appeared. It made me stop and think about the irony of the fact that on such a dark day in American history the weather was so oddly beautiful. I know that seems like a stupid thing to recall, but it's one of the memories of that day that will stay with me forever.

matahari 10 years, 2 months ago

I think about all the tens of thousands of people who died on Africa of aids and starvation, and how no one was thinking of them~Americans seem to think their own are omnipotent

coolmom 10 years, 2 months ago

wow matahari what an ugly comment. if you believe the bad americans are so selfish you shouldnt be on here and you should look around to how much money and time americans put in to helping others. if you believe that strongly you should be helping more instead of posting your negative comments on our sept 11th.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm not sure thinking about those suicide plane crashes helps to do anything but build up the kind of hatred that leads to such destruction. Anyway, I usually prefer to think about the horrors of the future rather than the horrors of the past. The horror machine is always in motion, after all, as fear and anger run it and run rampant in the human heart. In any case, it seems that we need to decide who we want to be before we can do what we need to do. And fighting fire with fire makes for dead firefighters. That may be our lot. Cold and heartless always seems to take the prize, though. Keeping the growling masses at odds always seems to help the cold and heartless cause...which is to acquire the resources of our mass and masses. Both hot, growling sides pay the cold with lives and cash. In conclusion, I guess it's clear that my 9/11 reflections are as clear as the mud and growing dirt of that crashing.

fayrae 10 years, 2 months ago

When I think of 9/11, my heart is sadden because of the loss of so many people and how much our country has changed, how shocked I was watching this happing on T.V. and how the change in our country only made us stronger. As far as Bill and the democratic party weakening the country and Bush has done so well, BRING THE TROOPS HOME. I will vote democratic till the day I die.

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