Where were you on 9/11/01?

I was sat in my sun room in England. It was a lovely sunny afternoon. The big two kids were at school and I had a three week old baby in my arms. I’d just sat to watch the news when I fed him when up popped reports of a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers. I looked up at the wall. I had a huge framed black and white print of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Twin Towers behind it. I knew in that instant, I just knew it wasn’t an accident or even a suicide. I knew it was an attack and my heart froze.

My ex poo pooed me as did his parents who arrived a couple of minutes later. They’d landed from NYC that morning. They’d been on the viewing platform 24 hours before. I knew I was right though and when the second plane hit no one doubted it any more.

I felt like I was in a bubble. My ex went to pick the other kids up from school and I just sat there, holding my youngest. I couldn’t put him down or let him go. All I could think of was the people on the planes who would never see their kids again. It didn’t even hit me there were deaths in the buildings until later. I sat, frozen, watching until they fell. I don’t need to describe it, you all know how harrowing it was.

By this point, the kids were home. I needed normal and to hear them laughing and having fun. Like their innocence would wash away the evil of just witnessed. We went to McDonalds and then to the park. They played on swings and roundabouts until it grew dark. I didn’t want to go home to reality. A train drove by and the kids waved. The driver played Popeye the sailor man on his klaxon. I’ve often wondered if he knew what had happened while he was working. It was a surreal yet diabolical evening. It felt like when you dive underwater and hear nothing.. then when you surface the world explodes with vibrant chatter. I was in a cocoon. I was afraid to face 9/12 and what it might bring.

We can’t forget. We can’t allow these horrors to be diminished by passing time and fading memories. Children have grown without parents. Parents have lost sons. We’ve all lost innocence.

This affected the whole world. I was in England and it had a profound effect on me. Where were you? How do you remember the day? Let’s share our memories so we never forget.

101 thoughts on “Where were you on 9/11/01?

  1. I remember being at work when the news broke. My office was quite strict and we couldn’t read about it online. Everyone’s mobile phones were ringing off the hook and I remember the fear I felt. I was in England and I still felt the fear. I went to New York in 2013, on September 13th and the sorrow that hit us looking down on where the twin towers had once stood as we were on our helicopter tour was so deep. We must never forget. Never forget all those who lost their lives and the rescue services who ran in head first to save others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in London working in WH Smith newsagents. (I worked 1-6) so I was only just on duty when the news broke and my manager kept bringing me updates, he was listening to the radio out the back. I was on the front till where The Standard was sold, the first copies were too early for it, but the second and third copies were full of the breaking news. I sold paper after paper that day – and the following days. I also bought some and they are now stored in the loft with other historical newspapers, Diana’s death, my Dad’s obituaries).
    My sister had lived in NY and Manhatten for 10 years but was now working in London. She came to my house that night and watched the news. She had friends who worked in the WTC, some had lucky escape stories, some didn’t. It’s tragic. I was so grateful that she wasn’t there.
    My son and I went to mass that week (I’m a bit lazy with church-going) and we both wore tops adorned with the American flag to offer solidarity to Americans.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was working that day and were listening to the radio. It was crazy. New reports of “abandoned” cars that were feared to be car bombs all over the place. Speculation and fear was rampant.

    I was in the office between jobs when the first tower fell and I saw it go. I still remember that feeling of disbelief, that this COULDN’T be real. It was a defining moment in my life in regards to how I felt about the rest of the world. As the years have gone by, I’ve also realized just how the generation that experienced Pearl Harbor felt as the years went by. A new generation grows up and doesn’t even think about it.

    9/11 isn’t just a date to me. It was seared into my soul that day and I’ll be remembering for the rest of my life.

    That being said, thanks for putting this up. I’m always on the fence each year about whether I put up a post on it or not. Most years I choose not to, So thank you for putting this up. It shouldn’t be forgotten or a become “just a date”…


  4. I was at work in my job in finance up in Liverpool, (northern England). My manager’s mum called her sounding really distressed and told us a plane had crashed into one of the towers.
    Within a short time the entire floor had stopped working and televisions were appearing and being plugged in. There were about one hundred of us on that floor. We were aghast, watching the scenes on the news. So many of us were in tears watching. Nobody worked that afternoon. It just was not possible to concentrate.
    It was that horrible feeling of watching a nightmare unfold and feeling utterly helpless to do anything. But even for some of my friends near Brooklyn they said they felt the same horror and helplessness when they realized what they were witnessing.
    I had many friends in NewYork. Some were able to help people who were fleeing from the world trade center by providing them with food and something to drink and a place to rest and just an arm to cry on.
    I had grown up during an era I had known of many incidents involving the troubles in Northern Ireland. But there had never been anything on this scale. It was a shock to see how quickly so much damage can be done, so many lives lost, so much pain…and the resulting fear and hatred and distress that have spread are so sad.
    Heart-breaking pages in the history of our human family.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Are you and yours safe and sound now? I saw that you were driving down to the areas expecting a hurricane.
        I have not had chance to catch the news today to find out what has been happening…but I was rather worried about you heading down there. I think you were going to get your son? If I am not mistaken.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Grade 9 French class, right before lunch. The teacher brought in a tv once we heard the news and we watched the news footage. Then our class left for lunch and all the TVs in the halls were on and everyone crowded around it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. 9/11 is a very emotional day for me. I spent most of the day in tears or close to it. It sucks cos it just snuck up on me this year which is probably why I had such a reaction. I had completely forgot until I was having breakfast and saw the news. So glad it’s over now

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was working in a call centre. One of the managers had a pocket TV (it was before you could watch stuff on your mobile phones, phones then were for talking to people on, or texting, not for playing candy crush or ‘whatever’).
    Everyone gathered around him to watch the footage of the first plane flying into the building. It was horrific, everyone was stunned, even those people who were usually detached from human emotions, like the head manager.

    I decided to go home early.
    I remember switching on the television at home, feeling numb, as the second plane hit.
    Seeing desperate people jumping out of windows, that will never leave me.

    I think everyone who saw the footage probably has experienced some trauma from watching it but think of those heroes, the firefighters who did all they could to get people out. The people who put others above their own safety when possibly all they wanted to do was run away and hide.

    Let us forever remember.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I was in between flights in Budapest, travelling abroad without any parents for the first time in my life. As I was waiting for the next flight, I saw a TV somewhere in the distance behind a glass wall and people gathering around it, so I went too. I couldn’t understand what was going on, there was no sound, just the images of the first tower. I thought it was a joke, but then I saw the CNN logo, so that couldn’t have been the case. I was on the plane again when the rest of the attack was carried out, so when I got off all I could hear around me was even more shocking stories, but I couldn’t put them together yet. It was all incredible in the very raw sense of the word, I couldn’t believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I was in a daze on my next flight, shocked and confused. Maybe the worst was that I couldn’t put a context around the events. What exactly had happened? Was it just in the US? Any other countries? Would there be more attacks? Where? I just had the horrifying images to go by, no information at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You described it so beautifully with being under water. In a cocoon. It was so poetic. Do you write any poetry?

    It was really… something else. People around the globe were glued to their TVs in disbelief. Absolutely an unthinkable thing has happened. We wondered if it was the official start of WWIII.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I was a social worker for the mentally ill at the time and I had been notified one of my clients had set fire to the community club house. So, I was on the phone trying to arrange treatment for her when my boss came in and told me about the first plane. They rolled a TV into the main floor of our building and we watched in horror the events of that day. I know I made arrangements and took care of my client – but I don’t remember how I did, now. I just remember staring at the TV and feeling so sad and mentally lost.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I was a senior in college and I was on my way to school for an early morning journalism class. When I walked into class, our professor had the news footage airing on a huge screen in our classroom and we all watched as the second plane hit the tower. It was horrible and I think we all lost quite a bit of our innocence that day.

    Many of the kids I went to school with had family members and friends who lived and/or worked in NYC and I remember them desperately trying to reach their loved ones. Some didn’t know for days.

    But the thing I remember most is that a bunch of us were in what we called the “grill.” It was just a really small secondary dining spot on campus with lounge chairs and TV’s and someone stood up and said, “Can we all just pray together?”

    So we all gathered around in a circle and held hands while the student led the group in a prayer. I remember it being this really diverse group of students from many different walks of life and backgrounds and cultures and likely religions, but it didn’t matter. We were just sending out a prayer, to whoever was listening, for our fellow humans.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I was getting ready for school when I turned on the TV. Until the picture faded in on the screen, I had no idea what I was in for.

    I saw one giant skyscraper standing at Ground Zero, its lower half shrouded in dust and smoke. (I can’t recall if that was live or a replay.) I remember going up to my parents’ bedroom and telling them, “The World Trade Center was attacked!” I remember my little brother crying on his bed, too grieved to do his chores, and myself being too numb and shocked to cry. I remember hearing that my father’s workplace—a mall across the street from our condo—was closed for the day. I remember feeling horror at the idea. “That mall’s right outside my window. What if I see a plane fly into the mall?” I remember thunderclouds filling the sky that afternoon and evening, as if the atmosphere itself were weeping and growling over what happened 3,000 miles away.

    Even though I take time to remember what happened, sometimes the memories come back on their own. Ever since 9/11, I’ve had occasional nightmares about the World Trade Center. In one dream, I was inside a highrise in my hometown, running down flights of stairs—and a jet hit the building one floor above me. In another dream, the Twin Towers were in my town, collapsing in the skyline. Most recently, I dreamt a highrise building at my university was attacked—a highrise that isn’t even there in real life—and a colleague and I ran out of the inferno just before the building collapsed. Thanks to some of my dreams, I remember that day against my will.


  12. I was at home on a rare sick day and had slept in when my mother called me at 9am and told me to turn on the TV. At first I thought it was an accident, but soon realized it was deliberate. We were worried about my brother as he travels a lot and were relieved when we found out he was safe at home. I remember being glued to the tv for days. You never forget those things. If you are an older person like me, you remember where you were when J. F. Kennedy got shot, (grade 7, the nuns told us to pray).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We were in NZ, it was in the morning on tv. I was a child, but i couldn’t believe it! How can someone think such a horrible act. Yes poor people, can’t imagine their freight and helplessness 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had gotten the kids off to school and was trying to get the ex off to work(he owned a landscaping business and made his own hours). I had the TV on for background as I puttered about my morning. After the first plane hit, my ex and I were glued to the TV with tears in our eyes.
    I had known that “W” was going to get us into a war if he won. It may sound like conspiracy theory, but I believe he knew something was going to happen. I don’t think he knew the towers would fall, but it was a great excuse to finish his Daddy’s war.
    It was so odd not hearing planes flying over head in the days that followed.
    My older daughter had a school trip to New York the following April. Everyone was concerned, but we let her go. Of course, being my daughter, she fell down the stairs at Arlington and severely sprained her ankle. The only child to suffer injury in the history of the New York Trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I flew on the first anniversary of 9/11. I flew to Charlotte from Heathrow then to La Guardia and finally Syracuse. Each plane was almost empty. The transatlantic had 30 people not counting crew. The second had 7 and the last had 5. I felt like it was my one fingered salute to terrorists

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I was working when I heard the report come on the radio about the first building being hit, I turned on the TV and watch what was happening. I had little emotion about what was going on because I was kwit nume from my depression back then. I remember how earry it was after wards with all the plans grounded and only military plans and choppers flying around.


    Liked by 1 person

  16. Growing up, my family had the news on as everyone got ready for work and school. I was in seventh grade and remember walking out of my room to see my parents’ eyes fixated on the TV. I saw replay after replay of the second plane crashing into the trade towers. I felt so confused…one plane could be an accident, but two must have been intentional? Up until that point I had (perhaps naively) believed that all people are inherently good. We continued watching the footage at school nearly all day and it was so overwhelming, and completely turned my understanding of people upside down. Having attended Catholic school at that time, we prayed together as a school. When my mom picked me and my siblings up from school, she informed us that a family friend who worked in the towers had (thankfully!) to leave work to pick up her sick kid from daycare, exiting the building just minutes before the first crash. I think that was the day I lost my innocence–the day I realized that humans are capable of the most horrible evils. It’s a day that I will never forget.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. This is still so sad and always feels like it just happened yesterday in my mind, especially on its anniversaries or if I read something in the news. I was about to go to a class, I never made it to any of my classes that day. Yes, it’s certainly a day that will never be forgotten.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. My ex-Marine was stationed at Camp Elmore (small internal Marine Base on Norfolk Naval Base) and was at work that morning. I was at home in Virginia Beach on the computer looking for a job. We had only been there two months. He came home around 9:15a for a break, walked into the office and said “Some idiot just flew a plane into one of Twin Towers.” Uh…do what?

    I got up from the computer and walking into the Den. I turned on the TV to see WTH was going on. One tower had smoke rolling out of it. It wasn’t long before the second tower was hit. I honestly don’t recall actually seeing the plane hit on live TV. You’re just so shocked and dumbfounded…that bubble you mentioned, Britchy…

    Shortly after that, the report came across that the Pentagon had been hit. My ex, still in his Charlies, had just turned to go into the kitchen for a snack. When he heard the Pentagon notice, he stopped dead in his tracks, did an about face, looked at me with this paleness and “I gotta go.” He ran out of the house and I heard him squeal out of the driveway. I knew there would be little communication with him after that. He was in Signals Intelligence and I just knew things were going to get bad.

    I spent the afternoon staring speechless at the TV, crying. To this day, everything after that is a blur. I do remember Norfolk Naval Base being locked down to Delta status:

    The one thing that really sticks with me to this day was my ex’s face. He was nearly fearless & it was earth-shattering to me to see HIM that disturbed.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I was on maternity leave. Having just finished feeding my 3 month old son, I placed him on a blanket on the floor for a bit of tummy time and turned on the tv. It had been left on CNN the night before so the first images I saw were just after the first plane had hit. I stared at that tv in shock. After the second plane hit, I picked up my son and held him close with tears streaming down my face. I looked at his innocent little face and wondered out loud what kind of world we had brought him into.
    We live in an area where many planes fly over en route to Toronto Pearson Airport. The planes had stopped. Nothing flew overhead. It was so eerie to not hear those jet engines. Sometimes the sound of silence can be deafening. That cocoon you mentioned… that’s the perfect description.
    The majority of my extended family are American and many are military. Our family phone tree was activated and my mind was occupied by checking in with relatives and reporting news back to my father. It took us all day to determine that everyone was safe, for now. Some would end up deployed as a result of that day. Everyone came home safely. But the world was forever changed. The cocoon ripped away leaving us to deal with a new reality.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I was in 7th grade algebra class. We had a CRT TV in the left corner of the classroom, and watched the news coverage. One of my classmates cried in the back of the class. Her relative works in one of the towers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I was flat on my back in a hospital bed attached to a morphine drip the day after being diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms that almost killed me and that ultimately laid me up for 3 months and altered the course of my future. I was so doped on morphine when I woke up that morning that I thought I was hallucinating when I saw the smoke billowing from the first tower. When I saw the second plane hit, my mind cleared immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Early in my pregnancy with my son, signed off work two days and at our apartment at the time following a bleeding scare. Told to take bed rest, my then husband dragged the TV into the bedroom. We were living overseas and I saw it on CNN,the rolling footage again and again, the fall, the screams of horror and disbelief, all those people, lives. So hard to believe. Seeing the footage again today, it still is.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I was in my 1st apartment on this sad day. I was almost dressed to go into work at the Olive Garden when this happened. My mother in law called me on my landline 📞 home phone and told me to turn on the tv right before I stepped out the door. Being that I was in the military at the time as well, I called my unit and ended up going there instead.

    Thank you for remembering this day!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I clearly remember I was driving home and my mom rang to say what she had just heard on the news,after few days I left for Milan for my first job in the big city and after weeks I was there a plane crashed in a building while I was on a tram….it was mayhem but it turned out to be an accident.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What a great question! I was teaching school. Mostly 16 and 17-year olds. There were frightened and I was too. My niece was supposed to fly that day, and I didn’t know if she was in the air or not. She wasn’t and had to stay put for several days before airlines started up again. I will never forget!

    Britchy, I have a favor to ask. You are bold. Please help me get this thing started. I think no one wants to be the first. Will you link one of your favorite posts?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I can’t even begin to explain how it felt like my heart and soul were sinking. I watched it happen live on TV. I live 45 minutes away. Every person and business was silent, numb. The children weren’t allowed to be released from school because no one knew if their parents were alive to receive them. ATF officers were breaking down doors of suspected terrorists in local businesses, everyday shops we all frequent—Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. Our lives were shut down mentally, spiritually and physically. The city was covered in ash for months. The clouds of ash floated over Long Island. Everyone knew someone that perished and at least 4-5 more that were in the rubble searching for survivors. Our friends that were first responders and volunteers couldn’t sleep at night and could barely even mention what they had seen—limbs, pieces of people, everywhere. No, we will never forget the devastation, the cruelty, the terror. I can only hope for the evolution of our species to learn how to live in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. The power had gone out during the night so the alarnms hadn’t gone off. I scrambled to get the kids together for school. We were living in a very small town at the time. We had jumped in the car, me still in pj’s and robe, sped literally around the block to the school.
    Arriving home, I grabbed a cup of coffee and switched on the tv. Just as I sat on the couch, breaking news broke in showing the first tower.
    My mind raced to make sense of how this could logically happen. A millisecond is all it took to calculate this was no accident. I grabbed the phone, hitting speed dial to the high school as I watched the second plane confirming my fears.
    I rapidly fired the words of what was happening, yelling for them to turn the classroom tvs on.
    History as not seen here in most of our lifetimes was happening, an explosive catalyst to what would surely follow.
    I sat stunned, riveted, tears pouring in sheets down my face.
    There were no factions that day….ethnic, gender, sexual, age…
    In the darkest moments, we were our very best….we were ONE, clinging to each other in the smoke, ash, uncertainty…. we, collectively were just one thing….American.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I remember it very clearly also. I am in England as you know. I was listening to radio one whilst working my business and when l heard it l remember saying jesus someone has declared war on America. It was not an accident, l could sense that, like you my heart also froze. when l got home that night, l was shocked into tears at the horror. it was a sad day for everyone, the whole world, l sobbed later that night.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I remember sitting watching the news waiting for my friend to come over it felt very surreal and it was like watching a movie, just could not believe what was happening very very sad, could not move from my chair lives had been changed forever that day

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I was at Ft. Jackson, trying to get into basic training for the Army Reserves. I shipped two weeks after the recruiter’s office, and being a little older at 29, wasn’t in the best of shape, so I flunked the PT test. That morning my platoon partner and I were on our way to sick hall, we’d both managed to catch colds, and as we walked soldiers all around us were reacting, with anger, tears, shock.

    As recruits, we were not allowed to speak so when we got to sick hall I took out a notepad and we used it to communicate. My partner was from New York and was adept at lip reading, so she figured out what was going on pretty quick. I still have that note. When we got back, we found our platoon sitting in formation where our DI.s had put them and so we sat down too. Notes were being passed here and there, but mostly we just sat silently and watched everyone around us.

    Finally, around 1:30 in the afternoon, our DI’s came back to tell us what happened and to ask everyone that had immediate family at the Twin Towers and Pentagon to come forward to meet with Red Cross. And everyone else was asked to defer first payphone calls home for those who had friends and non-immediate family in New York. We spent the rest of that day and night in the barracks, except for those assigned the first fire watches, entrance guard shifts and outside guard positions.

    I stood an outside post that night with an Active Duty sergeant. They kind of hazed us a bit, put us in heavy flak vests and those big green metal helmets; the Sergeant was carrying an assault rifle which I am pretty sure was not holding any ammunition. We were in the middle of a locked down Army base in S. Carolina, so we were relatively safe. But rumors were flying about nukes being dropped; and there were prayer circles going on in the barracks.

    It was a few weeks before we saw any news. They cut our TV time and stopped all newspaper deliveries onto the base. What news we got came from our mail. I had a friend who sent me a transcript of President Bush’s first speech following the attack and I read that out loud to the girls in my barracks. We finally went to the Chaplain and asked to see something about what happened, so he showed us some of the footage on his computer.

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