Where Were You on 9/11/01?

Kennedy getting shot.

The moon landing.

Pearl Harbor.

The events of a generation solidified into our cultural psyche. Which we all experience as a nation. A whole. Growing up, I remember hearing the conversations amongst my family and their friends about where they were on 'that day', and they were always fascinating.

My generation (X) never had one of those moments until that sunny fall day in 2001. With the exception of the space shuttle explosion, mine were centered around deaths. When Kurt Cobain killed himself (I am still mad at him), or Chris Farley and especially Jerry Garcia died. (We had just seen his last show one month prior. The last line live was "Such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there".) Sniff.

Every media outlet is talking about 9/11 right now, and has been for weeks. Since I have this forum, why not open it up and let others tell about their memories of that day. It paints an even more vivid picture, like how I remember friends who travelled for business having to rent cars and drive for hours and hours to get home. Another had a baby on the 10th, and was so confused seeing how upset all the nurses and doctors were-being in her own new little world. A New York friend relayed to me how, as he watched from his office tower, the second plane hit. He ran. And kept running until he got home hours later.

What do you remember?

Denise, Brooklyn: a 9/11 memory -- I will never forget going out into my backyard that night and having it rain down bits of paper from the sky on everything. It looked like it was snowing but the few pieces that were still in one piece showed that they were burned bits of paper from an office in the Trade Center.
It was surreal!

Lisa, IL: 9/11 Driving in to work and hearing the tower was hit. I thought it was a radio tower until I got in. Since I work for a public safety company, it was clear it was more serious when I got there. We watched together in horror as the second tower went down. I remember freaking out trying to reach my husband at work. But what I remember most of all, being pregnant, watching the news crying and feeling my baby kick for the first time. I felt it was a beautiful reminder that life goes on and the world is still good.

Kathleen, Brooklyn: I am a New Yorker but was on a cruise in Canada for my anniversary on 9/11. Was the first time I hadn't taken a vacation with my girls in 10 years. Woke up to see the planes hitting the towers. Absolutely terrified to be so far away from my family. Very limited internet service back then. Remember the kindness of the Canadian people when the boat docked in the various ports. Played Amazing Grace as we debarked. Boat was not able to return to the NY Port. Docked in Boston, bus to upstate NY, another bus to Manhattan, cab home. Literally kissed the ground when I got home.

Amber, IL: I was working at the car dealership & watched the second plane hit the second tower, the dealership almost stopped. Thick heavy silence was in the air, all personnel including technicians and office workers had come to watch and become fixated on the tv. I was standing there with my then husband & I was pregnant with our second child, then out of nowhere the towers collapsed. Almost at once as if it was choreographed there was a huge gasp then tears and disbelief that those magifiscent heaven-pointing towers collapsed at once. All those people-where were they? Where did they go?? What a sad day.

Me, IL: After being glued to the TV with friends, we needed a break & biked to the lake around 5PM. There was NO traffic. Downtown Chicago was deserted. But the eeriest thing was the absence of airplanes. And we're O'Hare! Not a contrail to be seen. We saw a fighter plane tear loudly across the sky and all eyes turned breathless towards the Sears Tower. After seeing the devastation all day, I could actually SEE the Sears Tower fall in my head. It was terrifying. (I was also 1 week pregnant with Zoe, but didn't know it yet).

Eileen, IL: I remember so clearly. I was home relaxing on the couch, drinking coffee and watching the Today show. I had the day off as I was in between jobs and starting my new job on 9/12. As I watched tv and they broke the news, I thought it was a horrible accident. But, as I watched the second plane hit, I felt pure terror and felt as if our country was under attack. Dan and I happened to be living at Clinton and Harrison downtown Chicago, just South of the Sears Tower. Feeling scared with the threats to our city I called Dan. He said his building was being evacuated and we made a plan to flee to the burbs if we needed. We ended up watching the horror unfold before our eyes. I started a new job the next day, grateful for being alive but forever changed.

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Tags: 9/11 Memories, 911

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  • I was at the last Grateful Dead show as well!

    Can you link up your post at the bottom of my post? Here is the link: http://www.chicagonow.com/ups-and-downs-of-a-yoga-mom/2011/09/september-11th-ten-years-later/

    I thought it would be nice to create one place for all 9/11 posts. Thank you!

  • I was deeply asleep (and full term pregnant) when my mother called to tell me what had happened. I didn't have a TV and I had a scheduled prenatal appointment that morning and my mom was my labor coach (my then-husband was half way through a 6 month deployment in a submarine). So she picked me up, noticed that I was developing edema in my feet (she's an RN) and the morning got even more surreal feeling. Not only was I panicking for New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania (and grieving along with them) but I was also panicking over my doctor telling me I had pre-eclampsia and I heard the evil words "emergency c-section" (NOBODY wants to hear them). I spent an hour away from CNN at the hospital having a fetal non-stress test as my mother and I were both firmly in the belief that this was NOT the day for a child to be born. Thankfully baby seemed fine where s/he was during contractions so I spent the next week on enforced bedrest watching CNN nonstop and feeling my baby kicking nonstop. (she ultimately made her appearance on another sunny blue September morning).

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